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Saturday, April 5, 2008

In Case You Missed It ...

04/04/08 - Two Men Facing Theft Charges
Two Bradford men were charged Thursday with stealing a motor home and selling it to Goodman’s Recycling for scrap. Court records show that 39 year-old Joshua Everly and 40 year-old Anthony Defilippo took the motor home from a Bradford residence and sold it for scrap. The two are free on $5,000 dollars bail.

04/04/08 - Theives Steal 3,000 Feet of Copper Wire
Thieves stole 3,000 feet of copper wiring from a wooded area in Warren County. State Police say someone cut the 3,000 feet of eighth-inch copper wire from electric poles in a wooded area near Brown Hill Road and Route 69. The copper wire is worth $600.

04/04/08 - Armory Groundbreaking at Airport
Groundbreaking was held Friday afternoon for the Bradford Readiness Center at Bradford Regional Airport. Once fully operational, this 8.3 million dollar, 28,000-square-foot training facility will house the 140 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard's 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

04/05/08 - No One Hurt in Mount Jewett Fire
An electrical malfunction caused a fire that did minimal damage to a Mount Jewett house Friday morning. Tom and Vicki Victory, and their three children, got out of the house after Tom Victory smelled smoke. Mount Jewett, Kane and Highland Township firefighters responded. They were on the scene for about 3 and a half hours.

04/05/08 - Man Charged with Delivering Crack
An Olean man has been charged following an alleged drug deal in Bradford. 19-year-old Ronald Billingsley allegedly sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant of the McKean County Drug Task Force on October 15, 2007. He was sent to jail on 30 thousand dollars cash bail.

04/03/08 - Possible New Ethanal Plant in Kane
An out-of-state company would like to build an ethanol plant in Kane. A real estate agent in Warren says the company, that she declined to name, is interested in building in the Kane region, but is actively looking in and around the rest of McKean County as well. The company is looking for 25 acres or more and would employ 25 people.

Mail Server Report

Snopes.com

Woman Wants 3rd Jordan Paternity Test

MEADVILLE -- A Meadville woman wants the gag removed and a third paternity test given in her fight to prove that retired basketball star Michael Jordan fathered her child. Lisa Miceli, 35, made a raucous appearance Friday morning before Crawford County President Judge Gordon Miller to file two motions in relation to a civil suit that Jordan filed against her in January. Her first motion sought to remove a temporary restraining order, signed in early February, which temporarily bars Miceli from having any further contact with Jordan, his family and others close to him.

For the full story, visit GoErie.com

Keith's Worst Person in the World

Bucky Phillips

To anyone who might be wondering: I did not forget that Wednesday was the 2-year anniversary of Ralph "Bucky" Phillips' escape from prison. I was thinking about running a news story about it, but I changed my mind. I would rather concentrate on New York State Troopers Joseph Longobardo, Donald Baker Jr., and Sean Brown. When those anniversaries come up, I'll do stories.

'Google View' Violating Privacy?

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania couple sued Google Inc., saying pictures of their home that appear on the Web site's "Street View" feature violated their privacy, devalued their property and caused them mental suffering. Aaron and Christine Boring bought the home in Franklin Park, a Pittsburgh suburb, in October 2006 for a "considerable sum of money," according to their 10-page lawsuit filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. "A major component of their purchase decision was a desire for privacy," the lawsuit said.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com

Brockway Mourns for Fire Victims

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story on how the Peterson family, and the rest of the borough, is coping after Thursday's tragedy.

Parole Denied for Penny Brown's Killer

Parole has been denied for the man who killed Penny Brown as she jobbed near her Salamanca home on Mother’s Day of 1999. This week was Edward Kindt’s first appearance before the state parole board. He was 15 when he raped and murdered Brown. He was convicted in Cattaraugus County Court on May 1, 2000, after being tried as a juvenile. Brown’s family organized a letter-writing campaign in effort to convince the parole board that Kindt should not be released. They received more than 300 letters from friends and strangers.

Note: I covered this case in 1999/2000 when I worked for another media outlet. I'm glad he's not getting out. I also wanted to mention that State Senator Cathy Young has done a great job seeing that Penny's Law got passed and that people found out about the letter-writing campaign. See? Some elected officials are OK.

