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Saturday, September 6, 2008

NYS: Teacher Lied to Get Job

The substitute teacher fired from the Gowanda Central School District when officials learned he had been convicted of manslaughter, lied to get the job. The state education department says Harold Eisenman told them the conviction stemmed from a reckless driving incident. In fact, Eisenman used a 2-year-old girl in a karate demonstration and she died the next day from internal injuries, including a ruptured spleen. He spent six years in prison after the non-jury conviction. The department says if they were allowed to do background checks as thoroughly when Eisenman was hired as they do now, he would not have been hired. The department is considering legal action.

New Web Poll

Feel free to leave comments ... you can do it anonymously.

Go HERE to vote.

I put myself into an interesting competition here. Mo John is already president of a nation so, obviously, he's got experience. Dr. Alexander is president of a successful university (and getting more successful by the minute!). Senator Scarnati is president pro tempore of the PA senate so he's got government experience, too. Steve Ackerman is Bradford's beloved football coach but I needed to put another homegrown candidate in the mix so I wouldn't have an unfair advantage with the hometown voters.

So why vote for Anne Holliday? Although I've never been elected to a government position, I have reported on local and state government for about 10 years. Any reporter will tell you that you really have to know your subject if you want to do a good job. (One of my opponents in this poll -- Joe Scarnati -- did say -- and I quote -- "You know about state government, that's for sure." And that comes from the guy who holds the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth.) I have held non-government elected office previously, however. I was a Woman's Council representative in college and in high school I was vice president of Pep Club and president of the Forensics League. I'm currently the vice president of Bradford Little Theatre. My current management position as news director at WESB/WBRR is not the first time I've been in management. I was the manager of the Interstate Parkway Crosby Mart and assistant manager at both the Bradford and Warren Perkins restaurants. I've also traveled to 4 countries, 26 of the 50 United States and Bermuda. I think that makes me highly qualifed.

Alleged Burglars Waive Hearings

Three Arkansas men accused of burglarizing a Cameron County store have waived their preliminary hearings.

25-year-old Edward Whitten, 26-year-old Travis Fisher and 52-year-old Scott Fisher allegedly broke into the Lakeview Store on Route 872 in Grove Township on June 23 and July 21. They are accused of stealing cigarettes, cigars, cash, candy bars and other items worth more than $1,000. They also allegedly did nearly $6,000 worth of damage to the store.

They were arrested after atraffic stop on August 18 when they were dressed in camouflage clothing and had two-way radios with ear pieces. Troopers also found gloves, flashlights, toolboxes and other items in the vehicle.

The men are in jail on $25,000 bail each.

Gipson Appeal Denied

The half brother of Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson has lost an appeal to have his jail term reduced.

55-year-old Donald Gipson was charged in January with the murder of 81-year-old Louis Jones of Buffalo in 1996.

Gipson pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on March 28 in Warren County and was sentenced to five to ten years in state prison.

Gipson filed a motion to reduce the sentence, which he is currently serving at the state correctional facility in Mercer. The motion, which Gipson filed himself and not through an attorney, was denied because he filed it after the 10-day limit.

Jones' was found in a wrecked station wagon along Route 62 in Warren County with a puncture wound in his chest. Gipson originally told investigators he and Jones were carjacked. A state police cold case team confronted Gipson with new evidence in January.

Port Allegany Man Found Dead

Police are investigating the death of a Port Allegany man Friday morning. They say 35-year-old Mark Higley was found unresponsive on the living room floor of his cousin's home in Roulette. Roulette Ambulance transported Higley to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Arrest Made for Bomb Scare

A Coudersport man has been arrested in connection with the bomb scare at the Potter County Human Services building in Roulette Friday morning.

55-year-old James Boothby has been charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. He's in Potter County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Employees were evacuated as a precaution after an employee discovered suspicious items in the building. Nearby residents were sent to the Roulette Fire Hall.

Bomb squads from Erie and Harrisburg were called to the scene and neutralized a device that was later determined not to contain explosive material. A bomb-sniffing dog from Corry checked the rest of the building.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fesenmyer House Dedicated

Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander invites people to take tours of Fesenmyer House following the ribbon cutting in front of the newest residence hall. Below are videos of the ribbon cutting, the unveling of the sign and (as soon as it's uploaded) remarks by Howard Fesenmyer.

Disaster Drill Set for Saturday

The McKean-Potter Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross will be holding a disaster assessment drill in the Foster Township area on Saturday.

The drill will focus on the Bolivar Drive and Derrick Road areas. Red Cross volunteers, along with local Amateur Radio Emergency Services volunteers will be driving through these areas doing mock damage assessments.

The scenario for the drill is based on a severe weather incident.

Red Cross Interim Executive Director Jason Bange says the more they practice, the better prepared they will be when it strikes for real.

Help for Health Clinics

The State House has passed legislation that will help some health care clinics. State Representative Marty Causer says the facilities that would benefit from the bill are the Central Potter Health Care Center in Coudersport, the Misty Valley Health Center in Smethport, the Cameron County Health Center in Emporium and the Community Health Center in Sinnemahoning. Causer says if passed by the state senate, the bill would enable the centers to see patients at a reduced cost.

GOP Rep Calls Obamas 'Uppity'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are calling on a Republican congressman from Georgia to apologize for referring to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity," but the lawmaker stood by his comments and said he meant no offense.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Ga., described the Obamas as members of an "elitist-class ... that thinks that they're uppity," according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Asked to clarify whether he intended to use the word, he said, "Yeah, uppity."

For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

Seriously, Congressman? Seriously?

