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Saturday, October 4, 2008

3 Inducted Into UPB Hall of Fame

By Greg Clark
Pitt-Bradford S.I.D.

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford inducted three women into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Jessica Coene of Baden, Nichole Spindler of Bradford and Amanda Gressley Reese of Shinglehouse were the 2008 inductees.

Coene was a goalie on the women's soccer team from 1998 to 2001. She graduated in 2001 with a degree in Sports Medicine. Coene ranks first at Pitt-Bradford in career minutes played (5,019), career shutouts (9) and career saves (496). She also holds the single-season goals against average mark at 1.80. She was inducted by her sister Carolyn Becker.

"When I started playing soccer at the age of seven, I never dreamed I would be standing here to be inducted into the Pitt-Bradford Hall of Fame," Coene said. "This is the greatest honor of my soccer career."

Spindler was a catcher on the softball team from 2002 to 2004. She graduated in 2004 with a degree in Biology and Secondary Education. The Bradford native was named to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference First Team in 2004, to the AMCC Second Team in 2003 and was AMCC Honorable Mention in 2002.

Spindler owns the second highest career batting average (.413) at Pitt-Bradford and ranks fourth in slugging (.570), second for on base percentage (.451), is ninth in games played (90), fourth in hits (121), second in doubles (28) and ranks fourth in runs batted in (75) in just three seasons for the Lady Panthers. She finished ninth nationally in RBIs (37) in the NCAA Division III rankings in her senior year. Spindler was also an outside hitter on the volleyball team. She was inducted
by head softball and volleyball coach Tina Phillips.

"I wouldnt trade this honor for anything in the world," Spindler declared. "My senior year was the best season under coach Phillips, who was my coach and my friend."

Gressley of Shinglehouse was a member of the volleyball team from 2000 to 2003. She graduated in 2003 with a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work.Gressley was named to the AMCC First Team all four years. She ranks first at Pitt-Bradford in career games played (422) and in blocks (379); and is listed second in digs (1183), service aces (141) and kills (1363). Gressley set a school record in 2000 with 164 blocks and was ranked ninth in the nation. She was inducted by her father John Gressley.

"It was an honor to be a member of the Pitt-Bradford athletic family," Amanda stated.

Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander gave the welcome speech and Athletic Director Lori Mazza was Master of Ceremonies.

Firemen Called to Quick Arts Center

Firefighters were called to St. Bonaventure University's Regina A. Quick Fine Arts Center last night, but they learned there was no fire. A steam leak in the mechanical room set off the fire alarm at around 9:15 p.m. The steam was contained to the mechanical room, and did not damage any of the artwork in the building. An electrician is trying to determine the cause of the steam leak.


Yes, this was taken today -- at 6:24 a.m. at Hamlin Bank & Trust Company on East Main Street. Mike Cejka says the thermometer should say 57 or so later today, but expect a temperature in the 30s again early Sunday morning.

In Case You Missed It

09/30/08 - Man Going to Prison for Robbery
A Wellsville man who robbed a store at knifepoint has been sentenced to 5 years in state prison. 18-year-old James Ben Card pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in connection with an incident on May 15 when he went into Alan Hills Carpet with a knife. He threatened the lives of store clerks and stole money.

09/29/08 - Jamestown Man Exposes Himself
A Jamestown man was arrested Sunday and charged with exposing himself at a donut shop. Jamestown Police say 20 year-old Christopher Horan was apprehended a short time after the incident at the Donut Connection.

10/03/08 - Trial of Man in Death of Cameron Set
The trial of a Bradford man involved in the accidental death of Alissa Cameron has been set for November 17. 20 year-old Zachary Coon is charged with ciminal solitation in accidents involving death. Coon was charged after allegedly telling the driver of the vehicle Nikole Smock to leave the scene of the accident. Smock is also facing charges in connection with the death of Cameron earlier this year after a December 30th accident in a parking lot in Bradford.

Jury: OJ is Guilty

Former gridiron great O.J. Simpson was found guilty Friday of all 12 counts in the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas, Nevada, casino hotel last year.

Simpson, 61, and his co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, were charged with a dozen offenses stemming from the alleged sports memorabilia heist. Stewart was also found guilty of the same charges as Simpson.

Simpson sat quietly and showed little emotion at the defense table as courtroom clerk Sandra Jeter read the verdicts.

After the verdicts were read, deputies immediately handcuffed Simpson and led him out of the courtroom.

For more, including video, go to

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gilchriese Released from Jail

The man whose suicide threats caused a traffic jam that lasted for hours on the Niagara Thruway in May has been released from jail. A judge could have sentenced 66-year-old James Gilchriese to seven years in state prison on weapons and other charges, but credited Gilchiese's efforts to help other Vietnam Veterans as a reason for releasing him from custody. Gilchriese had been jailed since his nationally televised capture by a Buffalo police SWAT team on May 12. Gilchriese said he felt alcoholism and a combat flashback about the day three friends were killed by a land mine caused his Thruway drama.

Bush Signs Great Lakes Compact

President Bush has signed the compact designed to prevent Great Lakes water from being sent to thirsty areas while requiring the region's eight states to regulate their own water use. It was the final step in pursuit of stronger legal protections against diverting water from the system consisting of the five lakes, their connecting channels and the St. Lawrence River. They contain nearly 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water and supply eight states and two Canadian provinces, which have a combined population of roughly 40 million.

Peace Bridge to Get Brighter

One bridge to Canada will be a lot brighter soon. The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority says about 300 new light fixtures will be installed on the Peace Bridge, possibly before Christmas. The authority hopes to save money, provide better lighting for security and make the bridge look better. The new fixtures will replace the 10 floodlights, attached to piers that currently illuminate the bridge.

Groundbreaking at SBU

Ground was broken Thursday on construction of an entryway on the newly named Magnano Centre dining complex at St. Bonaventure University.

The dining facility, which houses Hickey Dining Hall, Café La Verna, the Rathskeller and other dining areas, is being named for Olean businessman and philanthropist Louis Magnano, a major contributor to the university’s ongoing 150th Anniversary Campaign.

A gift of $2,030,000 from Magnano and his wife, Patricia, will fund construction of the new entryway on the northeast corner of the dining facility. The new vestibule will serve as a much-needed weather barrier for the entrance shared by the dining hall and the café, said Philip Winger, associate vice president for facilities at St. Bonaventure.

The Magnano gift also supports the Enchanted Mountain Scholarship fund at the university, which dramatically reduces the tuition for qualifying students in the Southern Tier and northern Pennsylvania. In addition, the gift provides an endowment for annual maintenance of the Magnano Centre as well as support of other university initiatives.

At a reception for the Magnanos in Café La Verna prior to the groundbreaking, Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., lauded the couple for their commitment to projects across the region.

“They are not only patrons of St. Bonaventure University, but they support causes and initiatives throughout the Southern Tier,” said Sr. Margaret, adding one can’t drive through Olean without seeing another Magnano project in the works. “Where there are new and exciting things happening in Olean, Lou’s name is right there,” she said.

Louis Magnano served as a member of the St. Bonaventure University Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2001.

(In the photo, courtesy of St. Bonaventure University, Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., university president; Louis Magnano; Patricia Magnano; John R. McGinley Jr., chairman of the University Board of Trustees, break ground for the new entryway to Magnano Centre.)

Vote Extends School Funding

U.S. Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, issued the following statement after voting in support of legislation that extends the Secure Rural Schools program for an additional four years and gives the Department of the Treasury authority to purchase toxic mortgage backed securities that continue to strain the financial and credit markets, in an effort to stabilize the economy:

“As I stated earlier this week and I will say again today, this was one of the toughest votes of my legislative career. The legislation that I supported today, and was adopted by the House of Representatives, is not perfect and by no means will solve the financial crisis over night.

“However, the rescue package will inject much needed capital into the economy, allowing consumers to regain confidence in the market and eventually rebound from the disastrous effects of the subprime mortgage meltdown.

“The option of doing nothing would cause citizens of the Fifth Congressional District to pay the heaviest price. When credit markets are frozen, as they are today, small businesses don’t have the ability to access credit to make their payroll and expand their business. College students suffer, homeowners suffer, and hard working American’s savings and retirement are in jeopardy.

“While there are provisions in this legislation that I wholeheartedly disagree with, and would not have supported had they have come up under normal circumstances, this legislation does include safeguards for the taxpayer. It increases the limit on federally insured deposits from $100,000 to $250,000, holds Wall Street accountable for any potential loses, and curbs excessive executive compensation.

