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Saturday, September 27, 2008


Normally, I wouldn't post something like this but I haven't been having a very good day-and-a-half, and getting this out might help.

A man just called to ask when a certain football game is being played today. (Not a game we're carrying, mind you.) I told him I wasn't totally sure, but I would check. He said -- and I wish I was making this up --"Aren't there any sports people there?" Luckily, he didn't hear what I said under my breath. It wasn't bad. It was something along the lines of -- at least I know how to use the Internet.

Clinger Hearing Resumes Monday

The penalty hearing for convicted killer Jason "Spike" Clinger of DuBois will resume Monday. A jury found Clinger guilty of murdering Brooklyn, New York, residents Davon Jones and Dianikqua Johnson. Clinger faces the death penalty. The penalty hearing will continue Monday so the defense will have more time to gather character witnesses to speak for Clinger.

Paul Newman Has Died

Actor Paul Newman has died of cancer at age 83, a spokeswoman tells CNN.

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) — Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has died, a spokeswoman said Saturday. He was 83. Newman died Friday of cancer, spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic said. No other details were immediately available.

In May, Newman he had dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men," citing unspecified health issues.

For the full story, go to The Associated Press

Disaster Drill

Area emergency response organizations are participating in a disaster drill today at American Refining Group. The drill includes a mock train crash involving a pickup truck, a tanker leaking crude oil and a bomb threat.

Police Officer Shot, But OK

A Village of Gowanda police officer was shot in the chest last night, but his bulletproof vest prevented a life-threatening injury. Jason Miller was treated at Tri-County Hospital, then released. Police say someone threw something at Miller's police cruiser. When he got out of the vehicle the suspect took off into nearby woods. Miller chased after the suspect, who shot at him. Police are questioning a teenage suspect.

Highlights of Homecoming

Homecoming 2008 will probably be a night not many Bradford Area High School students will forget.

The highlights:

Fire on a Float
The theme of this year's parade was "Holidays." The sophomores picked the 4th of July as their holiday. Perhaps they should have rethought the sparklers. Yes, a sparkler set some tissue paper on fire as the float was traveling down Main Street. No worries, though. Everyone is fine. But high school principal Ken Coffman says no one will be using sparklers in next year's parade.

It's a Tie
No, the game didn't end in a tie. The homecoming queen contest ended in a tie. Shantel English and Katelyn Morris are sharing this year's crown. No one can remember the last time the contest ended in a tie. Possibly 40 years?

It's a Win
The Meadville Bulldogs were late getting to Parkway Field, thinking that the game was at 8 p.m., not 7 p.m. By 9 p.m., they probably wished they hadn't shown up at all. They came into Bradford at 4-0 and left at 4-1, as the Owls came away with the victory 20-13.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Casey Applauds Great Lakes Act

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) applauds the passage of the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2008 which aims to clean up contaminated expanses in the Great Lakes within ten years and was sponsored by Senator Casey. Specifically, this bill would allow for additional funding to protect and restore targeted areas in the Great Lakes like Presque Isle.

“Lake Erie is such an important part of our heritage and landscape in northwestern Pennsylvania that we must do everything we can to keep it safe and beautiful,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will provide for funding to sustain this picturesque lake for generations to come and I am so pleased my Senate colleagues have shown they agree by supporting this bill.”

The Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2008 passed by the Senate authorizes $54 million annually to clean up what have been identified as “Areas of Concern” in the Great Lakes. These sites do not meet the water quality goals established by the United States and Canada in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, mainly because of contaminated sediments from historic industrial activity. This contamination results in the degradation of the environment including fish advisories, decreased fish and wildlife populations, taste and odor problems with drinking water, beach closures and bird and animal deformities.

The legislation was introduced by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

The House of Representatives passed a similar measure earlier this month and a compromise must be agreed to before the legislation can be sent to the President for final passage.

United Way Unveils Video

The United Way of the Bradford Area has announced that the 2008 campaign video, “We ALL Win”, is currently available for viewing on the organization’s website,

“The video is a promotional tool that is used annually at the various employee presentations that (we) conduct throughout the four-month solicitation process,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “Typically it is only available for viewing to the employees at the local businesses and companies which allow us to make a formal presentation to the workforce.

“This is an excellent opportunity for not just the donors who may not ordinarily see the video, but for the community at large,” says Davis.

The project was produced locally within the United Way office, with special assistance from the agencies and programs which receive United Way funding.

“The directors and volunteers of the agencies were very gracious in sending me photographs,” says Davis, “as well as completing the marketing materials sent to them over the summer months. It was all very useful, and it just shows the collaboration between those agencies and the United Way.

“We’re very proud of the strong relationships we hold with those representatives.”

With the video being produced internally, Executive Director Kristen Luther says the community is benefiting from the operational funds that are being saved.

“We take great pride in knowing and promoting that our organization is well below the standard operational expense percentage set for non-profits, and our donors can take pride in the fact that we’re being very proactive when it comes to such expenses,” Luther said. The United Way announced last week that 20% of the $375,000 goal has been raised thus far.

“Although we’re very proud with the percentage at which we stand to date,” says Davis, “we want to emphasize that we’re (United Way, funded agencies and donors) making an impact in the Bradford community. With that, we all win.”

New Director for 'Little Chicago'

"Little Chicago" has a new director.

Jason Wiles, who is also an actor, an appeared on the show "Third Watch."

Executive producer Carl Veno says he hopes Wiles' Hollywood connections will help the production land a big-name star to play the lead role in movie.

When filming resumes, it will be in Bradford, Kane, Olean, Salamanca and Niagara Falls.

Man Jailed After Bogus Traffic Stop

A Belfast, New York, man has been charged with impersonating a police officer after allegedly making a bogus traffic stop.

Police say 22-year-old Christopher Hotchkiss pulled over a young woman by flashing his vehicle's high beams while following her down Main Street in Angelica.

He allegedly displayed a badge, identified himself as an undercover state trooper and asked to see her license and registration. Then he warned her about her driving and let her go.

Hotchkiss was sent to Allegany County Jail on $2,500 bail.

Feds: Roosa Sold Untaxed Smokes

A Salamanca developer and his wife have been charged with selling nearly $5 million in untaxed cigarettes.

Joseph and Rita Roosa allegedly sold 175,000 cartons of cigarettes to New Jersey customers over three years.

They were charged by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Roosa once owned the Movie World video stores and has been working to build a plaza on 9 acres of land in Salamanca. He has also developed mini-plazas in Allegany, Warren and Springville.

BAHS Homecoming Tonight

These six girls are vying for the Homecoming Queen crown tonight at Bradford Area High School. They are, from left, Katelyn Morris, Kayla Barger, Shantel English, Leah Anderson, Sammi Langianese and Bethany Russell. They'll be escorted by Drew Kelly, Cody Fowler, Shane Speaker, Brett Butler, Christian Holzworth and Matt Schwab. The six seniors were Frank Williams' guests on WESB's Sports Forum this afternoon.

