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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fatal Accident in Brockport

A Rossiter man died in an accident at the Rosebud Mining Compny in Brockport. At about 1:30 Friday afternoon 43-year-old Randy Huey got between between the mine equipment he was operating and the mine wall. The accident happened about 2 miles into the mine. Elk County Deputy Coroner Robert Sorg pronounced Huey dead at the scene. The investigation is continuing.

Auditions for 'Little Chicago'

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This is just a small group representing the hundreds of people who auditioned for the movie 'Little Chicago' Saturday at the Bradford Mall. People came from as far away as Pittsburgh to try to get a part in the film. Writer and producer Carl Veno says he couldn't be more happy with how people in Bradford have embraced the project. Audition will be held again from 10 to 5 May 3 at the Cutco Theater at JCC in Olean. Veno says shooting is expected to resume next month.

La Herradura Owner Appears in Court

Eleven men are facing harboring charges in connection with the smuggling of Mexican citizens into Western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The defendants appeared in U.S. Court in downtown Buffalo on Friday afternoon for the purpose of assigning counsel to each. They'll be back in court Tuesday for a detention hearing. Simon Banda, an illegal immigrant who also goes by the name Jorge Delarco, owns La Herradura in Bradford and a handful of other restaurants. Banda was one of the 11 men arrested in the Wednesday morning raid. Officials say the other defendants were managers in Banda's restaurants. Immigration officers turned up 45 Mexicans here illegally during that Wednesday raid. They face possible deportation back to Mexico. For now the defendants are only charged with harboring, but they may face more charges by the time this investigation is complete. La Herradura is re-opening Monday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kysor on His Way Back to Pennsylvania

Malcolm Kysor is on his way back to Pennsylvania. The 53-year-old escapee was released today from a prison in Bakersfield, Calif., to the custody of Pennsylvania State Police. Kysor, who escaped from the State Correctional Institution at Albion on Nov. 25, was captured in a park in Bakersfield on April 5. He was placed in Kern County Prison while awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania. Kysor, who escaped by hiding in a garbage can, could be returned to SCI Albion or any other state correctional institution in Pennsylvania.

Statement from Derek Walker

Statement from Kathleen Ferry regarding charges:
"Derek Walker and I dated for seven years. As with many long-term relationships, our breakup was very difficult and emotional. However rumors are being circulated about what happened between Derek Walker and me and are now being used for political gain. Derek Walker and I ended our relationship in June. My family and I wish Derek the best on Election Day. Anyone who would spread such blatantly false rumors five days before an election is clearly politically motivated. Not only should they immediately stop spreading these rumors but they should also step forward and offer Derek Walker and me a public apology.”

Statement from Derek Walker regarding charges:
"These charges are false. The entire matter is politically motivated --- any thinking citizen in our area understands that charges of this nature brought 5 days before an election are clearly motivated by politics. I have never had a conversation or been questioned by the DA or any representative from his office. I am confident that the residents of our region will see this entire matter for what it is --- politics at its worst."

E Street Band's Danny Federici Dies

Danny Federici, the keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Thursday in New York, following a long battle with melanoma. He was 58. Federici was integral to Springsteen's career — he, original E Street drummer Vini Lopez, and Bruce played in various Jersey bands together from the in the late '60s. Affectionately called ''Phantom Dan'' by Springsteen, he also helped shape the sound of Springsteen staples like ''Hungry Heart'' and ''The Rising,'' and last played with the Boss in March. ''Danny and I worked together for 40 years — he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much...we grew up together,'' Springsteen said in a statement on his website. Springsteen has postponed shows scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Florida

