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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden Part 2

Just wanted to share this e-mail with y'all.

"Anne --

I have some important news that I want to make official.

I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.

Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.

I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.

Please let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:

Thanks for your support,


P.S. -- Make sure to turn on your TV at 2:00 p.m. Central Time to join us or watch online at"

You didn't know I was on a first-name basis with Senator Obama, did you? And, for the record, I haven't sent him a penny.

FDNY Escorting Beam to PA

Hundreds of current and retired New York City firefighters are on their motorcycles today, escoring a steel beam from the World Trade Center to Shanksville, Pa. The 2-ton, 14-foot long steel beam is intended to become part of the memorial to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 who died on Sept. 11. The bikers are members of the New York City Fire Riders.

For more information, go to Iron and Steel -- NYC to Shanksville.

Blaze Damages Port Allegany Bar

Firefighters from three departments battled a blaze at the Midtown Bar in Port Allegany for about 2 hours early Saturday morning. Star Hose Company Chief Terry Royce says they received the call at about 4:20 a.m. and smoke was coming from the back of the building when they arrived. The fire was contained to the bar area on the first floor. Damage is estimated at $50,000. Royce says about 50 firefighters from the Star Hose Company, Smethport Fire Department and Roulette were on the scene. No one was hurt.

#9 We ALL Win ...

when parents and newborns get pack-n-play cribs.

Cops: Man Steals Ticket, Wins $100

A Kennedy, New York, man was $100 dollars richer – for a little while.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 26-year-old Scott Thompsett Jr. stole a $20 scratch off lottery ticket from the counter at the Kennedy Super Market. A few minutes later he walked up to the outside window and gave the winning ticket to the cashier, who gave him $100.

The incident was captured on the store's security camera. Thompsett was charged with petit larceny and will appear in Town of Poland Court at a later date.

It's Joe Biden

In case you're just waking up and haven't heard any news yet ...

CNN confirms Sen. Barack Obama has chosen Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate.

We ran a story on the air Thursday saying that Governor Ed Rendell believed Biden would be the best choice. I guess this means Rendell and Obama agree on something.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Death Now Considered Homicide

The death of a Sigel man is now being investigated as a homicide. 50-year-old Timothy Finucan was found dead in his home on Wednesday as the result of a gunshot wound. Police say the results of an autopsy performed Thursday indicate the death is a homicide. Anyone who had contact with the victim prior to his death, noticed any suspicious people or vehicle in the area, or who has any information that would help in the investigation is encouraged to contact Ridgway-based state police.

Tops Removes Hot Pockets

As part of a manufacturer’s recall, Tops Markets has removed from shelves 54-ounce, 12-pack cartons of "HOT POCKETS PEPPERONI PIZZA" brand stuffed sandwiches. The product may contain foreign materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. They have not said what the 'foreign material' is that has been found.

This recall affects 54-ounce, 12-pack cartons of "HOT POCKETS PEPPERONI PIZZA" brand stuffed sandwiches. Printed on the side of each carton is "8157544614D," "EST 7721A," and "BEST BEFORE JAN2010." Each carton bears the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were produced on June 5 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.
No reports of illnesses or injuries associated with this product have been received.

Consumers who purchased the above product are urged to return them to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Nestle Company Consumer Services at (800) 350-5016.

Medal Winner Has Regional Tie

Former world champion Bryan Clay stayed on course in the lead from the first to the last event to clinch the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon. He had won the 100 meters and long jump and consolidated his position by winning the discus throw. He finished 23rd in the 1500 metres, but had enough lead to win the gold.

Clay is the grandson of Shirley Vandenburg of Falconer, NY.

Magazine Feature on Joe Scarnati

Scarnati Leads Senate with Principle and Tact PDF

Best Bow Hunters at Holiday Valley

The slopes at Holiday Valley will be full this weekend – but not with skiers. Some of the best bow hunters in the world are competing in the 2008 International Bow hunting World Championships in Ellicottville. This year, 1700 contestants are in town from the United States and as far away as New Zealand, Australia, and Italy. $200,000 in cash and prizes will be handed out to the winner on Saturday. Holiday Valley will be home to the bow hunting championships for the next three years.

Two Arrested in 'Net Sex Sting

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have arrested two men, including a high school science teacher from the Pittsburgh area along with a factory worker from Clearfield County, both accused of using the Internet to send sexually explicit photos and videos to what they believed were young girls. The “girls” were actually undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit who were using the online profiles of children.

Corbett identified the defendants as Nicholas E. Salvo, 34, 60 Rocklynn Place, Pittsburgh and Robert C. Dunlap, 36, 716 Good St., Houtzdale.

Corbett said that Salvo and Dunlap are both accused of Internet chat rooms to sexually solicit what they believed were 13 or 14-year old girls. Both men also allegedly sent nude or sexually graphic photos and webcam videos to the girls.

"Internet predators are aggressively using chat room and teen networking sites to search for young victims online, quickly escalating conversations to include discussions about sex and the transmission of nude photos and webcam videos,” Corbett said. “It is essential for parents to understand that many predators will send sexually graphic materials within minutes of contacting a child, and continue to repeat that behavior until they are caught.”

Nicholas E. Salvo
Corbett said that Salvo, using the screen name “1 thick daddy,” allegedly used a teen chat room to contact an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit who was using the online profile of a 14-year old girl. Within minutes of that initial contact, on July 3rd, Salvo allegedly sent a private message to the girl, asking what her measurements were and telling her, “I like younger girls.”

According to the criminal complaint, Salvo told the girl that he was watching online pornography and then sent her a webcam video that showed his exposed penis. During other chats that followed, Salvo made reference to the nude video, asking the girl, “did you enjoy the other night,” and telling her, “you got to see a big one, too.” Slavo also allegedly sent additional webcam video showing him masturbating in front of his computer.

Additionally, Corbett said that Salvo allegedly posted a message on a public teen chat forum asking, “Are there any hot girls here for a sexy, older man,” and expressing a desire to send nude webcam videos to any girls that responded.

Salvo was arrested at his home on Thursday, July 21st, by agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit, assisted by Mt. Lebanon Police. Agents also executed a search warrant at Salvo’s home, seizing a computer and data storage devices which will be analyzed by the Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Salvo is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of attempted unlawful contact with a minor and two counts of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Salvo was preliminarily arraigned in Allegheny County Night Court. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

Salvo will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General William F. Caye II of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

Corbett thanked the Mt. Lebanon Police Department for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Robert C. Dunlap
Corbett said that Dunlap, using the screen name “rcdunlap1971,” allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl. During that initial conversation, Dunlap allegedly asked the girl her age, requested photos of the girl, and then proceeded to send a nude webcam video.

According to the criminal complaint, while sending the nude webcam video Dunlap asked the girl, “would you touch it,” and expressed a desire to engage in other sexual activity with the child.

Dunlap was arrested at his home on Thursday, August 21st, by agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit, assisted by Pennsylvania State Police from the Clearfield Barracks. Agents also executed a search warrant at Dunlap’s home, seizing two computers and a webcam, which will be analyzed by the Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Dunlap is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Dunlap was preliminarily arraigned before Houtzdale Magisterial District Judge James L. Hawkins and lodged in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 27th, at 9:30 a.m.

Dunlap will be prosecuted in Clearfield County by Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

Corbett thanked the Pennsylvania State Police, Clearfield Barracks, for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Planned Road Work for Next Week

Ridgway/Cyclone Pa. (August 22, 2008) PENNDOT ELK/McKEAN COUNTY
Has announced work for the week of August 25, 2008 through August 29, 2008.