As for the Owls game against the 4-0 Meadville Bulldogs. Shantel says the Bulldogs "are going down!"

Clinger Convicted of Killings

A jury has convicted a DuBois man of killing two Brooklyn, N.Y. residents during a 2006 kidnapping and robbery.

The jury convicted 27-year-old Jason "Spike" Clinger of first- and second-degree murder in the killings of 22-year-old Davon Jones and 21-year-old Dianikqua Johnson.

The jury reached a verdict late Thursday after about five hours of deliberation. Clinger could face the death penalty. The penalty hearing will begin today.

Hunters found the bodies of Jones and Johnson in a remote area of Jefferson County in November of 2006.

During the trial, a witness testified that Clinger killed Jones and Johnson because they were drug dealers and no one would miss them.

Great Lakes Legacy Act

The U.S. Senate has passed the Great Lakes Legacy Act, which would continue a program to reduce contaminated sediments in the lakes.

The legislation authorizes $54 million a year for the cleanup of polluted parts of the Great Lakes. The $54 million is about the same amount the project has received in the past.

The House passed the measure earlier this month with $150 million a year for funding, an increase over previous allowances.

There's no word when a conference committee will start working on a compromise.

The legislation follows an earlier version of the law, which passed in 2002.

New CEO for Olean-Bradford YMCA

The Olean-Bradford Area YMCA has announced Jake Steger as its new CEO.

Steger is a career YMCA professional, most recently serving as branch executive for the Central Florida YMCA in Orlando, now the ninth largest association in North America and one of the fastest growing in the country.

His experience and work as a branch executive has been instrumental in the success of two YMCA family centers in Brevard County, Florida. His professional experience working for an independent association and a large metro association has prepared him for the opportunity to be the next leader of the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA.

Steger has worked with YMCA organizations for 10 years in Texas and Florida -- four as a branch executive. He began his career as a sports and fitness director, then as a membership director in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is a strong fiscal manager with significant membership development experience and has a passion for community and financial development, as well as donor cultivation.

He is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in business management, and is active in many community organizations, including Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the North American YMCA Development Organization and holds several YMCA certifications.

Steger begins his service with the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA on September 29, and looks forward to meeting members of the community over the next few weeks. He moves to the area with his wife, Julie.

He succeeds Barb Sweitzer, who left the YMCA held in June after more than 30 years with the Olean YMCA to further her career at the national YMCA level.

Don Fredeen, president of the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA Board of Directors, said, "The board of directors has been very aggressive in the CEO search and is confident that Jake is the perfect fit for the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA, and will continue to deliver quality programs and service to the members of the Olean and Bradford communities based on a mission of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities."

Steger said, "The YMCA is more than a 'gym and swim.' It is a place for the community to gather and build relationships. Over the last 10 years, it has been rewarding for me to see YMCA staff and volunteers working together to improve people's lives."

"This will be a special fall season for me as I start a new assignment and get to experience a different part of the country," Steger said. "As your new CEO, I am committed to the communities served by the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA and to providing the highest quality programs and services."

For more information on the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA, go to or

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Icing on the Cake

WESB/WBRR News Director

In February of 2005 Governor Ed Rendell came to Bradford with $11 million for Impact Bradford.

The downtown streetscape project "is icing on the Impact Bradford cake," Sara Andrews said Thursday afternoon prior to a ribbon cutting for the project.

Andrews, executive director of the Office of Economic and Community Development, said the streetscape project is a "perfect complement" to Old City, the Bradford Family YMCA and the Boylston Street Medical Plaza.

Andrews also thanked the Impact Bradford partners for helping to bring the project to life. The partners are the Bradford Area School District, Bradford Regional Medical Center, which is currently undergoing renovations of its own, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, the City of Bradford and Zippo Manufacturing Company.

"Zippo, while facing some challenges," she said, "is still the main economic development driver in the community."

Andrews also recognized former OECD executive director Ray McMahon, who she said was the "point man" when the project was in its infancy.

Debbie Huston of the OECD, Andrews said, "has been there from Day One making sure that everything you see today is the way it is."

"I admire her for the dedication she's brought to this project and to the Old City Hall project," she said.

In her remarks, Huston thanked Nick Cummins and his crew for going above and beyond the call of duty to get the intersection of Boylston and Kennedy streets ready for Thursday's ceremony.

"Their dedication to completing this project is truly remarkable," Huston said.

Mayor Tom Riel told the crowd, "We all need to give praise and a round of applause to the two preceding mayors, Connie Cavallaro and Michele Corignani, who are really the ones who initiated all this and had the vision for all this to occur."

Riel said the Onofrio Street, Old City Hall and Streetscape projects show that things can get better in Bradford. He said the city has come a long way in 10 years, and still has a long way to go, and he hopes city council can count on support from the public and from Harrisburg to have more projects like these come to fruition.

Dr. John Addis, the first tenant in Old City Hall, offered a similar sentiment. "Let's not sit on our duffs and let this beautician and rehabilitation stop here," he said. "Let us continue to bring our city back to life with the energy, creativity and knowledge that is within our populous."

Addis commended the OECD for seeing what the community needed and going after it.

"The OECD had foresight. Most of us in the community … thought initially they were nuts in terms of trying to restore this building," he joked.

He said old historical buildings, according to one of our founding fathers, should be preserved and appreciated, not destroyed.

"Sara, Debbie and Jeff (Andrews) honored that saying and they, along with their staff, and the city deserve accolades for what they've done."

Jackie Parker of the state Department of Community and Economic Development said the Impact Bradford project – and Onofrio Street – are exactly what Rendell envisioned for core communities in the state.

State Senator Joe Scarnati and State Representative Marty Causer were also on hand for the ceremonies, and Andrews said, "A lot of people don't know the work and effort put in by both Marty and Joe in Harrisburg to help our community grow."

Scarnati said sometimes projects like this are difficult because critics tell people what they should or shouldn't have done, or what could have been done differently. "Being an elected official in a small town – and in an economic development agency – takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of coordination, and it really takes bringing the town together," he said.

Causer said this is a "perfect example of an entire community coming together to work on a project to revitalize the town."

As the ceremony and dedication went on, a crew from Hoffman Landscape continued working at the corner of Kennedy and Boylston streets. Sara Andrews said the project should be completely finished -- except for a traffic light -- in a couple of weeks. The traffic light should be installed in the spring.

Onofrio Street a Team Effort

WESB/WBRR News Director

Onofrio Street may be Sara Andrews' baby, but she admits getting the neighborhood in the shape it's in today took a team effort.

Andrews, executive director of the Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development, spoke Thursday morning during the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for North Onofrio Street – the third phase of the revitalization project.

She said in the community development field people "get a career project every once in a while and, for me, this is it."