Accident Victim in Stable Condition

The Cuba, New York, man who was injured in a construction accident Tuesday on Ho Sta Geh Road is in stable condition at ECMC in Buffalo. 22-year-old Corey Comes was drilling a well next to Kellner Well Services when a 25-foot pipe fell from a crane and hit him on the head. A company official says they have been in business since 1988 and this is the first serious accident. The well that Comes was drilling will be used to test explosive devices used in oil and gas drilling.

Two Men in Hospital After Stabbing

Two men are hospitalized after a stabbing early this morning in Allegany. Police say 26-year-old Matt Zawatski of Kill Buck was stabbed four times by 37-year-old Dana Rickey of Allegany at about 2:15. Zawatski was stabbed twice in the chest and twice in the groin area, but is expected to make a full recovery. Rickey suffered an apparent heart attack at Olean General Hospital after the incident, and was sent to ECMC. Police haven't filed charges yet because they haven't been able to interview Rickey.

Jamestown Soldier Dies in Iraq

A Jamestown soldier has died in Iraq. The Department of Defense says that 22 year-old Pfc. Patrick May died Sept. 2 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. May was with the Division of Special Troops Battalion, 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, N.Y.

Thum Joins Northern Potter HC

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

Jill Kelly in Smethport

Jill Kelly, wife of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, will be at the Smethport United Methodist Church during the 11 a.m. service on Sunday. She will share her test of faith and hope. Kelly is chairman of the Hunter's Hope Foundation.

Potter Players Workshop

Interested in becoming a part of the Potter Players and acting in sensational productions? Want to learn acting basics but don’t know where to start? Then this workshop is for you. Acquaint yourself with the basic rudiments of the acting craft. The topics covered will be basic skills, walking, pantomime, gestures and voice; actors goals and tasks; actors trinity (mind-body-voice); and performance. These classes will be held at the Potter County Education Council’s Coudersport office and will begin Wednesday, October 8 and run through October 29th. Times for the classes will be from 6;30 to 9:30 p.m. and the cost will be $50 per person with financial assistance available. Please call 274-4877, 435-9490 or 642-2295 with questions or to register.

Chamber Auction October 22

The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce announces their 16th annual “open to the public” auction. The event is crafted following the objectives of the chamber. Through donations and sponsorship, area businesses, retailers, professionals, and organizations have an opportunity to acquaint the public with their products and services, advancing the economic welfare of the area. The evening flows to enable those attending to meet potential new customers and show civic support. As the Chamber’s primary fundraiser, monies raised allow the Chamber to create a broad understanding and appreciation of the great opportunities in the Bradford area and to promote the advantages and assets of our region.

The auction will be held October 22 at the Masonic Center at 625 South Avenue in Bradford. Doors will open at 5:00 pm; bidding will begin at 6:00 pm.

The evening is a mixture of bucket, silent, surprise, and traditional auctions. Hearty hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and door prizes make this a “must attend” event.

The donation appeal is underway. To make a donation or for more information, contact the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at 814-368-7115 or email

Free Symphony Concert

The Southern Tier Symphony strings, under the direction of conductor John Whitney, will present "A Celebration of Priesthood" at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 14 at St. Mary of the Angels Church on Henley and First Streets in Olean.

The program is a gift to the community from the church parish and Reverend Gregory J. Dobson, in honor of the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Father Greg is well known in the area as a cleric whose love of music runs very deeply. His leadership role with the Friends of Good Music has helped to bring exceptional talent to our area.

This program is an addition to the annual three concerts usually given by the orchestra, now in its sixth season. The group is currently promoting its "Subscribe NOW!" campaign, which offers patrons a large discount from regular ticket prices. Details may be found at the symphony website: or by calling 716 372-1110.

The concert at St. Mary's will spotlight treasures for string orchestra such as "Adagio" by Samuel Barber, "Brandenburg Concerto No. 3" by J.S. Bach and the first movement of the Tchaikovsky "Serenade." Soloists will include Wildy Zumwalt, associate professor of saxophone at SUNY Fredonia and Maria Bellanca, and Olean High School graduate who is studying at the Eastman School of Music.

Wheelchair Clinic on Monday

CARE for Children will partner with Presque Isle Rehab Technology to hold the Verner W. Smith Wheelchair and Adaptive Equipment Clinic for children with disabilities on Monday, September 8th at their offices on 20 Russell Boulevard in Bradford.

This free clinic is a community service to provide expert evaluation to assess needs for custom seating, positioning, and mobility. The annual clinic was renamed in memory of Verner W. Smith of Bradford who passed away in June 2008. Smith was a long time supporter of CARE for Children as well as a recipient of services from the agency as a child.

Jim Noland, Certified Rehab Technology Specialist and Owner of Presque Isle Rehab Technologies will be conducting the clinic. Noland, a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant, specializes in many fields including wound care, brain injury and spinal cord injury.

The clinic includes assessment of the current equipment being used, as well as the functional status, social history and seating/mobility needs of the patient. Correct seating can maximize the functional independence, mobility, posture and breathing of each patient and serve to protect skin integrity.

Presque Isle Rehab Technology works with certified suppliers and insurance companies to meet the individual needs of each child. Presque Isle Rehab Technology specializes in custom wheelchairs and medical equipment for people who are profoundly involved.

CARE for Children is a local non-profit organization that has been providing services for children of all abilities since 1924. For more information please contact CARE for Children.

PennDOT Work Schedule

Ridgway/Cyclone Pa. (September 5, 2008) PENNDOT ELK/McKEAN COUNTY Has announced work for the week of September 8, 2008 through September 12, 2008.