Maintenance work planned by McKean County employees includes:

Ø PIPE FLUSHING – SR 3003, Coontown Road
Ø CRAFCOING – SR 6, Kane to Lantz Corners – SR 321, East Kane Area
Ø FILL LOW SHOULDERS – SR 321, SR 59 to SR 346
Ø SIGN REPAIRS – Various Routes, County wide
Ø SIDE DOZING – SR 6, Mt. Jewett to Port Allegany – SR 219, Lantz Corners to Tacks Inn
Ø GRATE DIRT ROADS – SR 1001, Doyle Hollow Road – SR 1003, Sartwell Road
Ø SEAL COATING – SR 59, Smethport Borough to SR 219 – SR 3009, Beagle Club Road

Maintenance work planned by Elk County employees includes:

Ø CRACK SEALING – SR 219, Boot Jack Hill
Ø DITCH CLEANING – SR 1008, West Creek – SR 1005, Theresia Street
Ø PATCHING – SR 219, Ridgway Area
Ø BASE REPAIRS – SR 4003, Tambine


SR 0006 Allegany River Bridge, Port Allegany (August 24, 2008 – August 30, 2008) Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. The contractor plans to begin work on and attempt to complete the soil wall on the Smethport side of the project.
Prime plans to complete placement of the rip rap rock on pier # 1 and pier # 2 of the River Bridge, they also plan to continue preparation to pour the deck Railroad Bridge. Prime plans to continue forming for the deck on the River Bridge and hopes to pour it on August 27, 2008. Prime plans to possibly begin construction of the Reinforced Soil Slope Walls between the two bridges.

SR 155 Port Allegany (August 24, 2008 – August 30, 2008) L.C. Whitford Company “This work is being performed in the Village of Wrights over Hamilton Run.” Prime plans to complete any cleanup on the project and then wait until next year to perform the work on the larger bridge at the intersection of route 6.

SR 0219 (August 20, 2008 – September 3, 2008) GR2 – 08 – ST5, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. They will be paving on SR 0219 from SR 59 (Tack’s Inn) to Lewis Run.

#7 & #8 We ALL Win ...

when even one child learns how to be safer through Safe Kids McKean

and when the American Red Cross trains someone to be a baby sitter.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

'Major' Pot Bust in Brant, NY

State Police say they made a major pot bust in southern Erie County near Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. Troopers arrested 42-year-old David Thies at his home in Brant on Tuesday. He's charged with criminal possession of marijuana. State Police say a search of a nearby property uncovered 263 marijuana plants growing in a field. Troopers confiscated the plants and are now trying to determine who was growing them.

Gilchriese Pleads Guilty

The man whose suicide threat caused a massive traffic jam for three hours on the Niagara Thruway in May has pleaded guilty. 66-year-old James Gilchriese faces a possible state prison term of up to 7 years when he's sentenced October 3. Gilchriese stopped traffic on the Thruway after pulling off the road to argue with his girlfriend and put a gun to his head. He held a cell phone to his ear in his right hand to talk with hostage negotiators and the gun to his head with his left hand before being disarmed by state police and the Buffalo Police Department SWAT team. Court-ordered mental tests confirmed that Gilchriese is mentally sound and staged the Thruway drama after an overdose of alcohol.

I'm Not The Only One

Lest you think I was being crass by wondering what would happen should (heaven forbid) Catherine Baker Knoll not be able to serve out her term as lieutenant governor, believe me, I am not the only person thinking about such things.

Here's another blog: PolitickerPA. Wally Edge asks Does CBK’s illness prevent Rendell from joining the administration if Obama were to win?

Swimmer Reaches Her Goal

A Mentor, Ohio, woman has completed her 325-mile swim of the Allegheny River, a month after beginning her journey. 21-year-old Katie Spotz reached Point State Park, where the Allegheny and Monogahela rivers form the Ohio, at just before noon today. She now plans to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, some 2,500 miles from West Africa to South America, in December to raise money and awareness for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, a nonprofit whose goal is to bring clean drinking water to the estimated 1 billion people worldwide who don't have it.

To see a picture of Katie in Coudersport, go to Solomon's Words.

Battle Continues Over I-80 Tolls

HARRISBURG - Republican House members along the Interstate 80 corridor continued their fight against tolls on the 311-mile highway today by urging U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to deny the application by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to toll the interstate.

The letter to Secretary Peters was signed by Reps. Russ Fairchild (R-Union/Snyder), Sam Smith (R-Jefferson/Indiana/Armstrong), Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Mercer/Lawrence), Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango/Butler), Fred McIlhattan (R-Clarion/Armstrong), David Millard (R-Columbia), Merle Phillips (R-Northumberland/Snyder), Kathy Rapp (R-Forest/McKean/Warren), Brad Roae (R-Crawford), Richard Stevenson (R-Butler/Mercer), and Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin).

The members specifically cited new updates since the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) returned the original application with numerous deficiencies last December and emphasized continuing concerns about the tolling application and its impact on the local, regional and state economies. The Turnpike Commission resubmitted the revised application for Phase I approval for inclusion in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program in late July and is now with the federal government for consideration.

The members also pointed out that there are other proposals on the table for highway funding, which is a key component in the federal government's evaluation of the tolling application. One proposal would gradually shift funding for the state police out of the Motor License Fund, which funds highway improvements, and the proposal to lease the turnpike would generate nearly $1.1 billion per year, more than twice the amount generated by the I-80 toll proposal.

"We understand that the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program is intended to enable a state to conduct needed reconstruction and rehabilitation that could not otherwise be accomplished without the collection of tolls," the members noted. "Based on the intention of the federal pilot program and the lease option currently available to Pennsylvania, how can the submitted application meet these eligibility criteria?"

The letter reiterated the fact that a 2005 tolling study - conducted in part by the Turnpike Commission - concluded that the initial impetus for converting I-80 to a toll road no longer existed, and it recommended that tolling of I-80 not be pursued at that time.

The members also were concerned about the level of input local economic development agencies had regarding the revised application. One of the deficiencies cited by the FHWA was a lack of input and involvement from these organizations. Before the application was resubmitted, a Turnpike Commission consultant contacted local chambers of commerce and economic development agencies in seeking only generic economic and demographic information through brief phone conversations. An alarming omission in this proposed collection of data was no mention of increased costs to the local businesses and industries, potential job loss, and only a cursory effort to meet with local business owners to hear firsthand accounts about potential negative economic costs.

"We have known from the very beginning that tolling I-80 would have a devastating financial impact on local companies. Not only will trucking companies be faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs that will hurt businesses all along the corridor, but that expense will ultimately be passed along to consumers and residents who are already struggling with increased prices for goods and services. Our region will not be competitive, and industry will take their business and their jobs elsewhere," the members said.

In addition, members pointed out concerns about heavy truck traffic diverting to secondary roads to avoid the tolls. Not only is safety a tremendous factor to consider, but local municipalities and taxpayers will be faced with higher costs to maintain their roads.

The letter also includes several questions the coalition has regarding the finances in the revised application, including the transfer of federal funds for mass transit purposes. The coalition believes that it is not in the best interest of the federal highway system to allow diversion of interstate funds to non-interstate projects and that the planned diversion of excess I-80 toll revenues from the I-80 highway, through a "smoke and mirrors" rental agreement with PennDOT, should not be permitted. It is wrong to implement excessive tolls on a highway and use the excess to fund projects in other parts of the Commonwealth.

