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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Big 30 Practice

The Pennsylvania Big 30 team scrimmaged Friday night at the Fretz Middle School field in preparation for next Saturday's Don Raabe Big All-Star Charities Classic. You can hear the game on 1490 WESB, 100.1 The HERO and

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beware of Fruit Bomb

Doctors are warning people about a gag gift that looks like candy but has sent three children to the emergency room. "Fruit Bomb" is sold in a package with cartoon characters on it, and it looks like a bag of candy. But it contains a liquid and other ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. People are supposed to shake the bag to mix the ingredients, then throw the bag on the ground. A few seconds later, it makes a small explosion. There is a warning on the back of the bag that says the contents are not to be ingested.

Olean Man Charged with Assault

An Olean man has been charged with assault for allegedly punching another man in the face. Police say 20-year-old Anthony Sherlock and Darren Padgett Jr. of Olean were at a convenience store Thursday evening when Sherlock punched Padget. Padget lost a front tooth and suffered facial injuries and contusions on the back of his head.

Lobbyist Pleads Guilty

A lobbyist with ties to former Congressman Curt Weldon has pleaded guilty to destroying evidence related to an FBI investigation. Cecelia Grimes of Philadelphia entered the plea today in federal court in Washington. Grimes admitted throwing her Blackberry into the trash at a fast food restaurant to keep the FBI from finding it. She also admitted to throwing away other evidence authorities were looking for in an investigation. Federal authorities have been looking into whether Weldon agreed to help Grimes by supporting appropriations requests from her lobbying firm. Weldon lost his seat in 2006.

Man Shot, Killed Outside
Centre County Radio Station

Police say they shot and killed a man suspected of opening fire outside a radio station in Centre County. Employees at WTLR, a Christian radio station, called police after warnings that an armed man was driving to the station's Ferguson Township office, according to station manager Mark VanOuse.When police showed up, the man rammed one of the cruisers with his Ford Bronco and opened fire, according to witnesses. Witnesses said dozens of shots were exchanged before police shot and killed the man. Police have not yet released the man's identity or a motive for the shooting.

Marcellus Shale Presentation

At 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials will offer a public presentation to address the anticipated impacts to the agency from oil/gas leasing and development operations on State Game Lands derived from the Marcellus Shale gas formation underlying portions of State Game Lands. The presentation, which will be conducted by personnel from the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management, will take place in the auditorium of the Game Commission's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.

Prof Researching Water Depletion

Dr. Shailendra Gajanan, associate professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is spending two months this summer studying water depletion in India with the hopes of making a recommendation to the government there. Gajanan has returned to his native Chennai (formerly Madras) for the months of July and August to work with two colleagues on the project, which will look for patterns and characteristics of the depletion and determine what measurements are most useful in crafting a solution.

The project, “Strategic Democracy and Water Depletion: A Case-Study from Tamil Nadu Farmers,” will also be published later this year as a chapter in a book, “Welfare Economics,” edited by Paul E. Weston and Robert N. Townsend.

Gajanan explains an economic theory that, if left to their own devices, people in a democracy will use up all of their resources. The government, he says, is supposed to regulate common resources and protect the masses from their own appetites.

“At the local level, however, politicians are people, too,” Gajanan says. “They are also motivated by market forces.”

He uses the example of the Tamil Nadu farmers to illustrate his theory.

In order to win elections and stay in office, local elected officials in Tamil Nadu gave farmers free electricity. The result was that farmers installed powerful pumps and used unlimited quantities of water, depleting the region’s water table.

“Who are the farmers who benefit by this scheme?” Gajanan asks. “And I want to find out about the quality of water and level of depletion and hope to propose remedies to the government.

“Researching water issues is a very important thing from an economic standpoint.” He adds that water disputes are a constant concern in India, where water is scarce and each individual state has the right to govern its own water. That leads to plenty in some states, and severe shortages in others.

While in India conducting research, Gajanan will also make several presentations to Indian students. He will be lecturing to university students on the state of the U.S. economy, which is always a hot topic in India, he says, because “if the United States catches a cold, India gets pneumonia.”

Gajanan will also work with younger students, teaching them about market forces through games.

Gajanan has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford since 1992. His research interests include applied microeconomics, labor economics and game theory. He has also led a study on the economic impact of Pitt-Bradford on the local economy. He lives in Bradford with his wife, Rekha, an instructor of composition at Pitt-Bradford, and their two children.

Pit Bull in Custody of SPCA

The pit bull that attacked a 13-year-old girl last week on Clarence Street is now in the custody of the McKean County SPCA. Its owner, 28-year-old Edward Dallenbach, turned the dog over to the SPCA, which must now decide whether to have the dog euthanized. The dog also completed a 10-day quarantine to see if it had rabies or other diseases. The dog bit the girl's hand and lower back. She had to be treated at Bradford Regional Medical Center. Dallenbach had been found guilty earlier this month for failure to confine the dog. It had previously been declared dangerous after attacking another dog last month.

Identity of Dead Body Released

Officials have revealed the identity of the man whose body was found near the Allegany Wal-Mart on July 11. 56-year-old Patrick Molineux of Utica was found by a father and son walking in a patch of woods between Wal-Mart and Tim Horton's. Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John says dental records were used to identify the body. They believe the cause of death was suicide or natural causes, and are awaiting further tests to make the final determination. John says Molineaux's family told investigators it was not uncommon for him to go missing for three or four months at a time before returning to Utica.

Big 30 Spirit

The annual Don Raabe Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic football game isn't until August 2, but employees at Northwest Savings Bank on East Main Street are already in the spirit. The game will be played at Bradford's Parkway Field. You can hear it on 1490 WESB, 100.1 The HERO and online at

Getting Lower

We've been hearing all that gas prices are going down across the country. On Friday afternoon, we saw the proof -- $4.06. The highest price in Bradford this year was $4.15 for a gallon of regular unleaded about a month ago. That only lasted for a day. The price had been stuck at $4.09 for several weeks.

Mason Proposes Chain Gangs

McKean County Sheriff Brad Mason is proposing that the county use supervised chain gangs to assist in maintenance programs. Sheriff Mason believes the chain gangs would help with rehabilitation and act as a deterrent to inmates going back to prison. Mason’s proposal would use inmates who do not qualify for community service. Chain gangs would consist of four to five people and an armed corrections officer. The chain gang proposal would have to be OK'd McKean County Commissioners.