Maintenance work planned by McKean County employees includes:

Ø PIPE FLUSHING – SR 46, Rew Hill Ø CRAFCOING – SR 6, Port Allegany to Potter Co. Line – SR 770 Marshburg
Ø FILL LOW SHOULDERS – SR 3002, Wetmore Road
Ø SIGN REPAIRS – Various Routes, County wide
Ø SIDE DOZING – SR 6, Mt. Jewett to Port Allegany – SR 219, Lantz Corners to Tack's Inn
Ø KANE STOCKPILE – Kane, Repair Salt Building
Ø GUIDERAIL REPAIR – Various Routes, County Wide

Maintenance work planned by Elk County employees includes:

Ø JOINT SEALING – SR 255, Million Dollar Highway Ø PATCHING – SR 219, Ridgway Area
Ø BRIDGE REPAIRS – SR 948 & SR 949, Mill Creek and Portland Mills
Ø BASE REPAIRS – SR 4003, Tambine
Ø PIPE REPLACEMENT – SR1002, Taft Road – SR 3001, Belltown


SR 0006 Allegany River Bridge, Port Allegany (September 7, 2008 – September 13, 2008) Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. The contractor plans to continue to work on the soil wall in between the two bridges. Prime plans to complete placement of the rip rap rock on pier # 1 and pier # 2 of the River Bridge. Prime plans to continue preparation to pour the deck Railroad Bridge and hopes to pour it on 9/15.
Prime plans to perform miscellaneous structure work on the project such as slope wall on the Railroad Bridge. Prime plans to complete the pouring of the deck on the River Bridge, They also plan to possibly begin construction of the Reinforced Soil Slope Walls on the Smethport side of the project.

All work weather permitting.
Motorists can visit the PENNDOT website at and by clicking on the Statewide Construction Map for updates concerning ongoing projects.

Citizens who want to report road concerns can call PENNDOT Maintenance at 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623).

Incredible Years Workshops to Start

Parents and their children age 2 to 8 years are invited to The Incredible Years Workshops. Parents learn how to handle misbehavior, set limits and handle stress, while children participate in a playgroup lead by Family Center staff.

Classes are held on Mondays, 10:00-11:30, September 8 through October 27 at the Bradford Family Center, and on Tuesdays, 10:30-12:00, September 16 to October 28 at the Smethport Family Center. Call The Bradford Family Center at 362-1843 or the Smethport Family Center at 887-5591 to register.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alleged Burglars Indicted

Two alleged burglars from Florida who took police on a high-speed chase through Cattaraugus County in July have been indicted by a grand jury.

39-year-old Kenneth Davis and 28-year-old David Tester allegedly burglarized a Farmersville home on July 14. The homeowner saw them leave and called police.

A state trooper tried to stop the men, who were allegedly driving a stolen pickup truck, which eventually plunged about 100 yards down a steep hill, where they abandoned it.

Troopers found Davis a short time later at a grocery store in Franklinville. A New York State Police Aviation helicopter and a K-9 Unit helped them find Tester in nearby woods.

Both men are in Cattaraugus County Jail awaiting further court action.

Man Indicted for Manslaughter

A Bradford man has been indicted by a Cattaraugus County Grand Jury on charges of criminally negligent homicide, second-degree manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter in connection with an accident on November 9, 2007, in Limestone.

Lanny Holly was driving south on Route 219, about half a mile from the Pennsylvania border, when his vehicle went off the road, hit a guide rail, went over an embankment and hit a tree.

The vehicle caught on fire and Holly's passenger, Carol Holly, was trapped inside. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The indictment says Holly was driving while intoxicated.

An arraignment date hasn't been scheduled yet.

Building Going Up,
Prices Going Down

Work continues on the "new" Crosby Mart and Tim Horton's on East Main Street in Foster Brook, while gas prices at the convenience store continue to decline.

Former Judge Pleads Guilty

A former New York State Supreme Court Judge has pleaded guilty to transporting a woman across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. Ronald Tills helped transport or arrange for the transportation of women to various locations both in New York and across state lines. The women were asked to attend meetings of a men's organization, known as the Royal Order of Jesters, where they were paid for sex. Tills faces 21 to 27 months in a federal prison when he sentenced on January 12.

Senecas File Appeal with NIGC

The National Indian Gaming Commission has put the Seneca Nation on notice that their Buffalo Creek Casino is in violation of federal law. The Senecas have filed a notice of appeal with the National Indian Gaming Commission. The Commission has told the Senecas they may have to shut down in five days, and could be fined $25,000 dollars a day if they don't. The federal government, which has allowed the Senecas to begin building a $333 million dollar casino hotel complex, is still considering its options in the case. Seneca President Mo John says he is still confident they will be able to build the casino, and that gambling will be found to be legal on the Buffalo site.

Regola Employee Suspended

An employee in State Senator Bob Regola's Harrisburg office has been suspended without pay and benefits because she allegedly misused more than $40,000. Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati suspended 42-year-old Pamela Barnhart Wednesday after Regola discovered the money missing from legislative accounts as well as unauthorized credit card purchases. The matter has been turned over to the state Capitol police for investigation. No charges have been filed yet.

Ridge to Speak at RNC

Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is scheduled to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention. According to excerpts from his speech provided to WESB and The HERO by the RNC Committee on arrangements, Ridge will speak about Senator John McCain as a friend and leader, and on his readiness to be president. He will say McCain is "Ready to lead. Ready to serve. Ready to deliver." He's scheduled to speak in the 8 to 9 o'clock hour following a video on vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Ridge will be followed by another video and Cindy McCain.

