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Saturday, May 17, 2008

SPCA Fundraiser on May 24

SPCA Shelter Manager Heidi Mackowski (left) and SPCA Board Member Lori Burkhouse inspect a hand-carved walking stick by Ken Hannold and a brown-ash pack basket by Dave Mackowski. Both items will be raffled off at a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser on May 24 at the Masonic Lodge in Bradford.
(Photo Courtesy of the SPCA)

The McKean County SPCA's latest fund-raiser is showcasing the hand-crafted work of a pair of folk artists with local ties.

The SPCA will host a will host a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, May 24 starting at 3:00 p.m. and running through 7:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 625 South Avenue in Bradford.

In conjunction with the event, the SPCA is offering chances of a number of prizes, including a hand-carved walking stick by Ken Hannold of Bradford and a brown-ash pack basket woven by Bradford native Dave Mackowski of Milford, Maine.

A similar style of pack basket, woven by Mackowski exclusively for Orivs Outfitters, retails for $900.

"It's really a rare treat to be able to offer something that's heirloom-quality like this," says Heidi Mackowski, manager of the SPCA and Dave Mackowski's daughter-in-law. "Pack baskets are one of the great old-time traditions of outdoorsman everywhere, but very few people still weave them. It's an artform that's disappearing."

Dave Mackowski first began weaving pack baskets more than a decade and a half ago, traveling across New England, the Adirondacks, and Minnesota to learn the craft. "I've learned from some legendary old-timers and from Native American craftsmen who've had their traditions passed down for generations," he says.

Mackowski makes eight styles of pack baskets. He has also weaves fishing creels and has learned to make several styles of snowshoes. His snowshoe collection is considered one of the most extensive in the world and has attracted acclaim from the Smithsonian Institute.

Hannold, too, has attracted a great deal of attention for his hand-carved walking sticks, Heidi Mackowski says. "The walking stick we have has a top painted black and is shaped like a Labrador retriever," she says. "It also has ornate design work carved along the shaft."

Hannold began his carving about two years ago. He spends upwards of fourteen hours on each stick, which retails for around $100. He also makes deer-horn lamps, carves cuckoo clocks and does carvings on gun barrels.

Other prizes available at the spaghetti dinner include a knife set from Cutco, items donated by Zippo and ARG, and gift baskets from several local gift shops. All proceeds from the raffles and the spaghetti dinner will benefit the McKean County SPCA.

Bisett Building Center Celebrates 125 Years of Doing Business in Bradford


The Mountain Laurel Harmonizers were among the attractions as Bisett Building Center celebrated its 125th year in business with a party on Davis Street Saturday afternoon. Mayor Tom Riel and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Diane Sheeley were on hand for the festivities as well.
George Schaming enjoys the music of the Mountain Laurel Harmonizers while showing off his hand-crafted mini carnival. (And if you haven't seen George's carnival, you need to do that. It's awesome!)
Rain wasn't a problem during the celebration. Bisett's vice president of operations Bill Gleason (far right) and others got under a tent to listen to the Fretz Middle School Jazz Band, who entertained the crowd with a variety of tunes from "The Final Countdown" to "The Pink Panther."
Bisett’s was founded in 1883 by brothers Edward, J.J. and W.W. Bisett. The company began as a moving and hauling company and later moved into masonry, concrete, lumber and hardware services. And, as anyone who listens to our stations knows, Bisett Building Center is "The Project Place."

Gilchriese Arraigned, Sent to Jail

The gunman who stopped traffic for three hours on the 190 this week has been formally arraigned at the Erie County Medical Center. Buffalo City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres arraigned James Gilchriese this morning. He's been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, menacing of a police officer, unlawful imprisonment, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and harassment. Bail has been set at $100,000. Officials say Gilchriese is being transferred from ECMC to the Erie County Holding Center.

Cross Fork Man Accused of Bribing State Police

A Cross Fork man has been arrested has been charged with bribery for allegedly offering a large sum of money to a state police trooper who is investigating a criminal case in which he is a suspect. James Gelzenlichter is accused of offering the trooper money after an appearance in district court on Monday. He is free after posting 10 thousand dollars bail. Last month, Gelzenlichter was involved in an incident where his girlfriend was found dead in Cross Fork Creek in Potter County.
An autopsy showed that 50-year-old Patricia Blouse died of hypothermia. Gelzenlichter was found alive in the creek. Police say they are not releasing further details due to the ongoing investigation.

Friday, May 16, 2008

TV Programs to Look at Marcellus Shale

Since we posted a story here on April 11 concerning the Marcellus Shale rock formation, it's been one of the most-read posts on this blog. So, because of the interest in the topic, we're passing this along: TV Call-in Program Looks at Natural Gas Rush in PA.

With residents across the state asking questions about the Marcellus shale formation, natural gas exploration, mineral rights leasing and associated issues, WPSU-TV is responding with a one-hour live call-in program. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, WPSU-TV in central Pennsylvania will present "Pennsylvania's Gas Rush." This live call-in program will be simulcast statewide on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) and webcast via Pennsylvania's Gas Rush.