New State Park Managers

The Bureau of State Parks has appointed two new managers to oversee operations of a Greene County state park and a two-park complex in Lebanon and Schuylkill counties, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis announced today.

Alan C. Johnson, formerly a manager trainee at the bureau's Region One office in Emporium, Cameron County, was named manager of Ryerson Station State Park, near Wind Ridge, Greene County.

Angelique D. Croll, formerly acting manager of Memorial Lake and Swatara state parks, takes over the managerial reins at that state park complex in Lebanon and Schuylkill counties.

"A strong grasp of administrative and public relations skills has seen these young managers advance steadily within the Bureau of State Parks," said DiBerardinis. "Under Alan's and Angel's leadership, the parks and their many visitors will benefit."

Located in the far southwest corner of the state near the West Virginia border, Ryerson Station State Park drew almost 80,000 visitors annually to its 1,164-acres before the 52-acre Ronald J. Duke Lake was drained in 2005. Dam safety concerns forced a lake draw-down, but the park remains open for camping, hiking, picnicking and swimming.

"I am looking forward to working with the State Parks' Region 2 Office in Butler County, as well as the wonderful staff at Ryerson Station State Park," said Johnson. "I welcome the chance to continue promoting Ryerson Station and its amenities as a great location for creating memories that will last a lifetime."
Johnson, 29, succeeds Sean Benson, who was named assistant manager at Cook Forest State Park Complex in Clarion County.

Johnson entered the park manager training program in 2007 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Edinboro University. He is a native of Eldred, McKean County

With two launching ramps and 56 overnight mooring slips, the 85-acre Memorial Lake is the focal point of the state park, a 230-acre tract surrounded by Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County. The complex also includes the largely undeveloped Swatara State Park, a tract on the Lebanon-Schuylkill county border that offers more than 3,500 acres of rolling fields and woodlands bisected by Swatara Creek.

"Memorial Lake complex offers a great opportunity to learn and apply a variety of management skills in a variety of functions and positions," Croll said. "And, it's all up front and personal because of the small, dedicated staff."

Croll succeeds William C. Friese who was named manager of the Tobyhanna State Park Complex, comprised of Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro and Big Pocono state parks, all in Monroe County.

Croll first worked for the Bureau of State Parks in 2006 as a seasonal environmental education specialist at Evansburg State Park, Montgomery County. She entered the bureau's manager trainee program in 2007, working from the Region Four office in Perkasie, Bucks County. She worked as assistant and acting park manager at Promised Land, Pike County; Frances Slocum, Luzerne County; the Tobyhanna Park Complex, based in Monroe County, and, most recently, the Memorial Lake State Park Complex.

Croll graduated from Northland College, Ashland, Wis., with a bachelor's degree in policy studies. A native of Cypress, Texas, she lives with her husband and two daughters near Grantville, Lebanon County.

New Managers at Forest Districts

The Bureau of Forestry has appointed two new foresters to oversee operations in northeast and northwest districts, according to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis.

Nicholas P. Lylo, formerly assistant manager at Lackawanna State Forest District, was named district forester for that district, which encompasses Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming and Luzerne counties.

Cecile M. Stelter, former assistant manager of Cornplanter State Forest District, based in Warren, Warren County, was appointed district forester for that district. Her district includes Warren, Erie, Crawford and Forest counties and a section of Venango County.

“Nick and Cecile served admirably in a variety of prior posts with the Bureau of Forestry and they bring a wealth of technical and administrative skills to their new positions,” said DiBerardinis. “They know their districts, their employees, and their major tasks and challenges, whether they are land acquisition and conservation or forest and wildfire management.”

Heading two of 20 state forest districts across the state, Lylo and Stelter will oversee forest-growth management, personnel coordination, infrastructure maintenance, and fire prevention and suppression. They also will manage service foresters who provide support, direction and technical assistance to private forest landowners.

Headquartered in Scranton, Lackawanna State Forest District is noted for its diverse recreational opportunities, offering almost 26,000 acres of state forestland.

“I am honored to be offered this opportunity to serve as district forester here in northeast Pennsylvania and I’m looking forward to working with the people and natural resources of our area,” Lylo said. “Economically and socially, the state forest enjoys strong ties to the community.”

Lylo, 43, succeeds Bradley W. Elison, who was named assistant director of the bureau.

Lylo began his forestry career as seasonal forest technician with the USDA Forest Service at Allegheny National Forest, and then worked in forestry positions with private firms. Hired by the bureau in 1991, Lylo has worked nearly 17 years as a forester, service forester, silviculture specialist and, most recently, Lackawanna assistant district forester.

A U.S. Army veteran, serving from 1983 to 1985 with the 25th Infantry Division, Lylo received a bachelor’s degree in forest science from Penn State University. He lives with his wife, Mary Jane, in Wilkes-Barre.Cornplanter State Forest District includes the 1,256-acre Cornplanter State Forest in western Forest County. Named in honor of Chief Cornplanter, famous chief of the Seneca tribe, the forest is not far from Col. Edwin Drake’s historic first oil well discovery in 1859.

“One of the many strengths of the Cornplanter Forest District is its history of partnerships and cooperation,” Stelter said. “I look forward to strengthening our existing relationships, forging new alliances and delving into many collaborative ventures with our partners and cooperators.”

Stelter, 40, succeeds Donald D. Wary, who retired.

Cornplanter’s new district forester began her career with the bureau in 1988 after working with the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park, and with the USDA Forest Service at its Northeastern Forest Experiment Station in Radnor, Delaware County. For the past 10 years she has worked for the bureau as a forest technician, service forester in Forest and Venango counties, and, since 2004, assistant district manager of the Cornplanter district.

Stelter holds a bachelor’s degree in forest science and a master’s degree in forest resources management from Penn State.

A native of Herminie, Westmoreland County, Stelter lives with her husband, Jim, in Titusville, Venango County.

Rigases Facing More Charges

Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son Timothy face more tax-evasion charges under a new indictment by a federal grand jury. The indictment adds 2001 to the years for which 83-year-old John Rigas and his 52-year-old son Timothy Rigas are charged. John Rigas is the founder of the bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. Timothy Rigas was once chief financial officer. They are imprisoned following convictions in 2004 in New York on charges including bank fraud and securities fraud. The two have filed an appeal challenging their prosecution in Pennsylvania. In this case, the government alleges they diverted Adelphia funds for personal use without reporting it as income. The new indictment says this caused the government a tax loss of $483 million for 1998 through 2001.