“Also included in this legislation are much needed tax extensions on renewable energy development for wind, solar, and geothermal – which are necessary to achieve energy independence. While the housing market is largely to blame for the downward spiral in the economy, energy prices have also played a significant role.

“The Secure Rural Schools Program, which provides critical funding for school districts in counties surrounding the Allegheny National Forest and many western states where, the federal government owns a large amount of land, was reauthorized for an additional four years at $3.3 billion. This is a huge victory for rural America, which is being overlooked.

“With the unemployment rate rising, home heating costs doubling, and the housing market under distress, voting to support this legislation may not be popular with many of my constituents, but it was the right thing to do in an effort to salvage our way of life, and get our economy back on track.”

27 Witnesses for Bonusgate

27 witnesses are being summoned to testify at next week's preliminary hearing in the Bonusgate case.

The witness list includes a woman who was allegedly given a job that entailed little work because of a sexual relationship she was having with a man, who at the time, was chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese.

Former state Representative Frank LaGrotta is also on the list, as are several people who are currently working for the House Democratic caucus.

Casey Statement on Jobless Rate

WASHINGTON, DC- This morning, Senator Casey responded to the new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job report for the month of September, which showed that the American economy lost 159,000 jobs. The BLS also revised statistics for July and August, showing that during those months the American economy lost 4,000 more jobs than initially projected. So far this year, the economy has lost 768,000 jobs.

“The American economy continues to hemorrhage jobs and the credit crunch threatens to hurt the economy even further. American families have been in recession for over a year as prices of everyday expenses such as food, gas, health care and education continue to rise and wages remain flat,” said Senator Casey.

“The credit crunch and measurements of manufacturers’ sentiment mean our fragile economy is at great risk of losing over 1 million jobs for the year. Congress must stabilize the economy now by rescuing credit markets and when it returns in November, must pass an economic stimulus to help struggling families.”

Earlier this week, Senator Casey responded to statistics showing that unemployment in Pennsylvania rose to 5.8 percent in the month of August, leaving 372,000 Pennsylvanian workers looking for work. In August, the foreclosure rate in Pennsylvania also jumped 60% compared with one year ago.

State by state and county level unemployment data for Pennsylvania in the month of September will not be available until the second half of November.

Six Months Since Brockway Fire

It's been six months since a fire in Brockway killed 10 people, and officials still haven't determined a cause.

Brockway Fire Chief Chris Benson says it may be several more months before they know what sparked the April 3 blaze.

He says rumors that a space heater fell over and didn't shut off are not true.

State police have released the house and owner Douglas Peterson Jr. has applied for a demolition permit.

Coalition Submitting Application

The Mount Jewett Charter Coalition will be submitting its Amended Charter School Application today, Friday, Oct. 3rd to the Kane Area School District.

This comes after the Coalition made a decision earlier this summer to postpone the process due to the lack of time to open the Charter School once approved.

Instead, they decided that they would make some modifications to the application they deemed necessary and resubmit with the intention of getting the approval either from the Kane Area School District or the PA Charter Appeals Board. They plan to open the Charter School in Mount Jewett for the 2009-2010 school year.

With the submission of the Amended Application, Kane Area School District will have 45 days to hold a Public Hearing on the Charter Application.

Virtual Zippo Lighters for iPhones

Zippo Manufacturing Company and Moderati Inc. today announced the launch of the Virtual Zippo Lighter, a free, branded application available in Apple’s iTunes App Store for the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

The Virtual Zippo Lighter brings the look and feel of Zippo’s iconic lighter to the iPhone, with interactive action that mimics the real thing. It opens with a flick of the wrist and lights with a turn of the flint wheel and the truly windproof flame sways as the device is moved back and forth. The Virtual Zippo Lighter allows Zippo fans to experience the famous “Zippo Moment” for free, by holding their cell phones aloft and swaying to power ballads at concerts.

Zippo manufactures an average of 12 million windproof pocket lighters each year, and nearly 450 million since the first lighter was created in 1932. Zippo windproof lighters enjoy a widespread and enviable reputation as valuable collectibles throughout the world. In the United States alone there are more than four million collectors, plus millions more worldwide – and throughout cyberspace. This collaboration with Moderati represents the brand’s first cooperative foray into downloadable applications for mobile devices.

“We are excited to launch the Virtual Zippo Lighter into Apple’s App Store,” said Pat Grandy, Marketing Communications Manager at Zippo. “It’s a true representation of our brand in a virtual format and our partnership with Moderati, with their experience in mobile marketing and development, is helping to bring a digital alternative to the ‘Zippo Moment’ for 21st century concertgoers.”

This collaboration marks Moderati’s entry into iPhone application development. Long known for its mobile on-deck content services and ringtone application development, Moderati has been increasingly working to introduce brands to the mobile arena through its relationships and expertise.

The Virtual Zippo Lighter features a selection of designs to customize the skin of the lighter, as well as an animated flame that reacts to movement of the phone. The application takes advantage of several features of the iPhone and iPod Touch developer platform, including the accelerometer to enable movement of the flame in response to motion. Realistic sound effects highlight the action of the lighter when it opens and closes, and the vibration feature lets you know when the flame is upside down.

“Zippo is widely-known as the best and coolest lighter in the world,” said Cindy Mesaros, SVP Marketing & acting president of Moderati. “We are taking that concept to the virtual world, and the iPhone is the perfect platform for it. We are proud to hold our Virtual Zippo Lighters aloft.”

Currently, the Virtual Zippo Lighter is the only free and branded lighter in the App Store with fully interactive lighter simulation, a realistic looking flame and multiple case designs. Future releases of the application will include the ability to engrave on the lighter and blow out the flame.

Check out the Virtual Zippo Lighter on iTunes and at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Three Dead in Clarion County Crash

Three people are dead after a car they were in hit a tree Thursday afternoon near Clarion.

Police say 19-year-old driver Amber Marie Hanson of Farrell was speeding when she lost control of the car, left the road and hit a tree.

Hanson and two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. They say 22-year-old Shawn Michael Sferzza and 20-year-old Matthew Mead Swyers were both from Strattanville.

A third passenger, 19-year-old Douglas Lucas Jr. of Strattanville, was in critical condition at a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday night.

PHEAA-Related Charges Filed

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit have arrested two York County men in connection with an ongoing investigation into bribery and bid-manipulation for printing work and supplies at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

Corbett identified the defendants as Kyle Andrew Becker, 38, 1676 Yorktown Drive, York, a former purchasing agent for PHEAA, and Daniel R. Snyder, 44, 100 Meadow Trail, Dillsburg, owner of DRS Printing Services, of Dillsburg.

Corbett said that as a purchasing agent, Becker was responsible for quotes, bids and contracts for printing and publishing services used by PHEAA. Snyder and his printing business were awarded contracts for various PHEAA printing projects.

"This case is about the manipulation and corruption of the bidding process for personal profit, stealing from an agency whose mission is to fund college education for Pennsylvania's youth," Corbett said. "Trading of inside information for cash and gifts caused PHEAA to pay more than necessary for various printing projects, with Becker and Snyder allegedly enjoying the profits."

Corbett said that between 2005 and 2007 Becker allegedly accepted more than $30,000 from Snyder, including a $10,000 check that was used as the down-payment for a truck. The payments were allegedly intended to keep PHEAA projects flowing to Snyder's printing business.

According to the criminal complaint, Becker would regularly meet Snyder in the lobby of the PHEAA office, where he would allegedly receive envelopes filled with $50 and $100 bills. A search of Becker's bank records from 2005 through 2007 indicate cash payments toward a loan totaling $10,800; deposits in another account totaling more than $36,000; and a receipt for a cashier's check totaling $10,000.

Additionally, Becker allegedly received other items from Snyder, including Penn State football tickets, Hershey Bears hockey tickets, Pittsburgh Steelers merchandise, two rifles, a tree stand and a compound bow. Those items were allegedly exchanged for information from Becker about competitors' pricing for various PHEAA projects, allowing Snyder to submit lower bids and be awarded contracts.

Corbett said that during bidding for one project in 2007, Becker allegedly informed Snyder that he could increase his bid by $20,000 while still staying under the next lowest bid. In return for that information, Snyder allegedly gave Becker the excess profits, making three $5,000 cash payments during meetings with Becker in the lobby of the PHEAA office in Harrisburg.

Becker is charged with one count of bribery, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine, along with one count of conflict of interest, an ungraded felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Snyder is charged with one count of bribery, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Becker and Snyder both surrendered today to agents of the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit and were preliminarily arraigned before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Robert Jennings III. They were released on their own recognizance with a preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 10th, before Magisterial District Judge Jennings.

