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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bicentennial Wagon Train Takes Off

The Cattaraugus County Bicentennial Wagon Train and Stagecoach run took off this morning.

The Wagon Train and Stagecoach run will re-enact a part of county history that took place between 1808 and 1814 along the Chautauqua Trail when horse drawn conveyance was a means of transportation for freight and passengers.

During the Bicentennial run, the wagons will travel about 3 miles an hour, stop for a midday meal and camp at the end of the day.

The wagon train started out in Ellicottville, and will end in Little Valley on August 22. It will be in Portville August 18 and 19; Olean on the 19th; Allegany on the 19th and 20; and Salamanca on the 20th and 21st.

The wagon train plans to stop at Seneca Junction for lunch on the 20th

Regola to Drop Out of Senate Race

Allentown Morning Call Capitols Reporter John L. Micek is reporting that Senator Bob Regola is dropping out of the race.

"Capitolwire cites sources claiming that Senate President Pro-Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, personally asked Regola to drop his re-election bid."

Regola was acquitted last month on gun and perjury charges stemming from the 2006 death of Regola's 14-year-old neighbor, who authorities say committed suicide.

Bernie Mac Has Died

CNN Radio is reporting that comedian/actor Bernie Mac has died. Just yesterday, his spokesman said the 50-year-old was hospitalised in the Chicago area for pneumonia, and was "responding well to treatment" and hopes to be discharged soon.

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Mac died at Northwestern Memorial hospital early Saturday morning. Columnist Stella Foster said she received calls early Saturday from a close friend of the Mac family, confirming the reports.

My Thoughts on the Moviehouse

A couple of newspaper articles about the lack of attendance at Bradford's movie theater has started an interesting discussion at Talk About Bradford.

Well, I have a few thoughts, too (which are not necessarily the thoughts of anyone else at the stations):

From an article:
We talked about marketing the theater more to the University of Pittsburgh (at Bradford) to get more people there.
My thought:
But you're not going to bring in the R-rated movie college kids want to see?

From an article:
He also mentioned marketing toward the St. Marys and Kane areas due to a lack of theaters there.
My thought:
I'm sure the owners of the Family Drive In Theatre in Kane would be surprised to know there's not a theater there ... which is showing "Mama Mia" this weekend, by the way.

From an article:
Some people think the 5:15 p.m. time is inconvenient.
My thought:
But you're not going to do anything about it because ...?

From an article:
Dipson will continue to advertise in newspapers and keep listings available on the company’s Web site.
My thought:
Because that's been working so well for you that you're not going to try anything different ... like radio, for example?

From the article:
One thing movie officials won’t likely do is heavily alter its targeted demographic. When the Main Street Moviehouse reopened five years ago, officials were searching for the most profitable kind of movies to bring to the community. We concluded that the greatest demand in Bradford was for family-oriented films. We don’t book R-rated films. I don’t think that’s going to change.
My thought:
Again, because that's been working so well for you?

I don't have any solutions because, frankly, I haven't thought about it that much. But I do know that if something's not working, it's time to re-think your plan.

Pitt Band Returning to UPB

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will host the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band, which will begin its annual pre-season camp on Friday, Aug. 15.

This will be the 20th year that the band will hold practice sessions at Pitt-Bradford, and the 13th year that the band will be lead by Jack Anderson, band director. The practice sessions will take place on the lawn in front of the university’s Hanley Library, and are open to the public. The band practices will be held in the morning, afternoon, and early evening each day of the camp. The schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions and the band’s progress.

The band members will end their stay in Bradford by playing a free concert for the campus and community. Unlike in previous years when the concert was played on the lawn adjacent to Hanley Library, this year’s concert will be held on the new turf field at Bradford Area High School.

This year’s concert will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19. Before the Pitt band takes the field, the Bradford Area High School Marching Owls will perform at 2 p.m.

To commemorate the Pitt band’s 20th anniversary of practicing in Bradford, someone will get the opportunity to conduct the band during the concert when it plays “Hail to Pitt,” the university’s fight song. Free tickets will be distributed before the event begins, then one person will be chosen to lead the band.

Also, refreshments will be available at the field’s concession stand, which will be manned by members of Bradford High’s Key Club. All proceeds will benefit the club.

This will be the 97th season of performing for the Pitt band, which has nearly 250 members

McCain Erie Visit Confirmed

Sen. John McCain will arrive in Erie on Sunday evening and campaign in Erie on Monday -- his first appearance in the city during the presidential campaign. The McCain campaign says that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee will tour GE Transportation on Monday with former Gov. Tom Ridge and speak to workers of the plant that employs 5,500 people. Ridge is a co-chairman of McCain's campaign. The town-hall event at Erie County's largest employer will be closed to the public, and no public events are scheduled.

Man Facing Federal Charges

An Ellicottville man is facing federal charges for allegedly defrauding people of more than 2 million dollars that he said would be invested in a Salamanca business. The FBI says that from October of 2003 through April of 2007 45-year-old Robert Logel executed a scheme in which he would get money from investors by saying it would be used to buy shares in companies. But he didn't use the money to the shares.
One investor is from Western New York; one is from Texas; and one is from California. Logel allegedly told the investors they would be investing in Native Rx.

Legion Team Wins Again!