'Last Lecture' Prof Passes Away

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose "last lecture" about facing terminal cancer became an international sensation and a best-selling book, died Friday. He was 47. University spokeswoman Anne Watzman says Pausch died early Friday at his home in Virginia. Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. His popular last lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by millions on the Internet. In it, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on impending death.

Note: The book is wonderful. Definitely a "must read."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

14 Alleged Drug Dealers Arrested

Six Pittsburgh-area residents are in FBI custody for allegedly being part of a drug ring that stretched from Canada to Florida and distributed more than 200 pounds of marijuana. Details of the alleged ring probably won't be released because federal prosecutors say criminal complaints will remain sealed even after the suspects appear before a federal magistrate.

The Pittsburgh-area men arrested charged are 32-year-old Cuong Nguyen, 33-year-old Dung Minh Tran, 34-year-old Christopher Leventis and 35-year-old Magdi Milad Louis, all of Pittsburgh, 29-year-old Giacinto Rocco Derenzo of Cranberry and 19-year-old Hau Duy Bach of Allison Park.

Two Florida residents and six residents of Canada were also arrested. Their names haven't been released yet.

Agencies involved in the ongoing investigation are the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration from Pittsburgh and Buffalo; Immigration and Customs Enforcement from Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cleveland; Royal Canadian Mounted Police Greater Toronto Area Drug Section; Canada Border Services Agency; Asian Organized Crimes Task Force of Ontario; Pennsylvania State Police; City of Pittsburgh Police; and the Internal Revenue Service.

Two Lost ANF Hikers Rescued

Two people were rescued from the Allegheny National Forest near the Hearts Content Scenic Area last week.

US Forest Service Law Enforcement says at 6 p.m. July 17, they got a report of a hiker lost on or near the Hickory Creek hiking trail in the Hickory Wilderness.

While officers were looking for 21-year-old Jonathan Hill of Watson, they encountered a group from Warren State Hospital who were looking for another lost person – a 40-year-old woman with impaired vision.

They found the woman two or three hours later, when she made her way toward the sirens being used to locate Hill.

Hill remained missing, but searchers remained in contact with him by cell phone, but he was unable to navigate in the forest because of darkness.

At about 4 a.m. Friday, a forest service officer and Warren County sheriff's deputy set out on foot to locate Hill. They found him at about 7 a.m. just off the Hickory Creek Trail. He wasn't hurt.

Man Jailed for Attempted Murder

A 20-year-old Port Matlilda man has been charged with attempted murder following an assault near the Port Matilda Elementary School. Richard Barger is in the Centre County Correctional Facility after allegedly attacking 30-year-old Ryan Morgan of Port Matilda. Police say Morgan had been stabbed multiple times in the chest, arms, back and abdomen and suffered injuries to his heart and lungs. He's being treated at the Altoona Trauma Center.

NY DOT Worker Dies

A New York State Department of Transportation worker is dead after being hit by an SUV when the driver bent over to pick up a lit cigarette he dropped. 46-year-old Kevin Forsyth was hit Wednesday morning while setting up traffic cones along Porter Road in the Town of Niagara. The SUV driver, 47-year-old Frank Serba, was charged with failure to keep right. Officials haven't said if more charges will be filed, but the accident remains under investigation.

Chlorine Leak in Wellsville

One person was taken to the hospital after being overcome by chlorine fumes at Wellsville's water treatment facility Wednesday. Brent Roberts of Wellsville was admitted to the hospital for observation. As a precautionary measure, residents were sheltered in place and ordered to keep their windows and doors closed. Also, Wellsville health care facilities were told to shut down their air intake systems. A malfunctioning 150-pound storage cylinder was the cause of the leak, which created a small chlorine gas cloud in the area surrounding the treatment plant building. The incident happened at 3:34 p.m. and ended when it was determined the air was clear at 6:12 p.m.

Former NY Officials Charged

The state Public Integrity Commission has found "reasonable cause" to charge four former state officials with misusing state police to discredit a political foe of former Governor Eliot Spitzer.
The commission found "insufficient record evidence" to charge anyone else, including Spitzer. It is the first accusation of a violation of law in the political scandal that gridlocked state government for most of 2007. The commission says former Spitzer aides Darren Dopp, Richard Baum and William Howard and former state police superintendent Preston Felton conspired to smear former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno by releasing his travel records to the media. Felton faces two charges carrying a maximum fine of $20,000, while Dopp faces one charge with a maximum penalty of $10,000. The two can now request a public hearing by an agency hearing officer into the matter, or sue the commission.

DJ's Manager Arrested for Theft

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced the arrest of the office manager for Altoona Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker for the alleged theft of more than $35,000. Corbett said that Christine Dively, 58, 1010 Christian Drive, Duncansville, allegedly failed to make 44 daily bank deposits, which included cash, checks and money orders, during both 2006 and 2007. Dively is charged with one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, one count of theft by unlawful taking or deception and one count of receiving stolen property. All three charges are felonies. Dively was preliminarily arraigned before Centre County Magisterial District Judge Carmine Prestia and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. She will be prosecuted in Centre County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Forray.

Going 'Above and Beyond'

WESB/WBRR News Director

A city employee has been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty – and saving the city some money.

Brad Swackhamer of the Department of Public Works used his mechanical skills, which ultimately saved the City of Bradford thousands of dollars on the repairs needed to put the fire department's Engine Two back in service, according to an award of appreciation read by Mayor Tom Riel during Tuesday's city council meeting.

The award further states that Swackhamer persevered and went "above and beyond his job responsibilities."

Fire Chief Boo Coder explained that Engine Two was being used while Engine One was being repaired following an accident.

But Engine Two wouldn't hold water and the brakes wouldn't work, Coder said, adding that there was "a whole pile of things wrong with it."

"Brad put countless hours into it to put it back on the road," Coder said.

Coder added that without the work of Swackhamer and Public Works Director Gary Alcock, the fire department would have had to look for another truck as a backup.

He said another truck would cost $15,000 to $20,000, and the department doesn't have the money.

"Brad worked hard – tirelessly," Coder said. "Now we have a good backup truck to last a few years until we can get another vehicle."

"He did a heck of a job and he needs a slap on the back," Coder said. "I'll tell ya, he saved us a lot of money and plus he gave me a truck I can depend on now.

PA Driver Picks Up Peacock

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. (AP) — Picking up hitchhikers can be risky, but this one in northeast Pennsylvania was a bird of a different feather.