The case will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Deputy Attorney General James M. Reeder of the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit.

Corbett noted that this is an ongoing investigation.

Fatal Fire Ruled Accidental

Officials have confirmed that a fire that killed two Fredonia boys was most likely caused by unattended candles on the front porch of their home.

The September 21 fire killed 10-year-old Dawson McKinnon and 3-year-old Clayton McKinnon.

Chautauqua County fire investigators ruled the fire accidental. The blaze was determined to have started on the front porch of the home. The most likely cause, according to fire officials, was a candle or candles on the front porch.

The mother of the boys, 34-year-old Jennifer McKinnon is still in Erie County Medical Center, where she is in fair condition.

Amish Won't Comply with County

Several Cattaraugus County Amish families say they will not comply with the health department's regulations concerning disposal of raw sewage.

They say the health department is discriminating against them, by telling them they have to use wooden traps specially designed for them.

The department has fined three families, who filed appeals based on their religious beliefs.

The appeals have been denied and the families have been given until October 26 to install compliant septic systems.

Wagner: Time for Change is Now

Speaking at a candidates' forum at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Thursday night, State Auditor General Jack Wagner re-iterated the importance of the election, not just for the state, but for the country. "If it's not time to change the direction of America, I don't know when it will be. ... We should have 100 percent voting on November 4. And if we did, I believe we could put it back on the right track."

Candidates for Congress, state senate, state treasurer and state representative also participated in the forum. The event was organized by the Bradford, Kane and Smethport chambers of commerce.

Man Indicted on Homicide Charge

A Cattaraugus man has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter. Court records indicate that 41-year-old Michael Andrews was driving while intoxicated on January 2 in the Town of Mansfield when an accident caused the death of 46-year-old Joseph Sebastiani of Otto, New York. An arraignment date hasn't been scheduled yet.

UPB Breaks Enrollment Records

For the third year in a row, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has broken enrollment records, recruiting its largest freshman class and closing in on its long-term goal of 1,500 full-time equivalent students.

“The momentum has been building on our campus for a number of years, and I’m absolutely thrilled that our hardworking faculty and staff can see the results of our efforts,” said Pitt-Bradford president Dr. Livingston Alexander.

“The growth of our student population is wonderful for our campus and the University of Pittsburgh as a whole, but we’re also mindful of the important economic benefits to the region that come with a growing student population.”

This fall saw 1,511 students enrolled, up 6.9 percent over last year. Of those, 1,323 are full-time students. That head count is 20 percent higher than it was just two years ago. Not only is enrollment growing, but also the enrollment of full-time students has grown while the number of part-time students has gotten smaller.

Colleges that serve both full- and part-time students often employ a formula to calculate the equivalent of full-time students attending the school. Pitt-Bradford’s number of full-time-equivalent students reached 1,398, up 17.7 percent over last year and is rapidly closing in on the university’s long term goal of 1,500 full-time-equivalent students.

The Class of 2012 also broke records with 377 freshmen on campus this fall. The previous mark was set in 2006.

Twenty percent of the freshman class members come from New York, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and South Korea. Eighty percent of the class is from Pennsylvania.

“Our incoming classes are becoming more diversified,” said James Baldwin, assistant dean of academic affairs and registrar. Eight percent of freshman are black, 3.5 percent are Asian and 2.5 percent are Hispanic or Native American.

The Class of 2012 scored an average of 15 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test than the previous year’s freshmen and represented students from 280 different high schools. Twenty percent of the class members had a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Only 1 percent of the freshman class is enrolled part-time, and representation among the sexes is nearly equal with 51 percent women and 49 percent men. Nationwide, Baldwin said, the trend is toward a greater percentage of women undergraduate students.

Freshman-to-sophomore retention rates also reached their highest levels ever at 72 percent, up slightly from 71 percent the year before.

Alex Nazemetz, director of admissions, said that that is due in part to an effort by the admissions department to recruit the students most likely to stay and succeed at Pitt-Bradford. Nazemetz said that in the nine years he’s been the director of admissions, he’s seen the pool of applicants broaden and interest in the university increase.

“Pitt-Bradford is making a name for itself across the state,” Nazemetz said, adding that the additions of the renovated Frame-Westerberg Commons and Sport and Fitness Center and the addition of new housing “have made it like a whole new school.”

New programs as well as new buildings are drawing students. Some of the most popular majors have been added in the last decade, including accounting, athletic training, criminal justice and sports medicine.

The increase in students has put some strain on resources such as classroom space and faculty availability to teach, said Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academics. Hardin said that Pitt-Bradford is requesting an increase in faculty positions from the Pitt system, but in the meantime, some faculty members are teaching more courses now than normally expected in order to meet the increased demand.

“The faculty have really stepped up and met the needs of the students,” he said. “We’re all really happy that enrollment has increased, and we are working hard to maintain the quality of a Pitt-Bradford education.”

Young Announces Re-Election Bid

Citing her commitment to tax relief and economic growth, state Senator Catharine "Cathy" Young officially kicked off her reelection campaign for the 57th District today. "My background of growing up on a dairy farm taught me the value of rolling up your sleeves and tackling tough issues. My parents worked hard every day, and they instilled in me the importance of helping others and making your community a better place. I strive to live up to their example," she said.

"We are facing serious issues in New York, and now is the time for action and results. This is a fight for the hardworking, overburdened taxpayers. Families and senior citizens are struggling to make ends meet. Suffocating property taxes are driving people and jobs out of our state. Wall Street is a mess, and it is causing a serious state budget shortfall. We need to rebuild our economy and people need good jobs," Sen. Young said.

"I've stood up in Albany for property tax relief, economic growth and cutting wasteful spending. The STAR program has helped reduce property taxes, but we need more. The Senate passed a hard property tax cap to give homeowners a break, which is a good first step, while protecting our schools from unfunded mandates that drive up costs. We also have a plan to totally reform the property tax system," she said.

"The Senate passed a Constitutional spending cap to rein in out-of-control spending, while investing in projects that will jump start our economy and grow small businesses. We passed a comprehensive Upstate revitalization plan to create more good jobs, opportunity and prosperity," she added.

"Unfortunately, the state Assembly has failed to act on these measures, but we can't give up. We need to redouble our efforts because the future of our state depends on it. I'm going to continue this fight for the people of my district," Sen. Young said.

"People know how hard I work for them, and that I am focused on getting positive results. We've had many success stories, including establishing an Empire Zone in Livingston County that led to 4M Company growing in Dansville and the new Barilla Pasta Plant in Avon. Cattaraugus County has seen Dresser Rand in Olean booming and a new Olean-based company named Data Listing Services creating hundreds of jobs.

In Allegany County there have been smart state investments that have kept and brought more jobs to Friendship Dairies, Dresser-Rand in Wellsville, and Alstom. Nanotechnology advances at Alfred University are developing high-paying jobs, and a new program to strengthen agriculture and renewable energy has been established at Alfred State College.

Chautauqua County has seen success at companies such a Cummins Engine, Nestle Purina and Special Metals," she said.

"Across the Senate District, hundreds of jobs have been created, and more are planned," Sen. Young said.

Other innovations are triggering economic progress, she added.

"Low-cost, clean energy is a must to help our economy thrive. Our planned clean oxy-coal Jamestown BPU plant will protect our manufacturing jobs and consumers by keeping energy rates low as we develop cutting-edge technology that could solve carbon emission problems around the world. Thousands of good-paying jobs in the Jamestown area and at Western New York companies such as Dresser Rand and Praxair, are projected to be created from this project," she said.

"Our wine and grape industry is taking off, and we're building a new Cornell University Vineyard Research Lab in Portland to meet growers needs. We're establishing a Grape Discovery Center in Westfield to strengthen our wineries, promote tourism and bring customers to our local small businesses. New York's grape and wine products annually produce more than $6 billion statewide in economic value, including over 30,000 jobs," said Mrs. Young, who serves as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair.

"I've fought for our dairy farmers, maple producers, animal producers, and fruit and vegetable growers. I've strived to create new opportunities for renewable energy through crops that our farmers can grow. Agriculture still is our state's number one industry, and we can make it even stronger," she said.

"We've made this progress in all of these areas because of smart investments that are spurring economic revitalization," Sen. Young said.

