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Showing posts from June 15, 2008

More From the Derby ...

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Seen above are a couple more races in the preliminary heats of the Mastercraft All-American Soap Box Derby on North Center Street.


Earlier, Frank Williams met up with Mayor Tom Riel and Police Chief Mike Close. Here, he's with Bradford City Fire Chief Boo Coder. (Gosh, Frank knows everybody!)
This man was a spectator Saturday, but back in '69 he was a racer and still has the hat -- which he's wearing.
"Jazzy" Jeff called the races during the preliminary heats ... then Frank Williams took over.

Should we call him "The Voice of the Derby" now, too?

Purple Boxes -- One More Time

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If you haven't seen any of those "purple boxes" so many people are still curious about, there's one hanging in Callahan Park. Once again, they're emerald ash borer traps put up to see if the destructive beetle has made its way to this part of the state yet. City Parks Director Chip Comilla points out the sign tied to the tree explaining that the Department of Agriculture is doing "insect monitoring."

Randall Goes 'Buggy for Books'

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That other meteorologist in Buffalo named Mike -- Mike Randall -- helped the Bradford Area Public Library kick off its summer reading program -- Buggy for Books -- on Saturday morning. Randall entertained a roomful of youngsters with magic and other antics -- with some educational stuff tossed in there, too. ;)

Fatal Crash Near Port Allegany

A Morrisdale man died in a motorcycle crash at just after 2 o'clock this morning on Route 155, five miles south of Port Allegany. State police say 34-year-old Jerry Williamson was traveling at a high rate of speed, failed to negotiate a curve in the road and hit a guide rail. Williamson was pronounced dead at the scene by McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill. Police say Williamson was not wearing a helmet.

All-American Soap Box Derby

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These two drivers race in a trial run during the All-American Soap Box Derby on North Center Street.


















Here are two more drivers in their trial runs Saturday morning.




Derby organizer Steve Feldman chats with one of the many spectators at the event, while Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close and Mayor Tom Riel chat with Mike Walter, Frank Williams and another spectator.

State Representative Martin Causer:
Governor's Education Funding Plan Unfair, Unaffordable

Of the billions of dollars spent in the annual state budget, no investment is more important than the one we make in our children. That’s why I am deeply concerned about the governor’s education funding proposal.

It’s a six-year, $2.6 billion proposal with no clear source of funding to pay for it. That is simply irresponsible given the economic challenges we face as individuals and as a Commonwealth. One little-known fact of the governor’s plan is that he expects the state’s school districts to ante up an additional $2 billion in order to meet an alleged $4.6 billion funding gap in basic education funding. How many taxpayers can afford higher state AND school taxes right now? Yes, we have a responsibility to adequately fund our schools, but we also have a responsibility to adopt a balanced budget that does not place an undue burden on our citizens.

Few would argue the need to revamp our school funding formula in Pennsylvania. In fact, the General Assembly commissioned a costing-out stud…

'It Takes Hope to Heal'

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The American Cancer Society's Relay for life started at 3 p.m. Friday at Callahan Park. During the opening ceremony, event chair and cancer survivor Dorie Meabon said "Your involvement contributes to empowering people to fight back against cancer. A cancer survivor's recovery involves much more than medical treatment. It takes hope to heal. By participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life those touched by cancer can feel empowered to fight back against this disease."

The Relay continues until 3 p.m. today and includes a variety of musical entertainment until noon and a final lap at 1:30 p.m.

As of 10 p.m. Friday, the relay had taken in more than $70,000.

Balloons are released during opening cermonies of the American Cancer Society's 14th Annual Relay for Life in Bradford. The purple is for "Celebrate," the the blue is for "Remember," and the red is for "Fight Back."

Don Fredeen, President and General Manager of WESB/WBRR, a…

Rendell Nominates Judge Cleland

McKean County President Judge John Cleland has been nominated by Governor Ed Rendell to fill a vacant position on state Superior Court. He joins three other people in the second group Rendell has sent to the Senate for confirmation this year. The Republican-controlled chamber rejected an earlier group he nominated to succeed four judges who left before their terms were complete. If confirmed Cleland and Robert A. Freedberg, the president judge of Northampton County, would fill the vacancies created by the election of two former judges on Superior Court — Seamus McCaffery and Debra Todd — to the Supreme Court in November.

Mental Health Exam Ordered for
Jailed Former Bradford Woman

The Batavia mother who tried to suffocate her child appeared in Buffalo City Court this afternoon where the judge ordered a full forensic mental health exam. The judge also ordered that former Bradford resident Marcia Mitchell be held without bail. Police say Mitchell tried to suffocate her child with a pillow at Buffalo's Women and Children's Hospital. Security cameras at the hospital captured the whole incident. The baby's father said the 7-month-old was being treated for a seizure.
Mitchell is scheduled to appear in court again later this month.

All-Star On the Air

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Newly graduated Bradford High Baseball player Ryan LaBrozzi talks with Frank Williams on WESB's Sports Forum about his appearance in this weekend's Altoona Curve All-Star Game at Blair County Ballpark. Also playing in the game will be John Bizzak and Michael Punk of Kane and Jerico Weitzel of Ridgway.

Road Improvements at SBU

Work to improve University roads and add a campus loop to the Allegheny River Valley Trail is expected to begin in 2009, University officials said Thursday.

