Twenty years ago — 1998

In a column by Jerry Reilly, Dunkirk Board of Education President Robert Barlette denied he led the movement to oust former Dunkirk High School athletic director and varsity football coach Mike Sarratori. Barlette, a former DHS standout in football and track, insists he was just acting as part of the nine-member board — not as a one-man vigilante to get the coach. Why he may have wanted to oust Sarratori has been the subject of coffee-shop analysis for years. Barlette himself mentioned an incident five years ago when Sarratori chose the annual Dunkirk-Fredonia game to bench Barlette’s son, who had been the starting quarterback for most of his senior year. Barlette insists he was able to separate his feelings as a parent and as a board member.

Thirty years ago — 1988

The OBSERVER was recently awarded a certificate of merit by the American Newspaper Publishers Association for 1987 safety records by newspaper delivery vehicles. The merit awards are given to participating newspapers which have completed the year without a reportable accident through the annual safe driving campaign. Reports show that 696 participating newspapers in the 1987 campaign operated 15,543 vehicles a total of 322,397, 978 miles and achieved an accident rate of 1.41 per 100,000 miles. The newspaper safe driving campaign is the most extensive one of its kind in the United States and Canada.

Forty years ago — 1978

A neighborhood carnival for the benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy Association will be held at 35 West Sixth St., Dunkirk. Chairman for the event is Kathy Jean Sage, assisted by Ellen Banach, Jacqueline Lakas, Belinda Coniglio, Cathy Mazur, Carol Frazita and Pamela Bernstein.

Fifty years ago — 1968

Lynn Anderson, a regular on the Lawrence Welk television show, will be the featured entertainer for two performances of the Grand Ole Opry in front of the grandstand at the Chautauqua County Fair. Sharing the spotlight will be Sonny James of country and western fame.