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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Speed Limit on Part of I-80 to Increase

People driving at 70 mph on Interstate 80 can start doing it legally next month – at least on parts of the road.

88 miles of I-80 – from Exit 101 in DuBois to mile marker 189 in Clinton County will have the 70 mph limit starting August 11.

News Release:

Pennsylvania moved ahead with steps to make travel more efficient today as the Pa. Turnpike activated its 70 mph speed limit from Blue Mountain (Interchange 201) to Morgantown (Interchange 298) and PennDOT announced it will launch 70 mph pilot projects on a pair of interstates next month.

“As we increase the speed limit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, motorists need to increase their restraint behind the wheel accordingly,” said Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Remember, even though we’re increasing the speed limit, motorists still must obey the law and drive safety. After all, 70 mph is the maximum speed, not the mandatory speed.”

The Turnpike’s new 70 mph signs were put in place yesterday; it took Turnpike maintenance employees about six hours to switch out 35 speed-limit signs along the 100-mile stretch.

Also today, State Transportation Secretary and Turnpike Commissioner Barry J. Schoch announced that beginning the week of Aug. 11, PennDOT plans to begin piloting a 70-mph speed limit on two interstates:

• 88 miles of Interstate 80 from Exit 101 (DuBois) in Clearfield County to mile marker 189 in Clinton County; andB • 21 miles of Interstate 380 from Interstate 84 in Lackawanna County to Exit 3 (Pocono Pines/Mt. Pocono) in Monroe County.

“After thorough analysis and reviewing other states’ practices, PennDOT is piloting this speed limit so we can use the data to determine where else the maximum speed could be increased,” Schoch said. “Safety is our top priority in this process, and I urge drivers to obey the speed limit whether they’re in their neighborhood or on an interstate.”

PennDOT will use data collected from the pilot locations while evaluating other 65-mph roadway sections for potential 70-mph implementation in the spring or summer next year. Roadway sections that can safely accommodate the increased speed could start being signed soon after the evaluations are complete.

Compton said the Turnpike’s 70-mph speed limit could be implemented on remaining portions of the 550-plus mile toll road system in 2015.

“This initial 70-mph zone will be monitored for six to eight months to see how the higher speed limit works,” Compton said. “If everything goes well, I’d expect the remainder of the Turnpike will switch over to 70 mph speed where appropriate and safe next spring.”

While much of the 100-mile stretch will be posted at 70 mph, there will be areas where drivers will see reduced speeds, specifically at curves posted at advisory speeds between 60-65 mph. In addition, work zones in the 70 mph zone will be posted at 55 mph – meaning an end to 40 mph work-zone speeds in this section.

“With this increase, we remain committed to protecting the lives of the people traveling as well as the men and women who are working out on the roadways,” said Lt. Edward Murphy of Troop T, the unit in charge of Turnpike patrols. “To ensure motorists heed the 55 mph work-zone speed limit, State Police will be conducting ‘Orange-Squeeze’ operations where troopers run radar inside construction vehicles instead of patrol cars.”

Passed last fall by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Tom Corbett, Act 89 of 2013 enabled the PTC and PennDOT to raise the maximum speed limit on freeways within Pennsylvania to 70 mph. The plan invests an additional $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion into Pennsylvania’s transportation assets by its fifth year.

Photo provided by Commonwealth Media Services

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Case Anniversary Celebration Continues

W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery continued its 125th anniversary celebration today by holding a picnic lunch for its employees and unveiling a custom made knife that is now on display in the Zippo/Case Museum on a pedestal that carries the names of all the current Case employees.

Zippo/Case President CEO Greg Booth joked about how happy he was to find his name on the display.

"I made the cut," he said.

As for the knife itself, Zippo/Case owner George Duke simply said, "That is great. Fantastic."

Artisan Mike DuBois crafted the special knife.

Case Director of Marketing John Sullivan said today’s events were designed as a thank you to the company’s dedicated employees. Sullivan also noted that the community is a big part of Case’s success, which is why the “Thank you, Bradford” message is on the sign at the Davis and Main Street intersection.

The Case factory on Owens Way is currently going through a $10 million renovation which, Sullivan says, will keep the company competitive in the marketplace.

You can see pictures from today’s celebration on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/1490wesb.

To learn some Case history tune in for tomorrow's LiveLine on 1490 WESB to hear Case Historian Katie Shonts-Saar tell the company's fascinating story.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Former Bradford School Superintendent
Elmer Myers Has Passed Away

Dr. Elmer C. Myers, Jr., 74, of Gifford, passed away Monday, July 21, 2014, in his home.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, and will be announced by the Hollenbeck Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., with a full obituary.

Online condolences can be expressed at www.hollenbeckcahill.com

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Three Hurt in Catt County Crash

Three people were hurt – one seriously – in a three car-crash at 11 o’clock this morning on Route 16 in Franklinville.

