Local News Headlines

JPS moving to all-remote learning for one week after Thanksgiving, and Christmas-New Year's Holidays...
The Jamestown Public School District is announcing two "proactive and preventive measures" to stop community spread of COVID-19 after the upcoming holidays.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says all JPS schools will shift to fully remote learning for one week after Thanksgiving Break from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.  Whitaker adds that they will have a second week of remote learning following the Winter Recess from Jan. 4 through 8.  He says the decision was made in concert with the JPS School Board, and Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.  He says "we know the holidays will be a time that families may gather.  We want to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and community by providing additional time at home in hopes of keeping a COVID-19 surge from happening in our schools.  We want our schools to remain safe and to be open as much as possible for our students."  He adds the measures are dependent on the guidance of the Health Department and New York State.


Seventeen new COVID-19 cases reported Friday in county...
As Chautauqua County closed out the week... it's closing in on 1,300 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus... with 17 new cases being reported Friday.  However... there is good news in the numbers as the number of people in the hospital has fallen to five.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 136 active cases... and, 1,294 total to date.  Wendel says the most cases are reported in Fredonia... which had four.  He says there are three in Jamestown.  In addition... the county Health Department is currently monitoring a cluster linked to social clubs in the northern end of the County.  There are currently 11 active and 2 recovered cases linked to the Beaver Club in Fredonia.  There have now been 1,143 recovered cases.


Christmas Parade in Jamestown to be replaced this year by Downtown Holiday Crusin' event...
COVID-19 restrictions have forced the city of Jamestown and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to change the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration into a "crusin" kind of event.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist has announced the Downtown Holiday Cruise will take place on Friday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 7:30 pm on Third Street.  However... spectators are being asked to stay safe and in their cars... instead of having parade floats coming down Third from west to east.  Sundquist says they want spectators to drive along third street and have businesses and organizations put up displays or decorate parking spots along the street.  Sundquist says the Holiday Crusin event will conclude at Tracy Plaza where the parade usually ends... where people will be able to see Santa and the city's Christmas Tree all lit up.  He says The Resource Center will once again be taking part, and collecting toys for the "Toy's for Tots" campaign.  Businesses can sign up to take part at Chamberrsvp.org.


Mitrano Concedes NY-23 Congressional Race...
Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano is conceding the 23rd Congressional District race to incumbant Republican Tom Reed.  In a printed release late Friday, Mitrano said she called Tom Reed this afternoon and congratulated him, conceding the race for the 23rd Congressional District.  She also thanked her supporters for their help and encouragement as she traveled throughout this district for the last three years.  Mitrano also issued a statement, saying "believing in the need to uphold our democratic norms of free and fair elections and the need to ensure that every ballot is counted, I had planned originally to concede after all of the ballots were counted.  I did not know how protracted the count would be."  She also expressed "enormous gratitude to my team and our supporters."


Public Hearing on proposed Jamestown budget set for Monday evening...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will hold a public hearing on Mayor Eddie Sundquist's proposed 2021 budget next Monday night at City Hall.  However... the public will not be allowed to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.  With that... the mayor is still urging people who want to comment on the $34.8-million spending plan to send an e-mail to City Clerk Jennifer William's office, because Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive orders still prohibit such gatherings.  Sundquist says the budget hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, and will be live streamed on the city's website at jamestownny.gov.  His tenative budget proposal includes a 17-cent per $1,000 tax rate decrease.  However... changes in parking fee increase proposal may change that.  To comment on the budget... e-mail those to clerk@jamestownny.gov.


New Fredonia School Superintendent announced...
A superintendent from the Franklin Central School District will become the next superintendent of the Fredonia Central School District.  The district confirms that the Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Bradley Zilliox during this week's meeting.  However... no starting date has been announced.  Zilliox formerly taught social studies at the GA Learning Center in Falconer.  


COVID-19 forces suspension of jury selection for trials...
New York state courts are suspending jury selection and one county has halted its counting of absentee ballots as coronavirus cases rise.  Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks said in a memo Friday that no new grand jurors will be selected and future bench trials and hearings will be conducted by video.  In addition... Onondaga County has stopped counting absentee ballots because a staff member was exposed to COVID-19.  New York has reported over 42,500 new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks.  The state is reporting more than double the daily average of new cases per week from two weeks ago.