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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Two Dead Babies

Two teenagers have been turned over to juvenile authorities after the remains of their stillborn baby were found buried in a central Pennsylvania yard. Investigators said Friday that a worker in Lebanon found the remains in June while digging holes for a playground. The teens turned themselves in after they heard about the investigation. Authorities say the 15-year-old girl was seven months pregnant when she gave birth in her home in April 2007. Police say her 14-year-old boyfriend buried the stillborn child in the back yard of an apartment house.

Also on Friday, a man looking for empty pop cans found the body of a newborn baby in a shoebox inside a garbage tote near Buffalo's Botanical Gardens. Police say the discovery was made around 1 o'clock Friday afternoon. They're waiting for autopsy results before releasing further information.

Snyder Wins Seneca Caucuses

Barry Snyder Jr., who previously served three terms as the President of the Seneca Nation, won the Seneca Party's nomination to seek a fourth term in Friday's caucuses. Snyder is expected to win the presidency in the Nation's general election on Nov. 4, although independent candidates could challenge him. Snyder would be replacing Maurice John, who was elected president in 2006. John was defeated Friday in his bid for treasurer by Jackie Bowen who was endorsed by Tribal Council Chairman Richard Nephew and two other council incumbents.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Senators: Turnpike Lease is Dead

The state senate's top two leaders say the proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike is dead.

Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi say the proposal is a bad deal for Pennsylvania and there's no support for it in the Legislature.

Governor Ed Rendell has been calling for legislative action on the lease after federal regulators rejected a competing plan to raise transportation dollars by tolling Interstate 80.

73 Permits Issued Monday Alone

The State Department of Environmental Protection has issued 73 permits Monday that will allow drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The permits include enhanced protection for water resources, which DEP says is important because the drilling process produces contaminated water as a byproduct.

DEP's Tom Rathbun says after the companies drill down 5,000 to 8,000 feet, they drill horizontally, then they take water mixed with sand, and other proponents, and blast it out through the shale.

Rathbun says right now most of the activity is purchasing and leasing of mineral rights and "very few of the wells are online and producing."

In this area, 2 permits each were issued for McKean, Potter and Elk counties on Monday. (DEP's Map of All Drilling Permits IssuedPDF)

Rathbun says the permits "regulate how a drilling company can go into an area and prepare a site for drilling."

DEP wants to "make sure (they) have consistent rules in place statewide so the drilling companies know exactly what's expected of them," he says.

"If they find natural gas in the quantities they expect to find it," Rathbun says, "we expect this to really take off. There are going to be a lot of drilling permit applications and a lot of wells being drilled."

Rathbun says natural gas drilling could lead to millions of dollars in new investments, lower energy prices, and less pollution overall with an increased supply of cleaner-burning fuel.

Kartesz May Return to McKean Co.

Former Bradford landlord Frank Kartesz II may be coming back to McKean County.

Kartesz was sentenced Thursday to 3 years and 7 months in federal prison for his part in a mortgage-fraud scheme, and his lawyer is recommending that Kartesz be sent to FCI-McKean.

Kartesz, who is originally from Smethport, is free on his own recognizance and will report to federal authorities at a later date.

Kartesz and his business partners bought run-down houses and sold them at inflated prices. The government says the victims lost more than $1 million.

New Season Opens at QCA

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University has opened an exciting new season of exhibitions, including the re-installation of the University’s permanent collection as part of the University’s ongoing sesquicentennial celebration.

Re-installation of the permanent collection in the Quick Center’s Dresser Gallery refocuses attention on the most important works of the collection and some new additions. Among the new works are a set of 18th century baroque paintings of Franciscan saints from Fulda, Germany, on loan to the University from the Holy Name Province; and a recently restored painting of the University’s founders, Nicholas and Mary Devereux.

In addition, the gallery exhibition includes a reredoes, a panel that has been painted to be used on an altar or as a screen behind an altar. The work, on loan from St. John Grace Episcopal Church of Buffalo, is by Hildreth Meiére. She will be the subject of a large exhibition at the Quick Center in 2009-10.

The Quick Center is further celebrating the University’s anniversary with the first of three small exhibitions that will take place throughout the season. The first in the series, “1858,” provides a historical reference for the establishment of St. Bonaventure. Visitors will learn about local, national and world events that took place in the year of the University’s founding.

This year’s focus exhibition, “Art of Sky, Art of Earth: Maya Cosmic Imagery,” features the Quick Center’s collection of Maya ceramics, given to the University in 1982. The collection has been cleaned and restored by conservators and photographed for the Maya Vase database. Dr. Stephen Whittington of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University was curator for this exhibition, which includes 11 artifacts on loan from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Sharing the large gallery space with the Maya ceramics is “Land and Spirit Revisited,” an exhibition that features photogravure prints by Edward Sheriff Curtis taken between 1900 and 1920. These photographs feature Native Americans of the western states, including the Plains, Southwest and Eskimo Indians. Also on exhibition is the University’s collection of Southwest pottery and rugs. Both of these exhibitions are open through June 14, 2009.

“Focus Fiber” is a contemporary fiber art exhibition that is organized by the Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art. First shown at the Cleveland State University Art Gallery, this juried show includes works from artists in eight states. The exhibition will be open until Nov. 2, 2008.

Last year’s focus exhibition, “African Odyssey: the Arts and Cultures of a Continent,” returns on a smaller scale. This popular exhibition brings together the art and material culture of Africa.

