Twenty years ago — 1998

New York State Sen. Jess Present, 77, of Bemus Point died Aug. 8 at WCA Hospital in Jamestown. A native of Jamestown, he was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran. Sen. Present began his career in elective office in 1959 with the Jamestown City Council. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1965 and to the New York State Senate in 1968, where he served until his death as the representative of the 56th Senate district. In earlier years, he had operated a jewelry store in Jamestown with his father and brother.

Thirty years ago — 1988

Dunkirk’s Bill Begier II has returned from Wakefield, Mich., where he competed in the Hydroplane National Championships and came away with two titles. A third-generation hydroplane racer, following his father Bill and grandfather Fred in the sport, Begier raced against entrants from across the United States and Canada. He won the national “BSH” title for the second straight year and added the “15 SSH’ crown. A hydroplane racer since the age of 9, Begier holds the kilo record for “JSH” in Canada, where he also was national “JSH” champion.

Forty years ago — 1978

Walter Brinkman, owner of Brinkman’s Mobile Home Village on East Lake Road in the East Town of Dunkirk said today that he would be forced to close down if negotiations between the city and town of Dunkirk fail to produce a “reasonable” sewage rate for mobile homes in the proposed East Lake Road Sewer District. The trailer park represents more than 25 percent of the users in the proposed district. Most of the 101 occupants in the 63 mobile homes are senior citizens living on fixed incomes.

Fifty years ago — 1968

The Portland Congregational Church is observing its 150th anniversary this week. On Jan. 31, 1818, the Rev. John Spencer organized the First Congregational Church of Portland with 18 charter members, the first organized church in the town. After many trials and difficulties, the church was reorganized March 10, 1833 with 16 members. The present church building was erected in 1841 at a cost of $1,600 on land purchased from James Quigley.