"Ideas, innovation, cutting-edge technology, manufacturing, small business growth and a thriving agricultural industry will help us weather these tough economic times and ready us to meet the future. I have a plan to provide desperately-needed tax relief that doesn't increase state spending -- it simply redirects existing funds to where they will be most effective. It will generate more business, jobs and prosperity while increasing state and local revenues to help us erase our deficit," Sen. Young said.

Highlights include:

Tax relief to stimulate small businesses and manufacturers

New tax credits for job creation and training

Reform the Empire Zone program to ensure accountability and create more jobs

Small business loan assistance

Tax credits for investments for emerging technology companies

Health insurance cost cuts for small businesses

Strengthening agriculture

Low-cost student loans and tax credits for students who stay in New York

Eliminate state regulations, mandates, red tape and paperwork

Foster community and neighborhood revitalization

"Despite all of the challenges that we face, I believe that by fighting for more accountable government in Albany, and taking the right actions for economic renewal and tax relief, we can prosper as a region and a state. Our best days are ahead," Sen. Young said.

"It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve my communities. I am grateful every day to have the opportunity to help change and improve the lives of the people in my district, and I hope the voters will give me the chance to continue to work on their behalf," Sen. Young said.

Sen. Young is endorsed by the Republican, Independence and Conservative Parties. The general election will be held Nov. 4.

The 57th Senate District includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and portions of Livingston County. Sen. Young was elected to the state Assembly in 1998 and won a special election to the Senate in 2005.

Tributes to Rep. John Peterson

Washington, DC – This past Friday, September 26, 2008, Members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation took to the House Floor to share their memories of serving with U.S. Representative John E. Peterson (R-Pa.), and to pay tribute to his twelve years of service in Washington and his nineteen years of service as a state official in Harrisburg.

Led by Representative Phil English (R-Erie), the dean of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation, Representatives Bill Shuster (R-Altoona), Jim Gerlach (R- Exton), Charles Dent (R-Lehigh Valley), and Jason Altmire (D-Aliquippa) expressed their friendship, gratitude and sorrow that Rep. Peterson has decided not to seek reelection and retire from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Peterson, who is considered an expert by his peers on energy, rural healthcare, technical education, and rural development, served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee for ten years and was the co-chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus.

While Peterson has a long list of accomplishments throughout his career, some would consider his most recent legislative undertakings the most striking. A tireless advocate of securing our nation’s energy future through increased domestic production – not foreign dependence – Peterson has fought for seven years to repeal the federal prohibition on offshore energy production. The 26-year old moratoria expired October 1, 2008 – a feat largely accredited to Peterson’s work.

On the issue of rural development, it was Peterson’s leadership and relentless voice that served as the catalyst for keeping I-80 toll free. This monumental challenge pitted Peterson, Congressman English, their constituents, and the businesses along the I-80 corridor against the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania State Senate and House Leadership, and the Commonwealth’s highest paid lobbyists. On September 11, 2008, Peterson and the citizens of Pennsylvania declared victory when the Federal Highway Administration denied Pennsylvania’s I-80 tolling application.

While these are two of Peterson’s most recent accomplishments, he was as tough and as relentless throughout his career on every issue that affected his constituents. Following are video clips and excerpts from the tribute:

Rep. Phil English(R-Erie)

“John Peterson has decided to retire this year…But he leaves behind him a truly remarkable record as a public servant, as someone who’s made his mark first in the state legislature and now in this body…It has been a great privilege to serve with John Peterson and my distinguished colleague from Pennsylvania will very much be missed. Certainly, if there were ever a solution to the energy crisis, it would be tap to his energy and try to channel it to others in this body.”

“I, myself, have never seen my colleague more engaged than on the issue of tolling interstate 80. I partnered with John Peterson last year when this issue came up in this body… I had the privilege of seeing firsthand John Peterson’s advocacy and his energy as he aggressively engaged both state officials and ultimately our U.S. Department of Transportation. I must say, the fact that we have recently received a decision from the U.S. Department of Transportation that effectively bars the tolling of interstate 80 is a great tribute to his advocacy and his ability to work with people like me and others to make the case.”

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Exton)

“It’s been my honor to work with John over the years in promoting the interests of our constituencies and the good of this nation. His service has been an inspiration and it has been my pleasure to witness this man in action over the years…Time after time, he has promoted the interests and well-being of his constituency, the largest and most rural of all the districts in Pennsylvania.”

“He accomplished throughout this effort…job creation and economic development strategies, improved access to affordable health care and improve the quality of life for his constituents. His tireless devotion to the residents of the Fifth Congressional District is a glimpse of his compassion of his devotion to the country.”

“John, thank you for your tireless service, you will be missed.”

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Aliquippa)

“[John] is somebody who spent his entire career talking about energy, especially natural gas and oil drilling. He is somebody who talked continuously about the need to expand our offshore drilling for both oil and natural gas and can tell you all the reasons why, and all the history therein, and he was somebody who was successful in getting that done. Beginning next Wednesday, a moratorium that was in place for 27 years on oil and natural gas drilling is expiring…and nobody in this house can take more credit for that then john Peterson. That is a whale of an accomplishment to end your career on.”

“I was always amazed at John Peterson’s ability to demonstrate expertise on any subject that came up…and what I would say to the constituents of the Fifth District in Pennsylvania…you are losing a great representative. He’s somebody who, as a Democrat, I did not always agree with…but there’s nobody in this Congress who cared more about their district, who cared more about this institution than John Peterson. I can guarantee the people of the fifth district there is nobody going home with more accomplishments at the end of their term than John Peterson.”

Rep. Charles Dent (R-Lehigh Valley)

“John, in Washington, is perhaps best known for his advocacy on the issue of outer coastal shelf exploration for energy…he talked about the issue of American exploration for energy when perhaps it wasn’t as popular. But he would come down to this floor with charts and he would talk about the need to produce energy in America and he was passionate about it. During this congress, the outer coastal shelf has taken a high profile, and I know that because of [John’s] leadership, is why we saw the moratorium on drilling lifted…that’s a great accomplishment for John.”

“He was one of the most tenacious members. He would take up an issue and there was no one who has more fierce for his cause than John Peterson…we saw that this year with respect to the proposed tolling for Interstate 80.”

“John Peterson has had such a good year. I know I will miss him. He has been a great friend to me…since our legislative days in Harrisburg. I want to thank John Peterson for his advocacy, for his friendship, and for his leadership on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Altoona)

“Anybody you talk to, whether it’s here in Washington or in Harrisburg, talks about John’s hard work and his tenacity. He’s one of those guys that…when he sinks his teeth into something, he doesn’t let go. He fights and he fights and he fights. His career has been an example of that… he is one of the hardest working members of the House of Representatives.

“I remember John, before I came to congress, on television, going to Russia, fighting to get the release of one of his constituents who was arrested because the Russians, at the time, thought he was a spy. It was John Peterson on national television in Russia pounding and fighting to make sure his constituent was released. You know, John Peterson, with that tenacity, with that hard work was able to do that. That family is grateful to him. The people of his district are grateful for his hard work and his expertise.”

“John really understood the issues of rural America. His role as the Chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus for a number of years, he was out there always fighting for those issues whether it was health care, whether it was education, economic development, John Peterson understood it as well or better than any member of congress…he is going to be missed significantly.”

Costume Contest for Pets

Animal lovers, take note!

The McKean County S.P.C.A. is offering something for everyone at its Rabies Clinic and Open House set for Saturday, October 11.

Lots of activities will take place outside at the Glenwood Avenue Shelter. Pet owners are invited to dress their animals in costume for a contest beginning at 11 a.m., with judging to take place at 11:30. Trophies and cash prizes will be given for the “best dressed” and the “silliest” costume for both dogs and cats.

“We hope that a lot of kids and adults will bring their pets for a Halloween-type dress-up contest,” says Lori Burkhouse, chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the local SPCA Board of Directors. “We’ll be giving $10 prizes for the really creative ones, along with trophies. Of course the kids can dress up, too, just for fun.”

Burkhouse added that, in addition to money and trophies for prizewinners, there will be free treat bags for the animals and candy for the kids. Free popcorn will also be provided by the Bradford Lions Club.

Food will be plentiful, with sales of baked goods, along with hot dogs, chips, cider and donuts, pop, and bottled water at tables outside the building.

Other tables will house a silent auction, with numerous items of interest donated by local individuals and businesses. “Buddy,” the Shelter mascot, is expected to put in an appearance.

Pet items for sale will include homemade dog treats, toys, animal clothing, leashes and collars. People items available for purchase will include SPCA tote bags, shirts, and blankets.

