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Friday, September 19, 2014

Woman Charged with Theft, Fraud

A Cattaraugus County woman is facing theft and fraud charged after taking thousands of dollars from acquaintances.

State troopers say 54-year-old Susan McKay of Delevan acquired more than $100,000 from various acquaintances over a period of 2 to 3 years, and did it under false pretenses. Police did not elaborate.

After being arraigned in Town of Freedom Court, she was released pending further court proceedings.

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Pitt-Bradford to Mark World Tourism Day Downtown

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford hospitality management program will mark World Tourism Day Sept. 27 with a service project in downtown Bradford that will also promote the downtown area as a place for students to spend time.

In keeping with this year’s World Tourism Day theme, “Tourism and Community Development,” volunteers from Pitt-Bradford will perform general clean-up and projects requested by business owners from 10 a.m. until noon in the area of Main Street downtown.

From noon to 3 p.m., a Main Street Fair will be held for all students to see what is available in Bradford and specifically, what student specials are available for them. The hospitality management program is working with the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Bradford Business District Authority to encourage businesses to set up sidewalk sales and promotions for students.

Businesses not on Main Street downtown can set up on Veterans Square, where information will also be available on destinations in the area.

“This event gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of buying local and local tourism,” said Jennifer Forney, instructor of hospitality management.

World Tourism Day was created to foster awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

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Bipartisan Solutions on Job Creation

August Jobs Report a Stark Reminder 

By Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5)

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its August jobs report that indicated only 142,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy, marking the lowest amount of job growth in 2014. Perhaps worse, only 62.8 percent of the working aged population is currently employed. During the week of September 12th, 315,000 Americans applied for unemployment aid, an increase of 11,000 claims from the previous week and more than all summer. As the economy continues to creep along with marginal growth, more people continue to feel that the country is heading in the wrong direction.

A recent POLITICO poll indicated that 57 percent of likely voters disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy. Unfortunately, we are caught in the president’s second term slump, where international crisis has risen to the forefront, while Americans continue to struggle at home. While President Obama cannot bear the brunt of a downed economy alone, he is not helping the situation. Despite the many challenges we face throughout the world, the American people deserve leadership both abroad and domestically.

While congressional inaction dominates the news coverage, there have been real bipartisan solutions passed out of the House of Representatives, in the form of over 40 bills that will increase American competitiveness and facilitate an environment for job creation. Yet, almost every single one of these bills sets idle, awaiting Senate action even though most have received Democrat support in the House.

Despite Senate inaction, the House has continued to produce legislation to create an environment where small businesses can expand and the economy can grow at a faster pace. The chamber has passed legislation that will streamline inefficient and cumbersome regulations in order spur capital investment that will help start-up companies and small businesses. We’ve also passed legislation to expand job opportunities, including bills to promote research and development, along with reforms to make energy more affordable for American families and businesses.

Notwithstanding failed attempts at repeal, we have also passed bills to improve the Affordable Care Act, including a replacement of the law’s 2.3% medical device tax, which is especially harmful to Pennsylvania’s economy. This measure received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, including backing from Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. Yet, Leader Reid has failed to bring the measure to a final vote in the Senate. If passed, this will mark at least 17 times that the president will sign legislation correcting flaws with the Affordable Care Act.

Despite these modest steps, the Senate needs to act on the bipartisan legislative measures passed by the House. If the Senate’s prerogatives differ from the House, Majority Leader Harry Reid should at least put forth legislative proposals based upon his party’s vision and bring them to a vote. While both chambers of Congress must pass an identical bill in order for it to become law, the process of going to conference and hashing out our differences still exists. We’ve witnessed this with the 2014 Farm Bill, signed into law this past February, which is a huge win for Pennsylvania’s economy. Additionally, the president recently signed the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, which will aid in putting Americans back to work through reforms made to our nation’s workforce development system. Both of these examples were heavy lifts, but no one ever said representative democracy was easy.

Given the August jobs report and tremendous pressures on American families at home and our national interests overseas, there is obviously need for much more to be done. However, in our constitutional republic everyone must be at the table for the system to work. The American people deserve as much.

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Ca$h Mob to Strike Again

Everyone is invited to join Ca$h Mob Bradford as it makes its next “hit” this Saturday, September 20th at 11am. Those interested in participating should bring at least $20 cash to spend and meet at Veterans’ Square, where the target business will be announced.

