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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Teacher Jailed on Sex Charge

A Salamanca teacher is accused of sexually abused a 14-year-old boy more than six years ago. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says Michael Dupont is charged with three counts of sodomy in the second degree. Investigators say his arrest stems from incidents in April and May of 2002. Investigators say they believe there are several more victims who have not yet come forward. Dupont is a seventh-grade science teacher in the Salamanca School District. He was arrested Saturday and is in Cattaraugus County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Gov. Rendell Statement on Rhoades

"Jim's passing is a tremendous loss for Pennsylvania. He was a great person and a tremendous fighter for school children in the commonwealth. No one cared more about advancing education in Pennsylvania than Jim. He will be missed.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's family, especially his wife, Mary Edith, who was riding in the car when the accident happened."

'Preserve America' Communities

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will launch a new initiative to help the state’s 25 Preserve America communities with historical preservation and heritage tourism development

“Preserve America communities are recognized for protecting and celebrating their heritage, for using their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization,” said Barbara Franco, executive director of the commission. “These communities encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.”

Specifically, the grant will be used to:

· Create a program to further help Preserve America communities with historic preservation planning,

· Provide a Preserve America community coordinator, and

· Develop a report documenting the economic benefits of historic preservation in the state.

“The program does not fund bricks-and-mortar projects,” Franco said, noting that the cost of the local assistance announced today is covered by a $250,000 grant from Preserve America. “This investment helps participating counties, cities, boroughs and townships develop sustainable resource management strategies and sound business practices for the continued preservation and use of heritage assets.

Preserve America is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Pennsylvania’s 25 Preserve America communities are Ambridge, Bethlehem, Bradford, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Cheltenham Township, Columbia Borough, Easton, Gettysburg, Hanover, Harrisburg, Media, Lancaster County, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Philadelphia, Philipsburg Borough, Pittsburgh, Saltsburg, Tredyffrin Township, Washington County, West Chester and York.

Statements of Senate Leaders

From senators Joe Scarnati and Dominic Pileggi:

Jim Rhoades was a remarkable man, and a true friend. It is impossible to properly express how much we will miss him personally, and how much the Senate of Pennsylvania will miss his presence.

Jim was a one-of-a-kind senator. His down-to-earth approach to solving problems reflected his roots in Schuylkill County. His experience as a teacher and coach at Pottsville and Mahanoy City High Schools, and as the principal of Mahanoy Area Junior High School, permeated every decision he made as a senator.

As the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Jim was a statewide leader on education issues. He was a part of every major education initiative in recent history. Senator Rhoades’ legacy includes the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Act, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Accountability Act, and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.

Jim’s hard work extended to other areas, as well. With his booming voice, he always spoke forcefully while fighting for his constituents. This session, he successfully pushed for an expansion of PACE and PACENET benefits. He was a leader on many issues impacting the economy and the lives of working Pennsylvanians.

Without Senator Rhoades, there will be a large void in the Senate of Pennsylvania. We extend our deep sympathy to Jim’s family and friends.

From Senator Bob Mellow:

“Our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the Rhoades family and all of Jim’s friends today as they deal with his untimely death. Jim was a strong leader and a fighter who had a deep and passionate love for his family and his community.

“As Senator, Jim enjoyed dear friendships and boundless respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Jim could go from sharing a good story about football in the coal region to offering his extensive knowledge on education and energy. His range of experience and wisdom was a resource that benefited all Senators.

“As a recognized leader in public education, Jim’s work has had a tremendous positive impact on all Pennsylvania. From bringing education opportunity to those communities hurt by economic dislocation to fighting for real changes that help all children learn, he has been involved in every significant improvement in education for generations.

“To many in the Senate, Jim Rhoades was more than a colleague; he was a dear friend. He led by example and offered his very best effort in service to his district and all of Pennsylvania. While Jim and I sometimes disagreed on certain issues, he was never disagreeable.

“Senator Jim Rhoades was a person who was held in the highest regard. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Senator Rhoades Dies After Crash

Longtime state Sen. James Rhoades has died from injuries suffered in a car crash, state officials said Saturday.

Rhoades died Saturday, a day after being injured in a car accident near Brodheadsville in Monroe County, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said in a joint statement.

"It is impossible to properly express how much we will miss him personally, and how much the Senate of Pennsylvania will miss his presence," the statement read.

For the full story, go to

Fall Fun at Tops!

Face painting and pumpkin painting are just two of the many activities at the Tops Fall Festival going on until 3 p.m. today (Saturday) in Tops parking lot on Main Street. Lunch is available for a small price. All proceeds benefit the United Way of the Bradford Area. The costume contest parade is at 2 p.m.
Some of the other activities include apple bobbing and Halloween Hopscotch. There's an apple pie contest, and kids might even get some treats, too!
Sparky the Fire Dog is leading costume kids on tours during the Tops Fall Festival. The fun goes on until 3 p.m. and also includes apple bobbing, and apple pie contest and more!

Bradford Regional Strategy Forum

From Talk About Bradford:

by PghArchitect on Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:27 pm

When: November 10, 2008, 7:00 pm
Where: Grace Lutheran Church Community Center, 79 Mechanic Street

What: Public Forum about the Bradford Regional Strategy

MCF Architects will be presenting concepts for downtown Bradford and the Bradford Mall that have been developed based on input received in the planning process. These plans are not final and input from the public is still welcome. Some of these proposals will be posted in Main Street storefronts and city offices in the coming weeks so that residents can review them prior to the forum. Press releases about the event will also be distributed to local news outlets shortly.

Other goals and action items being considered for the final strategy report will also be presented at the meeting.

PGC Investigating Illegal Deer Kills

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers and Deputy WCOs have been investigating cases of illegally killed deer.

In the Northcentral Region, McKean County WCO Len Groshek says he received reports of deer poaching in the Crosby area, and recovered and head and hide from a large doe that was shot.

The head and hide were placed in a garbage bag and thrown from a bridge into Potato Creek, he says.

Cameron County WCO Wayne Hunt says he has been receiving reports from concerned sportsman and members of the community pertaining to poaching occurring in his district.

He says people are jack lighting large bucks to collect their antlers.

The investigations are continuing.

Senator Rhoades Hurt in Car Crash

State Sen. James J. Rhoades, a veteran state legislator, was seriously injured in a car accident in northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday night.

Rhoades and his wife, Mary, were hurt in a collision with another vehicle near Brodheadsville in Monroe County at around 7:30 p.m., according to police. Both were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown, but their conditions were not released. Rhoades' chief of staff, Champ Holman, said he has been told that the senator's injuries are serious.

For the full story, go to

BRR - Again

This was the temperature at 6:22 a.m. Saturday at Hamlin Bank on East Main Street. Expect a couple more frosty mornings. News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka says we can expect clear cool nights tonight and Sunday and lows both nights around 25 degrees. I'm glad I just bought a brand new Bills blanket!

Down 20 Cents in One Day

Gas prices in Bradford went down 20 cents in one day. They started out the day on Friday at $3.19 and ended the day at $2.99. Analysts say the price could drop even further before the end of the year.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Remediation Work to Start

Crews will begin soil excavation work Monday at the southern end of the Driftwood Bridge. This will be the start of remediation efforts related to the contaminated soil uncovered in March. Excavation work is not expected to impact traffic. While there is no danger to motorists or residents in the area, work crews will be dressed in protective equipment to meet state and federal regulations.

Mom Found Frozen in Freezer

The frozen body of an elderly woman from the Catskills was found Wednesday in her son's home freezer, where it had been stored for more than a year.

State police say the woman's body will have to thaw before an autopsy can be conducted at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton.

Investigators say no foul play appeared to have been involved in the woman's death, but they will wait for autopsy results before determining whether they are investigating a natural or suspicious death.

State police declined to identify the family members or provide an address, other than to say the discovery was made in the Town of Colchester in the southwestern corner of Delaware County. The woman would be about 100 years old.

The son's attorney alerted state police to the case.

Brown Appointed to Commission

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has been named to a state commission that will study potential public-private partnerships, including ways to leverage the state's resources – without selling assets – to better serve New York State citizens.

Governor David Paterson appointed Brown and 10 other people to the New York State Commission on State Asset Maximization today.

The Commission is required to submit a preliminary report of their recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within 90 days, and a final report within 180 days. The Commission will hold hearings and meetings across the State.

For more, go to the governor's web site.