The rabies clinic will take place in the nearby Bradford Water Authority Building from the hours of 1-3 p.m. Information will be available, as will rabies vaccine. Pet-owners are urged to bring their animals for shots, which will be provided for a small fee at the clinic.

The Open House at the Shelter will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be an excellent opportunity for animal-lovers to come into contact with pets looking for homes. Since October is the national SPCA’s “Adopt a Dog from the Shelter” Month, adoption fees are discounted. For the celebration of the Open House, the discount will also apply to cat adoptions.

All proceeds from the Open House items for sale will benefit the McKean County SPCA. There will be plenty of community involvement, with volunteers from a number of groups, including Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Local radio station WESB will do a live broadcast at the site. As Lori Burkhouse notes, “It’s a great way to have some good family fun and also support a worthy cause.”

Ground Breaking for New Center

The Seneca Nation has broken ground for the 144,000 square foot, two-story Allegany Sports and Community Center in Jimersontown.

The facility is expected to take 22 months to build and will include a 1,500-seat lacrosse arena with mezzanine and upper deck seating. It will also include two swimming pools, a gym, fitness centers, community recreation rooms and a full-service kitchen.

Friday, the Senecas will break ground for an identical complex on the Cattaraugus Territory.

Airport Welcomes Contintental

Bradford Regional Airport Manager Tom Frungillo talks with some pilots as they get ready to fly to Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport. The airport and Gulfstream Airlines officially welcomed Continental Airlines to the airport today. Frungillo says they're excited about the opportunity to fly to Cleveland.

Personal note: I'm execited about Cleveland, too. I hope my sister plans on picking me up at the airport a lot.

Thomas Named Carnegie Hero

A volunteer firefighter from Wellsville who died while trying to save a 16-year-old from drowning is among 25 people awarded Carnegie Hero medals today for their heroism.

56-year-old Ronald Thomas died on April 29 of last year trying to save Daniel Allen, who fell from a waterfall spanning the Genesee River into turbulent water while trying to save his father, who had also fallen. The father and son survived.

The medal is awarded throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Three other recipients besides Thomas lost their lives in the performance of their rescue acts.

Uncle! I Meant Uncle!

You think local media people are the only ones who make mistakes?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lewicki, Fannin to be Honored

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will honor professor Donald Lewicki with the PBAA Teaching Excellence Award and alumnus Tim Fannin ’78 with the Distinguished Volunteer Award as part of Alumni and Family Weekend.

The awards will be given at the PBAA Awards Brunch held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

The PBAA Teaching Excellence Award recognizes a faculty member who has exemplified the established educational principles, shown dedication in teaching in his or her students and excelled in his or her area of specialty.

Lewicki, associate professor of business management, was nominated by Donny Kemick ’04 and Jeremy Callinan ’04, co-owners of Protocol 80, an information technology/Web firm located in Bradford.

“He single-handedly changed my outlook on the opportunities available to me, especially in the Bradford area,” Kemick wrote.

“In every class, he brought real-world, hands-on examples to class and really displayed what a career would be like in management information systems. He always dug as deep as he had to to find internship and project opportunities for students.”

Lindsay Hilton Retchless ’98, director of alumni relations, said, “Don is very popular with his students and has been nominated by other students in addition to Donny and Jeremy throughout the years.”

Lewicki, who is also the director of Computing, Telecommunications and Media Services on campus, teaches technology-related courses with the business management department.

After a distinguished career as a technical manager at IBM, Lewicki joined Pitt-Bradford 12 years ago as the director of CTM. He was looking for a job that was more self-satisfying with a lower level of pressure and a slower pace than IBM, and he was also interested in moving near his hometown of Olean, N.Y.

Fannin ’78 is the outgoing president of the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association and a more-than-dedicated volunteer. He was one of the first four-year graduates of Pitt-Bradford and went on to earn a master of business administration degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to serving as president of the PBAA, Fannin has served as vice president, liaison to the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board and participated in the entrepreneurship program. He has volunteered his time with the annual fund, admissions and career networking.

“I’m amazed by how he’s able to balance career and his commitment to Pitt-Bradford,” wrote John R. Foerstner ’79, in nominating Fannin. “You can certainly tell through his dedication that Pitt-Bradford is close to his heart.”

Ward Garner ’89 also nominated Fannin, saying that “Tim takes every opportunity to become more involved in the inner workings of the school.”

A certified public accountant, he has spent 25 years in public accounting and is a partner with Catalano, Case, Catalano & Fannin, where he specializes in forensic accounting, limited liability corporation tax issues and nonprofit and government auditing and accounting.

American Chestnut Hike on Sunday

Excited about the recent identification of several mature American Chestnut trees near Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Picnic Area, Friends of Rimrock has announced an “American Chestnut Hike” at Rimrock Sunday, October 5.

American chestnuts once made up about 25 percent of the forests in the eastern United States, with an estimated 4 billion trees from Maine to Mississippi and Florida. But a chestnut disease was introduced to North America through New York City in 1904. This chestnut blight, caused by a fungus and presumably brought in from eastern Asia, was first found in only a few trees in the New York Zoological Garden. The blight spread rapidly and by 1950, the American chestnut had disappeared except for shrubby root sprouts the species continually produces (and which also quickly become infected).

“Though many people think the American chestnut tree is extinct, that is not the case,” said Reg Darling, spokesperson for Friends of Rimrock. “There are still millions of sprouts throughout its native range, mostly in forest areas. However, there are very few tree-sized chestnuts. That is why we were so excited to discover several nut-bearing trees in the Rimrock area. The discovery of a seed-producing American chestnut tree is a significant find.”

John Stoneman, founder of Allegheny Outdoor Adventures and the person who discovered the American chestnut tree at Rimrock, will be leading the hike. He explained that the goal of the hike is to document as many American chestnut trees in the area as possible, and to provide an opportunity for everyone who is interested in learning more about the American chestnut, Rimrock, and the Allegheny National Forest to be involved.

All pertinent information discovered on the hike will be sent to the local state chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. “If you think you have found an American chestnut tree, typically, one should collect a leaf and twig sample from the tree and send it in with pertinent information about the tree,” Stoneman explained. “Many states have tree locator forms that they use to outline that type of information. By sending in the completed locator form, along with the leaf and twig sample, the current members of tree locator committees can properly analyze the leaf and twig sample for American characteristics and to properly catalogue your finding.”

The American Chestnut Foundation has been working for about 15 years to develop a blight-resistant variety. The goal is to infuse the American chestnut with the blight-resistant genes of the Chinese chestnut.

According to Stoneman, the American Chestnut Foundation will respond to you with their analysis. If the tree is an American chestnut and is accessible for controlled pollination, the chapter will likely look forward to using the tree in its breeding program--and would welcome your help in doing so!

Anyone interested in participating should meet at the main parking lot at Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Picnic Area at 11AM, rain or shine. The hike will be 4-7 miles, depending upon the route chosen, and will last until around 4PM.

Photos of American chestnut trees, the leaves, the fruit and the bark will be available to help participants identify the American chestnut. Participants are advised to dress for the weather and to bring a lunch and beverage. A camera and binoculars would add to your enjoyment!
Hand holding American chestnut seeds:
John Stoneman holds American chestnut seeds and burrs, found recently at Rimrock in the Allegheny National Forest.

(In the photos, courtesy of Friends of Rimrock, John Stoneman stands near the seed-bearing American chestnut tree he discovered at Rimrock, and holds some of the seeds and burrs he found beneath the tree.)

BRMC Offering Flu Shots Soon

One of the best ways to protect against influenza is to get vaccinated each year which is why Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) will soon be offering flu shots to the general public. The flu season is approaching and studies have shown skipping that annual flu shot could have serious consequences.

Terrie O'Brien, RN, BRMC’s infection control practitioner, says being vaccinated is among the single-most effective ways to prevent getting the flu and spreading it to others.

"You should be immunized to not only protect yourself but others that you care about as well," Mrs. O'Brien said.

Fortunately, plenty of vaccine will be available this year, according to Gary Malacarne, Pharm. D., BRMC’s pharmacy director. "We ordered 4,000 doses and we now have it all," he notes.

The flu vaccine is for two A-strains and also a B-strain. Dr. Malacarne explains that the three strains are A/Brisbane/59, A/Brisbane/10 and B/Florida/4.

The past few years have been mild flu seasons. Because of this reason local hospital officials are concerned many people, particularly those in high-risk categories, may be lax about getting vaccinated this year.

"January is the peak flu season so October and November are considered the best time to get vaccinated,” Mrs. O'Brien says.