Two exhibitions that opened during the summer months continue:

· “Gary Bukovnik: Works in Bloom,” featuring the work of the contemporary watercolorist, runs until Sept. 28;

· “David K. Gordon: Over My Head, Below My Feet” is an exhibition that includes one of the oldest formats for making art, the woodblock print, and one of the newest, iPhone photographs. This exhibit has been extended to Nov. 30.

The Quick Center has developed a series of educational programming to accompany this season’s exhibitions for area schoolchildren. Teachers and those providing programming for children are encouraged to visit the Quick Center’s Web site at To book tours of the galleries or for more information, call (716) 375-2494.

The Quick Center at St. Bonaventure University is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. There is no charge.

Butler County Man Convicted

A jury has convicted a Butler County man for shooting and killing his wife and her boyfriend.

51-year-old James Borchert shot 49-year-old Lonnie Schwab Sr. of Meadville, then shot his 42-year-old wife Esther.

Borchert confessed to the August 2007 killings, but later changed his story, saying he killed his wife and Schwab in self-defense, not because of her infidelity. The Borcherts had been married for 24 years.

Borchert has no previous criminal record and will be sentenced October 14.

200 Pot Plants Confiscated

State Police in Chautauqua County have confiscated more than 200 marijuana plants worth more than $400,000 dollars. Police say the eradication effort is the result of several investigations this year and includes tips provided by area residents. Police explained that although they found the plants, making a case against someone is complicated because they're usually grown in remote areas without the landowners' knowledge. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Forest Rangers, State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department, Town Of Ellicott Police Department and the Lakewood/Busti Police Department were also involved in the investigation. Troopers say the New York State Police Aviation Unit and the New York State Mobile Response Team supported their efforts.
(Photo Courtesy of the New York State Police)

United Way at 20% of Goal

After just over one month of active solicitations, representatives of the United Way of the Bradford Area have announced that 20% of the $375,000 goal has been raised.

“We again had quite a few leadership donors and corporations which acted as our pace-setters,” says Kristen Luther, “with special recognition going to Dresser Piping Specialties for their early confirmation.”

Although the local small businesses have not officially been solicited, Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis says one new business has acted as the pace-setter for that division.

“Bradford Crematory will be the leader for the small businesses this year, so thank you to Greg Buckner for his early support.”

One of the largest aspects of the annual United Way appeal is the employee presentations, which will be in full swing in the coming weeks.

“We’ve already had the privilege of speaking with the employees of the School District, and now we’re looking forward to seeing the familiar faces and meeting the new employees at the other businesses and corporations which welcome us year after year,” says Luther.

Although not denying that current economic conditions may make it harder for some to contribute at their current level, the UWBA Board of Directors, acting as this year’s campaign chair(s), remains optimistic about not only the response of the local community, but the impact that will be made with that generosity.

“Of course we’re not blind to what’s going on around us,” says Board President Bob Marasco, “but we also know how compassionate and giving of a community we live in. We’re never surprised by the out pouring of support (for those in need) which comes from so many.

“We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough for those who give.”

Although enthusiastic and optimistic, there is still a lot of work to be done before the official close of the campaign on December 15th.

“We will be approaching the remaining divisions and community members who have yet to be asked to contribute,” says Davis. “And we are preparing for our second annual soup lunch, as well as the sale of the United Way cookbook.”

The soup lunch is scheduled for Friday, October 17 and will feature four varieties for $5 each. Orders are available for pick-up or delivery, and can be placed by contacting Davis at the United Way office.

Also, the United Way Board of Directors is currently in the process of reviewing the Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) submitted by local agencies to receive United Way funding in the year 2009.

“A lot of credit needs to be given to both our Board and the agencies which have applied for funding,” says Luther. “This is not an easy task by either party, but both are working for the ‘common good,’ so we anticipate great outcomes.”

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

Helicopter Landing

This MercyFlight helicopter kicks up some dust while landing in the Bradford Mall parking lot Friday afternoon. Emergency responders tell us the patient suffered an illness at home.

Race is On for Peterson's Seat

MANSFIELD, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District spans hundreds of miles of farmland, forests and small towns across the state's northern tier. It's in the heart of the commonwealth's reliably Republican "T," a region where Democrats have a tough time competing in congressional races.

Democrat Mark McCracken wants to be the exception.

Rep. John Peterson, a Republican, is retiring at the end of this term, his sixth. Sensing an opening, Democrats are riding high hopes that presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign could influence down-ticket races.

For the full story, go to

Remember, the Bradford, Kane and Smethport chambers of commerce are hosting a candidates forum -- including McCracken, Thompson and Fryman -- on October 2 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Billions of Dollars Possible

TOWANDA – A state Department of Environmental Protection official told a legislative panel today that developing the natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation could generate billions of dollars in new economic investments for commonwealth citizens and communities, but doing so must include the protection of the state’s environment.

Robert Yowell, director of DEP’s Northcentral Regional Office, testified before the state House Republican Policy Committee on the economic and environmental issues associated with drilling in the 5,000- to 8,000-foot deep geologic formation.

“The economic potential from the Marcellus Shale could be a boon to Pennsylvania communities, particularly regions in the north central and northeastern parts of the state that have not traditionally seen much gas well drilling development,” said Yowell. “The department has fielded many calls over the past year from landowners, farmers, local governments, environmental organizations and sportsmen’s groups who have been concerned about how we intend to facilitate the tremendous economic opportunities before us while protecting our land and water.

“There is no question that the Marcellus Shale holds tremendous potential, but unless it is managed properly, this development can create serious problems that could last for years or be irreversible. We’re committed to having procedures in place that protect our natural resources.”

