Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Fri., July 23, 2021

Sundquist holds first public input session on $28-mill. in ARP funding...
The $28-million in federal funding the city of Jamestown will receive from the American Rescue Plan provides a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to get the city on track for the future.  Those were the general feelings of residents who attended last night's first public input session hosted by Mayor Eddie Sundquist on the "Master Plan" his administration has crafted.  Resident Doug Champ says a focus on mental health in one area is not a bad idea... but, adds attention should also be paid to the "next" pandemic.  Champ says the city should create more business opportunities in the areas of personal protective equipment, and other items difficult to come by in the early days of the pandemic.  There was also some discussion about using $900,000 for "transparency and tracking."  Ellen DiTonto says the city should look into joining with other communities in the county, who are also receiving Rescue Plan funds, to fund a person to do that work so more money could be used on other projects.  Last night's session was held at Jefferson Middle School.  The second of four public input sessions will be held tomorrow (7/24) at 10 a.m. at the Prendergast Library.


Chautauqua County 'Un-Fair' underway, 4-H Meat Animal Sale is Saturday...
It's not the full experience, but 4-H'ers are happy to be back at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk for this week's 'Un-Fair.'  The event was put together as a way for young people to show their animals in competition, and get ready for the Meat Animal Sale on Saturday.  Corinne Covert, a recent graduate of Southwestern Central School, will have a goat, a hog and a pair of chickens up for bid.  She says she's happy to just "get out and 'show' this year.  Last year's event was all virtual because of the pandemic.  The usual week-long events have been crammed into four days, but Garrett Lesch of Fredonia... who'll sell a couple of animals on Saturday... says in one way it's less stressful: he's spending less time explaining why he 'does this.'  Most of the 'Un-Fair' is for 4-H members only, but the Meat Animal Sale at noon Saturday is open to anyone who wants to bid.  The 'Un-Fair' came about following the cancellation of the full Chautauqua County Fair... and was made possible with the cooperation of many volunteers, businesses, and local foundations.  


County's number of workers increases, but, unemployment rate also increases...
Chautauqua County's jobless rate increased slightly last month from May... though the number of people working increased.  The New York State Department of Labor reports the rate went from 5.4-percent in May to 5.7 in June.  The Labor Department also says the county's labor force remains lower than pre-pandemic levels at 52,700 in June... compared to 53,100 in June of last year.  The labor force in June of 2019 was 54,500.  At the same time... the number of workers actually employed increased over the past month from 48,700 to 49,600 as employment slowly rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Young says JCC's no tuition increase budget helped by employee sacrifices, and federal stimulus funds...
Thanks to many sacrifices made by staff and others... and American Rescue Plan funding... there will be no tuition increase at SUNY Jamestown Community College this year.  That from Vice-President of Student Affairs Kirk Young, after the JCC Board of Trustees approved a $32.7 million budget for the 2021-22 school year.  Young says they're excited to be able to do that... and, that things will begin looking "more normal" this year.  Young says the board adopted the plan Tuesday afternoon... and, it keeps in-state tuition at $2,600 a year, while out-of-states will still pay $5,200 a year.  SUNY JCC is receiving $3.2-million in COVID Relief money received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021... and, Young says that allows them to avoid cuts, and add back some staff and programming.  He says their state aid rate is just under $3,000 per full-time equivalent student.  Young adds that they will have full course offerings this Fall and Spring... and, there will be a large offering of "on-line" courses after the pandemic.


Chautauqua to host Week-Five on Comedy next week... 
One of the most popular weeks of summer season at Chautauqua Institution will be held next week.  The Week Five theme involves comedy... and, is being done in partnership with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Chautauqua's Vanessa Weinert says comedy will take center stage... with Legendary Comedian Lewis Black performing on Monday night, July 26 in the institution's amphetheater, and Bill Engvall on Thursday, July 29.  Both performances will be at 8:15 p.m. in the amphitheater.  You can get more information at www.chq.org.


Two new COVID-19 cases reported in county Thursday...
There are two new, confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, one person is hospitalized.  The county Health Department says 10 people are now hospitalized.  There have been no new deaths.  There have now been 9,319 total cases... and, 9,152 cases have recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is now .9%.