Blue Star Mothers Reflect on Donations

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The Lake Erie Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers accomplished another successful donation drive with the help of Chautauqua County. The Blue Star Mothers is an organization with many chapters across the country of mothers and stepmothers who have a son or daughter in active duty military. They unite to help support them in their service to this country. The organization also "promotes patriotism, assists many Veteran organizations, and are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong," according to the groups website.
Pam Torres, a member of the Lake Erie Chapter, said, "The donations we collected enabled the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter, to send Christmas boxes, Valentine cards, and Easter packages." Torres' son, Aaron Torres, who is currently serving the United States Military in South Korea, expressed his gratitude for the donations, "The guys really appreciate the cards and Easter goodies. Thank you so much for thinking of us during this holiday season." Chautauqua County Executive, Greg Edwards also stressed the importance of remembering those who fight for our country. "The Blue Star Mothers and everyone in Chautauqua County who participated should regularly team together in donation drives," expressed Edwards. "It is the little things like this that our community can do to make a great impact on our soldiers' lives. Whether it is a package of candy bars or some magazines, every gift lets them know that we care. I will continue to urge Chautauqua County and the Blue Star Mothers organization to maintain their relationship and carry on our efforts of support." The Blue Star Mothers volunteer much of their time and efforts in creating troop donation drives and supporting all aspects of the military including the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserve Unites and the Merchant Marines.
(Photo Courtesy of the Chautauqua County Executive's Office)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Internal PSP Investigation in Murder Case

In a state police internal investigation on the slaying of Cindy Jo Coleman, on March 13. Police are trying to find out why it took more than an hour for officers to act on a tip that Coleman's son was talking about killing her. Jesse James Campbell of Clearfield County was arrested the day of the slaying, and charged with killing his mother. A friend of Campbell told police that he was talking about killing her just hours before she died. More than an hour after receiving that tip, state police called Cindy Jo Coleman's parents, asking them to check on their daughter. When her parents went to her apartment just after 5 a.m., they found her dead. State police arrived at the scene at 5:30 a.m. Police said that Coleman wanted Campbell to return her computer. They said Campbell went to his mother's apartment, hit her with a plastic weight, and then cut her neck with a kitchen knife. Police said Campbell then read her the Bible as she died.

GOP Leaders Oppose Judge Nominees

State senators Joe Scarnati and Dominic Pileggi are telling Governor Rendell that his nominees to fill temporary opening's on the state's appellate courts are not acceptable. In a letter Thursday, the Senate's top two Republicans recommended that Rendell consider withdrawing the four nominees. The GOP leaders were not satisfied with Rendell's picks when he made them in January, and complained that he had not taken their advice on whom to nominate. Scarnati and Pileggi say Rendell's nominations of four white men, including three from Rendell's home city of Philadelphia, are not diverse enough. They also pointed out that one Superior Court nominee, Robert Daniels, recently turned 70, the court's mandatory retirement age.

'Speeding Ticket Frenzy' Hoax

Pennsylvania State Police say an e-mail circulating throughout the state warning of a "speeding ticket frenzy" is a hoax. They say the misinformation in the e-mail is an urban legend that originated in New Jersey in May of 2005. Since then, the hoax has targeted police in several other states. State police suggest that anyone who receives an e-mail about massive speed enforcement details by police simply delete it and not forward it. They add that troopers never issue traffic citations as a way of raising money for the state, as the e-mail claims.

President Clinton Stops in Warren

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President Bill Clinton campaigned Thursday afternoon in Warren but, before talking about his wife Senator Hillary Clinton, he talked about the support he received in the 5th Congressional District during his run for president. Clinton also talked about his wife's plans for universal health care and education, among other issues.
Clinton was nearly 90 minutes late for the stop at Warren High School's gymnasium.
And, several hundred elementary school students and their teachers had been waiting for more than two hours outside the school to get a glimpse of the former president.
After his speech, Clinton left the school and walked across a street to greet the crowd, which started to sing "God Bless America." Many of the students held handmade signs, colored with crayons, that read "Welcome President Clinton."

Criminal Charges Filed Against Walker

Criminal charges have been filed against one of the candidates for the 5th District Congressional seat. District Attorney Bill Shaw today filed charges of burglary, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, stalking and criminal attempt/invasion of privacy against Derek Walker of Clearfield County. Walker says he believes another Republican candidate, Matt Shaner, pressured the district attorney into filing the charges. Shaner denies that accusation. The complaint, filed by Clearfield police Chief Jeffrey Rhone and signed by Shaw, accuses Walker of using his cell phone to videotape a former girlfriend in an intimate moment with another man on Aug. 25, 2007. The complaint also alleges that he had contact with her on two other occasions, despite being told by a police officer on Aug. 25 that he should avoid further contact and that charges were pending. The charges came just as state Senator Joe Scarnati endorsed Walker.

Not News But ....

