News

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
Luke Gullo speaks at Tuesday’s Fredonia Board of Education meeting.

Reappointed

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After passionate pleas on both sides, the Fredonia Board of Education reappointed Carol Zirkle as girls’ high school cross country coach on Tuesday. Roughly 100 people packed into the high school library to show their support for either Zirkle or members of the Gullo family. The Gullos ...

Allen P. Witruke

Witruke gets 20 years for killings

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MAYVILLE — A Jamestown man who confessed to the December 2015 killings of his wife and stepson will spend the next two decades behind bars. Allen P. Witruke was handed a 20-year prison sentence by the Hon. James F. Bargnesi on Tuesday at the Chautauqua County Courthouse. In May, the ...

Overbudget lines both good and bad for city

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The city of Dunkirk is almost two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year, but some of the plans for the budget are proving insufficient. During the recent Finance Committee meeting, Common Council members pointed out several budget lines that were significantly over budget. Mayor ...

OBSERVER File Photo
Isaac Gratto and Adam Pirtz, two of the lead developers for the potential $3.5 million ski-resort project are hoping to restore Cockaigne Ski Resort.

Cockaigne project gets boost from IDA

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OBSERVER Staff Report It is not all downhill from here, but it is another step in the right direction in the rebirth of the Cockaigne ski facility in Cherry Creek. Members of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency board of directors on Tuesday approved a State Environmental ...

Community Notebook

Community Notebook

Community Forum on Poverty Chautauqua Opportunities will be hosting a community forum on poverty at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center 30 Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk today from 1-4 p.m. Congressman Tom Reed, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and community panelists providing federal, ...

Area police

Area police

Dunkirk Police Reports ¯ Jose Rodriguez, 44, of Dunkirk, was charged Sunday with first-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. ¯ Louis Espada, 27, of Dunkirk, was charged Tuesday with petit larceny. ¯ Matthew J. Jesse, 29, of Dunkirk, was charged Monday with seventh ...

OBSERVER File Photos
The Fredonia Farm Festival returns this Thursday and is fun for all, and pet friendly.

SPOTLIGHT: Agricultural celebration

Local/Region

The 49th annual Fredonia Farm Festival will engulf Barker Common for its four-day event starting Thursday. The farm festival, ran by Chair Evonne Henneberry, will renew many of its family events of previous years as well as adding more. New for 2017 is the firemen hose race as nine local ...

Jury selection begins in Haffa case

Local/Region

MAYVILLE — Jury selection is underway in the case involving a Cheektowaga man facing multiple felony charges for allegedly attacking a female Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy. Three jurors were seated Tuesday at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville. More than 30 potential ...

DEC habitat management meeting today

Local/Region

STOCKTON — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today that the agency will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about recently completed habitat management plans for the Canadaway Creek and Kabob Wildlife Management Areas ...

Wild weather rips through Northern Chautauqua County

Local/Region

OBSERVER Staff Report Tuesday’s weather had a little bit of everything — good and bad. What started as a typical summer morning with sun and humidity became cooler as the day — and more dangerous — as the day wore on. Around 11 a.m., a cold front brought heavy rain to northern ...

Photo by Danielle Sullivan

Did you see that?

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A wave of cheers and applause slowly rolled across the field behind the Fredonia Science Center Monday at exactly 2:34 p.m. That was when the much-hyped partial solar eclipse appeared at its peak for thousands to see at the State University of New York at Fredonia’s viewing party. While no ...

Hundreds came out to the Martz Observatory on Monday to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse. Individuals had the chance to view the eclipse inside and outside the observatory.

Hundreds view solar eclipse at Martz Observatory

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FREWSBURG — Hundreds came out to the Martz Observatory on Monday to view the spectacle that was the solar eclipse. Cars lined both sides of Robbin Hill as people walked up to the observatory to view the eclipse. Many individuals placed chairs outside the observatory where they put glasses ...

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox. Pictured is Fredonia School Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio.

Sortisio settling in as Fredonia School leader

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Fredonia Central School Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio has been on the job for about a month now, and he is enjoying learning the ropes of his new district. After a recent board of education special meeting — his first official meeting in his new role — Sortisio told the OBSERVER his ...

Police give updates on Zoar Valley victims, offer hiking safety tips

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GOWANDA — Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports as of last night Alexander Green, 4, is in guarded condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Women and Children’s Hospital with internal injuries, multiple fractures and a head injury. Jacob Green, 7, who was found by a Sheriff’s ...

Village dissolution: What’s the impact been?

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Editor’s note: This is the final in a three-part series looking at property taxes in Chautauqua County. State incentives such as the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credit are making village dissolutions more appealing from a tax standpoint. Over the past year, residents in the villages of ...

Zirkle reappointed as cross country coach

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The Fredonia Board of Education reappointed Carol Zirkle as the high school cross country at Tuesday's meeting by a vote of 5-2. For complete coverage, see Wednesday's edition of the OBSERVER.

Community Notebook

Community Notebook

Church to give away free food, school supplies This Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. in downtown Sinclairville, Park Church will hold its second annual I Am Free event. Children who live in the Cassadaga Valley community will be given school supplies, clothing vouchers and haircuts. For those that ...

Area Police

Area police

Gowanda Police ¯ James E. Meyers, 51, of Oak Street, Silver Creek, was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and insufficient taillights on Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. Patrol stopped Meyers’ vehicle because of a taillight issue. During the DMV computer check, it was found that ...

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski
North Collins Village Police attend National Night Out at North Collins Elementary School. The event’s purpose is to inform the public of public services and safety as well as create a bond between the community and those who serve them.

North Collins participates in National Night Out

Local/Region

NORTH COLLINS — The town of North Collins and its Community Watch team put together a National Night Out event on Aug. 1 that could compete with the best of them. It was an all-day festivity where kids and community members alike got to know their police officers, firefighters, emergency ...