College Student Sentenced

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jet-setting college beauty who, teamed with her Ivy League boyfriend, swindled more than $100,000 from friends and neighbors through a complex identity theft scheme was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

Jocelyn Kirsch, a former Drexel University student, and University of Pennsylvania graduate Edward Anderton used the money for expensive salon visits, fancy dinners and lavish trips.

For the full story, go to

PA GOP Sues ACORN, Cortes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's Republican Party sued the state's top election official and the community activist group ACORN, accusing the group of fostering voter registration fraud and asserting that the election system lacks adequate safeguards to stop it.

"The stakes in this action are enormously high: Unless this court acts quickly and decisively, the right to Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes may be determined by illegal ballots," said the lawsuit filed Friday in Commonwealth Court.

For the full story, go to

Erie Felon Pleads Guilty

United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, October 17, 2008, that Rauje Tehran Badelle, a resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms laws.

Badelle, age 21, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr.

In connection with the guilty plea, Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini advised the court that on April 2, 2008, the Erie Police Department responded to the 500 block of East 24th Street, following a report of shots fired. On their arrival, officers observed a fight between several black males in the front yard of 520 East 24th Street. As they cleared the area, officers heard five additional shots fired. Officers observed Badelle running from the area and stopped him. A stolen, black Ruger 9 mm handgun was recovered from the area behind 531 East 24th Street, where officers had observed Badelle running. Five shell casings, matching the firearm, were also recovered from East 24th Street. A fingerprint on the firearm matched Badelle. Badelle had previously suffered felony convictions prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

According to Ms. Buchanan, this case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent, deter, and prosecute gun crime.

Judge Cohill scheduled sentencing for January 21, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Erie Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Badelle.

Operation Dough Maker

Lancaster- An $8 million cocaine ring, which operated in Lititz, was broken-up today by agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI). Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation, known as "Operation Dough Maker," began in January 2008 after agents received information about cocaine trafficking by Mario Naranjo, 22, 554 W. Springettsbury Avenue, York. Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

Corbett said that a series of undercover purchases were conducted in January and February from Naranjo and his brother-in-law, Jose Arroyo-Medina, at the Parma Pizza and Grill, 1704 New Holland Pike, Lancaster, where Naranjo was an employee.

These purchases ranged from 28 grams of cocaine to 125 grams of cocaine before undercover agents began making multi-ounce quantity purchases in March from Naranjo and his juvenile girlfriend.

Corbett said that agents performed surveillance of Naranjo and his girlfriend before the undercover purchases and determined the source for the cocaine to be Maria Salcedo and Jesus Nepita-Avalos, who lived at 24 Rodney Lane, Lititz. Salcedo and Nepita-Avalos are known to be foreign nationals from Mexico, residing in the United States illegally.

Agents estimate that between January and October 2008, Salcedo and Nepita-Avalos distributed approximately 80 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $8 million from their Lititz home.

According to the grand jury, cocaine deliveries were made at various pizza shops in Lancaster and Neffsville including, Parma Pizza and Grill, 905 Grantley Road, York; Parma Pizza and Grille, 1704 New Holland Pike, Lancaster; Caruso's Pizza, 2719 Lititz Pike; and La Piazza, 800 Lititz Pike.

"No community, large or small, is immune from drug abuse and drug trafficking," Corbett said. "Drug dealers will move anywhere there is a demand for their product."

Corbett said that on more than one occasion Naranjo's girlfriend arrived at pizza shop locations to make deliveries of cocaine with her 17 month old daughter.

Over the course of the investigation agents purchased or seized approximately 1,400 grams of cocaine.

The grand jury found that Naranjo and his girlfriend moved to York in July 2008, where both began employment at the Parma Pizza and Grill on Grantley Road. Naranjo was allegedly paid under the table by the business at both locations because he is residing in the United States illegally.

Corbett said that on Oct. 8, 2008, agents executed a search warrant at Salcedo and Nepita-Avalos' Lititz residence and recovered approximately 343 grams of cocaine, a digital scale and more than $4,000 cash.

Corbett noted that this is part of a continuing investigation.

Corbett thanked the Lititz Borough Police Department and the Lancaster County Drug Task Force for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Lancaster County by Deputy Attorney General Heather Adams of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.

A complete list of the defendants and the charges against them is below:

--Mario Naranjo, 22, 554 W. Springettsbury Avenue, York, is charged with nine counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of criminal use of a communications facility and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

--Jose Arroyo-Medina, 28, unknown address, is charged with two counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy, and one count of criminal use of a communications facility.

--Juvenile, is charged with seven counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of criminal use of a communications facility and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

--Maria Salcedo, 33, 24 Rodney Lane, Lititz, is charged with four counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

--Jesus Nepita-Avalos, 32, 24 Rodney Lane, Lititz, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of cocaine and one count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Two More Predator Unit Arrests

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit have arrested two Dauphin County men who both are accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what they believed were young girls, as well as sending sexually explicit photos or traveling to meet the children. The "girls" were actually undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit who were using the online profiles of young teens.

Corbett identified the defendants as John Frank Geist, 49, 1019 Chestnut Place, Hummelstown, and Hiram Eugene Staley, 30, 202 Cameron Ave., Hummelstown.

"Both of these men are accused of using Internet chat rooms to contact and sexually proposition what they believed were young girls," Corbett said. "It is important for parents to understand how quickly online conversations between their children and strangers can progress to sexual conversations, the transmission of graphic photos or webcam videos and, in some cases, attempts to arrange face-to-face meetings for sex."

Corbett said that Geist allegedly approached an undercover agent on October 9th, quickly offering to send the girl "dirty pictures" and asking her, "do you want to meet someplace public this afternoon?" At the time, the agent was using the online profile of a 14-year old girl. According to the criminal complaint, Geist sent the girl three sexually explicit photos during their first chat, telling her, "keep my photos private please." He also allegedly asked the girl if she would engage in oral sex and explained in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform when they met.

Corbett said that Geist was arrested the day after his initial contact with the girl, when he arrived at a predetermined meeting location in Swatara Township, Dauphin County. At the time of his arrest Geist was driving a vehicle and wearing clothing that matched descriptions he had provided during online chats the previous afternoon.

Geist is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Geist is also charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to aggravated indecent assault), a second-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Additionally, Geist is charged with one count each of unlawful contact with a minor (related to indecent assault), unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Geist was preliminarily arraigned on October 10th before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Smith, who set bail at $50,000 and ordered Geist to have no unsupervised contact with minors and no use of the Internet. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 31st, at 11 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Smith.

Corbett thanked the Swatara Township Police Department for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Corbett said that Staley allegedly engaged in a series of online chats with an undercover agent who was using the profile of a 13-year old girl, repeatedly asking the girl if she would engage in sexual activity. Staley is also accused of sending the girl a webcam video that showed him masturbating in front of his computer. According to the criminal complaint, Staley described in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform with the girl and also instructed her to masturbate on several occasions. Staley also allegedly asked the girl to call him, and provided a cell phone number, explaining that he wanted to "talk dirty" to the child and listen to her as she masturbated.

Staley allegedly moved several times during the course of the investigation, using a number of different Dauphin County addresses to chat with the undercover agent, including Harrisburg, Hummelstown, Middletown and Halifax. He is also accused of using the homes of relatives to engage in sexually explicit online conversations.

Corbett said that Staley is currently being held in Monroe County on charges related to a similar online investigation conducted by the Barrett Township Police Department. Agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit traveled to Monroe County to arrest Staley, who will be arraigned via video before Royalton (Dauphin County) Magisterial District Judge David H. Judy.

Corbett said that Geist and Staley will both be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow of the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit.

Internet Dangers
Corbett said that since the creation of the Child Predator Unit in January 2005, agents have arrested 169 Internet predators from across Pennsylvania and several other states, including 57 arrests so far this year.

Corbett cautioned parents and children to be alert for adults who sexually proposition them, send explicit photos or videos or try to arrange face-to-face meetings. He encouraged parents to discuss Internet safety with their children, including the danger of meeting strangers who approach them online, and advised parents to ask their children to show them what they are doing online.

Corbett noted that suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit by using the "report a predator" link, located on the front page of the Attorney General's website, at, or by calling the Child Predator Hotline, at 1-800-385-1044.