Yowell explained that DEP has worked with the Susquehanna and Delaware river basin commissions and the oil and gas industry to create a consistent statewide application process for Marcellus Shale drilling permits that requires gas well operators to better protect water resources.

Operators must provide additional information as part of the permitting process, including the sources and locations of water to be used in the drilling process, anticipated impacts of drilling on water resources, and locations of facilities where drilling fluids will be taken for treatment and disposal.

Since Aug. 15, DEP has issued 73 permits containing the enhanced water management requirements to companies seeking to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies much of Pennsylvania and portions of New York and West Virginia. It is estimated to hold as much as 50 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

Penn State University estimates the economic value of the Marcellus Shale formation at $1 trillion and that for every $1 billion in royalties paid to Pennsylvania residents, nearly 8,000 new jobs will be created each year over the next three years.

While it has long been considered prohibitively expensive to access the natural gas contained within the Marcellus Shale, recent advances in drilling technology and rising natural gas prices have attracted new interest in this previously untapped formation.

Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale requires a drilling process known as horizontal drilling, which uses far greater amounts of water than traditional natural gas exploration. This water can originate from various sources including municipal suppliers or streams. Concerns about the effects of large water withdrawals on streams and aquifers have prompted the need to regulate planned withdrawals at drilling operations.

“Governor Rendell recognizes this economic potential and has made facilitating this development in a manner that is environmentally sound one of his top priorities,” said Yowell. “A small number of wells have begun production, and as the natural gas industry completes construction of pipelines and infrastructure, we can expect exploration and drilling activity to increase dramatically. While the department is committed to providing the industry with prompt reviews and timely decisions on all permit applications that meet our regulations, we are especially mindful of the consequences these operations could have on the state’s natural resources and are working aggressively to ensure no adverse consequences result from drilling activities.”

DEP has created a special webpage specific to the Marcellus Shale that features resources for industry and information on drilling questions for landowners and the general public, which is available at, keyword: Oil and Gas, then click on “Marcellus Page.”

Hoden Brought Back to Warren Co.

The Sheffield teenager charged with attacking a 77-year-old woman last year is back in Warren County.

Yesterday, Jeremy Hoden was brought back from Florida, where he had been in prison for assaulting a police officer and running from authorities.

He fled to Florida after authorities say he broke into Irene Rice's home, beat her up, then stole money and her car.

Hoden is in Warren County Jail on $250,000 bail. District Attorney Ross McKeirnan says they will prosecute him as an adult.

Church, Borough in Dispute

A Brookville Church is involved in a dispute with borough officials.

Earlier this summer, the First Apostles Doctrine Church allowed several homeless people to move into their parsonage. The borough found out and took the church to court over a violation of the borough's zoning code.

A district judge ruled against the church and ordered all the homeless people to move out. But borough officials say people are still living there.

Church officials say a police officer climbed through a window to see what was happening inside, but police say that's not true.

The church is appealing the court's decision.

Jamestown Man Dies in I-90 Crash

A Jamestown man is dead after a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 90 last night.

State police say a rig driven by 55-year-old Richard M. Peelman was between the Girard and Fairview exits about 7 p.m. when his vehicle slammed into the back of another rig that had stopped for traffic on the highway.

The cab and front end of the truck were incinerated.

The driver of the other truck, 51-year-old Fremiet Donoso, of Ontario, was taken by ambulance to Hamot Medical Center with minor injuries.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SBU's Oxford Program

Aesthetics professor Dr. Clemena Antonova instructs a small group of St. Bonaventure students during a summer class at Oxford’s Trinity College. From left are Joel Wilson, Amanda Long, Eric Krupka, Dr. Antonova and Zbigniew Pawlowski.

By Amanda Tourot
SBU ’10

Trinity College, one of Oxford University’s 39 independently run colleges, transformed study for St. Bonaventure University students this summer as the Francis E. Kelley Oxford program celebrated its 21st year with an exciting move.

Program director Br. Basil Valente, O.F.M., began the search for new academic possibilities at Oxford nearly four years ago. His focus led him to Trinity College. Why make the move from Somerville College, home of the program for years, to Trinity? According to Valente, Trinity College went out of its way.

“Trinity College wants St. Bonaventure there,” Valente said.

Valente made the decision to switch locations last summer during the Francis E. Kelley Oxford program’s 20th anniversary. Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., President of St. Bonaventure, and the Board of Trustees helped during the transition. This summer, the 27 St. Bonaventure students joined those from schools such as Georgetown, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Georgia, Valente said.

Tim Condello, a senior sociology major, experienced the change, participating in the program for the past two years. He recently served as the Oxford student assistant for St. Bonaventure’s campus. Condello hopes to participate again in summer 2009.

“It’s older and more prestigious,” Condello said of Trinity. “It offers a much better cultural environment.”

Valente admits he was impressed by Trinity’s 24-hour library access, Internet capability and amount of wireless technology.

“We were given a variety of learning venues,” Valente said.

Although the central location of the program changed, classes and events remained true to the tradition of a summer in Oxford. During the six-week long program that runs July and August, St. Bonaventure students take either two or three classes that have an emphasis on British lifestyle and culture. A class comprises seven or more students and their tutor in an intimate, seminar-style setting. However, a number of these classroom settings appear more like a living room area than a classroom at Bonaventure. Grades are based on the papers and tests assigned by individual tutors, and then transferred to each student’s transcripts.

Investments, World Views, International Political Economy, Oral and Written Communication, Advanced Composition, Modern Ireland (1603-present), Arts and Literature, Shakespeare, Inquiry of the Natural World, and Music Appreciation were among the classes offered to St. Bonaventure students. The director may add classes year to year depending on student interest.

