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Silver Creek’s girl behind the MASKS

Emily Bowers is used to keeping a busy schedule. The eighth-grader at Silver Creek Middle School knew she was going to have a lot of time on her hands when the COVID-19 closure hit pause on her jam-packed academic, extra-curricular, and social schedules. In mid-March, on the first day of the ...

Suffragist pioneers had connections to county

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of monthly articles. On Nov. 6, 1917, the women of New York State finally won the right to vote in political elections. Women had fought a long battle for this privilege nationally, and major strides for suffrage were also made on local scale. In ...

Dunkirk student receives scholarship

Olivia C. Michalak, a junior majoring in Adolescence Education: Social Studies at the State University at Fredonia, received the Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Kenneth E. Cutler, valued at $850, and the Ruth Meda Curtis Wheeler Scholarship, valued at $650. Both scholarships are endowed through ...

Phase One reopening key for local industries

With Chautauqua County in the midst of Phase One of the COVID-19 reopening plan, local construction companies and manufacturers have had the opportunity to get back to work. The loosening of restrictions comes at an important time, as summer contracting and construction projects look to take ...

Residents with kidney disease experience transplant delays

Three-hundred twenty-seven days. That’s how long Lakewood resident Darlene Morganti has been waiting for a kidney. “I’ve kept track of the days,” she said. “That’s how long I’ve been on the official waiting list.” Kidney disease runs in Morganti’s family — her father ...

Businesses preparing for Phase Two green light

With Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s indication this week that Western New York could enter Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan on Tuesday, locally several eligible businesses have started preparing to reopen their doors for the first time since March. Upon reopening their phone lines this ...

Cassadaga Valley eyes layoffs in coming year

SINCLAIRVILLE — If the proposed budget is passed and district residents vote yes, almost two dozen employees in the Cassadaga Central School District could be laid off. Cassadaga Valley, like many schools across the state, has made budgetary reductions in their budget proposal to compensate ...

Feisty mom ‘rich in her spirit,’ love

It was an October 2007 evening that Mary Richir would never forget. After years of volunteering her time and talents for the Festival of Grapes in her hometown of Silver Creek, Richir was honored with the community service award by the Silver Creek-Irving Chamber of Commerce. That evening, I ...

State police to begin barracks construction soon

The New York State Police will have a new facility to call home in the city of Dunkirk. At the Dunkirk Planning Board meeting Wednesday the architectural firm working with Troop A gave a courtesy presentation of the new barracks being built on Main Street in the coming year. The roughly ...

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival postponed to 2021

JAMESTOWN — There is no laughter in Jamestown following the announcement Thursday that the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 30th anniversary of the festival was originally scheduled for Aug. 5-9. After the postponement, however, the ...

Coming to Dunkirk

The Chautauqua Center is going to be building a new facility on the empty lot located on the corner of Third Street and Park Avenue. The $5 million facility is being partially funded by New York state through a $3 million grant. The facility will serve as a mixed medical building offering ...

Unemployment jumps as next phase of reopening nears

Chautauqua County’s unemployment rate jumped to 15.5% in April, the latest indicator in how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the county’s workforce. The monthly statistics, released Wednesday by the state Labor Department, come as the Western New York region is poised to enter Phase ...

Hanover considering noise ordinance over propane cannon

HANOVER — The town attorney in Hanover has been tasked with creating a noise ordinance after use of a propane cannon resulted in complaints from local residents. The request was made this week during a meeting of the Hanover Town Board. Town Supervisor Todd Johnson called upon the ...

Gowanda to host virtual art show

GOWANDA — Even when the Gowanda Central School Art Department learned that all in-person events would be canceled for the year, they never once considered canceling the beloved K-12 District Art Show. In fact, art teachers Nick Gallardo, Casey Mohr, Heather Rydzik and Charles Wahl have been ...

Parent brings community together with rock path

GOWANDA — While it may be difficult to find inspiration amid the uncertainty and fear created by COVID-19, to Gowanda alumna Krissy Bartholomew Smith, opportunities to create exist even in the ordinary moments — and objects — that often go unnoticed. Yes, even something as ordinary as ...

Mandate draws concern

Chautauqua County health officials have expressed concern over a state mandate requiring nursing home facilities to test staff twice a week during the coronavirus pandemic. At the heart of the issue is testing capabilities, specifically having enough supplies and resources for the 2,500 ...

County facility nervous over impact

One local nursing facility is nervous about the financial impact of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate that employees must be tested twice a week. Lisa Haglund, chief executive officer of Heritage Ministries, said on Tuesday that while her organization has appreciated the state’s previous ...

Fredonia Medical Technology major working on hospital COVID-19 floor

Special to the OBSERVER For Kayla Purcell, a sophomore Medical Technology major at the State University of New York at Fredonia, the faces of COVID-19 victims don’t live only on television newscasts or in newspapers. They are a part of her life as a patient care technician (PCT) and member ...

Temperatures hit 90 degrees in county

Record temperatures sent a heatwave throughout Western New York on Tuesday, with temperatures in Chautauqua County reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, meanwhile, reached 88 degrees by 12:25 p.m., tying the record high for May 26 set in ...

Small business grant funds available in city

The Dunkirk Common Council unanimously accepted additional grant funds of $273,622 given to the CDBG by the federal government that will aid in COVID-19 relief. The money is to help with local small business relief, rent assistance and charity help. At the council meeting there was some ...