The approximately $2.5 million project is possible thanks to federal funding in the 2005 Transportation Bill. Standard processes to ensure that the project’s federal funds are administered and spent properly at the local level are nearly complete. The money will be disbursed by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The focus for the rest of 2008 is on project design, environmental review and public comment, “tasks that will take all of this summer and fall,” said Phil Winger, associate vice president for facilities at St. Bonaventure.

One of the project highlights is creating a loop of the recreation trail on campus, from the existing section of the recreation trail near the main campus entrance on Route 417 to the portion of the trail by the river behind Francis Hall. The exact route has yet to be determined, Winger said.

Steve Lohle has Died

Regular listeners to WESB will know the name -- and voice -- of Steve Lohle, a regular contributor to RadioPA. We got word today that Lohle has passed away. Here is the obituary from Lohle's home station, KQV in Pittsburgh.


Steve Lohle

July 6, 1949 - June 20, 2008

The KQV family is in mourning over the loss of an afternoon anchor, someone many identified as the voice of the station. Steve Lohle died of an apparent heart attack early Friday morning at his home in Beaver County. He was 58.

He holds a degree in speech communications. Steve first became interested in broadcasting at North Hills High School when he did the P.A. announcements.

Steve's first job in broadcasting was with WQRC-FM in Hyannis, Massachusetts where he covered the Chappaquiddick incident involving Senator Ted Kennedy and his landslide reelection after it. He also served as program director at WHVY-FM and WMAS-AM in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Steve began his long career in the KQV newsroom in October of 1974, one…

McCracken, Thompson in Debate

By Mike Joseph- mjoseph@centredaily.com

UNIVERSITY PARK — Democrat Mark McCracken and Republican Glenn Thompson disagreed more than they agreed Tuesday, laying groundwork for a 5th Congressional District race that may increasingly reflect the nationwide presidential contest.

Read the complete story in the Centre Daily Times.

Injured Soldier Focuses on Future

Sgt. James T. Hackemer lost more than most could ever imagine in March when a roadside bomb exploded beside his heavily armored vehicle headed into Baghdad.

The 26-year-old Collins soldier, formerly from Gowanda, no longer has legs, struggles to express his thoughts and only recently learned how to eat again.

But Hackemer is defying the odds in a recovery he hopes will see him taking his first steps on artificial limbs by the fall.

Read the complete story in The Buffalo News.

We're Back! Finally!

The Weekend Wrap

I'll be speaking with Lisa Oz, wife of Dr. Mehment Oz, author of "YOU, The Owner's Manual," and the "YOU" series. We'll be talking mostly about the new audiobook "YOU Breathing Easy," and you can find more information about that HERE.

I'll also be speaking with Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky about "Rebuilding PA" and more.

You can hear The Weekend Wrap at 6 a.m. Saturday on 100.1 The HERO and at 9:15 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on 1490 WESB. Remember, The Weekend Wrap also includes State Representative Marty Causer's Legislative Report every week.

Hope, Light and Everyday Miracles

"Each miracle starts with one feeling. That feeling is hope."

Paula Fritz Eddy, executive director of the McKean County Unit of the American Cancer Society, made that statement as part of her opening remarks at this year's American Cancer Society Relay for Life Relay for Life. While many people may have been concentrating on money as hope during her remarks -- after all, the Relay for Life is the Cancer Society's primary fund raiser during the year -- others probably had other thoughts in mind.

I know I did.

In April 1996 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew the diagnosis was a possibility as I fidgeted in a waiting room at Bradford Regional Medical Center while she was having what would end up being a lumpectomy. But hey, I'd written a few stories about breast cancer and pretty much knew all there was to know about it. Right? Wrong. One thing I didn't know was how hard it hits you when the doctor says "it's cancer" and he's talki…

'Mission Lemonade' to Raise Money
for Open Arms' Africa Trip

A few weeks ago, a handful of Sunday School kids put their faith in action, and that action is motivating others at Open Arms Community Church in Bradford to do the same.

"Before church, they were selling rocks for a dollar," said Josh Hatcher, Outreach Coordinator at Open Arms. He said the kids had handwritten a little sign that said, "Rocks 4 Sale to help the Africa 'Mishuns' (Missions) Trip."

Open Arms has been planning a trip to the city of Conakry in Guinea, Africa in the Spring of 2009 to do humanitarian work.

After church, while the some of the adults were in a leadership meeting, the kids took their passion to the streets, putting together a makeshift lemonade stand and attempting to hawk their wares to passing cars.

Children's Ministry Coordinator Michelle Mahaney said, "I was really moved by what those kids did! They had that burning desire in their hearts; they were on a mission! They wanted to help and they did it the only way the knew.…

Pushing for Newborn Screenings

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By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


When his son was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly could have wallowed in self-pity and focused on dreams that would never come true.

Instead, with encouragement from his wife Jill, he started a foundation and mounted a campaign to make sure other families don't have to go through what his did.

When Hunter Kelly was born on February 14, 1997 – his famous dad's 37th birthday – the just retired NFL quarterback thought about all the things father and son would be doing together as the little boy grew up.

It wasn't long before the Kellys realized Hunter "was having a lot of difficulties," he said during a news conference in Harrisburg earlier this month.