... It's Kind of Political ... and Very Cute

My 2 nephews -- 7-year-old Alex and 5-year-old Aaryn -- thought it was "cool" that Bill Clinton was going to be at their big brother's school. So, as my sister and the boys were talking politics, Aaryn saw a "Hillary" sign in someone's yard and asked why it was there. My sister explained that they think Hillary would make the best president and they want everyone to know it. Alex said "We should have an Obama sign in our yard." (No comment from my sister because she doesn't want to influence their opinions) So, since they thought it was "cool" about Bill being in Kittanning, my sister asked if they knew who Bill Clinton is. Aaryn said "He's the president," then he got confused because he knows Bush is the president. But Alex said "I know! He's Hillary's husband!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Letter to the Editor

As many of you know, this will be my last term in Congress. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you as your Representative, and while I am proud of the work we have done in Washington, I am still saddened that personal responsibilities have led me to the decision to retire. My deepest concern now is to see that the work we have begun here on behalf of the people of the Fifth District does not come to a stop.

I have been inclined to remain an observer in this race, but after talking with all the candidates, some several times, it became obvious to me that I could not stay mute. While there are fine candidates in the field, only one stood out for his ability, his dedication to his community over a long period of time, and for his understanding of our critical issues.

That is why I am endorsing Glenn Thompson as the best person to take my seat in the next session of Congress.

Glenn Thompson has the commitment to be your Congressman. Instead of spending large amounts of money, Glenn has taken a leave of absence from his job, to travel the district, to learn our concerns, and to meet our people.

Glenn Thompson is a leader. I have personally known him to be one of the most effective county Republican chairman in Pennsylvania, and his long record of service includes time on his local school board, thirty years of leadership with the Boy Scouts, and long time commitment to local workforce development.

Glenn Thompson is a healthcare professional. He understands the needs of the rural community when it comes to medicine; and he understands what still needs to be done to continue my work to bring equity to rural hospitals.

Glenn Thompson is a family man, deeply committed to his wife and his three sons. He watched with pride as his son left for Iraq, and with concern when his son came home wounded. Glenn believes in the future of this country, and in the sacrifices some have to make to keep our liberties intact. Glenn has personally made some of those sacrifices and understands the tough choices a Congressman has to make on a day-to-day basis.

That is why I am asking you to join me in supporting Glenn Thompson in his quest to be the next Congressman from Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District. He is clearly the best choice to continue my work on issues that matter to us: Rural Health Care, Energy Independence, and bringing Jobs and Stability to our communities

Please join me on April 22nd as I go to the polls to vote for Glenn Thompson, a man who will be Our Representative with Our Values.

With Warm and Personal Regards,

Congressman John E. Peterson

Bill Clinton Stops in Western PA

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Former President Bill Clinton says his wife will be the best president for small western Pennsylvania towns like Indiana and Kittanning, where he was greeted by hundreds of residents in separate campaign stops. He said at both stops that his wife's campaign has focused on small towns and rural areas because that is America. Tomorrow, Clinton will be in Warren and St. Marys.
(Photo Courtesy of Adam Moyer, Kittanning High School Class of 2008)

Oil and Gas Prices Up Again

Following yesterday's record-high price, American Refining Group has again raised the price it pays for a barrel of Penn Grade crude oil. Today's price is 108-50 a barrel. That's up 2 dollars from yesterday's price. And, after less than one day of having gasoline prices right at the national average, Bradford motorists are now looking at a price of 3-45 a gallon.


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La Herradura Target of Immigration Raid

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La Herradura, pictured with a "closed" sign on the front door, is one of the restaurants targeted by law enforcement in five states today in effort to break up an alleged scheme that involved smuggling workers from Mexico to work for low wages. Simon Bandes, a Mexican who came to this country illegally and has passed himself off as a Honduran was accused of being the ringleader after his arrest early this morning in Depew. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also raided other restaurants Bandes owns, including Don Larenzo's in Allegany. Agents also raided apartment houses where the illegal aliens lived and the Marietta, Ga. home of Bandes' sister.
So far, 11 restaurant managers and 45 illegal aliens have been picked up.

In Case You Missed It ...