The Bradford Legion Baseball Team beat Plum 12-9 Friday and clinched a spot in National Regional play starting Thursday. But first, they play two-time defending state champ Boyertown today at 12:30. If Boyertown wins, they win the championship. If Bradford wins, the two teams will play for the title later this afternoon.

Go Get 'Em, Guys!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Causer Hosts Senior Expo

State Representative Marty Causer is hosting his annual Senior Expo at Pitt-Bradford's Sport & Fitness Center today. Nearly 90 exhibitors are on hand providing information on a variety of topics, as well as health screenings. Pure Tech is providing lunch for all the visitors. Causer says there has been a steady flow of people coming in all morning. The event goes on until 2 o'clock this afternoon. This is the sixth year Causer has hosted the event.

Bridge, Road Work Scheduled

Maintenance work planned by McKean County employees includes:

Ø REPAIR DRAINAGE – SR 2001, Clermont
Ø CRAFCOING – SR 6, Kane to Lantz Corners
Ø FILL LOW SHOULDERS – SR 4001, Big Shanty/Lewis Run Area – SR 4005, High Street – SR 321, SR 59 to SR 346
Ø SIGN REPAIRS – Various Routes, County wide
Ø SIDE DOZING – SR 6, Mt. Jewett to Port Allegany
Ø REPAIR GUIDE RAILS – SR 6, Ludlow to Kane
Ø CLEAN PARALLEL DITCH – SR 46, Smethport to Farmers Valley
Ø INSTALL LARGE CROSSPIPE – SR 2004, Christian Hollow road
Ø REPAIRS WASHOUTS - SR 4001, Big Shanty / Lewis Run Area


SR 0006 Allegany River Bridge, Port Allegany (August 10, 2008 – August 16, 2008) Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. The contractor plans to begin to excavate for the soil wall on the Port side of the project. They will also be starting on the soil wall in this area. Prime plans to complete placement of the rip rap rock on pier # 1 and pier # 2 of the River Bridge and to continue forming for the diaphragms on the River Bridge and pour them and preparing to pour the deck of the Railroad Bridge. Prime plans to possibly begin construction for the Reinforced Soil Slope Walls between the two bridges.

SR 155 Port Allegany (August 10,2008 – August 16, 2008) L.C. Whitford Company. “This work is being performed in the Village of Wrights over Hamilton Run.” The contractor plans to complete the hydro-demolition of the bridge in the southbound lane, they also plan to complete the latex overlay of the bridge where the hydro-demolition was performed.
The subcontractor will be placing the bituminous wearing course on the milled area of the bridge after the latex overlay has cured.
Prime plans to complete the repairs under the bridge on the Southerly abutment wall. Prime also plans to complete all work on this bridge and begin cleanup operations.

SR 0219 from SR 0059 Lewis Run ( August 11, 2008 – August 15, 2008) Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.
The contractor plans to begin milling on SR 0219 from SR 0059, Tacks Inn to Lewis Run starting Monday.
This will take approximately six days.

Coudersport Man Confesses

A Coudersport man has confessed to sexually abusing two Potter County girls starting in 1995, when one of the girls was three years old. 46-year-old David Alan Thomas confessed to state police that he raped and molested the girls, who are now 12 and 16. State police arrested Thomas on one set of charges on July 13, after he allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl while they were camping. The incident generated a comprehensive police investigation. During the investigation, police interviewed the 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, among others. Thomas is charged with six counts of rape, five counts of corrupting the morals of minors, three counts of aggravated assault and related offenses. Thomas is in jail on $450,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 18.

Busch in Zippo Car at 'Zippo 200'

Kyle Busch will be driving the #92 Zippo car in the "Zippo 200" Saturday at Watkins Glen International. Zippo has been the Nationwide Series event title sponsor at Watkins Glen for four years. Zippo sponsored Jimmy Spencer's car in the 1990s, and Zippo Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Paup says the company is anxious to see their name back on a car. He says with Kyle Busch behind the wheel it will be a winning combination for everyone.

3-Year-Old Hears Truckers' Profanity on Toy Walkie-Talkie

A West Virginia mother is seeking a recall of a popular walkie-talkie after her 3-year-old's toy apparently intercepted a profanity-laced conversation between truckers about drugs and strip clubs. Deborah Pancaro said she contacted Fisher-Price after she heard a conversation in which a man said "10-4" and other things that led her to believe the device was relaying a CB radio conversation. She says they were talking about smoking weed and being in a strip bar. The walkie-talkie is supposed to have a range of about 20 feet, but Pancaro said she heard one of the voices say he was driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, about 275 miles north of her home. Fisher-Price apologized for Pancaro's "disappointing experience."

Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

A Bradford man has pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually exploiting children. 24-year-old Matthew Ryan Dougherty received images containing visual depictions of minors in sexually explicit conduct. He'll be sentenced in Pittsburgh November 25 and faces 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. The FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, the Bradford Police Department and the Keene, New Hampshire, Police Department conducted the investigation.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

McCain, Ridge to Stop in Erie

Sen. John McCain will make a campaign stop in Erie Monday. McCain will be joined by former Governor Tom Ridge. The stop in Erie will kick off a two-day campaign trip in Pennsylvania.

Legion Team Wins Again!

The Bradford Legion Baseball team defeated Hatfield 4-2 today. They move on to play the loser of the Plum/Boyertown game at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Nick Foster was the winning pitcher. Brandon Slater got the save.