"I could tell you all the problems he had but there would be a lot of tears shed," Kelly said, "because they'd be coming from me."

Hunter was four months old before he was diagnosed and, by that time, it was too late for doctor…

Unstamped Cigarettes Confiscated

Five men from out of the area have been arrested in two separate cases for possessing about 15,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes in Chautauqua County. All face felony charges of possession of unstamped cigarettes, and attempt to evade the cigarette law. Three of the men are from Michigan; the other two are from Kentucky. In the first case, a Kentucky truck driver was stopped on Interstate-86 in the town of Ellery when authorities found 8,000 cartons of unstamped cigarettes that were on their way to a nearby Indian reservation. In the second case, a van and a pickup truck were stopped on I-86 in the town of Ellicott. The vehicles were hauling nearly 7,000 cartons of cigarettes, purchased from a nearby Indian reservation.

Man Accused of Brutal Attack

An Allegany man is accused of kicking a woman in the head until she was unconscious. Police say 40-year-old Paul Ertell pushed his way through the front door of an Olean woman's home, then hit her in the head several times, knocking her to the ground. He then allegedly kicked her repeatedly until she lost consciousness – all with her three children watching. Ertell is charged with burglary, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Rape Reported in Olean

An Olean man is facing rape charges after an alleged attack Wednesday evening in an Olean woman's home. The victim told police that she and 21-year-old George Portlow have known each other for years, but when he visited her last night he made sexual advances toward her. When she resisted, he allegedly put her in a choke hold, grabbed her hair and raped her.

10-Year-Old Erie Girl Gets
Probation for Playground Attack

A 10-year-old Erie girl who broke a classmate's hip in a playground attack will remain on home-electronic monitoring for 30 days and on probation for an indefinite period. The girl, who isn't being identified because of her age, was also ordered Thursday to do 50 hours of community service for breaking 10-year-old Rikki Triana's hip on April 3. In May, an 11-year-old girl accused of throwing a cup of water on Rikki just before the assault was sentenced to community service and probation.

ATA Getting Hybrid Vehicle

Pennsylvania will be buying 14 hybrid public transportation vehicles, including one for the local Area Transportation Authority.

Governor Ed Rendell made the announcement Thursday -- “Dump the Pump Day," which is supposed to remind consumers to be responsible and make informed transportation decisions as a means to declare their own energy independence.

"If the General Assembly acts now, that’s exactly what my Energy Independence Strategy will start to do for Pennsylvania families and businesses — allow them to take control of their energy use," Rendell said.

Rendell unveiled the Energy Independence Strategy in February 2007 that would save Pennsylvania families and businesses $10 billion over the next decade. The plan, pending in the state Senate, would leverage $850 million in new investments to attract $3.5 billion in alternative and renewable energy products and reduce Pennsylvania’s dependence on foreign oil.

To help expand public transit’s use of cleaner, more effic…

Groups Want 'Buffers 100'

Environmental Groups are asking the state to adopt a new policy for development projects in Pennsylvania. The initiative is called "Buffers 100," and it would institute a 100-foot buffer zone between new development and natural waterways. The concept is to protect the waters from damaging pollution and other hazards, while also saving the development from damaging floods that can occur when waterways are interfered with or even redirected. Environmental groups and some state lawmakers are asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to adopt the policy.

Radio Reporter Resigns

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pittsburgh radio reporter has resigned after he was caught with a loaded handgun in his briefcase as he entered a courthouse to cover a trial. KDKA Radio says 53-year-old Rob Milford resigned by mutual agreement with the station.
Milford was charged Monday with possession of a firearm in a court facility and carrying a firearm without a license. Authorities say Milford said he didn't realize the .38-caliber was in his briefcase. He said it belongs to his girlfriend. Milford worked at the station since 2006. He also worked at Fox News Radio and CBS Radio covering everything from hurricanes to the Iraq war.

Friends of Rimrock to Meet for
Picnic, Hike, Geocache Event

WARREN, Pa., (June 19, 2008) – Friends of Rimrock will host a picnic, hike and geocache event on Sunday, June 22 at Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Picnic Area, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friends of Rimrock will be joined by the Allegheny Outdoor Adventure Group, the Allegheny Defense Project, the Tionesta Snowmobile Club and other groups. The public is cordially invited to participate.

Friends of Rimrock is a local group of concerned individuals devoted to protecting the Rimrock Scenic Overlook for future generations. John Stoneman, spokesperson for the group and organizer of the event, stated that though they meet at Rimrock every Sunday, “this event will be bigger than our regular Sunday meet-ups.”

Besides an all-day fun picnic, the group plans a hike through the rock area to see all the main attractions as well as a visit to a geocache, perhaps placing one or two new ones. Rappelling lines may be set up for those interested. Stoneman encourages all who play a musical instrument to bring it f…

Settlement with Royal Dutch Shell

Attorney General Tom Corbett has announced a $120 million settlement of a U.S. class action lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell, which was accused of overstating oil and natural gas reserves and artificially inflating stock prices over a five year period, from April 1999 to March 2004.

Corbett said the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement Board and the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all U.S. investors who suffered losses as the result of these alleged actions by Shell.