“It’s all student driven based on student degree audits,” Valente said.

Condello chose to partake in British and American Media and Culture as well as International Business (Marketing).

Anne Dlugosz, a senior and philosophy major, spent her first time in Oxford studying Shakespeare and literature. She also tackled the “Natty World” class, what Bonaventure students call Inquiry in the Natural World.

“I enjoyed both classes and had somewhat of a science background,” Dlugosz said. “I was one of the few people who took biology before.” She credits this past knowledge to earning some of the highest grades in the program.

In addition to classes, students live on the Oxford campus and have the opportunity to attend high tea, non-credit based lectures, formal banquets and group events. Day trips to London, the Globe Theatre, Stonehenge, Oxford and Windsor castles, outdoor Shakespeare performances such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and a tour of Buckingham Palace added to the cultural experience.

“There is also a certain block of time you can go to another country,” Condello said. He chose Paris, France. Other students this past summer chose to travel to Munich, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Galway, Ireland; and Prague, Czech Republic, during their four-day weekend of personal travel.

“I went to Munich with six other people,” Dlugosz said, “and it was amazing.” They had two full days to explore. She and a friend also went to the Bavarian region and saw the Alps.

Another positive change in the program was an addition to Valente’s directorial staff, counselor Cathi Beatty. As associate director alongside Fr. Daniel Dwyer, O.F.M., Beatty acted as a resource for students.

“Br. Basil thought it was a good idea to have a counselor on the directorial staff,” Beatty said.

Students sat down with Beatty for personal interviews last semester. She was then able to pinpoint and address the issues that individual students were facing and may possibly face during their time abroad. Beatty put together a booklet for students, meeting with the group beforehand, and was available in Oxford. She describes her involvement in the summer 2008 session as a positive, proactive step.

The summer 2009 schedule has been set, and Trinity College will again be home to the program’s students. For an application or more information on the 2009 Francis E. Kelley Oxford program, visit or e-mail Valente at, Beatty at, or Oxford student assistant Shannon Holfoth at

Horne Picks Alattar to Sing at UPB

Award-winning soprano Hanan Alattar, who was handpicked by internationally known opera star and Bradford native Marilyn Horne to sing in her hometown, will perform a recital at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Alattar, hailed as “a singer of obvious promise” by the Denver Post, will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Tickets for the concert, which was made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Horne Foundation, are $6 for the public; students are free.

For more information on tickets, contact the Bromeley Family Theater Box Office at 814-362-5113.

In addition to her recital, Alattar will be in residence at Bradford area schools from Sept. 23-26.

“We are so fortunate to have Hanan Alattar do her outreach residency in Bradford,” said Randy Mayes, Pitt-Bradford’s director of arts programming. “The Marilyn Horne Foundation can send artists almost anywhere since many cities vie for the honor of working with Marilyn’s hand-chosen singers, but we always seem to wind up with the best.

“Hanan Alattar is in that mold. If her success at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall wasn’t enough, Alattar just finished a stellar performance at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony. Music lovers around Bradford have the chance to hear her at a fraction of the cost of what music fans in the Chicago area paid, and I hope they will take advantage of it.”

Romainne Harrod, a sophomore English major from Peoria, Ariz., took in last year’s recital by soprano Elaine Alvarez despite the fact that she is not familiar with opera.

“It was amazing,” Harrod said. “She was good. Not many people get to see an opera singer like that.”

At her Bradford recital, Alattar, who is of Lebanese descent and a native of Texas, will perform selections by some of the classical composers – Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré. However, she will also perform more contemporary songs, such as “Sure on This Shining Night,” Samuel Barber’s most popular vocal song; and “Song for a Friend” by Michael Gonzales.

She has performed with many symphonies in addition to the Chicago Symphony, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony in Miami Beach Fla. She also sang at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and has also performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall last season.

Alattar’s harshest critique came years ago when she was a child. One of her elementary school teachers told her not to sing because her voice was too loud. However, since then, her performances have gotten rave reviews.

The Denver Post, in addition to calling her a singer of obvious promise, said, “Miss Alattar’s musical gifts combined with her sultry physical beauty create a compelling presence on the opera and concert stage.”

Most recently, when she performed at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony in August, the Chicago Tribune said she performed “with vibrant power and fearless coloratura gymnastics.”

Alattar has received several awards, including a Sullivan Foundation Award from The William Matheus Sullivan Music Foundation Inc., a New York foundation that presents $10,000 awards to young gifted singers in the early stages of their careers to be used for career-related purposes.

She was a finalist in The Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers sponsored by the Houston Grand Opera, a national competition for aspiring singers; and was the New Horizon Scholar at the Aspen Music Festival, where she won the 2002 Aspen Concerto Competition. She was also invited to participate in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Young Artist Program in seasons 2002 and 2003.

Alattar is a graduate of the University of Texas and holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, which she attended on a full scholarship.

She'll be the guest on WESB's LiveLine at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Spanish Brass at Bona's QCA

Friends of Good Music, in association with The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, will open its 2008-09 concert season with the award-winning group Spanish Brass at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the The Quick Center.

This marks the start of Friends of Good Music’s 27th concert season and the fourth season in partnership with The Quick Center.

Since winning the Narbonne International Brass Quintet Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, Spanish Brass has recorded more than a dozen CDs and given hundreds of concerts across the globe. Their credits include the Festival de Musique de Radio France, the Great American Brass Band Festival, New York Brass Conference, Granada International Festival, Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Cheju Summer Festival (Korea), Schleswig-Holstein Festival (Germany), Kalavrita Festival (Greece), Merano Brass Festival (Italy), Festival de Inverno de Brasilia, and countless others.