Jerry Dimick and a friend were driving along Route 307 near Clarks Summit on Wednesday when they spotted a peacock standing by the edge of the road.

Dimick says he stopped and "went 'smooch, smooch, smooch, smooch' and the bird came over," so he "reached out and grabbed him."

With no room in the back of his pickup truck, Dimick put the peacock in the front seat. He says, "The bird was sitting in between the two of us. He sat there."

Dimick took the bird to his home in Taylor and is trying to find it a safe place to live. So far, he's had no luck with the Game Commission, animal control, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or the local zoo.

PA Airman Dies in B-52 Crash

An airman from central Pennsylvania is one of the six crew members killed in a B-52 bomber crash off Guam. The Air Force says 25-year-old 1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd was a navigator on the plane that crashed earlier this week. Shepherd was a 2001 graduate of Lewistown Area High School, and a 2005 graduate of Penn State University. He was married and the father of two sons, 5-year-old Noah and 5-month-old Evan.

Salamanca Water Park Planned

Salamanca could have a water park and 300-room hotel resort within the next 18 months. Common Council has approved a land agreement with Ross Wilson & Associates to develop the 54-acre site t hat borders the Seneca Allegany Casino. Plans call for development of a resort complex with a 300-room hotel, indoor and outdoor water park, a theme restaurant, performing arts and conference center, on-site year-round recreational facilities, nature trails, horseback riding trails, a sculpture park, landscape garden and a possible public performance venue. Mayor Jeffrey Pond says a project of this magnitude will stimulate the local economy and nicely complements existing tourism destinations such as the Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel, Allegany State Park and Ellicottville.

Hatchery Re-Opening a Year Away

Re-opening of the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery is still more than a year away. Tracy Copeland, manager of the hatchery at the base of Kinzua Dam, says $1.2 million is needed for construction of an aeration tower for the hatchery's water supply. Congress must appropriate an estimated $1.2 million to cover the construction costs. Assuming that Congress adopts a budget by Oct. 1 and the money for the hatchery is included, Copeland said that groundbreaking for the tower could begin this fall and construction will take about a year to complete. The hatchery's entire population of fish was virtually wiped out by two incidents in 2005. In May, a power failure at the hatchery resulted in the loss of up to 300,000 trout fingerlings. In September, lake and brook trout tested positive for the fish virus infectious pancreatic necrosis. The hatchery's entire population of 720,000 juvenile lake, brook and rainbow trout and 2,500 lake brooder fish and 230,000 lake trout eggs was either destroyed or given to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thum Joins CCMH Staff

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has announced the addition Patricia Thum, MSN, CRNP, to its staff. Thum will be working with pediatricians Dr. Mary Ann Rigas and Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith in Coudersport and at CCMH’s Northern Potter Health Center with Dr. Amit Khanna. Thum has over 20 years of nursing experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York Regents College, a master’s degree in community health administration and wellness promotion at Independence University, California College for Health Sciences, and a master’s degree in the family nurse practitioner program at Indiana State University. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 814/274-9198 or 848-7555.

UWBA Requirements Completed

The United Way of the Bradford Area has successfully completed all of the United Way of America membership requirements, according to Executive Director Kristen Luther.

The requirements include Membership Requirements Certification, Membership Investment, the Database 2 Survey of Total Resources Generated (a survey that captures the full extent of a community’s resource development efforts during the year) and a report of the United Way’s annual income and expenses. Over and above the annual requirements, the United Way of the Bradford Area completed a mandatory organizational self-assessment in 2007 as part of this process.

“The membership requirements must be certified annually in order for us to remain a member of the United Way,” says Luther. “It’s important for us to maintain high standards of accountability, and this is part of the process to confirm that our operations are transparent and meet or exceed United Way membership requirements.”

The Board of Directors of the United Way of the Bradford Area reviewed and approved the Membership Requirements Certification in March of this year. The certification mandates completion of 13 requirements for United Way of America membership along with verification of the status of 44 indicators that a United Way demonstrates the intent of the membership requirements.

“It is critical that all United Ways meets the highest standards and verify on paper that they have conformed to the requirements of membership in the United Way system,” said Brian Gallagher, United Way of American President and CEO. “We applaud the United Way of the Bradford Area’s accountability efforts that support its important work to improve lives and build a stronger community.”

As an integral part of Bradford, the United Way advances the common good by funding 18 agencies and 27 programs with monies raised in campaign 2007. The organization is part of a system of 1,286 United Ways.
The United Way of the Bradford Area will kick-off campaign 2008 August 15. The fundraising efforts will continue until December 15.

For more information on the United Way of the Bradford Area or its funded agencies and programs, visit the website at

Doctor Arrested on Drug Charges

Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced the arrest of a Clearfield County doctor for allegedly prescribing drugs for his own personal use. Corbett said that David Girardi, 30, of 241 Ridge Ave., Curwensville, allegedly wrote and filled prescriptions using the names of other people, but kept the drugs for himself.

"Our Bureau of Narcotics Investigation agents are very active in investigating medical professionals who are illegally using prescription pain medication," Corbett said. "It is a potentially dangerous situation if the person you trust with your medical care is under the influence of drugs."

According to the investigation, Girardi allegedly filled these fraudulent prescriptions at least seven different times. The prescriptions were for Percocet, Oxycodone/Acetaminophen, Lortab, and Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen. All of these drugs are controlled substances.

Girardi is charged with seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit, which is a misdemeanor. Girardi was preliminarily arraigned before Clearfield County Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. He will be prosecuted in Clearfield County by Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw.

Saylor Recognized on Birthday

John P. Saylor (July 23, 1908 ­ October 28, 1973) was a conservative Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Johnstown, Pennsylvania from 1949 until his death in 1973. Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. Saylor¹s views rarely strayed far from conventional Cold War conservatism, though he was immensely influential in environmental matters, and considered both a maverick and a pioneer in that arena. He was nicknamed "St. John" by conservation leaders for his dogged work toward broad environmental protections.

"Friends of Allegheny Wilderness is pleased and proud to recognize the 100th anniversary of the birth of Representative Saylor, a fellow Pennsylvanian whose contributions to conservation in America were and are immeasurable," said Ron Simonsen, president of the board of directors of the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW).

In his capacity in the Congress, Saylor introduced the Wilderness Act into the House on June 11, 1956 with these words: "We Americans are the people we are largely because we have had the influence of the wilderness on our lives." Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by liberal Democrat Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota.

