Highs and Lows: Some of the best, worst of the week

Here are some of the best — and worst — of the week:


ATHLETIC TRAINING — Congratulations to Amanda Benson. A Dunkirk native, Benson recently received the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award from the Southeast Athletic Trainers Association. Benson is the assistant program director for athletic training at Louisiana State University. She also serves on the National Research and Education Foundation Scholarship Committee, is a Review Team member and site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education.

OPERA WINNER — We want to applaud Fredonia State 2011 alumnus Kyle van Schoonhoven. The Lockport native was one of six winners at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Concert this past weekend. It’s an honor for van Schoonhoven as well as SUNY Fredonia’s School of Music. The last time SUNY Fredonia had a winner in the competition was in 1986, when ’81 alumna Barbara Kilduff-O’Farrell won.

MACKER IS BACK — The OBSERVER is proud to be a co-sponsor of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament to downtown Jamestown. The OBSERVER, The Post-Journal and the Times Observer of Warren, Pa. will host the return of the Macker, which will be June 3 and 4. Media One Group is the media sponsor of the event. The Gus Macker tournament was previously held in and around the downtown Jamestown area by The Resource Center for nearly two decades, starting in 1997. After a few years, The Resource Center had dropped its Gus Macker affiliation and hosted an in-house basketball tournament known as Street Jam. The tournament itself was put on hiatus and no official basketball tournament was held last year. Many people throughout Chautauqua County have participated in the sporting event. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity. For more information, visit macker.com.


JCPENNEY CLOSURE — Once again, a local business is closing, in part due to company problems at the national level. The Dunkirk JCPenney, which is located in the D&F Plaza, is one of 138 locations nationwide slated for closure. This announcement is on the heels of RadioShack announcing it was closing its Dunkirk store. It’s disappointing when stores close, especially in smaller communities, which limits opportunities to shop locally. It’s important for local residents to support our local stores, which employ our neighbors and friends.