She added that the project has been a big part of her life – and her husband's – for the last 10 years.

Her husband Jeff Andrews is the OECD construction manager and she says his "construction expertise and love of housing has made these old homes come back to life."

"He's the one who wanted to keep the integrity of the old homes," she said.

She also thanked Joe Kuhaneck and the OECD construction crew for their "craftsmanship and dedication."

And she thanked Nick Cummins from Bob Cummins Construction Company who, she says, "shares my vision for building homes in the community."

Cummins built homes in the Chelsea Lane subdivision and has projects in the works for townhouses and high-end apartments.

Sara Andrews also said the project wouldn't have been possible without the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the grants they provided.

She added that Action Team Executive Director Jackie Parker "shares the vision."

Parker said Andrews "always has a vision for something else," then presented Mayor Tom Riel with a $250,000 check for Phase 2 of the Elm Street Neighborhood project. The grant money will go toward streetscape work and fa├žade improvement.

Andrews said in his nine months as mayor Riel has been "very supportive of community development activities. … He's even gone out on his own and tried to do some things with cleaning up the community."

"Bit by bit, I think he's going to do it," she said. "He's very dedicated to helping make Bradford a better place to live."

Andrews also said grant money secured by Senator Joe Scarnati at the beginning of the project "certainly put us over the top … and made it work financially."

Scarnati said, "This could not be done in other areas of the state. … You could not duplicate this project in a Philadelphia neighborhood. – Maybe for millions and millions more dollars – But not what was done here. It took leadership. It took true vision. And it took teamwork."

"I am so proud of what this community, what this organization, and all those involved have accomplished," Scarnati said.

State Representative Marty Causer added, "This is an example of what can be done when we all work together toward a common goal. This is a model for the rest of the state."

Andrews also had a message for the 29 Onofrio Street homebuyers.

She said her greatest joy is handing over the keys of a house to a new homeowner, and she appreciates the homebuyers sharing her vision and wanting to live on the street.

"My greatest pleasure has been working with all of you and getting to know you and your families," Andrews said.

Casey Concerned About ANF

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Abigail R. Kimbell, expressing his concern over the recent recommendations by the Forest Service to close or decommission several campgrounds and recreation facilities in the Allegheny National Forest.

“The recreation facilities in Allegheny National Forest are an integral part of the northwestern Pennsylvania economy, and they are important on a personal level to many people throughout the state,” wrote Senator Casey.

In the letter, Senator Casey seeks to find out more information about the possible closures of the campgrounds at Twin Lakes Park, Loleta Recreation Facility and Kiasutha Park.

Casey went on to write, “I request that you provide my office with some information on the Forest Service’s decisions to close and/or reduce service at Allegheny’s recreational facilities. I would also appreciate information on what this means for the long-term future of the facilities.”

The full text of the letter follows:

Ms. Abigail R. Kimbell


United States Forest Service

Sidney R. Yates Building

201 14th Street SW

Washington, DC 20250

Dear Chief Kimbell:

It has come to my attention that the United States Forest Service has proposed changes to the operations of recreation facilities in the Allegheny National Forest. It is my understanding that these proposals call for the decommissioning and reduction of services to many facilities, including the campgrounds at Twin Lakes Park, Loleta Recreation Facility, and Kiasutha Park.

The facilities were constructed in the late 1960s to service the expanding needs of a population interested in outdoor pursuits and to realize the economic benefits for this region. In fact, in an Impact Report released on April 22, 1960 the United States Forest Service acknowledged this economic potential by calling for an increase of funds to develop additional recreation facilities upon completion of the Kinzua Dam/Allegheny River Project.

The recreation facilities in Allegheny National Forest are an integral part of the northwestern Pennsylvania economy, and they are important on a personal level to many people throughout the state. Several of the campgrounds were constructed during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and my office has received many inquiries from citizens concerned about their future. It would be a shame to see them closed or neglected to the point of demolition. I would like to work with you to identify ways to keep the recreational facilities at Allegheny National Forest open to the public and in good working order. I request that you provide my office with some information on the Forest Service’s decisions to close and/or reduce service at Allegheny’s recreational facilities. I would also appreciate information on what this means for the long-term future of the facilities.

Thank you in advance for you attention to this important matter. I look forward to our work together to find ways to keep the recreational facilities open for the enjoyment of Pennsylvanians and every visitor to the Allegheny National Forest.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senate

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Older Pennsylvanians' Bill of Rights

Senator Mike Stack is reminding older Pennsylvanians who feel they are being mistreated by their insurance companies that, under state law, they have the right to make a complaint.

"Too often, I hear seniors getting told they're rejected for insurance, or they get a certain claim rejected and they want to know why," Stack says. "Under the Older Pennsylvanians Bill of Rights they have a right to be told why."

The Insurance Bill of Rights for Older Pennsylvanians specifies that seniors have the right to make a complaint against an insurance company or insurance agent. The Insurance Bill of Rights for Older Pennsylvanians, which was developed by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, states the following rights:

● You have the right to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department against an insurance agent, insurance agency or insurance company if you feel you are not being treated fairly. You can file a complaint at and click on “Submit a Complaint” or call 1-877-881-6388.

● By law, you cannot be penalized by an insurance company for any complaints you make against it.

● You have the right to request a written explanation from an insurance company if the company refuses to insure you.

"Folks should realize they don't have to just sit there and take it," Stack says. "You have a bill of rights and you should utilize it."

Committee Approves Blight Bill

The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee approved legislation today that would help municipalities prevent blight and remediate abandoned properties.

Senate Bill 1291, sponsored by Sen. James J. Rhoades (R-29), would hold property owners accountable for the costs to secure, remediate or demolish blighted structures. The bill would also expedite the process of prosecuting owners of blighted properties and give municipalities the authority to go after the financial assets of negligent owners.

"When a property falls into a dangerous state of disrepair, the local taxpayer usually ends up footing the bill," Rhoades said. "My bill would hold landlords accountable when they allow their property to become an eyesore and a danger to the community."

Senate Bill 1291 would expand the ability of redevelopment authorities to assist municipalities with blight remediation. The bill also takes steps to prevent foreclosed and bank-owned properties from becoming blighted by requiring mortgage lenders to maintain properties where a default occurs until there is a new owner.

In addition, the bill would mandate that property owners bring any property they own that has serious code violations into code compliance before obtaining any municipal or state permits or approvals for any other property they own in the Commonwealth. The legislation would create a code violations registry to allow municipalities to determine if an applicant has any pending code violations in other parts of the state.

Rhoades' legislation was based on the findings and recommendations of the Blight Task Force, a statewide coalition of housing and municipal organizations dedicated to tackling the problems of blighted and abandoned building across the Commonwealth.