The versatile and creative programming of Spanish Brass breaks the boundaries between pop, classical, Latin and traditional music. Besides the evocative music of Spain, their repertoire includes Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Chick Corea, Antŏnio Carlos Jobim, Paquito D’Rivera – not to mention Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces and pieces written especially for them by some of the world’s leading contemporary composers.

This concert is being presented to celebrate Hispanic History Month, said Joseph A. LoSchiavo, associate vice president and executive director of The Quick Center.

“This season we planned exhibitions and performances that illustrate not only the great diversity in world cultures but also the synergy they create when they interact,” said LoSchiavo. “Contemporary Latin American culture carries the heritage of the Maya and other native peoples together with a European heritage from Spain. We hope our audience will take the opportunity to experience a bit of

both worlds by coming early to view ‘Art of Sky, Art of Earth: Maya Cosmic Imagery,’ now on view in the Kenney Gallery, before hearing the great Spanish Brass.”

This performance is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts. Subscription tickets for the entire season are still available. For subscriptions, single tickets and information, call The Quick Center for the Arts at (716) 375-2494.

For each Friends of Good Music performance, the center will open its galleries one hour before show time and they will remain open throughout the intermission. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Members of Spanish Brass are (from left) Indalcio Bonet Manrique, trombone; Carlos Beneto Grau, trumpet; Manolo Perez Ortega, horn; Juanjo Serna Salvador, trumpet; and Sergio Finca Quiros, tuba.
(Photo Courtesy of St. Bonaventure University)

Prof Writes About Eldred, WWII

Eldred, Pa., and its role in World War II is getting a little national attention this fall thanks to the work of a St. Bonaventure University journalism professor.

The October 2008 issue of World War II in America magazine features an article called “A Pennsylvania War Town” written by Chris Mackowski, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication.

Eldred is a town of 900 residents just 15 miles southeast of St. Bonaventure University across the state line. During World War II, Eldred was the site of bomb-making factories for the English and, later, American armies.

Today, the town is home to the Eldred World War II Museum.

Mackowski, who lived in Eldred and graduated from Otto-Eldred High School in 1987, called the museum, “one of our region’s great little gems.”

The article is the second piece by Mackowski that has appeared in national magazines since the summer. The July/August issue of Civil War Historian magazine featured a six-page story Mackowski wrote on the 2nd South Carolina String Band, an eight-member group of Civil War reenactors who double as a camp band. Their repertoire consists of the Civil War-era music soldiers would have listened to around the campfires.

Mackowski has taught at St. Bonaventure since the fall of 2000.

80 Layoffs at Zippo

Zippo laid off 80 employees Thursday in response to a number of corporate initiatives that have resulted in improved efficiencies and operating capabilities.

Zippo recently offered an Early Retirement Program to a number of employees. Depending on the decisions of those employees, some who were laid off may be recalled.

Company President Greg Booth says Zippo continues to actively pursue new business opportunities and new products that may lead to increased staffing in the future.

Zippo News Release (doc)

Bradford Man Says He's Innocent

A Bradford man who is scheduled to go on trial next week for robbing the Crosby Mart in Lewis Run says he's innocent, and says evidence that would clear him is being suppressed.

In a statement provided to local media, Dennis Fuino says he was stopped by Bradford City Police 20 minutes after the robbery, and was not wearing the clothes similar to those that eyewitnesses described the robber as wearing.

He was subsequently arrested and has been in jail since then. The Mini Mart has been robbed three more times since Fuino has been incarcerated.

Fuino's family also provided police reports showing where the suspect left fingerprints during the robbery. None of those prints match Fuino's. A letter sent from an assistant district attorney to Fuino's attorney says, "Mr. Fuino's prints were not found among the fingerprints sent to the lab. The Commonwealth does not intend to offer fingerprint evidence at trial."

Bradford-Online has this story, too, complete with the documents that were provided to local media. You can see them HERE.

Kartesz Gets 3 Years in Prison

A former Bradford landlord has been sentenced to three years and seven months in federal prison for his role in a widespread Erie mortgage-fraud scheme.

39-year-old Frank Kartesz II was also fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution to victims.

Kartesz pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in March, and became the second person to receive prison time in the case. 60-year-old Robert Dodsworth was sentenced in March to six years and four months in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges. Three others also face charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Erie says Kartesz was part of a scheme in which he and others bought run-down houses and sold them at inflated prices.

The government says the victims lost more than $1 million.

Knoll Leaves Sessions Early

After-effects from a round of cancer treatment have caused tiredness and forced Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll to leave Senate sessions early twice this week.

Knoll, 77, disclosed last month that she is being treated for neuroendocrine illness, and has been receiving chemotherapy.

She presided over a Senate session Wednesday, but left when lengthy closed political caucuses dragged on for most of the afternoon. She was there again this morning, but left before the full session had ended.

She went back to the lieutenant governor's official residence at Fort Indiantown Gap.

She will be at work next week when the Senate resumes work, according to her aide, Salvatore Sirabella.

In her absence, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati has been presiding over the Senate.

2-Year-Old Gets Sick from Cocaine

A woman will spend nearly three years in prison for making a 2-year-old boy sick with secondhand smoke from crack cocaine. Forty-five-year-old Mary Lou Makley of Beaver pleaded guilty to simple assault in the secondhand smoke case, plus unrelated theft and forgery charges. Police say Makley had the mother's permission to take the boy shopping when she stopped at a friend's house in Aliquippa and smoked crack near the boy. Police say the boy's mother took him to the hospital when he complained of stomach pains. His blood tested positive for cocaine. The boy has recovered.