Veteran's Benefits Briefing

The Erie VA Medical Center will be hosting a veteran’s benefits briefing for any veteran who is not currently receiving services from the Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday August 12th at the Warren Holiday Inn from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Information will be provided concerning eligibility to medical services, compensation and pension.

Light refreshments will be served. To assist us in planning we encourage you to call 1-800-274-8387 extension 2966, if you are planning on attending. If you receive a recorded message please leave your name to indicate you will be attending. Erie VA would like to thank all those who have served or are serving.

Edwards Praises Governor Paterson

MAYVILLE, NY -- An announcement made this week by Governor David Paterson has been well received by Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards.

On Wednesday, August 6, Governor Paterson announced more than $42 million was approved by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). The awards will be used to create and retain more than 400 jobs, revitalize communities across the State and renovate nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing.

The awards, funded through the New York State Community Development Block Grant (NYS CDBG) and NY Main Street programs will assist every region of the State.

Nearly $34 million of funding comes from the Federal Community Development Block Grant program. More than $8 million in additional funding comes from NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation, which is funded from fees earned by the State's Housing Trust Fund for administering other federal programs.

“These grants will create jobs and revitalize urban business districts, and they will help rural communities make critical infrastructure repairs and upgrades,” said Paterson. “These grants bring us closer to our goal of making New York the best possible place to live, work and raise a family.”

Edwards said that $510,000 in Community Development Block Grants has been awarded to a program to assist 20 low-and moderate-income families to purchase a home in standard condition, and have energy related housing improvements performed to reduce energy consumption and ensure continued affordability.

$201,600 has been awarded to correct or replace 23 septic systems ($5,000 per system), drill five new wells ($6,500 per well), and install seven chlorination systems ($3,120 per system).

This project will be administered by Chautauqua Opportunities Incorporated, and will be limited to single-family, owner-occupied units with homeowners who are below 80 percent of the HUD median income. This project will benefit 35 households or 105 persons.

The Chautauqua County Health Department issued permits for 366 septic systems in 2007. 227 of these were for corrections or replacements of failing systems.

Many failing systems are not corrected because the homeowners lack the financial resources to make the corrections voluntarily.

And, the Town of Westfield has been awarded $553,750 to create the Route 20 East Improvement District. A total of 3,200 linear feet of 10" water main and service connections are proposed along with fire hydrants.

Earlier this year, the Town of Westfield was notified by the Chautauqua County Department of Health that they needed to address "deficiencies" in the East Main Street area by October 31, 2009.

"The awarding of these funds will certainly help the Town of Westfield deal with the problems they have identified," Edwards said. "I am pleased to see that the NY Main Street program has seen it fit to show their support."

The Town of Westfield has identified an area within the town on Route 20E that is in need of new water transmission mains. This area is plagued with high bedrock and limited well production due to low water tables.

The target area is a hodgepodge of inadequate and deteriorated water lines ranging in size from 1" to 6", which can no longer provide adequate, safe, potable water to the users.

Other homes are on private wells with limited quantity and poor quality water.

The proposed project will benefit 181 persons.

Peterson, Abercrombie & Energy

Quite a few people have come to this blog in search of the House Bipartisan Energy Working Group started by Congressmen John Peterson and Neil Abercrombie. Most of what I know about it, I've learned at Congressman Peterson's Web Site. I hope that helps!

Public Safety or
Freedom of Religion?

The Cattaraugus County Board of Health will start fining a couple of Amish families for not installing necessary sanitation devices in their outhouses. The two East Otto Amish families who obtained permits but later refused to install the specially designed wooden boxes have been fined $200 each, and will be fined $10 a day until they install the septic systems. The families say installing the septic systems goes against their religion. A similar situation is being played out in Cambria County, where two Amish farmers were sentenced to 90 days in jail for not operating outhouses according to state sewage laws. Now a defense attorney says the sentences were excessive and violated their constitutional rights to freedom of religion. The county prosecutor says the case is about public safety, not the First Amendment.

Man Arrested on Firearms Charges

A 76-year-old Wellsville man has been charged with dealing firearms without a license. Robert Merrick was arrested by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after they executed a search warrant at his home. ATF Agent David DeJoe says the investigation began six months ago. DeJoe didn't even want to guess how many weapons were in Merrick's house and vehicle and simply said there were "a lot."

Fumo Aide to Plead Guilty

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A computer technician accused of illegally destroying years' worth of state Senate computer records will plead guilty next week, marking the first plea in the corruption case against Sen. Vincent Fumo.

Leonard Luchko will plead guilty at a hearing Monday in Philadelphia, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer said Wednesday. He declined to specify terms of the plea agreement, which had not yet been filed.

Luchko is charged in 29 obstruction or conspiracy counts, all relating to attempts to delete e-mails or computer records during the FBI investigation. He and a colleague destroyed e-mails from computers at Fumo's Senate offices, New Jersey shore home, and at a South Philadelphia nonprofit he controlled, the FBI charged.

Fumo, 65, is stepping down after 30 years in office to prepare for his Sept. 8 trial, which is expected to last several months. The powerful Philadelphia Democrat is charged with misusing more than $1 million in state resources and another $1 million from a seaport museum and the nonprofit.

