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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kids and Cancer Fun Run

Ron Booth welcomes more riders into the Zippo parking lot for the 11th annual Kids & Cancer Motorcyle Fun Run ...

...and later, Dave Geitner gives the official welcome... a ceremony that featured introductions of past recipients, including Pennsylvania State Trooper Ray Millard and his family.

Father Leo Gallina offered his traditional blessing of the bikes and bikers before they took off.

Geitner led the "parade" ...

...that included Lanny Layton's and Jim Long's restored fire truck.

These riders wait their turns to get into the run ...

They made their way through the city before heading out to Bradford Regional Airport for the first stop. The run takes them throughout the Twin Tiers, and ends up at The New Willows.

Having a Blast!

Fireworks capped off Friday's night's activities for Case Collectors Appreciation Weekend and Summer Fest. Check back for more photos from yesterday, and today.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BRMC's Mission Statement Unveiled

The latest addition to renovations in Bradford Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department was completed Friday with the installation of signage reflecting the hospital's new mission statement. The newly adopted statement, officials say, is "Caring for Our Community Through the Journey of Life." Pictured applying the signage near the Emergency Department front desk is Jerry Clark of Sign DeSign, Westline. Also pictured is Emergency Department Triage Liaison Theresa Potter, LPN.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

Scarnati's Plan Endorsed

From Solomon's Words:

Potter County Commissioners Endorse Scarnati's Plan.

Gene Fanton Jr. Sentenced

The Belmont man who robbed a Wellsville Pharmacy then engaged in a stand-off with police will spend the next 20 years to life in prison. 53-year-old Gene Fanton Jr. robbed the Rite Aid on Route 417 with a loaded handgun on November 19, then exchanged gunfire with police during his escape. He stole a van, which a sheriff's deputy rammed to end the police chase. He was sentenced to 20 years to life for attempted murder, and 10 years for robbery. The state prison sentences are to be served concurrently.

Man Arrested for Indecent Assault

Bradford City Police have arrested the man they believe assaulted a 13-year-old girl Sunday evening near Silicon Way and East Main Street. 55-year-old Victor Manuel Medina allegedly kissed the girl, touched her inappropriately and exposed himself to her. At that point, two workers on a train saw what was going on and called police. Wednesday, the victim's father saw a man he believed was the same person he saw Sunday when he was looking for his daughter, and called police. The father and daughter identified Medina and he was charged with indecent assault, indecent exposure and corruption of minors. He's in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Peterson Accepting Nominations

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, announced that young adults interested in attending a U.S. military service academy in 2009 may submit their nomination application to his congressional office in State College, PA.

Students aged 17-22 who have an interest in attending the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, or the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point may begin the process by completing the nomination application and submitting it to Congressman Peterson’s office. The deadline for submitting applications is October 1, 2008.

Peterson explained that candidates for the service academies will be reviewed this fall by a non-partisan board. The board will make recommendations to Peterson, who will in turn recommend qualified candidates for admission to the service academies.

Interested applicants from Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district may call Peterson’s office at (814) 238-1776, or download a nomination request form directly from Congressman Peterson’s web site at The completed form should be mailed or faxed to:

U.S. Representative John E. Peterson
1524 West College Avenue, Suite 208
State College, PA 16801
(814) 238-1918 fax

Peterson also reminded students that admission to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination. Interested applicants should write to: Director of Admissions, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut 06321, or call/email (800) 883-8724,

Jamestown Native Dies in Iraq

A Jamestown native has died in Iraq. The Department of Defense reports that Staff Sgt. David W. Textor died of injuries suffered from a vehicle accident in Mosul, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Lewis, Wash. The 27 year-old Textor was a Green Beret. This was his first deployment to Iraq. Textor played football at Randolph High School.

Toddler Drowns in Pool

A 2-year-old boy drowned in a private swimming pool in Brookville. The toddler, Seth Yanosky, was found at the bottom of an above-ground portable swimming pool behind his Laurel Avenue home around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was transported to Brookeville Hospital, where he later died. The boy's father, Shane, told police he looked away for a moment and when he turned around, his son was gone.

(I can't imagine what the father is going through. I hope people who read Seth's obituary will keep it in their minds, and make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.)

Ready to Go

This was the scene about 12 hours ago at W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. on Owens Way. Now, thousands of collectors -- some from as far away as New Zealand -- have descended on the grounds to celebrate the inaugural Case Collectors Appreciation Weekend. For more information on the events scheduled for this weekend, go HERE. Remember, the big fireworks shows starts at 9:45 tonight!

Jazzin' it Up

Jazz-A-Billy performs "Oh, Pretty Woman" Thursday night in Union Square as part of an ongoing free summer concert series. Next Thursday, people can hear the music of acoustic guitar duo Kira & Mike. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the music! You can hear Jazz-A-Billy again at next month's Lunch in the Square, August 20.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scarnati on 'Bonusgate'

WESB/WBRR News Director

State Senator Joe Scarnati says he applauds the efforts of a colleague to have a special session on ethics and reform convened.

Senator Jeff Piccola of Dauphin County cited the charges against one current and one former legislator, and 10 other people, in the "Bonusgate" investigation as one reason the special session is long overdue. Petitions are currently being circulated through the Legislature in an effort to have the session convened.

Scarnati says the Bonusgate situation is "egregious. It just totally destroys confidence in our Legislature. I'm embarrassed as a legislator."

"I have done everything I can do in the last year and a half to try to restore some respect and trust in what we do in the senate – passing numerous reforms, and making sure we changed the way business is being done in Harrisburg," he said.

The Bonusgate allegations had just come to light when Scarnati was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

"As a newly elected leader, I didn't know anything about the bonuses," he said. "I found out bonuses were paid, and immediately asked for complete disclosure in the Senate Republican Caucus."

After obtaining a list of to whom the bonuses were paid, and how much the people got, Scarnati released the information to the media.

One of the revelations was that, while working for former Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer, Drew Crompton received a $19,467 bonus even though he spent at least three months off the state payroll so he could work on the failed gubernatorial campaign of Lynn Swann.

Crompton currently works in Scarnati's Harrisburg office.

As for the ongoing investigation into all four caucuses, Scarnati says Senate Republicans have "complied with all requests by the attorney general. I have made sure that there is no obstruction of justice, that any documents the attorney general wants, we have. We put into a place a policy of document retention, whereas those that were indicted – they were destroying documents."

"This is an embarrassment," Scarnati said. "This is an embarrassment to the Commonwealth, to every legislator."

He added that under his leadership, everything has been fully transparent and fully open.

"In no way have I impeded, or will I impede, any investigation. As a matter of fact, I like to say I was the guy who said 'Here's the information, and here's what we're doing with it.' … We've been fully cooperative, and we're going to continue to do that," he said.

"I don't care if you're a Republican or Democrat, if you violated any of the laws – if you're a past legislator, a past staffer – that individual needs to come before the grand jury and ultimately pay the price for breaking the law," Scarnati said.

When asked if a caucus leader could not know a situation such as Bonusgate was going on under his nose, Scarnati said it's not his place to say whether House Majority Bill DeWeese knew anything about the bonuses but "there needs to be a full public venting of what took place."