Other concerns in the letter cited the mismanagement of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, its political patronage system and the hundreds of thousands of dollars on local advertisements to "sell" the tolling plan, along with the extraordinary efforts of the agency to fight the governor's proposal to lease the toll road, including $280,000 to lobby the federal government.

"We concur that this inefficient, anachronistic agency should be the last choice to manage any additional highway systems," the letter stated. "If the toll conversion of I-80 was contemplated between two private or even non-profit enterprises, the issue of anti-trust and lack of competition would likely be raised and reviewed by the appropriate state and federal agencies. These agencies enforce laws prohibiting mergers and business practices that seek to prevent and limit competition, attempts to monopolize and conspiracies in restraint of trade."

The correspondence was also sent to Sens. Arlen Specter and Robert Casey, and Congressmen Chris Carney, Phil English, Paul Kanjorski and John Peterson.

The Letter to Peters(PDF)

Rooney Offers Statement on Lt. Gov.

Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney today offered the following statement regarding Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll who publicly acknowledged having cancer:

"The entire Pennsylvania Democratic Party considers Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker-Knoll as part of the family. We love and admire her dearly not just as an exemplary Democrat but a remarkably compassionate human being who genuinely cares about working families in Pennsylvania. We have always known her to be a fighter and someone who doesn't give up.

"Democrats and Republicans throughout Pennsylvania can look to her as a source of inspiration and hope as she battles valiantly and continues to perform her duties with diligence and enthusiasm. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with her continuously."

Coming Right Along at Crosby

Works continues Thursday on the "new" Crosby Mart in Foster Brook.

Still Getting Lower

Gas prices continue to fall in Bradford. Tops typically has the lowest price in town, and that was the case Wednesday night.

Suspicious Death in Elk County

State Police are investigating a suspicious death in Elk County. They say 50-year-old Timothy Finucan died as a result of a gunshot wound sometime between Monday and Wednesday. Elk County Coroner Lou Radkowski pronounced him dead Wednesday, after an area resident discovered him in his home in Sigel. An autopsy is being performed today. Police say results will be released after completion of the forensic examination and associated tests. Police are asking anyone who had contact with Finucan within the last few days, or who has any other pertinent information, to contact them at the Ridgway barracks.

More Than 560 Freshmen at SBU

More than 560 freshmen arrived at St. Bonaventure University Thursday, marking the second year in a row the university surpassed its enrollment goal.

“Our admissions team did a fantastic job recruiting this class and we’re excited that the time has finally come for them to arrive,” said Tom Missel, director of marketing and media relations. “To beat our goal for the second straight year is a credit to those admissions counselors, and to all the tremendous improvements we’ve made the past few years.”

SBU’s incoming freshman class is the largest since fall 2004. The goal for fall 2008-2009 was 550 freshmen.

Both freshmen and returning students, who come back this weekend, will have access for the first time to the new William F. Walsh Science Center, which will be formally dedicated Wednesday.

The new center, a 46,500-square-foot addition to De La Roche Hall, houses state-of-the-art computer science, laboratory and classroom space, biology labs, organic and general chemistry labs, a Natural World lab, a 150-seat indoor amphitheater, and faculty offices integrated with lab space for better student-teacher accessibility.

The completion of the Walsh Center, coupled with significant summer improvements to De La Roche, comes on the heels of Café La Verna (opened 2007), major dining and residence hall upgrades (2006), and the Sandra A. and William L. Richter Center (opened 2004).

The university has also added new majors in art history, bioinformatics, gerontology, international studies and sport studies in the last year. The Franciscan Health Care Professions dual-admission program has added a sixth program, this one for medicine with SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Scarnati Statement on CBK

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati spoke with WESB and The HERO this morning concerning Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll’s announcement that she is being treated for cancer:

"As somebody who had cancer surgery earlier this year and was blessed with a full recovery I send my heartfelt prayers to her and her family as she goes through her treatment. And, certainly, we pray to see her back presiding over the senate this fall."

Rendell's Statement on Knoll

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell today issued the following statement in response to Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll’s announcement that she is being treated for cancer:

“Midge and I are deeply saddened to learn that Catherine is facing this health challenge, but we are not surprised that she is fighting back and continuing to serve the citizens of our commonwealth.

“To know Catherine is to understand that she is a person of incredible strength and determination. These qualities will help her through this difficult time.

“I join all Pennsylvanians in wishing Catherine and her family all the best as they confront this challenge.”

Arrest Made in Decades-Old Murder

Police have made an arrest in the 1985 killing of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found in a thicket months after he left home on a bicycle. 43-year-old Joseph Geiger is accused of killing David Reed of Schuylkill Haven. Geiger was arrested today – the 23rd anniversary of David's disappearance. He is scheduled to be arraigned later today on charges of third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence. State police exhumed the body in January after turning up new evidence in the case. The boy's family had welcomed the renewed attention, saying the original investigation was inadequate.

High-Speed Net Expansion

Verizon Wireless announced today that it has expanded the national rollout of its high-speed wireless network to portions of Elk, Cameron and McKean counties including the towns of Bradford, Smethport, Port Allegany, Kane, Johnsonburg, Ridgway and Saint Marys, and along portions of U.S. Route 219 in Elk County and U.S. Route 6 in McKean County.

“Our high-speed wireless network gives our customers three key advantages in wireless communication—speed, mobility and security,” said Roger Tang, president–Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless. “With these advantages, business customers and mobile professionals can increase productivity and see bottom-line business benefits. In addition, our V CAST services, such as V CAST Music with Rhapsody, help keep customers entertained while on the go—on the same devices they carry with them every day.”

The network expansion in these counties offers Verizon Wireless’ business customers a truly mobile office experience with BroadbandAccess, giving them access to their calendars, the Internet, email and critical business information residing behind their companies’ firewalls. BroadbandAccess was developed with a range of users in mind, and it enables large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses and mobile professionals to conduct business anytime, anywhere in the BroadbandAccess coverage area via a secure, true high-speed data connection.

Customers in wireless broadband coverage areas can expect average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and average upload speeds of 500 kbps to 800 kbps. That means they can download a 1 megabyte email attachment—the equivalent of a small PowerPoint® presentation or a large PDF file—in about eight seconds and upload the same-sized file in less than 13 seconds. To help customers stay connected, BroadbandAccess seamlessly switches to the company’s NationalAccess service if they travel outside the BroadbandAccess coverage.

V CAST Music with Rhapsody
The company’s wireless broadband network powers its V CAST Music with Rhapsody service, which combines Verizon Wireless’ world-class, over-the-air mobile music service with Rhapsody’s leading desktop solution. V CAST Music with Rhapsody delivers unlimited monthly access to music on up to three Rhapsody-compatible mobile phones and players, and online on multiple PCs and Web browsers. With V CAST Music with Rhapsody, customers who purchase music over-the-air can download the master copy of the songs or albums to their PCs free of digital rights management (DRM) software that restricts how and where music can be played.

The company’s V CAST service gives customers the ability to play cutting-edge 3D games and stream video clips straight to their handsets. V CAST offers content updated daily so customers can watch dozens of on-demand videos, including breaking news, weather updates, sports highlights and the hottest entertainment clips.

Network Technology and Investment
Verizon Wireless’ broadband network is based on CDMA 1x Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) technology and provides customers in the area with speeds significantly faster than the company’s NationalAccess service.