The Wilderness Act had been authored primarily by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society, a friend of Saylor¹s and a fellow Pennsylvanian from Tionesta ­ a small town in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

Saylor was a fierce proponent of the Wilderness Act during the eight years it took to pass the Congress and be signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 3, 1964 ­ thereby establishing America¹s National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), which today protects more than 107 million acres of America¹s federal public lands in its natural condition.

"My father¹s work to establish an enduring resource of wilderness for the American people likely would not have borne fruit without the steadfast support and advocacy of John Saylor in the United States Congress," observed writer Ed Zahniser of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the youngest of Howard and Alice Zahniser¹s four children.

Saylor also later fought for the passage of the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act, which when passed in 1975 definitively refuted the controversial efforts of some in the U.S. Forest Service to redefine the Wilderness Act as inapplicable to eastern national forest lands. Though he did not live to see this legislation become law, on January 11, 1973 Saylor exhorted the House:

"Mr. Speaker, I am the author of the Wilderness Act in this House. I know very well what it says and what it intendedÅ I fought too long and too hard, and too many people in this House and across this land fought with me, to see the Wilderness Act denied applicationÅ by this kind of obtuse or hostile misinterpretation or misconstruction of the public law and the intent of the Congress of the United States."

Saylor was born in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster in 1929, and Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle in 1933. He was elected city solicitor of Johnstown in 1938 and served until 1940. He enlisted in the United States Navy on August 6, 1943 and served until January 1946.

David Saylor, nephew of John Saylor, also serves as a board member for FAW. "My uncle taught me a great deal about the outdoors, and cared very deeply about protection of wilderness and wildlands," Saylor stated. "He would be extremely proud to know that citizens in his home state are working diligently to protect wilderness in the Commonwealth¹s sole national forest for future generations to use and enjoy," he concluded.

FAW is a non-profit organization based in Warren seeking to have the remaining qualifying areas of the ANF permanently protected as part of the NWPS. Their 2003 Citizens¹ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania¹s Allegheny National Forest, identifying eight parcels totaling 54,460 acres as prospective additions to the NWPS, has been endorsed by dozens of environmental organizations and businesses throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

Currently, just two areas of the ANF ­ Hickory Creek and the Allegheny Islands ­ totaling approximately 9,000 acres are designated by Congress as wilderness. That is less that two percent of the 513,200-acre ANF. Nationwide, 18 percent of all national forest lands are protected as wilderness, and in the East the figure is 12 percent.

During his time in the Congress Saylor became dedicated to a number of environmental causes in addition to wilderness preservation, including the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Act, National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and in opposition to the construction of the Kinzua Dam and other hydroelectric projects proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Along with Zahniser, in 1957 Saylor began voicing his strong opposition to the construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River near Warren, citing its high cost, the Corps¹ refusal to study alternative plans, its destruction of one of the most scenic stretches of river in Pennsylvania, and particularly because of its breaking of the 1794 treaty with the Seneca Nation of Indians ­ the oldest federal treaty that was still in effect at that time.

In appreciation for his contributions to the opposition of the Kinzua Dam, the Seneca Nation of Indians made Saylor an honorary member on September 15, 1962 during a ceremony on the Cornplanter Land Grant property in Warren County.

"In working to preserve our nation¹s wild lands and waterways as a conservative Republican, Congressman Saylor demonstrated that wilderness protection is an issue that can ­ and should ­ transcend party politics," said John Bartlett, field representative for FAW. "It is the most fervent hope of FAW and our vast network of supporters that Saylor and Zahniser¹s vision of wilderness protection will ultimately be fully exercised by the entire Pennsylvania Congressional delegation in the Allegheny National Forest," he concluded.

Doors Installed at BRMC

Bradford Regional Medical Center’s David Thrun (left) of Telecommunications and Norm Strotman, assistant director of Plant Services, check the sensors of the newly installed double doors inside the Interstate Parkway lobby. As a safety feature, the Emergency Department will have the capability to lock down its unit doors at 8 p.m. each day so people cannot enter or exit without being accompanied by a BRMC employee. These locking doors will start being used in early August when the fourth and final phase of BRMC’s $3.5 million Emergency Department expansion and redesign are complete. This project is part of the hospital’s “Building The Future” campus improvement campaign. Phase I involved building the $11.5 million Outpatient Services Center, which opened in January 2007.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Punxy Man's Death Warrant Signed

Governor Edward G. Rendell has signed his 79th death warrant; this one for Robert Gene Rega, a Punxsutawney man who a jury found guilty of gunning down a hotel night watchman during a botched 2000 robbery.

Rega is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Sept. 18.

After bemoaning the fact that they had no money to buy Christmas presents for their children, court records indicate Rega conspired with Stanford Jones and his wife, Susan, as well as Shawn Bair, to rob the Gateway Lodge in Cooksburg, Jefferson County. Raymond Fishell later agreed to participate in the crime. All of the conspirators are from Punxsutawney.

Rega and the others hatched their plan during the evening of Dec. 21, 2000, and committed the crime about 5 hours later on Dec. 22. They targeted the hotel because Rega and Bair had worked there.

On Dec. 22, Rega, Fishell, Bair and Stanford Jones drove to the Gateway Lodge wearing stockings on their heads. They also wore gloves. Fishell carried a butcher’s knife with him while Rega carried a .9mm handgun. Bair served as the look-out and getaway driver. Susan Jones watched the children at home as the crime unfolded.

The quartet had planned to hold the night watchman, Christopher Lauth, hostage and force him to obtain the code from the hotel owner’s daughter to open the ATM machine and take that money. However, when they arrived at the business, the men spotted Lauth outside the building, panicked and decided to get out of their car and jump the unsuspecting employee, who was approaching the vehicle.

While holding Lauth at gunpoint, the group tried but failed to get the ATM code. Fishell and Jones, meanwhile, carried the hotel safe to the car while Rega began shooting at the cash-dispensing machine, but failed to open it.

As the group moved toward making its getaway, Bair, Fishell and Jones waited in the car as Rega continued to deal with Lauth. While waiting, the men said they heard a gunshot, a scream, a gurgling sound, and a few more shots. Rega then ran out of the building, got into the car, and ordered Bair to drive away.

After returning to Rega’s trailer, the men opened the safe with a grinder and split the $20,000 it held, each receiving about $5,000. Rega then instructed the men to put all of the credit cards and receipts back into the safe, along with their clothing and shoes. Then they stuffed a kerosene-soaked blanket into the safe, set fire to it, and dumped the safe over an embankment.