Senate Bill 1291 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Peterson: Congress Takes First Step

.S. Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pa., issued the following statement after the House of Representatives approved legislation that will fund the Federal government through March 6, 2009 and abolishes the long standing congressional moratorium on offshore energy production:

“Seven years ago, when I began the fight to open up our vast offshore energy reserves, I could count on one hand the number of supporters. As the days and years passed, the American people began to understand this issue and realized that the United States Congress was the number one obstacle impeding the expansion of domestic energy production. Today their voices were heard.

“While this is a huge victory for the American people, there is still much that needs to be accomplished. Congress needs to create an environment where scientists and entrepreneurs can work together and create next generation energy sources like coal-to-liquids, coal-to-gas, and the reprocessing of nuclear waste so we can end our dependence on imported oil and transition to a clean energy future.

“Opening the outer continual shelf (OCS) to energy exploration is a critical step in a long process that will enable America to become OPEC independent. Coupled with increased refining capacity, litigation reform, and streamlining the permitting process, America can achieve energy security, halt the export of wealth and create millions of good paying, family sustaining jobs.

“Affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental right that the American people can never again be deprived. In the coming years it is of the utmost importance that Members of Congress continue to work across the aisle and find reasonable and effective solutions to the energy crisis.”

The continuing resolution will provide funding for the Federal government to operate through March 6, 2009 with the Department’s of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs being funded through the entire fiscal year. The CR provides an additional $5.1 billion for low income heating assistance, $25 billion in loan guarantees for Detroit auto makers to transition to more efficient vehicles and $23 billion in disaster funding for states ravaged by natural disaster this year. The measure also provides $1 billion for wildfire fighting and suppression which significantly hinder the forest service’s budget.

Obama Still Wants Debate

CNN is reporting that Senator Barack Obama wants Friday's debate with Senator John McCain to go on as planned. Obama says this is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who will be the next president.

PA 10th in Digital States Survey

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania has been recognized as one of the 10 most digitally advanced state governments in the nation, according to the Center for Digital Government’s 2008 Digital States Survey, a comprehensive biannual review of digital solutions and best practices.

“We’ve been working hard to advance the commonwealth’s technology infrastructure and operations for the benefit of the people of Pennsylvania, and it’s exciting to receive such high national recognition for that work,” said Naomi Wyatt, secretary of administration. “Pennsylvania is a proven leader in a number of areas including IT consolidation, deployment of a comprehensive enterprise resource planning system and data center operations and services. Being ranked as one of the top 10 technology savvy states in the nation certainly is further evidence our efforts are working.”

The Digital States Survey is the only analysis of state governments’ use of information technology as a tool for serving its citizens and state governments’ needs. The survey considers factors such as best practices, policies and progress in the use of digital technologies and the delivery of technology-related government services to citizens. It covers a wide range of areas from infrastructure to online applications and new Web 2.0 technologies provided to citizens.

This year’s survey also included a first-in-nation measure of sustainability efforts, especially in the area of green IT.

“It is an honor to be recognized as one of the top 10 states,” said Brenda Orth, the commonwealth’s chief information officer. “I’m proud of the hard work and dedication IT staff in the Office of Administration and in commonwealth agencies have demonstrated to improve the services we provide to our citizens.”

Pennsylvania tied for 10th place with Tennessee in this year’s survey. This is Pennsylvania’s highest ranking and the first appearance in the top 10. In the last survey, Pennsylvania ranked 20th.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on IT policies and best practices in state and local government.

Trial of DuBois Man Continues

The prosecution has rested its case in the double homicide trial of a DuBois man.

Jason "Spike" Clinger is accused of shooting and killing Davon Jones and Dianiqua Johnson and leaving their bodies in a remote location in Jefferson County.

One of the first defense witnesses testified that she saw Clinger in the Kmart parking lot in DuBois at about the time the murders happened.

The defense expects to wrap up its case tomorrow.

Earlier in the trial, a witness testified that Clinger said he killed Jones and Johnson because they were drug dealers from Brooklyn and nobody would miss them.

Former Teacher Charged with Felony

A former Cattaraugus County substitute teacher has been charged with a felony for lying about a previous manslaughter conviction. Harold Eisenman of Springville told the state Education Department his arrest in 1973 and conviction a year later for manslaughter was due to a reckless driving accident, but actually he and his girlfriend at the time were convicted for the beating death of the woman's 2-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison for contributing to a 2-year-old's death "by using her to demonstrate karate blows." Attorney general Andrew Cuomo charged Eisenman with first degree offering a false instrument for filing. He was arraigned today before Albany City Court Judge Will Carter and released on his own recognizance pending a court appearance on Oct. 22.

Specter Wants Answers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) wrote to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke yesterday following a day of testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee.

“I write to you because I am in the process of deciding how to vote on legislation to deal with the economic crisis,” Specter writes. “I agree that there is need for federal action; but I am concerned that we not rush to judgment without giving sufficient attention to the many complex issues which are involved.”

In the letter, Specter details concerns he has about the plan and outlines several priorities the legislation should contain. Some excerpts:

· “Keeping people in their homes should be a, if not the, fundamental object of congressional action.”

· “I am very skeptical about granting authority to spend $700 billion on other aid without standards as to who should get the funds and a requirement that there be demonstrated necessity that such additional expenditures are indispensable to stabilizing the economy.”

· “Vigorous enforcement of our laws to prevent market manipulation, as well as added transparency, should be a priority.”

· “If it is not already a part of your proposal, you should consider structuring the funding in a way that gives the Government a preferred creditor position and a share in ultimate profits, rather than simply buying up debt which has declined in value.

· “Any aid should be conditioned on the elimination of golden parachutes or large compensation packages.”

· “I am concerned about reports that foreign corporations, with a United States affiliate, will participate in a federal bailout. If foreign corporations are to get funding, then foreign governments ought to bear their fair share.”

Full text of the letter follows. Specter LetterPDF

September 23, 2008

Dear Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke:

I write to you because I am in the process of deciding how to vote on legislation to deal with the economic crisis. I agree that there is need for federal action; but I am concerned that we not rush to judgment without giving sufficient attention to the many complex issues which are involved.

At the outset, the, or a, precipitating cause was the fact that hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps as many as five million, faced an inability to make their mortgage payments and eviction from their homes. These mortgages were “securitized,” divided up and sold in packages to many people or entities. As a result, it was not always clear who had the authority to adjust these mortgages, and when it was clear, adjustments were not made quickly enough. Last November, Senator Durbin introduced S.2136 and I introduced S.2133 to give the bankruptcy courts authority to revise homeowners’ financial obligations. Keeping people in their homes should be a, if not the, fundamental object of congressional action.

After assisting homeowners, a decision should then be made as to what additional federal aid is necessary to unclog the lending pipelines and restore confidence and stabilize the economy. I am very skeptical about granting authority to spend $700 billion on other aid without standards as to who should get the funds and a requirement that there be demonstrated necessity that such additional expenditures are indispensable to stabilizing the economy.