"Nobody in the Legislature should be above the law," he said. "I think that's a matter of the grand jury and attorney general – at the end of the day it will be flushed out."

DeWeese has said he believes the grand jury presentments have vindicated him, and he plans to run for Speaker of the House in the next legislative session.

Scarnati said people can look at Bonusgate and say, ultimately, the legal system does work.

"People are going to jail," he said, "and that's what should happen."

Operation Flat Tire -- Part 2

Two men are under arrest after authorities say they were connected to a $2 million cocaine and heroin ring in central Pennsylvania. State Attorney General Tom Corbett says 27-year-old Kalen Shaffer of Jersey Shore and 31-year-old Matthew Anderson of Mill Hall were connected to a ring that brought drugs from New York City to Lycoming, Clinton and Centre counties. A third suspect who lives in Florida, Michael Marshall, is still at large. Corbett says the latest arrests are connected to the arrests of 15 people in January 2007 who were later convicted. Among those taken into custody was an alleged member of the Latin Kings street gang. Police made the latest arrests following a grand jury investigation.

Attempted Homicide in Warren

A Warren man has been charged with criminal attempted homicide after an alleged incident early Wednesday morning in the city. Police say 27-year-old Jason Lee Wilson attacked a female employee at the Eagles Club. She suffered serious injuries and had to be hospitalized. Wilson is in Warren County Jail on 100,000 dollars bail.

Regola: It Was a 'Witch Hunt'

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state senator whose gun was used by a teenage neighbor in an apparent suicide said Thursday that his acquittal on gun and perjury charges shows that his prosecution was a politically motivated "witch hunt."

State Sen. Robert Regola III, speaking in his first interview with The Associated Press since the charges were filed, also said he's confident that an expected civil lawsuit will ultimately exonerate both him and his son Bobby.

For the full story, go to

Case Appreciation Weekend

Just in case you missed it the first time, here's where you can find our story on Case Collectors Appreciation Weekend.

Marty Causer on YouTube

Did you know Marty Causer has a YouTube channel? Here's a video of him talking about Marcellus Shale.

The natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale formation could become an economic boon for Pennsylvania. Individual royalties will vary, and there's no telling how much the estimated 50-trillion cubic feet of natural gas might be worth, but David Passmore of Penn State tells us that every $1-billion dollars in royalty income will mean 8,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. Passmore says these future natural gas royalties will benefit the entire Commonwealth's economy.

Veterans Pow Wow This Weekend

SALAMANCA - Cultural arts presentations will be part of the 2008 Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel Veteran's Pow Wow to be held this weekend at Veterans Park.

The pow wow, a dance competition that features Native American dancing from tribes across the country and Seneca Indians, also features refreshments that include items such as Indian tacos, bear meet and more.

On Saturday and Sunday, grand entry, or the parade of dancers, begins at noon. A memorial service to veterans will be held and cultural arts presentations begin at 2 p.m. with lacrosse stick making, cornhusk doll making and moccasin making.

On Sunday, cultural arts presentations include wood carving, basket making and beadwork.

Competition dancing continues throughout both days and tickets can be purchased at the gate.

Emmy Nominations

Personally, I think "Mad Men" was nominated because of the Zippo connection.

St. Marys Teenager Hospitalized

A St. Marys teenager is in critical condition in a Pittsburgh hospital after being hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this week. Police say 16-year-old Brandon Johnson ran a stop sign on Mark Street. Now neighbors are saying changes have to be made. They say people slow down at the stop sign, but just drive through. They're asking for the intersection to be changed to a four-way stop.

West Nile Virus in Warren County

A Warren County mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus. The sample was collected from the Youngsville area, and now officials are working on a treatment program. Rick Weber of the DEP Warren District Office says they used "low-volume" sprayer to kill mosquitoes in the immediate area covered by the positive trap. They will continue to set and check traps in the area, but officials say people don't have to be nervous because the average person's risk from West Nile Virus is small. About 80 percent of people who acquire the virus never show any symptoms. There have been no reports of infected people in Warren County.

Olean's Festa Italiana Sat. & Sun.

The Festa Italiana is held on the third weekend of July in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The two-day festival will be held on the grounds of St. John’s Church in Olean and is kicked off with a Mass at 11:00am on Saturday. Festival hours are Saturday 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM and Sunday 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Originating in 1983 as a neighborhood block party, Festa Italiana has been an annual event for many years, with a dual purpose of raising extra money for parish needs, and of celebrating the rich cultural background in the parish and the surrounding neighborhoods of North Olean. “Festa” has grown into not only a parish tradition, but also an Olean tradition; a joyful summer celebration of ethnic foods and entertainment. Friends and family from all over are reunited as vacations, home visits, and reunions often coincide.

All proceeds of Festa Italiana are used exclusively for the spiritual, physical, and academic life of St. John’s parish.

As always, the food is a major attraction. Meatball and Italian Sausage sandwiches, pizza, pasta fagioli, polenta, cannolis, and the famous fried dough are just some of the highlights. Attendees are encouraged to bring their appetite!

Children will find plenty of fun with the carnival rides, games of skill, and crafts. Adults can take their chances at the Poker Wheel or pull tabs. Be sure to check out the all the raffles and pick up a Festa t-shirt. All ages are welcome to participate in the annual Week Rogers Memorial Bocce Tournament.

$10,000 in Cash Gifts will be awarded on Sunday afternoon. Only 500 shares will be issued at $50 per share. The shares often sell out before the weekend, so don’t wait! They can be purchased from parishioners or through the church office.

Highlights of the entertainment include Dick Otto & his Orchestra kicking things off on Saturday afternoon. At 3pm the North Olean’s own Larry Lewicki Band will perform. On Saturday evening features the return of Nick Battistella & the Songs of Frank Sinatra. The headline act is nationally renowned Nik & the Nice Guys. Billed as America’s #1 party band, Nik features 11 multi-talented musician/performers including female singer/dancers and a horn section.

Scott Douglas will be broadcasting live from the festival from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday on 100.1 The HERO.

On Sunday afternoon, Nick Battistella returns for a second set and The Soul Providers will be performing classic R & B tunes from The Temptations to Hall & Oates from 1:30-5pm.

St. John’s Church is located at 931 North Union Street in Olean, NY.

Panty Thief Caught in Brookville

Some Brookville women are missing their underwear. Brookville Police say Derrick Shafferman of Knoxdale took women's underwear out of the washers and dryers at the Creek Side Laundromat, then took them home with him. Police say he later burned the evidence. The incidents happened over the last four months. Shafferman has been charged with seven counts of theft and harassment.

Brawl in Dannemora Prison

Several correction officers and inmates were injured during an 18-man brawl at Clinton Correctional Facility Tuesday night. Within a few hours, staff covering the north yard of the facility had to break up three fights between inmates, the last of which left five officers and more than a dozen inmates injured. About two hours later, another fight erupted, this time involving about 18 inmates. When they were ordered to stop, 16 inmates stepped away from the violence. But as the last two inmates continued the fight and staff tried to break up the assault, two officers were sliced with a metal shank. Among the inmates at the prison are Ralph "Bucky" Phillips, and former Portville teacher and Boy Scout leader James Molyneaux, who molested 2 young boys.

Pleas in Catt County Court

The following people have pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court, and will be sentenced in September.