Gateway Lodge employees discovered Lauth’s lifeless body when they reported to work at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 22.

After performing an autopsy on Lauth, Criminal Pathologist Dr. Eric Vey said the victim had been shot once in the right hand, head, back, and right shoulder. While the head wound was immediately fatal, the angle of the bullet trajectories indicated that Lauth was on his knees with his arms raised when he was shot.

Rega was arrested and charged with homicide and related offenses in connection with the death of Lauth and the robbery on Jan. 9, 2001.

On June 20, 2002, eight days after his trial began, a jury convicted Rega of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, robbery, criminal conspiracy, burglary, theft by unlawful taking, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, unlawful restraint, and receiving stolen property. The jury sentenced Rega to death on June 22.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed Rega’s death sentence on Oct. 17, 2007, and denied his application for re-argument on Dec. 10. After his petition for a writ of certiorari was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 14, the Office of General Counsel received the record of his trial and direct appeal from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Prothonotary on April 23.

Great Lakes Resolution Introduced

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) today joined their colleagues in the Great Lakes region in introducing the Great Lakes Compact Resolution which aims to protect the Great Lakes. The resolution would ratify the compact signed into law by the governors of the 8 states surrounding the Great Lakes water basin.

“The Great Lakes are an important part of the culture and economy of Northwestern Pennsylvania. The Lakes are also an important source of drinking water in our state,” said Senator Casey. “I applaud the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for taking the first steps to protect and conserve Lake Erie. Now it is up to the Congress to finish the job and ensure the long-term health and sustainability of this precious resource.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues from the Great Lakes states in cosponsoring this important resolution,” Senator Specter said. “Lake Erie is a valuable resource and effective management of the waters of the Great Lakes basin is essential for sustaining and protecting 90 percent of the nation’s fresh water for the 35 million people who drink it.”

The resolution would ratify the Great Lakes Compact which would seek to accomplish three basic principles. First, it would prevent large-scale (greater than 1 million gallons/day) water diversion from the Great Lakes Basin. Secondly, it would ensure that Great Lakes states and the provinces of Canada coordinate their own water use within the region. Lastly, it would make it difficult to withdraw water for use outside of the basin.

In addition to Senators Casey and Specter, the Great Lakes Compact Resolution is co-sponsored by Senators from all 8 Great Lake States, including:

1) Carl Levin (D-MI)

2) George Voinovich (R-OH)

3) Evan Bayh (D-IN)

4) Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

5) Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

6) Norm Coleman (R-MN)

7) Dick Durbin (D-IL)

8) Russ Feingold (D-WI)

9) Herb Kohl (D-WI)

10) Barack Obama (D-IL)

11) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

12) Charles Schumer (D-NY)

13) Dick Lugar (R-IN)

14) Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Green Signs with Turkish Champs

After spending one season in Italy, former St. Bonaventure men’s basketball great Marques Green will return to Turkey for the second time in his pro career in 2008-09, after signing a two-year contract to play for defending Turkish champion Fenerbahce Ulker. Since his graduation in 2004, Green has spent the last four seasons playing professional basketball in Europe, including a one-year stint in Turkey with Casa TED Kolejliler Ankara in 2006-07.

Fenerbahce – Green’s new team ­– finished third (21-9) in the regular season standings in the top league in Turkey in 2007-08. They cruised through the Turkish Play-Offs, taking the best-of-seven championship series in five games over T. Telekom. Fenerbahce then advanced through group play at Euroleague Play-Offs before losing in the quarterfinals. Fenerbache’s postseason run earned it a final ranking of No. 32 on’s Top 100 Poll.

Last season, Green led Air Avellino to a 23-11 regular season mark and a semifinal appearance in the Italian SerieA Play-Offs. Green was named the All-Italian SerieA Guard Of The Year and All-Italian SerieA Import Player of the Year after averaging 13.3 points, 6.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 steals per contest. Both of those yearly accolades also put Green on the All-Italian SerieA and All-Italian SerieA Imports teams, respectively. Green also led the league with an 89 percent clip from the free throw line and finished second in assists and third in steals.

Green finished his career as a Bonnie as the highest scoring guard in school history with 1,734 points, good for seventh place on the all-time list. Green holds program records for career assists (657), steals (325) and three-point field goals (281). A three-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection, Green is the conference’s all-time leader in assists per game (5.9), while ranking second in career steals, third in steals per game (2.9) and fourth in career assists. As a senior in 2004, Green led the nation with 107 steals.

Bush Signs Russert Highway Bill

President Bush has signed a bill into law, designating the stretch of US Route 20A outside Ralph Wilson Stadium in honor of the late Tim Russert. Russert died June 13 at 58 of a heart attack while working at NBC News. During football season, he ended his Sunday broadcast of "Meet the Press," with the signoff "Go Bills." The measure to honor him and his connection to the Bills was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The stretch of Route 20A between Abbott Road and California Road in Orchard Park is now the "Timothy J. Russert Highway."

Alleged Drug Kingpin Denied Bail

A judge has denied bail for a Jamestown man believe to be the highest level drug dealer ever arrested in the region. 39-year-old Jose Martinez is accused of being the major supplier of a cocaine ring in the Soutern Tier that distributed about $4 million worht of cocaine. Martinez is facing federal charges for supplying the Q-Dog drug ring. Authorities also believe he has information on the murder of Quincy Turner, a member of the 11-person drug ring.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wagner Want Megan's Law Change

The state auditor general has announced a plan to use technology to track sex offenders' movements. Portable global positioning systems can pinpoint a person's location and even notify police when that person is not where they should be.

Auditor General Jack Wagner says “You can get GPS technology when you're playing in a golf cart on a golf course, but we're not utilizing GPS technology to protect our children. There's something wrong here.”

Wagner wants to amend Megan's law and mandate that sex offenders who do not register their addresses and all sexually violent predators whose victims are children be tracked for at least five years.

Gas Development May be Slowed

The new natural gas development boom in Pennsylvania may be slowed down significantly as the result of new restrictions and regulations being put in place by the state Department of Environmental Resources, according to at least one legislator.

Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County has called for the Rendell administration to lift the new restrictions that are hurting drillers working to develop the huge Marcellus Shale gas deposits in northern and western Pennsylvania.

