Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Fri., June 25, 2021

County has first COVID case in three days reported Thursday...
For the first time in three-days... there is one new case of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past day.  The county Health Department reports that brings the local total now to 9,292... but, only four of those are currently active.  For the second-day in a row, there is no one hospitalized with the virus.  There were no new deaths... and, the number of recovered cases is up to 9,131.  Health officials say the infection rate remains 0.4%.


Borrello critical of Cuomo retaining some emergency powers...
Governor Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers were to end once the State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic expired yesterday.  However... according to State Senator George Borrello... they're not entirely gone.  Borrello says Cuomo can "still maintain COVID restrictions and directive through state agencies under Executive Order 202."  He says Cuomo granted that power to himself on March 7 of 2020.  The Sunset Bay Republican says that order "allows the governor to maintain mask mandates and issue other directives through agencies like the Department of Health.  “As the governor was telling us the emergency is over, the DOH was issuing an emergency regulation requiring children 2 years of age and up to wear masks in public including in school from pre-K to 12th grade."  Borrello accused the governor of continuing to wield this power as a way to deflect from his on-going legal and corruption issues.


Falconer High School graduates 81 Thursday night...
Graduation weekend for local high schools is underway... and, the Falconer High School Class of 2021 was the first in the immediate Jamestown-area to walk across to get their diplomas last night.  With the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions... many schools in the area will be able to hold graduation ceremonies... with many of them outdoors.  Falconer School Superintendent Steve Penhollow praised the senior class for meeting all the challenges of the past year... including mask mandates, quarantines, ete.  For the second year in a row... Falconer held it's graduation at the new Bill Race sports complex at the high school.  Penhollow says, coincidently... the school had a really good year in sports... including winning the Section 6 Girl's Softball title in Class D earlier in the day... and, winning the state wrestling championships.  This year's Valedictorian is Mikayla LeBarron... and Alexandra Davis is the Salutatorian.


Donahue says SWCS ready for graduation at athletic complex tonight...
Just over 100 High School seniors will be graduating during tonight's commencement program at Southwestern's outdoor athletic complex.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue says graduation will begin at 7 p.m., and, she says they're very happy that most restrictions have been lifted because now most friends and relatives can now attend.  Donahue says there'll be 110 total graduates, and each has received up to eight tickets for attendees.  She says each ticket has a "specific area" in the complex they are to be seated at... so that families can remain together.  She says the high school staff has also worked hard to every family can see their graduate.  Donahue says, like most other districts, they have done some scaling back of their ceremony.  Southwestern's 2021 Valedictorian is Dillan Hatch... who plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the Fall.  The Salutatorian is Cassidy Allen, who will be attending the University of Akron next Fall.


JHS ready for graduation at Chautauqua tonight, with speaker named...
Some 300 Jamestown High School Seniors are ready to graduate tonight during commencement at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater.  Superindent Kevin Whitaker says Thursday was the final day of exams... as a crazy school year comes to an end.  Dr. Whitaker says everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's 7 p.m. program... and, is excited that everyone who wants to attend, can.  He says capacity limits have been taken off, and masking is only required for the unvaccinated... and, children 12 years and under.  Whitaker says today's graduation will be a bit shorter than usual because the program was put together with the COVID guidelines that were in place at the time.  There will now be a keynote speaker... Dave Munella from the Class of 1980 will speak since he is retiring at the end of the school year.  Dr. Whitaker says he'll also speak... and, he'll talk about how the senior's persevered during the pandemic.  The Valedictorian for the JHS Class of 2021 is John Carlson... and, the Salutatorian is Ryan Malarkey.


Governor Cuomo signs law allowing residents to designate their sex at female, male or X on licenses and birth certificate...
New Yorkers will be able to designate their sex as "female," "male" or "X" on a driver's license and birth certificate under a law that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Thursday.  "Non-binary" New Yorkers sued in March arguing the state was discriminating against them by failing to provide the "X" option to indicate non-binary, intersex, undesignated or other.  The new law will take effect in 180 days.  Bill supporters, including Democratic sponsors Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell, said it's too hard for transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex New Yorkers to obtain accurate I-D documents needed to access health care, employment, travel, housing and education.