Then there is the question of oversight and regulation. Obviously, there must be oversight and some regulation to prevent a recurrence. As I see it, the regulation must be calibrated to those objectives and not go too far. Vigorous enforcement of our laws to prevent market manipulation, as well as added transparency, should be a priority.

I hear tremendous resentment from my constituents on this matter. In a free enterprise society, entrepreneurs may undertake whatever risks they choose to secure big profits, but when there are losses, they should not turn to the government for a bailout which puts the burden on the taxpayers. The firms/corporations and their executives who created the crisis should not profit from a federal bailout. If it is not already a part of your proposal, you should consider structuring the funding in a way that gives the Government a preferred creditor position and a share in ultimate profits, rather than simply buying up debt which has declined in value. And any aid should be conditioned on the elimination of golden parachutes or large compensation packages.

Also, I am concerned about reports that foreign corporations, with a United States affiliate, will participate in a federal bailout. If foreign corporations are to get funding, then foreign governments ought to bear their fair share.

I know there is concern that Congress must act promptly or the economy may deteriorate further. It seems to me that Wall Street should and would understand that legislation on this complex matter requires some time. If it is seen that Congress is moving as swiftly as practicable, that ought to stem the tide. But we can only do it as fast as realistic to work through the legislative proposals and resolve these intricate issues.

These are issues which come to my mind at the moment and I am sure there will be more as the hearings progress and the debate occurs. I would appreciate your responses as promptly as possible.


Arlen Specter

Cops: Man Put Girl in Clothes Dryer

A Towanda-area man is facing charges after he allegedly put a little girl in a clothes dryer. Police say 32-year-old Nelson Chilson Jr. put a 5-year-old inside a warm dryer while he was babysitting her. They say he then closed the door and turned the machine on. Chilson has been charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Local Minister Visits State Senate

Reverend W. Craig Smith of the Mount Jewett/Hazel Hurst United Methodist Church offered the opening prayer during today's session of the state senate.

Among his remarks were "Help direct the affairs of this legislative body. And on this day we ask for the wisdom and direction of our federal government as they work to put things in order with this financial problem we face."

Smith was the guest of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati.

McCain Suspends Campaign

CNN is reporting that Senator John McCain will suspend campaigning to work on the economy. He's asking Senator Barack Obama do the same. McCain is also asking for Friday's debate between himself and Obama be postponed.

The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain's statement was issued to the media a few minutes later.

Read more from The Associated Press.

Window Replacement at Pavilion

A major window replacement project is starting this week at The Pavilion at BRMC, benefitting patients from the second through the fourth floors. The Pavilion, adjacent to Bradford Regional Medical Center, is a skilled nursing facility and also houses short-term beds for post-operative patients. According to Pavilion Administrator Bonnie Himes, funds for the window replacement and patient call bell system replacement projects were provided through a bequest from a former resident. Pictured Tuesday on the hydraulic lift is Timothy Glassmire of Glass Erectors from Reynoldsville, Pa.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

Causer Co-Sponsors Rate Cap Bill

With rate caps on the state's electricity services set to expire in the next two years, Rep. Martin Causer is co-sponsoring legislation that would provide price stability and predictability to consumers who have grown wary of rising energy prices.

"The skyrocketing costs of oil and gas, and subsequent rise in food prices, have taken a huge financial toll on families and businesses," Causer said. "Many Pennsylvanians simply cannot bear the significantly higher electric rates that will come with the expiration of rate caps. We must enact comprehensive legislation now to protect consumers."

Pennsylvania's electric industry was deregulated in the mid-1990s to bring competition to the electricity generation market. At that time, rates were capped at 1997 levels. Other states that deregulated earlier than Pennsylvania have seen substantial price spikes when their rate caps came off, and some areas of Pennsylvania where caps have already expired are also seeing soaring rates.

State House Democrats are advancing legislation that would extend the rate caps so they expire later. However, many lawmakers are concerned that will only make the problem worse for consumers when the caps do expire, and they must be allowed to expire in order for electric companies to continue making the necessary investments to meet consumer demand. Additionally, electric companies could file suit against the Commonwealth if the rate caps are extended.

"The House Democrat proposal fails to deal with the underlying problem," Causer said. "It does nothing to truly help consumers or the electricity market."

House Republicans are instead advancing a plan that would phase in the increased rates over a three-year period to help consumers adjust to possible increases. It also includes elements to help educate consumers about conservation, which could help offset the increased rates and reduce demand.

House Bill 2300 was crafted by members of the House Republican Policy Committee's Energy Task Force, of which Causer is a member. The bill would also:

· Require utility companies to provide customers with valuable information about energy-saving tips and technologies to lower their electric bills.

· Provide electric price stability for customers by ensuring rates are changed only on a quarterly basis.

· Empower customers to plan ahead by allowing them to voluntarily pay in advance for any expected rate increases and receive 6 percent interest on any prepaid amounts.

· Ensure programs are in place to assist low-income customers once rate caps expire.

· Implement guidelines affecting the way utility companies purchase electricity from generators, providing safeguards against inflated electric prices for customers while promoting the use of traditional and alternative energy sources.

The bill was sent to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, on which Causer serves as a member, for consideration.

For more on this issue, read Senator Lisa Boscola's comments.

Tops Offering Flu Shot Clinics

This fall, staying flu-free is a top priority for many. The best way to manage flu is to prevent it through vaccination. October and November are the optimal months to receive your flu shot and Tops Friendly Markets has partnered with Maxim Healthcare Services and the Florida Department of Citrus to make the process a bit easier.

“Every year the influenza vaccine is reformulated to provide immunization against the predominant influenza viruses circulating throughout the world,” said Frank Wolff, Tops Markets’ director of pharmacy. “This year’s flu bug might be different from last year’s so it’s important to be revaccinated every year. The Centers for Disease Control believe the supply of vaccine is sufficient to meet demand this year and we encourage our customers to stop in to their local Tops to receive a flu shot this season.”

Getting a flu shot is a good start in the battle against cold and flu.

“Balancing a healthy diet and lifestyle can help support your immune system during the cold and flu season,” said Kim Galeaz, RD CD, co-author of 4 Weeks to Maximum Immunity. “I recommend consuming a daily glass of 100 percent orange juice following your flu shot paired with a well-balanced diet to provide the healthy punch you need to help maintain good health all through the year.”

Flu clinics begin October 1 and continue until November 14 at all Tops pharmacies. Associates from Maxim HealthCare Services are staffing these clinics, and Medicare, along with several private insurance plans, will be accepted. For a schedule of flu clinics at your local Tops, please stop by the pharmacy or log onto for the Flu Clinic Finder which can be found by clicking on the flu clinic link on the homepage.

In addition to getting your annual flu shot, Tops pharmacists remind customers of some tips to keep in mind this flu season to help prevent against the flu:

* Wash your hands and wash them often! To reduce the chances of both catching and spreading the flu, wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds.