Murder Charges Dismissed

Murder charges have been dismissed against a Sinnemahoning woman who had been accused in the drug-related death of an Emporium woman on January 1. The charges against Shawna Coffman stemmed from the death of 38-year-old Melissa Marshall, who was found dead the day after attending a New Year’s Eve party with Coffman and her husband, Jesse Coffman. Court documents indicate that Shawna Coffman crushed up several narcotic pills and gave them to Marshall, who snorted the powder. Coffman is still charged with several drug offenses and is in Tioga County Jail in lieu of 100 thousand dollars bail. Jesse Coffman also faces drug charges. He’s free after posting 10 thousand dollars bail.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pictures of Brockway Fire Scene

I found this photo essay at CBS News on Thursday's fatal fire in Brockway.

The Buzz Week in Review

Specter Speaks About Spygate

Senator Arlen Specter wants an investigation into the NFL's destruction of evidence during September’s Spygate scandal involving the New England Patriots. This afternoon, Specter told WESB and The HERO that the issue is important because if an NFL team can cheat and not pay the consequences, that makes cheating OK for college teams, high school teams "and sixth graders on their math test." The NFL continues to pursue the Spygate case in their negotiations with former Patriots employee Matt Walsh, who has alleged he has information on illegal acts by New England that go beyond what has been acknowledged.

Specter says he's planning his next trip to the area, as he does every year when he visits all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. But, he says he appreciates invitations to be on the radio so he can talk to McKean County residents without making the long trip. You can hear the full interview with the senator on next weekend's Weekend Wrap.

Viewing, Service Set for Fire Victims

State police are continuing their investigation of Thursday's house fire in Brockway that claimed the lives of 10 people. Trooper Bruce Morris says the fire is not suspicious, and is not related to any utilities connected to the house. Morris says fire marshals are focusing their investigation on the first floor living room at the front of the house. Authorities say space heaters were being used inside the two-story frame house, and that they did not know if the house had working smoke detectors. A viewing for all 10 victims was scheduled for Sunday and a memorial service for Monday afternoon in the Brockway High School auditorium.

Update on Toby Taylor

Regular viewers of The Buzz Week in Review will be familiar with Toby Taylor. Here's an update:

A York County man accused of electrocuting his wife during sex was charged yesterday with her murder, authorities said. Toby Taylor, 37, initially told investigators that his wife was killed Jan. 23 as she stepped out a shower and reached for her hair dryer, police said. Police found Kirsten Taylor, 27, unconscious in the couple's mobile home in Lower Windsor Township. She was rushed to York Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said. The county medical examiner last week ruled her death was a homicide and determined the manner of death was electrocution.

For the full story, go HERE

Judge Orders Liens Against Westboro Baptist Church, Two Church Members

A federal judge has issued liens against a fundamentalist Kansas church and ordered two of its members to post cash bonds while they appeal a $5 million judgment resulting from the church's protest at a military funeral.The Westboro Baptist Church has filed a motion seeking to stay last November's verdict, in which a jury found that the Topeka, Kan.-based church intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Albert Snyder of York, Pa. Snyder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder was killed in Iraq in March 2006. The church frequently pickets military funerals, arguing that the deaths of U.S. troops overseas are part of God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. Six members of the church showed up in Bradford for the memorial service for Master Sergeant Thomas Maholic, who died in Afghanistan. Their efforts to protest were stymied by members of the community and the Patriot Guard Riders.

UPDATE: Fatal Fire in Brockway

Investigators sorted through the charred ruins Friday of a western Pennsylvania home badly damaged by a fire that killed 10 people, most of them children. Fire Chief Chris Benson said he thought space heaters were being used inside the two-story frame house, and that the property's gas service was shut off, but that investigators could not yet pinpoint a cause. "I think we have a good idea," said Benson, who declined to offer further details Friday because he had to talk with state police. The fire appears to have started in the first-floor living room. Trooper Bruce Morris said Friday that is where investigators were focusing their efforts.


The parents of State Senator Joe Scarnati say they often met Douglas Peterson Sr. for morning coffee at a local café. Yvonne Scarnati says the fatal fire is the latest in a string of recent tragedies that have hit the community. Late last month, Jacqueline Ehrgott of Brockway died in an accident on Route 219 in Elk County. The same day, Connie Bailey of Brockway died in an accident in the borough that also killed her sister, Karen Peters of Newark, Delaware, and seriously injured another sister, Delora Burrow-Bradish of Bradford. Mrs. Scarnati says the whole community is devastated.