"If we have a typical flu season this year, we'll see significant increases of flu cases and deaths nationally," a trend that could occur locally, Dr. Malacarne says.

Starting mid-October, high-risk hospital patients and residents at the Pavilion at BRMC will be given flu shots, he says. If this flu season mirrors last year’s, “It should be an average or slightly above-average flu season,” the pharmacist remarks.

That’s why most people should be thinking of getting inoculated, says Mrs. O’Brien. Practically everyone is old enough to get a flu vaccine. "Those who are 6 months and older should get vaccinated," Mrs. O'Brien says. "It's a myth that only older individuals need vaccinated."

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu symptoms can include high fever, headache, exhaustion, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea also can occur but are more common in children than adults.

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma and diabetes. Undoubtedly, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a vaccination, Mrs. O’Brien says.

To ensure both community and patient safety, BRMC is encouraging its employees to be vaccinated as well. Flu viruses mainly spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. In some cases, people can become infected just by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

"That's why good hand hygiene also is important," Mrs. O'Brien adds. "So wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand-cleaning gel if you don't have access to soap and water." Also, "People should use good respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth with a sleeve or tissue when sneezing or coughing," Mrs. O'Brien notes. "If you're infected with the flu, wear a mask to minimize risks to others."

BRMC officials expect to release their schedule for community flu shots shortly.

(In the photo, courtesy of BRMC, Gary Malacarne, Pharm. D., Bradford Regional Medical Center’s pharmacy director, reviews the final shipment of flu vaccine.)

Aeroworks Sued by Illinois

A St. Marys firm that advises people on how to avoid mortgage foreclosure is being sued by the state of Illinois.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan contends Aeroworks LLC promised to keep people in their homes but instead took their money without any results.

She says Aeroworks sent out more than 1,000 mailings a week to homeowners offering help in keeping their homes and urging them to avoid dishonest scams, adding that the company charged homeowners more than $1,000 for counseling and home rescue services that were rarely successful.

Madigan says she wants Aeroworks to be shut down and fined. The lawsuit also seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 for every violation, and a $10,000 penalty for each violation committed against a person 65 years or older.

Aeroworks officials say the lawsuit has no merit.

Jury Finds Galeton Man Not Guilty

A jury has found a Galeton man not guilty of aggravated assault in the stabbing of another man last summer. 21-year-old James Douglas Akeley says he acted in self-defense when he stabbed 25-year-old Chad Sepiol on June 28, 2007, after they got into an argument. Akely's attorney says the jury came to the correct conclusion, that his client was defending himself against someone who outweighs him by about 200 pounds. Akely is 6 feet tall and weighs about 160 pounds. Sepiol is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 350 pounds.

Billy Ray Cyrus to Meet Namesake

Billy Ray Cyrus plans to be in Pittsburgh tomorrow to meet his namesake tiger cub at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

The Siberian tiger cub, born on Mother's Day, was named after Cyrus by donors who paid to name it in honor of a deceased family member who was a big fan of the country music and television star, who is also the father of Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus.

Billy Ray the tiger will likely grow up to be about 11 feet long and 450 pounds. There are an estimated 400 endangered Siberian tigers in the wild.

Guilty Plea in Ianna Maybee Death

The girlfriend of Ianna Maybee's father has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of the 3-year-old in her home on March 21. 32-year-old Stephanie Pierce is scheduled for sentencing on December 15. Court records show that Pierce's boyfriend and Ianna's father, Guy Maybee, fatally assaulted the girl and Pierce was present at the time. Maybee has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held in Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail. Charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment against Pierce dropped because there was no evidence she did anything to the child. Pierce’s plea is an admission that she did not seek medical attention or call 911 while Ianna was being attacked.

Rendell Betting Cheesesteaks, Beer

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and are betting beer, sausages and cheesesteaks over the upcoming baseball playoffs.

The Milwaukee Brewers are in Philadelphia to take on the Phillies in the best-of-5 National League Division Series starting Wednesday.

Doyle said he is betting Miller beer, Klement's Sausages and secret sauce they serve at Miller Park.

Rendell is offering up a selection of Yuengling Brewery products and Philadelphia cheesesteaks.

Doyle said he looks forward to celebrating a Brewers victory with a tasty cheesesteak. Rendell said he wants to find out what the secret sauce takes like.

Aviation Art Contest

PennDOT is reminding young artists that the deadline for this year's aviation art contest -- "A Day at the Airport" -- is October 14.

Entries will be judged in two divisions: first through third grades, and fourth & fifth grades.

There will be 22 statewide winners, with one winner from each division selected from each of PennDOT's 11 district offices.

Winners will receive a certificate signed by the transportation secretary and a mounted, full-color, 16-by-20-inch copy of their entry. The students' schools will also receive a mounted copy of the artwork for display.

More information on submission guidelines, including permitted formats and other requirements is online at Click on the "Bureau of Aviation" link.

Olean Boosters Provide Scoreboard

The Olean High School Sports Boosters Club purchased and donated to the Olean City School District a $14,000 Daktronic scoreboard capable of handing any number of events including Soccer, Track, and Football. The scoreboard, which measures 18’ by 8’, was installed by the maintenance crew from Olean High School. Dr. Colleen Taggerty, Olean City School District superintendent, stated “This was a collaborated project with the boosters and the school district. The school district and athletes appreciate the financial support received from the boosters to fund this project. The district’s maintenance staff constructed the sign - saving us significant labor costs.”

Mike Nenno, OHS Sports Boosters Secretary added, “Most Daktronics displays, like the one at OHS, are capable of scoring multiple sports. Simply by changing the code and insert on the controller, the scoreboard is ready to handle a new sport - track, soccer, and football.”

The Boosters is an organization for parents, coaches, staff and other community residents interested in supporting the high school athletic program in the Olean City School District. For the 2007-2008 school year, the Boosters were able to achieve/fund more than $20,696 in major projects that benefit our athletes: Cappucino/Cocoa Machine; Cardio Machine; Concession Stand Grill; Dugouts for both softball and baseball fields; Football Bull Sled; Golf Cart; Laptop Computer; Nacho Machine; Printer; Scorer’s Table; Track Time Watch; and Volleyball Standards. Most of the funds that the boosters receive are related back to the sporting events, such as gate, raffles and admission, but also include sponsorships/donation/support from the community and the Olean City School District and Athletic Department.

Three major achievements that occurred the 2007-2008 school year include: the most successful Endowment Raffle Fundraiser to date (443 tickets of 500 were sold); obtaining the rights to host the first (of many) Gus Macker Basketball Tournaments in Olean; and completing 501(c)3 status on the organization. These achievements reflect the hardwork and dedication of parents and friends in the school community.

For more information on the events listed above or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Joe DeCerbo, President, 373-2363; Jim Lee, Vice-President, 378-3058; Mike Nenno, Secretary, 378-1000; or Meme Yanetsko, Treasurer, 373-8901.

(In the photo, courtesy of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, are Don Scholla, Olean City School District Athletic Director; Joe DeCerbo, Boosters President; Mike Nenno, Boosters Secretary)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Boss to Perform for Obama

Bruce Springsteen will perform an acoustic set at a rally in Philadelphia to help the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama register voters and recruit volunteers. The program is Saturday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Springsteen has endorsed Obama for president.

UPB to Rededicate Swarts Hall

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will rededicate its first academic building, Swarts Hall, on Friday, Oct. 3. Swarts Hall re-opened this fall after a year-and-a-half $6.4 million renovation.

The rededication, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4:30 p.m., followed by tours, mini-reunions by academic area, demonstrations by academic programs and refreshments. The event is part of activities for Alumni and Family Weekend.

The renovation created new nursing labs that will mimic a real hospital, a large multimedia technology classroom, a psychology lab and an E-venture lab as well as new suites of private faculty offices that will provide students and faculty with more privacy.

“The renovation of this important academic building reestablishes it as the heart and soul of our academic complex,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president. “The state-of-the-art technology that permeates the building will ensure that future generations of Pitt-Bradford students receive the very best education possible.”

Those taking part in the rededication ceremony include Alexander, Pitt-Bradford president; Craig Hartburg, chairman of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board; Jessica Visseau, president of the Student Government Association; Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs; and longtime donor William Higie. Also, Dr. James Maher, provost and senior vice chancellor for the University of Pittsburgh, will address those gathered through a recorded message.

Members of the academic programs housed in Swarts will hold cluster reunions for their alumni and present programs on the activities of current students.