“Over the past several years we have taken aggressive legal action against companies accused of misrepresenting profits and other key financial information that misled investors and we will continue to defend the rights of Pennsylvania taxpayers and consumers in these cases,” Corbett said. “We will not allow Pennsylvania investors and retirees to be put at risk in order to falsely inflate corporate profits and stock prices.

Th…

Frank & the White Powder -- Part II

Today on The Morning Buzz ...

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Dan Desrochers of the Community Blood Bank talks with Scott Douglas on The Morning Buzz about the critical blood shortage in the region. You can give blood today at Union Square from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Frank Williams will be there, too, giving you a chance to win tickets to the upcoming Huey Lewis and the News concert in Salamanca or to Waldameer Park. Tasta Pizza will also be providing food!

White Powder Donuts ...

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Frank Williams enjoys a white powder donut from John Williams European Pastry Shop ... and, just like Scott said, gets half the powder on the floor.

Date for Soccerthon Changed

The Soccerthon scheduled for June 28 in Bradford is being moved to August. Organizer Dennis Swineford says he'll let us know when the plans are finalized. The Bradford Rotary Club is sponsoring the event, with proceeds going to Nothing But Nets, which provides mosquito bed nets to families around the world.

Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

A Bradford man died in a motorcycle accident Tuesday night on the southbound lane of I-79. State Police say 54-year-old Wilhelm Potkovick was killed in the crash. Police report that Potkovick was driving 25 mph over the speed limit when he went off the road and hit the guard rail.

Bill Aims to Enhance Oversight
of Natural Gas Drilling

By MATTHEW ROBERTS
Director of Operations, Senator Catharine M. Young


ALBANY, NY – A wave of economic revitalization will boost communities across New York’s Southern Tier, thanks to legislation passed by Senator Catharine Young that will help reinvigorate the natural gas and oil industry.

“From Chautauqua to Delaware County, more natural gas will be recovered, potentially triggering a billion dollar investment in the upstate economy,” Senator Young said.

“The market value for natural gas produced in New York State is $500 million annually and it is estimated that landowners receive $64 million in royalties and up to $20 million in state and local tax revenues are generated,” Senator Young continued. “It’s possible that the natural gas market value will double due to large recoveries of natural gas from the Southern Tier and New York State.

The legislation establishes statewide spacing requirements, and streamlines the permitting process, to better protect the environment and landowners.…

Bad Tomatoes Affect Warren Co.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says four people were sickened in late May by salmonella-tainted tomatoes in Warren, Bucks, Butler and Lancaster counties. A spokeswoman says officials believe two of those cases involved exposure outside Pennsylvania. The federal government's count of those sickened by the outbreak is now 383. That's 106 more than were reported earlier this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that most of those people got sick weeks ago but just hadn't been counted yet.

Officers File Suit Against DA

Two Clearfield police officers say they were wrongly accused of lying about an alleged encounter with a knife-wielding man because the district attorney held a political grudge, and have filed a federal lawsuit against Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw Jr. State police charged officers Brian Dixon and Gregory Neeper in February with several misdemeanors in connection with their actions during a domestic dispute call. A district judge later dismissed the case against the officers at a preliminary hearing. The officers say Shaw prosecuted them because they supported a political opponent during his re-election campaign last year. They say their free speech rights were violated.

Luke Russert

Maria Shriver on Tim Russert

Remembering Tim Russert

Peterson on 'Happening Now'

Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) discusses the Democrats' decision to ‘postpone’ a hearing where his much-anticipated offshore energy proposal was to be considered. Watch the video HERE.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Festival

As part of the Buffalo Homecoming Weekend Celebration of June 26-29, 2008, the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County takes you on a nostalgic adventure to the outrageous and fantastic operatic world of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with three separate showings.

This homage to horror, science fiction and fantasy films will begin with a VIP Time Warp Dance Party to be held at the Arts Council Passage Way Gallery, 3rd floor Market Arcade Building, 617 Main St. at 9 pm on Friday, June 27, 2008. To bring back the glittering and delicious fun of it all, local members of the dance and theatre community will portray Rocky characters and be on hand to teach the ever timeless “Time Warp Dance”, with costume accessories available to all patrons at the Party. The party then moves to the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center at 639 Main St. where a viewing of the movie will follow at 11:30pm. A Rocky Horror Accessories Pack will also be provided that contains rice, toast, paper towel, newspaper,…

Option House Facing More Charges

The former owners of the Option House are facing more charges related to underage drinking. The state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement says that on September 16, November 24 and December 2 and 23 of last year, as well as many other occasions, the bar sold alcohol to 4 20 year olds and allowed them to frequent the premises. Last month, similar charges were filed against The Option House. One of the other incidents happened on the day 19-year-old Nikole Smock backed her SUV over 20-year-old Alissa Cameron in a nearby parking lot. Cameron died several days later at Hamot Medical Center.

Allaire Stepping Down as Principal

Father Barry Allaire is stepping down as principal of Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean. Allaire will, however, stay on in the newly created position of dean of religious affairs. A replacement at the principal position hasn't been chosen yet.

Tops Promoting Local Produce

Williamsville, NY – Produce managers from Tops Friendly Markets’ 71 stores rolled up their sleeves today and hit the field to learn first-hand about the locally grown produce that is sold in all Tops stores. At the same time, the managers took part in a photo shoot that will be the basis of an in-store campaign to promote local produce and local growers.

