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OBSERVER Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Emily Dillenburg, of Forestville, in car A111, is seen causing some damage in the A Heat of Tuesday’s Chautauqua County Fair Demolition Derby. Dillenburg was one of the winners of that heat and moved on to Sunday's championships.

That time of year

Are those rumbles the dozens of cars participating in the Chautauqua County Fair Demolition Derby? Or is it the stamping, clapping and shouting of the crazed fans on the bleachers, ready to rumble? Probably a little bit of both. The Chautauqua County Demolition Derby is one of the ...

Cott selling beverage business to Refresco

Cott Corp. on Tuesday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its traditional beverage manufacturing business — Cott Beverages — to Netherlands-based Refresco for $1.25 billion. The transaction includes Cott’s North America, U.K. and Mexico businesses — ...

IDA grants tax incentives for Athenex construction

With tax abatements in place, the biopharmaceutical company Athenex Inc. is getting set to construct its state-of-the-art facility in the town of Dunkirk. The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency’s Board of Directors granted sales and property tax exemptions to the company ...

File Photo
The Chautauqua Lake Association’s submerged vegetation harvester is scheduled to be lifted out of the water today. It capsized last Tuesday.

Submerged harvester to be uplifted today, weather permitting

The Chautauqua Lake Association’s submerged vegetation harvester is scheduled to be lifted out of the water today, if the weather permits. That’s according to Doug Conroe, CLA executive director, who told the OBSERVER on Tuesday that they’ve awarded Lake Erie Towing and Salvage out ...

OBSERVER Photo by Jared Hill
Nashville country singer and Fredonia native Ruthie Collins, center, sings Monday on opening night of the 136th annual Chautauqua County Fair.

Let the fair begin

That cannon you heard early Monday morning signified the beginning of the annual Chautauqua County Fair, a week-long extravaganza that brings thousands to the area every year. A few dozen were in attendance for the annual cannon firing, including representatives from Congressman Tom Reed’s ...

OBSERVER Photo by Damian Sebouhian
 A rehearsal scene from Shakespeare on the Lake’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Dunkirk Lighthouse to host Shakespeare Wednesday

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” wrote William Shakespeare in one of his most contemporarily-accessible and enchanting plays “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a version of which is set to take center stage tomorrow evening at the Historical Lighthouse in the city. The ...

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., visited the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County on Monday to announce the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act, which limits the supply of an initial opioid prescription for acute pain to seven days.

Gillibrand pushes bill to combat over-prescribing of opioids

It usually starts with pain. In Alex Foulk’s case, it was a freak hockey injury in 2015, a painful gash to the upper lip that led to a prescription of over 30 painkilling opioid pills in the form of Vicodin. A year later, Alex — a Jamestown native and just 26 years old — was found ...

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
A handful of people have stepped forward to be considered for a vacant trustee seat on the Fredonia Village Board, as announced at Monday’s board meeting. Pictured at the meeting, from left: Trustees Phyllis Jones and James Lynden.

Candidate pool forms for Fredonia trustee vacancy

The bone-dry pool of candidates for a Fredonia trustee vacancy is pretty saturated now. Village Administrator Richard St. George informed the village board during its Monday meeting that there are “about five or six people that have come forward” to fill the empty seat. Board members ...

Fredonia Chamber to hold ‘An Evening in Barker Common’

The Fredonia Chamber of Commerce is aiming to attract families to the downtown area through a new initiative that complements the village’s Wednesday concerts in the park. This Wednesday and Aug. 30, the Chamber will launch trial runs for “An Evening in Barker Common” from 6:30 to 8:30 ...

OBSERVER Photo by Amanda Dedie
The midway was packed with food trailers, rides and people Sunday, working hard to get the Chautauqua County Fair ready for today.

‘Fair-tastic’ time

To many, it’s the best week of the year — the week of the Chautauqua County Fair. On Sunday, dozens were busy setting up for the annual extravaganza at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk. People and animals filled the barns, while technicians and golf carts filled the midway, helping to ...

OBSERVER File Photo
Soon, the 32 acres of land behind this sign at the future Athenex site will be cleared out and shovel ready.

Athenex trudging along

Councilman Juan Pagan and Supervisor Richard Purol of the Dunkirk Town Board gave a brief update on Athenex progress at this month’s board meeting. “On July 12, we had a variety of representatives from the state and Athenex people concerning the project. It’s moving forward,” Pagan ...

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
The Pomfret Town Board recently voted, 3-2, to decrease the minimum quarterly usage amount from 10,000 gallons to 5,000 gallons for water districts supplied by Fredonia as a way to raise needed revenue. Pictured, from left: Councilmen Christopher Schaeffer and John Sedota and Supervisor Donald Steger.

Water, sewer fees rise in town of Pomfret districts

Water and sewer usage fees in the town of Pomfret districts supplied by the village of Fredonia are on the rise once again. During a recent meeting, the town board narrowly voted, 3-2, to decrease the minimum quarterly usage amount from 10,000 gallons to 5,000 gallons, with councilmen ...

Submitted Photo
An example of what the new Howard Ave. culvert will look like after construction.

Howard Ave. culvert project is progressing

When it comes to infrastructure, a lot goes unseen — either underground or behind the scenes. The city of Dunkirk’s Howard Avenue culvert project hasn’t seen heavy equipment roll up yet, but still much has been done. “We are further ahead in our project than any other Western New ...

OBSERVER Photo by Tonya Dodd
Cross Roads Farm & Craft Market held a Grand Opening event under new management. It was also part of a 20th anniversary party as the facility hosts and promotes local farmers, crafters and artisans and their goods.

New beginnings

WESTFIELD — Cross Roads Farm & Craft Market re-brands itself as an incubator for small business. Cross Roads started 20 years ago with the intent to host and promote local farmers, crafters and artisans and their goods. Under new ownership this year, Cross Roads takes that same concept ...

Submitted Photo by Nadean Chamberlain 
This building, located at 28 Jamestown St. in Gowanda, was set ablaze Tuesday as a result of arson.

Area regroups after recent arson attack

GOWANDA — Over the past year, the village of Gowanda was on a roll. Gateway Park to Zoar Valley opened, which cleared the site from its former landfill and glue factory remains and glistens the Cattaraugus Creek-side with a green plot of land that will only grow. Gowanda also will host a ...

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Construction is about 80 percent complete on the Lucas Avenue Steel Plant Superfund site.

Steel plant remediation nears 80-percent mark

The drive down Lucas Avenue in the city of Dunkirk is markedly different than in years past. Where the former Al Tech Specialty Steel stood, now the land has been leveled in some areas, dug up in others and on one side tall grass has been allowed to grow. City Engineer Randy Woodbury ...

OBSERVER Photo by Damian Sebouhian: Color Guard members gather to wait for the premiere.

“Dunkirk” premieres in Dunkirk

Roughly 20 veterans, including fully uniformed members of the Color Guard, were peppered among the audience of approximately 100 people Friday afternoon, all gathered to attend the premiere of the movie “Dunkirk” at Movie Plex 59 on Bennett Road. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas introduced the ...

Efforts fail to retrieve submerged harvester

LAKEWOOD — Local efforts to retrieve a capsized lake vegetation harvester continue to be unsuccessful as lake officials turn to a new plan. The Chautauqua Lake Association’s vessel has been under water near the Lakewood shoreline since Tuesday when the operator reportedly encountered ...