The education program will hold its reunion in Room 110, where student work, materials from the Curriculum Resource Center of Hanley Library and photos of students from this semester will be on display. Faculty members Marietta Frank, reference and bibliographic instruction librarian; Vaughn Bicehouse, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Donna Armstrong, assistant professor of education, will greet any visitors who drop by.

The Division of Communication and the Arts will be located in Room 102 and will showcase student work such as Baily’s Beads, play posters, videos and copies of The Source student newspaper. Representatives from each of the programs will be on hand to greet alumni and other visitors.

Business management, economics, accounting and entrepreneurship will be located in Room 161.

Sociology, social sciences, history/political science and criminal justice will be in Room 211.

Psychology will be in Room 235 and will show off its new psychology labs on the second floor.

Representatives of the nursing program will be both in the information technology classroom on the ground floor and upstairs in the new nursing suite, where visitors can see three new nursing labs.

Philosophy and anthropology will be in Room 211, and the human relations program will also hold a reunion.

Swarts Hall was the first academic building on campus in 1973.

Work on the building began in March of last year, when O’Kain Auditorium was gutted. The open space was converted into two floors holding the nursing area upstairs and the business area and technology classroom downstairs.

Hardin thinks the wait was worth it and is particularly pleased with the pleasant private offices for each professor, many of whom had never had a private office before.

Other changes included new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, new electrical service, replacement of floors and ceilings, new windows, painting, upgrades to restrooms and elevators, technology improvements and a completely automated sprinkler and fire system.

The renovation also made Swarts compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

New porticos match the rustic look of the Commons and Blaisdell Hall.

The construction manager for the project was Pittsburgh-based Massaro Inc., which also built the first phase of Blaisdell Hall.

(In the photos, courtesy of Pitt-Bradford, Rich Barton, instructor of nursing, examines Andrew Truman in the new bachelor of science in nursing lab in Swarts Hall and Dr. Gregory Page, associate professor of psychology, shows off the new counseling psychology lab in which he can observe students conducting counseling sessions.)

Murder Victim Identified

Law enforcement officials say the woman who was found dead in a Jamestown house Monday was murdered. The body of 24-year-old Dana Cowart was found at around noon Monday in a vacant house that had recently been damaged in a fire. Police haven't released any further details yet. The District Attorney's office and Jamestown Police say they are continuing the investigation along with several other law enforcement agencies.

EMS Worker Tax Credit Available

Area volunteer emergency responders could be eligible for a tax credit worth up to $100 on their 2008 state income tax return, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) announced today. Act 66 of 2008 provides a credit of up to $100 against the state personal income tax liability of residents who are active members of a volunteer ambulance service or volunteer fire or rescue company.

Eligibility for the new tax incentives will be based upon how active an individual is within his or her company and is open to volunteer firefighters, rescue and emergency medical personnel.

A volunteer responder must earn a total of 50 points between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of this year to be eligible for the state income tax credit. Responders can accumulate points through obtaining certifications, attending training courses and organizational meetings, as well as through response rates, sleep-in and standby times, holding elected and/or appointed positions, lifetime membership, military leave, and other related administrative and support activities.

The tax credit must be earned in 2008, but may be applied against the volunteer responder's state income tax liability for not only 2008 but also against the state income tax liability for three succeeding taxable years, until the tax credit has been exhausted.

For additional information and detailed eligibility requirements, visit Causer's Web site at and click on "Emergency Responder Tax Credit." Please note that forms to apply for the tax credit will not be available until January.

Turnpike Bid Off the Table

The partnership that offered $12.8 billion to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike is walking away from the deal, citing inaction by the state Legislature. Pennsylvania Transportation Partners decided not to renew its offer, which was set to expire at the end of the business day. Leaders of both chambers have said they weren't interested in putting the offer up for a floor vote. A spokesman for the group says it's still interested in the road and they're will to re-bid. Opponents say the bid was too low.

Inn Fire May Have Been Arson

Police believe the fire that destroyed the Brokenstraw Inn this morning may have been arson.

Firefighters were called to the Warren County restaurant at around 3 a.m., and found the building engulfed in flames.

Because there are no fire hydrants in the area, firefighters had to get water from a nearby stream.

The business had just re-opened in August after temporarily closing because of flood damage.

Olean Tops Being Renovated

Tops Friendly Markets has started renovations of its Olean, N.Y. store, which will give the store an updated look and expand the selection available to customers.

Tops, who has had a presence in Olean for 37 years, will make various improvements to the store located at 2401 West State St. The changes will include exterior and interior improvements. The 77,000 square foot store originally opened in 1995.

“Olean and Cattaraugus County are very important to Tops Markets, and we identified this store in particular to make some general improvements for our customers,” said Frank Curci, CEO of Tops. “Tops has a long and proud tradition in Olean and we are certain our customers will like the new features of the store and take advantage of the increased selection of products.”

Tops is adding a new natural and organic foods section, responding to a nationwide trend of consumers seeking those products. Other changes coming to the store include new décor inside the store and some exterior painting. In addition, Tops is replacing meat and seafood display cases and dairy and frozen food display cases, which will allow the store to offer a wider variety of products to customers.

“When these renovations are complete, our customers will have a more welcoming shopping experience while at the same time being able to take advantage of our increased selection of products, specifically in natural and organic foods and dairy and frozen foods,” said Tim Lyons, manager of the Olean Tops.

In addition, Tops is installing a new, modern energy management system, which will reduce the electricity consumption of store lighting and refrigeration programs. The new frozen food display cases will also feature anti-sweat heaters, reducing energy consumption.

The general contractor for the project is Concept Construction Corp. of Elma, N.Y. and the refrigeration contractor is TDH Refrigeration of Cheektowaga, N.Y.

The renovation work is scheduled to be completed by mid November.

Cambria Co. Still Fighting Amish

Cambria County is going to court to prevent conservative Amish families from living in homes without sewage disposal permits. The Amish are members of the Swartzentruber Amish, who are known for their severe restrictions on technology and interaction with the outside world. They contend their religious convictions prevent them from disposing of outhouse waste according to state sewage laws. The county is trying to prevent one family from moving into a home being built and to another family from continuing to live in their home. A hearing is scheduled for November 13.

Lock Down After Washer Breaks

1,500 inmates are locked down at the state prison in Pittsburgh because its phones and computers were knocked out by water from a broken washing machine. Department of Corrections officials say the washer broke Monday at the Riverside Community Corrections Center, a halfway house that also contains administrative offices for the State Correctional Institution-Pittsburgh. The washer was on the second floor and water leaked into a lower area containing computer and telephone equipment. Crews are working on the problems, but they don't know when it will be fixed.

DEP Chief on Marcellus Shale:

HARRISBURG – Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Hanger told a state House panel today that the department is working to maximize the opportunities citizens, communities and companies can realize through the development of the natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale formation, while also protecting Pennsylvania’s natural resources.

“There is no question that the Marcellus Shale holds tremendous economic potential for Pennsylvania’s families and its communities,” Hanger told the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee as he explained how DEP is responding to increased drilling activity in the 5,000- to 8,000-foot-deep geologic formation. “This exciting potential also brings with it the need to act responsibly and ensure that Pennsylvania’s valuable natural resources are not sacrificed in the process.”

The Marcellus Shale formation is estimated to hold as much as 50 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas under Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.

Penn State University estimates the economic value of the 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.

Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale requires a process known as horizontal drilling, which uses far greater amounts of water than traditional natural gas exploration. The water can come 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.

“Each drilling operation in the Marcellus Shale will require substantial volumes of water, much more than conventional drilling operations,” said Hanger. “Ensuring that water withdrawals do not threaten Pennsylvania’s environment or ecosystems is one of the department’s primary concerns.”

In May, DEP inspectors found environmental violations at drilling sites in Lycoming County. The department quickly responded and has worked with the Susquehanna and Delaware river basin commissions, as well as with the oil and gas industry, to create a consistent statewide application process for Marcellus Shale drilling permits that requires gas well operators to protect Pennsylvania’s water resources.

Under the enhanced process, drilling operators must provide additional information, 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 83 permits containing the enhanced water management requirements to companies seeking to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation

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

Phillips Appeal Hearing Scheduled

Lawyers for Ralph "Bucky" Phillips are moving forward with an appeal of his conviction for killing a state trooper during the largest manhunt in New York history.

Phillips claims he pleaded guilty to a number of criminal charges, including murder and escape, because he got bad advice from a court-appointed lawyer. His current attorneys will ask for his convictions to be overturned so he can stand trial.
Lawyers are scheduled to argue on Phillips' behalf before the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court in Rochester on October 20.