26-year-old Ryan S. Bartlett of Salamanca is charged with rape and endangering the welfare of a child for having sex with a person younger than 17 on March 14 in Allegany.

27-year-old Cassandra L. Busekist of Salamanca possessed crack cocaine with the intent to sell it on December 19.

18-year-old Devon M. Grochowiak, of West Seneca pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted burglary in connection with a Nov. 4 incident at Lambert’s Storage in the Town of Machias.

These people have pleaded not guilty, and their cases were adjourned for further motions.

46-year-old David L. Maull of Olean was indicted for selling crack cocaine June 15, 2006, in Olean.

23-year-old Leslie R. John of Salamanca was arrested on Dec. 7 in the City of Salamanca with more than four ounces of a narcotic drug intended for sale.

27-year-old Mark A. Larrabee of Great Valley and 19-year-old Charles E. Miller II of Olean, both pleaded not guilty to third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny involving a December break-in at Buffalo Crushed Stone in the Town of Machias when property valued at more than $1,000 was stolen.

Kane Man Dies in Route 219 Crash

A Kane man died in an accident late Wednesday night on Route 219 in Hamlin Township. State Police say a car driven by 71-year-old Robert Schmidt crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by 29-year-old William Frasier of Bradford. Schmidt was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Frasier and passengers 24-year-old Daniel Kronwetter of Bradford and 32-year-old Michael Miles of Smethport were all treated for minor injuries, then released.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Dam Show

I've posted a couple of things about this weekend's Dam Show in Austin, but Solomon's Words is doing an exceptional job providing previews of what promises to be a great weekend, so I'm sending you THERE.

Work Starts on Salamanca Bridge

By Matthew Roberts
Director of Operations

SALAMANCA - Construction has begun to reopen the Center Street Bridge, thanks to a $200,000 state grant secured by Senator Catharine Young.

The grant matches more than $800,000 in federal funds and nearly $30,000 in City money to fix the badly-deterioriated structure that serves as a connector within Salamanca.

“The great news is that we expect to open for traffic around August 24th, unless something unforeseen happens. It should be completed before Labor Day and the beginning of the school year,” said Senator Young. “While the reopened bridge will be alternating, one-way traffic under 15 tons, it will accommodate school buses and some emergency vehicles. There will still be some inconvenience, but it will be minor compared to the situation now.”

“I would like to thank everyone who had a role in expediting the process of coming to an agreement on the repairs to the Route 353 Bridge and also on moving up the replacement date of the bridge,” said Mayor Jeffrey L. Pond. “And a special thanks to Senator Young for obtaining the funds for a majority of the City’s 20 percent required amount. It is imperative to the residents of Salamanca to have the bridge re-opened as soon as possible.”

Originally the bridge was slated to be replaced starting in 2011. Senator Young and the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) successfully pushed to move up the schedule so that the project will be let in September of 2009. Construction will begin in the Spring of 2010.

“The bridge being out of commission has caused hardships for the entire region. Emergency services, school bus transportation and every day travel for residents have been disrupted. The detour adds several miles to anyone who needs to get across town. With skyrocketing gas prices, it is difficult for people to afford. It is putting a heavy strain on family budgets.

“That’s why everyone is working hard to make the repairs as quickly as possible and I’m glad to help,” she said.

“All parties involved have been extraordinarily cooperative and helpful. The Seneca Nation expedited an agreement with the State so work can begin, the DOT has done a yeoman’s job, and the City has strived to get things moving,” she said.

Senator Young said good communication has been the key to success.

“I’ve heard from all entities, including the Salamanca School District. They were having a tough time with their school bus fuel bills, so I secured an additional $35,000 in state aid to save local taxpayers from shouldering the added costs,” she said.

The Center Street Bridge was closed in January by the DOT after they conducted structural surveys of all bridges across New York. Center Street Bridge was the second bridge to close in Salamanca. The West State Street Bridge has been closed since December 2005 due to earlier inspections that found severe structural deterioration.

“It’s been a real headache and we are also working to have the West State Street Bridge completed by 2010,” she said.

“My hat is off to everyone who has worked so hard to get positive results,” Senator Young concluded.

Two Men Die in Allegheny Reservoir

Two Pittsburgh brothers drowned Tuesday in Allegheny Reservoir near the James Morrison Bridge. State Police say that at around 1 o’clock 19-year-old Stephen Pitcher jumped 75 feet off the west end of the Bridge and appeared to be injured and so his 21-year-old brother Vincent swam out to help him. Both men disappeared under the water. The McKean County Sheriff’s Dive and Rescue Team recovered the bodies around six hours later.

Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

'Hunting' Fish Will be Legal

Catfish will be legal game for anglers/hunters using bows and arrows, crossbows, spears and gigs, as soon as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission can publish the regulation change in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Publication in Pennsylvania Bulletin serves as official notification to the public of the regulation change.

Commissioners also voted to formalize the commission's program of approved trout waters open to year-round fishing.

On the waters open to year-round fishing, anglers may fish from March 1 to the first day of trout season but they may not keep any trout they catch during that period.

They also approved the following list of waters to be included in the year-round program.

Mahoning Creek in Armstrong County, West Creek in Cameron County, Laurel Run in Clearfield County, West and Straight creeks in Elk County, Tionesta Creek in Forest County; Cummins Reservoir in Indian County and Mead Run in McKean County.

Road to The Ralph Will be Named 'Timothy J. Russert Highway'

A road to the Ralph will be renamed in honor of Tim Russert.
The US House of Representatives has approved a measure to rename a portion of Route 20A near Ralph Wilson Stadium after the Buffalo native and avid Bills fan. The Senate gave its OK late last month. The bill is now on its way to President Bush for his signature.

US Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, along with Congressman Brian Higgins, proposed the renaming shortly after Russert died of a heart attack last month. Following the House vote, Higgins said it's a "fitting remembrance of a man, who after all his success, never forgot his hometown."

The stretch of Route 20A between Abbott Road and California Road in Orchard Park will be designated as the "Timothy J. Russert Highway."

St. Bonaventure's Tyler Relph Set for EuroBasket Summer League

Recent St. Bonaventure graduate Tyler Relph will participate in the EuroBasket Summer League exposure camp in New York City this weekend on the campus of Fordham University. Relph will look to become the 11th former Bonnie in the active professional ranks. Fellow 2008 graduates Michael Lee and Zarryon Fereti are also expected to make to make a bid to become professionals.

The camp tips-off on Saturday, July 19, and runs through Sunday, July 20. Rose Hill Gym is the third of four hosts for the summer league showcase that has already made its way to Chicago and Las Vegas. The final camp will begin on July 24, in Salt Lake City, Utah (July 24-26).

Relph ended his three-year stint as a Bonnie by averaging 16 points per game over the final 14 contests, highlighted by four 20-point outings and 12 games in double figures. For the season, the 6-foot-3 shooter ranked third on the club in scoring (11.9) while leading the team with 112 assists. Relph ranked sixth among the Atlantic 10 leaders in both three-point percentage (.423) and assists per game (3.9).

