Twenty years ago — 1998

When the HIV scare broke in Chautauqua County, the effects were shocking, not only for this area, but for the rest of the country as well. While the national spotlight has passed, tremors are still being felt in the wake of Nushawn Williams. The American Red Cross of Chautauqua County reports that blood donations for 1997 are down a projected 15 percent from its yearly average. To begin with, only four percent of county residents donate blood, so any major decrease if depleting a supply that is already low. Reason for the drop-off stem from anxiety that HIV-positive high school students will taint the blood supply, to would-be givers fearing infection from the donating process. The probability of either of these fears becoming a reality range from infinitesimal to zero.

Thirty years ago — 1988

From Just Between Us ….. A recent winner in the New York State Lottery was Richard Kuehn of Forestville ($6,000 Win Ten Game), who purchased his winning ticket at Matt’s Newsstand in Dunkirk. ….. Louis Damico of 105 Mullet Street in Dunkirk has a small part — he plays the train engineer — in the movie, “Planes, Trains and Autos” now playing at the Regent Theater in Dunkirk. Parts of the movie were filmed in Gowanda and South Dayton about a year ago.

Forty years ago — 1978

After spending seven months in Saudi Arabia, Polly Maitlen, daughter of Paul and Mildred Czarnecki of East Main Street, Fredonia, reports that the country is much more Americanized than stereotypes would indicate. Most of the cars are German, Japanese and American. She said the temperature was 110 degrees and the humidity 95 percent when she arrived.

Fifty years ago — 1968

Edwin Bielat of Straight Road, Fredonia made it a virtual clean sweep of the eighth annual OBSERVER -WBUZ deer hunters banquet held recently at the Frank Acquavia American Legion Post. He won an MFG boat donated by Joe Vacanti, proprietor of Joe’s Sporting Goods store, and for the first time in the history of the contest, collected the two major trophies awarded to the hunter bagging the heaviest deer and to the hunter whose buck rack is judged the most perfect. Never before has a hunter won both trophies. A surprise award presented by the OBSERVER and WBUZ went to Mrs. Joseph Vacanti for her work with the contest. She was the sparkplug behind the operation when her husband became ill just before the contest began in November.