04/15/08 - Fishing Items Stolen in Potter County
State Police are investigating the theft of fishing items from an SUV parked in the Cross Fork Inn parking lot in Stewardson Friday night. Police say someone stole several fly rod fishing poles and reels from a vehicle owned by David Kephart of Portage. The value of the stolen fishing items were listed at $2,663 dollars.
There was also $800 dollars damage to Kephart’s SUV.

04/15/08 - Pony Believed Poisoned in Potter County
State Police are investigating an act of poisoning near Coudersport on April 5th.
Police say a pony owned by Kimberly Kightlinger became ill and later died two days later. The Pony’s death has been ruled suspicious and resembles a poisoning.
The investigation continues.

04/15/08 - Kinzua Point Info Center Could Reopen
Warren County commissioners are hoping to work with the US Forest Service to open the Kinzua Point Information Center. A lack of federal funding to make renovations has kept both the information center and Kinzua Beach closed in recent summers. Problems at the information center include the wastewater system and restrooms and handicapped accommodations. Commissioners have offered to work with the Forest Service to upgrade Allegheny National Forest recreational facilities.

04/15/08 - Yingling Named Coach at Smethport
Ross Yingling has been named head football coach at Smethport. The Smethport Area School Board made the announcement Monday night during a regular board meeting. Yingling replaces Rob Cosper.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Titanic Anniversay

Today is the 96th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Tonight at the Bradford Area Public Library, Titanic historian Diana Hatch gave a talk on the sinking of the ship and its aftermath. One of the conclusions after the tragedy was that the Atlantic Ice Patrol had to be better. This eventually led to the formation of the US Coast Guard. Hatch said every year the Coast Guard coommemorates the sinking of the ship by dropping three wreaths -- one for the people who died, one for the survivors and one with a promise that it'll never happen again. For more information on Titanic, you can visit The Titanic Historical Society.

This is Diana's mini-recreation of the sinking of the ship.

Casey Statement on Arlen Specter

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement today after learning that U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has been diagnosed with an early recurrence of Hodgkin’s disease: “I was surprised and sorry to hear that Arlen has had a recurrence of Hodgkin’s disease. As always, he and I have been working together on numerous matters affecting the people of Pennsylvania and Arlen has demonstrated his usual energy and passion. I look forward to continuing our joint efforts across a wide variety of issues in the Senate. “I have no doubt that Arlen will confront his health challenge with the same courage and determination that has marked his previous battles. My thoughts and prayers are with Arlen and his family.”

Specter Has Recurrence of Hodgkin's

Senator Arlen Specter today announced that he has been diagnosed with an early recurrence of Hodgkin’s disease. Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer of the lymph system.
Senator Specter’s recurrence was diagnosed based on a routine follow-up PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) which showed small lymph nodes in his chest and abdomen. A follow-up biopsy of one of the chest lymph nodes was positive for recurrence. A bone marrow biopsy was negative. Senator Specter has had no symptoms of Hodgkin’s disease aside from the PET scan findings. Based on the location of the recurrence and the absence of symptoms, his lymphoma is considered stage IIIA. This is significantly less advanced than his Hodgkin’s disease when it was originally diagnosed in 2005, when it was stage IVB. At that time, he was treated with 6 months of ABVD chemotherapy, and obtained a complete remission which lasted 3 years. Senator Specter will now receive the Stanford V protocol of chemotherapy weekly over the next 12 weeks. It is expected that Senator Specter will continue to perform all the duties of his office as well as his activities associated with his candidacy for re-election.

New Miles-to-Go Fund at Pitt-Bradford

miles.jpg The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has announced a new and unique scholarship fund, the Miles-to-Go Scholarship and Endowment Fund, to support student media and travel. The “Miles-to-Go” fund was established by friends and alumni in honor of longtime advisory board member Madeline Miles. The fund will help students in the campus media through scholarships and subsidize the cost of student travel. The fund will also bring together the Pitt-Bradford community members and the citizens of Bradford, dramatizing the connections between the world of college and the world of work. Half of the fund will go to support stipends for the student managers of the college’s media: radio station, WDRQ; newspaper, The Source; and literary magazine, Baily’s Beads. Each medium will develop programming that highlights items like Bradford history, environment and current affairs. The other half of the fund will support student research and travel activities, such as conference attendance for students on the college newspaper, radio station and literary magazine staffs. In addition, part of the money will help support the division’s annual trip to New York City.
Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