For the full story, visit

Everett Grand Marshal of Zippo 200

Former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. "We are pleased to welcome Kevin Everett as the Grand Marshal of the Zippo 200," said Zippo president and CEO Greg Booth. "His story has inspired people all across the country, especially those of us in this area who followed it so closely.” Everett won The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards ceremony on July 20th after he was severely injured in last year's Buffalo Bill’s season opener, but has begun to walk again.

School Districts Getting Money

Two McKean County school districts are among 175 districts throughout the state that will be getting money for tutoring programs in their career and technical centers. The Otto-Eldred School District will receive $24,077 and the Port Allegany School District will receive $39,999 through the state's Educational Assistance Program. Governor Ed Rendell says targeted tutoring is one of the most strategic, cost-effective ways to help those struggling students and schools that need it most. Other school area schools districts receiving money are St. Marys ($77,230); Galeton ($14,785); Northern Potter ($42,271); Oswayo Valley ($53,521); and Warren County

Chickens Stolen in Tioga County

State Police are investigating the theft of about 55 chickens from a Tioga County farm. They say sometime between Monday and Tuesday, on two separate occasions an unknown person entered Terry Lynn Baker's chicken pen, took the chickens, then fled the scene. They took 40 birds the first time, and 15 the second time.

Man Accused of Hitting Brother
Over the Head with a Log

A Great Valley man is accused of hitting his brother with a log during a domestic dispute. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say when 24-year-old Jordan Howard hit his brother in the head with the log, it caused a deep cut and severe bleeding, which required stitches. Howard was charged with assault and menacing, then released on his own recognizance.

National Fuel Gas Asks For
Decrease in Price

National Fuel Gas has filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) for an interim decrease to Gas Supply Charges to be effective on Commission approval. This decrease would lower the bill of a typical residential customer from $2,078.42 to $1,855.65. This request comes on the heels of the Company’s annual adjustment to Gas Supply Charges that took effect Friday, resulting in an overall increase of 33.4 percent. Even with this interim decrease, rates will still be up 19.1 percent.

Bradford Legion Team Wins

The Bradford Legion baseball team beat Abington 5-3 Wednesday in the state American Legion Baseball Tournament. Lou Jones went 2 for 3 with an RBI double. Mike Pascarella was also 2 for 3. Pitcher Ryan LaBrozzi went the distance, striking out 8 and only giving up 9 hits. Bradford plays again today at 12:30.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I-80 Toll Sites Revealed

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has whittled down its list of potential locations for nine toll collection sites along Interstate 80.

The commission on Wednesday revealed 20 locations along the 311-mile roadway that could get one of the nine cashless tolling stations. Officials are not expected to select the final sites until sometime this fall.

Sites that collect the most revenue while diverting the fewest vehicles onto alternate routes are the ones most likely to be selected, said project manager Barry Schoch. In most cases, the traffic diversion issue will be critical, because sites close to each other are projected to produce about the same amount of money, he said.

The plan is to install cashless toll "gantries" that either communicate with E-ZPass electronic toll transponders or photograph license plates so bills can be mailed to the vehicle owners. Drivers would pass through them at highway speeds.

For the full story, go to

Mayor Carucci Working from Home

Olean Mayor David Carucci has been working from home this week after spending Saturday night in ECMC with dangerously high blood pressure. The mayor called an ambulance Saturday night when he was having chest pains. Tests later that night showed that he was not having a heart attack, but his blood pressure was spiking from normal to very high levels. Carucci returned to Olean Sunday, but hasn’t been back to his office yet. He has been working from home, though, and says he may go in Thursday, depending on how he feels.

Call for Constitutional Convention

At a Capitol news conference, Senator Jeff Piccola and members of the Legislature called for the convening of a Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. Next month the senate state government committee will consider three bills concerning a constitutional convention. Piccola says residents of Pennsylvania have to lobby their legislators if they want the Harrisburg status quo to change.

(Photo Courtesy of Senate Republican Communications)

Edwards Delivers Bike to Winner

Dunkirk: At the corner of Central Avenue and 5th Street in Dunkirk, there stands a church that is home to a not-for-profit organization that recycles donated and discarded bikes, and makes them available to community members in need of two-wheel transportation.

The Spoke Folk Community Bicycle Project, located in the lower level of Iglesia Getsemani, is a volunteer organization dedicated to "Building a Healthier Community One Bicycle at a Time."

Spoke Folk and its director Richard Goodman, teach bicycle safety, maintenance and repair for all age groups.

Goodman and his group teach youngsters life skills by providing them with an opportunity to "Earn a Bike" by learning about history, technology, basic business principles and the importance of community service.

To that end, Spoke Folk donated a refurbished a bicycle for the 2008 Chautauqua County Fair and the Bike Raffle held at the County Government tent inside the main gate.

The winner of that bike was 13 year old Trevor Cole of Silver Creek, who joined Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards, County Youth Services Director Steve Purol, Goodman and a couple of volunteers from Spoke Folk in Dunkirk Tuesday evening.

Trevor and his parents, Judy and Greg Cole, were thrilled when they saw the bike they had won, and thanked Goodman and the "Spoke Folk" volunteers for all their hard work.

Edwards says that two of the young volunteers on hand confirmed how important the program has been to them and to other people in the community.

"These two teens are getting invaluable experience through Spoke Folk, and doing so in a positive environment," Edwards commented.