Arrests Made in Mick's Mart Burglary

Two arrests have been made in connection with a burglary at Mick's Mart in Lafayette Township last month. 25-year-old Bettina Ginkel of Bradford and 24-year-old Jeremy Magee of Lewis Run have been charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. State Police say Ginkel and Magee conspired to break in to the business during a conversation they had at nearby Tack's Inn. Ginkel allegedly told Magee how to get into the building. Once inside, he allegedly stole more than 2 thousand dollars in cash and merchandise.
Both were sent to McKean County Jail on 30 thousand dollars bail each.

Semester at Sea Scholarship Awarded

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford sophomore Eamon Kelley has been awarded a $7,000 scholarship to assist him in covering the expenses of taking part in “Semester at Sea” in the fall. Kelley, a sport and recreation management major from Harrisburg, received the Pitt-Bradford/Semester at Sea Augmentation Scholarship from the Institute for Shipboard Education at the University of Virginia. Kelley and his fellow 700 student shipmates plus a cohort of faculty, staff, dependents and crew, will depart the Bahamas on the M.V. Explorer on Aug. 29. While at sea, students will take classes and earn 12 course credits from the University of Virginia. Stops on the voyage include Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, China (both Hong Kong and Shanghai), Japan, Costa Rica and Hawaii. Kelley is the son of Brett Kelley of Harrisburg and Karen Kelley of Gettysburg.

Teen Charged with Assaulting Her Mom

A 15-year-old girl has been charged Thursday with aggravated assault for attacking her mother just minutes after the girl was picked up from the Corry Police Station.
Police say the girl was in police custody because she ran away from home. She started punching her mother and pulling her hair as the woman was driving home.
The teen is also accused of choking her mother and then breaking her cell phone so she couldn’t call for help. The girl’s 7-year-old sister and 9-year-old brother were passengers in the car at the time. The mother gained control of the car and drove back to the police station, where the 15-year-old was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and criminal mischief.

Men Charged with Stealing Gas

Two McKean County men have been charged with petit larceny for allegedly not paying for more than 100 dollars worth of gas. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 26-year-old James Holtzwarth of Rew and 32-year-old Richard Wazelle of Aiken got 40 dollars worth of gas at the Findley Lake Hardware Store on April 3, then drove off. On Tuesday, they allegedly drove off without paying for 67 dollars worth of gas. On Tuesday, a witness got a license plate number. State Police arrested them for Tuesday's incident. Sheriff's Deputies arrested them for the April incident. They will appear in Town of Mina Court at a later date.

Teen Charged in Wellsville Robbery

An 18-year-old is in jail, accused of robbing a store at knifepoint Thursday morning in Wellsville. Police say they received a 9-1-1 call from a person reported that a man had come into the store with a knife and that he grabbed a money box, then locked the caller in a room before running from the store. Police found James Ben in high weeds by the Genesee River just south of the water treatment plant. He was taken into custody without incident. Ben is in Allegany County Jail on 20 thousand dollars bail.

Bradford is Above Average

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the US is $3.79. But -- call Bradford above average or a trend-setting little city -- the average price here Friday afternoon is $3.85.

Several weeks ago when the price was $3.50, we asked visitors to our web site when they thought the price would hit $4. You can still answer that poll question by clicking HERE

Nursing Scholarships at BRMC

Three nursing scholarship recipients were recognized during the annual Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) Volunteer Luncheon on Thursday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Hosted by BRMC’s Volunteer Services, the Bradford Hospital Auxiliary and the Bradford Hospital Foundation, the event awarded scholarships in two separate programs sponsored by the Auxiliary and the Foundation. The Auxiliary’s $2,000 nursing scholarship was awarded to Katherine Gleason of Bradford. She is a nursing student at Jamestown Community College and works as a maternal/child technician in BRMC’s
Maternal/Child Health Department, said Virginia Digel-Neel, the Auxiliary’s executive director. The scholarship from the Auxiliary goes to a student seeking an
associate’s degree in nursing and has the goal of becoming a registered nurse, she said.
Also at the luncheon, two $1,000 scholarships were awarded by the Foundation from the Doris Winship Newton Nurse Education Fund. The recipients were Celinda Austin-Strick, RN, of Bradford and Martha Dibble, RN, C, of Lewis Run, said Sandra McKinley, Foundation chairman.
Mrs. Austin-Strick works at BRMC as a staff nurse, surgical scrub and a first assistant surgical technologist in the Surgical Services Department. She is attending Pitt-Bradford on a part-time basis to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Her goal is to earn a master’s degree in nursing and attend anesthesiology school.

Mrs. Dibble has been working in the health field for more than 30 years in various capacities, most recently for Project CARE through McKean County VNA & Hospice, the home health department at BRMC.
Mrs. Dibble is certified in both geriatrics and mental health and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing through the University of Phoenix. Her goal is to work toward a master’s degree in nursing. The Foundation scholarships are open to BRMC employees or to McKean County residents enrolled in a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree. The Education Fund Scholarship honors Doris Winship, a 1938
graduate of the former Bradford Hospital School of Nursing. The fund was established by her husband, Joseph, in 1994. To be eligible for the Auxiliary scholarships, county residents must be entering their second year of nursing in a college or university awarding an associate’s degree in nursing. Information on both scholarship funds can be obtained by contacting either organization or logging onto the hospital’s website at

Longobardo Honored by Troopers

State Troopers in Batavia, New York, have dedicated a new monument to Trooper Joseph Longobardo. The monument was unveiled during a ceremony this morning as part of the State Police Troop "A" annual Memorial Day Ceremony. Longobardo was 32 years old in September 2006 while pursuing escaped convict Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. Longobardo was shot by Phillips in Chautauqua County, and died from his injuries three days later.