* Maintain healthy habits. Attention to one’s overall health helps your immune system. Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, eating well and lowering stress can help protect against the flu.

* Get enough Vitamin C. Nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, and carotenoids are important to the body’s immune system. Florida orange juice is a natural way to give your body the vitamin C it needs to help fight sickness, especially during cold and flu season, and contribute to overall good health.

* Cover your nose and mouth. When you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue to further prevent the spread of illness. If you must use your hand, be sure to wash immediately after.

* If you are sick, stay home! Talk to your Tops pharmacist about the best over the counter remedy and rest at home. Your co-workers will probably thank you!

Fire in the Newsroom (Not Ours)

Radio Booth Engulfed in Flames - Watch more free videos

I asked Dan if he would coming running in with a fire extinguisher like the guy in the video did. He said "No." He says he hopes I would go to a commercial, put the fire out myself, then go back on the air. I probably would ...

"Right after this, we'll be back with some hot, breaking news ..."

Charlie Company Leaves Bradford

Members of Charlie Company get some orders Wednesday morning inside the Bradford Armory. The local National Guard unit is on its way to Mississippi to train for their upcoming deployment to Iraq.

Diana Combs and her son Sgt. Steve Hardy.
Sonya Gee and her fiance Trevor Sena.

Family and friends visit with the troops before they get on their buses.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OECD Hoping for Grant Money

The Office of Economic and Community Development hopes it can do for the Elm Street Neighborhood (Project Pride) what it's done for Onofrio Street.

OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews will be meeting with Jackie Parker from the state Office of Community and Economic Development on Thursday to discuss three grant applications that will put the process in motion.

She hopes to be able to get grants to acquire more property for commercial development and new housing, as well as rehabilitation for existing buildings.

Councilman Bob Tingley asked what the OECD plans to do with the people who will be displaced if the city acquires their homes.

Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani said that she has been working with people to help them understand that they "don't have to live in these conditions. … They can bring their quality of life up."

"We can't put them on a bus and send them away," Campogiani said.

Andrews said the OECD is looking into multi-tenant housing and other options for low-income people.

"If we don't try, what do we have?" Andrews asked. "Look at Onofrio Street 10 years ago."

Tingley also questioned the use of grant money, saying that it's still tax money "no matter what pocket it comes from."

Andrews said if Bradford doesn't get it, another community will.

Council Gets 'Hazard House' Demo

WESB/WBRR News Director

Bradford City firefighters have found a way to keep a kid's attention.

The department's new "hazard house" comes complete with a miniature working smoke detector – and smoke – real-looking fire and appliances too close to a bathtub. Captain Chris Angell demonstrated the house to Bradford City Council Tuesday night.

Angell says before they had the hazard house their presentations were "adequate" and firefighters "did a nice job" covering 9-1-1 and other fire prevention basics.

But, he says, before they had the hazard house they could only keep a child's attention for about five minutes. At a recent presentation at GGB Elementary School, however, Angell says "We had them for 35 minutes and they never blinked an eye."

He says the house also helps them "go beyond the standard fire prevention messages" by addressing household safety, poisons, lawn mowing and safety around cars.

The hazard house can also be used for presentations at senior centers, assisted living facilities and other venues.

"I'm sure it's going to be a fantastic success," Angell says. "It's really a cool thing."

In other fire department news, council approved a payment of $3,768 to Quartermaster for Class A uniforms and patches for the firefighters.

Fire Chief Boo Coder says this is an "old, traditional look for the department."

Also last night, council presented a proclamation to Bill Leven, CEO of Future's Rehabilitation Center, in recognition of the organization's 40th anniversary.

Councilman Ross Neidich, who is also on the Future's board of directors, read the proclamation which says, in part, that Future's has "provided training, a sense of belonging and hope to many individuals who may never have had hopes of becoming a contributing individual to the Bradford community."

It also says Future's "has been building a community of individuals who may have otherwise been left behind."

WESB will be broadcasting live from Future's during the anniversary celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. on October 1.

In other matters, council agreed to use grant money from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center for two new Segway machines to be used by Bradford City Police in the Main Street and Project Pride neighborhoods.

Councilman Bob Tingley says he believes this is a "frivolous expenditure … I don't care where the money's coming from. … We don't have enough good weather in Bradford to justify this in my opinion. … In warmer climates, I'm sure it's a benefit. But, for us, I don't think it's right."

Mayor Tom Riel says he hopes it improves the police presence downtown. He also mentioned that if it doesn't work, they can send the motorized scooters back.

Council also passed, on first reading, the graffiti ordinance.

Also pictured, Mayor Tom Riel tests the "electrocution" feature on the hazard house as Chris Angell and Bill Leven look on.

Police Chase at Millcreek Mall

Police chased and captured a wanted fugitive inside the Millcreek Mall today. Millcreek Police say they spotted 32-year-old Marcus Poston of Erie outside the mall. He ran inside with officers chasing him until he was caught in a second floor storage room at Macy's. One officer sustained a facial injury. Poston was wanted for burglary and receiving stolen property. Now, he's also charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest. He's in jail on $20,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

Double Homicide Trial Continues

Jurors in the double homicide trial of a DuBois man spent yesterday and today listening to forensic and DNA experts.

Jason "Spike" Clinger is accused of shooting and killing Davon Jones and Dianiqua Johnson in November of 2006 and leaving their bodies in a remote area of Jefferson County.

Christopher Johns, a forensic scientist with the state police crime lab in Erie testified that he found 19 instances of blood and other bodily fluids that matched Clinger's on evidence in the case.

Earlier in the trial, a witness testified that Clinger said he killed Jones and Johnson because they were drug dealers from Brooklyn and no one would miss them.

The trial will continue tomorrow in Jefferson County Court.

Local Church Plans Africa Trip

Open Arms Community Church is planning a mission trip to Africa next spring to help some newfound friends.

"It's really quite interesting how this all worked out," said Multimedia Coordinator Josh Hatcher, describing the circumstances that built the church's relationship with a a church and school in Conakry, Guinea.

"I watched a movie called, 'Blood Diamond', about the civil war in Sierra Leone. The movie shows the horrors that these people faced, and it left me with a strong feeling that I should look for a way to help these refugees and victims of such a brutal war," said Hatcher.

A few weeks later, a friend lent Hatcher a book called, "A Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah. "When I read the story of this young boy who was conscripted to fight in an army, hopped up in drugs, and forced to kill at such a young age, I started to pray for a way to help."

Now, Hatcher was armed with information. In Beah's account, he escaped to a city in Guinea, where many refugees went to escape the war-- Conakry, Guinea. "For the next month, I prayed, and asked God to give me an opportunity to help the refugees from Sierra Leone that live in Conakry," said Hatcher, "But at that point, all I did was pray. That's why the email caught me completely by surprise."

