WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 21, 2021

There's been one new death reported from the COVID-19 Virus over the past day in Chautauqua County... bringing the local total to 51 since the pandemic began.  The county's Health Department adds there were 84 new confirmed cases over the past day... and, that brings the total number to 5,875.  The health department reports there are now 489 active cases... but, another 436 have now recovered.  Officials say that total is now 5,335.  The most new cases reported in the past day were 18 in Dunkirk... there were another 17 in Jamestown.

There is increasing frustration is being voiced in Chautauqua County, and other rural parts of New York over the lack of COVID-19 vaccines, and inoculation sites.  Local Congressman Tom Reed is among those... noting that Governor Andrew Cuomo had ample time to institute the state's computer scheduling software... but, didn't do it.  The Corning Republican says the Cuomo administration needs to do it's job.

Reed says he's been able to track COVID vaccines from "Operation Warp Speed..." and says not enough vaccines are getting into resident's arms.  In fact... he says the state's information shows only about 75-percent of the vaccines being given to residents.  Reed says it took "weeks" to get that report from the state after he had requested it.  He says it's good that the Biden Administration is pushing for a stronger rollout using FEMA... but, says the state needs to accept it's role, as well.  With two more companies getting vaccines rolled out soon... there should be enough vaccine shortly.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

Congressman Tom Reed was among the federal lawmakers at the scaled-back Inauguration ceremonies that started late Wednesday morning in Washington, D-C.  Reed, and his Problem Solver's Caucus co-chairman, Democrat Josh Gottheimer, issued a joint statement following the inauguration... congratulating President Joe Biden.  They say: "Our nation is at a critical juncture: After a horrific assault on our Capitol, a raging pandemic, and families and small businesses hurting, millions of Americans are looking for our country to come together." Reed and Gottheimer add there's a need to restore faith in our democratic institutions and rebuild the economy.

Jmtn-Dollar Gen. Attempt Robbery-#2  4PM                        1/20

A teenager from Buffalo is accused of trying to hold up the Dollar General Store on Winsor Street in Jamestown Wednesay morning.  City police were called to the scene at 226 Winsor just after 9 AM for an armed robbery in progress.  Officers were told that 18 year-old Lester Santiago was still in the store... and, he was taken into custody without incident.  Police say Santiago allegedly told the clerk at the register that he had a gun, and that he wanted the register opened.  They say the clerk signaled another store employee, and that person called 9-1-1.  No gun was found on Santiago, and no gun was displayed.  The Sheriff's Department K-9 was brought in to assist.  Santiago was jailed pending arraignment on one count of third-degree attempted robbery.

There's still time to register for Spring 2021 classes at Jamestown Community College.  The Director of Admissions, Corrine Case, says the new semester is starting a little later than usual, on Monday, January 25th.  Even with the pandemic... Case says some courses will be taught in the traditional way.

The rest of the classes will either be offered on-line, or a with mix of on-line and in person.  In the midst of this time of COVID-19, Case emphasizes that one part of the JCC experience is unchanged... and, that's the amount of support you'll get from the college that has always been there.  She confirms that tuition at JCC will remain at $5,200 a year through the 2021-22 school year.  

State Senator George Borrello says he's pleased with the chamber's passage Tuesday of legislation that will help protect small businesses from being penalized with higher unemployment insurance premiums due job losses during the COVID-19 shutdown.  Borrello advanced a version of the measure as part of a package of small business relief legislation, and also co-sponsored a stand-alone version of the bill with State Senator Pam Helming.

Borrello spoke during a Senate hearing in October about helping small businesses where he noted that the impending increase in unemployment premiums would likely result in the doubling of premiums in a state where rates are already among the highest in the nation.  The Sunset Bay Republican pushed for the unemployment insurance measure for about 10 months.  He says measure awaits action in the state Assembly.

The new Cockaigne Ski Center near Cherry Creek officially opened yesterday afternoon for the first time since fire destroyed it's lodge almost a decade ago.  According to it's Facebook page... Cockaigne opened at mid-afternoon with several inches of fresh, new snow... and, they anticipate all trails being open.  Operators also say the far side of the Jelly Roll beginners trail will be open, along with their new Terrain Park.  The Snowmobile Park also opened.  For more information...call 287-3223.