Ishua Man Dies in Farm Accident

An Ishua, New York, man is dead after a freak farm accident. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say 55-year-old Peter White was trimming cow hooves at the Ken Wood Farm in Dayton when the machine he was setting up fell and hit him in the head.
County Coroner Howard Van Rensselaer pronounced White dead at the scene. Sheriff's deputies are continuing their investigation.

The Weekend Wrap

My guest on The Weekend Wrap is Anthony Merola, senior Vice President of CitiGroup. He will be discussing a new survery showing college upperclassmen remain optimistic about their financial future despite the current economy. For more information, you can visit

Routes to Art Open Studio Tour

Routes to Art, the region's first open studio self-driving tour, will debut on May 17 and 18, when 35 artists across the region will open their doors to the public. Conceived in 2006 in response to requests from area artists, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) developed a multi-county, tri-state, bi-national marketing program to promote art sales while highlighting the beauty and cultural heritage of the Cattaraugus County region. Kimberly Driscoll, Manager of Grants and Programs comments, “We’re hoping our local residents will also hit the road to see some of the region’s top artists, enjoy the blooming hillsides, drive the back roads, try a new restaurant, and support our local economies.” In fact, Routes to Art was designed as a cultural tourism initiative to improve local economies by highlighting the arts as a destination target. CCAC has marketed Routes to Art as far as Pittsburgh, Toronto, Rochester, Erie, Cleveland, and Buffalo.

CCAC’s Executive Director Anne Conroy-Baiter comments that there are a few easy ways to plan your route. “The first way is to go to Routes to It’s a beautiful website with artist portfolios, driving directions, links to Google maps, and general program information. The second is to request a brochure on the Routes to Art website, Routes to Art, or by emailing CCAC at or calling 716-372-7455."

This is just the first year for this program but already the excitement is building throughout Cattaraugus County and northern Pennsylvania for 2009. The Seneca Nation is joining Routes to Art next year, with roughly 20 of the Nation’s artists and artisans signing on with the tour. Routes to Art is produced by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council with funding from the Cultural Tourism Initiative, a project of the Arts and Business Council of New York and the New York State Council on the Arts. Locally the project was supported by The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, Mellon and Co., Register Graphics, Earth Arts, The Jefferson Inn, Dee E. Smith, Nancy Pascarella, Linda Sciandra, Ellicottville’s Antique Farm Fair, and the American Museum of Cutlery. Additional funding was provided by Cattaraugus County as well as a special New York State grant for environmental education, cultural and recreational programs facilitated by Assemblyman Joseph Giglio. Artist portfolios, driving directions, brochure requests, and general information on Routes to Art can be found at Routes to For information about CCAC, contact the CCAC at 716-372-7455 or

Pictured from top to bottom are Beads, Acrylic, Carson Waterman; Peaches, Watercolor by Peg Bothner; Fall Bowl, stoneware pottery, Elliott Hutten. Photos courtesy of The Cattaraugus County Arts Council

BRMC Volunteers Honored

Stacy Williams (left), director of Volunteer Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center, gives a service pin to Ruth Hahn for 20 years of volunteer work. The annual volunteer luncheon was held Thursday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

Approximately 200 Bradford Regional Medical Center volunteers, many who also serve as members of Bradford Hospital Auxiliary, were honored Thursday during an annual luncheon at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The event was held during National Hospital Week, celebrated from May 11-17.

In his opening remarks, BRMC President/CEO George E. Leonhardt said the Auxiliary members and volunteers are the people who feel connected to the community and understand the necessity to serve others. “You recognize that the reason you were blessed with talent is so that you can help to make your world a little better place,” he said.

Auxiliary President Beverly Gallup said the Auxiliary was founded 76 years ago by a group of community-minded, philanthropic women who wanted to make a difference.
“The Bradford Hospital Auxiliary has grown from that startup group of a dozen or so women to today’s membership roster of 170 men and women who work countless hours to provide service and comfort to those who enter BRMC’s doors.” Since 1967, “We have volunteered over 500,000 service hours and donated over $1.7 million to BRMC. In 2006, we made a pledge commitment of $300,000 toward the ‘Building The Future’ capital campaign. And in 2007, we made our first payment of $60,000 and fully anticipate making our next payment later this year,” Mrs. Gallup said.This past year, volunteers donated 21,784 hours to BRMC and also the Auxiliary, which has been a tremendous help, stated Stacy Williams, director of Volunteer Services. “The time they provide is an incredible benefit and we greatly appreciate all that they do.”

