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324-330 Central Ave., Dunkirk

Controversial city building buys stall

The announcement of a nonprofit buying up six parcels in the city of Dunkirk caused a stir back in June, but since July little news has come of its grand plans and documents show it may be in default on its mortgage. In April, the United Secular American Center for the Disabled Inc. ...

OBSERVER Photo by Rebecca Cuthbert
Recently, Cody Stoyle's 9-11 tribute painting was installed permanently at the Exempts Club in Dunkirk. Before that, it hung in the lobby of Dunkirk High School for many years. Here, Stoyle (right) is pictured with his father Pat (left) and uncle Jim Stoyle (center) in front of his painting.

9-11 tribute painting finds home at Exempts Club

Cody Stoyle graduated from Dunkirk High School in 2002. In the two semesters before that, he painted a giant, 8’x8’ mural depicting a scene from 9-11, in which a mournful firefighter pauses amid the destruction of that infamous day. In his hands he holds an American flag, perhaps ...

Preschool children in Westfield pose with the ornaments they created as part of the Westfield YWCA preschool and day care before the Christmas holiday last month.

Westfield YWCA problems persist

WESTFIELD — Program eliminations. Communication problems. Massive resignations. It has been nine months of tumult for the YWCA of Westfield. Even community members have become asking questions, especially to those who are no longer with the organization. There is a question of ...

Health officials talk possible Obamacare repeal

As a new administration enters the White House, much uncertainty remains over the Affordable Care Act and health care delivery in the U.S. Proponents to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, admit that it needs some tweaking. But those in favor of the law say it's helped many people afford ...

This cross holds the ashes of Lily Soto’s late son.

Special cross recovered

A lost cross, which was posted and shared more than 1,500 times on Facebook, has been reported found Friday afternoon. The cross contains the ashes of a family member, which helped spur the community’s outreach. “I hugged the person, I kissed the person, I showed a picture of my son,” ...

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew Kuczkowski
The city of Dunkirk celebrated Three King’s Day with a cavalcade of gifts along with donated food and beverages. Above are the three kings with Mayor Willie Rosas on the right.

Dunkirk royalty

Three Kings Day did not go unnoticed in the city of Dunkirk this year. The mayor’s conference room had a line out the door in the celebration of the Christian holiday. Three King’s Day has its roots within the Hispanic community. “Dunkirk is made up of a population of 25 percent ...

Ripley to proceed with administrative restructuring

RIPLEY — Ripley Central School District and Chautauqua Lake Central School District will proceed with an administrative restructuring project aimed at reducing costs and improving curriculums, members of both district’s boards learned at a recent joint meeting. Chautauqua Lake ...

Chautauqua Institution donates to Veterans Endowment Fund

CHAUTAUQUA — A generous donation by Chautauqua Institution is going to help local veterans who are in need of a little financial assistance. Chautauqua Institution officials gathered at Bestor Plaza recently to present the Chautauqua County Veterans’ Services Agency and Greg Carlson, ...

Ryan Valentine

Cops can coke dealer

The new year has already brought cleaner streets, thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the Dunkirk Police Department. Ryan R. Valentine, 30, of Dunkirk was taken into custody Thursday by Dunkirk’s Police Patrol Division at about 6 p.m. An ...

OBSERVER Photo by Dan Kohler
A snowplow skidded off the roadway and tumbled into a ditch along Bowers Road in Stockton Thursday morning. No injuries were reported.

Nature’s howling wrath chills area to the bone

Except for a few short-lived snow piles, winter has been pretty lenient on Chautauqua County residents this season. That is, until Wednesday, when folks driving home in the evening after work or errands had to deal with near-white-out conditions. “We had a cold front that came through on ...

This cross, which was missing after New Year’s Eve, has been found.

Missing cross recovered in Fredonia

A lost cross, which was posted and shared more than 1,500 times on Facebook, has been reported found around 2:45 a.m. today. The cross contains the ashes of family member, which helped spur the community's outreach. "I hugged the person, I kissed the person, I showed a picture of my son," ...

Officials react to Cuomo veto against indigent defense bill

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto last week, counties throughout the state will continue footing the bill for those who cannot afford counsel for defense. Despite disappointment from local officials, they remain optimistic legislation will pass this year and the state will alleviate the ...

Albert Howard

Snowblowing dispute leads to neighbor shooting tires

MACHIAS — The heavy snowfall has gotten on a lot of area residents’ nerves. But it is nothing like what happened in Machias on Wednesday. State Police at Machias responded to 9717 McKinstry Road due to a dispute between neighbors around 10:35 p.m. After an investigation, troopers said ...

This photo, provided by the state Thruway, shows westbound vehicles exiting at Dunkirk-Fredonia.

Thruway reopens westbound from Dunkirk to Pennsylvania

Westbound lanes have reopened as of 4:40 p.m. on Interstate 90 this afternoon. Around 3:45 p.m. today, motorists were being detoured off the New York State Thruway due to severe weather conditions and multiple accidents. New York State Thruway officials are urging motorists to exit ...

Fern Derby, formerly of Cassadaga, passed away Nov. 21, 2016. Many people have donated to the Cassadaga Beach Program in her memory.

Former Cassadaga resident remembered fondly

CASSADAGA — Several checks rolled in when the obituary of former Cassadaga resident Fern Derby requested donations, in lieu of flowers, be sent to the village for the Cassadaga Beach fund. One that stood out, though, was a donation in the name of the first Cassadaga Beach female director, ...

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski
After an administrative change, the Gowanda Central School District is still polishing its edges to make itself more efficient.

Gowanda Central School making administrative changes

GOWANDA — Many people make their New Year’s resolutions about improving themselves. However, the Gowanda Central School District began working on itself at the start of this school year. The middle school was labeled a focused school, while the district was a focused district, as ...

stuck-snowplow

Snowplow driver goes off road

The Cassdaga and Stockton fire departments were called to 7024 Bowers Road, Stockton after a snowplow driver went off the road around 10:45 a.m. this morning. There were no injuries reported.

“... it is essential that the federal   government does not jeopardize the health and  livelihoods of millions of  working        families.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

‘Obamacare’ repeal would hurt millions in NY

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more than 2.7 million New Yorkers could lose insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Locally, that means in Cattaraugus County, 8,310 people are at risk of losing coverage; in Chautauqua County, 15,270 are at risk of losing coverage; and ...

County Executive Vince Horrigan defended the  county’s practices under criticism by the comptroller’s office

Audit criticizes county investments, payroll calculations

Chautauqua County’s investment program and salary and fringe benefit payments are facing criticism from the New York State Comptroller’s Office. An audit released last month reviewed county investments along with payroll and benefits from January 2013 to January 2016. In the audit, it was ...

Lead found in Forestville High School water sources

FORESTVILLE — The Forestville Central School District is two for two where lead is concerned, reported Superintendent of Schools Renee Garrett. Garrett told the OBSERVER that after lead testing results came in for the elementary school, the district has been waiting for the middle ...