The multi-million dollar expansion includes the installation of high-tech wireless hardware and software in wireless transmission sites throughout the region. It is part of an ongoing network investment by Verizon Wireless, which has invested more than $45 billion since it was formed—$5.5 billion on average every year—to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. Last year, the company invested more than $235 million in its Pennsylvania network improvements.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to

Gene Upshaw Has Died

The NFL players' union says executive director Gene Upshaw has died at age 63 after battling pancreatic cancer, according to CNN.

Upshaw, the Hall of Fame guard, as union head helped get NFL players free agency and the benefits that came with it.

His outstanding 15-season playing career was entirely with the Oakland Raiders and included two Super Bowl wins and seven Pro Bowl appearances.

Upshaw's biography is posted on the front page of the Hall of Fame Web site along with his enshrinement speech from 1987.

Catherine Baker Knoll has Cancer

Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll is being treated for cancer but plans to resume a full work schedule and preside over the state Senate, "gavel in hand," when the Legislature reconvenes next month.

She made the announcement on her website.

Should she not be able to perform her duties, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati would be lieutenant governor.

(And then, if Barack Obama is elected president and names Governor Rendell to a cabinet post, Scarnati would be governor. I wonder if he'd still be guest on the LiveLine every couple of months if that happens. I don't think it'll come to that, though. Cathernie Baker Knoll is one tough lady. If anyone can beat cancer, she can.)

The Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to Frank Williams!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Cleanup Continues

From the US Forest Service:

Warren, Pa. – Cleanup work continues at the site of a major oil spill in McKean County. The Allegheny National Forest is coordinating with several other federal, state, and local agencies and Snyder Brothers, Inc. to clean up a major oil spill that impacted an area on the Forest. Over the weekend, vandals opened valves on six crude oil storage tank batteries in Corydon Township and Hamilton Township causing several thousand gallons of crude oil to flow from the storage units. The exact amount is still being assessed; however, the initial report of 10,000 gallons or more has been increased to an approximate total of 45,000 gallons released. The leaking oil was discovered early Sunday morning by an employee of Snyder Brothers, Inc., the company that owns the vandalized tanks.

Approximately 17,000 gallons of the crude oil entered the North Fork of Chappel Fork, Chappel Fork, and Indian Run, which flow to Chappel Bay of the Allegheny Reservoir. Approximately six miles of stream was impacted by the spill. The four-mile stretch above the first containment dam was heavily polluted, while the remaining two miles was moderately damaged. All of these streams are high quality streams with naturally producing wild trout populations.

A minor amount of oil did reach Chappel Bay of the Allegheny Reservoir. This amount is contained on the surface of the area, within 100 yards of the mouth of Chappel Fork.

Two containment dams have been installed on the North Fork of Chappel Fork to cause crude oil and water to separate so the oil can be siphoned off to vacuum trucks. Further migration of the oil is contained by these two containment dams and a series of absorption booms on the lower two miles leading to Chappel Bay. In addition, oil-contaminated soil is being excavated.

The PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Game Commission, PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the Forest Service have begun initial damage assessments. These assessments have resulted in the reporting of fish kills and three dead beavers. A multi-agency effort on damage assessment is currently being coordinated.

Staff and personnel continue to look for new locations of spilled oil along streams in the area, as well as the Reservoir. No other affected areas have been identified at this time.

Bail for Father, Son Increased

Bail has been raised for the two men accused of leaking more than 10,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Allegheny National Forest.

During an arraignment last night, District Judge Rich Luther raised Christopher Horton's bail from $50,000 to $550,000. Bail for his father, Andrew Horton, is $500,000.

The younger Horton's bail is higher because he is accused of actually opening the valves on the tanks that caused the spill. His father is accused of transporting his son to the scene.

The Hortons had to be re-arraigned because of a computer error. District Attorney John Pavlock asked that bail be increased after their criminal records were evaluated.

Center Street Bridge Re-Opened

By Matthew Roberts

SALAMANCA, NY – The Center Street Bridge was officially re-opened to alternating one-lane traffic today, easing a major headache that hurt local businesses, residents and emergency services.

The ceremony was led by State Senator Catharine Young, who spearheaded a task force focused on reopening the bridge. She secured $200,000 in state Capital funds to match more than $800,000 in federal aid and nearly $30,000 from the City.

State and local officials, Seneca Nation President Maurice John, and dozens of community representatives celebrated the repairs that will keep the bridge opened until it can be permanently replaced. Originally the bridge was slated to be reconstructed starting in 2011. Senator Young and DOT officials successfully pushed to move up the schedule so that the project will be let in September 2009, and construction will begin in Spring 2010.

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

“Today is a great day for the residents of Salamanca who suffered through a major inconvenience and headache,” said Senator Young. “The bridge being out of commission caused a severe hardship for the entire region. Emergency services, school bus transportation and every day travel for residents were disrupted. The detour added several miles to anyone who needed to get across town. With skyrocketing gas prices, it was difficult for people to afford, and it putting a heavy strain on family budgets.”

“That’s why everyone was working so hard to make the repairs as quickly as possible and I was glad to help,” she said. “All parties involved were extraordinarily cooperative and helpful. The Seneca Nation expedited an agreement with the State so work could begin, DOT did a fantastic job and the City worked hard to get things moving,” she said. “Communication was key to the opening of the span ahead of schedule.”

Department of Transportation Executive Deputy Commissioner Stan Gee said, “With the support of Governor David A. Paterson, the State Department of Transportation is proud to have partnered successfully with the city of Salamanca, the Seneca Nation of Indians, Senator Catherine Young and our bridge contractor to make the early opening of this critical transportation link in the community possible. We are also continuing design work on the replacement bridge and expect to let a contract for constructing the new bridge in the fall of next year.”

Department of Transportation Regional Director Alan Taylor said, "I join in saluting the cooperative spirit of all who have made today's celebration possible especially the hard work and dedication of the department's design and construction staff, the contractor, L.C. Whitford Co., Inc. and the Seneca Nation of Indians."

“I am pleased to have been able to help with the process of re-opening the Center Street Bridge. The City of Salamanca, the State DOT, the Seneca Nation and Senator Young and I all worked diligently to help fast-track the re-opening and the future replacement of the bridge. This collaboration among various interests was key to our success," said Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio.

Mayor of Salamanca, Jeffrey Pond said, “I am pleased that seven months of inconvenience to the residents of Salamanca has come to an end. Even though it is one lane of traffic, the City will be reconnected.

“I’m also quite relieved that the project was completed before the start of the school year,” Senator Young continued. The Salamanca School District contacted me in regards to the problems they were having with their school bus fuel bills, so I secured an additional $35,000 in state aid to save local taxpayers from shouldering the added costs,” she said.

“While the reopened bridge will be alternating, one-way traffic under 15 tons, it will accommodate school buses and some emergency vehicles. There will still be some inconvenience, but it will be minor compared to the situation now.”

Name That Pig!

The United Way of the Bradford Area is once again including the general public in the traditional “naming of the pig,” which coincides with the organization’s 10th annual Pig Roast/Clam Bake.

“This was something new we incorporated into the event last year,” says Mandi Wilton Davis, Assistant Director, “and we had so much fun receiving the entries. We’re really looking forward to the creativity again this year!”

Anyone interested in entering the contest can log onto the United Way’s website,, and the link to the entry form is on the homepage. Entry forms are also available for pick up at the United Way office at 93 Main Street. All entries are due by 3:00 pm on Friday, August 29th. The United Way Board of Directors, this year’s campaign chairs, will vote on the names, with the winner to be announced on Wednesday, September 3, on WESB's LiveLine. That person will receive one complimentary admission to the Pig Roast, scheduled for September 4 at the West Branch Community Center.

