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Photo by Gavin Paterniti
Donald Butler, Panama school board president, announces the result of the Panama-Clymer advisory referendum Monday night. Panama residents passed the straw vote, but Clymer overwhelmingly rejected it.

Panama-Clymer school merger rejected

PANAMA — The subject of a potential merger between two Chautauqua County school districts remains a divisive one. On Monday, an advisory referendum — also known as a straw vote — undertaken by the Panama and Clymer districts as to the feasibility of consolidating the districts had ...

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Officials break ground on work at Point Gratiot Park in Dunkirk. Pictured from left is Deputy Director of Development Edward J. Hayes, Legislator Bob Bankoski, Development Director Rebecca Yanus, Mayor Willie Rosas, Legislator and Sen. Catharine Young's representative Kevin Muldowney, Second Ward Councilman Marty Bamonto, LaBella Project Manager Ed Schober and project contractor Ryan Doyle from Perry Construction Group of Erie, Pa.

On ‘Point’

Point Gratiot Park is a jewel of the Dunkirk community and Monday officials moved forward with making sure it shines. The project to put roofs on pavilions, improve electrical service to allow for live music and bring bathrooms into Americans with Disabilities Act compliance was set into ...

OBSERVER Photo by Ann Belcher
Brocton/Portland Shared Services Committee Chair Dave Travis leads a discussion while committee members, town and village leaders and employees listen.

Brocton/Portland committee holds joint board meeting to further look at options

BROCTON — A recent meeting held by the Brocton/Portland Shared Service Committee boasted many more attendants than normal. The committee invited current and past members of the Portland Town Council and Village of Brocton Board of Trustees to discuss a second, but equally relevant subject ...

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Dunkirk Treasurer Mark Woods has begun the process for the city to accept credit card payments, but said online payments will take longer to happen.

Online payments may take longer than new year

A pre-New Year’s resolution for the city of Dunkirk is to have 21st century payment options in place by the start of 2018. However, Treasurer Mark Woods said that is likely not possible for online payments. Resolution 104 was presented to the Common Council at the most recent meeting with ...

Westfield prepares for holidays

Christmas in the Village, a Dickens holiday, will be held Friday to Sunday, Nov. 17-19. Santa Claus will arrive in Moore Park Friday evening at 6 p.m. to ceremoniously light the tree and then move on to the YWCA at 58 South Portage St. for treats, activities and photograph opportunities. ...

OBSERVER photo by Jimmy McCarthy
A section of Water Street near the town of Pomfret and village of Fredonia line will be double striped. George Spanos, county public facilities director, told the OBSERVER crews will double stripe the section of road once they catch up on other striping work.

No passing

A section of Water Street near the town of Pomfret and village of Fredonia line is going to a no-passing zone to address local concern over safety. The issue came up last month when Water Street resident Maureen Blackburn told village board members that vehicles traveling from the south are ...

OBSERVER Photos by Damian Sebouhian
Seen are images from a wind farm construction site off of Center Road in Arkwright.

Debating the turbines

The New York State Board on Electric Generation and the Environment (Siting Board) issued a public notice regarding a recent wind farm decision made by judges from the Department of Public Service (DPS) and the Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday. The two departments are ...

Public hearing on Athenex site plans set

Want to see the plans for what Athenex will look like? You may soon have your chance. During the Dunkirk Town Board meeting, Supervisor Richard Purol said the town planning board will meet and a public hearing will be held Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at Jamestown Community’s North County Campus to ...

OBSERVER photo by Jimmy McCarthy
Pictured is a hop demonstration yard behind Cornell Cooperative Extension’s facility in the town of Portland.

As interest in craft beverages grows, so does need for hops

Craft beverages are taking off and growing in popularity, and with it comes a demand for hops and an opportunity for interested growers. Hop growing in New York state was a large operation in the late 1800s as 21 million pounds of dried hops were produced. However, diseases including downy ...

Tentative timeline for Capital Project set

SILVER CREEK — The Silver Creek Board of Education and Superintendent Todd Crandall are planning to conduct “several public information sessions,” Crandall said during a recent meeting, regarding a March 2018 referendum for the district’s latest capital project. The March date ...

Submitted photo
Joshua Cosme, right, is pictured with his family including his wife, Elizabeth, and their children, Aliana, Christopher and Anthony.