Internet safety tips and other information are available in the "Operation Safe Surf" and "Just for Kids" sections of the Attorney General's website. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations, contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Office at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at

Paterson: Broadcast the Bills Game

Governor David Paterson is urging Time Warner Cable and the owners of WIVB-TV in Buffalo to start negotiating again and, in the meantime, broadcast Sunday's Bills-Chargers game.

In a letter, Paterson said these games are "an important engine of the state economy, but, on an emotional level, they are also a source of state pride."

Neither side has commented on Paterson's letter yet. No matter what they decide, you can listen to the game starting at 11:30 a.m. on 100.1 The HERO.

You can read Paterson's letter HERE.

'First Dude' Going to Happy Valley

The husband of Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will make three campaign stops in western Pennsylvania on Saturday. Todd Palin will attend a breakfast meet-and-greet in Greensburg, before attending a rally at the Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen's Club. Palin will also appear with Attorney General Tom Corbett at a tailgate meet-and-greet event in State College before the Penn State-Michigan football game.

Prasad Joins CCMH Staff

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital announced the addition of Dr. Saket Prasad, M.D. to its medical staff this week. Dr. Prasad, who previously practiced at the Veterans Administration New Jersey Healthcare System, earned a medical degree at Leeds Medical School in England. He completed an internship at Leeds General Infirmary, a residency in internal medicine at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in Bronx, and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, subspecialty by the Board of Gastroenterology.

He co-authored an article on villous adenoma of the urinary tract, has presented at the American Gastroenterology Association, American College of Gastroenterology, and American College of Physicians meetings, and conducted a variety of research including studies on peptic ulcer bleeding and hormonal metabolic controls.

He is a member of the American Gastroenterology Association, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, and General Medical Council, England.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 814/274-9024.

Communications Day at SBU:
Salamanca, Kane Among Winners

By Kellan Terry, SBU ’10

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Oct. 17, 2008 — A collective gasp could be heard from local area high school students as Lee Coppola, dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, introduced keynote speaker Patricia Kennealy-Morrison on Communications Day.

Kennealy-Morrison, widow of The Doors front man Jim Morrison, took to the podium and proceeded to “wow” her content listeners. Hundreds of young adults sat silently as Kennealy-Morrison spoke about her life experiences, her past works and her memories of St. Bonaventure.

She recalled how personal her St. Bonaventure experience was, stating, “I wasn’t just a number in a seating chart.” She said that she remembered Dr. Jandoli, the same Dr. Jandoli for whom the department is named, as a professional, fair man. Kennealy-Morrison transferred from St. Bonaventure after two years, but continues to support Bonaventure and speaks at the university often.

Kennealy-Morrison’s main topics were the importance of good writing and how she believes the contemporary media has fallen from grace. She said that it is the media’s job to tell people what they need to hear.

She said, “I would give you the gift of outrage,” because real outrage is not in anger, it is how feats are accomplished.

Kennealy-Morrison is working on her ninth Keltiad book, “The Cloak of Gold,” and other projects including a mystery series, a historical novel on Guthrum the Dane and surfing spirituality according to surfer Laird Hamilton. Her recent work includes “The Crystal Ship: The Priestess and The Shaman—The Spiritual Voyage of Patricia & Jim Morrison” and “The Gates of Overwave,” a children’s book.

High school students from across Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania were honored at Communications Day, an annual celebration of high school journalism. Brighton High School received the Bertram Freed Memorial Award for overall excellence.

A list of all award winners follows:

Adviser of the Year Award
Lisa Reinhardt
Fredonia High School

Russell J. Jandoli Memorial Award
Jesse DuBois
Corry Area High School

Bertram Freed Memorial Award
Brighton High School

1st: “Trapezoid”
Brighton High School

2nd: “Brocton Review”
Brocton Central High School

2nd: “The Spectator”
Fredonia High School

3rd: “Cougar Beat”
Cassadaga Valley High School

News Magazine
1st: The Voice
Orchard Park High School

1st “Warrior Vision”
Salamanca High School

1st “The Centralian”
Southwestern Central High School

2nd “Full Spectrum”
Randolph High School

3rd “It’s All About the Journey”
Salamanca High School

Depth Reporting
1st: Paula Karin - Fredonia High School

2nd: Kaitlan Flanagan - Fredonia High School

3rd: Colleen Smardz - Brocton Central High School

Entertainment Review
1st: Tom Clarke-Hazlett & David Schwartz - Brighton High School

2nd: Meghann Ludemann - Fredonia High School

3rd: Jon Pleszewski - Fredonia High School

Essay (Critical or Personal)
No Entries

1st: April Tye - Brocton Central High School

2nd: Allison Sirica - Orchard Park High School

3rd: Jingwen Hu - Brighton High School

3rd Ryan Keib - Wellsville High School

1st: John Lowther - Fredonia High School

2nd: Jesse Ellis-Wexler - Brighton High School

3rd: Justin Hardenburg - Brocton Central High School
Natalie Hill - Orchard Park High School

News Reporting
1st: Coco Wilder - Brighton High School

2nd: Jingwen Hu - Brighton High School

3rd: Meghann Nielsen - Brocton Central High School

Meghann Ludemann – Fredonia High School

1st: Matt Chin - Brighton High School

2nd: Harvest Zhang - Brighton High School

3rd: Bethany Saul - Orchard Park High School

Honorable Mention: John Lowther & Steve Travis
Fredonia High School & Brocton Central High School

Personality Profile
1st: Meghann Nielsen - Brocton Central High School

2nd: Sarah Hicks - Cassadaga Valley Central School

3rd: Ashley Pognant - Brocton Central High School

3rd Beth Gugino - Fredonia High School

3rd Allison Sirica – Orchard Park High School

1st: John Conti - Fredonia High School

2nd: Dan Seavy - Brocton Central High School

3rd: Dan Seavy - Brocton Central High School

Sports Features
1st Erin Stewart – Brocton Central High School

2nd Amanda Barrett – Brocton Central High School

2nd: Natalie Hill – Orchard Park High School

3rd Sam Korach – Orchard Park High School

3rd: Bryan Clark – Wellsville High School

Sports Reporting
1st Ashley Bartela & Cody Patterson - Brocton Central High School

2nd Ryan Bialaszewski - Brocton Central High School

3rd Connor Purcell - Brocton Central High School

Yearbook features
1st Lauren Harvey - Kane Area High School

2nd Kirstie Kocjancic - Kane Area High School

3rd Kirstie Kocjancic - Kane Area High School

Harsher Penalties for Cop Shooters

Governor Ed Rendell has signed a bill that increases the mandatory minimum sentence for anyone convicted of shooting a firearm at a police officer and for crimes committed with illegally purchased guns.

The signing comes less than 10 days after the Legislature unanimously approved the bill and less than a month after Philadelphia Police Officer Patrick McDonald was killed by an illegally purchased gun.

Senator Mike Stack of Philadelphia, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who amended the bill to include the cop shooting provision, joined Rendell at the bill-signing ceremony in Philadelphia today.

State Representative Marty Causer says he's always skeptical of legislation dealing with firearms because some lawmakers are pushing legislation for more gun control.

But, he says, this legislation "toughens penalties for criminals while, at the same time, protects our second amendment rights."

Stack amended House Bill 1845 to include language that mandates a 20-year minimum sentence to individuals who intentionally fire upon an on-duty police officer. The new law also imposes a sentence of death or life imprisonment on anyone convicted of killing a law enforcement officer.

Over the last five years, the number of weapons-related assaults on police officers has increased by 82 percent in Pennsylvania.

The bill raises the mandatory minimum sentence for anyone shooting a firearm at a police officer to 20 years. It also increases penalties for crimes related to straw purchases of firearms, for lying when filing federal paperwork to buy a gun and for filing a false report of a stolen gun.

Fall Fest to Beneft UWBA

The aisles at Tops Supermarket will be filled with ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes as the local business is set to host a fall festival and Halloween celebration on Saturday.

Parents and children can enjoy many activities, including bobbing for apples and pumpkin painting, with the day to conclude with a costume parade for the children. There will also be appearances by the Bradford City Fire and Police Departments, as well as an apple pie baking contest. All of the proceeds will benefit the United Way of the Bradford Area.

“I was pleasantly surprised when approached by a couple of the Tops associates and store manager Michele Gangloff regarding this event,” says Mandi Wilton Davis, Assistant Director. “We have such a strong relationship with the employees there, as they are one of our 100% contributors. I’m very appreciative of the support that we continue to receive from them.”

The event will start at 11:00 am and conclude at 3:00 pm, with the costume parade scheduled for 2:00 pm. Lunch items will be available for a minimal fee.