Pledge to 'Building the Future'

A generous $10,000 pledge was made by Bradford Manor to support Bradford Hospital Foundation's "Building The Future" capital campaign. Their gift was made in the Business Blitz Division which has raised over $32,000 in pledges and gifts to date. This is part of the public phase of the Foundation's Building The Future capital campaign. Shown in the photo (from left) are: Stephanie Huber, Director of Donor Systems and Special Events at Bradford Hospital Foundation; Barbara Gee, Bradford Manor's Director of Customer Relations; Susan Hughes, Bradford Manor Administrator; Carlyle Conn, Chairman of the Business Blitz; and Jill Cummiskey, Donor Relations Coordinator at Bradford Hospital Foundation. The Business Blitz is attracting donations from McKean County businesses and raising awareness of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) commitment to community health. The Foundation's five-year campaign, which began in 2005, has raised $5 million of its $6 million goal. The funds support the $15 million in capital costs for BRMC's Outpatient Services Center, which opened in January 2007 as Phase I, plus the recent Phase II expansion project that’s doubled the size of the Emergency Department and made upgrades to Surgical Services. Through the estates of two sisters, Dorothy Reed and Berdena Coit, their gifts totaling nearly $1,500,000 has provided a dollar-for-dollar match to Building The Future gifts and is available for match to interested businesses. The Business Blitz is now entering the Smethport area and surrounding communities for its next phase. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated. BRMC appreciates the community's support

(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

UPB's Subscription Series Unveiled

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s 2008-09 Season Subscription Series will feature world-renowned musicians, a full-scale ballet and the traveling production of a beloved musical.

The university’s premier arts series kicks off with melodic folk pianist George Winston Oct. 22, then continues with the divas of D’Vine gospel group that will perform as a Martin Luther King Special Event Jan. 24.

The Russian National Ballet will perform a full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s mesmerizing ballet “The Sleeping Beauty” March 24, and the season will end with a performance of the popular musical “Bye Bye Birdie” April 30. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall.

“This season is exciting in its diversity,” said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming. “A modern pianist; an Atlanta-based gospel trio for the Martin Luther King special event; a huge ballet company that we were able to get largely because we are one of the few stages in the region that can hold them; and a Tony Award-winning musical with live music. I believe this season demonstrates our commitment to make all the arts disciplines available to people in and around McKean County. Each group is of stellar quality and the prices and discounts make them all affordable.”

New this year are pre-show buffet dinners, which will take place in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons prior to the performance by George Winston and in the KOA Art Gallery before “Bye Bye Birdie.” There is a fee and reservations are required.

“The addition of the pre-show dinners is something that has worked well at other universities,” Mayes said. “They are well-priced, unique dinners in a comfortable setting that have a dual advantage. Patrons only have to park once on campus instead of at a restaurant and then later at the theater. The dinner patrons also know they can’t be late for the curtain, because we won’t begin the show until the last shuttle bus from the University Room has arrived at the Bromeley Family Theater.”

Winston is best known for his Seasons recordings, Autumn, Winter, Winter Into Spring and Summer.
Winston is active musically in four areas: performing live; working on the three instruments he plays as a solo instrumentalist -- piano, guitar and harmonica; making recordings; and recording many of the musicians who have inspired him for many years. In September 2005, Winston started recording an album of piano solos titled “Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions – A Hurricane Benefit” to be released on Sept. 5, 2006. Winston also made all of his September and October 2005 piano concerts benefits for the hurricane relief effort. Winston will be working with the YWCA of Bradford Food Pantry to conduct a canned food drive as part of the concert. In addition, Winston will donate to the food pantry a portion of the money from merchandise purchased the night of the show. Tickets for the public will be $26 and $22; for all students, $11 and $9.

Atlanta-based Gospel trio D’Vine will honor the life, legacy and vision of King through inspiring music and testimonies. The two sisters and a friend sing a capella and with accompaniment and have performed for the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton and as part of the 1996 opening of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, for former President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu and Hank Aaron. Formed 13 years ago, the group performs more than 150 concerts annually in addition to maintaining full-time jobs. They have shared their voices with standing-room-only audiences during repeat tours in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Greece. Tickets for the public are $10. Students are free.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty,” familiar to fans of the Brothers Grimm, ballet and even Walt Disney, will be presented as a full-length ballet in three acts. The Russian National Ballet’s production is a grandiose presentation of the fairy tale replete with a king and queen, fairies both good and evil, a beautiful princess and dream prince, magical stage effects and courtly splendor.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in 1989 when legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Radchenko sought to realize his vision of a company that would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet.

Tickets for the public are $29 and $24; for students of all ages, $12 and $10.

The final event in the series will be “Bye Bye Birdie,” presented by Windwood Theatricals. Long a favorite production of high school and community dramatists, the show is best known for the popular numbers “The Telephone Hour,” “Put on a Happy Face” and “Kids.”

The original Broadway production in 1960 was the earliest musical about the rock-and-roll phenomenon and the effect of its idols on impressionable teenagers. The attitude, however, was generally sympathetic toward adolescent emotions, offering something of a fresh-air antidote to the picture of modern youth conveyed by “West Side Story.”

Tickets for “Bye Bye Birdie” are $29 and $24 for the public; $12 and $10 for students.

Those purchasing tickets to George Winston, the Russian National Ballet and “Bye Bye Birdie” will also get free tickets to see classical guitarist Sharon Isbin perform as part of the university’s Spectrum Series at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Bromeley Family Theater.

Isbin is a frequent radio guest on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “A Prairie Home Companion” and has been profiled on television, including CBS’s “Sunday Morning” and the Arts and Entertainment network.

Tickets for events are available by calling the Bromeley Family Theater box office in Blaisdell Hall at 362-5113. Box office hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Physician Asst. Program to Expand

State Senator Joe Scarnati will present a $900,000 check to Lock Haven University President Dr. Keith Miller at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Irwin Medical Arts Center in Coudersport Monday. The funding from the State Department of Education will be used to expand LHU’s physician assistant program to Charles Cole.