“Our customers want to be confident that their produce is fresh and locally grown,” said Tops Friendly Markets President and CEO Frank Curci. “With Tops once again under local ownership and management, it is more important than ever for us to build the relationship between Tops and our local growing partners. That’s what our homegrown campaign is all about.”

The homegrown campaign, which will be launched this summer, has a central theme of informing Tops’ customers where the produce they purchase comes from. The campaign will include in-store signage that shows where the local produce comes from and tells who the local growers are. To…

Toddlers Test Positive for Pot

Four Warren residents have been charged after their toddlers tested positive for having marijuana in their systems. Police say 27-year-old Daniel Johnson and 21-year-old Joshua Kent were smoking in close proximity to their children, who are 2 and 3 years old. Johnson and Kent were charged with endangering the welfare of children. 23-year-old Kristin Devlin and 20-year-old Mandy Jurkowski were also charged for knowingly allowing their children to be exposed to the drug.

Funding for Alfred State College

By MATTHEW ROBERTS
Director of Operations, Senator Catharine M. Young


ALFRED, NY – State Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C – Olean) announced a $150,000 a state grant to address a shortage in skilled, college level graduates in our area by funding the building of the Alfred State College Construction Industry Workforce Development Facility Project. The grant will help develop additional training facilities at Alfred State for both union and non-union skilled trades’ employees in the region.

This facility expands the ability of Alfred State College to serve the community and region by graduating more students in high-demand, high-paying construction trades jobs in carpentry, masonry and air conditioning and heating technology.

“Improving access to high quality education is key to revitalizing the upstate economy, and growing more jobs,” said Senator Young. “This investment enhances Alfred State’s programs that provide needed, high-paying construction trades to will benefit our entire region…

Mural Dedication at Pitt-Bradford

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The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford dedicated a new mural in Blaisdell Hall Wednesday morning. The work was designed and painted by a summer term mural class taught by Kong Ho, associate professor of art and a well-known muralist. Here A.J. Laganosky, right, a senior interdisciplinary arts major from Carlisle, Pa., and Dr. ‘BioDun Ogundayo, associate professor of French and comparative literature discuss the imagery in the mural, which depicts each of the fine arts taught in Blaisdell Hall. Laganosky was one of 10 students who worked on the mural under Ho’s guidance.
(Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Punxy Man Facing Federal Charges

A Punxsutawney man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges that he violated federal firearms laws. The two-count indictment says that 33-year-old John Thomas Shenk falsely stated that he was the true buyer of a .40 caliber rifle and a 9mm rifle from a Clearfield store, when he was actually buying the guns for a drug dealer who had been convicted in federal court. If convicted, Shenk faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a fine of 500 thousand dollars, or both.

Game Commission Hosts 'E-Bird'

HARRISBURG -The Pennsylvania Game Commission has become the first state wildlife agency to host and manage an "eBird" website. The eBird network is dedicated to helping birders throughout North America and the world record their bird observations and improve our understanding of seasonal bird activities and movements.

"Pennsylvania eBird" is a customized satellite website in the international eBird network that shares news about birds, birding, and conservation with birders and serves as a common database for their bird records. eBird is the premier birding database. It is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized how the birding community reports and accesses information about birds.

Launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird has generated tremendous participation, both nationally and internationally, since its inception in 2002. The Game Commission is partnering with the Pennsylvania Society for Ornitholog…

Charges Pending in Airport Crash

Charges could be filed by Friday against 20-year-old Casey Comes of Cuba, and one or all of his three passengers, who were in his vehicle. Sunday when he drove it at a high speed off the east end of the Cattaraugus- Olean Airport runway, overturning it at the bottom of a 100-foot embankment. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says the district attorney wants statements from all four of them before deciding what charges to filed. The passengers were 19-year-old Jodi L. Bobseine; 19-year-old Ryan M. Cook; and 18-year-old Brandon J. Reilly, all of Cuba. All four were taken by ambulance to Olean General Hospital after the crash, and one of the group was later transported to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, with more serious injuries and remains hospitalized there.

George Sample Jr. Has Died

Longtime journalist and newspaper owner George R. Sample Jr. has died. He was 84. Sample's son, George Sample III, says his father died today of cardiac arrest at Corry Memorial Hospital. Sample worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times and Jerusalem Post and was founder of the Sample News Group. The group run by his family owned small newspapers in several states, including the Corry Journal where he was publisher for more than 50 years. Corry Journal General Manager Bob Williams called Sample an icon and a champion of the common man.

National Pollinator Week

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Warren, Pa. – The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 22-28, 2008 will celebrate the 2nd Annual National Pollinator Week. The first National Pollinator Week 2007 was officially declared by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pollinators, such as insects, birds, and bats, are important because they help grow the food society needs to survive.

Did you know?
· Animal pollinators (insects, birds, and bats) are needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops.
· Worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods society uses.
· In the United States, pollination by honeybees and other insects produces $40 billion dollars worth of products annually.
· The decline in the health and number of pollinators pose a significant threat to global food webs, human health and plant diversity world wide.

What are Pollinator…

Purple Boxes Hanging in Trees

It seems a lot of people are still curious about those purple boxes hanging from trees in the region. For those of you who don't know, they are Emerald Ash Borer traps. The state Department of Agriculture put them up to see if the destructive beetle has made it to this part of the state yet.