“We encourage everyone to dress their kids in their Halloween costumes and bring them down for an afternoon of fun activities, all to benefit a great local cause,” says Gangloff.

Davis will be there representing the United Way, as well, distributing child identification kits and hosting some activities.

“This will be a lot of fun, especially seeing all of the different costumes. Thanks again to Tops for the effort that has put into this event,” said Davis.

The United Way is currently in the midst of its annual appeal, with the goal of raising $375,000 to benefit local agencies and programs. The appeal concludes on December 15th.

For more information on the festival, call either Tops Supermarket or the United Way.

ARG Lowers Oil Price to $64

American Refining Group is paying a price for a barrel of Penn Grade crude oil that it hasn't paid since June of 2007. ARG lowered its price by $4.75 today, bringing it down to $64. The price was in the $60 range in August of last year, but hasn't been as low as $64 since June 27, 2007.

Hunter Dies in Potter County

A Massachusetts bowhunter died Thursday after falling out of a tree stand in Potter County. Police say 78-year-old Thomas Kinny of Norton, Mass., fell as he was climbing into a tree stand early Thursday afternoon. His leg got stuck in the crook of the tree, and he hung upside down for about three hours until a hunting partner found him. Emergency workers say Kinny suffered a broken leg when he fell. After he was helped out of the tree, he slowly became unresponsive and his heart stopped. Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury pronounced him dead at the scene.

How Bad Can a Pizza Craving Be?

An Erie man apparently had a real hankering for pizza – and it landed him in jail. Police say early this morning 33-year-old Clarence Stout walked into a garage, where he took 5 pounds of sliced pepperoni, 8 one-pounds bags of shredded cheese, two pizza shells and 5 pounds of Tyson chicken nuggets. Stout was getting into his car when police arrived. His bail is set at $5,000. Woulda been way cheaper to go to Little Caesar's.

Campbell Gets Life in Prison

Jesse James Campbell will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole, after a jury decided not to impose the death penalty. Campbell was found guilty of killing his mother, Cindy Jo Coleman, by beating her with a five-pound weight and cutting her neck with a steak knife. He then read the Bible to her as she died. Coleman's mother asked the jury to spare her grandson's life so she could still have some link to her daughter.

Jeremy Hoden Changes His Plea

A Sheffield teenager accused of beating up an elderly woman and stealing her car surprised his lawyer, and the district attorney, by changing his plea.

Jeremy Hoden has been charged with assault and burglary for breaking into the home of 77-year-old Irene Rice in August of last year, beating her and stealing her car and cash.

Hoden had worked out a plea agreement, and was expected to plead guilty but, instead, pleaded not guilty. The burglary charge had been reduced to criminal trespass in the plea deal, but was re-instated after Hoden changed his plea. He pleaded guilty to the burglary charge.

Hoden, who was 17 at the time of the incident, was charged as an adult due to the severity of the crimes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NFIB Honors Rapp with Award

The National Federation of Independent Business has recognized State Representative Kathy Rapp as a 2007-08 Guardian of Small Business. "It's always an honor to be recognized as a champion of small business," Rapp said. "It is no secret that small businesses continue to create most of the new jobs in Pennsylvania. In both good times and bad, they are truly the heartbeat of our country."

Rapp is one of less than 60 state house members to earn "A" ranking during the 2007-2008 legislative session for supporting small businesses on such key issues as affordable health insurance, tort reform, protecting private property rights and lower taxes.

This is Rapp's second consecutive Guardian of Small Business award since taking office in 2004.

Is Brad's Belly Bruised Now?

A Uniontown man has eaten a 15-pound burger with 5.2 pounds of toppings in 4 hours and 39 minutes. Brad Sciullo is the first person to successfully eat the huge burger at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, according to owner Dennis Liegey. The burger — called the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser — includes a bun, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, mild banana peppers and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and relish. When asked what possessed him to eat a burger that big, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Sciullo said he just wanted to see if he could.

For pictures of Brad, the burger and more go to Denny's Beer Barrel

Lecture on Racial Cleansings

By Kaitlin Flor, SBU ’11

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2008 – All Negros Driven from Indiana Town read one 1920s newspaper headline in Arkansas.

Racial cleansings, like the one the 1920s headline demonstrated, are a part of American history Americans tend to forget. St. Bonaventure University students and the surrounding community will have the opportunity to learn about this on Oct. 29 in a presentation by Elliot Jaspin, a retired journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. The presentation, titled “Separate Histories; How We Lie to Ourselves,” will be at 7 p.m. at Dresser Auditorium in the John J. Murphy Professional Building.

Lee Coppola, dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Dr. Robert Amico, professor of philosophy, chose to bring Jaspin to St. Bonaventure because of his unique accomplishments in the field of journalism.

“I am most concerned about making sure that my students learn to use their journalism skills for the greater good of society,” said Coppola.

Amico hopes that students will learn about a hidden chapter in U.S. history when these racial cleansings took place across the country during the first part of the 20th century.

Jaspin will discuss the book he wrote last year titled “Buried in the Bitter Waters — The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America.” The University will show a PBS film on SBU-TV prior to his visit titled “Banished,” which is a documentary about the racial cleansings.

Jaspin’s interest in this part of history began in 1991 while working in the Washington Bureau of Cox Newspapers where he directed a computer-assisted reporting program.

Using this program, he discovered that between 1864 and 1923, white Americans engaged in numerous racial cleansings.

Jaspin’s knowledge of computer programming came from an earlier job when he worked at the Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin. During an investigation of municipal corruption, Jaspin obtained an electronic copy of the city’s financial records. Realizing that computers made it easier to analyze large amounts of data, he decided that the future of journalism lay in understanding how to use the computer in the reporting process.

In 1989, Jaspin founded the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting at the University of Missouri, where journalists learn how to use the new equipment. He has trained journalists for hundreds of newspapers, most notably the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.

Jaspin was born in Long Island, N.Y., and graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

In 1971, he won a Pulitzer Prize when he wrote a five-part series on Jimmy Hoffa, one of the most powerful and controversial union leaders of the 1960s and 1970s. Jaspin is now retired and lives in Annapolis, Md.

For more information, visit

DCED's Yablonsky Resigns

Governor Edward G. Rendell today said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky will resign, effective Oct. 23, to return to the private sector.

The Governor lauded Yablonsky’s service to Pennsylvania’s working men and women, which drove economic growth throughout the commonwealth.

“It is hard to imagine any secretary of DCED or Commerce had a greater impact in creating a stronger Pennsylvania economy than Dennis Yablonsky,” Governor Rendell said. “He was at the forefront in attracting billions in new capital investments that have enabled us to create thousands of new jobs, revitalize our communities, diversify our economy and put Pennsylvania in a better position than most states.

“Dennis and I worked hand-in-hand with the General Assembly to get my economic stimulus package passed that invested more than $3 billion to support more than 2,600 projects statewide. This state investment has been able to leverage more than $8.8 billion in additional investments—far more than our original projection of $5 billion.

The Governor cited figures showing that the commonwealth has more than 200,000 more people working today than in 2003. Pennsylvania’s gross domestic product has jumped more than 20 percent – from $423 billion in 2002 to $531 billion in 2007 – and exports have nearly doubled from $15.8 billion to almost $30 billion. Venture capital investments in Pennsylvania have also skyrocketed from $455 million to $835 million during that same time period.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to work for Governor Rendell in advancing his community and economic development agenda,” Yablonsky said. “We are at the very beginning of seeing the full impact of the Governor’s economic stimulus package.”

During his tenure, DCED has focused on helping existing Pennsylvania businesses expand and attract out-of-state businesses. The Governor’s Action Team has successfully completed 1,030 projects with 109,627 committed new jobs and $12.5 billion of private investment since January 2003. Additionally, through the Governor’s World Trade PA initiative, Pennsylvania has emerged as a major player in the global marketplace with foreign companies investing $406 million here over the past three years with plans to create 4,200 jobs.

“Dennis and his team were also instrumental in working with legislators to pass the extension of Keystone Opportunity Zones and our $650 million Alternative Energy package to expand renewable energy investments in the commonwealth. This legislation will further enhance the set of tools that the commonwealth has at its disposal to continue to drive economic growth.”