Cards of support for Delora Burrow-Bradish can be sent to Health South Rehabilitation Hospital, 143 E. Second St., Erie, PA 16507.

A memorial fund has been set up for the fire victims' families:
Peterson Memorial Fund
Priority First Credit Union
550 Main Street
Brockway, PA 15824

From Michelle Obama ...

Today is the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I want to share a video that reveals how far we've come and how much this campaign owes to Dr. King's legacy. Students at a high school in the Bronx, who had no real interest in their government, have found new hope. They were surprised by their own excitement and engagement, but to me, they embody so many reasons why Barack and I decided to get into this campaign. It's truly moving to see young people inspired by a political leader -- someone who gives them hope and reminds them that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard. Watch what these kids have to say about politics and race in this country:



On a related note: All week, WESB and WBRR have been running a series on the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination. For more on that go to CNN's Black in America.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Derek Walker

Crissman is Logger of the Year

Tim Crissman of Rew has been named Logger of the Year by the Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group. Crissman has been a member of the wood industry since 1989. He was a wildlife firefighter in the western and southern states for many years employed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Crissman is a volunteer at the Rew Volunteer Fire Department where he has served as President, Vice President and Assistant Chief. In 2002, he was named the fire fighter of the year. AHUG presents this award to the logger who exemplifies professionalism and a strong commitment to safety, community and industry service.

Brockway Fire Victims Identified

Ten people died this morning after fire swept through a house outside Brockway,
The 10 people killed ranged in age from 4 months to 40 years old. The dead were identified as Kimberly Peterson, 40; Rebecca Peterson, 17; Douglas Peterson III, 13; Isaac Peterson, 8; Grace Peterson, 6; Lillian Peterson, 11 months; Rebecca's daughter Kaylin Watson, 4 months; Desirre Delullo, 2; Dominic Delullo, 4; and Jason Mowry, 19. The Delullo children were the son and daughter of one of the two survivors, 20-year-old Elizabeth Peterson. Mowry was a family friend from Brockway, a town of about 2,000 people, authorities said. Witnesses said Elizabeth Peterson ran to a neighbor's house to get help. Her brother, James Peterson, 11, also escaped the fire. Kimberly Peterson's husband, Douglas Peterson Jr., was working a night shift when the fire broke out. Fire marshals were at the scene trying to determine the cause, but Trooper Bruce Morris told the AP the fire did not appear to be suspicious.

CNN Video

Brockway Mayor William Hrinya says he knew the family. "They were a nice family. I've known the grandfather, Doug Jr., for about 35 years. They were hard-working, studious," he said.

UPDATE: Brockway Fire Kills 10

State police say 10 people are confirmed dead in a Brockway house fire.
Police say the overnight fire took the lives of a 40-year-old woman and nine victims under the age of 20, including a four-month-old baby. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but authorities don't believe it's suspicious.

Woman Charged with Leaving Baby in Car Dies in Early Morning Crash

The Bradford woman charged Wednesday for leaving her infant son in a parked car, died early this morning in an accident after being bailed out of jail. 20-year-old Amanda Ricker was traveling on Route 59 in Keating Township at 12:10 a.m. when her vehicle crossed both lanes of traffic and hit a large boulder. Ricker was partially ejected from the vehicle, which caught on fire. Wednesday afternoon police charged Ricker with endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly leaving her 4-month-old son in her car while she shopped at Wal-Mart. A customer noticed the baby crying in the vehicle and called police, who arrested Ricker when she came back to the car about 15 minutes later. McKean County Children and Youth Services took custody of the baby.

American Refining Group Pumps Millions into Local Economy

Everyday on the air, we tell our listeners the price American Refining Group pays for a barrel of Penn Grade crude oil. During Wednesday night's Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner, ARG Chief Operating Officer Harvey Golubock said the refinery buys 3 million barrels of crude a year – two-thirds of it from local people. He says "three million barrels of crude a year at 100 dollars a barrel – That's 300 million dollars – almost a million dollars a day in purchases we make – two-third of which happens locally." The other one-third is shipped in from Ohio.

ARG received the chamber's Large Business of the Year Award. The Grocery Stretcher is the Small Business of the Year. Julie Marasco of Northwest Savings Bank is the Business Person of the Year.

