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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 6, 2021

A record number of active cases... and, people in the hospital with COVID-19 are being reported in Chautauqua County.  The county's COVID Dashboard Tuesday reported 102 new cases... and, 680 cases are currently active.  There are currently 51 people hospitalized... and, the total number of cases is now 4,199.  Officials say 38 of the new cases are in Dunkirk... and, 21 in Jamestown.  There are now 3,483 cases that have recovered.

COVID-19 is exacting a toll on public health... and, the economy in Chautauqua County.  Todd Tranum, head of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce... and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, says the addition of more than 400 new cases over the New Year's weekend is a big cause for concern.

Tranum believes the answers aren't always comfortable... but they aren't hard.  He says where a mask... socially distance... and stay away from large gatherings.  Tranum says Chautauqua County businesses have proven themselves to be resilient many times, and the innovations brought on by the pandemic will strengthen them in the future.  

A bowling alley-restaurant on Jamestown's southside has closed for three-days due to possible COVID-19 exposure.  In a Facebook post Tuesday... the Jamestown Bowling Company and Game-Time Sports Bar and Grill on Foote Avenue announced it will be closed today through this Friday the 8th.  Officials say this is a precautionary measure while some staff await covid-19 test results.  They hope to reopen on Saturday.

Local Congressman Tom Reed is making it clear that he still supports President Donald Trump... but, he will vote today to certify the electoral college vote making Joe Biden the new president of the United States.  Reed announced his decision Tuesday after meeting with members of the GOP Conference, the Problem Solver's Caucus... and, having a teleconference with about 48,000 constituents.  Reed says some leaders on the teleconference wanted him to object to the election.

To date... no major issues have been raised by leaders of the four states where many have questioned the results.  However... the president and his allies have seen about 50 of their lawsuits thrown out, or dismissed.  With that... he told GOP Conference members to do what Ronald Reagan told them to do years ago... and, that's show Americans their ideas are better.  The majority of U-S Senators and House members are expected to vote to certify the election... but, only one member needs to raise an objection... and, that triggers two-hours of debate on the floor.

State Senator George Borrello says he doubts there will be much support... but, says he's still concerned about two bills in the Assembly that have been making a splash on social media.  One would make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory in New York State.  The other bill would give state and county leaders the ability to detain contagious patients during a state of emergency.  Borrello says he's opposed to the bills, calling them unconstitutional. Borrello says the bills, while being reintroduced in the state Assembly, have no companion bills introduced in the state Senate.

An invasive insect that kills ash trees is prompting Cornell University to cut down 1,700 of the trees on its lands in a step it says will visibly alter the appearance of the campus.  The trees infested by the emerald ash borer will be felled between January and the end of March and include trees on and off campus. The invasive species bores under a tree's bark and kills most infested ash trees within four years.  The university says it is felling the trees to manage safety concerns and limit property damage.  It has treated a smaller number of high-value ash trees on its lands with pesticides, and is fundraising to plant replacements for the felled trees.

The Chautauqua County Humane Society is ringing in the New Year with the 2021 "Hot Dogs and Cool Cats" Pet Photo Contest. Humane Society Community Relations Director Brian Papalia says all animal lovers are encouraged to participate.

Papalia says proceeds raised benefit the animals cared for by the humane society... and, those in the future.  He says the 10 photos with the most votes will appear on CCHS Social Media and website.  The winning pet will also receive a $100 Visa gift card, a $100 'Crown and Paw' gift card to have a special item made with their pets photo... and a pet photography session with Panebianco Photography.  The contest runs through January 30th at 9 PM. Again, to enter or vote, visit