Another Deliberate (But Smaller)
Oil Spill in McKean County

There's been another deliberate oil spill in McKean County. State police say someone went to the Catalyst Energy site on Northwest Road in Wetmore Township and opened a valve releasing about 84 gallons of oil worth about $250. The incident happened sometime between 11 o'clock Friday morning and 7:20 Monday morning about 3/10 of a mile north of Route 6. Anyone with pertinent information is asked to call Kane-based state police.

Man Raped Teen He Met Online

A Chautauqua County man has been sentenced to a total of nearly 6 years in prison for raping a teenager he met on the Internet. 45-year-old Terry Finn of Brocton was sentenced today in federal court. In May, he met a 16-year-old online and persuaded her to travel from Vermont to Brocton, where he had sex with her. He was convicted in federal court for persuading the girl to travel across state lines and in Chautauqua County on the rape charge.

United Way Pig Has a Name

The United Way's pig has a name. Paul Pessia entered the name "Annie" in the second annual "Name the Pig" contest. The name is short for "anniversary" because tomorrow is the 10th annual United Way Pig Roast and Clam Bake. If you haven't made your reservation for the Pig Roast yet, you can call the United Way at 368-6181.

Man Jailed for Attempted Homicide

A Bradford man is in jail without bail on an attempted homicide charge. 23-year-old Uriah Schiappa of West Washington Street allegedly hit Tara Strait in the head with a hammer several times during an argument. He also allegedly hit her arms and upper body while threatening to kill her. Strait was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. Police say when they arrived at the home, Schiappa ran out the back door and was later apprehended a short distance away. Besides the homicide charge, he is also charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threats.

Kenneth Barnes Pleads Guilty

One of the two defendants in the bombing death of pizza deliveryman Brian Wells has pleaded guilty to being an accomplice in the plot. 54-year-old Kenneth Barnes, along with 59-year-old Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, were indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2007 in the slaying of Wells, who died following his armed robbery of the PNC Bank in the Summit Towne Centre on August 28, 2003. He was killed when a homemade bomb locked to his neck exploded. Barnes faces 30 years to life in federal prison when he's sentenced on December 3. The plea means only Diehl-Armstrong will go to trial in the Wells case. She is maintaining her innocence.

Ridge Bumped from RNC Again

Former Governor Tom Ridge has been bumped again from the speaking line-up at the Republican National Convention.
Ridge originally had been scheduled to speak Tuesday night, but Hurricane Gustav forced a shortened convention program, dropping him from the schedule. He won't be speaking tonight either as convention organizers continue to rearrange the schedule.
Convention spokeswoman Maury Donahue says she doesn’t know yet whether Ridge will be on the speaking schedule for Thursday’s final night.

Two Pleas in Olean Assault Case

One man has pleaded guilty and another has pleaded not guilty in connection with an assault at an Olean convenience store parking lot in July. Eric Smith and Michael Chase, both of Olean, are accused of assaulting Robert Gilbert with a baseball bat and golf club. Chase pleaded not guilty. Smith pleaded guilty, and will be sentenced October 20.

Ex-Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced

A former Erie County sheriff’s deputy who attempted to rob a Franklinville bank last year has been sentenced to six months in jail. 33-year-old Joseph O’Shei, formerly of Farmersville, held up the Cattaraugus County Bank on the afternoon of Dec. 13, but as he attempted to get away with several thousand dollars, he was stopped by two men outside the bank who held him on the ground until Franklinville police arrived. O’Shei told police he was homeless, needed money and decided to rob the bank. Last year O’Shei was sworn in as an Erie County sheriff’s deputy in April and dismissed later in July. Details were not made public.

UPB to Dedicate Fesenmyer House

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will dedicate its newest residence hall, Howard L. Fesenmyer House, at 4 p.m. Friday (Sept. 5, 2008) at the site adjacent to Blaisdell Hall. The program for the day will feature remarks by Howard Fesenmyer, for whom the $7.3 million residence hall is being named; Craig Hartburg, chairman of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board; Jessica Visseau, student government president and a junior social science major from Shinglehouse; Dr. Robert Pack, vice provost for academic planning and resources management at the University of Pittsburgh; and Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. Following a dedication and ribbon cutting, tours of the residence hall will be given and light refreshments will be served.

Fesenmyer House accommodates 144 students in suites with private bathrooms, cable hookups, phone and computer ports, air conditioning, a shared living room and kitchen area. A card key access system enhances student security and safety.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought this could happen to me,” Fesenmyer said. “I am humbled, honored and pleased, and I thank Pitt-Bradford for this remarkable recognition.”

Fesenmyer is a retired Zippo Manufacturing Co. executive and executive secretary of the Blaisdell Foundation who has been an outstanding volunteer for Pitt-Bradford, serving on the university’s Advisory Board. He has been chairman of the Institutional Advancement Council of Pitt-Bradford’s Advisory Board for more than a decade, helping to lead teams of volunteers to successfully raise $10 million for the campus’s Campaign 2000. Fesenmyer also served as chairman of the Complete the Campus Campaign, which raised $13.1 million for campus construction; the Reed-Coit Scholarship Challenge, which raised $2 million for scholarships; and the Blaisdell Fine Arts Challenge, which raised $3.4 million to build Blaisdell Hall. He is currently spearheading the fundraising campaign for a campus interfaith chapel, to be built solely with private donations.

In 1998, Pitt-Bradford awarded Fesenmyer its highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, given to those who make significant contributions to the campus and the community.

Alexander said, “Howard is not only a major fundraiser for Pitt-Bradford, but he also is our greatest cheerleader and advocate.

“What drives Howard to ask for a gift is precisely what motivates our donors to give—an unselfish dedication to our campus and an abiding commitment to our students.”