Gas Well Fire Near State College

A gas well fire about 40 miles north of State College has forced officials to restrict air traffic in the area and prompted police to ask sightseers to stay away.

Officials say the fire is sending flames above treetops, and the fire could burn for as long as two weeks.

Crews are working to plug the well at Dominion Transmission. The fire was discovered on Sunday and a Texas firefighting crew arrived on Monday. The well-fire experts have built a chimney to prevent the flare from spreading to the woods and protect workers at the site.

State police say anyone caught trespassing in the area will be arrested and prosecuted.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary flight restriction within 3 nautical miles of the site for anything below 10,000 feet.

Bradford Oil Story on CNN

(CNN) -- The political discussion about solving America's energy crisis is focused on offshore drilling and renewable energy, but scattered throughout the country are thousands of small oil wells called stripper wells.

Many of them are family owned and these small, independent operators say they could also be part of the energy solution. Forgotten about and misunderstood, many small operators say most people don't even know they exist.

"That's part of our message -- to let the public realize we are not the Exxons and the Mobils," said Fred Fesenmyer of Minard Run Oil, a Bradford, Pennsylvania, company that has been in his family for six generations. "I think we're a huge part of the solution."

For the full story, go to

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Janitor Steals from US Courthouse

A Pittsburgh man has been sentenced to three years' probation for stealing items from the US Courthouse while he was working for a company that cleans the building. Guy Cizaukas stole cash and prescription medication from multiple locations in the courthouse including the United States Marshall Service and a judge's chambers. Cizauskas was caught on video surveillance putting on rubber gloves and stealing money from a cashbox designated for Christmas party funds. Before imposing the sentence, the judge said Cizaukas' behavior was driven by his heroin addiction and he had no prior criminal convictions.

Warren Co. Couple Dies After Fire

A Warren County couple is dead following a fire Monday morning at their home. 25-year-old Derrick Dean and his 19-year-old wife Ashley were taken by Mercy Flight to a Pittsburgh hospital, where they both died Tuesday night. The fire broke out Monday morning at their home in Starbrick. Investigators say the fire is not suspicious and it started in an air conditioning unit.

...And the Work Continues

Construction on the new 4,800 square foot Crosby Mart/Tim Horton's continued on Wednesday. It's expected to be finished this December. The Bradford Crosby’s/Tim Hortons will serve a full menu, including breakfast sandwiches, donuts, bagels, muffins, sandwiches, soup and an assortment of cold and hot beverages. The quick serve restaurant will also have a drive thru window and will operate 24 hours a day.

Scenes From LEAF Day

New York State Police Public Information Officer Becky Gibbons talks about police K-9 Units -- and dog safety -- to elementary school students during Pitt-Bradford's 26th LEAF (Law Enforcement Awareness and Familiarization)Day. Below, the K-9 Unit gives the students a demonstration.

If I was trying to decide if I wanted to be a state trooper, this car would seal the deal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GOP Wants House Action on Bills

Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, and other Senate Republicans, today called on the House of Representatives to pass and send to the governor seven pieces of reform legislation which passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year. Also pictured, from left, are Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and senators John Eichelberger, Mike Folmer and Jake Corman.

Among the measures are increased penalties for government officials who violate the “Sunshine Law,” the posting of government salary information on the Internet, a bonus ban for state employees, and several other measures aimed at making government more transparent.

“These are seven measures that would implement real reform and which passed the Senate with bipartisan support. I urge the House of Representatives to act on them and send them to the governor to be signed into law,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). “The Senate has implemented a host of new rules to make the legislative process more open and accountable. In that spirit, we decided not to hold a ‘lame duck’ legislative session following the November election, the aim of legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Regola (R-Westmoreland). But those rules only cover the Senate. To make lasting reforms across state government, we need the House to pass these bills.”

The seven reform bills awaiting House action are:

· Senate Bill 467 – Increases the penalty for government officials who violate the Sunshine Law. Sponsored by Sen. Gib Armstrong (R-Lancaster): “The Sunshine Law is one of the pillars of good government, guaranteeing the public the right to attend and participate in government meetings. Some notorious violations in different parts of the state proved that stronger enforcement provisions are needed to make the law more effective and bring more decision-making out of the shadows,” Senator Armstrong said.

· Senate Bill 729 – Requires the state to post salary information for state employees on an official website. Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware): “Giving the public the ability to easily review how their money is spent makes good sense. As we continue efforts to make government more open and accessible, this is an important step forward,” Senator Pileggi said.

· Senate Bill 903 – Prohibits any state agency from contracting with outside individuals or firms to do consulting work, unless the contract is reviewed by the Attorney General or is opened up to public competitive bidding. Sponsored by Sen. Jane Orie (R-Allegheny): “If there was one clear mandate in the last election, it was that the citizens of Pennsylvania demand a more open and accountable government and will not tolerate conflicts of interest designed to enrich public officials or political insiders,” Senator Orie said.

· Senate Bill 986 – Prohibits any Commonwealth agency, including the legislature and the courts, from paying a bonus to any of its employees. Sponsored by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair): “This bill establishes a very controlled pay structure in which bonuses, clearly defined in the bill, would be banned and sets forth criminal sanctions for anyone who intentionally approves or authorizes such a bonus,” Senator Eichelberger said.