"What this administration needs to do is work to remove any stumbling block that is in the way that would prevent or discourage the development of this Marcellus Shale gas deposit," Rohrer said. "This is the opportunity for this administration to do what it has said they want to do, and that is to help to make this Commonwealth more energy independent and to help lower the cost of energy. Now is the time for this Governor to step to the plate and remove the barriers that have been put in place by the Department of Environmental Protection. "

New I-80 Info Sent to FHA

State transportation officials have submitted new information to the federal government after the Federal Highway Administration in December said the original application to impose tolls on Interstate 80 was lacking some key answers. A year ago, the state Legislature approved the tolling of I-80 as a way to raise new money to repair highways and bridges and help struggling mass transit agencies. The plan needs federal approval to proceed. The tolling plan has received strong opposition from the I-80 corridor. If they get federal approval, state transportation officials say they will seek public input on where to put tollbooths.

Schools Getting State Money

Schools in Bradford, Smethport and St. Marys are among 14 that will be getting money from the state's "Science: It's Elementary" initiative. School Street Elementary, Smethport Elementary, South St. Marys Elementary and the Children's School in the Northern Potter School District were added to the program this year. Area schools that will continue to get money for the program are Chestnut Street Elementary in Kane and Oswayo Valley elementary and middle schools.

Paterson Signs Video Game Law

New York Governor David Paterson has signed a bill that enacts new restrictions on violent video games. Civil libertarian groups say the bill will be challenged in court on free speech grounds. The new law requires that games sold by retailers include the industry's voluntary rating board. It also requires game consoles to include special features by 2010 that enable parents to lock out certain kinds of games based on content or rating.

Teens to Attend Honor Camp

Three teenagers from this region are among 42 from across the state who have been invited to learn about State Police operations at the Commissioner’s Honor Camp next week at the State Police Academy in Hershey. The teens are Rebecca Glatt of St. Marys, Steven Foreny of Coudersport and Cheyanne James of Sabinsville. The program begins Sunday, July 27. A graduation ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the State Police Academy.

Boy Pierced by Arrow, Dies

A 5-year-old Franklinville boy is dead after he accidentally fell on a toy arrow.The Cattaraugus County Coroner says Erik Peterson had been playing with a toy bow and arrow set when he tripped and the arrow pierced his eye. Erik was flown to a Buffalo hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Estelle Getty Dies at 84

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Actress Estelle Getty has died at the age of 84. Her son, Carl Gettleman, says the co-star of the TV show "The Golden Girls" died early Tuesday at home in Los Angeles. Gettleman says she suffered from advanced dementia. The diminutive actress spent 40 years struggling for success before landing the role of a lifetime in 1985, playing the sarcastic octogenarian Sophia on "The Golden Girls."

Gas Well Being Fracked
In Potter County

From Solomon's Words:

Workmen are busy this morning fracturing this deep natural gas well along Route 6 on the Kaple Farm in Roulette, PA. There are many deep natural gas wells that have been drilled and more are currently being drilled in this area of Potter County. It will be interesting to see the results of this well drilled into the Marcellus Shale formation. This strata is reported to hold trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.


Assault at Warren State Hospital

State police are investigating a report of an assault at Warren State Hospital. Police say an adult female patient attacked another adult female patient at the hospital over the weekend. They say a woman pulled the victim off a couch by her hair, then pushed the victim’s head into a chair, kicked her and punched her in the face numerous times. The victim suffered multiple injuries in the attack. Police did not release the name of either woman. Charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment are pending.

Hearing on Buffalo Casino Set

A hearing has been scheduled for August 21 on the motion filed by opponents of the Buffalo Creek Casino. Citizens Against Casino Gambling filed the motion after US District Court Judge William Skretny issued a decision on July 8 saying the land was not eligible for gambling. The group has asked the judge to direct the National Indian Gaming Commission to enforce his ruling by shutting down the casino. They have also asked the judge to order US Marshals to enforce the order if the commission doesn't. The Seneca Gaming Corporation has continued to allow gambling in the temporary casino, and construction is continuing on the planned $333 million casino complex.

Former Judge H.B. Fink Dies

Former Potter County Judge and longtime attorney H.B. Fink has died. He was 81, and had been suffering from cancer. A native of Wellsboro, Fink graduated from Temple Law School and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar on Nov. 1, 1955. He began his legal practice in Coudersport in 1956. Fink was elected President Judge of Potter County in 1977, but was removed by the state Supreme Court in 1987. He fought the action and believed it was an injustice. The controversial and colorful attorney would sometimes appear in court wearing brightly colored shorts with a sport coat and tie. Fink is survived by his wife, Cynthia, and six children, including daughter Dawn Fink, who is the current Potter County District Attorney.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ito Shoji Co. Makes $10,000 Gift
to Pitt-Bradford Chapel

Ito Shoji Co. Ltd. of Japan has made a $10,000 gift in honor of Harriett B. Wick to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford chapel project. Ito Shoji is Japan’s largest distributors of Zippo lighters and one of the largest worldwide distributors of Zippo products. The company, which innovated many ideas to promote the collectors’ market, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. As part of that celebration, company president Fumio Akasu is visiting Zippo Manufacturing Co. in Bradford this week.

“We were deeply grateful to Mr. Fumio Akasu when he made the gift for this all-important chapel project,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford president. “Not only does it show his strong affection for Harriett Wick, in whose honor the gift was made, but it also signals a strengthening of the longstanding relationship with Pitt-Bradford.”

In May, the university announced that it would build a chapel. At the same time, the university announced an anonymous $1 million gift for the chapel in honor of Wick, philanthropist and daughter of Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell.

University officials hope to break ground on the chapel this fall.

“This donation strengthens the ties between Pitt-Bradford, Zippo and Ito Shoji, showing how important our global connections are,” said Karen Niemic Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement at Pitt-Bradford.

Ito Shoji’s name will appear on the serenity wall in the chapel.

This is not the first time Ito Shoji has given to Pitt-Bradford. In 1998, a $125,000 gift by Ito Shoji and its president, Tetsu Ito, established a fund to help Pitt-Bradford faculty and students visit and study at the Yokohama College of Commerce or elsewhere in Japan.

Pitt-Bradford and YCC have enjoyed a “sister college” relationship since 1997, with a group of Japanese students visiting each summer to study English. Ito established the endowment at the suggestion of his friend, Howard Fesenmyer, chairman of Pitt-Bradford’s Institutional Advancement Council.