Yablonsky also worked to improve Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness by strongly advocating a reduction in the number of earned income tax collectors from 560 to 69, which the Governor signed into law this summer. The consolidation has eliminated a fragmented system that cost municipalities and school districts $237 million each year – enough to hire 3,000 teachers and 3,000 more police officers.

Leading industry groups and publications have noticed Pennsylvania’s growth. IBM Plant Location International ranked Pennsylvania first in the U.S and Canada for cross border investments and number one for manufacturing projects. Global Insight and the National Venture Capital Association ranked Pennsylvania first among all 50 states in the rate of new job creation by venture-backed firms. Business Facilities magazine has ranked Pennsylvania’s biotechnology sector first in the country.

The Governor also praised the secretary’s work to revitalize Pennsylvania’s core communities, citing 80 revitalization projects through the Community Action Team Program. He also noted the progress Pittsburgh has made under Act 47.

“I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention how far Pittsburgh has come in just under four years after DCED designated our second largest city as financially distressed in 2004,” the Governor said. “Pittsburgh has gone from projected deficits exceeding $100 million to surpluses in each of the past three years, due, in part, to the assistance provided by DCED and the Act 47 Recovery Team.”

He was my guest on The Weekend Wrap on June 21. Very nice man.

CBK Hospitalized

Governor Ed Rendell says Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll is in a Baltimore hospital getting intensive treatment for cancer.Knoll has been in the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for about two weeks, but there is no prognosis, Rendell says. He says Knoll's doctors feel that the hospital is the best setting for her to get the kind of treatment she needs.

Knoll revealed in August that she had been diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in early July and that she had been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

She returned to Harrisburg to preside over the Senate on the first day of the fall legislative session. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati presided over the chamber for the rest of the session. Under the state constitution, if Knoll is unable to complete her term, Scarnati would become lieutenant governor.

'Bonusgate' Trial Set for Jan. 12

A jury trial for the people accused of misusing public money for Pennsylvania legislative campaigns is set to begin January 12.

All 12 defendants are connected to the House Democratic caucus, but Attorney General Tom Corbett says he's investigating both parties in the state House and Senate and more arrests are expected.

It's unclear how many defendants will actually go to trial because some are cooperating with investigators and may be plea bargaining.

The defendants include current Representative Sean Ramaley of Beaver County, and former House Democratic whip Mike Veon.

Man Wearing Gorilla Suit Arrested

An Altoona man who went to buy cigarettes in a gorilla suit to win a bet with his girlfriend has been charged receiving stolen property.

Police say they noticed 20-year-old Brian Hoover just after midnight dressed as an ape. When they stopped Hoover, they discovered he was wanted for receiving stolen property.

Police say Hoover told them he had gone to the convenience store in disguise because his girlfriend had bet him he wouldn't do it.

Police didn't release details on the alleged crime. Hoover was released on bond.

Alleged Bomb-Makers in Court

Five men arrested in connection with a bomb-making operation waived their preliminary hearings.

Justin Steinman, Robert Edwards, Ricky Bar and Edward Thornton, all of Warren, and Eugene Whipple of Sheffield were arrested in August at Edwards' South Street home. Police say they detonated at least three bombs within the city limits over a span of three months.

Police say Steinman, Edwards and Barr, manufactured at least five bombs in the basement of Edwards' home.

Thornton was allegedly involved in detonating a bomb in the Point Park area, and Whipple was allegedly involved in a detonation near Washington Park.

Whipple, Barr and Edwards are free on bail; Steinman is in Warren County Jail. Thornton is in jail on a separate charge.

Dog Tied to Railroad Tracks

A dog found tied to railroad tracks near Pittsburgh is recovering at a western Pennsylvania shelter.

Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband says one of the company's train engineers saw the dog tied to the tracks and called police, who briefly shut down the tracks about 8 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Officials say the dog recently gave birth. She is emaciated and nearly died of starvation.

The dog is now recovering at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, where employees are calling her Choo-Choo.

Two Charged in Finucan Murder

Two Marienville teens have been charged in connection with the murder of a 50 year-old Sigel man in his residence back in August. State Police say that 18 year-old Raymond Lambert and 17 year-old Stephen Hall allegedly shot and killed Timothy Finucan at his home August 20th in Elk County. Police haven’t said whether a burglary occurred during the homicide. The two are being held in the Elk County Jail without bail.

Arrests Made for Robberies

Three Bradford teens have been charged with robbing convenience stores in Bradford and are also suspects in a string of robberies in New York state. Court records indicate that 19-year-old Benjamin Trumbull is facing charges for the robbery of Crosby Marts on East Main Street and Interstate Parkway. He is in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail. Police have also charged 18-year-old James Baribeau with the East Main Street robbery. 17-year-old Kyle Grandinetti, Baribeau and Trumbull are also persons of interest in an armed robbery at Sugarcreek store in Olean. McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock says the investigation is continuing and more charges may be coming.

Campbell Found Guilty

A Houtzdale man may face the death penalty after a jury convicted him of beating and slashing his mother to death.

The jury found 21-year-old Jesse James Campbell guilty of six charges relating to the March 13 murder of his mother, 49-year-old Cindy Jo Coleman. The penalty phase starts today.

Campbell is accused of hitting his mother with a five-pound plastic weight and cuttting her neck with a steak knife. Police say Campbell then read the Bible to his mother as she died.

During the trial, Campbell tried to pin the murder on his ex-girlfriend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Corbett, Morganelli Clash

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — State Attorney General Tom Corbett and his Democratic challenger clashed over ethics Wednesday, accusing each other of allowing conflicts of interest to interfere with their public responsibilities.

For the full story, go to

Who Dunnit?

Warren City Police say they have at least two possible motives for a theft they're investigating.

They could be looking for a Democrat who wanted a Barack Obama sign or a Republican who wanted one less Obama sign.

At any rate, a red, white and blue "Warren County for Obama" banner was stolen from the county Democratic headquarters between 4 and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The banner is valued at $500.

'Sprawlification' at Pitt-Bradford

A unique installation art piece will be on display starting Friday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. “Sprawlification,” an installation art piece by Dylan J. Beck will be showcased in the KOA Art Gallery of Blaisdell Hall from Friday through Nov. 14. As part of the university’s Spectrum Series, the exhibition is free and open to the public.

There will be three to four pieces that are fixed to the wall with a small amount of joint compound, so the pieces appear seamlessly attached.

On the floor of the gallery there will be a sprawling city made up of 300 slip-cast ceramic objects about 6 inches high.

As part of the opening Friday, Beck will talk about the concepts behind his installation, highlighting domestic architecture and urban and suburban planning. The talk will take place from noon to 12:30 p.m. Friday in the Webb/Bradford Forest Rehearsal Hall in Blaisdell Hall, followed by a reception in the KOA Electronics Lobby.

Kong Ho, associate professor of art and director of the interdisciplinary arts program at Pitt-Bradford, said there’s more to the installation than meets the eye.

“Dylan’s installation is more than a sculpture exhibition in term of concept, materials and display,” he said. “He has made up the word ‘Sprawlification’ for the title of his exhibition to highlight the concept of disorganized and unattractive expansion of modern urbanization and his aesthetic attraction to aerial images of suburban landscapes.”

Among materials used in the sculpture are semi-transparent color films, light boxes, insulation foam, joint compound, Sheetrock, wood, porcelain and paint.

“Even though Dylan’s art background has an emphasis on ceramics, he is fascinated in architectonic perfection, which can be seen from his installation,” Ho said.

He recently received a master’s degree in fine arts from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and teaches ceramics at Kansas State University. Beck also earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.

The KOA Art Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Fridays. The art gallery is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information about the Spectrum Series, contact Patty Colosimo, assistant director of arts programming, at (814) 362-5155.

Catt County Holiday Essay Contest

OLEAN -- Children who live in Cattaraugus County are invited to write an essay about the December holidays -- What is so special about the holidays in Cattaraugus County? The Holiday Essay Contest is sponsored by Olean Times Herald's Newspapers in Education program, Premo Limo, and the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce.

Officials want to hear how the students spend the holidays in and around the county: students may sled down St. Bonaventure’s hillside with their cousins; may go for a wagon ride around trails at Allegany State Park; or spend the day skiing in Ellicottville with all their relatives. This year the essay is reflecting the County’s Bicentennial Celebration and the essay can be written at school or at home.