Several Dead in Brockway House Fire

Several people are dead after a house fire this morning in Brockway. State police say it's unclear how many people were in the single-family house when it when up in flames, but several people were trapped inside the burning building. The fire started sometime between 2:30 and 2:45 this morning. Fire crews arrived within minutes, but the house was already engulfed. The fire has been contained, but it is still flaring up at this hour. Two fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.

For more on this breaking story, go to PennLive.com

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

St. Bonaventure University Starts 150th Anniversary Celebration

convocation.jpg


St. Bonaventure University began celebrating its 150th anniversary Tuesday with a 90-minute Convocation that paid homage to the college’s founders by graciously thanking more than two dozen of their descendants. “We are just so honored and humbled by the way the university has gone out of its way to recognize our family,” said 2001 SBU alumnus Andrew Kernan, great-great-great-great-grandson of Nicholas and Mary Devereux, the Utica benefactors who donated the land for the college. “Everyone at the university has just been wonderful, making these past couple of days as exciting and enriching for us as possible.” Kernan, along with his wife, parents and two aunts, accepted as a token of the University’s appreciation specially commissioned paintings of Devereux Hall, created by Allegany artist Anne Conroy-Baiter. Conroy-Baiter paintings of the campus were presented to more than 20 members of the Pietrobattista family, descendants of Fr. Pamphilo da Magliano, the college’s founding friar and first president. The Pietrobattistas traveled this week from Italy to be part of the celebration. The entire program was translated into Italian for them by Jean-François Godet-Calogeras, associate professor of Franciscan Studies, using wireless headsets. More than 300 members of the class of 2008 donned their Commencement robes six weeks early and were honored at the Convocation with 150th Anniversary medallions.

Convicted Killer Back in Court

A man convicted of kidnapping and killing a St. Marys woman more than a decade ago is appealing his case. Christopher Weatherill, currently a state prison inmate, was convicted after a trial Aug. 17, 1990, and was sentenced to life in prison. In October 1989 Weatherill kidnapped 48-year-old Ella M. Brown while she was at the DuBois Mall, then took her and her vehicle to a remote area where they killed her.
Her body was found the next day about 4 1/2 miles north of DuBois with knife wounds to her throat and other parts of her body. On Oct. 30, 1989, Weatherill was found sleeping in the stolen vehicle in Tuscon Ariz. Retired Senior Judge John K. Reilly Jr. asked both sides to submit briefs on the issue before he makes a ruling.

Large Cocaine Rings Broken Up

The state Attorney General's Office has broken up three rings that trafficked in as much as $3.75 million in cocaine in the Erie area over the past year. Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the main defendants as Felipe Cruz and Edward Garcia of Erie and Julio Melendez of Jamestown. Corbett alleges that Cruz, Garcia and Melendez were the main importers of cocaine from New York, Denver, Colorado and Philadelphia. He says they brought as much as eight to 10 kilograms of cocaine a month -- or about $3.75 million -- to the Erie area over the past year.

Arrest in 'Operation Family Cookout'

State drug agents have arrested James Frey, one of the two brothers accused of running a large-scale methamphetamine operation out of their rural Albion homes. James Frey was found Tuesday in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The state Attorney General's Office had been searching for Frey since he was charged March 14. The search continues for his brother, Ronald Frey. Along with the Frey brothers, 27 others were charged in connection with Operation Family Cookout.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Maybee Asks for Bail Reduction

The man accused of killing his 3-year-old daughter has asked a Cattaraugus County judge to reduce his bail. Guy Maybee of Salamanca appeared in Cattaraugus County Court today. His lawyer has asked for bail to be 100 thousand dollars while the prosecution asked for 500 thousand. The judge set bail at 300 thousand, and Maybee is still in jail. Maybee is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Ianna Maybee. Cattaraugus County District Attorney Ed Sharkey says the matter will be presented to a grand jury in the near future.

State Lifts Gas-Drilling Ban

The state of Pennsylvania is lifting a ban on drilling new shallow gas wells in state forests, although officials say drilling will be limited. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources plans to allow shallow drilling if gas is found during the development of deeper gas fields, or on a case-by-case basis. The department will be taking bids to lease 75,000 acres in response to increased interest. This new position comes five years after a ban was imposed in response to concerns that roads and pipelines were destroying wildlife habitat. Department Secretary Michael DiBerardinis says new provisions in the lease will protect state parks, natural areas and wild areas.