Edwards plans to deliver the second bike that was donated by Hollyloft in Jamestown for the Bike Raffle to its winner, Baylee Gloss, later this month.

(Photo by Joel Keefer)

Stuczynski Attends NNO

Jenn Stuczynski spent Tuesday night in Fredonia, as she gets ready for her trip to Beijing for the Olympics. The pole vaulter is one of America's best hopes for an Olympic medal. Stuczynski, who is foregoing the opening ceremonies for the games in order to concentrate on training, was in Fredonia to take part in National Night Out activities.

NFL Unveils 'Fan Code of Conduct'

The National Football League unveiled its first "Fan Code of Conduct" for patrons in its stadiums and parking lots on Tuesday. According to a copy of the code, drunk and "disruptive" fans can be ejected from stadiums or parking lots without refund — and stripped of their season tickets. The same goes for fans who verbally or physically harass other fans, use obscene language or gestures or interfere with the game by throwing objects onto the field. Fans who become drunk or unruly during pregame tailgating will not be allowed into stadiums.

A Monster Deal with Brad Penn

Brad Penn will be the official lubricant sponsor and supplier to Monster Jam in 2009. Live Nation Motor Sports and American Refining Group made the announcement today. Under the agreement Live Nation will use only Brad Penn in its 33 monster trucks, and the Penn Grade 1 logo will be displayed on all of their trucks, including Grave Digger, Ninja Turtle and Monster Mutt. Dick Glady, director of branded lubricant sales and marketing for Brad Penn says they are pleased to be part of the Live Nation Motor Sports team, and look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship.

Purple Loosestrife - Purple Menace

By Kathy Mohney
Executive Assistant
Allegheny National Forest

“Look at the pretty pink flowers,” exclaimed my son. “Ooh, mommy, look!” We were traveling on U. S. 6 east of Sheffield, heading for Kane. We had just passed the wetlands on the south side of road, ablaze with pink/purple flowers of loosestrife. I stopped the truck so we could admire the beauty. The flowers were pretty. But, I knew the dangers behind the beauty.

Escaped from cultivation, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) readily invades wetlands and wet areas. It reproduces so readily that native flowers and wetland plants cannot compete against the aggressive loosestrife. The loosestrife continues to grow and dominate a wetland to the point where native flowers, grasses, sedges, reeds, and bushes die; then our native animals have no place to live. Wildlife loses a high quality source of nutrition (food) when native plants die. Purple loosestrife continues to grow and form such a thick mat that salamanders, waterfowl, muskrats, endangered orchids, mice, and insects cannot live in it. Animals lose the habitat they evolved with when wetland plants disappear.

Where did the purple menace come from? Purple loosestrife is native to Europe. Nature works on a system of checks and balances. In Europe, several insects native to Europe feed on the purple loosestrife and keep it in balance with other plants. But, once purple loosestrife found its way to America, the checks and balances were not here, and loosestrife took over wetlands. Purple loosestrife was a contaminant in ship ballast (water in ship’s holds for balance and stability), in livestock feed, and imported as a medicinal herb to treat dysentery and stop bleeding. By the early 1800’s purple loosestrife was well established in New England. Construction of canals for water transport of supplies for society then allowed purple loosestrife to spread to inland waters. Purple loosestrife is now found in every state except Florida. Loosestrife has been particularly troublesome in the Great Lakes states because it has destroyed many wetlands.

Purple loosestrife is on Pennsylvania’s noxious weed control list. This means it is illegal in Pennsylvania to sell, transport, plant, or grow purple loosestrife within the Commonwealth.

How to control the purple menace? Pulling by the root, burning, and clipping the flower stem are NOT effective techniques for long term control because of the tenacity of purple loosestrife; these techniques only work for yearly control. One purple loosestrife plant can have up to thirty flowering stems, each stem capable of producing two to three million seeds per year. Loosestrife can also reproduce vegetatively with underground stems that spread a foot a year. Loosestrife can also cross breed with native Lythrum plants. Scientists feel that biological control is the ONLY way to effectively control large infestations of purple loosestrife. Small infestations can be controlled with a herbicide, such as Roundup, or when near water, the herbicide Accord or Rodeo. To date, three insects, a weevil and two beetles, have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for biological control and have been released in 16 states in the northern part of the U.S.

How can YOU help control the spread of the purple menace? Purple loosestrife blooms in July-September and the showy display of pink/purple flowers on stalks cannot be missed. If you are lucky enough to have a small wetland on your property, inspect it at least every two weeks during the period of July to September and use an effective control technique as soon as it is discovered. Do not think you can ‘wait until next year’ because next year control will take three times as much effort. Control purple loosestrife as soon as it arrives on your land and you, your wetland, and the wildlife using the wetland will all benefit.

Peterson Stands Firm on I-80

DuBois, PA – U.S. Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, the leading force in Pennsylvania to keep Interstate 80 toll-free, recently met with Federal Highway Administrator Jim Ray to reassert his strong opposition to the tolling of I-80. Peterson stressed the devastating economic impact tolling I-80 will have on the Commonwealth and the funding scheme that further jeopardizes the Pennsylvania Motor License Fund, which is used to maintain and repair roads and bridges throughout the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania, like many other states, is facing a transportation funding shortage, but unlike other states, Pennsylvania has grossly mismanaged funds dedicated to road and bridge repair.

