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Local company making face shields for medical workers | News, Sports, Jobs

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Pictured is an image of a face shield that will be made by Jamestown Plastics in Brocton. Submitted Photo.

BROCTON — The nation’s in a fight against an invisible enemy, and the best protection against it is to keep it away entirely. Jamestown Plastics is doing its part in a big way.

The heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are in desperate need of facial protection, and the Brocton company is responding. It’s turned its attention to making tens of thousands of the True Hero Shield, a device to keep out germs that’s intended for medical workers and other emergency personnel.

“We started working from a fresh design a week ago today,” Jamestown Plastics President Jay Baker said Monday. Baker said he and two of his top designers came up with the idea for the shield.

“We do all of our tooling, everything from soup to nuts, in-house here in Brocton. We were in production on a limited basis 24 hours after we had the idea,” Baker said. About 12 hours after the first shields were made, they were in use at Family Health Services in Mayville.

“We’ve been running literally around the clock to get additional product out,” Baker said. The company is not at full production capacity yet, but it is expecting a shipment of raw materials that should let it get there tonight, he said. When it’s at full production, Jamestown Plastics will make “40 to 50,000 a day,” he added.

The shields are going far beyond Chautauqua County. “Social media found us from other areas,” Baker said. “This is pretty rapidly being deployed all across North America.”

Baker sought to emphasize that the shields are not available to the general public right now. “We don’t want people calling here trying to get them. … The whole focus is health care professionals,” he said, adding that other emergency service personnel, such as police and fire departments, can get them too.

Baker said any health care or emergency workers who want the shields can make inquiries through a website set up for the purpose, www.trueheroshields.com.

There are more versions of the shield in development. “We see this as being a sustainable business model after the crisis,” Baker said. “We took a fresh sheet of paper and approached this thing, rather than just copying.”

The name of the shield reflects the belief that Baker shares with many others right now: Health care workers are true heroes.

“This is completely on the front line folks. Everyone should be thinking of them,” he said.

Those folks need help, though, and Baker had a message: Your neighbors working at his company are making a heroic effort of their own, working all three shifts to produce protection.

“The people that are making this miracle happen are the people from our backyards,” he said. “Jamestown Plastics doesn’t believe, but knows, we have the best staff in the world. We’re asking a lot of them.

“We feel blessed to be in a position to make a difference,” he concluded.




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Sun 8:45 p.m.: Youngstown mayor orders curfew | News, Sports, Jobs

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Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday declared a civil emegency and ordered a curfew in the city as a result of “mob action and other civil disobedience.”

Reports had large crowds gathering around dusk surrounding police cruisers at the corner of Market and Boardman streets in downtown Youngstown.

Earlier in the day, two separate rallies in the downtown netted minor incidents including the breaking of windows at Choffin Career Center and the United Way office off Wood Street.

Then reports of a large crowd in the Wick Park area had prompted businesses to close on their own on the Belmont Avenue strip of Liberty Township, according to Sgt. Ray Buhala of the Liberty Police Department.

Brown’s curfew order, which includes the closing of all businesses and all city streets to motor vehicles and pedestrians except for emergency vehicles, shall remain in effect for 12 hours.

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Two new COVID-19 cases in Marshall County | News, Sports, Jobs

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DES MOINES — Marshall County only had two additional case of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours.

As of Sunday, Marshall County has 894 cases of COVID-19, a rise of two cases.

Marshall County dropped to sixth highest Iowa counties with COVID-19 cases. The other counties with higher numbers are Polk with 4,228; Woodbury, 2,750; Black Hawk, 1,746; Linn, 955; and Dallas, 903.

Overall Iowa had an increase of 385 bringing the state’s total number of cases to 19,551.

Of those, 11,111 have recovered.

Also, 534 Iowans have died from COVID-19 and 16 of those deaths were residents of Marshall County.

Marshall County makes up 3 percent of the state’s COVID-19 related deaths and 4.5 percent of Iowa’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Marshall County is one the top ten states with the highest number of COVID-19 related tests. The counties tied or with more deaths are Polk with 126 deaths, Linn with 77 deaths, Black Hawk with 44 deaths, Muscatine 41 deaths, Woodbury with 34 deaths, Tama with 27 deaths, Dallas with 21 deaths, Dubuque with 18 deaths and Jasper with 16 deaths.

Marshall County has two recorded outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The Iowa Veterans Home has had 33 positive cases of COVID-19, with 16 recovered and Accura HealthCare of Marshalltown has had 55 cases, with 21 recovered.