Those recognized for five-year increments of volunteer service were:
· 20 years - Ruth Hahn;
· 15 years - Betty DuBois, Rev. Jim DuBois, Shirley Hayden, Loretta Iaderosa, Pat Iaderosa and David Place;
· 10 years - Terri Cook, Jean Everett, Jean Fox, MaryJane Gigliotti, Kathy Herzog, Pat Higgs, Jean Nelson, Joyce Schaming, Doris Stoddard, MarySue VanHoutte, Pat Vecellio, Marie Weaver, Carol Wilson and Richard Wilson; and
· Five years - Jack Alviti, Audrey Beckes, Pastor Debbie Brown, Pastor Tim Brown, Rev. Leon Canfield, Rev. Larry Donahue, Joe Gigliotti, Bob Green, Molly Heron, Rev. Stanton Higley, Carol Huber, John Hummel, Judy Moeke, Lou Monti, June Morris, Jack Morrison, Charles Pagano, Bob South and Dr. Holly Spittler.

BRMC Employees Honored

Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) employees were honored and recognized for their importance Thursday during the annual Service Awards Banquet with the theme “Where Healing Happens Every Day.” The event was held during National Hospital Week, which runs from May 11-17.

Dennis Geitner, Vice President of Human Resources, told those at The Bradford Club the banquet was “celebrating our most valuable asset - BRMC employees. It’s a chance to recognize the dedicated employees who provide quality care to the communities we serve.” In his talk preceding the awards presentation, Mr. Geitner also spoke about BRMC’s new Employee Corporate Culture philosophy which focuses on excellence.
“We develop strategies that differentiate us from our competitors,” he said, noting BRMC is customer-driven to provide the best possible care by anticipating needs and expectations. Additionally, “We seek to employ the best possible people, providing
the support necessary for our employees to learn, grow and contribute throughout their careers,” Mr. Geitner said. “We also believe in the power of teamwork and communication.”

Employees are also expected to help BRMC fulfill its mission of “Caring For Our Community Through The Journey of Life,” he said. Service awards to employees were given by Edwin O. Pecht, Chairman of BRMC’s Board of Directors, and Bradford Regional President/CEO George Leonhardt. During the banquet, Sharon Case, LPN, Obstetrics, was honored for 40 years of service.

Thirty-year service awards went to Kristie Hatch, Bonnie McDonald, Paula Platko, Margaret Pyle, Cynthia Rimer and Nellie Wallace.

Employees inducted into the 25-year Silver Circle were Sandra Behan, Marcie Eschrich, Linda Lazusky, Jamie McDermott, Theresa O’Brien, Merle Silvis and Melanie Woods.

Other service awards given at the banquet:
20 years - Susan Myers, Brenda O’Connell, Bridget Petitt, Barbara Sheeley and Cynthia Woodring;
15 years - Penny Bechelli, Brian Benjamin, Theresa Carson, Lori Gross, Tina Hannahs, Roger Laroche, M.D., George Leonhardt, Sharon Peluse, Debra Sexton, John Skillman, Jill Shields, Cheri Sowash, Celinda Austin-Strick, Waldemar Szczupak, M.D., Diane Vecellio and Patricia Warner;
10 years - Julie Brown, John Carson, Stacey Christman, Diane Dalton, Amy Haviland, Dina Jones, Charlene Magnetti, Kim Martin, Larry Mays, Mary Ann Rathfon, Michael Shanks, Heidi Vance, Kevin Waid and Jamie Woodel; and
Five years - Natalie Brown, Tracy Burke, Melissa Cook, Nicole Cosper, Jeanne Deppa, Martha Dibble, Judy Flynn, Nicole Geist, Sabrina Good, Michael Grader, Peggy Hannold, Jeannie Hannon, Jennifer Johnson, Leasa Keech, Marian Laubham, Pamela Little, Jennifer Lundgren, Gary Malacarne, Pharm.D., Jeanne Mathieson, Shirley McCalla, Rose McNinch, Jason Neal, Bethany Pantuso, Brenda Pascarella, Melissa Reynolds, Michele Santora, Alma Sorokes, Lauren Sperry, Robert Tahara, M.D., David Thrun, Julie Vecellio and Patricia Yurkewicz.

This week concludes events hosted at BRMC in recognition of National Hospital Week and National Nursing Home Week. Highlights of Hospital Week at BRMC included a Pride Day on Tuesday where all employees could wear their BRMC T-shirt. Also on this day, the first annual “BRMC Walking for Community Wellness” was held. The one-mile health walk, held at three separate times, was for employees and others throughout the community to participate. On Wednesday, BRMC held an Employee Picnic in the back parking lot with three serving times. In honor of National Nurses Week, held May 6-12, BRMC nurses: attended informative talks; held a candelight vigil at the main entrance where current and former nurses were invited, including the public; and attended a Nursing Skills Fair to review policies and see equipment demonstrations. Also during Nurses Week, the Employee Team Committee sold miniature rose plants on May 6 in the Outpatient Services Center lobby. All proceeds benefit the Ruth Barrus Prince Rose Fund established through the Bradford Hospital Foundation. The fund was established in memory of Mrs. Prince, the mother of BRMC Surgical Services employee Coleen Farr. Gifts to this fund provide flowers to patients of BRMC and the hospital’s McKean County VNA & Hospice, and also residents of The Pavilion at BRMC who may not be remembered on special occasions.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Drug Bust at the Border