The top three winners will be invited to the Annual Santa Claus Lane parade and will then help Santa and the Mayor David Carucci light the holiday decorations. Children can drop off their essay at the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce office, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, or mail it to: Holiday Essay Contest, c/o GOACC, 120 North Union, Olean, NY 14760. Please make sure you include your name, address, home phone number, name of school you attend and the grade you are in on your essay. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 4:30 P.M. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17.

Sponsors encourage children to write essays in 150 words or less. Entries will be placed in one of three categories: (Elementary, Middle/Junior High, High School-age levels). Entries will be judged by a panel of individuals with Olean Times Herald's Newspapers in Education program. One winner from each age category will also receive SHOP OLEAN gift certificates. Winners’ essays will be published on the GOACC website,

For more information on the holiday essay contest or Santa Claus Lane, please contact GOACC at (716) 372-4433 or email

Campbell Takes the Stand in Trial

The Clearfield County man accused of killing his mother after an argument over a computer took the stand today in his murder trial.

21-year-old Jesse James Campbell is facing charges of criminal homicide and murder and could face the death penalty if he's convicted.

Campbell testified that he did not kill his mother, was not involved in her murder and never admitted to police that he had anything to do with it.

When asked about yesterday's testimony about letters he allegedly wrote about killing his mother, Campbell testified that he was writing about a character in a book, not himself.

Campbell is accused of slitting his mother's throat with a steak knife on March 13. The trial is expected to last two more days.

Pole Dancing Studio Can Open

A Pittsburgh suburb will allow a pole dancing studio to open, ending a federal lawsuit that accused town officials of violating the First Amendment rights of the prospective business woman.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of 30-year-old Stephanie Babines. Officials had barred her from opening the studio, saying it was a sexually oriented business.

Babines' classes include pole-dancing, power lap dance, strip tease and "SeXXXercise." They are all taught and performed fully clothed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thefts at Potter Co. Fairgrounds

Police are looking into thefts at the Potter County Fairgrounds.

They say sometime between September 1 and October 1 someone lifted a 4-foot by 16-foot steel tube gate from its hinges.

The gate is valued at $500.

Also, sometime between October 1 and Sunday someone cut about 200 feet of copper wire that connected lighting fixtures on the rafters under the entertainment pavilion.

Also, the burglar broke into a booth and stole about 20 more feet of copper wire.

On a Personal Note ...

I hate to do this while some people (include myself) are still grieving, but I also hate being questioned about why I'm grieving. Obviously, Spider and I were friends and had a mutual respect for each other. 'nuff said.

Dresser-Rand, School May Partner

The oil industry is helping Bradford Area High School. Dresser-Rand may be helping Allegany-Limestone High School.

Dresser-Rand representatives met with school officials concerning a mentoring partnership.

Superintendent Diane Munro says a partnership could result in a program where students go to Dresser-Rand to learn machine skills.

'Burning Ordinance' Considered

Bradford City Council – on first reading Tuesday night – approved the "Bradford Open Burning Ordinance."

Among other things, the ordinance prohibits open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions. It also says recreational fires can't be within 25 feet of a building or combustible material.

Council thanked Fire Chief Boo Coder for the work he put into the ordinance.

Council still has to approve the ordinance on second reading before it goes into effect. Anyone can read it at city hall.

Also Tuesday, Dr. Brian MacNamara tried to encourage Bradford City Council to do something about the former J.A. Still Funeral Home on Congress Street, which is in a state of disrepair.

"I'm concerned about another building in the (historic) district edging its way toward a point that it can't be saved," he said.

"The architectural features are quite significant," he added, "and they're actually in pretty good condition except that the paint is coming off …"

Council members said they would look into the matter.

As we told you last week, Governor Ed Rendell signed bills that expand the scope of both the Main Street and Elm Street programs.

Office of Economic and Community Development Executive Director Sara Andrews told Council that one change is expanding the Elm Street Manager's position from 5 years to 10 years.

"They're finding out that once they're getting into some of these neighborhoods that five years isn't long enough," she said.

Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani and Main Street Manager Anita Dolan are attending a meeting Wednesday in Warren on the matter.

Also, council set trick-or-treating hours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on October 31.

"Wasn't it longer when we were kids?" Mayor Tom Riel asked.

DEP Fines Kawneer Company

WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Kawneer Company Inc. $6,100 for hazardous waste violations, including improperly storing and labeling used fluorescent lamps and batteries.

The hazardous waste items were discovered at Kawneer’s Bloomsburg, Columbia County, plant after routine inspections by DEP

“Federal and state regulations require used batteries and fluorescent bulbs to be stored securely and labeled properly,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “The concern here is safety. These items contain hazardous waste materials and we need to ensure that the necessary steps and precautions are in place.”

Kawneer officials corrected all of the violations during the inspection and paid the fine to the Solid Waste Abatement Fund, which is used to help pay for cleanup activities across the state.

DEP cited Kawneer for similar offenses in 1997 and 2003. During recent inspections, the department cited the company for three hazardous waste record keeping violations.

Route 62 Closed After Shingle Spill

Route 62 near Kiantone was closed for about an hour and a half on Tuesday after a commercial truck flipped over, spilling shingles and lumber onto the road.

Sheriff's deputies say Harry Eidens' vehicle went off the road and when it went back onto the road, flipped over.

The road was closed while the debris was cleared and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

Eidens was treated an area hospital then released.

Riel: Warner a Good Friend to City

At the start of Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting, Mayor Tom Riel commented on the passing of Joe "Spider" Warner.

"He truly did care about our community and wanted to help make it a better place," Riel said. "I considered him a friend and I'll miss the guy."

"I hope that his legacy of Bradford-Online and (Talk About Bradford) goes on. God bless Joe Warner," Riel said.

Marcellus Shale-Related Lawsuit

More than 100 people who own land above part of the Marcellus Shale gas formation in Pennsylvania are suing over the drilling leases they signed.

The property owners say in a federal lawsuit that the leases they signed with the land agent, Keeton Group of Lexington, Ky., are illegal under state law and should be invalid.

They say the leases violate state law because they don't guarantee that the property owner would get one-eighth of the royalties from drilling on the Marcellus Shale gas formation.

The suit says the 135 plaintiffs own more than 18,000 acres in Sullivan and Lycoming counties.

Soccer Mom Gets Gun Permit Back

A pistol-packin' soccer mom got her concealed weapon permit back today.

Meleanie Hain lost the permit after other parents complained last month that she was carrying her loaded handgun in a holster at her daughter's soccer game.

A judge says even though the law required him to give her the permit back, he questioned whether Hain showed good judgment by ignoring other parents' safety concerns.

Hain says she expects she'll be back on the sidelines with her gun in the future.

Jesse Campbell Trial Underway

During the trial for a Houtzdale man accused of killing his mother, a state trooper testified today about letters found in the defendant's bedroom.

Jesse James Campbell is charged with criminal homicide for allegedly killing his mother Cindy Jo Coleman on March 13.

Trooper Michelle Zeiders read one of the letters to the jury today. It says “God knows I hate with a passion who I am. He knows my disgust … that’s why I hate him … I am a horrible person. Horrible and evil.”

Another line from the letter states, “Because I could kill my mother with a dull steak knife."

Also today, a DNA expert testified that blood on sweatpants worn by Campbell matched his mother's blood.

In the first day of the trial on Monday several witnesses testified that Campbell had talked about killing his mother.

Campbell is accused of slitting his mother's throat with a steak knife then reading the Bible to her as she died. Earlier they had argued about a computer.

Paterson Writes to McCain, Obama

In a letter welcoming presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to New York for Wednesday's debate, Governor David Paterson challenged the men to work on rebuilding the partnership between the federal government and the states.

Paterson's letter says "This partnership was once a source of America’s strength. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, for example, the federal government worked with New York and other states to shore up security and get our economy back on track."

Paterson says he is calling on McCain and Obama to work with the nation’s Governors to restore trust, to rebuild the partnership, and to tackle the urgent challenges facing the states.

You can read Paterson's letter HERE.

Woman Who Sees Virgin Mary
Barred From Maryland Church

A Pennsylvania woman whose purported messages from the Virgin Mary have been discredited by the Roman Catholic Church has canceled her scheduled appearances in Maryland at the urging of the archbishop of Baltimore. Gianna Sullivan of Fairfield was warned last week by Archbishop Edwin O'Brien not to talk or write about the alleged apparitions anywhere within the archdiocese. The archdiocese concluded in 2000 that the visions were not supernatural and barred Sullivan's weekly appearances at an Emmitsburg, Maryland, church. The Vatican upheld that decision in 2003.