For more information on this or other United Way events, visit the website or call the office.

New Dentist at Dental Center

Officials at Bradford Regional Medical Center are announcing the start of an additional dentist to provide services Monday through Friday at the McKean County Dental Center in Bradford. Craig Miller Buccialia, DMD, recently joined the staff at the hospital-operated center, located at 600 Chestnut Street in Bradford. Appointments can be made by calling(814) 362-8478. A New Jersey native, Dr. Buccialia obtained his dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. He is a member of the American Dental Association and served as a participant in the Donated Dental Services Program for the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped from 2003 to 2005. Prior to his present appointment, Dr. Buccialia provided dental services at a privately-owned practice in Allentown, Pa., for five years. In addition, he provided dental services as an associate dentist in practices located in Marlton, N.J., and Willow Grove, Pa. and as a general dentist in Philadelphia, Pa.

The McKean County Dental Center offers a range of services to patients from childhood to seniors, with a range of needs including: dental screening, routine dental cleaning, preventative care, restorative care, fluoride treatments and patient education. The Center began in 2002 as a joint project of the McKean County Collaborative Board and BRMC, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Blaisdell Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross. Currently, the Medical Center continues sole administration of this community service. For more information, log onto and go to Guide to Services.

Gambling Treatment at BRMC

With a growing betting problem more evident from emerging casinos, horse racing and easy access through the Internet, Bradford Recovery Systems (BRS) has launched Problem Gambling Treatment Services.

The program offers individual services for problem and pathological gambling issues in which a person may be struggling. This program addresses not only the individual but also family issues and guides them in re-establishing a healthy lifestyle. Leading the program at Bradford Recovery Systems is state-certified counselor Ronald Tanner, one of only a few in the region.

"By adding this service, we are recognizing an important need already growing within our region, affecting individuals as well as their families," says Jackie Shine-Dixon, director of BRS, the Psychiatry Department and a Center of Excellence at Bradford Regional Medical Center. "We believe this will strengthen the level of support that we can provide to clients seeking recovery, rehabilitation and help nurture a healthy community."

Counseling for problem gamblers is by appointment on the fifth floor of BRMC. Individuals who are age 18 and older can enter the program through self-referrals or agency referrals, notes Mrs. Shine Dixon. The program accepts private payments. Problem gambling can strain relationships, interfere with responsibilities at work and home, and lead to financial catastrophe, counseling experts say. Sometimes people may even do things they never envisioned such as stealing to get money to gamble or pay their gambling debts.

"Between 1 and 2 percent of people have a problem with gambling or are compulsive gamblers," says Mr. Tanner, a certified gambling counselor through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. "However, the incidence of problem gamblers for a region increases to 4 percent when there is a casino within 50 miles according to official
statistics," he says.

An added temptation to gamble the past few years comes from the growing popularity of Internet betting. "With online betting, people don't even have to leave their home," the counselor says. While individual counseling is offered now for problem gamblers, group counseling will be available in the future, notes Mr. Tanner. Remember, "The person that may be helped could be your child, your spouse, your parent, your friend or yourself," Mr. Tanner says. "What can be saved through individual counseling, support group help and/or treatment are trust, respect, relationships, family dynamics, careers and being financially solvent."

People may be problem gamblers if they: neglect work or family to gamble; gamble in secret; lie about how much they gamble; feel compelled to keep increasing their bets; feel remorse after gambling; gamble until spending their last dollar; gamble with money needed to pay bills; steal, borrow or sell things to get money for gambling; dream of the big win and what it will buy; gamble to escape worries; gamble in order to solve financial problems or win back losses; and celebrate by gambling. But if a person admits to being a problem gambler, it can be the first
step toward recovery. Gambling problems are treatable with counseling, says Mr. Tanner. People also can get help through support groups, he adds.

What's critical is understanding the signs of gambling addiction and having a willingness to undergo treatment and/or join a support group, the counselor explains. "Generally, a problem gambler will increasingly lose control over their gambling. The problem progresses with time," Mr. Tanner says. "They become obsessed with gambling and also with getting money to continue gambling," the counselor says. "Sometimes they think irrationally and continue to gamble despite adverse consequences," he notes.

“Compulsive gamblers can't control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves and their loved ones," Mr. Tanner says. Gambling is all they think about and all they want to do, no matter the consequences, he adds. Compulsive gamblers keep gambling whether they're up or down, happy or depressed. "Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can't afford to lose, people with a gambling addiction can't stop betting," he says.

Gamblers also can have a problem, however, without being totally out of control. Long before an addiction has fully developed, gambling can have a negative impact.
"Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that disrupts your life. If you're preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences, you have a gambling problem," the counselor states. There are two types of problem gamblers. While their behaviors are similar, they gamble for different reasons. Action gamblers are addicted to the thrill of taking risks. Gambling itself is their drug. "The onset of action gambling usually begins early in their life. They usually gamble with others because part of the rush is beating the house and other gamblers," Mr. Tanner says.

Action gamblers usually prefer games of skill such as card games, craps, and sports betting. They also may play the stock market. Escape gamblers bet to escape emotional pain, worries and loneliness. Rather than gambling to feel a rush, they gamble for distraction, the counselor says. Escape gamblers prefer more isolated activities such as slot machines, bingo and online poker where luck is involved. They also prefer games that don't require much thought so they can "zone out."

In the past two years, Mr. Tanner says he's seen more problem gamblers. "But they can be treated and/or get help." Sometimes problem gamblers seek help on their own. In other cases, family members or friends may actively seek counseling for gamblers they know, Mr. Tanner says.

To schedule an appointment for counseling on gambling problems or get more information, call 814-362-8502.

Hermann Authors Article, Chapter

An international journal article and also a medical school textbook chapter, both focusing on cardiology, have been authored by Steven Herrmann, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, FASE, medical director of Cardiovascular Services at The Heart Center at Bradford Regional Medical Center.

The article, entitled “Comparison of Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography Derived Myocardial Perfusion Reserve With Invasive Determination of Coronary Flow Reserve,” will be published in a fall edition of the European Journal of Echocardiography. Essentially, Dr. Herrmann’s article states coronary blood flow can be accurately determined through a procedure called myocardial contrast echocardiography, which allows heart images to be seen more clearly.

“Through this procedure we can clearly see areas of the heart that are not getting normal blood flow,” he says. Furthermore, “This measurement with myocardial contrast
echocardiography can be done in a non-invasive manner, compared to Doppler flow wire,” says Dr. Herrmann. The Doppler procedure uses a catheter to insert a wire into a coronary artery to measure blood flow. It took Dr. Herrmann nearly two years to compile his supportive data and then write the article.

The cardiologist also authored a medical school textbook chapter, entitled “Cardiac Structure and Basic Physiology,” for St. Louis University’s School of Medicine. The textbook, “Internal Medicine: Just the Facts,” was published by McGraw Hill Medical and is designed to be used for board review preparation and also clinical reference.