US Customs and Border Protections agents have seized more than 67 pounds of ecstasy at the Peace Bridge. Agents say 35-year-old Cidalia Costa of Toronto was attempting to cross the bridge into the U.S., and told officers she was on her way to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. But as they were looking at her vehicle, a portable contraband detector found the drugs in a spare tire. The tire contained 5 vacuum-sealed bags and more than 103 thousand pills with a street value of about 2 million dollars. Costa was arrested on federal charges of importation and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. She was turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Siblings Separated by Nazis to Reunite

A Philadelphia woman separated from her family by the Nazis is preparing for a reunion with a brother she hasn't seen in 66 years. Irene Famulak was 17 when the Nazis invaded the Ukrainian Catholic family's home in 1942. Famulak was sent to be a cook in Germany and never saw another family member again. But that's about to change. The Red Cross says the 83-year-old's youngest brother Sevelud has turned up in Germany trying to trace his sister. Irene Famulak's daughter says the family will now plan a reunion.

JoePa Hospitalized for Dehydration

Penn State coach Joe Paterno was taken to a hospital Thursday morning to be treated for apparent dehydration, a team spokesman said. The 81-year-old coach was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center by ambulance after feeling nauseated, said spokesman Guido D'Elia. Paterno has not been admitted to the hospital, but was undergoing tests Thursday afternoon, D'Elia said. JoePa still plans to make a trip Friday to Austin, Texas, for a dinner with University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, D'Elia said. Paterno had been on a busy schedule of late. He traveled to Philadelphia last weekend and also recently returned from a meeting with Big Ten football coaches. Paterno was on the phone Thursday morning talking to two recruits before he went to the hospital, D'Elia said. "He's over there tapping his fingers, waiting to get out," D'Elia said Thursday afternoon.

Guy Maybee Indicted

A grand jury has handed up indictments on the Salamanca couple charged in the death of a 3-year-old girl. Guy Maybee and Stephanie Pierce are charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses in connection with the death of Maybee's daughter, Ianna Maybee, in late March. Ianna suffered a broken clavicle and broken ribs, a damaged spinal cord, severe bleeding on her brain and internal bleeding caused by a lacerated liver, according to testimony in the preliminary hearing for her father and his girlfiend. Ianna was found dead in her bed at about 1 o'clock in the afternoon of March 20. Authorities believe she died at 3 a.m. An arraignment date hasn't been scheduled yet.

Judge Orders Girl to Perform Community Service, Apologize to Rikki Triana

An 11-year-old Erie girl will perform 50 hours of community service, be on probation and apologize to the victim as punishment for her role in a playground beating that left 10-year-old Rikki Triana with a broken hip. A 10-year-old who is accused of breaking Rikki’s hip in the April 3 assault at an elementary school playground is expected to be sentenced in the next two weeks.

Unwelcome Guest at Erie County Motel

A deer had to be shot this morning after it jumped through a motel window and into a room in Millcreek Township. The buck punched holes in the wall and broke a coffee table in a downstairs room before making its way to the upper level of the apartment. Police say the deer managed to make its way into the upstairs bathroom, where it did further damage. The game commissioner tried to capture the deer with a noose and lead it to safety, but says it was so badly injured that he didn't think it would survive. The motel's owner says she feels bad for the deer.

Men Found Guilty on Drug Charges

Two men charged with selling mislabeled heroin in DuBois have been found guilty after a trial in Clearfield County Court. Michael Hill of Pittsburgh and Ronald Weaver II of DuBois were arrested after a confidential informant bought heroin stamped with the label "New Era." The substance was not heroin, but the drug fentanyl. Heroin stamped with the "New Era" label was the cause of several drug overdoses in the spring of 2007. Hill and Weaver will be sentenced within 60 days.

Supervisor Cited for Ethics Violations

A Highland Township Supervisor has been cited for violating the state Ethics Act.
Supervisor Chairman Charles Vaughn is accused of voting on some township construction projects that were bid on by a company co-owned by his son. The Ethics Commission report also says that K&B Construction was selected to complete eight projects in the township that were not put out for bid. The state Ethics Commission, based in Harrisburg, began investigating the case two years ago. Vaughn has chosen not to appeal the commission's decision, which orders him to pay more than 7 thousand dollars to the state within a year.

In Case You Missed It ...

05/14/08 - City to Send Trash to Chautauqua Co.
Bradford City Council is moving ahead with plans to send its garbage out of state.
Council approved sending it’s trash to Chautauqua County which will be cheaper.
City Clerk John Peterson says the cost of fuel will be offset by the decrease in tipping fees over what they pay at the landfill in McKean County.

05/14/08 - Fatal Accident in Eden, New York
Police are investigating an overnight accident that killed an Eden, New York, teenager. 18-year-old James Bierl died when the car he was driving slammed into a tree. The accident happened at about 2 a.m. today in Eden. Police say Bierl was the only person in the car.