The Ca$h Mob Bradford program is organized by the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce as a way to stimulate the economy and support locally owned businesses. The idea was put into action after a local resident shared information about the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce’s successful cash mob program with Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce staff. Ca$h Mob Bradford will target a different BACC member business each month, with mobsters each spending $20 or more in cash at the target--which is not announced until the day of the event.

“We had a great turnout and a great time at the first Ca$h Mob Bradford event in August,” said Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Event Coordinator Kara Kennedy. “We are hoping for at least 25 mobsters to join us again this Saturday.” If the cash mob has at least 25 participants, then a $25 Bradford Gift Certificate will be awarded to one of the participants.

Anyone interested in being added to the email reminder list for upcoming Ca$h Mob Bradford events should contact “Several new individuals have contacted us this month to let us know they want to join in, but there’s no limit to how big this could grow – the more, the merrier!” said Kennedy. “We have more than a year’s worth of target businesses who have already expressed interest as well. Any Chamber member business can be a target and we look forward to working our way through the list, giving the community yet another way to actively show their support for locally owned businesses.” Bring your friends and family – and your cash – and join the mob. It’s a fun way to put “Shop Local” into action!

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It's Talk Like a Pirate Day

Besides talking like a pirate, you can celebrate by learning more about pirates (including those baseball players in Pittsburgh). Listen to my chat with Eric Riback here.

Go here to see a copy of the map

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Bradford Woman Seriously Hurt in Crash

A Bradford woman who police say was distracted by her phone and food was seriously hurt in a crash this morning near the East Main Street Kwik Fill.

City police say at 1:35 a.m. a car driven by 36-year-old Cherish McKee hit a parked SUV, causing a chain reaction and damage to three other parked vehicles.

McKee had to be freed from her vehicle by fire department personnel, who then took her to BRMC.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash as well. They are continuing their investigation.

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Two-Year-Old Dies in House Fire

A two-year-old Amish boy is dead following a house fire Thursday afternoon in Busti.

The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team says firefighters knew Eli Shetler was missing when they arrived on the scene, and knew he was probably on the third floor. But, because of the intensity of the blaze, they couldn’t get to him until it was too late.

The fire was started by children playing with matches.

13 fire departments and the Chautauqua County Tech Rescue Team were on the scene.

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Sosic Gets Probation

Former Bradford OB/GYN Abaz Sosic will be on probation for nearly two years.

He was sentenced Thursday in McKean County Court after pleading guilty back in June to indecent assault for having inappropriate contact with a an employee in January and a patient in June of 2012.

In a statement to the court, Sosic apologized for his behavior.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Frein on FBI Ten Most Wanted List

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Range Resources Fined More Than $4 Million

Range Resources has been fined more than $4 million for violations at six of its Washington County impoundments.

The DEP consent order requires the company to pay the $4.2 million fine – the largest against an oil and gas operator since Marcellus and Utica shale drilling started in Pennsylvania – close five impoundments and upgrade two others to meet higher standards that are currently under development.

DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. “This landmark consent order establishes a new, higher benchmark for companies to meet when designing future impoundments, which is an environmental win for Pennsylvania.”

Violations at the impoundments include various releases of contaminants, such as leaking flowback that affected soil and groundwater. To date there has been no impact on drinking water.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Gasoline Attack

A man originally charged with attempted murder for throwing gasoline in the faces of two people in an attempt to set them on fire has pleaded guilty to attempted assault.

42-year-old Chris Sherlock of Olean threw the gasoline at the people in the early morning hours of September 5, 2013. He was in violation of an order of protection during the incident.

Sherlock was originally charged with two counts each of attempted murder attempted assault as well as reckless endangerment, criminal contempt, stalking and menacing. Besides attempted assault, he also pleaded guilty to criminal contempt. He is scheduled for sentencing on November 24 in Cattaraugus County Court.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thompson Statement on Funding to
Confront Terrorist Group ISIL

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) issued the following statement upon passage of H. J. Res. 24, Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015, which includes provisions fulfilling the President's request to train and equip vetted Syrian forces against the terrorist group ISIL:

“We are presented with few good options about how to best confront ISIL. However, failing to confront the growing threat it poses to regional stability and U.S. national security, is not an option. Today the House passed a bipartisan resolution that is part of a strategy to combat and defeat this brutal terrorist group. Importantly, the resolution does not authorize U.S. troops in a combat role and includes new oversight provisions to ensure the Administration’s plan is managed effectively and within the confines of the law.”

H. J. Res. 24 passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 319 - 108. The Senate is expected to consider the measure later this week.