Oddly enough, Relph concluded his collegiate career at Rose Hill Gym with his third consecutive 20-point outing. While scoring his 20 points, Relph went a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe, boosting his season average to 93.8 percent (75-80) and giving the NCAA minimum requirement of 2.5 made free throws per game. Combined with making his last 48 free throws, Relph finished the season as the NCAA leader in free throw percentage and set a St. Bonaventure single-season best.

Relph concluded his three-year stint in the Brown and White with 910 points, placing him 46th on the all-time scoring list. Nearly two-thirds of those points came via 187 three-pointers, a mark that sits fourth all-time in Bona history. Relph connected on 153-of-170 career free throw attempts, good for an even 90 percent clip, and dished out 234 assists.

The EuroBasket Summer League invites only 2007-08 graduating seniors along with other professional players who have NBDL, CBA, European or some type of professional experience.

Renovations at BRMC

Dan Himes of Personal Touch Painting in Bradford applies joint compound to drywall seams in the future location of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Patient Accounts Department.

(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

A renovation and expansion of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department that’s set to conclude in early August will not end the hospital’s improvements. In fact, officials say, this project will prompt several other internal efficiencies and exterior upgrades at the hospital.

Following the Emergency Department work that will double its size and make it more customer-friendly, the adjacent lobby inside the Interstate Parkway entrance will have glassed double doors installed as an added safety measure, says Jeff Gabel, Plant Services director.

“The Emergency Department will have the capability to lock its unit doors after 8 p.m. each evening so individuals cannot enter or exit without being accompanied by a BRMC employee,” Mr. Gabel explains.

Once this occurs, this will be the only public access after hours. The public will be notified of the access change through local media, hospital officials say.

Another interior project involves relocating BRMC’s Patient Accounts Department in September from 55 Boylston St. to the hospital. It would be in a section just inside the Interstate Parkway entrance and across from the new Emergency Department, Mr. Gabel notes. The relocated Patient Accounts Department for 12 staffers will include four private offices, a public waiting area, a cashier’s section and a common area
for billing staff.

Consolidating the Patient Accounts Department in the hospital will add operating efficiencies and make it more convenient for individuals with billing matters, Mr. Gabel says.

Lunch in the Square

Hundreds of people packed Veterans Square Wednesday for the third Lunch in the Square of the season. Toucan Jam performed in the gazebo during the event.
I interviewed Bradford Little Theatre President Dick Marcott, who talked about "Seniors at Large," a new BLT initiative. Speaking of BLTs, Val from The New Broaster makes an awesome BLT wrap. (And I'm not just saying that because she told me to. It really was awesome!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scarnati on Re-Election

WESB/WBRR News Director

State Senator Joe Scarnati says he believes that during his years in Harrisburg he's been responsive and accessible to his constituents – and he'll continue that if he's re-elected for a third term in November.

"I know the plight of the people in my district," he said. "It's tougher every day for a family, or a working single mom or an elderly couple to make ends meet."

In that vast state budget, and all the programs out there, I do my best every day to bring that back to my district and make sure that we're getting our fair share of the tax dollars," he said.

For example, when Governor Ed Rendell proposed giving the majority of the education budget to Philadelphia-area schools, Scarnati fought to have the funding doled out more equitably.

"I pledged to my school districts here that I was going to do better for them, and actually doubled the funding the governor proposed, and that means no tax increases here … And I think that's so important, to make sure we're keeping our funding levels out of state dollars adequate."

"That's something I've never been shy about doing," he added, "and that's bringing the money back to my district."

He asks people in his district to look at his record.

"I always worked hard in my district … and I've brought back the issues that have been important to the people who live here," Scarnati said.

"I've never forgotten where I come from," he added. "I remember my grandfather always saying 'Don't ever forget where you come from because someday you have to go back,' and I want to come back."

"I spend a lot of time at home," he said, "not in Harrisburg. This is where it's at."

He did say it's hard to believe he's running for his third term in the state senate.

"Eight years have gone by very quickly and I've been blessed and honored by my constituents to re-elect me … and honored by my colleagues to put me in a post of some significance in the Commonwealth and bring our rural perspective to some upper levels of consideration in Harrisburg."

"I don't have any plans to turn gray in the Senate," he said, laughing. "I don’t intend on being a lifelong legislator as some have done. I think there's a time when it's good to move on."

"I'd like to serve at least another term at this point, and continue the services I provide," Scarnati said.

Pit Bull Attack in Bradford

A Bradford man may be facing charges after his pit bull apparently attacked a 13-year-old Monday afternoon on Clarence Street. The girl was visiting the area when she was attacked by the dog owned by Edward Dallenbach. The dog bit the girl on the hand and lower back, and the girl was treated for her injuries at Bradford Regional Medical Center. Police caught the dog after chasing it down the street and through neighboring yards. No charges have been filed yet for this incident, but Dallenbach was found guilty last week of failure to confine the dog, having no dog license and for contributing to the attack of another dog in June

High Speed Chase in Catt. County

Two alleged burglars from Florida took four law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase through Cattaraugus County last night. 39-year-old Kenneth Davis and 28-year-old David Tester allegedly burglarized a Farmersville home. The homeowner saw them leave and called police. A state trooper tried to stop the men, who were allegedly driving a stolen pickup truck, which eventually plunged about 100 yards down a steep hill, where they abandoned it. Troopers found Davis a short time later at a grocery store in Franklinville. A New York State Police Aviation helicopter and a K-9 Unit helped them find Tester in nearby woods. Both men are in Cattaraugus County Jail.

Scarnati Discusses Drilling

WESB/WBRR News Director

One of the hottest topics in the state right now is oil and gas drilling – specifically in relation to the Marcellus Shale formation.

State Senator Joe Scarnati sent a letter to Governor Ed Rendell last week, which he believes "begins a process of getting an understanding of what's going on with drilling in the Commonwealth."

Specifically, he asked the governor what information his administration can share with the Legislature in respect to the Marcellus Shale and drilling.

The letter also addresses drilling on state land.

On Monday, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced it is seeking bidders for more than 74,000 acres of state forest land in north central Pennsylvania.

The tracts up for bid are in the Tioga, Loyalsock and Tiadghton state forests in Tioga and Lycoming counties.

The state is allowing new drilling to resume, following a five-year moratorium.

More than 300 companies have expressed interest in drilling on the Commonwealth's state forests.

"There are major possibilities of gas finds in these areas, and we have to make sure our residents are protected, they know the law, that they know their rights, and we know what kind of permits are being issued by DEP," Scarnati said.

"Nobody can come on and drill without a permit from DEP," he added.

Scarnati, himself, has been approached by drilling companies to sign a lease.

"First and foremost," he said," contact an attorney. Do not sign anything without an attorney looking at it."

Drilling companies are "offering wild fluctuations and different prices to get your land and be able to have it," he said.

"This is an industry that will have a profound effect long term on the area," Scarnati said. "We have to balance the needs of drilling the gas, but yet making sure nobody is taken advantage of."

Portville Woman Dies in MVA

A 45-year-old Portville woman is dead following a two-vehicle accident last night in Amity. Tara Hartzell was driving on County Route 48 and was looking for a driveway to turn around in after getting lost. She tried turning left when a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old tried to pass her, and the vehicles collided. Hartzell was taken to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, where she was pronounced dead. Two passengers in her vehicle suffered minor injuries.