State police say a vehicle driven by 29-year-old Erica Dainotto of Machias cross the center line and hit two other vehicles. Dainotto sustained multiple injuries and was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC in Buffalo, where she is in serious condition.

The driver of the second vehicle, 58-year-old Thomas Young of Hamburg, was taken by ambulance to Bertrand Chafee Hospital in Springville with neck pain. The third driver, 36-year-old Jill Davidson of Clarence Center, was taken by ambulance to Olean General Hospital, also with neck pain.

Dainotto was charged with failure to keep right, and troopers say other possible charges are pending.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Four Jailed for Church Burglaries

Police believe they’ve solved the case of a string of church burglaries in Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties.

18-year-old Thomas Archer and 18-year-old Christopher Rose, both of Machias, 18-year-old Danae Chiarilli of Cuba and 20-year-old Christopher Boilard of Franklinville, are accused of stealing case, two safes, musical equipment and other smaller items over a period of three days.

They are all charged with burglary, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny and criminal mischief. All four are in Cattaraugus County Jail on $10,000 cash bail each and have been scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday.

State Police photos

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Zmuda Named Assistant Fire Chief

The City of Bradford has an assistant fire chief for the first time in 20 years.

Rich Zmuda was appointed to the post during tonight’s city council meeting. Prior to voting on the move Councilman Rhett Kennedy, who oversees the fire department, explained that the position has always been on the books, but hasn’t been filled since 1994.

Kennedy said utilizing the position again will improve management of the fire department, although he said there's nothing wrong with the current management. He added that it will make the department even better.

In other fire department matters, council approved an $11,270 payment to Witmer Public Safety Group for a thermal imaging camera and a $2,352 payment to Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. for fire hose and couplings. Fire Chief Chris Angell pointed out that the money for the purchases is part of a state grant.

Also, council authorized a change order with Bob Cummins Construction for the Congress Street Streetscape Improvement Project.

During construction, a water collection issue was discovered on the east side of Congress. The project engineer and OECD authorized Cummins to install 235 feet of drainage pipe to a new inlet so the water would into the new stormwater collection system.

The change order increases the contractor amount from $314,358 to $317,958, a difference of $3,600.

Council also authorized a special events waiver for Festa Italiana, being held August 7 to 9. The waiver allows for people to drink alcoholic beverages in plastic containers outside on Festival Way (and the adjacent beer/entertainment tent). Council also OK’d free parking in the downtown business district during the festival, starting at noon on August 7. As always when free parking is granted, council asks that merchants and their employees refrain from parking spaces so shoppers can use them.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Accused Firestarter Behind Bars

Police think they know who started eight fires in Tidioute last month.

24-year-old Nicholas Cochran of Sheffield is charged with eight felony counts of reckless burning or exploding, and one count each of risking a catastrophe and felony criminal mischief. He’s in Warren County Jail on $200,000 bond.

Back on June 1, firefighters got a call about a vehicle fire and explosion behind Tidioute Towers at just before 2 a.m. They got several more calls over the next several hours, most involving vehicles, but one about smoking coming from the concession stand at the ball field.

Damage is estimated at $80,000.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Man Allegedly Threatened to Kill Cops

A Bradford man accused of threatening to kill several police officers during a domestic incident on Amm Street early Sunday morning is now in McKean County Jail.

54-year-old James Munson had to be hit with a stun gun three times before officers could subdue him, according to court papers.

Police believe Munson was under the influence of crack cocaine during the incident that started when he hit a woman several times in the face.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Not Guilty Plea to Gang Assault

A Cattaraugus County man has pleaded not guilty to a gang assault that happened on November 14 in the Town of Ashford.

23-year-old Marshall Gilcrease of Yorkshire is accused of breaking into a building with at least two other people and seriously injuring another person.

He’s charged with gang assault, assault, burglary and endangering the welfare of a child. The case has been adjourned for motions.

Prosecutors did not provide any further information about the gang assault.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Two in Court on Drug Charges

Five years’ probation is the sentence for a South Dayton, New York, man accused of selling heroin.

Prosecutors say Jonathan Masters sold the drug on June 29 of last year in the Town of Dayton.

An Olean man has pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal possession of marijuana. Michael Hitchcock had one or more preparations containing marijuana that had a total weight of more than 16 ounces.

He’s scheduled for sentencing on November 3 in Cattaraugus County Court.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

DePasquale: DEP Unprepared for Shale Boom

HARRISBURG - Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said that a recent audit shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints.

"There are very dedicated hard-working people at DEP but they are being hampered in doing their jobs by lack of resources - including staff and a modern information technology system -- and inconsistent or failed implementation of department policies, among other things, "DePasquale said. "It is almost like firefighters trying to put out a five-alarm fire with a 20-foot garden hose. There is no question that DEP needs help and soon to protect clean water."