#12 We ALL Win ...

when someone who needs clothing gets a voucher for SACKS.

Federal Workers Get Raises

More than 60 federal workers in McKean, Warren and parts of Forest and Elk counties will be getting raises. Final approval of the proposal came last week when the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee met in Washington, D.C. The action will result in significant pay hikes for employees of the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FCI-McKean who are members of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). In the case of employees on the top step of the wage scale, the increase will 8 percent. The increase for workers on the lowest end of the pay scale will be 14 percent.

Donachy Arraigned in Elk County

The man accused of killing Irene Challingsworth nine years ago has been arraigned in Elk County Court. 33-year-old Larry Donachy is charged with criminal homicide, rape and burglary among other crimes in connection with Challingsworth's death in April of 1999. He is accused of restraining Challingsworth, then raping her and killing her. He is currently in state prison on unrelated charges. Challingsworth's death remained an open case until DNA from the crime scene was matched to a state prison inmate database earlier this year.

Fillmore Man Sent to Prison

A Fillmore man will spend then next 5 to 15 years in state prison for helping another man commit a murder in the Town of Freedom. Thomas Burrows was sentenced Tuesday for criminal facilitation and making false statements for helping Robert Secrist when he shot and killed Salamanca resident Therin Jimerson in July of last year. Secrist pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving 25 years to life in prison for shooting Jimerson. The incident happened at the home of Secrist's ex-girlfriend, Krista Brown. Jimerson was Brown’s boyfriend at the time of the shooting.

Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Assault

An Allegany teenager has pleaded not guilty to stabbing a man with a knife at the Country Inn and Suites in July. 17-year-old Giovanni Salmonson entered the plea this morning in Cattaraugus County Court. He allegedly stabbed Thomas Restuccio during an altercation in the lobby, pool area and parking lot of the hotel. Restuccio was treated at the hospital, then released. Salmonson remains in jail on $10,000 cash bond.

Tasered Emu Dies on Turnpike

State police say they had to use a Taser on an emu because the flightless bird presented a danger on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. They say the bird created a backup and nearly caused vehicles to crash into each other as it ran along the eastbound lanes near the New Stanton exit, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Police tried for two hours to capture the 4-foot-tall bird — even attempting to lasso it — but weren't successful. They opted for a Taser rather than using a gun, but the emu fell to the ground after it was shocked and died. Police say the emu didn't belong to any nearby farmers. Police say it may have escaped from a truck.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jerry Reed Dead at 71

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jerry Reed, a singer who appeared in the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, has died of complications from emphysema at age 71, his longtime booking agent said Tuesday.

As a singer in the 1970s and early 1980s, he had a string of hits that included "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," "East Bound and Down," (a favorite on The Morning Buzz) and "The Bird."

In the mid-1970s, he began acting in movies such as "Smokey and the Bandit" with Burt Reynolds.

For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

Constitution Party Suing PA

The Constitution Party is suing Pennsylvania, saying its candidate is unfairly being denied a spot on the November presidential ballot. The lawsuit filed in Harrisburg federal court seeks an injunction to put the party's presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin, on the ballot. The lawsuit says the party submitted nearly 22,000 signatures to the secretary of state on August 1, but that wasn't enough to make the ballot. The Department of State is reviewing the lawsuit.

Woman Run Over at Rest Area

A 70-year-old woman is in critical condition in a Pittsburgh hospital after being run over by a car at a rest area along Interstate 79 near Slippery Rock. Police say Mary Strzelczyk of West Seneca, N.Y. was in the picnic area when a car driven by 66-year-old Carol Brown of Rochester was attempting to turn into a handicapped parking space. The car jumped the curb, accelerated over the sidewalk and continued to the picnic area, where it hit Strzelczyk and threw her into the air. She landed in a grassy area and was run over by the car. The car continued into a wooded area, coming to rest in a ravine. Brown and her passenger, 87-year-old Marjorie Lee Richard, were not injured.

SACKS Hit 75-Year Mark

SACKS Resale Shop Manager Penny Woodmansee (left) and Virginia Hauser, Bradford Hospital Auxiliary executive director, show some of the merchandise variety filling the 26 Pine St. store.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

In 1933 when Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president and pledged to pull the U.S. out of The Depression, some forward-thinking Bradford women formed the Bradford Hospital Auxiliary and also a resale shop so people could find bargain-priced merchandise.

Seventy-five years later, the Auxiliary’s SACKS Resale Shop at 26 Pine St. is still going strong and carrying on the tradition of offering deals to people looking for nearly new or gently used clothing, furniture, household goods, books and computer equipment.

“We have a lot to offer people who are looking for well-priced deals,” says Virginia Hauser, Auxiliary executive director. Also, “We get regular donations which continually add to our inventory.”

SACKS has had a few different locations over the years on Kennedy, West Washington, Mechanic and Barbour streets before finally relocating to its current spot in 1998, says Mrs. Hauser, noting the Auxiliary purchased the building.

Each day SACKS staff and volunteers rearrange merchandise and fill shelves with newly donated items.

SACKS continues to play a pivotal role in serving the community’s needs, says Mrs. Hauser. Proceeds from the shop are part of one of the largest financial commitments the Auxiliary has made toward Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) building fund in its entire history. After all these decades, the resale shop continues to attract a steady stream of customers.

“We have a lot of people who are on low income and they find our prices suit them,” explains Penny Woodmansee, SACKS manager. SACKS has a cross-section of clientele, however. “The shop is not just for the needy in town. We have a lot of really nice merchandise donated to us that will meet anyone’s tastes,” notes Beverly Gallup, Auxiliary president. “We have professional men and women who are looking for nice work clothes.” For example, “We’ve carried beautiful suede jackets, Pendelton suits and even prom dresses,” adds Mrs. Gallup. There’s clearly one common thread to the people who shop at SACKS, says Mrs. Woodmansee. “The people who come in here are exceptionally nice.”