Yoder Wants Written Arguments

McKean County Judge John Yoder wants attorneys to submit written arguments by August 14 before he determines whether to throw out some evidence against a railroad engineer whose train derailed and polluted part of Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek. The attorney for 46-year-old Michael Seifert of West Seneca, N.Y., says investigators illegally obtained his employment records from Norfolk Southern offices. He also says state investigators obtained private medical information about Seifert without a search warrant or his permission. Prosecutors say Seifert was under the influence of drugs and might have fallen asleep as the train sped down a steep grade in June 2006 near Gardeau. About 42,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled into the stream, killing thousands of fish.

Scarnati, Pileggi Push DeWeese
on Reform Legislation

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi are urging House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese to take immediate action on seven reform-focused bills languishing in the House. Among the bills stuck in House committees are measures that would prohibit bonuses for state employees; require governmental salary information to be posted online; and strengthen penalties for violating the Sunshine Law.

Scarnati/Pileggi Letter to DeWeese

Austin: Too Tough To Die

By Paul W. Heimel
Special to WESB/WBRR

AUSTIN – Many cars in the Austin area during the 1970s and 1980s bore bumper stickers reading, “Austin: The Town Too Tough To Die.”

More recently, the small southern Potter County borough has a new slogan, “Austin: Best Town by a Dam Site.”

That’s a reference to the Austin Dam, a tourist attraction and important artifact that stands in tall, concrete sections across the Freeman Run Valley, about two miles north of the borough. A volunteer group has been working for several years to maintain a park established at the base of the dam ruins.

In downtown Austin, a separate group has built a replica of town founder E. O. Austin’s home, a new museum that tells the story of the area’s heritage. Austin was one of the boom towns of the region’s 1890-1910 lumber era. As the old growth trees were vanishing, the Freeman Run valley still had immense tracts of pulpwood. Industrialist George Bayless arrived from Binghamton, N.Y., to build a paper mill.

Freeman Run couldn’t supply the steady flow of water needed to power the mill, so Bayless in 1909 contracted for the construction of a huge concrete dam. It stretched nearly 550 feet across the valley, stood 50 feet high, and held approximately 250 million gallons of water at a depth of 40 feet.

While some townspeople worried that the dam might break, most saw it as a symbol of continued employment and prosperity. They speculated that, even if the dam failed, Austin was far enough downstream that the water’s depth would probably be no more than a few inches.

The dam gave way on the afternoon of Sept. 30, 1911, releasing a torrent that claimed upwards of 80 lives and nearly wiped out the town. After the flood, many families moved out. Others persevered and rebuilt the community.

Fire, floods and economic stresses have taken their toll over the years, but Austin remains a tight-knit community held together largely by its school, churches and community groups while most residents commute to Coudersport or Emporium for work.

'Every Good and Perfect Gift'

The public is invited to attend a special presentation by the Bob Jones University Drama Ministry Team at Faith Baptist Church, 498 Seaward Avenue, Bradford, on Sunday July 20 at 6:00 P.M. The program will feature an original drama, “Every Good and Every Perfect Gift.”

The Drama Ministry Team is touring the Mid-Atlantic States this summer. Members of the group are students at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Bob Jones University is a Bible-believing Christian liberal arts university with an enrollment of over 4,000 students from every state in the Union and about 50 foreign countries.

Following the service there will be a time for food and fellowship in the church’s fellowship hall. Sunday’s schedule will include our Sunday School hour at 10:00 A.M. and the Preaching Service at 11:00 A.M. when Pastor Bill Raymond will continue his series of messages from the book of Romans.

Brittany Steward Sentenced

The 20-year-old woman who was baby-sitting two toddlers when they accidentally drowned near Waterford has been sentenced today to 11 ½ to 23 months in Erie County Prison. Brittany Steward received the sentence immediately after she pleaded guilty today to two counts of the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child. As part of the plea deal, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office dropped two counts of involuntary manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in a state prison; and two counts recklessly endangering another person. State police accused Steward in the deaths of her 20-month-old half sister, Jenna Walker, and Jenna’s friend, Maggie Kovski, 2, on May 30, 2007. Prosecutors claim Steward's negligence led to the drownings, based on evidence that she stayed out all night and drank alcohol the night before she knew she had to baby-sit.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Master Plan Work Session

WESB/WBRR News Director

Having more places for the community to gather was one focus of a work session held Monday night by the Bradford Master Plan Team.

The aim of the work session was to come up with ideas for four specific areas of the city – the Elm Street off-ramp to Route 219; the Tuna Creek area of Mechanic and East Washington streets; the intersection of West Washington Street and Interstate Parkway; and Veterans Square.

The people who attended the work session were separated into four groups to address the issues concerning those areas.

Chris Hauser's group worked on ideas for Veterans Square and, Hauser said, a reconfiguration of the elements of the square to create more space would be more conducive to holding a variety of events there. For example, during Summerfest all the vendors could be set up in an around the square instead of along Main Street.

He said it would instill "a sense of community instead of being fragmented up and down Main Street."

Another suggestion to bring the community – and the downtown area – together included creating a "community area" on East Washington Street that could possibly used for outdoor concerts and other events.

When talking about pulling the entire downtown area together, OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews mentioned that, later this year, East Washington Street will be "streetscaped" like Boylston and Kennedy streets.

During the discussion, several people reiterated that Boylston Street from Davis Street to Interstate Parkway is the most traveled street in the city.

Andrews pointed out that part of the city's plan is to make West Washington Street a commercial corridor.

This would fit into plans suggested for that area that would attempt to attract families of University of Pittsburgh at Bradford students, as well as the rest of the university community.

Mimi Cahill mentioned that 20 years ago the line between the university and the rest of the community was very prevalent but now "the lines are becoming blurred" between the university and downtown.

In an attempt to further blur the line – or even erase it – several people suggested involving university students in art projects for the city, such as murals that would depict various aspects of the city.

Albert Filoni of MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Architects of Pittsburgh said he was "very encouraged" by all of the ideas.

Pictured, Chris Hauser points out suggestions for a reconfigured Veterans Square.

Casino Opponents File Motion

Attorneys for opponents of the Seneca Nation's Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino have filed a motion in federal court, asking U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to enforce last week's order that gambling on the nine-acre site is illegal. Attorney Richard. Lippes is asking for a hearing, while saying the judge's decision is clear and unequivocal. He says there's no question the Seneca Gaming Corporation is allowing illegal gambling. Attorneys for the National Indian Gaming Commission and the U.S. Justice Department have declined to comment. The Seneca Nation of Indians, which is not a party to the lawsuit, issued a news release this afternoon praising New York State for continuing to staff the casino with inspectors from the state Racing and Wagering Board.

