Jail Escape: Foiled quickly, but how was roof accessible?


Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies did a good job of quickly corralling a man who tried to escape from the Chautauqua County Jail on July 11. A perimeter was quickly set up after Eric Ryals made it to the jail’s roof. Unlike other jail escapes, deputies were actively chasing Ryals as he ...

The sad state of our education system


It started when Jay Leno was doing the Tonight Show. He would go out on a street corner and ask passersby questions about American History, and sometimes ask them to identify pictures of politicians, and other notables. This type of questioning continues today focusing on young college age ...

Stacking up the many birthdays


Recently a friend told me that she always enjoyed columns about my mother. I laughed with her saying, “I’ve told her stories so many times, it feels like everyone would have heard or read them all.” But the calendar reminded me of a relevant one. Friends have heard the story, but it has ...



Thirty years ago — 1994 “Stunned” was the word used to describe the condition of Chautauqua County Republican Party officials this morning following the announcement that their candidate for sheriff has withdrawn his nomination. Sheriff’s Lt. John Runkle, in a brief announcement, ...

Thruway Turbines were a waste of money


State Sen. George Borrello was not Monday morning quarterbacking in criticizing the New York State Thruway last week over its poor decision to place turbines at its exits more than a decade ago. He was only speaking of the frustrations he’s heard from thousands of residents he serves. Last ...

School spending is out of control


A few weeks ago, the OBSERVER printed an article about the extremely high cost of running our public schools. The OBSERVER was right to point out that an average cost of $30,000 per student per year, with some districts spending as much as $36,000 per year per student, was extravagant – ...