BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Page One

Schools face population loss, rise in poverty

Rural areas across the state are seeing a steep decline in population and issues with poverty that greatly impacts the schools, according to a recent report by the New York State Association of School Business Officials. Over the past 10 years, 84.9 percent of rural schools have suffered ...

Nancy Johnson

Westfield native leaves $1.2 million to SUNY Cortland

OBSERVER Staff Report SUNY Cortland alumna Nancy A. Johnson ’48, M ’56 was the first female physical education teacher in the history of the Holland Central School District in Erie County, N.Y. During her 35 years with the district she created many of its athletic programs for girls and ...

By DAMIAN SEBOUHIAN
OBSERVER Staff Writer

Hanover approves bid for town hall renovations

HANOVER — During a special meeting held recently, the Hanover Town Board approved the only bid it received — from Horizon Masonry — to complete exterior renovations to the town hall, located at 68 Hanover St. The project is part of a mold-abatement effort, which was diagnosed ...

TREE3

Wicked overnight weather downs trees, power lines

It was the night before the first day of school and all on the outside, nothing was quiet. In fact, it was quite loud. Major thunderstorms, heavy rains and high winds knocked down trees and power lines throughout the region late Monday and early today. The storms reached the highest gusts ...

Shareholders of Refresco gave approval to the $1.25 billion Cott purchase, which includes the Dunkirk site.

Refresco purchase of Cott moves forward

Special to the OBSERVER TORONTO — Cott Corp. announced this morning that the shareholders of Refresco Group N.V. have approved the previously announced acquisition of Cott's traditional beverage manufacturing business for $1.25 billion in cash. The transaction includes Cott's North ...

Submitted Photo. Pictured is a stump carving at a residence on Irwin Road in the town of Cherry Creek. City of Dunkirk officials are looking to take inspiration from the carving to address some of the dead trees in Point Gratiot Park in a unique way.

Repurposing nature

A unique idea to address the dead trees in the city of Dunkirk’s Point Gratiot Park is taking root. At the recent Department of Public Works Committee meeting, First Ward Councilman Don Williams brought up an idea that has been a hit with Harbor Commission members. “I’ve been ...

Dunkirk First Ward Republican write-in written off

There will be several opportunities to fill in the blank in Dunkirk’s First Ward election in November, but it will not be on the Republican line. There was no Republican-endorsed candidate for the First Ward, which is situated by the eastern lakefront and is currently represented by Donald ...

Dr. James Tracy

Improving Dunkirk’s schools

Dunkirk City Schools Superintendent Dr. James Tracy has spent the first year in his position with an eye open for how the district can “go from good to great.” In a recent presentation to the board of education, he explained some of the things he has seen and the way he believes the ...

Vince Horrigan

Horrigan finalizing his last budget

Preparing a tentative spending plan is in the final stages for County Executive Vince Horrigan, who will deliver his last budget to the County Legislature this month. Preliminary budget plans formulated by department heads were received by the county executive and analyzed for adjustments. ...

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski. The North Collins Emergency Squad is down to 13 members and dropped 50 calls in 2016. Town Supervisor John Tobia asks the town to step up before a calamity occurs, not after.

ER squad needs volunteers

NORTH COLLINS — “This is our problem and I think about it every day,” an impassioned John Tobia said. “… God forbid that if something happens to my daughter, who the hell is going to get there and take care of her. Am I going to wait for Gowanda? Am I going to wait for Eden? “Is ...

OBSERVER Photos by Tonja Dodd: In the main photo, Westfield Memorial Hospital Administrator, Peter Pascale, addresses attendees of the hospital’s 75th birthday party, Saturday.

Diamond anniversary

Westfield Memorial Hospital celebrated 75 years in business on Saturday, and it continues to prosper. Designation of a permanent operating license, the complete re-construction of the emergency department, an electronic medical record system and new colors mark the significant growth for the ...

Photo by Damian Sebouhian: Jim Crowell, code enforcement officer for Sheridan, stands in front of his office near town hall.

Code officer weighs in on Delmonte’s building

SHERIDAN — In the nearly 32 years of working as Sheridan’s code enforcement officer, Jim Crowell has never experienced the kind of regulation snag currently afflicting the demolition process for a building that sits in shambles as an eyesore on Route 20. The building in question is a ...

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino: Gowanda native and architect William Haskas points to plusFARM’s other design work both locally and abroad.

Safety concerns remain for playground project

When you think of a playground, a slide, monkey bars and swings come to mind — all something that may not fit into the grassy triangle at the intersection of Sixth and Main streets. However, plusFARM architects William Haskas and Matei Denes of Brooklyn are not your typical architects, ...

Photo by Eric Tichy: Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Seeley, far right, laughs in August 2013 after being recognized for helping to save the life of a Pennsylvania man, second from right, who suffered a heart attack in Hartfield. Seeley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia after a routine physical showed abnormal white blood cells.

Deputy battling leukemia has long history of helping others

Michael Seeley has spent much of his life helping others — and at times complete strangers — during the worst moments of their lives. That was none more evident than on July 28, 2013, when Seeley, a Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputy, helped save the life of a Pennsylvania man who ...

BROOKS-MEMORIAL

Hospital hubbub

By the end of September, Brooks Memorial Hospital will have identified a location for its new facility. In a meeting with the media Friday morning at the SUNY Fredonia technology incubator in Dunkirk, Mary E. LaRowe, president and chief executive officer of Brooks, said the new structure also ...

TLC nears bankruptcy exit, closing unit

Within a month, TLC Health Network is hoping to be in the process of exiting bankruptcy. Dr. James Wild, president of the hospital’s board of directors, said a final court decision regarding TLC’s finances could take place on Oct. 6. Getting out of bankruptcy is essential for the ...

JUSTIN HAFFA

Witness testifies seeing Haffa with weapon

MAYVILLE — Several witnesses were called to testify in the second day of the Justin Haffa attempted murder trial. The 22-year-old from Cheektowaga is facing three felony charges stemming from a Sept. 11 incident in which he allegedly attacked Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputy Sara ...

OBSERVER Photo by Damian Sebouhian
Silver Creek sixth grade teacher and basketball coach Richard Norton retired and Kayla Corsaro was hired as health and physical education teacher.

One retired, another hired at SCCS

SILVER CREEK — The Silver Creek board of education formally accepted the resignation of 27-year veteran teacher and basketball coach Richard Norton during a recent school board meeting. Just after Norton said his goodbye’s to the board, former Silver Creek student and current resident ...

OBSERVER Photo by Justin Goetz

BADGERED: FWB beats East Aurora

Fredonia-Westfield-Brocton’s Nate Shuart (42) tries to sack East Aurora/Holland’s Paul Nellis. The Badgers opened the season with a 41-7 victory. See more in Sports.

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
A team of volunteers collects donations of clothes, linens, nonperishable food, pet food, diapers and more for hurricane Harvey survivors during Music on the Pier Thursday evening. The community’s support was evident as one Fredonia Place bus was full in the first hour. Donations will continue to be collected weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and weekends from 11 to 1 p.m. The last day to donate is during Thursday’s last Music on the Pier between 5 and 9 p.m. Pictured from left are Greg Krauza, Dianne Ferguson, Mike Ferguson, Hector Rosas, Mike Civiletto, Stacy Szukala and Amy Near. Missing from photo is Edwin Ramos.

City resident joins in relief efforts

OBSERVER Staff Report Another area resident has joined the emergency relief effort in the what is being called the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history. According to the American Red Cross, Nicole Roma of Dunkirk has been enlisted to support the efforts in Texas. In a news release ...