Local veteran discusses Iraq experience in light of TV show

This past week was the TV series premiere of National Geographic’s “The Long Road Home.” Meanwhile, a Dunkirk native has mixed feelings surrounding the program’s portrayal of its source material. That’s because Joshua Cosme, a local veteran, has the distinction of witnessing the ...

OBSERVER photo by Damian Sebouhian
Vietnam veteran Stephen Cobb is pictured at center with the cake gifted by Mrs. Erin Hodkin’s fourth grade class from Dunkirk School 3. Pictured are back row, left: Kaelyn Tombongco, Miss Colleen McDonald, Yerandelys DeLeon, Derick Aviles, Victoria Maxwell; sitting: Mr. Stephen Cobb, Makaila Rosario, Damarielys Cruz, Mrs. Erin Hodkin (teacher), Edward Meadows, Delian Diaz. At each end of the table: Yesenia Herandez-Santiago, Joseph Reynolds; kneeling: Jayden Vazquez, Iliana Flores, Yazmin Maestre, Elena Ramos, Tatiana Contreras, Ava Casey, Alina Rivera; laying down: Yeriel Gutierrez.

Visit from a veteran: Cobb talks to fourth-graders at School 3

As part of recognizing this coming Veterans Day, retired history teacher and Vietnam War veteran Stephen Cobb was invited to give a presentation to Mrs. Erin Hodkin’s fourth grade class at Dunkirk School #3. Cobb displayed a storyboard triptych which featured photographs from his time in ...

Borrello planning county executive transition

The dust from the recent election season settled in the past few days, but George Borrello has not. Borrello, recently elected the new Chautauqua County executive, presided over the County Legislature's Planning and Economic Development committee on Wednesday and was again present for the ...

City doesn’t qualify for control board

Recently, some residents questioned whether a control board is the answer to the city of Dunkirk’s budgetary woes. According to one official, that is not an option. “Several meetings ago I was asked by a rather large group of individuals to look into a control board for the city and ...

OBSERVER photo by Jimmy McCarthy
The Dunkirk Town Board approved the 2018 budget during Tuesday’s meeting. The amount to be raised by taxes is just over $319,000 when combining special districts in the town.

Budget approved with slight increase

Taxes may be going up in the town of Dunkirk, but not by much. Dunkirk town officials approved a budget with a tax rate of 59 cents per $1,000 of assessed value during its recent meeting. That’s a penny increase from the previous year as Town Supervisor Richard Purol noted last year’s ...

Operation Christmas Child: Fill a shoebox

Local area ministries are joining forces to support Samaritan’s Purse in their shoebox event, Operation Christmas Child, which includes over 5,000 participating ministries. Donations to various drop-off sites runs Nov. 13-18. This year, the New York Southwest Area Team hopes to ...

“With the GOP tax plan, the Republicans in Congress are 
playing New Yorkers for fools and New Yorkers are not fools.” 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Reed, Cuomo spar over tax reform

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, plans to take his tax reform with a grain of SALT. A big question surrounding the tax reform debate in recent weeks has been whether or not Reed will support a bill that completely eliminates the State and Local Tax Deduction, also known as SALT deductions. ...

County CSEA contract to head to Legislature

MAYVILLE — The largest collective bargaining unit representing Chautauqua County employees may soon have a new, one-year contract extension. Pending approval of the County Legislature next Wednesday, a one-year contract extension for the Civil Service Employees Association Local 807 ...

Submitted Photo
Ms. Zappie’s first-grade class sent letters to Operation Gratitude which were forwarded to veterans all across the United States.

Showing thanks

Special to the OBSERVER Brocton first graders in Mrs. Zappie’s class showed their gratitude to veterans who have fought for our country. Students sent letters to Operation Gratitude, an organization that disperses mail and care packages to veterans all across the United States. Each ...

OBSERVER Photo
Wheelock School in Fredonia had a steady stream of voters throughout Election Day.

We want change … until it’s time to vote

Election night for the candidates who walk, talk and knock on doors while ending up on the losing end brings an all-too-sudden finality. All that work and effort for three months comes down to one day — and the nerves really start to kick in once the results begin flowing after 9 p.m. By ...