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Causer Invites Area Residents to
Firearms Safety, Rights Seminar

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) will host a Firearms Safety and Rights Seminar on Monday, Oct. 27, at the Smethport Fire Hall.

People who wish to attend must register in advance by visiting or calling 1-866-437-8181. Seating is limited.

“This region is home to many gun owners, and it is important for all of us to be knowledgeable about our rights and responsibilities, and to practice safety when using or storing our firearms,” Causer said. “The free seminar is an opportunity to refresh our memories and discuss these important issues.”

The seminar will feature a presentation by Ray Learn, McKean County District Attorney, and Roger Sager, McKean County deputy sheriff and long-time firearms instructor. The two will discuss Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, the Castle Doctrine and other valuable information regarding state gun laws and gun safety.

The seminar runs from 6-8 p.m. The fire hall is located at 109 S. Nelson St. in Smethport.

This is the second Firearms Safety and rights seminar Causer has hosted this year. Due to the high level of interest, he plans to hold at least one more early next year.

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Pitt-Bradford Professor Studies Offender
Characteristics in McKean County Court

Dr. Gregory Page, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, made a presentation at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention last month on data gathered from the McKean County Court of Common Pleas.

Page examined the court records and judicial files of 258 defendants processed by the McKean County Court of Common Pleas during 2012. While preserving anonymity of each defendant, Page recorded characteristics associated with each, such as age, sex, prior offenses, drug and alcohol use, and/or treatment, etc.

Page was particularly interested in the characteristics of a rural population since previous research has neglected to explore rural court systems. By examining court records, he was able to include defendants who were not incarcerated in addition to those who were incarcerated, thereby giving a more complete picture of the rural defendants.

Page plans to expand the data set to include 10 years of data from McKean County criminal court in order to examine trends or patterns in this rural population.

However, he did find some statistically significant correlations. For example, those who committed violent offenses tended not to use a weapon or use illegal substances during the offense. Those who committed a general criminal offense did not tend to have a previous domestic violence allegation or charge. Men were more likely than women to commit theft-related offenses, violent offenses and general criminal offenses.

Page said he will be sharing his initial and subsequent findings with McKean County President Judge John Pavlock.

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Man Trespasses at Seneca Allegany Casino

A man who had been banned from the Seneca Allegany Casino is facing charges for going back in.

52-year-old Donald Pettit of Friendship had been banned back in December of 2009. He was arrested as he entered the casino last Wednesday afternoon.

He is charged with trespassing and was scheduled to appear in City of Salamanca Court.

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Two Hurt in Kiantone Crash

Two people were seriously hurt when their vehicles collided head-on this morning on Route 62 in Kiantone.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say 48-year-old Radha Latona of Kiantone was traveling north, but her vehicle crossed the center line and hit a vehicle driven by 67-year-old Douglas Bergstrom of Jamestown.

Latona had to be freed from her vehicle by personnel from the Warren, Frewsburg and Kiantone fire department. Both she and Bergstrom had to be flown to UPMC Hamot for treatment.

Deputies are continuing their investigation and say charges may be filed.

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Four-Vehicle Crash in Kill Buck

A tractor-trailer and three other vehicles were involved in a crash Monday afternoon on Route 417 in Kill Buck.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s deputies say a car driven by 22-year-old William Pavlicin of Greenville, New York, was waiting to make a left turn when the tractor-trailer driven by 57-year-old Jaymie Smith of Odessa, New York, rear-ended it, and sent it into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a vehicle driven by 42-year-old Brian Aleo of Hudson, New York. Aleo’s vehicle spun around and hit a vehicle that was parked at Mikey’s Emporium.

Aleo was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of his injuries. No one else was hurt. Smith was issued tickets for following too closely and driving out of class.

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Infant Hurt in Amish Buggy Crash

An infant is being treated for multiple skull fractures after the Amish buggy he was in was hit by another vehicle.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s deputies say the buggy was on Route 62 in Leon late Monday afternoon when a pickup truck driven by 33-year-old Peter Riley of Conewango hit it.

Marie Miller, her 5-week-old son and one-year-old son were all thrown from the buggy. The one-year-old suffered a cut to his eye and was taken to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for treatment. Miller and the infant were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital.

Charges are pending.

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Vehicle Hits House, Woman Charged

After a car slammed into a house in Portville an Olean woman was arrested and sent to Cattaraugus County Jail.

State police say Meaghan Jackson was on Route 417 when her car went out of control, left the road and hit the house.

She failed field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for driving while ability impaired by drugs.

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