Reward Being Offered for Information Leading to Joey Lynn Offutt

A $10,000 reward is now being offered to anyone who provides information leading to the whereabouts of Joey Lynn Offutt, the Sykesville woman who has been missing since a fire destroyed her home on July 12, 2007. After the fire was put out, the remains of a baby believed to be Offutt's 6-week-old son were discovered. Her car was found 4 days later in State College. State police have no substantial leads in the case, and Offutt's family is hoping the reward will lead someone with information to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-440-JOEY or state police at 814-371-4652. You can find more information at FindJoey.org.

Police Reopening 1977 Murder Case

State police have reopened an investigation into the murder of a waitress who was raped and thrown from a highway bridge three decades ago. Emerson McCauley, now 48, of Boalsburg, was convicted of second-degree murder in 1989 and is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1977 killing of Devera Frink. He has always maintained that the other two men were involved, police said. Frink, 21, was last seen alive when she began hitchhiking to her home in Boalsburg. Her partially nude body was found the next day below a Route 322 bridge in Juniata County. Details of the renewed investigation into Frink's death emerged Monday when a court unsealed a search warrant for DNA for a man who was implicated by McCauley, but not charged by police.

Charges Against 11-Year-Old Dropped

Authorities have dropped the most serious charges against an 11-year-old girl accused in a playground attack on a 10-year-old girl April 3. Investigators no longer believe the 11-year-old participated in the attack that left Rikki Triana with a broken hip. Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk said today that investigators believe the 10-year-old accused in the attack was “the only actor” who hurt Rikki. The 10-year-old is accused of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. The 11-year-old had faced the same charges. Foulk said investigators interviewed Rikki’s 8-year-old sister today, and that she confirmed witnesses’ accounts about the assault.

Amber Alert Hoax

From the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office:

The following text message is being circulated via cell phones in the Western New York area:

"AMBER ALERT! 2 little girls kidnapped around noon. Suspect is driving brown jeep libery. License plate # is 43-6519. PLEASE FORWARD! in catt county."

Please be advised this is NOT a real Amber Alert. Any information regarding the origin of this message should be reported to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office. 716-938-9191.

Funeral Set for Casey Reist

A public funeral service will be held Wednesday for a Warren County teen who was killed when her car hit a tractor-trailer Saturday night. The service for 17-year-old Casey Reist will be held at 2 p.m. at Eisenhower High School in Russell. Reist was a senior at Eisenhower and captain of the school's cheerleading squad. Reist died after her car collided with the rig on Route 62 near the Warren Mall. A passenger in her car, 19-year-old Hunter Martin is listed in critical condition at Hamot Medical Center. The driver of the rig, William Hammond, 54, was not injured.

Cops: Pregnant Teen Given Cow Hormone

State police in Blair County say they are investigating an alleged assault on an unborn child after a pregnant 17-year-old girl was slipped a cow hormone in her drink. Police say they think the hormone was put into the girl's drink by suspects intending to abort the unborn baby. The girl was given the drink late last month at a Blair County high school. The pregnant girl's mother says doctors have told them the substance wouldn't hurt the girl but could abort the fetus. Farmers give the hormone to cows in the breeding process to bring all cows in heat at the same time.
No charges have been filed. State police say a bottle of the hormone was stolen from an area farmer around the same time.

