Ron Johns, Observer-Dispatch

Ron Johns


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Past articles by Ron:

Party's over: 4 states close bars, restaurants over virus

On Saturday night, revelers in many parts of the country ignored warnings against attending large gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus. On Sunday, it became clear that in many places, the party is over.Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City are among the places that ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service. Takeout and delivery will… → Read More

Let’s talk mayors – Utica, that is

“We’re halfway through,” stated a familiar voice as I passed his desk one recent morning.It was Observer-Dispatch Historian Frank → Read More

Utica Proud series highlights students’ pride in city

Considering the vast number of college students coming to the area for their education, did you ever wonder what kind of impression they have of Utica?A → Read More

History unveiled in new local 'Mayors' series

In 1798, a hamlet known as Old Fort Schuyler became a village and five trustees appointed the first leader of what would become Utica.Since those early → Read More

Utica’s architecture has many stories to tell

Take a drive or walk down Genesee Street.Notice how the various styles of buildings and homes catch your eye.Do you ever wonder why they’re so diverse and stylized? When they were built? What materials were used to raise them from the ground?The new series "Utica's Building Blocks," starting Tuesday in the Observer-Dispatch, will help to answer some of those questions.From the city center, which… → Read More

Utica’s architecture has many stories to tell

Take a drive or walk down Genesee Street.Notice how the various styles of buildings and homes catch your eye.Do you ever wonder why they’re so → Read More

View Utica through eyes of PrattMWP students

What happens when you pair the Observer-Dispatch with an enthusiastic group of students from PrattMWP College of Art and Design in Utica?An O-D series → Read More

COMMENTARY: Hey, Jerry Seinfeld

A nearly packed Stanley Center for the Arts was ready for big laughs at Thursday’s Jerry Seinfeld show -- and they got them.The comedian took the stage then took over the theater for his hour-plus show.There was familiar and unexpected humor, but his presence, enthusiasm and celebrity were the toppings for a great time. Yes, Jerry, we were there and DIDN’T want to go home (inside joke).As with… → Read More

Mid-York editor to step down after nearly 35 years

Sitting confident and relaxed in a modest office she has run for decades, Mid-York Weekly Editor Carolyn Godfrey paused when asked what she will take away → Read More

COMMENTARY: Closing out yearlong celebration no easy task

It was October 2016 when we made our first trip to the Oneida County History Center to begin photographing cover pages of old Utica Observer newspapers.Planning for a full year of coverage to celebrate the Observer-Dispatch's 200th anniversary had begun earlier, but that October date was the first tangible attempt to gather history for the project. It would prove to be just one of many similar… → Read More

JOHNS: O-D to celebrate 200 years with free Stanley party

Planning a 200th birthday party is no easy task but the preparation and execution of a full year of events has been a labor of love for our Observer-Dispatch family. We want to share that love with you, our community family, by inviting everyone to attend the second half of our biggest event of the year — for free! So while tickets still are required for the first half of our Bicentennial Gala… → Read More

200 YEARS OLD! We're going to party like it's 1817

The Observer-Dispatch celebrates a birthday today. Not just any birthday — but a bicentennial.There are few businesses in the world that have had → Read More

JOHNS: It's your right to know; your right to act

You know all about the Freedom of Information Law, right? You figure it’s just something the news media or researchers use to monitor government → Read More

THAT'S LUNCH: Quality dining, relaxing atmosphere

This week’s review is for Ancora!, 261 Genesee St. in Utica. Observer-Dispatch Executive Editor Ron Johns and his wife, Roxanne, ate there recently → Read More

Need for speed kept driving us back to Scotty's

Thousands of area kids and adults made Scotty's Family Recreation Center a favorite area destination. For myself, a trip often would revolve around a special occasion. Sometimes, though, it just took a little added pressure to get my father to bring us to Scotty's. The batting cages were fun, but we would have spent all day on the go-carts if we were allowed. → Read More