For more information, you can check out our previous posts on the topic HERE.

Car/Train Crash in Dunkirk

A Dunkirk man is at ECMC after a train hit his car Tuesday night at the Berry Road crossing. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say Nathan Lamattina's car was at the crossing when a CSX train hit it. The car was pushed into a ditch a short distance from the crossing. Lamattina was flown to ECMC for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is continuing.

Pirates Sign Pitt-Bradford's Foster

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Pitt-Bradford’s Zach Foster. Foster went 3-1 on the mound in his junior year with a 5.40 ERA this past spring. Zach was chosen in the 49th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on June 6. Foster is the first player in the 12-year history of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference to be drafted into the majors.

Howard Charged with Manslaughter

A Corry woman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with an accident that killed her 6-year-old son. Authorities say 26-year-old Erin Howard's son, Sam Carpenter, was not wearing a seat belt when the car slammed into a creek bank outside Corry Saturday. He died from multiple blunt force injuries. State police on Tuesday charged Howard with involuntary manslaughter, drunken driving, child endangerment and other crimes. Howard was in Erie County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The Ducks!

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Admit it. You thought Scott and Frank were kidding about seeing the ducks in the morning, didn't you? Well, here are four of them in the Fretz athletic field ...

... and two more across the street at the Ecumenical Home.

Rendell's Energy-Saving Plans

Governor Ed Rendell today announced a number of initiatives the commonwealth will immediately make to reduce energy use, stimulate the renewable energy sector and cut costs.

“Rising energy prices affect every customer, including state government,” Governor Rendell said. “We need to make immediate, sweeping adjustments to the way state government operates to counter escalating gas prices and rising energy prices.

“The steps I am announcing today will reduce our environmental impact by using less energy, and helping to grow our renewable energy sector by purchasing more clean, renewable energy,” he said.

“I want all residents to have the tools they need to combat rising energy costs,” Governor Rendell said. “That’s why I have been encouraging the General Assembly for 18 months to pass the Energy Independence Strategy to protect consumers from the financial hardships of higher energy costs.”

An extensive energy reduction and conservation initiative in state office buildings that Governor …

ANF: Fishing Line Hazard
to Eagle, Osprey

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Warren, Pa. – The Allegheny National Forest is home to the Bald Eagle, the nation’s symbol, and osprey, the raptor with the breathtaking dives to the water’s surface. At least four bald eagle nests are known to occur along the side hills on the Pennsylvania side of the Allegheny Reservoir and three nests have been identified along the Allegheny River; two nests are along Tionesta Creek. The shorelines along these waterways are vital food foraging areas for the eagles.

Fishing line, discarded along the shoreline of Allegheny National Forest waterways, is a potential hazard to foraging bald eagles and osprey.

“Bald Eagles and osprey can be easily injured by getting their feet entangled in discarded fishing line along the Allegheny Reservoir or Allegheny River,” said forest wildlife biologist Brad Nelson. “When their feet become entangled, they struggle to fly, become stressed and exhausted, and die” added Nelson.

Anglers can help ensure bald eagle safety by not discarding unwanted f…

Michael Jordan's Lawyer Says
Miceli Violated Court Order

An attorney representing former basketball star Michael Jordan has filed a petition in Crawford County court asking that Lisa Miceli of Meadville be found in contempt of a June 12 order that permanently barred her from having further contact with Jordan and a list of people close to him.

Jordan's lawyer says Miceli violated the order by sending Jordan six voice mail messages and one e-mail message on Friday that contained profane, racist and violent statements.

The permanent injunction was the result of a civil suit Jordan filed against Miceli in January.

Miceli claims Jordan is the father of her son and has repeatedly challenged the validity of paternity tests.

Scarnati Supports Tax Package

Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) this week voted for a four-bill stimulus package that would offer almost $96 million in tax relief in the upcoming fiscal year for lower-income working Pennsylvanians, small businesses looking to expand and other job creators.

"The package approved by the Senate today is intended to make our economy more competitive and help low-income working Pennsylvanians who are struggling," Scarnati said. “It makes commonsense reforms to our tax laws that will help to encourage job expansion and retention.”

Among the measures approved are:

Senate Bill 1385 -- would expand the cap on the Net Operating Loss provision of the Corporate Net Income Tax to $5 million or 20 percent of taxable income. The NOL cap is currently set at $3 million or 12.5 percent of taxable income. If enacted, the effective date of the increase would be January 1, 2009. The NOL expansion is projected to save Pennsylvania employers $21.5 million in Fiscal Year 2008-09, $68.4 millio…

Pizza Delivery Driver Finds Unresponsive Couple

A couple found unresponsive in an Indiana County hotel room by a pizza delivery driver face charges relating to drug possession. The driver was attempting to make a delivery to a room Friday night when he found 23-year-old Steven Meholick of Reynoldsville and 23-year-old Kathleen Brown of Marienville unresponsive on their beds. Police and emergency medical personnel discovered drugs inside the room, and said Meholick and Brown were both under the influence of drugs. They are free on $5,000 bond each.