“When Mr. Ito was here for the Zippo/Case Swap Meet (in 1997), he was inspired to see all the Japanese students here on campus as part of the YCC/Pitt-Bradford Summer Intensive English Program,” Fesenmyer explained. “He thought it was a wonderful thing. The scholarship is his way of saying ‘thank you’ to Bradford, Zippo and Pitt-Bradford for all they have done to cultivate friendships and working relationships over the years.”

(Photo of Fumio Akasu and Harriett Wick courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Suspect Arrested for 1999 Murder

State Police, St. Marys Police and the Elk County District Attorney's Office have announced the arrest of a suspect in the Irene Challingsworth homicide. Challingsworth was murdered in her St. Marys home on April 6, 1999. The state police Cold Case Unit re-opened the case in September of 2003. Thirty-three-year-old Larry Donachy has been arrested, and charged with criminal homicide. Trooper Bruce Morris of the state police said he could not release any further information, and referred us to Elk County District Attorney Brad Kraus, who did not immediately return a phone call. We'll have more information as soon as it's available.

Challingsworth was 57 years old when she died. She was stabbed in the neck several times at her home in St. Marys, from which she also ran a beauty shop. Her partially nude body was found by a customer.

Teen Thrown from Pickup Truck

An 18-year-old from Warren is in fair condition at Hamot Medical Center after being thrown from the bed of a pickup truck Sunday night. Daniel Dwyer was riding in the bed of a truck being driven by a 16-year-old boy near Jake's Rocks when the truck went out of control, went off the road, hit a tree and rolled onto its side. The driver, whose name is not being released, and another passenger riding inside the truck, 18-year-old Christopher Jordan of Clarendon, suffered minor injuries. Police say the driver was intentionally accelerating around muddy curves. Charges are pending.

Update on Fatal Accidents

An Olean man is dead after a head-on collision Sunday on Route 417 in Wellsville. Police say a vehicle driven by 42-year-old John Gibbons IV crossed the center ine and hit a vehicle driven by 19-year-old Stanley Kruszewski of Maryland. Gibbons is the son of former Olean Fire Chief John Gibbons III. Gibbons was pronounced dead at the scene. Kruszewski was treated for leg injuries at an area hospital. Police are continuing their investigation.

A Rochester man is dead following an accident on Interstate 86 that closed down the highway for several hours. Salamanca Police say 52-year-old Joseph Green was driving an empty gas tanker truck west on the expressway when he apparently became ill. The tanker went off the road into a muddy patch in the median but was not seriously damaged. Green was taken unresponsive by a Seneca Nation fire department ambulance to Olean General Hospital. He died as a result of the illness, not the accident. The accident happened between exits 21 and 22, and backed up traffic for about 5 hours

Covell Sentenced to Five Years

The Randolph man who hit a teenager with his pickup truck then left her in a ditch has been sentenced to five years in state prison. Albert Covell was charged with assault after he hit 17-year-old Ceanna Maybee of Salamanca on April 5 as she was walking along R.C. Hoag Drive. Maybee suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures. She was in the ditch for several hours before a passerby saw her and called authorites. Covell admitted to drinking before the accident.

Saying Good-bye to a Firefighter

Current and retired Bradford City Firefighters stand outside St. Bernard Church before the funeral of Charles Roney, who died Friday. Roney retired from the fire department in 1970.

On a personal note, he was in my parents' wedding and was one of the people I've known my entire life. My sister and brother and I always looked forward to seeing "Rooney" during our frequent visits to the fire station with our dad, and later, at the Post Office. I'll miss seeing him, and his smile, at Sunday Mass.

I bet a lot of people want to be in the little piece of Heaven where my dad, Rooney, Ted and Clyde are.

Two Fatal Accidents

A Rochester man is dead following an accident on Interstate 86 that closed down the highway for several hours. Police say a 52-year-old man was driving an empty gas tanker truck west on the expressway when he apparently became ill. The tanker went off the road into a muddy patch in the median but was not seriously damaged. The driver, who was not identified pending notification of his family, was taken unresponsive by a Seneca Nation fire department ambulance to Olean General Hospital.

An Olean man died in a two-vehicle accident in near Wellsville Sunday afternoon. State troopers have not released the man's name, and their investigation is continuing.

Wilcox Celebrates Sesquicentennial

The Village of Wilcox celebrated its sesquicentennial over the weekend. State Representative Dan Surra was on hand for the festivities and said despite changes throughout the years, Wilcox is still a strong, beautiful and friendly community. State Senator Joe Scarnati presented a citation recognizing the village's 150th birthday, and said he always looks forward to coming back to Brockway, Johnsonburg, Wilcox, Bradford and Ridgway because this is home. He added that, "This is where real Americans live."

Six Arrested on Drug Charges

Six suspected drug dealers have been charged by the Attorney General's Office following an investigation into the alleged cocaine trafficking in and around Cameron and Elk counties.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says that the investigation began in November 2006 and focused on the street-level cocaine trafficking of Justin Austin, Jonathan Aikens, Jessica Skillman, Dustin Smith, Danielle Aikens and Luis Dutton.

Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury. According to the grand jury, confidential informants were used to make a series of undercover controlled purchases at the defendants' residences and at locations throughout Cameron County.

The grand jury found that over the course of the investigation a total of 15 controlled purchases were made for more than 180 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of $10,000.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Five Years Ago ...

On Monday, July 21, 2003, at approximately 3:15 p.m., an F1 tornado (wind speed 73 – 112 mph) struck the side of Kinzua Viaduct. Eleven towers from the center of the bridge were torn from their concrete bases and thrown to the valley floor.

Big 30 Practice

Pennsylvania Coach Steve Ackerman instructs his offense during practice Friday night at Fretz Middle School. The annual Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic is August 2 at Parkway Field, and on 1490 WESB, 100.1 The HERO and Monday, the Pennsylvania All-Stars practice in Smethport, while the New York All-Stars practice in Portville.

Zippo Car Anniversary

Zippo celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Zippo car, which was on display Sunday at the Zippo/Case Visitors Center. The car also made an appearance in the Kids & Cancer Motorcycle Fun Run.

What a Weekend!

The sights of the annual Summerfest, and the Street Dreams Car Show, in Downtown Bradford on Friday night. The activities also included the "Cutting Edge Art Show" in Old City Hall.
Fireworks capped off the night.

Case Collectors were up bright and early Saturday morning to do it all over again. During a live broadcast from 100.1 The HERO, Case President Tom Arrowsmith told Scott Douglas the event was "spectacular" and "perfect."