In Iowa 156,713 people have been tested for COVID-19 with about 5 percent of Iowa’s population having been tested.

Across the state, 561,610 Test Iowa assessments have been conducted – 2,010 in Marshall County.

A public hotline has been established for questions about COVID-19 in Iowa. It is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.

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Tensions High Over Protests Upstate, Downstate | News, Sports, Jobs

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The mayor in Rochester declared a state of emergency and a 9 p.m. curfew after demonstrators destroyed police cars, setting one on fire, and officers responded with tear gas canisters.

Albany police used tear gas and rode horses in efforts to quell demonstrators throwing objects. In Buffalo, numerous storefronts had their windows smashed and a person tried to start a fire in City Hall.

Downstate, the scene was even more tense.

Street protests spiraled into New York City’s worst day of unrest in decades Saturday, as fires burned, windows got smashed and dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and officers flared amid crowds of thousands decrying police killings.

A day that began with mostly peaceful marches through Harlem and neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens descended into chaos as night fell.

Demonstrators smashed windows, hurled objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads with garbage and wreckage. A handful of stores in Manhattan had their windows broken and merchandise stolen.

Officers sprayed crowds with chemicals, and video showed two police cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators on a Brooklyn street, knocking several to the ground, after people attacked it with thrown objects, including something on fire. It was unclear whether anyone was hurt.

It was the third straight day of protests in the city over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, a remarkable outburst after most New Yorkers spent the past two months stuck inside as the coronavirus devastated the city. A night earlier, several thousand people faced off with a force of officers on the streets around a Brooklyn sports arena.

The NYPD said at least 120 people were arrested and at least 15 police vehicles damaged or destroyed.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, blamed the destruction on a small number of agitators who he said “do not represent this city” and were purposely trying to incite violence against police.

“We appreciate and respect all peaceful protest, but now it is time for people to go home,” de Blasio told reporters outside the city’s emergency management headquarters just after 11:30 p.m.

“What we’re seeing is people coming in from outside, a lot of them are purporting to speak about the issues of communities of color, but a lot of them are not from communities of color,” de Blasio said on the local cable news station NY1.

The protests in each city were all held in defiance of a statewide ban on gatherings imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is bigger than the pandemic,” said Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski, referring to the outbreak that, until recently, was killing hundreds of New Yorkers each day. “The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offenses and people need to stop killing black people. Cops seem as though they’ve been trained to do so.”

Earlier in the day, de Blasio had expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but promised an independent review of demonstrations Friday night in which a mob set fire to a police van and battered police cruisers with clubs and officers beat people with batons.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had asked the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, to lead an inquiry and make a public report.

The mayor said he was upset by videos of confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police, including one that showed a woman being needlessly thrown to the ground.

But he defended officers in the streets, saying they were being subjected “to horrible, vile things.” Of the video of officers driving into a crowd Saturday, de Blasio said it would be investigated, but that the officers acted because they were being attacked.

Violence early Saturday resulted in federal charges against three people suspected of building and throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in two separate incidents in Brooklyn.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn said Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, admitted under questioning to throwing her device at a van occupied by four officers. It did not ignite and the officers were unharmed, police said. Shader’s sister, Dorian, was also arrested and will face charges in state court, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.

Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, both of Brooklyn, are accused of targeting a police van. They were charged under a federal statute regarding the use of fire and explosives to cause damage to a police vehicle and each face 5 to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Information on their lawyers was not immediately available.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured in Friday night’s protests, including one who lost a tooth.

Asked to comment on videos that showed officers shoving peaceful protesters to the ground and hitting people with batons, Shea said those acts would be investigated.

But, he said, “It is very hard to practice de-escalation when there is a brick being thrown at your head.”

“It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” he said.

In a peaceful gathering Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed several hundred people in Staten Island at the spot where Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014. He was accompanied by Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.

Sharpton noted that Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after an officer pressed his knee into his neck, had also fallen unconscious gasping for air.

“Right at this spot is where we heard Eric Garner say what six years later was said by George: ‘I can’t breathe.’”

Cuomo noted that Floyd’s death was just the latest in a long list of similar deaths, and he said he shared in the outrage over “this fundamental injustice.”

“But violence is not the answer. It never is the answer,” he said. “The violence obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission.”

___

Associated Press writers Karen Matthews, Jennifer Peltz, Michael R. Sisak, Tom Hays, Maria Sanminiatelli and Robert Bumsted in New York, Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, and John Wawrow in Buffalo contributed to this report.

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