Local News Headlines


The Jamestown Public School District has announced that a Bush Elementary School student has tested positive for COVID-19.  In a printed release, JPS Communications Coordinator Cathy Panebianco says the student last attended school on November 9th.  The district is following all guidelines from the Chautauqua County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, Panebianco says JPS wants parents to know that "a confirmed case DOES NOT mean that you or your child has been exposed to the individual who has tested positive. Any individuals who may have been in close contact, as defined by the Chautauqua County Department of Health, with a confirmed case will be contacted directly by the New York Department of Health contact tracers." Anyone with questions is asked to contact your building nurse or JPS Coordinator of Health Services, Jill Muntz at 483-4376.

The region's run of record warm temperatures for early November continued Monday... with another high temperature record shattered.  Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says this comes on the heels of Sunday's new record high for November 8th. Apfell says the warm conditions are going to remain with us for another day... as sunny skies and temperatures into the low to mid-70s are being forecast again today.  He says we'll see some rain late tonight, as a cold front moves into the region.  However... while temperatures will drop about 20-degrees by Thursday... we'll see more seasonal temperatures.

A man from Corry, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to trafficking and selling methamphetime in Chautauqua County early in 2019.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced Monday that 43-year-old Jerry Roneker, Junior entered the plea in federal court to possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth.  Prosecutors say Sheriff's officers saw Roneker's car cross the center line in the road in the town of Chautauqua, and he was pulled over.  During the traffic stop... deputies found a number of drug-related items... including two large chunks of suspected meth... a loaded handgun... and, more than $10,000 in cash.  Roneker faces a minimum of 10 years in prison... a maximum of life... and, a $10-million fine.

There are four new cases of the coronavirus in Chautauqua County being reported the past day... and, 22 total since last Saturday.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel's office... which says six of those cases are from Fredonia... and, three are from Dunkirk.  The others were spread over various parts of the county.  Wendel says there are now 1,189 total cases... and, 93 are active.  He says there have been 15 deaths... but, 1,081 cases have now recovered and, 21 are hospitalized.

The COVID-19 infection rate has been spiking in the Western New York region... which includes Chautauqua County.  With that... parts of the region have now been designated by the state as "micro-clusters" with some new restrictions on mass gatherings to lower the infection rate.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says the rate has been increasing here... due mainly to people's movements and gatherings. A spike in the Buffalo-area has been a big reason for the increases in the region... and, so far... there are no added restrictions in Chautauqua County.  Sundquist says there would be three levels to the newer restrictions:  Yellow, Orange, and Red.  He says the least restrictive is Yellow... where houses of worship would be limited to 50-percent capacity... mass gatherings would be limited to 25 people... and, restaurants would be limited to parties of four per table.  There are a few in Erie County, New York. 

A weekend outbreak of seven cases of COVID-19 is being traced to a north county social club.  With that... the Chautauqua County Health Department is emphasizing that those clubs must abide by COVID-19 precautions.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says the outbreak at the Fredonia Beaver Club is "the first time we’ve seen cases from a single club reach cluster designation so rapidly.”  The Beaver Club closed on Saturday for two weeks for deep cleaning and to ensure appropriate precautionary measures are in place.  Anyone who frequented the club in the last two weeks is advised to be extra vigilant with social distancing, masking and hand washing...and should contact their health care provider if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.  A free, rapid testing clinic will be held this Thursday, November 12th from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Murphy Training Center on Brigham Road in Dunkirk.

Many officials are cheering news about the promising development of a coronavirus vaccine... but, they also caution that Americans need to be aggressive about mask wearing and social distancing as infections continue to surge around the country.  Here in New York state... Governor Andrew Cuomo was critical of Trump administration's handling of the pandemic as a whole and also of their plan on how to administer the vaccine. Cuomo says the Trump administration's plan is flawed because the private providers will be administering the vaccine and that leaves out communities that didn't get enough help at the beginning of the pandemic.  Pfizer announced promising results from a vaccine trial, indicating a 90-percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Monday felt like a late Summer morning... with temperatures getting to about 70-degrees before Noon.  But... Jamestown City Arborist Dan Stone was thinking Christmas.  Stone led a Parks and Public Works crew in cutting down and putting up the city's annual Christmas Tree on Tracy Plaza.  Stone says the Mazzurco family on Cole Avenue donated the 40-foot tall White Spruce tree for the celebration.  However... it's not yet known what kind of Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration will be held this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Stone says an announcement could be made by the end of the week.
The popular 'Four-H Green Tie Affair' for 2021 will not take place due to the COVID-19 shut-down.  The event, held every February at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville, attracts 600 to 700 supporters.  The Four-H educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Kate Ewer, says they are making alternate plans -- a "fill the bucket campaign". Ewer says the 'fundraising goal' for  2021 is $45,000. The 'Green Tie Affair' typically raises $25,000 on its own.  Additionally, Kate Ewer emphasizes that while many events for young people have been curtailed or cancelled, Four-H is open, and volunteers are still providing learning opportunities for the children involved.  Ewer says that's either virtually, or in-person.  More information on Four-H is available on social media, the internet, or phone 664-9502.