05/14/08 - Port Allegany Man Hurt in Emporium
Emporium state police are still investigating an accident that injured a Port Allegany man on May 3. In a report released today, police say 74-year-old John Waid was driving his car just east of the intersection of routes 155 and 120 when it went out of control, traveled onto a loading dock area at G-K-N Sintered Metals, hit a fence and rolled over. Waid was taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Men Indicted on Adelphia-Related Fraud Charges

Two Massachusetts men have been indicted on fraud charges in connection with the sale of the former Adelphia building in Coudersport. Allen Seymour and Raymond Desautels III are accused of taking 2 million dollars from Kevin Phelan that he was planning to use to buy the building. Officials say the two men planned to use the money to falsely establish that they had substantial net worth. Seymour was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers as he was headed to Venezuela on a private jet with his wife, five children, family dog and $1.3 million of Phelan's money in brown paper bags and plastic bags hidden in his luggage. The FBI investigated the case. The US Attorney's office in Massachusetts is prosecuting.

Gilchriese Arraignment Postponed

The arraignment for James Gilchriese on a host of charges related to the Niagara Thruway standoff Monday has been delayed while Gilchriese remains a patient in Erie County Medical Center. Law-enforcement officials were hoping to have Gilchriese arraigned today, but he developed some physical complaints and remains in ECMC, where he is listed in stable condition. Police say Gilchriese will be charged with weapons possession, unlawful imprisonment, driving while intoxicated, menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and harassment. Authorities hope to arraign Gilchriese later this week.

Senate Approves 'Do Not Call' Bill

The State Senate has approved legislation that would eliminate the need for Pennsylvania consumers to re-register on the “Do Not Call” registry every five years. State Senator Joe Scarnati says, “Under this legislation, a consumer’s number would remain in Pennsylvania’s "Do Not Call" registry until they asked for it to be removed." He added that the Pennsylvania Do Not Call Registry returns part of any fines collected to consumers who file complaints -- up to $100. So far more than $80,000 has been distributed in that way. To register your home or cell phone numbers on the Do Not Call List, you can visit No Calls Please.

Woman Pleads Guilty in Spitzer Case

A woman accused of booking clients for a prostitution ring has pleaded guilty in the federal probe that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Temeka Rachelle Lewis pleaded guilty today to promoting prostitution and money laundering. The 32-year-old is among four defendants in the case involving the Emperor's Club VIP call-girl ring. Court papers say the FBI secretly recorded conversations between Lewis and Spitzer about a Feb. 13 tryst with a prostitute named "Kristin" in Washington. The former governor is identified in the court papers as Client No. 9.
Spitzer announced his resignation March 12. He has not been charged.

Man Gets 'Life' for Dismembering Roommate

A Carnegie man will spend life in prison for killing and dismembering his roommate after the men argued about the victim's pot smoking. 25-year-old James Baldwin Jr. stabbed Brendon Martin's in January 2006 after Baldwin asked Martin to move out of his house. Police say Baldwin was upset because he believed Martin's pot smoking caused Baldwin's girlfriend to miscarry their child. Police say Baldwin tried to chop up Martin's body into pieces small enough to flush down a toilet. Instead, Baldwin became nauseated and buried the remains in a shallow grave.

Student Threatens Prof Over 'B Minus'

A Penn State student upset with getting a B minus has been arrested for threatening to put his professor in a wheelchair unless he got a better grade.
The 20-year-old state College resident is charged with terroristic threats and harassment He is free on $10,000 unsecured bail. Police say they were contacted during the weekend by the dean of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business about a student who sent an e-mail to a visiting assistant professor. The e-mail says the student is giving the professor one last chance to give him a grade better than a B minus or else he would put the professor in a wheelchair and he doesn't care if he gets kicked out of school.

Catt County Getting New Drug Dog

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Rinfrette is adding a new narcotics detection dog to his crew. Gibbs, a 3-year-old black Labrador retriever, is being tested by the state in narcotics detection. The dog has been certified through the National Narcotic Detection Dog Association. The Sheriff’s Office bought Gibbs with funding collected from drug seizures and private donations. Meanwhile, another member of the K-9 force, 9-year-old Bosch, earned first place in the annual Freight Train Competition in Pen Yan. Bosch is the only dog to win the competition three times.

Trial Delayed for Kartesz Cohorts

Three defendants in the federal probe of a widespread local mortgage-fraud scheme will get more time from the federal government to prepare for trial. The case against Gregory M. Finney of Erie, Keith A. Rice of Harborcreek Township and Francis R. Conti of Waterford has been moved to August. They were scheduled to appear in court this month. Former Bradford landlord Frank Kartesz has already pleaded guilty in the case. He'll be sentenced on July 23 and faces up to 35 years in prison. Kartesz's business partner, Robert Dodsworth has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison for his part in the scheme, and is expected to report to F-C-I McKean on June 16.

Senate Approves Science in Motion Bill

The Senate has approved a bill to formally enact into law the highly touted Science Technology Partnerships Program, better known as "Science in Motion." Senator Bob Robbins says he proposed the legislation because over the past few years Governor Rendell has cut funding for Science in Motion in his budget proposals and the Legislature has had to restore the money as part of budget negotiations. The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is one of 11 colleges and universities throughout the state that implement Science in Motion. The measure now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Happy Birthday ...

... to the best Mom in the world ... mine!