Corman Defends Colleague

By SEN. JAKE CORMAN
R-Bellefonte

I read with interest a recent article in (The Bradford Era) where Congressman John Peterson attacked Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati because he endorsed Kerry Gern for the state House. In attacking Sen. Scarnati during a press conference, Peterson said he "would urge the Senator to run the Senate and run it well."
Let me tell you - he has.
From the minute Sen. Scarnati took the oath of office as our state's President Pro Tempore, he has worked to restore faith in our legislature, made the Senate more open to the people we represent and accountable to our citizens.
He has instituted the following:
* All roll call votes are posted on the Internet no later than 24 hours after a vote and committee votes on bills are posted within 48 hours of the vote. This allows citizens to read the bills that are being voted on, and see how senators are voting.
* To give the public insight on why certain votes were cast, the Senate's Legislative Journal - which includes the full text of all floor debates - are posted on the Internet upon Senate approval of the Journal or within 45 days, whichever is earlier.
* To prevent late-night votes, session is now limited to the hours between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
* The Senate is now required to wait at least six hours before voting on an amended bill or a conference committee report, and amendments are posted to the Internet before being offered on the Senate floor. This allows legislators and the public time to understand changes in a bill before it comes up for vote.
* An updated fiscal note is now prepared if a bill is amended after consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee and if the amendment is expected to have a financial impact.
Under Sen. Scarnati's watch, Pennsylvania approved strong lobbying disclosure regulations and passed for the first time in decades a strong open records bill.
All of these changes have benefited the public and all came during Sen. Scarnati's term as President Pro Tem.
None of these changes occurred when Congressman Peterson was in the state Senate.
Congressman Peterson, in his public press conference to attack Sen. Scarnati, also spoke about a "slush fund" that our leaders control. What absolute nonsense.
Yes, the Senate and the House do have surpluses in legislative accounts. But these funds are restricted to Senate and House operations and are used during times when the Governor and General Assembly disagree on a state budget past June 30th to pay the bills.
Let's not forget, we have separation of powers in our Commonwealth and country. And the Legislature has bills of its own to pay and uses these funds to do that.
Congressman Peterson himself was a beneficiary of the legislative account surplus, or "slush fund." In 1988, the governor vetoed a portion of the state budget, and Senate members and staff were paid out of legislative surplus accounts until a budget agreement was made.
Congressman Peterson, then Sen. Peterson, got paid during this late budget year. He got paid from legislative accounts, or the very same "slush fund" that he now attacks. Did we hear an outcry from him then when he got paid? No. He took his paycheck and went about his business.
I'd like to remind the Congressman that we live in a free society where individuals can support the candidate of his or her own choosing. We recently witnessed elections in Russia, where the ruling party made sure others were not on the ballot, essentially giving voters one choice. I'm proud of our system of free and open elections, and proud that we can support a candidate of our own choosing. I'm surprised and disappointed that Congressman Peterson doesn't see it this way and would personally attack someone of high character for exercising his own inalienable rights.

Thanks to PA Senate Republican Communications for passing this on to me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Award-Winning Oboe Player

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Stephanie Kessel, playing the oboe, and Nick Rhinehart, playing piano, perform during Monday's Bradford Area School Board meeting. Stephanie has won a place as first chair, first oboe in the all-state wind ensemble. She'll be traveling to Hershey later this week to perform with the ensemble.

Board Votes for Artifical Turf -- Again

The Bradford Area School Board voted – again – to install artificial turf at Parkway Field. Board member Rich Roupe moved that the board rescind its earlier vote approving the field. After comments from the board, and members of the community, the vote remained the same as the first vote – 6 to 3 in favor of the new field.
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Board member Keith Hatch, who voted against the field, says that because of the state of the economy he doesn't believe this is the right time to take on this project. Board member Rich Roupe says he considers the field discretionary spending, not necessary. Board member Joe Troutman also expressed his concern about the cost. As for who will be using the field, according to a schedule released by the school district, besides high school sports teams, among other things, the field will be used for physical education classes, community and youth soccer, midget football, and Special Olympics practice.

Pictured, Bradford resident John Marasco addresses the school board concerning artificial turf at Parkway Field. He was one of several people who spoke in favor of the new field. Several also spoke out against it.

Officials Say Gas Leak Caused Pittsburgh House Explosion

Pittsburgh officials say they believe a natural gas leak caused an explosion that leveled two houses and damaged at least 20 others. Pittsburgh Police arson investigator Michael Burns says investigators haven't determined what sparked Friday morning's blast. He also can't say if the leak was accidental or caused by someone with malicious intent. No one was injured. An Equitable Gas spokesman says a meter reading showed that more than twice the normal amount of gas was going into the home. The owner is in a nursing home, but his relatives were caring for the house. The other destroyed house was vacant.

