People in more than 100 vehicles came to Lakewood on a mid-Summer-like afternoon Monday to commemoriate Memorial Day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The "drive-in" program at the Chautauqua Mall was put on the local Blue Star Mothers chapter, and Koinania Church in Frewsburg, and broadcast here on WJTN Radio. The Keynote address was given by Retired Major Greg Carlson, who is the director of the Veteran's Services Agency in Chautauqua County. Those attending also heard from County Executive P-J Wendel, Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb, State Senator George Borrello, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
Governor Andrew Cuomo remembered both the nation's war dead... and, the nearly 100-thousand Americans who have died from COVID-19. The govenor was joined Monday by daughter, Mariah, to lay a wreath in the waters of New York Harbor from the U-S Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Cuomo especially paid tribute to those who were on the front-lines, and died of COVID-19.
Cuomo then said he would be issuing an order that the families of those workers who died in the course of doing their jobs receive full death benefits from the state and local governments. He says it's a way to honor those front-liners for their sacrifice. He also called on the federal government to again establish a fund for the families of front-line workers who died of the COVID-19 Virus while performing their job duties. He added that, the number of people in New York who died from the coronavirus dropped below 100 to 96 on Sunday.
There is one new case of coronavirus in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the county's total to 75 confirmed cases. County Executive P-J Wendel says the new COVID-19 case is a woman in her 30s. Wendel adds there are now 28 active cases, with four people hospitalized, and they continue to recover. He says there are now 43 people who have recovered... while 4 have died. Wendel says 167 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the number of people responding to the 2020 Census in both Jamestown and New York state. If you haven't done your part for the Complete Count this year... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says you still have opportunities to do so. Sundquist says the current response rate in the city is just over 50-percent this year, after being at 64-percent in 2010.
Sundquist says you can still go on-line to "my2020Census.gov" and, follow the instructions to fill out the Census for everyone in your home. If you don't have the Internet, and haven't received the mail-in form... Sundquist says he can also do it by phone, or wait for a Census taker to come to your home. However, when and how that will be done has not yet been announced.
COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of another ethnic celebration. The American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation has decided... no Scandinavian festival this year. For the first time ever, this year's event was set to be held at the Jamestown arena, July 17th through the 19th. Speaking for the foundation, Scott Axelson says they may do some kind of smaller 'one day' event in the late summer or fall, depending on how the community recovers from the coronavirus. The ASHF 'mid-sommer' program on June 13th has also been cancelled.
The annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage this coming weekend will be different from the 61 that have come before. Committee member, Ro Woodard of Falconer, says they'll be doing it all 'on line'. She says it won't be the same as being outside, but will give people the essence of the experience. The 'on line' program will feature the same top notch nature presenters that have become the hallmark of the Allegany State Park event. Subjects to be covered by Zoom conference will include birds, bees, astronomy and fungi. Ro says going virtual has NOT affected attendance, some 800 people have already signed up. While they may maintain some of the 'virtual' experience in the future, Ro adds they look forward to getting back to Allegany next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the park. All of this year's virtual programs are free. More information at alleganynaturepilgrimage.com.
A woman from Bemus Point woman is accused of making more than 100 harassing 9-1-1 phone calls with no legitimate purpose. Sheriff's deputies say they were called to Belleview Road in the town of Ellery on a report of aggravated harassment coming from a resident. Upon further investigation... officers determined that the calls were made by 63 year-old Sally Lawson. Deputies say Lawson's calls included threats of violence and death towards 9-1-1 dispatchers and responding officers. She was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment... and, issued an appearance ticket for Ellery Town Court.