BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Page One

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

Reappointed

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

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

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

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 ...

Photo by Danielle Sullivan

Did you see that?

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

Photo courtesy of the “Swimming For The Great Lakes” Facebook page. Dr. Sherri Mason was unable to complete her swim across Lake Erie due to turbulent waters.

It’s about the journey

EVANS — A swim across Lake Erie by a State University of New York at Fredonia professor was called midway after a swimmer was lost — but later found — during turbulent waters. Fredonia professor Dr. Sherri Mason led the charge as she did before when she crossed Chautauqua Lake. Mason ...

Two dead, two hurt after fall at Zoar Valley

GOWANDA — Two adults died while two children were in need of medical care after a fall at Zoar Valley at around 12:30 p.m., Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi confirmed. Three victims were found on the gorge floor near the Springville side of Zoar Valley. The ...

Trustee James Lynden

Trustee takes issue with Pomfret rate hike editorial

A village of Fredonia trustee slammed the OBSERVER for an editorial regarding the town of Pomfret and its water and sewer districts, though he opted not to back up his claims with facts. On July 31, the OBSERVER’s View focused on the Pomfret Town Board increasing its water and sewer fees. ...

Average home near water pays less tax compared to inland

Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series looking at property taxes in Chautauqua County. The average homeowner located in a town that’s near the water pays less tax than the average residence in a town found inland. Data gathered by the OBSERVER shows taxes paid on a ...

In Fredonia, about 73 percent of the sun will be blocked during the eclipse.

Here’s where you can view today’s eclipse

Looking for a place to go and view the eclipse in a safe manner? There are two locations to go in northern Chautauqua and southern Erie counties. They include: • The Department of Physics will host a viewing event and will have 1,500 pairs of solar glasses for safe viewing of the sun, ...

Photo by A.J. Rao. Jamestown resident turned Uber driver, Howard, was unable to work until Uber gave him the opportunity to work again.

Buffalo, Walmart, Dunkirk top destinations for local Uber users

What’s the most popular Uber destination from Dunkirk? According to the company, it’s Buffalo, and it comes with a cost of $54 to $84 in the one-way trip. Fredonia’s most popular destination? Walmart, with the city of Dunkirk in second. The cost would be anywhere from $11 to ...

OBSERVER Photos by Andrew David Kuczkowski
At top left, a student is doing the “hurried walk” trying to carry a refrigerator into Eisenhower Hall for moving day.

Welcome back

The second-largest class of first-year students at the State University of New York at Fredonia settled into their residence halls during “Move-In Weekend,” marking the first time since the 2014-2015 academic year that the campus enrolled more than 1,000 first-year students. “We’re at ...

Photo by Eric Tichy
A member of the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team at the scene Saturday of a “suspicious death” on East Sixth Street in Jamestown.

Jamestown man charged with murder

JAMESTOWN — A Jamestown resident was charged with second-degree murder after a man was found dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex early Saturday in the city. Police charged 51-year-old Brian M. Korzeniewski just hours after the prone body of Michael A. Bull was discovered ...

OBSERVER Photo by Jordan Patterson
Reenactors of the Confederacy and the Union line up after the Battle scene at the 5th annual Civil War Reenactment at the Dunkirk Lighthouse on Saturday.

Much more than a simple Civil War re-enactment

The Confederacy won, well, not exactly. At the Dunkirk Lighthouse Saturday afternoon, reenactors playing the roles of Confederate troops and Union soldiers participated in an alternate-mock battle for the occupation of the Dunkirk Lighthouse in which the Confederates won. But for those ...

Average tax bill decreased for residents within many municipalities

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series looking at property taxes in Chautauqua County. Tax bills on the average home decreased for many in Chautauqua County over the course of a year while only a few saw increases. An analysis conducted by the OBSERVER found the average ...