The Gerry Rodeo has joined the list of major summer events to be postponed this year... because of issues related to the coronavirus. Rodeo chairman, Tom Atwell, called it the toughest decision they've ever made. After waiting as long as they could, Atwell said the governor's executive orders limiting crowds to one-third of arena capacity... and 14 day quarantines for people from certain states forced their hand. The rodeo committee felt the quarantine would keep many competitors from coming to Gerry in August. Tom Atwell added, there are no guidelines in place as to how to put out the rodeo's popular roast beef dinner... while the cost of beef has skyrocketed. This year's show... August 5th through the 8th... was to have been the 76th consecutive Gerry Rodeo... the longest continuous run for a rodeo east of the Mississippi.
The Jamestown City Council has approved a new, three year contract with the 15 employees in the Parks Department. Lawmakers last night unanimously approved the pact with CSEA Local 1000... one of the three remaining unresolved labor contracts in the city. Council President Tony Dolce says the contract is retroactive to January of 2019... and, includes a step pay increase for that year... a 2-percent increase for 2020... and, a 2.5-percent wage increase for next year.
Jamestown City Hall will be reopening to the public this coming Wednesday, July 1st. That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who made the announcement Monday afternoon. Sundquist says all city offices will be open to the public and will accept permits, applications, payments, and so on. He says the public is still encouraged to continue to use the City payment drop boxes and other methods of payment to reduce contact with other members of the public and staff. Officials ask that everyone coming into City Hall please where a mask for the safety of their fellow citizens. City parks and playgrounds continue to remain open, except for park restrooms, which will remain closed until further notice. In an effort to prevent spread of COVID-19 to children, the City Parks Department has started sanitizing playground equipment daily.
A woman in her 20s is the newest case of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County. County Executive P-J Wendel said Monday that brings the local total of confirmed cases to 129. Wendel says there are now six active cases... and 116 people have now recovered. He adds that 105 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, that 14,231 negative test results have been reported to date.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the Western New York Region... which includes Chautauqua County... will enter Phase-Four reopening from the coronavirus shut-down today. The governor says -- their global experts will take another look at the data -- which right now -- looks good.
In a press release Monday afternoon... County Executive P-J Wendel says "this is great news for our region and Chautauqua County. This shows we have continued to do our part to limit the spread of the disease. I am hopeful that other industries that were not able to open would get the guidance to open safely and responsibly.” Cuomo says malls are not part of reopening right now because of issues with air conditioning systems... and, their ability to filter COVID out. He says air conditioning filters go by so-called MERV ratings... and, the better ones are able to filter out COVID. Low-risk indoor and outdoor entertainment and arts are able to reopen under Phase-Four... along with higher education.
Jamestown police... along with State troopers... conducted a joint Illegal Fireworks Interdiction Detail last Saturday, which resulted in seven arrests. The arrests come as Governor Cuomo announced the new crackdown Monday after noting an alarming rise in the amount of illegal fireworks being shot-off in New York City. Cuomo says the problem is New Yorkers bringing the fireworks from states such as Pennsylvania, where they are legal.
In Jamestown... city and State Police say the Saturday arrests were in response to numerous complaints from residents between Noon and 5 PM, resulting in the arrests for allegedly transporting illegal fireworks. In addition... a large quantity of fireworks were seized. Troopers say that of the seven people arrested, four were Jamestown residents... two others were from Falconer and one was from out of the area. All seven were issued appearance tickets for court at a later date... and, the fireworks were destroyed.
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine in federal court in Buffalo. U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 40 year-old Terrence McRae entered the plea Monday before U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo to one count of possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Prosecutors say McRae was one of four individuals who allegedly entered the home of Richard Kinsey on Newland Avenue last September 6th -- just prior to a drug raid. They add they later arrested him... and found nine plastic baggies containing meth, marijuana, pills... and paraphernalia.
The State University College at Fredonia will have a new president when the fall semester gets underway. The SUNY Board of Trustees... during a meeting held by video conference on Monday... approved the appointment of Dr. Stephen Kolison, Jr. to become the next president. Kolison comes from the University of Indianapolis where he has served as Executive Vice President and Provost. Chancellor Kristina Johnson announced the selection.
Kolison says he looks forward to his new duties and says he will work hard for the students attending the campus... and he urged them to embrace their education at "their university." The Board of Trustees also approved a Service Commendation for outgoing interim President Dennis Hefner for his work at the university. Hefner intitially served 16 years as President before retiring in 2012.
A fire that extensively damaged a garage in the town of Portland Sunday night as been ruled accidental. Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Portland, Brocton, and Westfield crews were called to the scene about 9:30 PM at 86-44 First Street... and, were at the scene until just after midnight. The Sheriff's Department Fire Investigation Team later determined the fire started in a plastic garbage can due to the combustion of chemically-soaked rags. No one was hurt, but all contents of the garage were lost.
A Corry, Pennsylvania man is held on $250,000 bail on a felony warrant for attempted homicide following an assault on two women last Saturday. State Police in Warren say 36 year-old Tab Depaul Hunter-junior allegedly strangled a 41 year-old victim at a home on Route 6 in Columbus Township and was on the ground with her. Troopers say the second victim tried to stop the assault, but Hunter reportedly pulled out a gun and fired several rounds from a pistol at the 36 year-old female. Hunter is also accused of slashing the first victim's tires and shooting several holes into the car's hood... front windshield and roof. He was taken into custody on additional charges of strangulation and aggravated assault. Troopers say this is an on-going investigation pending additional search warrants.