The audit covered the period of 2009 through 2012 and was launched by DePasquale in January 2013 immediately after he became auditor general. The audit's purpose was to assess DEP's ability to protect the water quality in the wake of greatly escalated shale gas well drilling.

The audit revealed that DEP failed to consistently issue official orders to well operators who had been determined by DEP to have adversely impacted water supplies. After reviewing a selection of 15 complaint files for confirmed water supply impact, auditors discovered that DEP issued just one order to a well operator to restore or replace the adversely impacted water supply.

DEP claims that in many cases such orders are procedurally unnecessary as well operators may have already taken steps to restore the water supply under what the agency terms "voluntary compliance."

"When DEP does not take a formal, documented action against a well operator who has contaminated a water supply, the agency loses credibility as a regulator and is not fully accountable to the public," DePasquale said. "When DEP has enforcement authority under the law it must exercise that authority routinely, consistently, and transparently. Those gas well operators whose actions cause harm to water supplies should not get an enforcement 'pass' just because they have convinced DEP that they will come into compliance with the law or that they negotiated a settlement with the property owner."

For more on this story go to http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Chamber Organizing 'Mob Hits'

One of the things Bradfordians do best is support each other. With that in mind, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce will be starting Ca$h Mob Bradford next month to help support locally owned businesses.

The purpose of a Ca$h Mob is to have as many people as possible target one locally owned business on a specific day and spend at least $20.

The target business will be announced on the day the mobsters will visit.

If you would like your business to be a mob target, or if you want more information about mob events, send your email address to kara.kennedy@bradfordchamber.com.

The chamber hopes to have the Ca$h Mob in action every month.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Monday, July 21, 2014

In Typical Bradford Fashion ...
Kids & Cancer Raises Nearly $60,000

In Typical Bradford Fashion, raindrops on Saturday didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as Kids & Cancer raised nearly $60,000.

The money came from the 17th annual motorcycle run – which attracted 180 bikers – as well as the End of Run Bash on Mechanic Street.

Bridget Pascarella won this year’s Harley of Hope, a 2014 Harley Switchback.

The benefit run has raised about a quarter of a million dollars since its inception. Now that’s typical Bradford.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Bill Winn Has Passed Away
Sept. 3, 1919 - July 16, 2016

Former WESB News Director/Program Director Bill Winn has passed away. He was 94.

After serving as an intelligence specialist in the 44th Troop Carrier Squadron of the Army Air Force, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant, he worked at radio stations in Williamsport, Batavia, Indiana and Hawaii, before coming to Bradford and WESB.

He retired at age 64, and then volunteered for the American Red Cross for 17 years.

Mr. Winn is survived by his wife, Anna, and a son, David, by his first wife, Shirley, who preceded him in death. He is also survived by family and friends in the Bradford, Rochester and Williamsport areas.

This picture was taken in the WESB newsroom on July 5 by current news director Anne Holliday.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Stabbing in Bradford Sunday Night

A stabbing late last night on Oakwood Avenue resulted in a collapsed lung for the victim and sent a Bradford woman to McKean County Jail.

35-year-old Cristy Duane Curtis tells police she was with some friends at 117 Oakwood at around 11:30 p.m. when an argument started. She and a friend left, but as they were driving away two men followed them, and chased them onto Rockland Avenue, where they assaulted her friend, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office.

Curtis says she got a knife from inside the vehicle, approached the attackers, and started swinging the knife at them. She hit one of the men in the side, just below his rib cage, and then got inside the vehicle and went to her home on Fisher Court, where she hid the bloody knife under a bush.

The stab wound was about four inches deep and 4 inches long and required emergency surgery.

The news leader of the Twin Tiers ... since 1947

Leonard has Case Collecting Fever

All it took was one Case knife given to him by his mother for Terry Leonard of Franklinville, NY, to get the Case collecting fever.

Leonard read about the Case 125th Anniversary Celebration at the Zippo/Case Museum in his newspaper and decided to make the trip down to talk to the Case experts about Case treasures in his collection.

“After my mother gave me my Grandfather’s Case knife, I decided to collect Case knives since they are the most collectible knives in the country,” Leonard told Saar.

During his discussion, Katie Shonts Saar, Case historian, identified a couple of his knives that were made as early as 1905 and valued at more than $700 much to Leonard’s surprise.

Many bikers stopped by before the Kids & Cancer Benefit Run to pick up their Harley-Davidson knives, lighters, and even Zippo Hand Warmers for the Run.

“It was like old home days where people gathered at the museum to visit with each other,” said Kyle Kleiderlein, museum assistant manager.

“Many Bradfordians stopped by to celebrate Case’s anniversary, get their knives sharpened and polished, and wish Case continued success.. It was nice to see such great support from our community,” Kleiderlein added.

Pictured, Terry Leonard of Franklinville, NY, shows his Case treasures to Case Historian Katie Shonts Saar and Case Artisan Brian Jones.
Photo provided by Zippo/Case Museum