Hatcher recieved an email from David Coker, Pastor of New Family Church and Administrator of Gateway International School in Conakry, Guinea. Coker had been browsing the internet when he discovered the Open Arms Church Website, and decided to send an email asking for the two churches to partner together.

"I get so many scams in my inbox, that I couldn't believe it. To get an unsolicited email from the exact people group in the exact city that I was praying for just seemed too strange," said Hatcher, who followed up with a little research.

Hatcher then came into contact with The Baobob Foundation in Texas. The Baobob Foundation is a small start up non-profit that is working to help Pastor Coker in Guinea, and other communities in Africa. They confirmed that Pastor David Coker's request was legitimate, and that their founder, Dr. Robert Bradsby had actually helped Coker start the school in Guinea a few years ago.

Open Arms Pastor Mike McAvoy and Hatcher started communicating with Pastor Coker via email, sending sermon notes, encouraging emails, and even some financial support.

Coker invited a team from Open Arms to come to Guinea in March of 2009 to help lead a Pastor's conference, offering training and equipping for pastors from all over West Africa.

"We plan to take a team that will not only help lead the conference, but also to do humanitarian work. Pastor David's School is in need of some maintenance and supplies, and we desire to help them strengthen their impact on the community they live in," said Hatcher.

McAvoy said, "I'm excited to go and be a part of making a difference in Conakry and hope that we the people of bradford realize that we can make a difference for the good both here in Bradford and overseas. I hope we're all challenged to think outside our box of our own lifestyles and wants and consider how our life and resources can help others."

Open Arms and the Baobob Foundation plan to send over a shipping container that will arrive at the same time they do. "We're collecting medical supplies, school supplies, treadle-powered sewing machines, gently used computers, new clothing, and anything else that would help our friends in Guinea meet the basic educational and health needs of their community."

Hatcher says that Open Arms is still raising funds to make the trip, and accepting donations of supplies. For more information, please contact Open Arms at 814-368-8846 or

Hatcher will be a guest on WESB's LiveLine on Tuesday, September 30, at 12:40 p.m.

Governor's Race Taking Shape

By Lowman S. Henry
CEO, Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research

With the Presidential race running red hot, especially here in Pennsylvania, little attention is being paid to the 2010 race for governor of Penn's woods. Ed Rendell is unable to succeed himself again, so the seat is wide open and behind the scenes the angling has already begun.

For the full column, go to PA

Listen to Lincoln Radio Journal at 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings on 1490 WESB.

Horton Hearings Rescheduled

The preliminary hearings for the father and son accused of intentionally spilling 45,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Allegheny National Forest have been rescheduled again.

District Judge Rich Luther's office says Andrew Horton's hearing has been rescheduled for October 8. His son's hearing has been rescheduled for November 5.

The Hortons have been charged with causing or risking a catastrophe for allegedly opening valves on tanks owned by Kittanning-based oil and gas producer Snyder Brothers.

State and federal agencies are still assessing the environmental and aquatic damage to the area.

Andrew Horton remains in McKean County Jail on $500,000 bail. Christopher Horton's bail is $550,000.

Candles May Be Cause of Fatal Fire

Candle luminaries left on the front porch of a Fredonia home may be the cause of a fire that killed two boys and left their mother and brother hospitalized. Fire investigators say, however, that the official cause of the fire has not been determined yet. 10-year-old Dawson McKinnon and his 3-year-old brother Clayton died in the fire. Their brother, 13-year-old Brody, is in Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. Their mother, Jennifer, is in serious condition in the burn unit at ECMC. The boys' father, Michael, was treated at an area hospital, then released. A fund to help the family has been established at Lakeshore Savings Bank.

Emergency Pet Info Available

The McKean County Animal Response Team (CART), McKean County SPCA, and Penn State Extension are cooperating on a joint fundraising effort to benefit the animals of McKean County.

An Emergency Pet Information Booklet has been produced and is for sale for $10.00. Three dollars of every sale is going to the McKean County SPCA and another $3.00 is going to the McKean County Animal Response Team. The remaining $4.00 goes to the Penn State Extension Office for production and distribution. The booklet has a place for a picture of your pet and a picture of you with your pet. There is a place for emergency contact information and vet information, including your pet’s medical history. A list of ideas for a disaster preparedness kit and first aid kit for your pet are also included.

We all need to be prepared to be able to make it 72 hours on our own when a disaster happens. Disasters happen to animals too and this is a great way to get your pet ready and at the same time support the less fortunate animals in the county. Booklets are available by contacting the Penn State Extension Office in Smethport.

Acclaimed Poet to Read at UPB

Acclaimed poet Kevin Prufer, whose poetry addresses tragedies both common, such as a car accident, and historical, such as the mind of Caligula, will share his writings Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. He will read his poetry at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall, as part of the University’s Spectrum Series. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

“What makes Prufer’s poems unique is how he approaches all those elements of our lives that we’ve come to accept as ordinary like cars, constant war, rampant crime or merely slicing up cucumbers on a cutting board,” said Carol Newman, writing instructor at Pitt-Bradford. “He leads us into their ordinariness and then uses language to crack them open, exposing realities like imminent death and our society’s frightening deterioration."

One of Prufer’s books, “Fallen from a Chariot,” was named among the best books of the last 25 years by the editors of Bloomsbury Review. He also has written “National Anthem,” “The Finger Bone,” and “Strange Wood,” which received the Winthrop Prize.

His work has also appeared in Ploughshares, The Best American Poetry, The Virginia Quarterly Review and The Georgia Review. Some of his works have received Pushcart Prizes and the Prairie Schooner/Strauss Award.

Besides contributing poems, he serves as editor for the journals Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing and American Book Review and books “New European Poets,” “Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems,” and “The New Young American Poets,” winner of one of the 10 best poetry books of the year by The American Library Association.

Prufer received an undergraduate degree from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University and graduate degrees from Hollins University and Washington University. He lives in Missouri with his wife, Mary, and is a professor of English at the University of Central Missouri.

Store Clerk Robbed -- Again

Olean police are looking for the man who robbed the North Union Street Sugarcreek store at gunpoint this morning. A store clerk says a white man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt walked into the store at around 2 a.m. and pointed a gun at him. The man left the store with an undetermined amount of cash. Police are reviewing surveillance tapes at the time of the robbery. This is the second time the same clerk has been robbed at the same store. The first time – January 18, 2007 – police caught the robber a short time after the robbery.

Great Lakes Compact Passed

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

The U.S. Senate passed the resolution on August 1st.

“The Great Lakes are an important part of the culture and economy of northwestern Pennsylvania. The Lakes are also an important source of drinking water in our state,” said Senator Casey. “I applaud Congress for following in the footsteps of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for taking the first steps to protect and conserve Lake Erie. And I will continue to work to ensure that the long-term health and sustainability of this precious resource is protected.”