Dr. Herrmann joined BRMC’s medical staff in January 2006 from Saint Louis University Hospital. He was recruited by BRMC to head the hospital's expanding Cardiology Services, a program which has had a longstanding affiliation with Hamot Heart Institute, Erie, Pa. This spring he earned a 10-year board certification in Nuclear Cardiology from the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Herrmann also is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Adult Echocardiography by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Society of Echocardiography. He also is board-eligible in Interventional Cardiology. Dr. Herrmann is an award-winning teacher, researcher and author. He was recognized as the Cardiology Teacher of the Year, Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year, and Distinguished Teacher in the School of Medicine for each of his four years as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine/Cardiovascular Diseases at Saint Louis University.

He holds an adjunctive Assistant Professor position in Physiology and Pharmacology at Saint Louis University, where he continues to teach Cardiovascular Physiology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Herrmann also is recognized in “Who’s Who” for medical school educators. He received his medical degree from Saint Louis University in 1995 and completed his Internal Medicine Residency, Cardiology Fellowship and Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at Saint Louis University Hospital. He received his doctorate in Cardiovascular Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington, where he studied the metabolic control of coronary blood and cardiac exercise physiology. Additionally, he was named to the prestigious Best Doctors in America list in 2005-06 by Best Doctors Inc. and again for that award in 2007-08. Best Doctors Inc. is a recognition of excellence announced internationally and given to only 4 percent of physicians in the U.S. The awards are given based on the survey results of more than 50,000 physicians across the U.S. and 30 countries who provide their recommendations of the best among their peer group.

BRMC's Heart Center, designated a Center of Excellence, is located on the second floor of the hospital's Outpatient Services Center which opened in January 2007. Since being named medical director of Cardiovascular Services, Dr. Herrmann has focused on developing a complete line of cardiac imaging services at BRMC as well as developing evidence-based medical protocols for the management of ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure for patients.

Additionally, Dr. Herrmann has brought a high level of expertise in invasive catheterization and advanced hemodynamics for patients requiring cardiac catheterization, say hospital officials. Ultimately, it is planned Dr. Herrmann will be able to perform cardiac angioplasty and stenting interventional procedures at BRMC.

Significant upgrades in diagnostic imaging procedures have now earned two nationally recognized accreditations that show proven technical performance and accuracy. The Heart Center and nearby Imaging Services Department house an on-site, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization suite for the diagnosis and treatment of certain cardiac conditions.

No physician referral is needed for an appointment with Dr. Herrmann at BRMC’s Heart Center. Appointments are made directly by calling the office at 814-362-8720. Further information on the program is available online at

Publication Features BRMC

George Nianiatus at Bradford Regional Medical Center has been working really hard all week, but I've been blog-slackin' so you wouldn't know about all the interesting stuff he's sent me. But I'm going to get caught up this afternoon!

Let's start with this:

Shown in the dining area are (seated, from left) Mary Ann Calla, program account executive for SYSCO Food Service of Jamestown, LLC, and Virginia Comilla, assistant director of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMCs) Food & Nutrition Services; and (standing) Mariann Kahle, director of BRMC’s Food & Nutrition Services, and Terry Palmer, BRMC’s chief information officer and senior manager for Food & Nutrition Services.

Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) Food & Nutrition Services Department was recently profiled in a regional culinary publication that highlights businesses operated by SYSCO Food Service of Jamestown, LLC, hospital officials announce. The article in “Market Spotlight” details the wider variety of menu offerings with more quick-to-eat SYSCO convenience foods that are available for employees and other patrons in BRMC’s Mediterranean-style cafeteria. Overall, BRMC’s groundfloor cafeteria serves 1,000 each week. Another 1,000 meals are prepared every week to patients in the hospital while 1,600 meals are provided to residents at The Pavilion at BRMC, the hospital’s long-term care facility.

“We totally changed the menu that was in place for the past 15 years and added more convenience products,” Mariann Kahle, Food & Nutrition Services director, was quoted as saying in the article. A special treat every Tuesday for lunch is Display Cooking, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. “It’s been very well received,” says Mrs. Kahle. “It has a six-week rotation of different menu offerings. One week may feature carved ham or beef, or a made-to-order salad with sautéed vegetables.”
For those with a sweet tooth, “We’ve also done elaborate desserts like a strawberry taco,” she says.

But the task of the staff is to do more than dish out food and quickly grill personalized orders in BRMC’s cafeteria.

“We also educate people on proper dietary habits,” says Virginia Comilla, BRMC’s Food & Nutrition Services assistant director. “We lead them toward making better and healthier choices.”

USFS: OK to Boat, Fish on Reservoir

Although the cleanup in Chappel Fork and Indian Run streams is still underway, it's still safe to boat and fish in the Allegheny Reservoir.

US Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Mohney says although a minimal amount of oil did reach the reservoir causing a slight sheen, the booms are containing the oil.

As for long-term affects the spill might have, Linda Devlin Executive Director of the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau tells WESB and The HERO that because a full-scale assessment of the damage from the weekend's intentional oil spill hasn't been completed yet, they really don't know what affect the spill could have.

"We're at a stand still," she said Wednesday afternoon.

Dead trout, shiners, amphibians, reptiles and small beavers have been found along Chappel Fork and Indian Run.

Lovely Day for Lunch in the Square

Jazzabilly performs during Lunch in the Square Wednesday at Veterans Square.

Fred Pysher and Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Director Diane Sheeley (left) and Mayor Tom Riel and Police Chief Mike Close (below) were among the people who attended Lunch in the Square.

For the second month in a row, I did LiveLine from the Square. My guest today was Fran Stewart from the American Cancer Society

A Little Perspective, Please

An artists' rendering of the Allegheny Reservoir:

An artists' rendering of the Allegheny Reservoir with 5 gallons of oil in it:

Can we all please stop concentrating on any oil getting into the reservoir, and concentrate on the six miles of stream that were damaged? Isn't the big story that one of the few streams where trout naturally reproduce was damaged? Aren't tourism and the local economy of major concern here? Five gallons of oil in the reservoir? Isn't that like spitting in the ocean?

#6 - We ALL Win

when people with disabilities can maximize their ability to become participating members of the community.

During the United Way of the Bradford Area annual appeal, I'll be reminding the community every day about a way "We ALL Win" when a United Way agency is funded through your donations.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More on the Oil Spill

LUDLOW, Pa. (AP) — State environmental officials tried Tuesday to determine how many thousand gallons of oil spilled into streams that empty into a northwestern Pennsylvania reservoir in what police allege was an intentional act by two former oil company workers.

For the full story, go to It's a good condensation of the events that transpired since Sunday.

This One Day ... At Band Camp ...

... the Marching Owls previewed their 2008 show -- "Thriller."

And, the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band previewed their pre-game and halftime shows. This is the 20th year the band has held band camp at Pitt-Bradford.

The beginning of the Marching Owls' show:

The Pitt Band takes the field:

The band's halftime show is "The Music of Bon Jovi." This is "Livin' on a Prayer."

DEP: Assessment Will Start Soon

Sometime this week, the Department of Environment Protection is expected to start its complete evaluation of the damage caused by Sunday's oil spill on the Allegheny National Forest.

Freda Tarbell, DEP Community Relations Coordinator, tells WESB and The HERO "It will probably be later this week when DEP and other agencies are going to begin a full-scale biological assessment."

She says on Monday officials began seeing dead trout, shiners, amphibians and reptiles along the six miles of stream where the oil flowed.

Tarbell says "The vast majority of the impact is on the stream -- about 6 miles of stream. … Chappel Fork and Indian Run were impacted by the spill. About 2 miles of Chappel Fork were heavily polluted. The remaining four miles were moderately damaged."

"There was a slight sheen on Chappel Fork Bay, which is in the Kinzua Reservoir, but that is very, very minimal," she says.