· Senate Bill 1015 – Requires all paid advertising by state government to bear the following disclaimer: Paid for with Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars. Sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon): “Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on advertising by the Commonwealth. Senate Bill 1015 will help taxpayers understand the amount of advertising that is done with their money,” Senator Folmer said.

· Senate Bill 1201 – Provides stricter controls on use of Commonwealth aircraft, with information posted on a public website. Sponsored by Sen. Gib Armstrong (R-Lancaster): “Taxpayers expect us to insist on accountability measures wherever and whenever we can. In the case of the state planes, it is both easy and necessary to accomplish. When accurate records are kept, people can check to make sure that the planes are used only by authorized individuals and only for purely governmental purposes,” Senator Armstrong stated.

· Senate Bill 1499 – Restricts the use of state vehicles and requires detailed mileage logs. Sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon): “The bottom line is to make sure that every penny of every tax dollar is being used as wisely as it can, and to bring about accountability and transparency regarding this large fleet of state vehicles,” Senator Folmer said.

One of the state Senate’s first official acts of the 2007-08 legislative session was to adopt reform measures that change the way the chamber conducts business.

All roll call votes are posted on the Internet no later than 24 hours after a vote and committee votes on bills are posted within 48 hours of the vote. This allows citizens to read the bills that are being voted on and see how senators are voting. And to prevent late-night votes, session is now limited to the hours between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The new rules are part of an ongoing commitment to make state government more open and accountable to citizens. Another implemented reform: the complete transcript of every Senate debate is posted online within 45 days. Also, citizens can now search and review state contracts online and see who is lobbying the Legislature and the Governor’s Office on which issues.

Energy Advocate of the Year

Washington, DC – At a ceremony held earlier this week in the Nation’s Capital, U.S. Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, was named Energy Advocate of the Year by the Energy Advocates, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization aimed at educating the American people about the energy industry.

“Having worked diligently for the past eight years to educate both my constituents and the American public about energy and the ensuing crisis that we are weathering, it is a tremendous honor to have received this award,” said Peterson. “Affordable and reliable energy drives the world and serves as the lifeblood of our economy – the more the American people understand the energy issue, the more they realize that we need comprehensive energy reform that utilizes domestic resources, not foreign imports.”

Peterson has long advocated the need for comprehensive energy legislation that combines increased domestic energy production with serious conservation efforts and a renewed emphasis on investing in alternative energy sources.

"Congressman Peterson received the Energy Advocates Individual Award for his vision about America's energy future and for his bipartisan approach to critical energy solutions facing our nation. The Energy Advocates theme is ‘America Needs America's Energy’, and Congressman Peterson has led the effort on Capitol Hill to see that generations ahead will have a secure energy future by supporting America’s energy industry,” said Mark A. Stansberry, President of the Energy Advocates.

The Energy Advocates was established in 1974 by Oklahoma oilmen in response to the Arab Oil Embargo with the goal of promoting energy security and to correct misinformation about the energy industry. Today, the Energy Advocates are building upon the strong foundation of energy education about the oil and gas sector and promote all forms of energy, including wind, solar and other renewable and alternative fuel sources.

“It is my sincere hope that in the remaining days that Congress is in session we will heed the advice of organizations like the Energy Advocates and pass comprehensive energy legislation which will offer relief to the American people and put our great nation on the road toward energy independence,” concluded Peterson.

Pictured from left: U.S. Representative Mary Fallin (R-OK), Peterson and Stansberry.

CSI: Pitt-Bradford

Dr. Tony Gaskew, coordinator of criminal forensic studies and assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, watches students work a crime scene in the university’s new crime scene investigation house.
(Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

– The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has opened a new Crime Scene Investigation House, which enables students to get hands-on experience working “crime scenes” while using advanced investigative tools that some law enforcement agencies don’t have.

The CSI House, which was renovated at a cost in excess of $100,000, is on the cutting edge of criminal justice training. The single family home on the edge of campus is set up as a real home, complete with books on the night stand and toys in the nursery. But unlike most homes, panoramic cameras are found in every room, allowing Dr. Tony Gaskew, coordinator of criminal forensic studies and assistant professor of criminal justice, to see how his students are processing a crime and immediately give them feedback over a two-way sound system.

“Our criminal justice students and those who have visited the CSI House so far have been amazed by the facility,” said Dr. Bernie Meyer, associate professor and director of the criminal justice program. “In the CSI House, our students will work with modern and sophisticated investigative equipment that some professional law enforcement agencies don’t even have.

“Last semester, I visited the crime scene houses at both West Virginia University and Penn State University and inspected their facilities. I discovered that our CSI House exceeds current standards and best practices.”

The value of the house is more than the sophisticated sound and video equipment; it’s also working through a crime scene in three dimensions in a way that seems much more real than when sitting in a classroom trying to envision the scene.

In the CSI House, students secure, process and manage a variety of criminal investigations, including burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, drug trafficking and homicides.

On Monday, Gaskew gave two teams of students a new scenario, the third they’ve worked on so far this semester. A family member has called police saying they entered the house, smelled a horrible smell and didn’t want to go any farther. As one student starts to ask a question, Gaskew cuts her off. “That’s it,” he says. There’s no more information.

The scene inside the house is as realistic as it can be without using real bodies. Students snap on purple latex gloves and plastic booties to walk through the pristine crime scene, which took Gaskew three days to set up. It may be a mannequin laid out on the floor of the bedroom, but it’s covered in real blood and has bullet holes torn through its clothes. Students can perform on-site tests to determine whether they have found human blood or drugs, and must keep meticulous paper work.