Spring Gobbler Season

Jim Morgan of Kane shows off his 19-pound gobbler. His dad Barry says, "The kid keeps showin' his old man up!!" The big bird was a 3 year old. It had 1 inch spurs and a 9 1/2 inch beard. It was taken in the East Branch at 5:50am on Wednesday,May 14, 2008 from a distance of 40 yards!

Bradford Police Officers Recognized


Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close (left) presents Police Officer Tony Lama with a certificate of appreciation for handling a sensitive situation with "extreme valor." Close credits Lama's negotiating skills with bringing the April 13 incident to a successful conclusion.

Also during Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting, Mayor Tom Riel read a letter from Corporal Robert Klinger, acting commander of the Kane-based State Police, who commended Lt. Steve Caskey, patrolman Jason Daugherty, Greg Boser and Tony Lama for their work in helping to apprehend Brian Uber, who is accused of stealing a vehicle and taking police on a high-speed chase from Coleville to Bradford. Klinger wrote, "It is encouraging to work with such a fine group of officers, and their actions reflect highly upon themselves and the Bradford City Police Department." Close commended the officers for representing the police department in a positive and professional manner.

Also Tuesday, Riel called for a moment of silence to commemorate Police Memorial Week in the Commonwealth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LiveLine - May 14 - Body Drama

Named by Glamour magazine as one of America’s top-ten college women “most likely to succeed—at anything,” 26-year-old best-selling author and motivational speaker Nancy Redd has spent the most recent years of her life on a mission to tackle the issues least discussed but most significant in young women’s lives.

'Arthur' Leads List of Hurricane Names

Dean, Felix and Noel are off the list of storm names. A hurricane committee voted to retire those names today because they were 3 of the most devastating storms of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Almost 200 people died after Dean and Noel struck the Caribbean and Bahamas; 130 people died in Nicaragua and Honduras with Felix.
The list changes every six years. The names will be replaced in 2013 with Dorian, Fernand and Nestor. This season's names include: Arthur, Bertha, Christobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. Members of the World Meteorological Organization met Tuesday in Orlando for its annual meeting.

In Case You Missed It ...

05/12/08 - Wind Damage in McKean County Sunday
Strong winds Sunday afternoon knocked trees down in McKean County. Lafayette Township Volunteer firefighters removed a tree which had fallen across a part of Route 321 near the intersection of 59. A tree fell across power lines and across Mechanic Street in Smethport. The Smethport Volunteer Fire Department was joined by the Smethport Borough Electric Department in the removal of the tree which had blocked a part of Mechanic Street. News 4 Meterorologist Mike Cejka says wind gusts as high as 43 miles per hour were recorded in parts of McKean County Sunday.

05/12/08 - Lewis Run Home Burglarized
A Lewis Run home was burglarized Friday. State Police say someone took silver coins, old pennies and six crystals inside a velvet bag. Also, $400 in cash and 30 shirts were taken from the residence of Jeremy Magee and Gergory DeHaven Jr.

05/12/08 - Buffalo Airport Shutdown Sunday Night
A security breach at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport shut down the east and west concourses for about 45 minutes Sunday night. NFTA Spokesman Doug Hartmayer says a woman gained access to the east concourse by walking in through the exit lane, unobserved. NFTA police evacuated both concourses so police could sweep the area. All passengers then had to be re-screened. Airport operations have since returned to normal.

05/12/08 - Teen Allegedly Sent Nude Pic to Teacher
A 17-year-old has been arrested after sending a nude picture of a male to a teacher at Ripley High School. Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies charged Logan Collins with aggravated harassment. He'll appear in court at a later date. Last week, two girls in the Pioneer Central School district were suspended for sending nude photos of themselves to their boyfriends, while the boys were in detention.

05/12/08 - Cattaraugus County Court Proceedings
A Westons Mills man has pleaded guilty to assault. Ricky Armstrong Jr. attempted to cause serious physical injury to Chad Smith on December 1 of last year in Olean. Armstrong will be sentenced on July 14.

An Ellicottville man has been sentenced to one to three years in state prison on a robbery conviction. John Oyler, along with Jeffrey Dulanski and David Wolfe Jr. forced a man into a vehicle then stole his ring and necklace. The incident happened March 15 in Ellicottville. Dulanski and Wolfe are already serving their sentences.

An Olean man accused of injuring a 4-week-old baby will spend the next four months of weekend in jail, and the next 5 years on probation. Zane Finefrock was charged with assault for hurting the infant in May of last year. District Attorney Ed Sharkey had requested a sentence of state prison time.

BRMC Community Wellness Walk


Marianne Kahle (left), director of Food Nutrition & Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center, and Susan Panah, D.O., an internal medicine specialist, lead a group during the inaugural “BRMC Walking For Community Wellness” on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.
The walk covered a one-mile distance from BRMC to Callahan Park and back. More than 50 participated in this walk for employees and the community. The first walk of the day began at 7:30 a.m. and the third was at 5:30 p.m. All walkers were eligible for a list of giveaways, including pedometers, pocket calendars aqua clips to hold water bottles, Frisbees and sunscreen. The event is one of many celebrations held during National Hospital Week, designed to focus public attention on the many contributions hospitals make to their communities.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

Accident Damages Austin Police Car

A Portage man suffered minor injuries when his car hit a utility pole that fell onto parked police car in the borough of Austin at 6:40 Tuesday morning. Police say Donald Bento was driving on Railroad Street when the car left the road, traveled on private lawns then hit a utility pole, breaking into three pieces. One of the pieces fell onto the parked police car. The live power lines also ignited a fire at the back of Bento's car. Bento was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. Allegheny Power cut the power to the live lines. Police are continuing their investigation.