Man Indicted on Porn Charges

A Warren man has been indicted on two federal charges that he had child pornography on his computer from August 2007 to March of this year. 36-year-old Philip Regner Jr. is prohibited from having access to a computer or the Internet while he awaits prosecution. He is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.

DA: Mom Was DUI in Accident That Killed Her 6-Year-Old Son

Authorities say a Corry woman was driving drunk in an accident that killed her 6-year-old son on Saturday.

Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk says state police are continuing to gather evidence and are considering filing charges against 26-year-old Erin Howard.

Howard's son, Sam Carpenter, was riding in the back seat of his mother's car at the time and was not wearing a seat belt.

He died of multiple blunt-force injuries when Howard's car left Stewart Road, near her house, and crashed into a creek bank.

Howard has been at Hamot Medical Center since Saturday, and is now listed in fair condition.

Benefit Dinner for
Fred Haskins & Ronda Skoken

A benefit dinner for Fred Haskins and Ronda Skoken -- kidney transplant pair - will be held Thursday, June 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Otto Township Fire Hall.

Ronda will be flying to Tampa, Florida, to give her kidney so Fred can receive a kidney from a matching donor. These procedures will require a great deal of travel and expense.

Next Thursday's dinner includes roast beef, cole slaw, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls and strawberry shortcake. Everyone is welcome. Donations will be accepted. Door prizes will be awarded.

The organizers "thank you in advance for your contributions in this amazing endeavor."

Fans Want Russert on Bills'
'Wall of Fame'

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A Buffalo Bills fan is pushing the team to honor Tim Russert by placing Russert's name on the Wall of Fame inside Ralph Wilson Stadium and the team has started to discuss the possibility in a very early, preliminary and informal way

"It is something we have even talked about inside the Bills after learning of his death," says Bills VP Scott Berchtold. "...basically it's just been hallway conversations, but I'm sure it will come up again."

Dan McCormick, a Niagara University grad, launched the online petition drive and as of this post he had more than 600 signatures on the site.

For the full story, go WBEN.com.

To read and/or sign the petition, go HERE/

Police Search for Suspects

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Chautauqua County Sheriff Deputies have released sketches of two murder suspects. The victim was 33 year old Quincy Turner of Jamestown who was shot to death in a parking lot in the Town of Ellicott on May 30. The two murder suspects are both described as Hispanic. One suspect is between 35-45 years of age, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 7, 140-160 pounds, with brown eyes and dark greying hair. The second suspect is described as about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, a large build with dark hair and dark eyes. Individuals Nos. 1 and 2 are thought to be directly involved in the Quincy Turner shooting. Individual No. 3 is wanted for questioning.

NY Plan to Eliminate Property Tax

The New York State Senate will act on major property tax relief legislation (S8522) that would result in the complete elimination of school property taxes in school districts that vote to phase them out over five years, with revenue replaced by additional State funding.

The plan, known as New York STOP TAXING OUR PROPERTY (NY-STOP), would reduce school property taxes by 20 percent a year until they are eliminated after five years, rather than simply capping property tax increases, as the Suozzi Commission has proposed.

The STOP TAXING OUR PROPERTY plan would: give school district voters the authority to eliminate residential property taxes over five years, with revenue replaced by additional State funding; and allow localities the option to put a local tax cap in place. Most importantly, STOP TAXING OUR PROPERTY would reduce taxes 20 percent a year rather than limit the year-to-year property tax increase to 4 percent.

Meanwhile, as part of STOP TAXING OUR PROPERTY, local school district…

Rendell Drank Obama Kool-Aid

PHILADELPHIA - One of the most ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has disclosed the secret behind his now public support of Barack Obama: he drank the Kool-Aid.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who often accused reporters of having “drunk the Obama Kool-Aid” during the nominating process, said he now has had some of the sweet drink himself.

At a fund-raising event on Friday, just a week after Clinton pulled out of the Democratic race, Rendell said that Obama supporters had brought him a big carton of Kool-Aid and told him to “drink up” when Obama became the nominee.

“I gave Senator Clinton $1,500 in the primary so I thought just for old-time sake I’d give Senator Obama $1,499,” Rendell said, sparking scattered boos from the crowd.

Rendell calmed them by saying “that was before I drank the Kool-Aid.” He said he has a check for $2,300 to give to the Obama campaign.

From Reuters

Tax Cuts Pass Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania state senators approved a $240 million tax-cutting package as negotiators prepare to hash out a budget for the next fiscal year.

The four bills that passed Monday are a Republican plan to deliver relief to businesses and low-income taxpayers and to jump-start a sluggish economy.

But Democrats argued against the bills, saying now isn't the time to cut taxes, when the state is scrounging for money for existing programs.

Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed a $28 billion-plus budget for the budget year that begins July 1.

One of the Senate bills would lift the forgiveness limit on the state's personal income tax for the state's lowest-income workers.

Another would raise the cap on the losses that a business could carry forward to offset taxes on future profits.

Furlough Battle in the House

Republicans in the state House failed in efforts to force to a head the issue of potential furloughs of about 25,000 state employees. The GOP caucus fell one vote shy as they worked to advance legislation that would declare the entire state work force critical and therefore immune to being furloughed if the state has not enacted a new budget by the time the fiscal year ends June 30.