Andrew and Christopher Horton, a father and son from Bradford, have been charged with intentionally letting more than 10,000 gallons of oil out of storage tanks on the forest.

Gary Glitter Out of Prison - HEY!

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) -- Authorities freed British glam rocker Gary Glitter from prison in southern Vietnam on Tuesday, sending the convicted child molester into an uncertain future after nearly three years of confinement.

His most successful song, the crowd-pleasing anthem "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" cracked the top 10 in the United States, where it continues to bring sports fans to their feet with its rousing one-word chorus: "Hey!"

For the full story, go to CNN.

#5 - We ALL Win

when senior citizens have someplace to go for fun, fellowship and more.

During the United Way of the Bradford Area annual appeal, I'll be reminding the community every day about a way "We ALL Win" when a United Way agency is funded through your donations.

Improbable, But ...

wouldn't it be interesting if John McCain picked Tom Ridge and Barack Obama picked Ed Rendell?

For other thoughts on this, go to CNN and CNN's Political Ticker Blog. The blog explains why Rendell probably isn't even a dark horse in the veepstakes anymore.

SBU Judges for Austria Competition

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University was represented again this year on the panel of judges for the annual New York qualifying round of the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna, Austria.

Among the judges for the New York competition, held in May at The Metropolitan Opera, were Joseph A. LoSchiavo, associate vice president and executive director of The Quick Center, and Ludwig Brunner, the center’s director of programming.

Brunner has organized the New York qualifying round since 1990 and has served as a judge since 1998. LoSchiavo has been a judge in the event since 2000. The panel included a roster of international singers including Faye Robinson and Kenneth Riegel, both of whom have been quest performers at The Quick Center.

New York was one of 50 cities around the world that hosted qualifying rounds in the international competition. About 3,000 young singers took part in the event, with 159 of them – five from the New York competition – qualifying for the final rounds in Vienna, which were held at the Vienna Chamber Opera in July.

Guanqun Yu, a soprano from China, won first prize at this year’s international competition. Igor Bakan, a bass-baritone from Lithuania, placed second and Heidi Melton, a soprano from the United States, was third. In addition to generous prize money, the three won performing contracts at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, and The Washington (D.C) Opera, among several others.

Woman Makes Burglar Call 911

As you may have heard on The Morning Buzz:

POINT MARION, Pa. (AP) — A 17-year-old is in police custody after an 85-year-old woman held him at gunpoint and forced him to call 911 after police say he broke into her home.

For the full story, go to

Pitt Band to Perform Today

The University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band rehearses Monday night at the Pitt-Bradford soccer field on Campus Drive in preparation for this afternoon's performance at Parkway Field. The Pitt Band will take the field at 2:30, preceded by the Bradford High Marching Owls.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Info on Oil Spill Suspects

A father and son from Bradford are being accused of causing an intentional oil spill that has polluted a stream in Allegheny National Forest. Forty-two-year-old Andrew Horton and his son, 22-year-old Christopher are being held in the McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail each. They are charged with causing a catastrophe and other crimes. The Hortons both worked for the Kittanning oil firm, Snyder Brothers Inc. They are accused of opening the valves of six of the company's oil tanks, allowing more than 10,000 gallons of crude oil to spill into the forest. Christopher Horton is also accused of damaging a $500,000 generator and smashing eight meter boxes on the fuel tanks, valued at $2,000 each.

Oil Cleanup Continues

Allegheny National Forest officials are coordinating with several other federal, state, and local agencies to investigate the spill on the forest.

Officials say the oil was contained before it reached the Kinzua Reservoir or Chappel Bay.

On Sunday, an environmental clean-up company hired by Snyder Brothers of Kittanning installed a containment dam on Chappel Fork to cause the crude oil and water to separate so the oil can be siphoned off to a vacuum truck. About six miles of stream was affected by the spill: four miles of Chappel Fork and nearly two miles of Indian Run.

The two-mile stretch of Chappel Fork above the containment dam was heavily polluted while the remaining four miles was moderately damaged. Chappel Fork is a unique waterway because wild trout naturally reproduce there.

Officials began seeing dead fish (trout and shiners), reptiles, and amphibians as they inspected the streams today. An in-depth assessment will continue as response efforts proceed.

UPB Students at Best Western Again

With another year of record enrollments projected, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will be forced to once again house some of its students for the fall term at the Best Western Bradford Inn.

“Accommodating the needs of all students seeking housing is a problem we’re dealing with for a second year in a row,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president. “We’re happy that students are coming to our campus in record numbers, of course, but eventually we will need to develop a permanent solution to the housing shortage on our campus.”

Despite the opening of a new 144-bed residence hall this fall, demand for housing continues to outstrip the number of beds available on campus, said Rhett Kennedy, associate dean of student affairs and director of residential life and housing. The new residence hall brings the number of beds on campus to 841.

This is the second year Pitt-Bradford has worked with Best Western co-managers Jerry and Deborah Stover to create a home away from campus for students.

About 20 students will live in the hotel during the fall semester, Kennedy said, adding that because some students will graduate in December, all students will be accommodated on campus during the spring semester.

To turn one wing of the hotel into a residence hall, the Best Western has removed all of its furniture except for a microwave and refrigerator from the rooms that will be used. Pitt-Bradford has replaced the furniture with its own and set up Internet connections for the students. The university will employ a security guard for the rooms 24 hours a day as well as a residence life coordinator and two resident advisors.

Students can commute the two miles from the downtown hotel to campus on a shuttle that will make a loop from campus to the hotel between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day. At 6 p.m. each day, students can take the shuttle to Wal-Mart and return at 8 p.m. Pitt-Bradford will employ six drivers to staff the shuttle bus.

And if students don’t want to try to make the shuttle in time for breakfast on campus, they can eat at the hotel’s continental breakfast as part of their meal plan.
Jerry Stover said that despite a few initial misgivings, he was pleased with how well the arrangement worked last fall.

“We had absolutely not one bit of problem the whole time,” he said. “It was a very, very well-organized situation. The longer it went on the better it got. We expect the same this year. A lot of the students wanted to stay.”

“It’s a great facility and the people we have to work with are wonderful,” Kennedy said. “They have commented that our students were fantastic last year and that’s why we were able to continue this relationship.”

Woman Hurt in Car/Tractor Crash

A Franklinville woman was injured when her car swerved into the path of a tractor-trailer on Route 16 in Hinsdale. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's deputies say when 44-year-old Sandra Smith grabbed for an item in her car it swerved into the path of a tractor-trailer driven by 45-year-old Donald Whitney of Roulette. Smith was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of various injuries, and was charged with failure to keep right. Whitney wasn't hurt.

Camp Burglaries Continue

The camp burglaries in Potter County are continuing. Police say the latest incidents happened on Bailey Run Road in Wharton Township, where camps owned by Michael and Loretta Gulvas of DuBois and Dwyane Frey of York Springs were broken into and damaged.Another burglary was on East Fork Road, where someone broke into a camp owned by Jeffrey Weinhold of Stevens and stole a VCR and DVD player.

Two Men Arrested at Sunset Bay

A West Seneca man is in jail for allegedly attempting to bribe a sheriff's deputy who was trying to get his identification.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 22-year-old Michael Vanremmen was using profane language last night at Sunset Bay. When a deputy asked for his ID, Vanremmen allegedly handed the deputy several $20 bills and said "can't you just take this instead?"

