Local News Headlines

County health officials report 41 new COVID cases on Thanksgiving Day...
Chautauqua County has now surpassed 1,600 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus after 41 new cases were reported on Thursday.  The county's Health Department reports there are now 1,605 cases since the pandemic began.  As of Wednesday... Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said there were 176 active cases... and, 13 people are hospitalized.  More details are to be released next Monday.


Cattaraugus County reports 105 new COVID cases the past two days -- 81 alone on Wednesday...
There have been 105 new cases of the COVID-19 virus in Cattaraugus County the past two days.  Health officials report there were 24 new cases reported yesterday after 81 were reported on Wednesday.  Officials say there have now been 1,027 total cases... and, 15 people are now hospitalized.  Cattaraugus County officials say there are 368 active cases... while 632 have now recovered.


Cuomo warns of Post-Thanksgiving COVID Outbreak...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned of a post-Thanksgiving uptick Wednesday as New York reached the highest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases since late April.  New York recorded more than 6,250 new positive cases Tuesday, the highest for a single day since late April.  About 3-percent of tests over the past week have come back positive, more than double the rate a month ago.  Cuomo has tried to control the spread of the virus by imposing restrictions on hot spots in neighborhoods around the state.  Cuomo said Wednesday that he wants to update his plan for the winter to also look at hospitalization rates. 


Chautauqua Mall opens early for much different "Black Friday..."
A very different "Black Friday" is underway across the United States... with masked-up shoppers socially distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Some stores and malls are already open... while others will shortly.  The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood doesn't officially open until 8 this morning.  However... Mall Manager Julie Biehler says their remaining anchor store was already open, with Penny's opening at 5 a.m... and, Old Navy and Bath and Body Works opened at 6 a.m.  Biehler says they have already had a number of Holiday Seasonal stores opening on the Mall concourses... all social distanced.  She adds that the Mall's new "Retail to Go" program allows shoppers to order earlier on-line.  She says you can stay in your car in one of 10 designated spots, and, have someone bring your items to your vehicle.  Some of the stores in the program at Kay Jeweler's, and Old Navy.  For more information go to ChautauquaMall.com. 


Local Toys for Tots to hold Mall Drop-off Saturday...
Toys for Tots will have a drive-thru drop-off Saturday at Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.  The Resource Center's Terri Johnson, one of the coordinators for Toys for Tots, says the collection will run from 10:30 to 2:30 in the area of Ruby Tuesday.  Representatives of Exceptional Stars Athletics will be there to allow for 'contactless' pickup.  Terri hopes people will respond to the plea for new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages, as they've already gotten applications for 2,500 children... with more to come over the next couple weeks.  Cash donations will also be accepted at the mall on Saturday.  Full information on the local Toys for Tots can be found at jamestownnytoysfortots.org.


Two city residents arrested for possessing stolen property and drugs Tuesday...
A man and woman from Jamestown have been arrested for being in possession of stolen property and an illegal drug after police responded to a "suspicious" situation late Tuesday morning.  City Police were called to the parking lot of the Prendergast Library at 509 Cherry St. about 11:30 a.m., and, found 27 year-old Carrie Poff, and 24 year-old Nathaniel Grekulak inside a car.  Officers say they found the car had two separate, stolen license plates on the vehicle.  Further investigation led police to find more stolen items inside the car... as well as a quantity of PCP in Poff's posession.  Both were charged with two counts each of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and, Poff is also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 


United Way of Chautauqua County at 54-percent of 2020 goal...
Officials with the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's General Campaign say the effort has gone "remarkably well" given the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Executive Director Amy Rohler says they're right about "where they should be" with 54-percent of their $1.2-million goal being pledged.  Rohler says they've mainly been doing a lot of "virtual" presentations at local workplaces.  But... she says the work they and their member agencies do has spoken for itself during the pandemic.  This year's theme is "United We Rise..." and, Rohler adds "we've definately seen the collective efforts of out incredible team of volunteers over the last few months."  For more information on the United Way, you can go on-line to uwayscc.org... or call 483-1561.  In addition... Rohler says you can also text WERISE to 91999.


Josh Stafford appointed as new Chautauqua Institution organist...
A celebrated Jamestown musician has been appointed as the Department of Religion's Sacred Music Director at Chautauqua Institution.  In addition... Chautauqua officials say today that Joshua Stafford will also serve as organist, and the first to hold the newly-established "Jared Jacobsen Chair for the Organist of Chautauqua Institution."  Stafford served as Institution organist in an interim capacity during the 2020 summer assembly season.  Stafford succeeds the late Jared Jacobsen, his mentor and teacher, as the principal performer on the historic Massey Organ.