Indecent Assault in Bradford

Bradford City Police are investigating a report of an indecent assault of a female juvenile that happened near the railroad tracks off Silicon Way Sunday night. Police say a crew worker for the railroad contacted them saying he saw a girl who appeared to be struggling to get away from an older man. The suspect is described as a white male, 30 to 40 years old, tall with a thin build and dirty blonde wavy hair. When he was last seen, he was wearing glasses, a teal colored button-down shirt and shorts. The suspect left the scene on a black or dark-colored mountain bike, traveling north on East Main Street. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Bradford City Police or use the confidential tip line at

Coudy Man Charged with Rape

A Coudersport man has been charged with rape after an alleged incident Sunday morning in Summit Township. Police say 46-year-old David Alan Thomas took a boy and a girl camping with him for the weekend. Sunday morning, the boy was outside the tent cooking by the campfire when he heard the girl inside the tent crying. The boy looked inside to see Thomas on top of the girl. The boy opened up the tent, Thomas jumped up and walked out. The boy asked the girl what happened. After she told him, he ran to a nearby home and had the occupants called state police, who arrested Thomas at the scene.

Specter Completes Chemotherapy

Sen. Arlen Specter has completed his last scheduled round of chemotherapy. He says he plans to celebrate with a martini and dinner with friends. The 78-year-old Republican from Pennsylvania traveled to Washington on Monday after receiving the 12th and final dose at a Philadelphia hospital. He worked all day, as he has throughout the three-month regimen. Specter learned in April he had an early recurrence of Hodgkin's disease. He was treated for the same type of cancer in 2005.

POGAM Submits Brief to ANF

This week, the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (POGAM) submitted to Allegheny National Forest (ANF) planners a thorough legal brief on the scope and limitations of the statutory and regulatory authority available to the US Forest Service in its relationship with private oil and gas mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest. POGAM prepared the legal brief to assist ANF staff to meet their obligations to complete work on the 2007 ANF Land Resources Management Plan.

“We decided to develop a rigorous legal analysis of the statutory and regulatory authority available to the US Forest Service in its relationship with oil and gas operators to help ANF staff complete work on two significant tasks required by the Forest Service Chief’s 2008 administrative appeal decision on the 2007 ANF Forest Plan,” POGAM president Stephen Rhoads explains.

The ANF Administrative Appeal Decision found several procedural and substantive errors in the 2007 ANF Forest Plan’s treatment of privately-owned oil and gas estates, and the Forest Service Chief instructed the ANF to clarify its authority to manage oil and gas activities by:

identifying the roles and responsibilities of the Forest Service, State of Pennsylvania and private oil and gas operators in protecting surface resources during oil and gas development; and
distinguishing between reserved and outstanding private mineral estates and how the Forest Service’s management role may vary depending upon language in the individual deeds and the US Department of Agriculture Secretary’s rules and regulations.
“The Forest Service cannot carry out these tasks without a detailed understanding of the respective property rights of the Forest Service as the surface owner and the private mineral estate owners,” Rhoads states in a letter transmitting the legal brief to Leann Marten, ANF supervisor.

POGAM’s legal brief concludes that in the Allegheny National Forest:

a privately-owned severed mineral estate is the dominant estate in land;
the Forest Service has a limited non-regulatory role in seeking accommodations to address surface estate issues when severed private oil and gas rights are exercised; and
the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act do not apply to the exercise of severed private oil and gas property rights in the ANF.
“Oil and gas operators have a long-standing relationship with the ANF land managers that is both positive and mutually beneficial, and we hope that the final Forest Plan will recognize and reinforce that relationship,” Rhoads observes.

“Our hope is that the Forest Service will recognize its limited rights and duties with respect to outstanding and reserved oil and gas rights when it completes its work on the Forest Plan revisions, and we urge the Forest Service to not impose unwarranted regulatory burdens and delays on lawful private oil and gas activities in the Allegheny National Forest.”

More than 90 percent of the oil and gas property rights beneath the Allegheny National Forest are privately owned. The subsurface underlying the Allegheny National Forest contains substantial quantities of oil and gas resources that satisfy critical demands for domestic energy supply and production.

The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association is a trade association that represents independent producers and related companies that find and develop the Commonwealth’s indigenous natural gas and crude oil reserves. POGAM member companies own and develop outstanding and reserved oil and gas rights underlying land within the proclamation boundaries of the Allegheny National Forest. The association and its member companies stand ready to work cooperatively with the US Forest Service in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that our activities are carried out in an efficient and environmentally sensitive manner.

POGAM retained the Washington, DC law firm of Crowell and Moring LLP to prepare the legal brief on its behalf.

Rendell is New Chair of NGA

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today became the new chairman of the National Governor’s Association and announced that the organization’s annual “Chair’s Initiative” will focus on strengthening infrastructure investment.

“It is an honor to serve as NGA’s chair,” Governor Rendell said during the NGA’s Centennial meeting. “Out-going chair, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, deserves a tremendous amount of credit for moving America closer to clean energy. Just last week I signed legislation to invest more than $650 million in Pennsylvania’s alternative energy sector. Tim’s leadership has inspired every governor in the nation and once again states are taking the lead on this critical issue.

“Another significant challenge facing our nation is the rebuilding of its infrastructure,” Governor Rendell said. “If America is to continue competing in the global economic marketplace, we need an efficient and sound infrastructure. For the past two decades, state and local governments have been picking up more of the tab for infrastructure repair, but we can’t keep it up,” he said, noting the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates national infrastructure needs of more than $1.6 trillion dollars over the next five years. “We need the commitment of greater federal resources to help states meet these pressing needs.

“Infrastructure funding — making sure our roads, bridges, schools, airports, trains, ports, and water systems are safe — is an issue about which I am very passionate,” said Governor Rendell. “It started when I was mayor of Philadelphia and continues today because I see that our nation’s aging infrastructure is hurting our economic stability and hampering future growth. Businesses and communities can’t survive if they can’t get their products to market, educate their students and access safe water supplies.

“America's infrastructure urgently needs attention. From outmoded ports to crumbling bridges to underinvestment in public transit, we must begin a new era of investment in the systems that support our prosperity and our quality of life,” he said. “State and local governments now fund 75 percent of all infrastructure work. We will need the federal government to step up significantly if we are to fully meet this challenge. I will continue to work with my fellow governors to give these issues the attention they deserve.”

As NGA chairman, Governor Rendell will work with other states to design and implement strategies for smarter, more cost-effective infrastructure investment at the state level. In addition, states will be challenged in the coming years to align their infrastructure investments with the new realities of climate change, and Governor Rendell will work with states to design strategies around this emerging new reality.

NGA Chair’s Initiatives focus the attention and resources of the association toward addressing one of the nation’s most pressing public policy challenges. By performing cutting-edge research, forming groundbreaking public-private partnerships, recruiting globally recognized experts as part of national policymaker summits, and producing informative publications, NGA Chair’s Initiatives seek to raise awareness of critical challenges facing the country and provide governors the tools and knowledge to combat these challenges head on.

The NGA is celebrating its 100th anniversary during 2008. In May of 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt hosted the first meeting of the nation’s governors at the White House to discuss conserving America’s natural resources. The meeting was attended by the president, vice president, cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and 39 governors. Following this inaugural meeting, governors decided to form a bipartisan association through which they could come together to discuss mutual concerns and act collectively.

A century later, the National Governors Association continues to serve as the collective voice of the nation’s 55 state, commonwealth and territorial governors and a vehicle for fostering and demonstrating state leadership on a wide range of domestic issues. For more information about the organization, visit

Kane Area Relay Teams Raise $62K

Eighteen teams and a community Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back toppling the American Cancer Society’s Goal for Kane by $20K and raising over $62K.

