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Local/Region

Bill would require town, village justices to be lawyers

At a time when it’s already difficult for some towns and villages to find anyone interested in serving as a town or village judge, legislation in the state Legislature aims to require local judges be lawyers. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New York City, recently introduced A.3801 in the ...

Gerry man charged for allegedly shooting child with BB gun

GERRY — A town resident is being charged with endangering the welfare of a child after shooting the victim with a BB gun. State Police in Jamestown report James Bostaph, 63, was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. Troopers responded to ...

New water line coming to city’s Roosevelt Avenue

Some water line construction is shaping up to take place on West Seventh Street and Roosevelt Avenue this summer. At last month’s Financial Committee meeting Department of Public Works Director Randy Woodbury gave an update on the project that is set to go out to bid around the end of March. ...

State cases rise; Cuomo calls on federal help

OBSERVER Staff Report State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called on President Trump to take comprehensive federal action to combat the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, including developing an aggressive national strategy for testing, school closures and hospital surge capacity. In an open letter to ...

Salvation Army aims to stay open during crisis

The Empire State Division of the Salvation Army, which includes the Dunkirk location, has significantly increased its preparation for an impending outbreak of the novel coronavirus and has ramped up efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially among the homeless and other vulnerable ...

Lawmaker seeks 85% recycling goal

A state Assemblyman wants New York state to adopt a goal to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost no less than 85% of solid waste in New York state by 2030. Assemblyman Steve Englebright, D-East Setauket, recently introduced A.9832 to amend the state Environmental Conservation Law. Not only would ...

Westfield students find success in We the People competition

WESTFIELD — Westfield Academy and Central School Social Studies teacher Greg Birner’s We the People students have once again competed against the giant eastern schools and have returned with honor. The 15 students who, as Birner said, “rolled up their sleeves and faced the fire,” came ...

Fredonia blaze under investigation

OBSERVER Photo The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation team is investigating a blaze early Sunday in the village of Fredonia. The Fredonia Fire Department responded to a structure fire on 12 Cushing St. around 3:15 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found fire in a second floor apartment. An ...

Public Catholic Masses put on hold by virus

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger announced late Sunday that there will be no regularly scheduled public Masses in the Diocese of Buffalo until further notice due to an abundance of caution and growing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus. Churches may remain open, as locally ...

Prices at pump take steep decline

Prices at the pump are trending downward. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.26, down 12 cents since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.54. The New York State average is $2.49 – down seven cents from last week. A year ago, the state average was $2.65. ...

Fredonia schools now closed for Tuesday

Fredonia Central School is now closed for Tuesday to students. Parents or students are being asked to pick up instructional materials for the next three weeks during hours set by the district on Tuesday. Wheelock — parents may pick up between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Middle school ...

UPDATE: Dunkirk schools closed Tuesday; packets, food info offered

Dunkirk schools will not be in session on Tuesday. Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root issued a community update on the situation at the largest school district in the north county in a letter to the community: "This is an important message from The Dunkirk CSD. All classes and activities have ...

City declares state of emergency; all meetings canceled

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas has declared a state of emergency for the city in preparation for any actions or precautions necessary to halt the infection or spread of infection of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. While no cases have yet been reported in Dunkirk or Chautauqua County, the city is ...

County declares state of emergency; school closings recommended

MAYVILLE -- Chautauqua County Executive Paul M. Wendel Jr. has declared a state of emergency for Chautauqua County due to the coronavirus. Wendel spoke at a county press conference to update residents on the virus that is impacting the globe. During the conference, Christine Schuyler, ...

Downstate Assembly members have virus

Two New York State Assembly members from downstate have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, state officials announced late Saturday. "It has come to our attention that two of our Assembly colleagues - Helene Weinstein and Charles Barron - have been diagnosed with COVID-19," said Gov. Andrew ...

Grand Island man charged in death of neighbor’s dog

BUFFALO -- A Grand Island man has been charged in the gruesome death of a dog, according to Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard. Brian Cline, 41, of Grand Island has been charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty of animals from the Agriculture and Market Law, and a felony count of ...

Anderson-Lee Library to host special storytime with guest reader

Anderson-Lee Library will hold a special story time to celebrate the Month of the Young Child on Thursday, April 9 at 10:30 a.m. This year's theme is "Because every child's story needs a good beginning." Families of young children are invited to attend and hear stories from guest reader ...

Police probing complaint at Chautauqua Lake

Police are reportedly investigating a complaint of misconduct involving students at Chautauqua Lake Central School. The district posted a statement Thursday, noting that school officials received the complaint and “promptly began an investigation of that complaint. The District has made a ...

Borrello blasts state for rising costs of non-emergency transport

ALBANY — State Sen. George Borrello called on the governor and members of the Legislature to include the elimination of transportation brokers for non-emergency medical transportation services as part of any Medicaid reforms passed as part of the 2020-21 state budget. He cited statistics ...

CCRM addresses NYS plastic bag ban

Through its emergency services, Chautauqua County Rural Ministry provides bags of food, bread, clothes and household items to those in need. As of March 1, 2020, NYS Ban on Plastic Bag usage had CCRM staff concerned about how people will be able to transport their items of basic needs. Last ...