Autopsy Results: Son Shot Mother Once, Father More Than Once

Preliminary autopsy results have been released in the case of a Brookville man accused of killing his parents. The report shows that John Reed was shot in the back more than once and Mary Lou Reed was shot in the chest on the morning of March 22 at their home. 44-year-old Richard Reed is charged with two counts each of homicide and aggravated assault and is being held in Jefferson County Jail without bail.
Police say Reed confessed to killing his parents during an argument over his returning to rehab to treat an alcohol problem. Brookville police discovered the bodies Wednesday night after receiving a call from customs agents at the Canadian border in Niagara Falls. Reed's preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 21.
Funeral services for the Reeds are being held today in Clarion.

Lauren Belfer Visits Bradford

lauren belfer

Author Lauren Belfer (seated) signs copies of her book for Madeline Miles and Dr. Anita Herbert Monday night at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Belfer wrote "City of Light," the first selection of the One Book Bradford committee. Belfer's visit to Bradford was the culmination of a year-long series of One Book Bradford events.

Keith's Worst Person in the World



Monday, March 31, 2008

Bishop to Skip Mercyhurst Graduation

Erie Catholic Bishop Donald Trautman will not attend the Mercyhurst College graduation in protest over Senator Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus Tuesday.
Trautman issued a written statement today saying that he's disappointed in Mercyhurst for not reflecting the pro-life stance of the Catholic Church regarding abortion. Clinton is pro-choice. Diocesan spokesman Tom McSweeney said in the statement that Trautman would have no further comment on the issue. Mercyhurst President Thomas Gamble says the mission of the college is to provide a full range of educational opportunities to the students.

Kartesz Pleads Guilty

Former Bradford landlord Frank Kartesz has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in relation to a widespread mortgage-fraud scheme in the city of Erie. Kartesz is among five people charged by the federal government in relation to the mortgage fraud case, which the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and other agencies have been investigating since 2004. Kartesz and others bought run-down houses in Erie and sold them at artificially inflated prices. The buyers were mostly low-income people who knew little about how to buy a home. Kartesz's business partner Robert Dodsworth was sentenced earlier this month to six years in prison. He's expected to serve his time at F-C-I McKean.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Building Implosion



I don't know why I'm so amazed by building implosions.

Eldred World War II Museum

I found a nice article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Eldred World War II Museum.

You can find the article HERE.

A sidebar mentions Bradford, including the Mountain Laurel Inn, Zippo, La Herradura and Pitt-Bradford.

There's also an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review about former Bradford resident Jason Shaffer.

Woman Mauled by Cheetahs

WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) - The owner of a Palm Beach County wildlife sanctuary has been hospitalized after she was attacked by two cheetahs. Authorities say Judy Berens has about 40 puncture wounds to her extremities and back.

For the complete story, go HERE.

Fuhrman Named Coach of the Year

Bradford High boys basketball coach Dave Fuhrman was named coach of the year at the Kozel All-Star Games on Saturday. Fuhrman guided the Owls to a 20-8 record and both the District 9 Class AAA and D-9 league championships. He then took them to the PIAA quartefinals. Coudersport High School’s Blair Heimel and Kristy Kamper were named top basketball players. Joining Heimel on the first team are Bradford’s Ryan LaBrozzi and Ben Lanich.

Obama Bowl-A-Rama in Altoona

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — While Democrats increasingly worry about winning ugly, Barack Obama was losing beautifully at a bowling lane in this central Pennsylvania city. "My economic plan is better than my bowling," Obama told fellow bowlers Saturday evening at the Pleasant Valley Recreation Center. "It has to be," a man called out.

For the complete story, go HERE

Check out the video HERE

Funeral Set for Brookville Couple

Funeral services for the couple allegedly shot to death by their son during an argument over his going back to rehab will be held Tuesday in Clarion. 44-year-old Richard Reed is charged with homicide and aggravated assault and is being held in Jefferson County jail without bail after allegedly confessing to killing John and Mary Lou Reed at their home last Monday. Reed allegedly spent the night at the residence before staying at a hotel in Clarion for a couple of nights, then trying to flee the country. Reed was stopped by customs agents as he tried to cross into Canada on Wednesday. Brookville police officers the bodies Wednesday night after receiving a call from customs agents.

Wal-Mart Wants Money Back