PGC: Squirrel Population Strong

If there's one game animal that could use some additional attention in Pennsylvania, it's squirrels. Pennsylvania Game Commission field officers report squirrel populations are strong in most areas of the state. Gray squirrels continue to be found across Pennsylvania in sizeable numbers, and the black-phase gray squirrel isn't hard to find north of Interstate-80 and east of the Ohio line all the way into the state's northcentral counties. Fox squirrels also are becoming increasingly available as they continue to push east of the Appalachian Front and north through Pennsylvania's ridges and valleys.

Squirrel populations have been enjoying the benefits of declining hunting pressure and the maturation of habitat instate for some time. These factors have spurred fox squirrel range expansion and recovery. Game Commission field officers believe squirrel hunting will be good to excellent in many of the state's forests and woodlots. About the only problem squirrels are up against currently is the loss of mast caused by gypsy moth caterpillar defoliation of oak stands, which has occurred sporadically across the state.

For county-specific details on game populations, habitat conditions and where-to-go hunting information, visit the Game Commission's website ( Reports filed by Wildlife Conservation Officers, Land Managers and foresters are available from every county. To access them, just click on the “Field Officer Game Forecasts” link found the homepage.

“Gray squirrels are our most abundant game species and are found throughout Pennsylvania,” said Tom Hardisky, Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist. “Look for mast-producing trees such as walnut, butternut, oak, and hickory when searching for the best hunting areas. In agricultural areas, woodlots in the vicinity of standing cornfields often support large numbers of squirrels. They can be found throughout deep woods areas. The black squirrel is actually a color phase of the gray squirrel. In general, black squirrels can be found in the northern half of Pennsylvania. Squirrels with this black color variation often occur in local concentrations scattered about their northern Pennsylvania range.

“Fox squirrels are up to 50 percent larger than gray squirrels and weigh about two pounds,” Hardisky explained. “Fox squirrels have been expanding their range eastward in recent years and now inhabit much of the western half of Pennsylvania. They prefer more open areas than gray squirrels and are not found in the deep woods. Fox squirrels favor open fields and pastures with large trees nearby. Small woodlots and forest edges are typical fox squirrel haunts. Although some gray squirrels may possess orange coloration along their sides and tails, fox and gray squirrels do not interbreed, nor do gray and red squirrels. Each squirrel species has some color variation, even within local populations. However, this color variation largely results from genetic differences. Local diet, habitat, and climate differences also may contribute to color variation.”

When hunting squirrels, look for large-trunked trees near a food source. Larger trees offer better protection from predators and are favorite den sites. Gray squirrels are most active during the early morning and evening, while fox squirrels often travel during mid-day.

Pennsylvania's youth squirrel hunt will be held Oct. 11-17 and is open to youths 12 to 16 years of age who have successfully completed a hunter-trapper education course and are properly accompanied by an adult. A hunting license is not required to participate.

Hunters also are reminded that squirrels are listed as a game animal that can be pursued by youngsters participating in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which permits those under the age of 12 to hunt under the guidance of a mentor. For more information about this new program, visit the Game Commission's website and click on Mentored Youth FAQs in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.

Information on both of these youth hunting programs also can be found in the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer.

Squirrel hunters are required to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing, visible 360 degrees, at all times. The daily bag limit for squirrels is six.

Discuss 'The Children's Blizzard'

The “No Rules” Book Club sponsored by the Bradford Area Public Library will discuss this year’s One Book Bradford selection, David Laskin’s “The Children’s Blizzard,” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the library. The discussion will be led by Dr. Anita Herbert and is open to the public. Anyone who has read the book is encouraged to attend.

The discussion is one of several programs this year planned by the One Book Bradford Committee related to “The Children’s Blizzard.” The culminating event is a visit by Laskin at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Laskin's visit is part of the Pitt-Bradford Spectrum Series and co-sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford writing program and the Division of Communication and the Arts.

“The Children’s Blizzard” tells the story of a group of pioneers on the Great Plains and a blizzard that has been remembered for generations.

Other events planned at the public library include “Talking Up a Storm” at 7 p.m. Nov. 12, a holiday fair from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dec. 6 and an original short play presented by Bradford Little Theatre Jan. 24, 2009.

Twenty copies of “The Children’s Blizzard” are available for borrowing from the Bradford Area Public Library. The book is also on sale from local booksellers.

One Book Bradford was started last year by the Friends of the Bradford Area Public Library and the Pitt-Bradford Spectrum Series in conjunction with the Friends of the Hanley Library and members of 11 local book groups, including “No Rules.”

PGC Expects Good Grouse Hunting

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission expects ruffed grouse hunting to be good - at least as good as last year - for the more than 100,000 hunters who annually pursue these challenging game birds.

The opening day of the state's three-part grouse season is Saturday, Oct. 18, and runs through Nov. 29. The season reopens Dec. 15 to 23, and then again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 24. Participating hunters must have a valid Pennsylvania hunting license and follow the regulations that govern this rugged sport of brush-busting and mountain-scampering.

“Last year, hunters saw fewer grouse than they had the previous year,” said Bill Palmer, Game Commission grouse biologist. “We were forecasting an improvement in flushing rates, but it didn’t. The flushing rate was down slightly, but it still was the second best rate posted by hunters since 2002. We expect grouse numbers to stay relatively the same and that should translate into good hunting.”

Palmer noted, however, that the problem apparently wasn’t just a “Pennsylvania thing.”

“Nearly all of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states had declining flushing rates last season,” Palmer said.

Last year, grouse flushing rates dropped in all of the state’s six geographic regions. Those regional rates equaled the statewide sum of 1.25 grouse flushed per hour. The 2007 rate exceeded the previous year's 1.41 rate by a slight margin. It was the second best rate posted in six years by the participants of the Game Commission's “Grouse Cooperator Survey,” which uses information recorded in hunting logs by volunteers.

The state’s Northcentral region posted the best flushing rate with 1.44 grouse per hour (1.46 in 2006). The Northwest Region, which led the state last year, followed with a rate of 1.25 (1.76 in 2006). In the Southcentral, the rate was 1.16 (1.22); Southwest, 1.05 (1.21); Northeast, 1.04 (1.30); and Southeast, 0.73 (0.79).

Many Game Commission employees reported encountering grouse in their travels afield this past summer in a game and furbearer forecast they complete annually for the agency. Interested hunters and trappers can see these updates on-line at the Game Commission's website ( Dozens of reports - from every county in the Commonwealth - are available. Just click on the “Field Officer Game Forecasts” link found the homepage.

The average annual flushing rate for the more than 40 years the grouse cooperator study has existed is 1.41 grouse per hour. The 2006 rate was 1.25. In 2004, the rate was 0.95. The state's best year for flushing grouse occurred in 1995, when hunters established a 1.74 birds per hour rate.

The number of Pennsylvania grouse hunters dropped eight percent to about 96,400 in the last license year. They averaged less than a grouse apiece last year, when the total grouse harvest was about 82,000 birds.

The statewide grouse flushing rate is developed through information provided by grouse hunting cooperators, who keep a log of their hunting activities. In 2006, 292 hunters participated in the program. Hunters who take part in this important program are updated on yearly results through an annual newsletter.

Hunters interested in participating in the Game Commission's annual Grouse Cooperator Survey are asked to write the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, ATTN: Grouse Cooperator Survey, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

Grouse hunters are reminded to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing on the head, chest and back combined at all times; limit hunting parties to no more than six individuals; and plug shotguns to three-shell capacity (magazine and chamber combined).

In addition, grouse hunters are reminded that grouse hunting is permitted on a 2,800-acre tract of State Game Land 176 in Centre County, where the agency has conducting a long-term study to determine the impact of intensive habitat improvement efforts on the grouse population.

POGAM, WIB Doante Money for
School's Oil, Gas Curriculum

Members of the Pennsylvania Oil, Gas and Minerals Association have contributed $26,500 to fund a portion of the staffing requirements for the first year of Bradford Area High School's Petroleum Production Training program. The North Central Workforce Investment Board has also made a $10,000 contribution. Additional funds have been pledged by POGAM members and will be turned over to the high school.

The high school re-instituted the Petroleum Production Training curiculum for the 2008-2009 school year. The course of study was discontinued about 15 years ago due to the decline in local drilling at that time. Currently, 18 students are enrolled in the program. Three commute from Smethport.