A year-long fundraising effort ended this past weekend with a parade in Uptown Kane on Thursday night and 24 hours of laps, fun and festivities at the Kane Area High School Track Friday – Saturday. The Miss Relay Contest Friday evening raised over $2,300 in an hour from the crowd gathered to take part in opening, survivor, and luminaria ceremonies.

The Survivors

Teams raising money this year included: Doug’s Desperados, Team Captain Shirley Milliron; Crusader’s for Cancer Cure, Team Captain Corine Varga; Sandy’s Girls, Team Captain Sherry Marconi; KCH Kaleidoscopers, Team Captain Sherri Peterson; The Dreaming Angel’s, Team Captain Shirley Morgan; Talkin & Walkin, Team Captain Trudy Powell; Kane Educators Rainbow Rockers, Team Captain, Julia Anderson; Tippin’ Our Hats for a Cure –Red Hat Society, Tema Captain: Nancy Ely; Chris’ Crusaders, Team Captain, Barb Warofka; West Side Walkers, Team Captain Brenda Emer; Walking by Faith, Team Captain Dave Snyder; Kane Hardwood Cancer Cutters, Team Captain Tom Balliet; The Terminators, Team Captain Sarah Woodard; Bearfield Butts, Team Captain Penny Barber; Laps of Love, Team Captain Rebecca Todd; Callistus Kids Against Cancer, Team Captain Dave Carlson; Ray’s Road Dawg’s, Team Captain Dan Moore; and West Side Grillers, Team Captain Crystal Moore.

The committee for 2008 included: Event Chair Tom VanGiesen; Co-Chair Marianne Rook; Mary Sewell, Games and Activities; Shirley & Hillary Morgan, Fight Back; Julie Wismar, Concessions; Susan VanGiesen, Advocacy; Barry Morgan, Fundraising; John Rook, Logistics; Susan Swanson, Luminaria; Ruth Gentilman Peterson, Public Relations; Lori Lewis, Accounting/Registration; Brenda Emer, Survivorship; Shirley Milliron, Team Recruitment; Connie Carter, Team Retention; Allie Rook, Lighted Memories Power Point; and Kelly Brinkley, Sponsorship.

Event Chair Tom VanGiesen noted, “We want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Relay, committee members, team captains, team members, volunteers, sponsors (business and personal) and the public. The public who attends the Relay and supports our fundrasiers all through the year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Without all of you, we could not Relay! And to our survivors --- YOU are why we are here, your courage and strength is an inspiration to all of us. We love you and admire you and your courage and hope that you will benefit from what we do throughout the year. We are here to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back!”

Brenda Emer, Top Individual Fundraiser

West Side Walkers, Top Team

West Side Walkers, Spirit Award

'A Step in the Right Direction'

Washington, DC – Following the President’s announcement that he will abolish the 18-year old presidential moratorium on offshore energy production, Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pa., the leading force in congress to increase offshore energy production, issued the following statement:

“I commend the President for his decision to eliminate one of the many hurdles that restricts the environmentally responsible practice of offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production. His actions today are a step in the right direction and should serve as an example for Speaker Pelosi and leaders in Congress.

“Make no mistake, the price at the pump and sky-high natural gas prices are the result of 27 years of failed Washington policies. The politics of fear, implored by fourteen consecutive Congresses and three presidents, at the behest of radical environmental groups like Greenpeace, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, are the reasons Americans are paying record prices for energy.

“Today’s announcement by President Bush is by no means a silver bullet in reducing the price at the pump. Along with increased conservation and investment in alternative energies, Congress must now act to rescind its 27-year legislative prohibition on offshore energy production, streamline the leasing and permitting process and consider a comprehensive energy package to bring real relief to the American people.”

Accident on Derrick Road -UPDATE

A Bradford woman is being treated at Hamot Medical Center after a pickup truck ran over her foot as she was walking along Derrick Road at about 1:45 Monday afternoon. Foster Township Police say 55-year-old Diane Costa was walking along the berm just beyond the Crosby Mart when a pickup driven by Richard Wright was pulling out of 7 Derrick Road. Wright looked in his rear view mirror, saw Costa and stepped on the brakes, but a tire of the truck ran over her left foot. Costa was taken by Stat MedEvac helicopter to Hamot. Police were assisted by Bradford City Ambulance and Derrick City Volunteer Firefighters. The accident is still under investigation.

Erin Howard May Plead Guilty

The woman accused of driving drunk in an accident that killed her 6-year-old son has waived her preliminary hearing, and may plead guilty to the charges. The lawyer for 26-year-old Erin Howard of Corry says a tentative plea deal has been reached. Howard is accused of involuntary manslaughter, DUI and other charges related to the death of her son, Samuel Carpenter, on June 14. Howard also faces an escape charge. State police said she went to a tavern after her son’s funeral in Hamilton, Ohio, instead of returning to the Erie County Prison as ordered by a judge.

Dead Body Found in Allegany

A dead body was found in a small wooded area between BJ Wholesalers and Tim Horton's coffee shop in Allegany Friday afternoon. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say the body is a white male, possibly in his 50s who has not been positively identified yet. They say an exam was performed on the body and at this time there are no signs of foul play. The preliminary cause of death appears to be natural causes. Deputies have not released the name of the person until positive identification can be made through dental records.

Aquarium in ED Waiting Room

Ann Kaczmarek, nurse manager of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department, makes some minor adjustments to the gravel bottom of the new 75-gallon aquarium installed in the waiting room. It was installed to give the waiting room a more soothing and calm atmosphere, she says. The aquarium also goes along with the seascape theme of the child-friendly play area in the Emergency Department waiting room. Nearly $9,000 in funding for the waiting room’s aquarium and child-friendly play area came from the Kids & Cancer Benefit Motorcycle Dice Run Committee. The committee held a fundraising dice run in July 2007.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Faster Lab Tests at BRMC

Peg Hannold, MT, HEW, a medical technologist in Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Laboratory, reviews a protein report that can now be completed more quickly because of a new system acquisition.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

All bodily fluid protein tests are being completed in far less time at Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Laboratory with the acquisition of a fully automated analysis system.

The automated Sebia Electrophoresis instrumentation is easy to use, allowing laboratory technicians to load samples, press a button and go on to other tasks, says Ron Truax, Laboratory director.

“This new equipment upgrades our technology by 15 to 20 years for protein tests that were a very labor-intensive job,” he says, noting proteins are organic compounds that are considered the building blocks of all living organisms.

“The equipment upgrade also allows us to keep the work here rather than have to send it out,” Mr. Truax notes. The beneficial result for patients means they get a diagnosis sooner because tests can be read by a physician more swiftly, says Peg Hannold, MT, HEW, medical technologist. Testing can check for abnormal protein levels due to a variety of ailments or diseases, ranging from arthritis to cancer.

“There’s better turnaround time with in-house physician interpretation of results,” Mr. Truax comments. BRMC’s pathologist, Syed Ally, M.D., FCAP, FASCP, interprets the results. The report form going to the patient’s physician also is more complete as well.

“The assay form, which is easier to read, gives the physician more detailed information than previously,” Mrs. Hannold adds.