Policeman Hurt During Fire Rescue

Three people – including a police officer – had to have medical treatment after a fire this morning on Whitney Avenue in Olean. The fire was the third in less than 24 hours in the city, and investigators say at least the first two were the work of an arsonist. They say the buildings on Second Avenue that were set on fire were vacant with no power. During this morning's fire, Olean Police Patrolman Andrew Langdon helped rescue two of the residents from the second floor of the burning building. Langdon injured his foot, but still went to a nearby house and evacuated more people.
The first two people Langdon rescued were treated for smoke inhalation. Police are hoping this morning's fire is not linked to the first two. Evidence from all three fires has been sent to the New York State Police Crime Lab.

J-Burg Teen Dies in Accident on I-80

A Johnsonburg teenager died in a two-vehicle accident early Saturday morning on Interstate 80. Police say 17 year-old Robert Reeves died when he was ejected from a vehicle as it went down an embankment in Clarion Township. A man in the vehicle, 20-year-old Justin Bauer was flown to UPMC in Pittsburgh. The driver of the second vehicle wasn’t hurt.

Mount Jewett Clinic Expands Services

rettgerasp.jpgDr. Linda Rettger has joined the Kane Community Hospital Clinic Group. She has served on the active Medical Staff of Kane Community Hospital since 1981. She will continue to see patients at the Mount Jewett Clinic as well as at the Summit Park Medical Center in Kane. She is also Medical Director at the Lutheran Home of Kane and Sena-Kean Manor in Smethport. Physician Assistant Eric Asp has joined Mount Jewett Clinic and sees patients every Thursday. Since 2003 he has worked fulltime as a Physician Assistant for the Bureau of Prisons, FCI McKean. Dr. Rettger’s membership in the KCH clinics provides expanded hours, Monday through Friday appointment options and other services at the Mount Jewett Clinic to include lab and daily courier services.
(Photo Courtesy of Kane Community Hospital)

Casting Calls for 'Little Chicago'

Producers of the movie "Little Chicago" are holding a second round of casting calls.
The first is from 10 to 5 Saturday at the Bradford Mall. The second is from 10 to 5 May 3 at the J-C-C Cutco Theater in Olean. People who auditioned before, will have to audition again to be considered for a part. Also, movie merchandise will be on sale at both locations. It's also available at the Main Street Mercantile in Bradford and the Sports Locker in Olean.

Oil150 Committe Encouraging Logo Use

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For the nationwide celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Drake Well and the birth of the Petroleum Industry, Oil150 is asking people to help spread the word by using the Oil150 logo. Many have already started using it. The Drake Well Museum in Titusville has it on their website and printed brochures and plans to put it on labels of souvenir bottles of crude oil. American Refining Group is also using the logo. Anyone who would like to use the logo can go to Oil150.com for more information.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mary Jo White Endorses Stroup

Senator Mary Jo White (R 21st) today announced that she is supporting Clarion mayor, John Stroup, for the Congressional vacancy created by the retirement of Congressman John Peterson. White said "While I do not normally endorse candidates in a primary, the large field of candidates and the short time available for them to get out their message makes this a difficult primary for candidates and voters." She noted that it is particularly difficult for candidates without private resources. "John Stroup has the maturity, the background and the passion to be an excellent congressman," said White. "He has an MBA and his experience in defense contracting, and in health care policy through his position on the Clarion Hospital Foundation, means that he will have a short learning curve on issues important to the district." White noted that Stroup organized a multi-county coalition to defeat the plan to toll I-80 long before there was any indication that there would be a congressional vacancy. "John Stroup is running for all the right reasons", she said, "and I hope the voters will give him a close look."

Two Fatal Accidents

A Warren man died following an accident at 12:08 a.m. Saturday on Route 62 in Kiantone. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 82-year-old Charles Schaffer of Warren crossed into the path of a vehicle driven by 50-year-old Randall Currie of Lakewood, NY, and the vehicles collided head-on. Schaffer and Currie were both taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown, where Schaffer was pronounced dead a short time later.
No charges have been filed against Currie.

A teenager is dead and another person is severely injured following a two-vehicle crash near the Warren Mall Saturday night. Police say 17-year-old Casey Reist was driving on Route 16 when she turned into the path of a tanker truck. The hit the side of the car and pushed it into a vacant store, trapping Casey and 19-year-old Hunter Martin inside the car. Martin was eventually flown by medical helicopter to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, where he is in serious condition. Casey was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, 54-year-old William Hammond, was not hurt.