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

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

The resolution which has been passed by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives now goes to President Bush to be signed into law.

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

1) Carl Levin (D-MI)

2) George Voinovich (R-OH)

3) Evan Bayh (D-IN)

4) Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

5) Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

6) Norm Coleman (R-MN)

7) Dick Durbin (D-IL)

8) Russ Feingold (D-WI)

9) Herb Kohl (D-WI)

10) Barack Obama (D-IL)

11) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

12) Charles Schumer (D-NY)

13) Dick Lugar (R-IN)

14) Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Happy Birthday to The Boss

Man Steals from Trust Account

A 74-year old former Salamanca man who stole his stepdaughter’s trust account has been sentenced to five years' probation. William Lisman pleaded guilty August 4 to fourth-degree grand larceny. District Attorney Ed Sharkey says Lisman stole money between Aug. 25, 2006, and last Dec. 13 from his 58-year-old stepdaughter’s special-needs bank account, where he was listed as trustee. The woman was awarded $40,000 from a car accident several years ago and Lisman took nearly all the money for his own use. The woman, who is disabled, now lives in an Allegany nursing home. Lisman’s wife is in a Salamanca nursing home and Lisman had relocated to Westfield.

Wallace Named BRMC Recruiter

Nellie Wallace has been named the new physician/professional staff recruiter at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC), according to Human Resources Vice President Dennis Geitner. In her new position, Wallace will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating the recruitment of physicians and other professional staff to help BRMC meet the region’s increasing healthcare needs, says Geitner.

“Nellie’s upbeat personality, dedication and previous work experience with the Medical Center, coupled with her involvement in the communities we serve, provides her with the background and knowledge to be effective in her new role,” he says.

“I love working with people and my true hope is to help recruit some strong physicians and staff who will not only benefit the hospital but also the community,” Wallace says.

She replaces Mary Kay Delneky, who recently relocated from the area with her husband, Dr. Peter Delneky.

Wallace previously worked as director of annual giving at Bradford Hospital Foundation, which raises funds for the sole support of BRMC. In this role, she was responsible for coordinating and implementing special events hosted by the Foundation, including the Golf & Sporting Clays Charity Classic, the October FunFest and others throughout the year. She also made presentations to various service clubs, hospital and community audiences and participated in Foundation committees associated with annual giving such as the Memorial and Named Funds Committees, BRMC Employee Ask Committee, Community Relations Committee and telethons.

An announcement regarding staff reorganization at the Foundation will be forthcoming.

Additionally, Wallace served in various capacities for nearly 30 years in BRMC’s laboratory. Her new physician/professional staff recruiting office is located on the fourth floor of BRMC’s Outpatient Services Center. She can be reached at 814-362-8499.

Wallace, an Olean, N.Y., native, holds an associate’s degree in medical technology from Alfred State College, a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from St. Bonaventure University. She lives in Bradford with her husband, Wendell. The couple has two sons, Brian and Patrick.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bradford Celebration Day

The City of Bradford’s Office of Economic and Community Development is hosting two separate ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the accomplishments of two community development projects funded in part through the Impact Bradford project.

The first ribbon-cutting & dedication ceremony will be held at 11a.m. on Thursday at the intersection of Onofrio Street and North Onofrio Street. This ceremony will celebrate the revitalization of Onofrio Street through the renovation of 16 homes and the construction of 16 new homes along with significant cleanup and infrastructure improvements that have taken place over the past 10 years.

The second ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in front of the Old City Hall Building on Kennedy Street. This ceremony celebrates the completion of the final phase of the revitalization and redevelopment of the Boylston Street and Kennedy Street area of historic downtown Bradford.

The $2.2 million downtown streetscape project was primarily funded through Impact Bradford.

Speakers for these ceremonies include Jackie Z. Parker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Community Action Team, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Representative Marty Causer and Bradford City Mayor Tom Riel.

The public is invited to help the Bradford community celebrate by attending both of these ceremonies.

Birthday Cake Theft

St. Marys police are investigating the theft of a birthday cake that happened sometime between 11:30 Friday night and 6:30 Saturday morning. But it wasn't an ordinary birthday cake. This was a blow-up birthday cake lawn decoration in a front yard on Sara Road. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact St. Marys police.

SGC Official Resigns

The vice chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation has resigned amid allegations of a shady deal involving a land purchase. 35-year-old Bergal Mitchell III is at the center of a federal investigation into the $2.1 million land purchase by the Seneca Gaming Corp. for a new golf course in Lewiston. Mitchell sent a letter of resignation to the Seneca Tribal Council prior to its meeting Saturday, when the council was expected to fire him. Mitchell's attorney said his client had asked to take an unpaid leave of absence while the investigation is under way. Federal officials have refused to comment on what happened to an amount of money between $500,000 and $900,000 that sources say may have been skimmed from the purchase of land for the Hickory Stick golf course in Lewiston.

Two Boys Die in House Fire

Two young boys died in a house fire early Sunday morning in Fredonia. Their parents and another child escaped the blaze by jumping out a window, but firefighters were unable to rescue 3-year-old Clayton McKinnon and 10-year-old Dawson McKinnon. The mother, Jennifer McKinnon was transported to Erie County Medical Center, where she is in serious condition. The surviving child, Brody, is also in a Buffalo-area hospital, but there's no word on his condition. The father, Michael McKinnon, was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released. The fire is believed to have started on the porch, but the cause is still under investigation by the Chautauqua County sheriff’s fire investigation team. It doesn’t appear to be suspicious.

New Leads in Bova Disappearance

Police in Chautauqua County say there are new developments in the case of a woman who has been missing for 11 years. Lori Bova has been missing since June 8, 1997. She was last seen leaving the Red Lobster restaurant in Lakewood with her husband, sister and brother-in-law. Her husband says they went home and had an argument. She left the house and never returned. Police recent developments in the case have led them to re-interview a number of people and take the investigation in new directions. Police did not get into details about the new course of the investigation.

CBK Misses First Senate Session

Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll has missed her first Senate session in nearly six years of presiding over the chamber.

The 77-year-old Knoll is being treated for neuroendocrine cancer, and says she is heeding the advice of her doctors and family by taking it easy.

In August, she announced that she was undergoing treatment for the disease.

Knoll returned to Harrisburg last week for the start of the fall session, but showed signs of fatigue and split her Senate duties with senate president pro tempore, Joe Scarnati.

A Thrilling Autumn Classic

The Marching Owls Band performing "Thriller" at the 29th Annual Autumn Classic:

Otto-Eldred and Elk County Catholic

Cameron County

Port Allegany and Kane
(A note to the Port band: Dan loved your song choices! Very HERO-esque.)


Fort LeBoeuf


Dan "Igor" Griffin and I (and the lovely Amanda, who took the picture) had a great time broadcasting the Autumn Classic live on 1490 WESB. Can't wait 'til next year!