Local News Headlines

No change in masks requirements in K-12 schools -- at least not yet...
The rules regarding masks in New York schools have not changed... at least not yet.  That from Jamestown School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker, during an interview on our Dennis Webster Show on WJTN this morning.  Dr. Whitaker says until they specifically direct schools in New York to do so, they still require masking.  Confusion arose over the weekend after New York's Health Director, Dr. Howard Zucker, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control sking for clarification on mask requirements for schools and summer camps.  Zucker added an additional paragraph, saying that things may be changing regarding masking in public schools.  Late Monday... Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a slight modification in the school masking so it aligns with Summer camp mandates.  Cuomo says schools will now have the option to allow students to not have to wear masks when they're outside.  He says  masking, with appropriate breaks, remains in effect inside school buildings.


Wendel says County appears to be "turning the corner" on COVID-19...
Chautauqua County is reporting it's lowest COVID-19 infection rates since last August... with only 308 cases reported last month.  County Executive P-J Wendel says we do appear to have turned a corner... but, he's still urging residents who have not been vaccinated to do so.  With the lowest numbers of new cases since the early days of the pandemic... Wendel says life is getting back to normal.  He says he's encouraged by what he's seen in recent days.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says "the decline in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations is something to celebrate and a testament to all who have gotten vaccinated, and stayed strong and smart over the last 15 months.  Wendel adds they are now encouraging people who may have been vaccinated out-of-state and returned to the area to register that.  Because of that, he believes the vaccination numbers are lower than they should be.  At last word... the county has had nearly 54-thousand people get at least one dose of the COVID vaccine... which is about 48-percent of the population that's 12 years or older.  Wendel says they are still running a weekly clinic on Tuesday's at the Cassadaga Valley Central School bus garage.


Two injured, one seriously, in Kiantone car-motorcycle crash...
Two people were taken to regional hospitals... one was flown to a trauma center... after a car-motorcycle accident in the town of Kiantone.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 62 shortly before Noon Sunday.  They say the motorcyclist was flown to the hospital... while one person in the car was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  No other details were available last night.


New Chautauqua County Dairy Princess named...
The Chautauqua County Dairy Princess program emerged from the pandemic Sunday at the Carlson Center, Lakeside Park, in Mayville.  And the new Dairy Princess, Lily Woodis of Dewittville, had the place shaking... literally.  Woodis says they took little tupperware containers filled with heavy, whipping cream... and "shook them" to make butter.  The three dozen or so people in attendance all vigorously shook their wrists for several minutes.  The new princess said it's something usually done with elementary school studdents, but, under the current circumstances, was quite appropriate.  Woodis says it was an exhausting program... but fun and exhausting.  Woodis, and the new Alternate Princess, Miranda Nickerson of the Clymer area, will spend the next year promoting the dairy industry across the area.


Good Spring for local crop growers lending optimism for Summer season...
It’s been a pretty good spring for farmers growing crops… at least so far.  Dan Steward, a consultant for Western New York Crop Management, says the weather broke just right in early May, and a lot of corn got planted within a three to four day period.  In addition, a pretty good mix of rain and heat left many farms with a good first cutting of alfalfa and grass for haylage.  As for pests, last week a farmer sent Steward a picture of some armyworm larva he’d taken off a mower. Field scouts haven't seen a lot of moth catches... as yet.  But, armyworm has the potential to damage many common crops.  One of the last major infestations of armyworm in Western New York occurred in a year similar to this one… a winter with a light snowpack, followed by a warm spring.


Jamestown woman faces 18 charges after allegedly forging Debit Card information to buy items...
A city woman faces 18 charges -- including several for grand larceny... and petty larceny... for allegedly forging debit cards to pay for items at the Lakewood WalMart Supercenter.  Lakewood-Busti Police say 31 year-old Kimberly Phanco of Hazzard Street was arrested last Saturday night with the help of Jamestown Police.  Officers say Phanco had been banned from Wal-Mart property following an incident there last October.  This time... she's accused of using stolen debit card information seven times to order merchandise between last April 28 and May 10.  Phanco was arrested after appearing at the store... and, faces seven counts of fourth-degree Grand Larceny, and four of petty larceny.  She also faces two counts each for second-degree forgery, and trespassing.  Phanco was sent to the county jail pending Centralized Arraignment.