Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 16, 2021

Chautauqua County reports another uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and two more deaths...
The uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise the past day in Chautauqua County... as 115 new cases were reported.  The county's Department of Health also reports 36 people are now hospitalized, along with two new deaths.  Deaths now number 169.  The number of hospitalizations is concerning locally, and statewide.  However... Governor Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that New York is in a much better place than it was a year ago.  Hochul says each hospital has plans in place to add 50-percent surge capacity if they need to.  Hochul says... for the most part... the people who are being hospitalized... and, are dying have not been fully-vaccinated.  She says if you're not vaccinated, you are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID, and 11-times more likely to die.  The county Health Department is reporting there have now been 10,921 total cases... and, 405 of those are currently active.  There were 57 of the new cases reported in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, there have now been 10,347 cases that have recovered.  The seven-day infection rate did drop slightly over the past day from 10 to 9.7-percent.


State Judge temporarily blocks vaccine mandate for medical workers...
A federal judge has temporarily blocked New York state from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated.  Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order Tuesday after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, claimed the vaccine mandate violated their rights because it disallows religious exemptions.  The judge gave New York state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit.  The state issued the order Aug. 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by Sept. 27.  The state says it's considering all legal options.


Hochul issues new mask mandate Wednesday...
While the judge rendered the decision to block the state's orders that health care workers be vaccinated... Governor Kathy Hochul issued new mask mandates for child care and day care center workers Wednesday.  Hochul says the measure is necessary to protect children under the age of 12 who can't get a vaccination.  She says the number of children getting COVID now is scary, and adds they can't get vaccinated yet.  Hochul adds they also want to make sure that people in the state's Congregate Facilities... along with Mental Health and substance abuse facilities are keeping patients safe.  She says a masking mandate there took effect today.  A few school districts in New York have announced lawsuits against the school mask mandate... with one on Long Island saying that Hochul and state health commissioner Howard Zucker lack the legal authority to mandate masks.


Republicans and Democrats on IRC submit competing redistricting maps...   
Republicans and Democrats on an independent commission tasked with drawing new political maps have instead drawn criticism by releasing competing versions.  The state's loss of a congressional seat based on the most recent census date means a district will disappear.  The release Wednesday of competing maps by the Independent Redistricting Commission means that the bulk of the work on redistricting may fall later this year entirely to the Legislature. It is controlled by Democrats.


TRC present "Everyday Hero" awards...
The Resource Center took time Wednesday to recognize Direct Support Professionals… employees who work every day with persons with disabilitites. One of the seven DSP’s honored as an ‘Everyday Hero’ was Sabrina Avery.  She done the job for 22 years, and works at both the Raymond Center and some group homes, and she loves her clients, and thinks of them as family.  Assistant Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at TRC, Joanne Bevan, says DSP's make sure the people they serve get the medical care, and daily skills they need... as well as being a friend.  She adds, "Without the DSP’s, the Resource Center couldn’t operate."  Many more Direct Support Professionals are needed.  A statewide recruitment effort is set for a week from today, Thursday, Sept. 23.


Latest nominees for Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester announced...
Cabbage Patch Kids touched off the first big holiday toy craze nearly 40 years ago.  Now the dolls are among 12 finalists vying for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame.  The finalists were announced Wednesday at The Strong museum in Rochester, which houses the hall.  The finalists also include five games: Battleship, Risk, The Settlers of Catan, Mahjong and billiards.  Rounding out the list are the pinata, sand, toy fire truck, American Girl Dolls, Masters of the Universe and Fisher-Price Corn Popper.  Three will be inducted in November.  Fans are invited to weigh in as part of a "Player's Choice" ballot that closes Sept. 22.