About the only time there’s a lull at SACKS is during the summer when people are on vacation and after Christmas. Otherwise, “We’re generally busy,” Mrs. Woodmansee says.

“Right now, we’re switching over to winter clothes. And it won’t take any advertising for people to find out. It spreads by word of mouth,” she notes.
Word also has circulated about the added assistance available to the needy as winter approaches.

A few months ago a $500 grant from the United Way of the Bradford Area was awarded to the Auxiliary’s SACKS to provide clothing vouchers to three local organizations seeking to help needy individuals. Clothing vouchers in equal amounts went to the YWCA of Bradford, Catholic Charities and the American Red Cross. These local organizations then give the vouchers to people with clothing needs, explains Mrs.
Hauser. The clothing vouchers are given to individuals deemed eligible by the YWCA, Catholic Charities or the Red Cross.

“We have clothing vouchers for needy people. They can get clothing for themselves and their children,” notes Mrs. Woodmansee. Operating hours at SACKS are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and starting Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about SACKS, call 368-6186 or go online at

As evidence of its longstanding work over the decades, the Auxiliary donated more than $67,000 to BRMC last year. The Auxiliary also has pledged $300,000 toward BRMC’s “Building the Future” capital campaign. This campaign, now in its third year through the Bradford Hospital Foundation, has raised $5 million toward its $6 million goal.

'Humble Bob' Wins Chili Crown

A man nicknamed "Humble Bob" sucked down 11 and a half pounds of chili-spaghetti in about 10 minutes to claim victory in an Ohio eating contest. Bob Shoudt of Philadelphia won $2,500 at the inaugural Skyline Chili Spaghetti eat-off Monday at Kings Island amusement park. "Humble Bob" is ranked No. 5 by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Bail Me Out of Jail!

I'm doing the MDA Lockup again this year. It's September 24 at the Masonic Center on South Avenue, and I'd really appreciate any donation you could give to help "Jerry's Kids" -- and to help find cures.

Go HERE to donate. Or, you can send it to me at 1490 St. Francis Drive, Bradford, PA, 16701; or stop in and give it to me in person.

Thanks in advance!!

Mount Jewett Man Seriously Hurt

A Mount Jewett man is in Hamot Medical Center with serious injuries following a two-vehicle accident last night on Route 6 about a mile east of Kane. Police say a pickup truck towing a flatbed trailer crossed the road and the trailer hit a car driven by 59-year-old Dale Walker of Mount Jewett. Walker was trapped in the car and had to be extricated by members of the Kane Volunteer Fire Department. He was flown to Hamot by medical helicopter. The driver of the pickup, David Wahlberg of Kane, wasn't hurt. A passenger in Walker's vehicle, Jeremy Wertz of Mount Jewett, suffered unspecified injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

In Case You Missed It ...

08/31/08 - Couple Charged with Welfare Fraud
An Allegany couple is accused of welfare fraud and grand larceny for stealing more than $3,000 from the Department of Social Services. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say Dennis and Colette Harrison of Pumpkin Hollow Road fraudulently obtained the money between September of 2005 and November of 2006. They're scheduled to appear in court on September 16.

08/31/08 - Bike Stolen From Elk County Riders Club
Someone broke into the Elk County Riders building in Fox Township and stole a motorcycle. Police say the person pried up a garage door, causing the sliding door lock to break and spring out of the door track. Once inside the building, the burglar got on a motorcycle belonging to Larry Anders of Kersey and drove away on it.

08/31/08 - Theft of Snacks, Money in Allegany
Someone broke into the Frito-Lay warehouse in Allegany and made off with a bag of empty pop bottles, $8 in loose change and $200 to $300 worth of Frito-Lay products. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department.

08/31/08 - Rew Man Hurt in Motorcycle Crash
A Rew man was hurt when he was thrown from his motorcycle while driving on Route 6 Saturday night. Police say the bike driven by 53-year-old Mark Caldwell went out of control while rounding a curve, left the road and hit an embankment. Caldwell was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center fro treatment of his injuries.

09/01/08 - Man Hurt When Van Hits Manure Spreader
A 70-year-old Mayville man had to be taken to the hospital after his vehicle hit a manure spreader on Plank Road in Chautauqua Sunday night. Sheriff's deputies say 55-year-old Andrew White was driving the tractor with the manure spreader attached, when a van driven by Richard Westpfahl hit the back of the spreader. He says he didn't see the back lights on the tractor. Westpfahl was taken to Westfield hospital for treatment of back pain. White wasn't hurt. Deputies say charges may be pending.

Escaped Inmate Captured

The escaped Chautauqua County Jail inmate who drove away in a county-owned vehicle last week has been captured in West Virginia. 24-year-old Lucas Hull was picked up at about 10 o'clock last night close to the Virginia/West Virginia border near Roanoke, Virginia. Hull was on supervised work release at Chautauqua County's Ellery Landfill on August 26 when he stole a county-owned dump truck that had the keys in it. He was originally serving time for possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Additional details just released: Troopers found Hull hiding in the attic of his uncle's home in Neola. Police were searching the area after they found a stolen SUV with Pennsylvania plates.

Monday, September 1, 2008

PA Popular for UFOs

It's not a matter of if, but when, for UFO tracker John Ventre.

And if you believe his stats, the little green men -- or whatever -- will be here soon.

Here could even be Western Pennsylvania.

For the full story, go to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

SBU Program Re-Cycles Old Bikes

Fourteen brown and white bicycles will pop up across the St. Bonaventure University campus this weekend as organizers roll out the Bona Re-Cycles bike share program.