The two teams decide how they will divvy up the crime scene. One of the skills that students will develop, Gaskew says, is the critical communication between investigators.

In addition to the on-scene work, students must use their knowledge of the legal system to apply for search warrants and subpoenas, meeting the stringent requirements of Gaskew, who acts as the judge – most of the time.

When the students in the forensic investigations class submitted their paperwork to request a search warrant in a drug-trafficking case, the request was made to a real judge Gaskew had asked to review evidence. Without probable cause, Gaskew explains, a warrant isn’t issued, and the investigation is shut down. He doesn’t hesitate to say he will fail them.

And the students know it. The case agent leading the investigation of the case directs his investigators with military authority. The team leader quizzes each member of her team about the exact steps they took to secure evidence. A campus observer is politely asked to back off until investigators complete the initial walkthrough of the crime scene. And an hour after the one-hour class ends, half the class is still there, going over the crime scene and gathering precious biological evidence from the outside of the house before a rain storm washes it away.

Students from area high schools and local law enforcement officers will have a chance to see the house on Wednesday, Sept. 17, as part of Pitt-Bradford’s annual Law Enforcement Awareness and Familiarization (LEAF) Day.

The public is invited to tour the house during an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, as part of activities for Alumni and Family Weekend. The house is located at 31 Taylor Drive.

And here are a few pictures I snapped Tuesday afternoon

Monday, September 15, 2008

Op-Ed: Scarnati on Transportation

Last week came the welcome news that the Federal Highway Administration rejected the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s bid to toll Interstate 80. I, like many of you who opposed the tolling of I-80, was pleased with the decision and felt it was the appropriate decision for the citizens of the Commonwealth. It really speaks volumes to the success that can be experienced when state and local leaders work together for what is in the best interest of our communities.

However, while everyone continues to express appreciation for the federal government’s decision, one fact still remains…we have a transportation funding crisis across this country. Once again, and oddly rightfully so this time, the federal government finds problems, but never solutions. Sure, they turned down the transportation plan, but they did nothing to bring about solutions to this crisis. As you may or may not know, the Federal Highway Fund, which helps states fund a significant portion of our road and bridge needs, is almost bankrupt. Unless they come up with a solution quickly, and I doubt they will, it is going to be left up to the states to find means to support a deteriorating infrastructure. In Pennsylvania’s case, that deteriorating infrastructure is the worst in the nation.

Therefore, over the past several months I have been around the district informing community leaders of a transportation plan, which I recently introduced in the Senate. First, the plan calls for the elimination of tolls on Interstate 80; part of the plan that has already proven successful. In addition, this plan calls for the General Assembly and the Governor to make tough budgetary decisions. It calls for, among other actions, transferring funding for the Pennsylvania State Police out of the Motor License Fund over a two-year period. This creates over a half billion dollars toward our roads and bridges. The State Police would be funded by existing revenues in the general fund. Along with public-private partnerships and limited bonding, the Commonwealth would be looking at approximately one billion dollars toward transportation.

As I stated, we have to make tough, prudent decisions in the general fund to make this happen. However, I believe the safety of our residents far outweighs the need for a good headline on a project that should not be a priority in the budget. It is time to reign in spending, make infrastructure a priority and find much of the revenues for our road and bridge problem in the current state budget.

Stuckey Promoted to Corporal

Gary Stuckey of Lewis Run has been promoted to corporal with the Pennsylvania State Police. Stuckey will remain with the Members Assistance Program and will be stationed at the barracks in Mount Jewett. Stuckey was one of 61 members of the state police promoted during ceremonies held Monday at the State Police Academy in Hershey.

Erin Hannon Benefit

A Spaghetti Dinner to benefit Erin Hannon will be held Saturday, October 4, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Bernard School, 450 West Washington Street. Dinner includes spaghetti & meatballs, salad, roll, drinks and dessert. Adults $7, children 10 and under, $5. Take-outs available. Also includes Chinese auction, raffles and music. For more information or to make a donation, contact Pete Hvizdzak at (814)368-6169.

Erin's address:

Erin Hannon
6210 N.W. 2nd Circle #333
Lincoln, Neb., 68521

Man Charged with Sexual Assault

A Coudersport man has been arrested for an alleged sexual assault against a 15-year-old girl. Police say 22-year-old Kyle Eckert furnished alcohol to the alleged victim and a 17-year-old girl, then had sex with the 15-year-old. Eckert was charged with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors. He was sent to jail on $15,000 bail.

Power Could be Out for Days

About 2,000 people in Bradford and Eldred, as well as other parts of McKean and Warren counties are still without power following last night's windstorm. Linda Rautzahn of First Energy says they're not sure when power will be restored, but it could take up to several days. Rautzahn reminds people to never touch downed power lines. She says always assume the lines are carrying electricity. All available crews are working to restore power in hardest hit areas, she says. In New York, National Grid is still reporting more than 2,000 customers in Cattaraugus County without power and about 900 in Chautauqua County. National Grid expects power to be restored to those customers by 11:45 Tuesday night. The 800 customers of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative in Potter County still without power can expect to have it restored tonight. About 3,600 Tri-County customers had been without power.

More From the Car Show

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Street Dreams Car Show '08

These are the contestants (and their parents) in the annual Little Miss Street Dreams contest. The girls raised more than $7,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close and Street Dreams Car Club President Gary Hoy welcome "Barbie" (Olivia Brown).

Little Miss Street Dreams '08 Danielle Abbott. The runners up were Julia Coy, Ashley Stoltz and Brianna Keller.

These people, and dog, look at some of the cars in the annual show.