After he escaped from the Erie County Correctional Facility, he was on the run throughout New York and Pennsylvania for five months. Besides shooting and killing Trooper Joseph Longobardo, he also shot troopers Donald Baker and Sean Brown, who survived.

Phillips was captured in a Warren County field in September of 2006. In December of 2006, he was sentenced to life in prison and sent to the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

Investigating Dresser-Rand Blast

OSHA is still investigating an explosion at the Dresser-Rand plant in Painted Post, New York, that injured two workers, one critically.

Gerald Leach is hospitalized in critical but stable condition in an Elmira hospital following Sunday's explosion. Art Shugars suffered moderate injuries and was released from the hospital Monday.

The explosion happened when a cylinder was being pressure tested with helium.

OSHA is trying to determine if the incident could have been prevented, and if Dresser-Rand was in violation of any OSHA laws.

Brokenstraw Inn Destroyed

A popular Warren County restaurant has been destroyed by fire. The Brokenstraw Inn burned to the ground early this morning. A state fire marshal is investigating.

Bradford PD Gets New Segways

Left, Bradford City Police Officer Mike Ward trains on one of the police department's new Segway machines Tuesday morning at Callahan Park. Below, Rob Havsrath of Segway of Western New York shows off some features of the machine to Police Chief Mike Close, while Bradford Area High School student Caitlin Szczupak records the training as part of her senior project.

Bradford City Police Officers Chris Lucco, Jason Daugherty and Mike Ward check out a Segway.

The machines are part of a community safety effort for our downtown area. The City of Bradford was awarded compensation for two (I) 2 Segway machines as a result of a Community Safety Initiative grant made available to Elm Street Communities through the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. Proposals needed to address revitalizing core communities within the commonwealth by addressing safety and cleanliness issues.

The grants proposals needed to explore innovative approaches to enhancing community safety. The proposals were judged on: ease of implementation, sustainability, area of impact, ability to measure outcomes, timing, innovativeness, and if the project could be easily replicated. 13 proposals totaling $620,000 were submitted. With only $175,000 allocated toward this initiative 6 proposals were funded: City of Bradford, City of Washington, Inner City-Lancaster, James Street-Lancaster, South Side Slope-Pittsburgh, and Olde Towne East-York.

Clinger Gets Lfe in Prison

A DuBois man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the deaths of two Brooklyn, N.Y., residents during a 2006 kidnapping and robbery. Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty for 27-year-old Jason "Spike" Clinger. He was convicted last week of first- and second-degree murder in the killings of 22-year-old Davon Jones and 21-year-old Dianikqua Johnson. During the death penalty phase of the trial, Clinger's mother and grandmother pleaded with jurors to spare his life.
Hunters found the bodies of Jones and Johnson in the woods of rural western Pennsylvania in November 2006. During the trial, a witness testified that Clinger killed them because they were drug dealers and no one would miss them.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Au Revoir Latrine

Well, all you fans of the Stinkfest Outhouse Races -- say good-bye to the Lean Mean Latrine. While doing some fall cleaning at the station, the guys decided the outhouse had to go, and Frank got the honors of smashing it up.

New Major at St. Bonaventure

International Studies put its name on the map this semester at St. Bonaventure, receiving status as one of the university’s undergraduate courses of study. The multidisciplinary major provides opportunities for students interested in global issues and expects to draw heavily from students torn between various disciplines and from those seeking a second major.

International Studies coordinator Dr. Joel Horowitz said initial planning on the new program began nearly two years ago. Committee and Faculty Senate approval at the university took place before the New York State Department of Education was approached. The state’s approval of the curricula took less than one month, according to Horowitz.

“The idea is to be interdisciplinary, to use St. Bonaventure’s resources,” Horowitz said of the new bachelor of arts degree.

International Studies comprises 22 faculty and staff members from the theology, modern languages, political science, philosophy, history, sociology, marketing, management sciences and accounting departments, as well as University Ministries. Horowitz said that the major encourages wide faculty involvement and this should allow the program to expand.

“We work to create a real interdisciplinary focus on separate regions of the world,” Horowitz said.

In addition to the Clare requirements, a math course and electives, the curriculum for the new major consists of five areas of study. Three classes are required in the major: Introduction to International Studies, Global Catholicism and Senior Thesis. Three classes are also to be chosen from a group of foundational courses selected from three categories: World Comparisons, Social Issues or International Business. Each student majoring in International Studies chooses a regional concentration, taking courses on Asia, Latin America, the Middle East or the Transatlantic. A methodology course in a discipline must also be taken. Proficiency in a foreign language is stressed, as well, and incorporated into the requirements.

There are currently three international studies majors this semester.

Horowitz is excited about the future of the program. He believes that students will realize the major’s pertinence and broaden their international knowledge, and in this way prepare for a career in this interconnected world.

“To compete in this world of growing globalization,” he said, “you need to know more about what is beyond our borders and this new major is one good way to do this.”

For more information, visit

Clarks Headline Alumni Weekend

The Clarks, a popular Pittsburgh-area rock and roll band will headline Alumni and Family Weekend Oct. 3-5 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The concert is just one of many activities that are open to the public, including a career networking luncheon, athletic hall of fame induction, vendor fair in the quad, rededication of Swarts Hall and an open house for the new Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) House.

Activities begin Friday, Oct. 3, with a Career Networking Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

A panel of alumni will share insight and advice on starting and advancing in a career through networks. This year’s panelists include Scott Bell ’94, a sales trainer for Sanofi Pasteur Pharmaceuticals; Sharon Hodgdon ’94, a senior financial aid counselor at Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College; Andy McCole ’93, an investigator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Chris Napoleon ’87-’88, chief engineer and owner of Napoleon Engineering Services. The event is sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association, Pitt-Bradford Alumni Relations and Careers Services offices and County National Bank.

The event is free for Pitt-Bradford students. There will be a $10 cost for non-college students. To make a reservation, call the office of alumni relations at (814)362-5091.

Also on Friday will be the rededication of Swarts Hall at 4:30 p.m. with tours, program demonstrations, light refreshments and mini-reunions. Mini-reunions will be held for English, broadcast communications, writing, public relations and interdisciplinary arts; business management, economics, accounting and entrepreneurship; sociology, social sciences, history/political science and criminal justice; psychology; nursing; and human relations.

A bonfire will be held at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning, events begin with the 9 a.m. Athletic Hall of Fame induction for Amanda Reese ’03, volleyball; Nichole Spindler ’04, softball; and Jessica Coene ’01, soccer, in the Sport and Fitness Center. To make a reservation, call the athletics department at (814) 362-7520.

An awards brunch at 11 a.m. Saturday in the University Room will honor professor Don Lewicki as recipient of the PBAA Teaching Excellence Award and Tim Fannin ’78 of Clearfield as recipient of the PBAA’s Distinguished Volunteer Award.

The cost is $12. Advance reservations may be made by calling the alumni office.

From noon until 5 p.m., vendors and student groups will hold activities and sell food, jewelry, clothing, art, handcrafted items, antiques, wine, toiletries, home décor, plants, and kitchen items in the Robert B. Bromeley Quadrangle.

Beginning at 1 p.m., there will be a series of special-interest classes, including a Simply Delicious Cooking Demonstration, Smart Estate Planning Ideas, and Elephants and Asses from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and a digital photography workshop and wine appreciation from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

From 2 to 4 p.m., the public can investigate Pitt-Bradford’s new CSI House at 31 Taylor Drive.

Other afternoon activities include a family swim in the Sport and Fitness Center from 1 to 4 p.m., a women’s tennis match at 1 p.m. at the Kessel Athletic Complex, and an alumni baseball game at 2 p.m. at the Kessel Athletic Complex.

Good Brother Earl will open for The Clarks at 8 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater of Blaisdell Hall, with The Clarks taking the stage at 9 p.m. The Clarks have appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and have sold more than a quarter of a million albums. For more information on The Clarks, visit

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called Good Brother Earl’s music “a full-bodied Triple-A rock sound that can fall right into place between the Counting Crows, Dave Matthews and the Jayhawks.” For more information on Good Brother Earl, visit

Tickets for the public are $20 and will be available the day of the concert. Any unused tickets will be sold at 8:30 p.m.

The weekend will wrap up with brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the KOA Dining Room in the Commons. Price is $7 for adults and $5 for children under 7.

For more information on Alumni and Family Weekend, contact the Office of Alumni Relations or go to