He was charged with Obstructing Governmental administration, Disorderly conduct and Attempted Bribery 3rd. He's in Chautauqua county Jail on $5,000 bail.

A man with Vanremmen, 22-year-old John Carrow of Buffalo was also charged with obstructing governmental administration for not giving deputies his identification after Sunset Bay Beach Club employees said he was urinating in front of children.

He was released on his own recognizance.

Work Continues at Crosby

Work continues at the site of the "new" Crosby Mart in Foster Brook Monday afternoon. The expansion is expected to include more gas tanks, more parking and a Tim Horton's.

BRMC’s Employee Service League

As two of the leadership officers of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Employee Service League, Molly Kloss (seated), prenatal care coordinator at Healthy Beginnings Plus, and Stacy Williams, Volunteer Services director, review qualifying application guidelines. Typically, co-workers or supervisors submit the names of employees who should be considered as candidates for assistance.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

Striving for independence is an exceedingly common trait of people because it gives them a sense of strength and self-reliance. But sometimes people need help, whether they can admit it or not to themselves.

It’s in these instances when Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Employee Service League shows compassion in a willingness to help co-workers and also the community.

“The Service League can really lift your spirits with the help and support it offers,” says Molly Kloss, who’s prenatal care coordinator at BRMC’s Healthy Beginnings Plus, vice president of the Service League and also a two-time Service League benefactor. The first time the Service League helped Mrs. Kloss was when her family’s home became flooded in 2001.

Three years later, the Service League again came to the rescue when Mrs. Kloss’ husband, Ron, was seriously ill and she had to travel out of town to visit him during treatments. The Service League gave her $150 to defray travel costs.

“It gave me such an emotional lift,” recalls Mrs. Kloss. “It’s just a neat feeling to know that your co-workers care that much -- that they would do that for me.”

Through payroll deduction, the Service League’s goal is to provide employees an opportunity to contribute as a group to worthwhile charitable and service organizations, as well as to their fellow employees in time of need. BRMC employees also can donate some of their vacation time, in four- or eight-hour increments, to co-workers who must deal with a family crisis.

“If your spouse or child is critically ill and you must go to another hospital, the Service League will give a co-worker money that can pay for gasoline, a hotel or food,” says Lisa Larson, Service League president and BRMC’s Risk Management data coordinator.

“We provide assistance to fellow employees in crisis. A crisis, according to our by-laws, is defined as any personal, health (serious illness) or living conditions experienced by an employee and/or their immediate family member,” says Stacy Williams, Service League secretary and BRMC’s Volunteer Services director. “The employees who receive financial assistance are very appreciative of what the Service League can provide,” notes Mrs. Williams.

Employees or supervisors typically nominate co-workers, say Service League officials. There is a Service League Committee comprised of representatives from all hospital departments who meet regularly to review applications. Another leadership officer of the Service League is Ashley Wenner, treasurer, who’s an administrative assistant at BRMC’s McKean County VNA & Hospice. The Service League, in existence for more than 35 years, also does memorials through Bradford Hospital Foundation on behalf of co-workers or their family members who have died, says Mrs. Larson. Additionally, memorials can honor Bradford Hospital Auxiliary or Volunteer Services members. But the 282-member Service League makes an equally important impact to the community. Service organizations, including the United Way of the Bradford Area, also receive funding from the Service League to benefit the community, says Mrs. Larson. Annually, the Service League gives nearly $18,000 to more than a dozen organizations. Of that total, the United Way of the Bradford Area receives $14,000, says Mrs. Williams.

“We are truly honored to be a beneficiary of BRMC’s Service League. The impact that is made by the staff’s contributions is really immeasurable,” says Kristen Luther, the United Way’s executive director.

“Also, our two organizations’ missions are similar in that we are working for the betterment of our local Bradford community. We really appreciate the continued support offered by the employees of Bradford Regional Medical Center,” notes Mandi Davis, the United Way’s assistant director.

Groups or organizations not affiliated with the United Way also can benefit financially from the Service League, says Mrs. Williams. “These recommendations must first go to a committee vote for approval.”

Other groups or organizations benefiting financially from the Service League include the American Cancer Society, Friendship Table, McKean County SPCA, Bradford Area Public Library, BRMC’s Social Services Emergency Fund, the Pavilion at BRMC/Christmas Elf Fund; BRMC’s Bradford Recovery Systems Christmas Fund, Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Service League’s Contingency Fund.

As a member of the Service League, an employee authorizes in writing an amount of money to be deducted from his or her check each pay period, explains Mrs. Larson. A fair share is considered to be one hour’s pay per month, but it may be more or less based on the employee’s desire. Fifty cents per pay is the lowest acceptable pledge.

Update on Erin Hannon

Erin Hannon will be retuning to Lincoln, Nebraska, today. She's being flown by helicopter from Northern Colorado Medical Center to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.
Jeremy Foote, Track and Field Media Relations Director at the University of Nebraska, says she's expected to be there for about three months depending on how much progress she makes. Foote says she's been up and walking, but is having to relearn some motor skills. She was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident August 10 in Colorado.

Stuczynski Wins Silver Medal

Fredonia pole vaulter Jenn Stuczynski took a silver medal this morning in Beijing, falling once again to world champion Yelena Isinbayeva. Stuczynski has been in a back and forth medal battle with Isinbayeva for years. It is Isinbayeva's second consecutive Olympic pole vault gold medal. Isinbayeva set the mark of 16 feet, 6 3/4 inches on her third and final attempt at that height. Stuczynski's top height was 15-9, while bronze medalist Svetlana Feofanova of Russia, the 2003 world champion, topped out at 15-7.

Arrests Made for Oil Spill

Two Bradford men have been arrested for dumping oil in the Chapel Fork Creek, which flows into the Kinzua Dam area of the Allegheny Reservoir.

22-year-old Christopher Horton and 42-year-old Andrew Horton are in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail each after being charged with causing a catastrophe, risking a catastrophe and related offenses.

Police say Christopher Horton opened the valves on 20 oil collection tanks, spilling about 10,000 gallons of crude oil into the creek. Andrew Horton dropped Christopher off at the location in McKean County, bordering Warren County.

A dam and several oil gathering booms were set up along the creek to gather the oil.

Freda Tarbell of DEP says there could be significant impact on the high-quality stream.

Nearly 900 in Rally in the Valley

Nearly 900 people participated in Olean's Rally in the Valley over the weekend.

On Sunday, 863 bikers participated in the dice run. That's up from 682 last year.

Chris Parrish, Audra Steven, Larry Penman and Kimberly Wells were the winners of the 120-mile dice run. Kenneth Dabolt won the special dice roll and scoring the lowest was Bob Talbett with 92 points. Libby Stanton won the Harley-Davidson raffle.

The winner of the Big Wheel Adult Race was Meme Yanetsko of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, who beat out Mayor David Carucci and Police Chief Terry Schnell, among others.

All proceeds from the event go to local charities.

#4 We ALL Win

when a victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse gets crisis counseling.

During the United Way of the Bradford Area annual appeal, I'll be reminding the community every day about a way "We ALL Win" when a United Way agency is funded through your donations.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

#3 - We ALL Win ...

when a child learns how to play basketball from the Lady Panthers.

During the United Way of the Bradford Area annual appeal, I'll be reminding the community every day about a way "We ALL Win" when a United Way agency is funded through your donations.

For Those Living Under a Rock ...

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps wins a record eighth Olympic gold medal with his victory in the 4x100 medley relay.