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Local News Headlines

New York's COVID positivity rate down for more than a month...
Hospitalizations are on the decline and the rate of New Yorkers testing positive for COVID-19 has fallen to the lowest mark since before Thanksgiving.  That from state officials, who said Saturday that the state's seven-day rolling average positivity rate has fallen 43 straight days.  The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus, meanwhile, fell below 6,000 for the first time since December 14th.  Still, the virus claimed the lives of 97 New Yorkers on Friday.  In Chautauqua County... the state reported 33 new cases on Saturday... but, the seven-day infection rate was down to 1.6-percent.


Heritage Ministries official among those calling for NYS to allow nursing home visitations again...
New York's embattled governor has announced that the Department of Health will soon be allowing nursing home visitations in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.  Democrat Andrew Cuomo said Friday that the guidelines for visitors will be announced today.  It's good news for local residents and nursing home operators who have been advocating for the move in recent weeks.  Heritage Ministries Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter says they believe that families will be reassured that their loved ones are in good hands once they get to visit their facilities again.  Rutter says their facilities are cleaned and disinfected regularily, and the staff has been performing their work in a "very heroic way."  Governor Cuomo says the state Department of Health is recommending that visitors take a rapid test before entry into the facility, and the DOH will provide rapid tests to nursing homes at no cost.  Again... Cuomo says their guidance on visitations will be available later today.  Rutter made his comments for last weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Cuomo announces sweeping nursing home reforms in wake of pandemic...
New York's governor has also announced sweeping nursing home reform legislation that he's proposing in amendments to the state budget.  During last Friday's COVID-19 press briefing in Albany... Cuomo says his aim is to ensure nursing home operators prioritize patient care over profits, increase staffing and are held accountable for health and safety violations.  He says this is not the first time he's called for such measures... and, he says it's important to know what state funding that goes to nursing homes goes for.  Cuomo again stated that asymptomatic nursing home staff brought the virus into those homes... because early on... they didn't know about asymptomatic carriers, and there was little testing available.  He formalized the reforms he was adding to the 2021-2022 state budget late last week... and, adds that he "will not sign the budget" without that plan in it.  State lawmakers have already introduced a collection of bills addressing some of these nursing home reforms and are expected to pass them in the Senate this coming week.


Fire that destroyed a Dunkirk home last Saturday morning blamed on electrical issue...
An electrical problem in a bathroom wall is the apparent cause of a weekend fire that destroyed a vacant, under construction home in the city of Dunkirk.  No injuries were reported in the blaze.  Dunkirk fire crews were called to 12 East Green St. shortly after 4:30 a.m., Saturday, and, reported heavy fire in the back of the house on the first floor, extending to the second floor.  Captain Gary Katta says the main fire was put out quickly... but, adds extensive overhaul was needed on both floors to locate hidden fire.  Mutual aid was provided by crews from East Dunkirk, Fredonia, and Sheridan.  Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.


First girl Eagle Scouts recognized by Boy Scouts...
The Boy Scouts of America celebrated a major milestone this past weekend with a virtual event honoring the nearly one-thousand girls and young women who are the first females to attain the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.  Astronauts, admirals, U.S. senators and one president -- Gerald Ford -- are among the scouts who earned the award in past decades.  Only in 2018 did the Boy Scouts start accepting girls as Cub Scouts.  Older girls were admitted into the flagship scouting program in 2019. 


Penn State University's president to retire in June of 2022...
The president of Penn State University has announced plans to retire at the end of his current contract, which runs through June of next year, and a phased approach to finding his replacement is set to begin this spring.  President Eric Barron announced his plans to university trustees late Friday.  He assumed the office in 2014.  The process of finding a successor will begin in the spring with students, faculty, donors and others asked to weigh in on the qualities and qualifications they want in the next university president. 


Toomey facing censure by Pennsylvania GOP...
Before he became the object of fury of Republicans for voting to convict Donald Trump during the former president's second impeachment trial... U-S Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was once the insurgent from the right.  But it's now Toomey facing angry GOP rank-and-file committee members and the potential of a censure vote, a symbolic gesture particularly since Toomey isn't seeking re-election next year.  Toomey once endorsed challenges to Republican officeholders who weren't seen as conservative enough.  However... he's now urging Republicans to be tolerant of his position on Trump.


 


 

Local News

WJTN Headlines for Mon., Mar 8, 2021

Bemus Point man wanted in Jamestown, arrested on drug charges...         A Bemus Point man wanted in the city of Jamestown has been arrested for allegedly being found in poss...

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