While the Governor and the legislative leaders in Harrisburg continue to pout and point fingers for the transportation funding shortfall, one only has to scrutinize the State Budget to see why the Commonwealth comes up short – highway dollars are being used for other programs.

“If the leaders in Harrisburg truly believe there is a transportation infrastructure funding crisis – which I do – then they should have never left town for their two month vacation without finding a viable solution,” said Peterson, a senior Member of the House of Representatives.

Let it also be noted that Pennsylvania receives more funding from the Federal Government for road and bridge repair that 40 other states – due in large part to hard work of the Congressional delegation back in 2005. For every $1.00 of state funds committed to the highway trust fund, the federal government returns $1.15 in federal highway dollars.

“For the Governor and legislative leaders in Harrisburg to place blame at the feet of the federal government for a lack of highway funding, is nothing short of grandstanding, and a cover up of their mismanagement of federal highway dollars,” said Peterson. “Let me remind the Governor of his testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on May 24, 2007 included the following statement; “The Federal Government has been very good to Pennsylvania in highway funding… and you continue to help us in every way you can.”

While the United States is undoubtedly in need of expanded transportation infrastructure funding, Pennsylvania is short on highway and bridge dollars for two reasons; the diversion of over $411 million dollars of road and bridge money to mass transit in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; and over $500 million annually from the Pennsylvania Motor License Fund for the State Police budget.

Moreover, the thought that leaders in Harrisburg believe tolling I-80 will solve this crisis, is even more misguided. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and their multi-million dollar lobbying and public relations firms have failed to do any economic impact or diversion studies. How can they predict future revenues and investment without knowing how much traffic will travel on the road? Better yet, how many small businesses that use commercial trucks to transport goods and raw material will close their doors because of increased costs?

One would think that these questions have been asked, and answered – but they have not.

“While multi-million dollar PR firms travel the state pitching this ill-conceived plan, I can think of only one reason why the Harrisburg leaders are enthusiastically behind this measure, and that’s to fatten the pockets of their friends in Harrisburg and increase the size of the patronage ridden turnpike commission,” said Peterson.

The Federal Department of Transportation recently announced that Americans have traveled 30 billion fewer miles in the past six months compared with the same period a year ago. This trend will undoubtedly continue as the world demand for oil continues to increase – and the price at the pump hovers at $4.00 per/gallon. This staggering statistic is one more question the PTC has failed to account for in their revenue projections – yet they continue to borrow money, backed by the taxpayers, to fund mass transit.

“The vast majority of Pennsylvanians oppose the tolling of I-80, and for good reason. They believe the economic effects are far greater and more costly to any potential benefit. Over the next five months, I will fight with every once of energy I have to ensure I-80 remains the freeway that it was meant to be,” concluded Peterson.

National Night Out - Bradford Style

Elm Street intern Kara Smith (in the green shirt) hands out some swag to a little participant in Tuesday's "National Night Out" hosted by Project Pride.

Lewis "Intern Cool Man" Keller was part of the festivities.

Elm Street intern Rachel Ence (in the gray shirt)mans a table during National Night activities, which followed a going away party for her and Kara Smith, who started Bradford's Community Garden on Bank Street.

Kim Murphey of CARE for Children/Safe Kids McKean County, Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani, Bradford City Police Officer Chris Lucco and Mayor Tom Riel were among the people on hand. Also at the event were Councilman Bob Onuffer, Police Chief Mike Close, Police Lt. Linda Close, Police Office Tony Llama, members of the McKean County Sheriff's Department Dive & Rescue Team, including diver Justin McKiernan, OECD Director Sara Andrews ... and many more.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh ... I Get It!

From the Idol Chatter blog:

I wouldn't ordinarily devote a post to the news of an Idol's tour sponsorship, but the newly announced partnership between Bucky and the Zippo lighter folks featured a quote from Bucky I found amusing:

"I'm a big fan of their products so it's a great match."

Pun intentional? That's the question.

BTW ... Know one of the things that was cool about seeing Bucky yesterday? The news/AC and classic rock stations (both me) were there, but the country stations that surround me were not.

Pavlock Won't Seek Judge Post

McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock says he won't be seeking the appointment for judge in the Court of Common Pleas, but he's not ruling out running in the next primary election. He says that since Judge John Cleland was nominated to fill a seat on the state Superior Court, he has been asked repeatedly if he would seek the appointment. He said he feels it would be improper to walk away from programs he started when he was elected district attorney while there's still work to do. However, he is considering running in the primary election in the spring. He says he is consulting with family, friends and voters regarding his decision.

Window Washers Die in Manhattan

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City police say two men washing windows at a building in downtown Manhattan were killed when the vehicle carrying their lift tipped over. Detective John Sweeney says the accident occurred early Tuesday at the World Financial Center, just across the street from ground zero. He says the men were working when the contraption fell. They were pronounced dead at the hospital. The men, both in their 30s, have not been identified.

Bebko-Jones Gets Probation

A former state lawmaker will escape jail time after pleading guilty to charges that she forged signatures on her nominating petitions. Linda Bebko-Jones, an Erie County Democrat, was sentenced in Dauphin County today to 12 months' probation. She pleaded guilty to charges of making false signatures and statements, conspiracy and making a fraudulent filing. Bebko-Jones resigned in 2006 after questions were raised about the validity of her signatures. Prosecutors say Bebko-Jones and an aide generated the fake signatures in March 2006 by combing the Erie phone book and Bebko-Jones' personal address book.