Re-institution of the program was a response to a study by POGAM and the North Centrl Workforce Investment Board that highlighted the shortage of workers needed to support the rapid increase in oil and gas drilling activities in teh area. As a result of the findings of the study, a considerable amount of interest has been generated in all levels of the educational spectrum.

Rick Fesenmyer of Minard Run Oil Company and Jim MacFarlane of Mac Tech Mineral Management were instrumental in developming and updating the new oil and gas production program at the high school.

The high school is also in discussion with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to have this course work accepted toward completion of the university's new Petroleum Technology Program, which was also instituted as a result of the POGAM and WIB study.

POGAM contributors include Aiello Brothers Oil and Gas Inc.; American Refining Group; ARG Resources Inc.; Carl McCracken; Chesapeake Energy Corporation; Dallas-Morris Drilling; Double J Resources; East Resources; Keane & Sons Drilling Corp.; LJ Stein & Co. Inc.; Marathon Oil; Minard Run Oil Company; Northern Tier Inc.; Penn Gold Well Services; Pennsylvania General Energy Corp.; Petroleum Geo Services; Phillips & Dart Oilfield Services; Plants & Goodwin Inc.; Superior Well Services; and Universal Well Services.

Pictured above are, from left, Bradford Area High School Principal Ken Coffman; Bob Esch, Chairman of the North Central Workforce Investment Board; Fred Fesenmyer, POGAM Chairman of the Board; Bradford Area School Board President Tim Bean; Bradford Area School District Superindentent Sandra Romanowski; and Susie Snelick, Director of the North Central Workforce Investment Board.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ralph Nader to Stop in Buffalo

No one seems to be exactly sure when or if McCain, Obama, Palin or Biden will be in Buffalo. But they do know when Ralph Nader will be there. The Presidential candidate will be making a campaign stop in Buffalo Friday evening. Nader is scheduled to speak at 6:30 at the Lafayette Presbyterian Church on Elmwood Avenue.

'A Wild and Crazy Affair'

Dr. Richard Frederick, a University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professor of history known for his entertaining lectures, will speak on “A Wild and Crazy Affair: Electing a President in 1800” Thursday night, Oct. 16. Frederick’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. “The colorful characters I’ll be talking about include founding fathers like Adams and Jefferson and Hamilton as well as scoundrels like Aaron Burr and James T. Callender,” Frederick said. “Nothing was ever quite like this election, which is why it has engendered so much interest over the years. It has everything, from mudslinging to the first real party change in U.S. history, to a contested result that was ultimately settled in the House of Representatives.” The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Hanley Library and is free and open to the public.

Jamestown Man Dies in Busti Crash

A 20-year-old Jamestown man died after being thrown from his vehicle Saturday morning in the Town of Busti.Police say it appears that 20-year-old Austin Niles was speeding at around 6:20 a.m., lost control of his vehicle, hit an embankment and landed in a ditch. Niles was pronounced dead at the scene.

Winston to Perform at Pitt-Bradford

Nationally renowned melodic folk pianist George Winston will perform on Oct. 22 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The concert, which is the first offering in this year’s Season Subscription Series, starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Winston, who performed the soundtrack for some of the Peanuts television specials, will perform several styles, including melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano and stride piano on Pitt-Bradford's new 9- foot Steinway concert grand piano.

The show lineup includes selections from Winston’s popular recordings “Autumn,” “December,” “Winter into Spring,” and “Summer” as well as recordings from “Forest” and pieces from Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to the animated television specials featuring the Peanuts cast of characters.

“George Winston is a first-rate pianist with an engaging personality and unusual modern repertoire that no one else can match,” said Randy Mayes, arts programming director.

Audience members are encouraged to bring canned goods that will be donated to the YWCA of Bradford Food Pantry. A portion of the show's merchandising proceeds will also go to that organization.

It's common for Winston to lend a helping hand to those facing troubled times.

Profits from his 2006 album recording “Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions – A Hurricane Relief Effort,” helped clean-up efforts in the Gulf Coast. He also assisted those affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with proceeds from a six-song album called a “Remembrance -- A Memorial Benefit.”

Winston emerged onto the music scene after releasing a 1972 solo piano album, “Ballads and Blues.”

Listening to songs composed by The Doors, an American rock band from the 1960s, prompted him to play the organ.

Winston said he credits his knowledge of music to Professor Longhair, the founder of the New Orleans R&B piano scene, as well as two other New Orleans pianists James Booker and Henry Butler.

He has produced several albums, including the solo piano children’s story “The Velveteen Rabbit” with narration by Meryl Streep in 1984; solo piano soundtrack for the Peanuts television show, “This is America Charlie Brown: The Birth of the Constitution” in 1988. In 1995, he worked with the late George Levenson of Informed Democracy on a solo guitar soundtrack for “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” as well as two soundtracks with piano, guitar, and harmonica solos for “Pumpkin Circle” and “Bread Comes to Life.”

Winston also released “Masters of the Hawaiian Slack KeyGuitar” after launching Dancing Cat Records in 1983.

He performs more than 110 concerts a year consisting of solo piano, solo guitar, solo harmonica and solo piano dances.

Sam Komlenic, a representative from the National Public Radio station WPSU, will give the curtain speech before the show as part of the “WPSU Night” to recognize many of the supporters of the station in the Bradford region.

Tickets for the show are $26 and $22 for the public and $11 and $9 for all students and are available by contacting Bromeley Family Theater box office at (814) 362-5113.

The Winston concert will also be the first event to feature a pre-show buffet dinner at 5:45 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The cost is $18 per person, and reservations should be made in advance. The menu will include chicken roulade, grilled yellow squash, strawberry mesclun salad and apple-pear crisp.

Other shows in the 2008-09 Season Subscription Series are the gospel trio D’Vine Jan. 24, the Russian National Ballet performing “The Sleeping Beauty” March 24 and Tony Award-winning musical “Bye Bye Birdie” April 30.

Winston will be my guest on WESB's LiveLine at 12:40 p.m. October 21.

Crimestoppers Looking for Suspect

Pennsylvania Crimestoppers are asking for help in finding a McKean County man wanted for burglary and theft. 23-year-old Michael Raymond Butters is wanted in connection with several burglaries in the McKean County area. A warrant was issued for his arrest on September 10. Butters' last known address was Route 321 in Kane, McKean County. He is also known to frequent the Bradford area. Butters is 6 feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Woman Accused of Hitting Cop

A Rixford woman is in jail after allegedly entering a neighbor's house, urinating in the bathtub, passing out on a bedroom floor and, later, assaulting a police officer.

At about 2:45 this morning, police took Katherine Strang back to her home a short distance away and found an infant child alone and crying.

Police contacted McKean County Children & Youth Services, who removed the infant and three young children from the house.

As the children were being removed, Strang allegedly kicked the CYS case worker and two police officers, and hit a police officer in the head with a telephone.

Strang was sent to McKean County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Midget Football Champions

Congratulations to the 2008 Midget Football League Champions
The Moose!
Thanks to Tracy & Allen for the photo.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Marching Owls Take First Place

The Bradford Marching Owls blew away the other schools in their division and took first place at the band competition in Harbor Creek on Saturday. They also took all the caption awards in Class AAA competition. The Marching Owls final score was 82.08. Girard was in second place with 77.08. North East's score was 75.28. The Owls compete in Corry next Saturday.

NJ Sues Salamanca Company

The state of New Jersey is suing a Salamanca-based mail order cigarette company.

The lawsuit claims Red Jacket Tobacco sold cigarettes without a New Jersey license and without charging New Jersey sales tax.

Red Jacket is also accused to failing to make sure people who buy the cigarettes are over 18 years old.

Another Robbery in the Region

Olean police believe a robbery at Key Bank in the Olean Mall parking lot Friday night may be related to other robberies in the region.

They say 24-year-old Matthew Gold was robbed while making a deposit from a local business.

Gold says the robber was about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans and a bandana over his face. The suspect did not display a weapon.

Police say the robber fits the description given by employees of the Foster Brook Crosby Mart, Chestnut Street Uni-Mart and Sugarcreek store that were all robbed, as well as an attempted robbery at Domino's Pizza in Allegany.

Super Saturday at the SPCA

JoAnn Farrell and Sonny smile for the camera before the pet costume contest at the SPCA. Sonny was one of the winners, as was Treasure "The Convict" pictured below with Honey.

All the winners in Saturday's SPCA pet costume contest -- and their people.