The bikes, creatively and distinctively painted in Bonaventure colors, will be parked in University bike racks and are available to any campus community member who wants to pedal instead of hoof it across campus.

Bona Re-Cycles is a “completely grass roots effort,” said Nancy Casey, associate professor of education. “The idea was hatched one day last fall when a bunch of us were riding our bikes. We had some conversations and just decided to try it.”

The idea is not new, said Casey. Bike share programs have sprung up on college campuses and in cities across the U.S. The time was right to try it at Bona’s.

The call for used bicycles went out to students, faculty and staff. Of the 20 two-wheelers that came in, 14 have been made road worthy while the remainder wait for needed repairs. The bikes were painted by students as a Welcome Days activity at the start of the semester.

“We had 50 students come out to help,” said Casey. “They can’t wait to ride them.”

Participation in the program couldn’t be easier. Need a bike? See a bike? Take it. Just remember to park it in a University rack when you’re done with it so someone else can use it. There’s no fee, no form to fill out – and no guarantee that the bike you borrowed to get to your class in Plassmann Hall on time will be waiting for you when class is over. “That’s the serendipity of it,” said Casey. “Hey, what the heck! You have to have a little fun in life.”

The Bona Re-Cycles program is so new that there is no formal overseeing organization, just Casey and a handful of good-intentioned University faculty and staff. “We’re working to get a group together to really guide this,” said Casey, adding it could become an organization chartered through Student Government.

Presently, she is working with Philip Winger, associate vice president for facilities, and others to secure more bike racks for placement around campus. Donations of bikes in working order are being accepted, and those who know something about bicycle repair are invited to volunteer their services.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of students with bicycles on campus this year, said Casey, a sign, perhaps, that high gas prices and go-green movements are changing behavior.

“I think the time is right for this kind of thing,” said Casey. “We’ve had a terrific response from students and faculty. And with Bona Re-Cycles, students who don’t have bikes can get in the riding habit, too.”

Anyone interested in helping out with Bona Re-Cycles or who has questions about the program may e-mail Casey at

(In the photo, courtesy of St. Bonaventure University, Danielle Butler, a freshman psychology major from Orangeburg, N.Y., paints one of the bikes being used in the Bona Re-Cycles program.)

Fumo 'Anxious' As Trial Date Nears

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With his federal corruption trial set to start in just over a week, a powerful state legislator said he is "anxious" and has no way of knowing if he'll win or lose.

State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, who has twice before beaten corruption charges, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he has never been one to "throw in the towel."

For the full story, go to

#11 We ALL Win ...

when people who can't afford food, get what they need from the YWCA food pantry.

Drug Bust in Bradford

Three Buffalo residents are in McKean County Jail after a drug bust at the Best Western Bradford Inn.

Bradford City Police Emergency Response Team, Bradford City Street Crimes Unit, McKean County Drug Task Force and Foster and Bradford township police executed the search warrant on room 108 at the motel after confidential informants bought crack cocaine in the room twice.

Officers with the emergency response team had to force their way into the room through a window because the suspects dead-bolted the steel exterior door. Once inside officers located money, crack cocaine packaged for sale, marijuana and digital scales.

Thomas Charles Patton III, Kesha Burney and Sophia Patton were all charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to deliver and sent to jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail each.

In Case You Missed It ...

08/30/08 - Woman Allegedly Stole from Employer
An Olean woman has been charged with grand larceny after being accused of stealing from her employer. 25-year-old Michelle Cowles allegedly stole more than $2,000 from Tops Market while she worked there. The alleged incidents started in May.

08/30/08 - Man Hurt in Beauty School Fire
A maintenance worker at the Intercontinental School of Beauty in Olean was hurt during in a fire Friday afternoon at the school. Olean firefighters say the man opened an electrical box and there was an explosion. The man, who was not identified, was injured but did not go to the hospital. The school was evacuated and firemen put out the blaze in about half an hour. National Grid disconnected the power. Only minor damage was done to the building, but the school will remain closed until the electrical issue is resolved.

08/30/08 - Woman Sentenced to State Prison
A Tidioute woman will spend up to 9 years in state prison for stealing from her employer – again. 43-year-old Wendy Czar stole more than $70,000 from Titusville Honing while she worked as a clerk there between February of 2007 and October. Czar was convicted in 2002 of stealing more than $220,000 from the U.S. Forest Service, where she worked between May 1997 and September 2000. She served 13 months in federal prison.

08/30/08 - Corry Man Faces 73 Years in Prison
A Corry man faces up to 73 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple child-molestation charges. 29-year-old George Eberle admitted he repeatedly had sexual contact with a girl when she was 11 and 12 years old in 2003 and 2004 in a Corry home. Eberle was on probation for a federal child-pornography conviction when he walked into the Corry police station in April and admitted he had sex with the child. Sentencing is scheduled for November 26.

08/31/08 - Copper Stolen During Burglary
Police are investigating a burglary at home on Route 6 in Kanesholm. They say someone entered the building owned by Douglas Stewart of Brockway through an unlocked window in the kitchen area and turned off the water in the house. The burglar then removed copper pipe and fittings from various locations. Police say the person did extensive damage to the water system and tore down two heating ducts during the burglary.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fatal Crash in Potter County

An Austin man is dead following a two-vehicle accident Saturday night on Route 872 a mile south of First Fork Road.

19-year-old Matthew Vossler was a passenger in a car driven by a 17-year-old boy from Austin that crossed the centerline and was hit by a pickup truck driven by 60-year-0ld Dana Burgett of Austin.

Vossler was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was flown to Altoona for treatment of his injuries.

Burgett refused treatment at the scene.

Both vehicles were severely damaged.