Pot Grower Sentenced to 10 Years

A Crawford County man has been sentenced 10 years in a federal prison for running one of the largest marijuana-growing rings known to operate in northwestern Pennsylvania. 54-year-old Gary Coulter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in marijuana for growing nearly 1,200 plants with an estimated street value of $1.2 million. Drug agents seized the plants from secret growing spots throughout eastern Crawford County in the summer of 2006.

Smith is New VSA Director

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards has announced that Troy D. Smith has been named the County's newest Veterans Service Agency Director. Smith will took over as VSA Director, effective Monday, August 4, 2008.

"Troy is an amazing asset for the veterans of Chautauqua County," Edwards said. "He brings a number of skills to the table that will be crucial in the operation of the Veterans Service Agency."

The Veterans Service Agency is a part of the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs. The NYSDVA was created in 1945 as part of the Executive Department to assist veterans, members of the armed forces, their families, and their dependents in securing benefits earned through military service.

For more than half a century, the division has been a strong advocate for veterans and veteran issues at the local, state, and national level.

"The Chautauqua County VSA has dramatically improved its service to our County's veterans and their families in the last 2 1/2 years, and I am confident that Troy will help our team make even further strides," Edwards said.

Edwards said New York has a proud history of service to those who have served their country.

Smith was born and raised in Jamestown. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2003 after 21 years of active duty service. He is a Desert Shield / Desert Storm combat veteran.

Troy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. He previously worked at the Jamestown Home Depot as the Human Resources Manager.

Smith is a life long member of the Mayville VFW, and also a member of the Mayville American Legion.

Troy has been married for 23 years to Cherie Mazany-Smith, and has two children; Nathan and Tiffany.

Pheasants Forever Web Site

Pheasant Forever Chapter 630 for North Central Pennsylvania is proud to announce their new web site

Like a living breathing animal, this site will be different every month. Visit our web site to find recipes, past monthly newsletters, wildlife planting rates for seed and equipment and much more. The Calendar page will list meetings, the upcoming banquet, the annual youth hunt and other sporting dates. The annual youth hunting is featured with many pictures from the past. Look for your hunting partner and dog pictures on these pages. The national Pheasant Forever organization also provides many great links for hunting, habitat, news and more. The national PF web site is

‘We are looking for suggestions to improve this site and keep our members up to date,’ says Jane Bryndel, the web site editor. What do you want to see? Please send all suggestions to

Feel the need to get involved? Pheasants Forever meeting dates for 2008 will be as follows: The next meeting will be held Sunday, August 10, 2008, 7PM at the Capital City fire hall on Front Street in Ridgway, PA. For more information, call Jane at 814-772-4604.

Specter to Bush:
Bring Congress Back

Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today sent a letter to President Bush suggesting that he call Congress back into session to act on energy legislation. In the letter, Senator Specter writes that Congress should be using the August recess to legislate on energy “in an effort to deal with the high cost of oil and gasoline at the pump.”

Specter writes: “On July 28, 2008 in a floor debate, I challenged Majority Leader Reid directly to keep the Senate in session during August for that purpose. He declined, responding that Republicans would ‘suffer’ more than Democrats because more Republican Senate seats were in jeopardy. I countered with the observation that it wasn’t a matter of whether Republicans or Democrats would ‘suffer’ the most, but that the issue was the suffering of the American people from the high cost of oil and gasoline.”

Specter goes on to write: “For months the Senate has been dysfunctional and gridlocked for reasons specified in my op-ed article (copy enclosed) which is published in the Philadelphia Inquirer today. I further suggest that you call upon Senator Reid to suspend his practice of ‘filling the tree,’ at least during the August session so that the Senate can perform its traditional function and legislate.”

The full text of Senator Specter’s op-ed that appeared in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer is below. PDF of the letter to the President

A 'do-nothing' U.S. Senate?
Then, fight its use of arcane, unfair tactic
By Senator Arlen Specter

Last Friday, the "do-nothing" Senate adjourned for the August recess without taking any action on the prices of oil or gas at the pump and other key issues, because the "world's greatest deliberative body" is gridlocked.

The American people need to know why, so that public pressure can be applied to make the Senate do its job. A practice has evolved where the majority leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, have used a procedural device called "filling the tree" to bar any other senator from offering any amendment.

Until 1993, this tactic was seldom used, so that any senator had a right to offer virtually any amendment to any bill at any time. That, plus unlimited debate, made the Senate a unique legislative forum to air important public policy issues and to acquaint the public with the need for new laws.

The importance of allowing senators the right to offer amendments can't be overstated. It is through the amendment process that bad legislation is made palatable and palatable legislation is made better. That changed when majority leaders from both parties found they could gain partisan political advantage by using their power to offer a sufficient number of amendments to fill the tree. This arcane, inside-the-Beltway tactic needs to be understood so that the American people can insist on its being stopped.

When the Oil Speculators Bill was brought up July 23, Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada filled the tree. Reid then moved for cloture, which means to cut off further debate so that the legislation would move to final passage.