"All we're trying to do is to avoid laying off 25,000 workers and taking away their ability to feed their families," said Rep. John M. Perzel, R-Philadelphia. Republican leaders cried foul when they realized Democrats moved the bill — which had been amended to allow workers to be paid out of the Rainy Day Fund — off the floor.

"We should not worry about furloughs today — we should solve the budget problem today or tomorrow or the next day and then there will not be any furloughs," said Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene. (Senate Bill 1122)

KDKA Radio Reporter Charged
with Taking Gun to Court

A Pittsburgh radio reporter is charged with trying to take a gun into the Allegheny County Courthouse. Rob Milford was arrested today after authorities at a courthouse screening station found a loaded handgun in his briefcase. Officials with KDKA say Milford is a general assignment reporter who was at the courthouse to cover a trial. He has worked at the station since 2006. This is the second time in a week that someone has been charged with bringing a gun to the courthouse. A witness on Thursday showed up at the courthouse with a gun in her purse.

Teen Sniffs Stolen Solvent

A Johnsonburg teenager is accused of stealing a chemical solvent from the St. Marys Wal-Mart this morning, then going into the parking lot and sniffing the solvent. Police say the 16-year-old boy was overcome by the chemical and blacked out, injuring the back of his head. He was taken to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment. Police say charges are pending.

Pierce Pleads Not Guilty

Stephanie Pierce has pleaded not guilty to murder and homicide charges in connection with the death of 3-year-old Ianna Maybee. An indictment against Pierce charges that between March 20 and 21 in Salamanca, she and Guy Maybee caused the death of Ianna Maybee. The matter has been adjourned for motions. Pierce is free on bail. Maybee has also pleaded not guilty and is in Cattaraugus County Jail on 300 thousand dollars bail.

Alumni Group Creates New Award

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has created a new award to recognize alumni for outstanding professional achievement and/or exemplary service to the community.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the first Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Alumni Award of Distinction.

“This new award is a way for us to honor our alumni who are doing great things outside of their service to the university,” said Lindsay Hilton Retchless ’98, director of alumni relations. “There are so many deserving candidates who have made significant advancements in their careers and contributed their time and talents to their communities.”

The award will be presented during commencement exercises next April by Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, and Stacey Sorokes Wallace ’00, who will become president of the PBAA in October.

“The fact that we will present this award during commencement is very important,” said Tim Fannin ’78, current president of the PBAA. “To our current graduates, it will…

Former Officer Suing Borough

An ex-police officer in Renovo says he was fired unjustly after making two separate drunken driving arrests, one involving the son of a borough councilman. Adam Leiter says in a federal lawsuit that Councilman Richard Thompson pressured him to drop the charge against his son following the arrest in October 2006. Leiter says then-police Chief G. Jeffrey Bealer later directed a hospital to discard a blood sample from the younger Thompson, who was never charged. Leiter alleges he was fired a month later after another drunken driving arrest, this time the son of a borough employee. Leiter is suing borough council members and Bealer for unspecified damages. Thompson declined to comment. Bealer left the department in February and could not be reached for comment.

PGC Looks Forward to Court Ruling

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today welcomed the opportunity for the agency to present its case to Commonwealth Court to resolve, once and for all, the scientific foundation of its deer management program.

"We recognize that the Commonwealth's deer management program is viewed differently by many people, and there are those who do not support some of the current outcomes," Roe said. "However, as the Game Commission manages all wild birds and mammals and their habitats for current and future generations, we must do what is right for all based on the best science available.

"We look forward to a speedy trial with few continuances, and the opportunity to have our many expert witnesses expound on the scientific basis and soundness of our management plan. Likewise, as part of the process, those who filed this lawsuit will have to validate their claims by presenting their scientific evidence and expert witnesses."

Roe no…

Company Encouraged by
Marcellus Shale Tests

HOUSTON, June 16 (Reuters) - Rex Energy Corp (REXX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Monday said it was encouraged by initial production tests of a second well in the Marcellus shale in western Pennsylvania.

Rex also said its leasing efforts in the Marcellus showed positive results. As of June 16, Rex said its prospective acreage in the areas had grown to about 57,000 net acres.

"With the addition of approximately 10,000 acres since May 2008, we are getting closer to reaching our previously announced goal of expanding our Marcellus Shale prospective acreage to between 60,000 and 80,000 net acres by the end of 2008," Benjamin Hulburt, Rex Energy's chief executive officer, said.

A number of exploration and production companies are focusing efforts on developing "unconventional" fields in North America where oil and natural gas are locked in substances like shale.

The fields were once considered too costly to develop, but recent advances in technology and sky-high energ…

Casey Urges Gas Price Investigation

WASHINGTON, DC– At a time when Pennsylvanians are faced with skyrocketing gas prices, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to William Kovacic, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the potential of price gouging and price manipulation.

“I hope that you and I can work together to give the FTC the tools it needs to investigate and help prosecute companies that are adopting questionable business strategies,” Senator Casey wrote. “The Unites States Congress and the FTC have an obligation to provide consumers with the assurance that whatever price they are paying at the pump, they can be certain they aren't being taken for a ride.”

In the letter, Senator Casey strongly urged the FTC to continue to audit and monitor activity on all aspects of the oil and gas market. Senator Casey also expressed his concerns that the ambiguity of the meaning of price gouging along with a very strict definition for what constitutes collusion on the market may be tying the …