Funding for the $9,900 protein analysis system came entirely from Bradford Hospital Foundation’s Thomas J. Burkart, M.D., BRMC Laboratory Fund. Gifts to this fund, established in 1998 by BRMC Laboratory and Pathology employees, support the Laboratory with state-of-the-art technology. For more information about the fund or to make a donation, call the Foundation at 362-3200 or visit the website

“Several months ago I approached the Foundation about funding for this new analysis equipment and they agreed. We’re very appreciative to the Foundation for all they’ve done for the Laboratory through the years,” Mr. Truax says.

The Foundation was more than willing to help the Laboratory update a vital protein analysis system that would shorten the time for patients’ diagnoses.

“Dr. Burkhart is a wonderful, generous and dedicated physician who is greatly respected by all who knew and worked for him. It is an honor to be able to remember his commitment to BRMC and to provide new equipment through his fund,” says Nellie Wallace, the Foundation’s director of annual giving. Dr. Burkhart is a former pathologist at BRMC.

State Will Take Drilling Bids

State forestry officials say they will take bids from oil and gas companies interested in drilling on 74,000 acres in three state forests in northcentral Pennsylvania. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the lease sale Monday after it ended a five-year moratorium on new drilling earlier this year. Eighteen different tracts are involved. To win, a bidder must submit the highest money offer on the first year's land rental. Successful bidders will be able to take a shot at a deep gas reservoir, the Marcellus Shale formation, some 6,000 to 8,000 feet underground. The Marcellus formation is thought to contain large quantities of natural gas and is drawing the interest of exploration companies from Texas to Canada.

Scarnati Asking for Support

State Senator Joe Scarnati is asking for support from community leaders in making his transportation plan a reality.

Scarnati's plan would eliminate the possibilities of imposing tolls on Interstate 80 or leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

He is hoping that community leaders will support the plan in the form of a written resolution or statement sent to him as well as the media.

If you haven't seen Scarnati's plan, you can find it here:
Senator Scarnati's Transportation PlanPDF

And, you have one more day to submit questions you want me to ask the senator.

Oil, Gas Drilling Hearing

WHITESVILLE, NY — The state Department of Environment Conservation will hold a hearing on a controversial oil and gas well drilling proposal at 1 p. m. Tuesday in Whitesville Central School.

East Resources of Warrendale, Pa., is asking permission to drill as many as 6,000 wells in the Fulmer Valley sandstone in the Whitesville Field, a 20,000- acre area that includes parts of the towns of Willing and Independence in Allegany County and the Town of West Union in Steuben County.

An association of landowners, Preserve Our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER), plans to protest the drilling operation. Chaired by Ed Worman of Whitesville, the group objects to the company’s bid to drill 12 times as many wells as DEC regulations allow.

'Dam Show' This Weekend

Heavy hitters from the 2008 festival scene will converge in Potter County over the July 18-19 weekend for the sixth annual Dam Show at the Austin Dam Memorial Park.
On Friday night and all day and night Saturday, the stage at the base of the Austin Dam ruins will be filled with the sounds of bluegrass, country, rock, old-timey music, gospel and other genres with broad appeal.

Several of the bands will be accompanied by a legion of faithful fans who have been following them along the festival circuit across the country, headlined by world-class fiddler Michael Cleveland and his band, Flamekeeper. They’ll play a 90-minute set on Friday night.

Other acts who will attract their own roving fan base to Austin include the Ryan Montbleau Band, the Hackensaw Boys, and Buddhahood. Lighting specialist Groovin’ Lumens will be back to paint the dam ruins with a colorful light show in support of Dam Show sponsor, the Potter County Fine Arts Council, in partnership with the Austin Dam Memorial Association. Additional support comes from the Dominion Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Potter County Commissioners.

“This is the best musical lineup we’ve had since the Dam Show began,” said Art Metzger, music director for the committee. “Mike Cleveland is a world-class fiddler, while Ryan Montbleau and the Hackensaw Boys have been packing them in at festivals this summer, and that’s just the start!”

Performers at the top of the bill are playing longer sets this year, in response to surveys showing that many Dam Show attendees are particularly attracted by one or more acts and less enthused about variety.

“In response to that, we have been pretty particular about our music line-up this year,” Metzger said. “At the same time, the people who have come to see the four featured performers should be very pleased.”

Primitive camping is available at the park for $10 nightly or $15 for the weekend. Food and other vendor booths will be set up both days, with painting, beading, sand art, horse-drawn wagon rides and children’s games featured. Tickets for individuals are $15 per day or $25 for both days; a family pass is available at $30 for one day or $45 for both days. Shuttle bus transportation is available for Dam Show attendees and some parking is available at the park entrance along Rt. 872.A $5.00 discount is available on tickets purchased in advance. They’re available in Austin at Big Mike’s Dairy Dine; at the Wharton General Store and Costello General Store; in Coudersport, at the Corner Store, Second Street Roost, Olga’s Living with Art, and Potter County Education Council; and at Alyson Leach Studio and Gallery in Galeton.

Additional information on the Dam Show and the individual performers, including samples of their music, is available at the website,

Friday, July 18:

5 pm: Dam Jam. Talented musicians from the local area kick off the show with an hour-long set of picking, jamming and singing.
Free Grass Union

6 pm: Free Grass Union. The band spins its blend of mountain music with bluegrass, dance tunes, blues, and more. There’s a generous dose of mandolin, guitar, banjo and dobro work mixed in with rich harmonic vocals. Free Grass Union has opened for David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs and other bluegrass legends.

7 pm: Cherylann Hawk. They say she “awakens the soul.” Hawk is graced with jazzy, percussive and dynamic acoustic guitar skills, rhythmic lyrics, catchy melodies, and a voice that saturates the senses. She is often compared to Joni Mitchell.

7:30 pm: Gail Ayers. Gifted with a deep and powerful voice, this Potter County resident stirs the soul as she sings gospel music from the heart.
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper

8 pm: Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Cleveland has played at the Grand Ole Opry with Allison Krause, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson and others. He has won five Fiddle Player of the Year honors from the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and has also been honored for two IBMA Albums of the Year.
Blue Sky Mission Club

9:30 pm: Blue Sky Mission Club. The funky and inspiring band features world-class musicians with a deep understanding of roots, rhythm and bluegrass. Drummer Ron Riddle, formerly of Blue Oyster Cult, helps deliver a unique blend of soul, country and rock.

10:30 pm: Willy Jack and the Northern Lights. This Sunbury band jams all types of music, from jazz, funk, rock, and reggae with lots of improv. Willie Jack is in demand on college campuses.

We'll have more on the Dam Show tomorrow -- including information about The Slant's performance.

Thanks to Paul W. Heimel for passing along this information

Apparent Murder-Suicide

An apparent murder-suicide happened Sunday afternoon between 4-6pm in Roulette. State Police say that 29 year-old Cheri Baker went to her estranged husband’s house to discuss arrangements for their two year old son. Police believe that 32 year-old Matthew Baker then shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. Baker also set the house on fire, but it extinguished itself. The investigation continues.

Caskets Damaged in Cemetery

Vandals damaged five caskets at the Kibbe mausoleum in Whites Corners Cemetery in Potter County. State Police say the vandals cut the locks to the mausoleum and then caused extensive damage to the caskets. The damage occurred between May 26 and this past weekend.