Some of the best, worst of the week

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


AWARD WINNING HEADLINE – Congratulations to reporter Katie Atkins for winning this year’s New York News Publishers’ Association’s 2012-2013 Awards for Excellence Competition in the headline writing category for newspapers under 10,000 circulation. The winning headline was “All fired up: Fuse lit between Cannon and Ball.” Atkins, who now covers Chautauqua County government, was previously the Cassadaga/Arkwright reporter. While covering Arkwright, she wrote a story about the feud between town council candidates Chris Cannon and Larry Ball.

This is the second time an OBSERVER headline has won this category. Diane Chodan won the headline writing contest in 2010-2011 for the headline “It takes talent to be a dummy,” when she covered a puppet event at the County Fair.

BALD AND BRAVE – Hannah Verrett, a ninth grader at Cassadaga Valley Central School had the idea for the school to hold its first ever “Bald for Bucks” campaign. She spoke with a guidance counselor and the gears set in motion. Verrett personally raised $579 and had her head shaved. The school raised $4,000 overall. You’re never too young to have a good idea.

POT HOLE FUNDS – Route 60 is a mess. Nearly ever day crews are out there between Fredonia and Cassadaga trying to patch things up. But that area is not alone. All over the region are huge pot holes. Because of this, the state has set aside additional funds for local municipalities to repair roads. Chautauqua County will receive more than $832,000. This is welcome news.


YOUTHFUL OFFENDER STATUS – A 19-year-old Silver Creek woman was granted youthful offender status in the death of 20-year-old Jesse Seneca of Irving. Seneca’s body was found near a dirt road on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in July 2012. The woman did not kill Seneca, but was involved in helping bury the body, hiding evidence and providing false testimony to police. She was 18 at the time of the incident. Youthful offender status would keep this incident off her permanent record. If a person is involved in murder, he/she should not be granted youthful offender status, especially being 18 at the time of the death.