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Publisher’s notebook

Hometown spirit missing in petty politics

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul glanced around the large meeting room in the State University of New York at Fredonia incubator right before her regional State of the State presentation last week. She was surrounded by a number of new names and faces who have emerged in leadership roles in northern ...

Sister seeks answers in forgotten homicide

Trouble always seemed to find Billy Hall Jr. Even during the precious final days and hours of his life, Hall seemed to be a magnet for run-ins with the law or minor disagreements with friends or family members, according to Kimberly Hall Curtis, his sister. But what happened in the early ...

Fragile Brooks may be on last legs

Wednesday began what is likely to be one of the most important years in the history of the Brooks Memorial Hospital. Thinking the Brooks-TLC Hospital System is in better shape financially now because of the impending closure of the Lakeshore Hospital campus in Irving would be an outright ...

Even at holidays, many living on a thread

Along Central Avenue, from about Sixth Street in Dunkirk to near the campus entrance in Fredonia are two sections of rope that resemble a clothesline. In between, are plastic bags that contain a hat, gloves or socks for winter, lotion and a message of hope and love to whoever needs these ...

At coffee, raising a cup to the Landis years

Fredonia resident Debbie Brooks knew this might be her last chance to personally say thank you. On Wednesday morning, following a night of Christmas shopping, she made her way to Village Hall for what would be the final installment of Coffee with the Mayor. As Athanasia Landis arrived, she was ...

Board’s choice comes with very little ‘transparency’

This is what happens when decisions are made for more than a decade in darkness. The action by the Brooks-TLC Hospital System board of directors in 2008 to end the practice of holding annual meetings that were open to the public is once again haunting this area. These gatherings shared ...

Region still too comfortable in decline

Municipal leaders rarely have a vision for the future. Instead, elected officials just hope to maintain on what they have from year to year. That is always an issue when the budgets are proposed. Everything is tight. There usually is no room for additional spending. Obviously, it is because ...

Hefner’s leadership lifts campus spirits

Upon making his return to the State University of New York at Fredonia in the summer, Interim President Dr. Dennis Hefner was tasked with assisting the institution in three key areas: building enrollment, helping with the budget and identifying a new president. It was not long before another ...

An air of objectivity in turbine debate

PORTLAND — There has been an uneasy feeling in this town in recent months. A proposal for at least 10 windmills with each about 325 feet high that will generate up to 10 MW of power and stay local has placed a wedge between some neighbors. It is apparent in the “No wind turbine” signs ...

Opera House celebration is a tribute to community

As the crowd’s anticipation grew in the Fredonia Opera House for the featured showing of “Downton Abbey,” Rick Davis took advantage of the engaged audience to offer an invitation. This Sunday, the executive director told the crowd, a special 25th anniversary celebration “Fredonia on ...

Early voting set tone for many results

It appears those who lean left were more apt to take advantage of the early voting, which was offered from Oct. 26 to Sunday in three locations across Chautauqua County. Once the polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the county Board of Elections did an excellent job of informing the public about ...

Queries, quips fill banner election season

Though voting has already begun, there are many who will continue a tradition of heading to the polls on the true Election Day this coming Tuesday. Numbers for the early voting have been somewhat impressive — and the process has taken pressure off those who may have had some type of conflict ...

A RIDE FULL OF U.S. PRIDE

Around 7 a.m. Oct. 17, the Sons of Liberty set out on a mission they will never forget. About seven members from northern Chautauqua County, bundled in their leather coats on motorcycles, were headed to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to be a part of a miraculous return home. Sgt. ...

Sweating the small stuff at election time

Early voting in Chautauqua County and the rest of New York state begins in eight days. Judging from the recently held League of Women Voters debates in Dunkirk and Jamestown, many seem ready to make their selection today. One more gathering, which is hosted by the League’s Chautauqua County ...

St. George’s commitment ‘larger than life’

Gramps would have been proud. As Dr. Joshua Bald began the eulogy on Monday morning during a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Anthony’s Church in Fredonia for Charles St. George, he recalled some advice from that respected man when it came to addressing a crowd and giving speeches. “Go from ...

Symptom of silence still prevalent at Brooks

It was an unusual voice mail message, but not unexpected. J. Gary Rhodes, former interim chief executive officer at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, was disappointed with our continuing coverage in 2014 about the mounting deficits and job layoffs at the institution in a changing health-care ...

Private, public partnership keys big deal

Wells Enterprises Inc. announcement this week to move forward with an $87 million investment in the Dunkirk Fieldbrook Foods plant is not something that happened overnight or by accident. It does, however, come from a recipe that includes key ingredients of communication and relationship ...

Can’t count on full Census participation

Six months from now, many residents here and throughout the United States of America will be participating in a process that occurs every 10 years: the 2020 Census. The exercise helps determine the number of seats per state in the House of Representatives and how some $675 billion in funding ...

Area’s profile appeals to wind developers

PORTLAND — Motorists driving along Route 20 are beginning to see lawn signs regarding a divisive issue that has become highly talked about in this town: the prospect of wind turbines. This is far from anything new to the north county region. Around 15 years ago, the towns of Westfield and ...

It’s never simple arithmetic with schools

Ripley Superintendent William Caldwell found a lot more than just a lucky penny. When the district he oversees was closing the books on the 2018-19 school year last month, staff members discovered an additional $70,000 in its coffers, courtesy of New York state aid. What did the district do ...