Warren Students Recognize Earth Day

Approximately 200 students from Beaty Middle School completed activities in planting, removal of non-native invasive plants, and seeding during Earth Day week, April 22-24; they put finishing touches on their projects on May 7, 2008. Environmental Science teachers Jeremy Criswell and Wendy Gray, and Physical Science teacher Carolyn Yurick, led the students through their Earth Day activities on the school grounds along Conewango Creek.

Earth Day week kicked off on 4/22 when 200 students planted 80 trees and shrubs provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The white pine, red oak, and mountain ash trees will provide winter thermal cover and fall/winter food for wildlife in the form of berries and acorns. The silky dogwood shrubs will produce berries in the fall. The message to students was that by planting trees and shrubs, and providing more of a streamside buffer, they can help wildlife, air quality, and water quality.

Approximately 180 students worked on removal of non-native invasive plants, such as garlic mustard, on April 23 and 24. The students learned firsthand from Forest Service hydrologist Chuck Keeports and ecologist April Moore, and Watershed Specialist Jean Gomory of the Warren County Conservation District. The message to students was that non-native invasive plants can displace native plants and disrupt ecological processes because ‘everything is connected’. An example of disruption in ecological processes is when garlic mustard plants outcompete native toothwort plants and interfere with the life cycle of a rare butterfly.

On May 6, the students got their hands dirty as they gained hands-on experience on constructing terraces on side hills to slow erosion, and planted native wildflowers and grass seed mixes to revegetate the disturbed soils. Students planted 16 silver maples donated by the Warren County Conservation District and 30 willow and dogwood plugs donated by the Conewango Watershed Association. The Conewango Watershed Association purchased their plugs with a grant from the Dominion Foundation and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The message to students was that invasive short-lived plants can temporarily slow erosion, and native long-lived plants, which have deeper roots and are adapted to the climate, are needed to slow erosion for a long time.

A highlight of the week was the opportunity for ninety students to work with Wildlife Conservation Officer Dave Donachy of Warren County to build bluebird houses. Officer Donachy gave a presentation about bluebirds. The students and teachers thank the Northern Allegheny Conservation Association for providing a grant of $700+ for supplies for Earth Day week.

The students have more work planned. In early June they will hang their bluebird nest boxes so the boxes will be available for the second nesting season. The students will mulch the trail along Conewango Creek and line it with stones. One student constructed a bat house as part of a ‘learning about threatened and endangered species of Pennsylvania’ project. This bat house will be mounted in early June, too.

Soap Box Derby 'Tech Night' Scheduled

A man who has helped 4 national champion All American Soap Box Derby drivers, and who has helped the only American champion in the European soapbox derby will be in Bradford Monday to help drivers with their cars. Mark Scuderi, regional director from Rochester, will be at the Bradford High cafeteria from 6 to 9 p.m. for tech night, which is meant to help drivers fine tune their cars. Local organizer Steve Feldman says Scuderi knows all the tips and tricks, and there's no question that he can't answer. Feldman says the June 21 race could use more drivers, and a generous benefactor is ready to buy cars for families who can't afford to buy one. For more information, call Feldman at 558-0669.

Portland, NY, Man Charged with Arson

A man who lived in a trailer that was destroyed by fire over the weekend has been charged with arson. 37-year-old Floyd Tolbert of Portland, New York, is accused of setting fire to items in the trailer. The fire then spread to the rest of the trailer. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say another person was asleep in the home when Tolbert set the fire. Tolbert and the other person did get escape without being hurt. Tolbert is in Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

Monday, May 12, 2008

No Agreement on Smoking Ban Bill

A state senator says a last-minute veto threat from Gov. Ed Rendell has derailed a proposed compromise on legislation to ban smoking in most public places in Pennsylvania. Rendell issued the threat today, saying he will veto any bill that pre-empts a stronger ban enacted by the city of Philadelphia. Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, who wrote the compromise bill, says a joint House-Senate committee was ready to vote on his bill, which would have stopped local governments from passing their own laws on smoking. However, McIlhinney said a majority on the committee fell apart after Rendell's veto threat Senate Minority Leader Robert Mellow reconsider.
McIlhinney says he hopes a revised bill can be ready as soon as tomorrow.

Benefit for Accident Victims

A benefit is being held later this month for the Bookhamer, Yehl and Clark families.
Bradford Area High School seniors Britt Brookhamer and Evan Yehl died an in accident May 2. Ian Clark was critically injured. The benefit is being held from noon to 6 p.m. May 24 at The Warehouse Restaurant on Route 59.

Cops: Man DWI on Lawnmower

A man has been arrested for driving his lawnmower while intoxicated. Police say the were called to the home of 58-year-old Merwin Pierce of Irving, New York, to remove him from the residence when they saw him attempting to get away on the lawnmower.
He's in Chautauqua County Jail on $1,000 bond.