I joined in helping to defeat cloture, which required 60 votes. Even though I favored the basic principles of the legislation, I opposed it because I was precluded from offering an amendment to subject OPEC nations to our antitrust laws, which would stop them from raising the international price of oil by acting jointly to lower production.

Then the finger-pointing began. Reid blamed Republicans for killing the bill by filibustering to defeat cloture. Republicans countered that it was the fault of Reid and the Democrats because Republicans were not all allowed to offer amendments. The public was understandably bewildered.

Nothing got done.

With the Oil Speculators Bill pending, no other legislation could be considered under Senate rules without displacing that bill. Republicans refused to set aside the bill, arguing that oil and gasoline prices were the most urgent problems facing the nation.

There was a significant element of politics in the Republican position, but it was also solid on the merits. This impasse resulted in the Senate's not considering other important legislation, such as Defense Department funding, tax credits for alternative energy, increasing grants for low-income heating energy assistance, and the reporters' shield bill.

When the shoe was on the other foot and Republicans controlled the Senate, Democrats were adamant in denouncing then-Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist (R., Tenn.) for filling the tree.

On Feb. 28, 2006, Reid said: "Filling the amendment tree . . . is a very bad practice. It runs against the basic nature of the Senate. The hallmark of the Senate is free speech and open debate." Similarly, Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said May 11, 2006, that filling the tree "to basically lock out any amendments . . . runs contrary to the very essence of this body."

I have long opposed this tactic. In February 2007, I introduced Senate Resolution 83 calling for a revision of the Senate rules to prohibit filling the tree. Notwithstanding my frequent requests, the rules committee has failed to act on this proposal.

Once the American people understand what is happening to subvert the legislative process, sufficient public pressure could be mounted to change this tactic and restore equilibrium and fair play to the Senate.

Salamanca Man Steals From Stepdaughter's Trust Account

A Salamanca man has pleaded guilty to stealing his stepdaughter’s trust account. 74-year-old William Lisman pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing the money between August 25, 2006, and last December 13. His 58-year-old stepdaughter was awarded $40,000 after a car accident, and had a special needs bank account. Lisman was listed as a trustee. The woman, who is disabled and lived in Lisman’s household, now lives in an Allegany County nursing home.

Sheriff's Deputies Suspended

Two Allegany County sheriff’s deputies have been suspended, but the sheriff and district attorney aren't releasing many details. 59-year-old John Clouse of Angelica is charged with obstruction of governmental administration. Timothy Histed of Belmont hasn't been charged with a crime, but an investigation is continuing. Clouse was facing disciplinary action by the sheriff internally when he allegedly threatened to go public with things that have taken place in the department in the past 20 years. District Attorney Terrence Parker says Clouse made direct threats to the sheriff, while the sheriff was attempting to take legal authorized steps in the disciplinary process. The incident with Histed involves the FBI. Sheriff WilliamTompkins said he is waiting to see information from the FBI before taking any other steps in the matter. Histed has been suspended for 30 days

Rhodes Pleads Guilty

A former Mercyhurst College volleyball player has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for suffocating her newborn baby in a campus apartment. Nineteen-year-old Teri Rhodes of Michigan faces a maximum of 10 to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced later this year. Rhodes was a sophomore when she gave birth Aug. 12, 2007. Police say she hid and denied her pregnancy during a team physical two days before giving birth. They say she put the infant in a plastic bag and left her on the floor of a bathtub while she showered. Then Rhodes left her apartment. Authorities say Rhodes had done research on the Internet on topics including "what can kill a fetus" and "herbal abortion techniques."

Tornado in Warren Co. Last Month

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Warren County last month. The tornado was classified as an "EF-1," with wind speeds at 90 miles per hour. The storm hit on the night of July 26 in Mead Township. Several residents reported spotting a funnel cloud in the vicinity of Chapman Dam Road and Farnsworth Road, just south of Clarendon. The National Weather Service surveyed the storm damage last week and said there was a clear swath of damaged trees 25 to 50 yards wide and about 250 yards long.

Welcome Home!

A sign and balloons welcome Specialist John McGriff back to Bradford.

McGriff is welcomed by his family.

Fred Feightner shakes hands with McGriff after he and John Sullivan of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery presented the solider with a knife.

Bradford High cheerleaders and other members of the community gather on Main Street to welcome McGriff home.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bucky in Bradford

American Idol alum Bucky Covington poses with Erin, the first person in line for a "meet and greet" this morning at the Zippo/Case Visitors Center. Covington will be peforming at the Warren County Fair Tuesday night.

Man Dies in ATV Crash

A Geneva, Ohio, man is dead following at ATV accident in Warren County Sunday afternoon. Police say 74-year-old Jack Morris was on the Rocky Gap ATV Trail when the vehicle went out of control while going down a hill and rolled over. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene.

Accused Rapist Surrenders

An accused rapist from Clearfield County is behind bars in Kansas. Police had been looking for 43-year-old Sherman Graham since last Monday when he allegedly raped a 4-year-old girl. Police say Graham surrendered Saturday morning when he was pulled over for a traffic violation. Before being stopped in Kansas, Graham was seen in Buffalo, when he stopped at a former girlfriend's house, and in Ohio, where he rammed a gate at a toll booth when he didn't have money to pay the toll.

Big 30 Photos by Shawn

Thanks to Shawn Murray of Reflecting Memories Photography for sending these photos: