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OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino Bob Reuther, center, voices his concern at the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency public hearing for the Battery Point Villas’ financial assistance. Business Development Manager Kristine Morabito, right, records his concern as Dunkirk Development Director Rebecca Yanus looks on.

IDA holds public hearing on Battery Point Villas financial assistance

The Battery Point Villas have made it through one more step — the public hearing for financial assistance from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency. Business Development Manager Kristine Morabito and Phillips Lytle Attorney Matthew Mazgaj conducted the public hearing on the ...

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
The Festival of Grapes board and past pageant winners travel down the parade route Sunday with a big balloon “50” for the festival’s silver anniversary in Silver Creek.

Concord aboard

SILVER CREEK — With the weekend over, the longest consecutive and volunteer-run festival in New York state can trumpet a successful 50th year. The Festival of Grapes concluded Sunday in Silver Creek with a grand parade, which lasted over an hour and a half. Fire departments, politicians, ...

LED lighting project could save city millions

Budget time is just around the corner for the city of Dunkirk and officials are looking up for savings — literally up at the lights above their heads. From the lights at facilities to on the street and at the softball stadium, LED Energy Solutions LLC recently presented its plan to replace ...

OBSERVER Photo by Jordan W. Patterson: Katrina Johnston showing where Ethiopia is on a map.

Katrina Johnston reunites with Dunkirk Summer Camp

SHERIDAN — Hugs, smiles and even tears were on display recently at the Dunkirk Camp and Conference Center. Former Camp Counselor Katrina Johnston had returned to see the children and educate the younger kids on her experience abroad. “She’s awesome,” one child said of ...

Submitted Photo
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present Walking The Way, a unique multimedia presentation by Fredonian John Hertlein, on Wed., Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Fredonia resident talks the walk at Opera House presentation

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present Walking The Way, a unique multimedia presentation by Fredonian John Hertlein, on at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event is free and open to the public. The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes ...

a community member delivers passionate speech about racism in America to Congressman Tom Reed during his visit to Fredonia on Saturday.

Reed debates with community members over border wall, racism

Congressman Tom Reed visited Fredonia to discuss current issues, goals and events with community members Saturday at Fredonia Central School. A lot of the talking points on his agenda didn’t receive a lot of attention once President Trump’s proposed “border wall” and racism in America ...

OBSERVER File Photo: Ground breaking on the Athenex location has been delayed until the first of the year. However, activity continues at the location to prepare for the ground breaking.

Athenex ground breaking on hold, work continues

An official Athenex ground breaking may have to wait, but progress on the Lake Shore Drive site is ongoing. According the Dunkirk Town Supervisor Richard Purol, he found out about the delay at a meeting last week. “The ground breaking has been delayed until the first of the year unless ...

Fredonia to create paid fire chief position

For the first time in its history, Fredonia will soon have a full-time paid fire chief running the Fredonia Fire Department. Currently the fire department has approximately 100 volunteers and nine paid positions. Rather than adding another separate paid position, the village is in the process ...

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski: After the Memorial Mass for Dennis Stopen, a three-volley salute, pictured above, went off for Stopen, who was in the United States Navy.

Loved ones pay final respects to former Perrysburg Town Supervisor

GOWANDA — Dennis Charles Stopen lived out many roles. Some days, he was the family man with jokes, stories and laughs. On others, Dennis could have been the Perrysburg Town Supervisor, who aimed to be fair yet stern at every board meeting, as well as the community giver as he assisted with ...

OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
From left, Lilly Carlson, Khloe Karnes and Kimberly Bauer ready themselves during one of the heats at the Welch’s grape stomping competition Friday, the first day of the 50th annual Festival of Grapes, in Silver Creek.

A ‘grape’ milestone

SILVER CREEK — Not many festivals run for 50 consecutive years. In fact, only one in New York state has accomplished such a feat. That festival? The Festival of Grapes. Lori Cornell, representative of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, lauded that fact Friday during the opening ceremony of ...

Lower Russell Joy Park in Fredonia boasts a new playground after an apparent arson resulted in the loss of the previous one.

New playground replaces burned one in Fredonia

A new playground in the village of Fredonia has risen from the ashes of its predecessor — quite literally. Lower Russell Joy Park boasts a play area once again after the previous one burned down in an apparent arson. Fredonia-Pomfret Recreation Director Thomas Battaglia noted the new setup ...

Photo by Katrina Fuller: U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, visited Kiantone Independent Fire Department on Saturday morning to give an update and answer questions from the audience.

Congressman hears from south county

KIANTONE — While the meeting hall was different, the message of Rep. Tom Reed’s constituents was the same on Saturday morning. In his third town hall meeting in the immediate area, Reed, R-Corning, was faced with questions and outbursts about health care, consideration of Deferred ...

Dig begins for gas well proof in Fredonia

The shovels met dirt on Friday in a goal to prove that Fredonia, New York was the first gas well in the United States and possibly the first-ever petroleum well. Mark and Michelle Twichell, with the assistance of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Archaeology and National Fuel ...

Longtime member of Fire Service named County EMS Director

MAYVILLE — A longtime member of the local fire service has been named director of the Chautauqua County Emergency Services Office. County Executive Vince Horrigan announced Friday in Mayville that John Griffith, a Falconer native, will serve as the next director following Julius ...

OBSERVER Photo by Damian Sebouhian
The Dunkirk School Board met Thursday to discuss the Empire State After-School Program grant.

Dunkirk School District awards the Empire State After-School Program grant

Dunkirk Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Tracy announced during Thursday’s board meeting that the school district was recently awarded the Empire Sate After-School Program grant to the tune of $454,400. “That (funding) will fill in the gaps from the 21st-Century grant,” Tracy ...

Photo by Katrina Fuller
Beginning on Monday, the Chautauqua County Suicide Prevention Week will offer a variety of activities and events to help spread awareness about suicide prevention. Pictured are members of the Chautauqua County Suicide Prevention Week Planning Committee, from left, Cynde Johnson, Chautauqua Mall marketing director; Thaddeus Lund, The Resource Center Health Home program manager; Victoria Patti, Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention coordinator; Chris Anderson, The Resource Center Marketing/Internet manager; and Annie Rosenthal, Chautauqua Tapestry Public Relations coordinator.

How to save a life

A popular event that once occupied just one day has been expanded to include a full week of suicide prevention activities. The Chautauqua County Suicide Prevention Week will begin on Monday and will end on Saturday with the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Walk. The walk is a fundraiser ...

Photo Courtesy of Google Maps
Pictured is 709 Eagle St., Dunkirk. he Land Bank recently acquired the property.

Land Bank improving properties in Jamestown, Dunkirk

The wheels of the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation continue to churn. Executive Director Gina Paradis gave an update recently on the agency’s inventory. First, the board voted on proposals for disposition of three side lots. Paradis noted the lots at 866.5 Spring St. and 220 ...

Mike Ferguson changed the complexion of minor league baseball in Jamestown in the 1990s.

Ferguson keeps great expectations

Like teamwork on July 9, Mike Ferguson and George Borrello worked the serving lines for the Dunkirk-Fredonia Rotary Fly-In breakfast. Both candidates for Chautauqua County executive helped dish out food with some 35 other club members to the more than 1,200 who attended the event. At times, ...

OBSERVER Photos by Nicole Gugino Michelle Pattison was appointed as a high school special education teacher at the Fredonia Board of Education meeting.

Fredonia School Board makes appointments

The school year is off to a good start according to Fredonia officials, but some positions still needed to be filled. The Fredonia Board of Education met recently to approve those appointments. Michelle Pattison was appointed as a special education teacher in the high school. She attended ...