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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hundreds Attend Annual Kid Fest

Pictured, from top to bottom are exhibits for Sciene in Motion, the Cub Scouts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (featuring Smokey the Bear), the Erie Zoo (featuring a baby alligator) and Stamp Camp USA.

This is the fifth year Senator Joe Scarnati has hosted Kid Fest at Pitt-Bradford. It's the first year WESB did a live broadcast from the event ... and I hope we can do it again next year.

Alleged Gun Threats in Kane

A Kane man is accused of threatening two other men with a gun on Friday.

62-year-old Rodger Streit of Niver Road is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with extreme indifference to human life and related charges.

Court records indicate that Paul and James Glies went to Streit's home to talk about an incident earlier in the day when Streit told them leave property they were hunting on.

Streit allegedly pointed a gun at Paul Glies and pulled the trigger. The gun made a clicking sound. Streit then pointed the gun at Glies's head and pulled the trigger again. He then pointed the gun at James Glies and pulled the trigger again. He then allegedly hit James Glies in the head with the butt of the gun.

Paul Glies eventually wrestled the gun away from Streit.

Streit was sent to McKean County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Charges Filed in Teen's Death

An Emporium man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle in connection with an accident last month that killed an Emporium teenager.

25-year-old Nichols Caton turned himself in to District Judge Alvin Brown.

He's free on $25,000 bail.

Police say Caton passed a car on Route 120, didn't return to the proper lane and hit an SUV driven by 17-year-old Christopher Purcell, who died.

Fire Damages Bradford House

Bradford City Firefighters battled a blaze at 16 East Main Street for nearly four hours early Saturday morning.

Bradford City Police notified the fire department of the blaze at about 4:30 a.m. Fire Captain Larry Visbisky says the entire rear of the house engulfed in flames when they arrived. The fire spread from the kitchen to the back wall, to the second story, then to the attic.

Visbisky says the 2 ½ story wood structure was not occupied. A person was moving in, and had belongings there, but no one was home at the time of the fire.

The people who live next door were out of their house by the time firefighters arrived, Visbisky says.

They were on the scene until 8:20 a.m. All the fire department's engines and 13 firefighters responded. Bradford and Foster townships, as well as Special Police, assisted.

Obviously, not a good picture of the fire but if you know it was taken in the Davis Street/Jackson Avenue area, you know it was pretty darn big. I would have tried to get a better picture, but by the time I got to East Main/South Kendall, I had bigger problems to deal with. Anyway, WTG Firefighters ... and police for calling it in.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Clearfield's Operation Drive-Thru

CLEARFIELD - Narcotics agents from the Attorney General's office today, along with local law enforcement, have arrested 12 out of 14 people in connection with a drug operation that was responsible for bringing millions of dollars worth of cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs into Clearfield County from sources in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre.

Corbett said that the drug organization was allegedly headed by Michael Styers, who traveled, or sometimes had others travel for him, into Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Wilkes-Barre to acquire drugs for resale in Clearfield County.

According to the charges, Styers' operation imported vast quantities of illegal drugs, including more than 20 kilograms of cocaine, into the Clearfield area beginning in 2004. The drug network allegedly generated drug profits totaling in the millions of dollars. Styers himself allegedly made more than a million dollars in profits.

Corbett said that the investigation, known as "Operation Drive Thru," began in April 2006, when the Lawrence Township Police responded to a burglary and encountered a vehicle parked along the road, along with Charles and Danielle Gearhart, Rick Wilkinson and his wife. They were allegedly in possession of about 200 grams of cocaine.

"Through the diligence of our agents and local law enforcement, once we found evidence of illegal drugs being dealt in Clearfield County, we were able to follow the trail and take down both the local dealers and their out-of-town sources," Corbett said.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged criminal activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

According to the grand jury, Styers' main source for cocaine was Maharaji "Bean" Hemingway in Philadelphia, who was responsible with supplying Styers with more than $1 million worth of cocaine.

Corbett said that it is estimated that Styers, or an associate, traveled to Philadelphia five to 10 times a month to purchase between four to 15 ounces of cocaine at a time from Hemingway, spending $12,000 to $16,000 per trip.

Corbett also said that Hemingway occasionally traveled to Clearfield, and on one occasion allegedly brought two shoe boxes full of cocaine with him. Each shoe box contained two large gallon size zip lock baggies; one was allegedly full of powder cocaine and the other was full of crack cocaine.

According to the grand jury, in April 2006, Hemingway traveled to Clearfield to collect a $17,000 drug debt. He allegedly held Styers' wife hostage in her own home for a few days, until she was able to contact Styers to locate a package stored inside the house.

The grand jury found that Charles Gearhart was a major dealer for Styers, and sometimes traveled with Styers to obtain cocaine. He and Styers regularly met Hemingway by the Philadelphia Zoo and brought back nine ounces of cocaine at a time, paying $1,700 to $1,800 per ounce of cocaine. Upon returning to Clearfield, Styers and Charles Gearhart sold the cocaine to local customers.

According to the grand jury, although Styers was the major importer of drugs to the Clearfield area, he was occasionally incarcerated on various parole violations. Whenever Styers was incarcerated, Charles Gearhart took over the cocaine operation. Many of Styers regular customers also bought from Charles Gearhart whenever they couldn't reach Styers.

According to the grand jury, Charles Gearhart and his wife, Danielle Gearhart, eventually began selling illegal drugs from a "drive-thru" window in their mobile home.

The investigation found that the Gearharts allegedly sold to numerous customers who literally drove their vehicles up to a window of the home and conducted drug business on an almost daily basis.

According to the grand jury, Michael Gearhart was allegedly another one of the main cocaine distributors for Styers and dealt large quantities of cocaine from a rented room at a motel in Clearfield. Michael Gearhart also allegedly bought cocaine from Anthony Manchio in Wilkes-Barre in multiple ounce quantities for resale in the Clearfield area. Tammie Barney, who was Michael Gearhart's girlfriend, often accompanied him on the trips to Wilkes-Barre.

The grand jury also found that Richard Smeal, Kenneth Smeal and Wilkinson occasionally traveled to acquire drugs from an unidentified source in Pittsburgh for resale in Clearfield County.

According to the grand jury, some of the drug users who bought drugs from this organization paid for their drugs in ways other than with money, including: sex, baby sitting services, guns, other drugs and credit card-funded shopping sprees.

Corbett noted that the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests are anticipated.

The defendants were preliminarily arraigned before Clearfield County Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland. The case will be prosecuted in Clearfield County by Deputy Attorney General David Gorman of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.

Corbett thanked the Clearfield County Sheriff's Office, Clearfield Borough Police Department, DuBois Police Department, Sandy Township Police Department, Lawrence Township Police Department and Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw Jr's office for their assistance with the investigation.

Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges filed against them:

Michael Styers, 50, SCI Mercer, is charged with seven counts of delivery, seven counts of possession with intent to deliver, three counts of criminal conspiracy, two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of firearms, two counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of burglary, one count of criminal attempt/burglary, one count of theft by unlawful taking and one count of receiving stolen property.
Maharaji "Bean" Hemingway, 30, 1631 N. 26th St., Philadelphia, is charged with six counts of delivery, six counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and one count of false imprisonment.
Charles Gearhart, 38, 145 Hunter Rd., Woodland, is charged with 13 counts of delivery, 13 counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Danielle Gearhart, 39, 145 Hunter Rd., Woodland, is charged with seven counts of delivery, eight counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Michael Gearhart, 47, 306 Ogden Ave., Clearfield, is charged with nine counts of delivery, nine counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Richard Smeal, 43, SCI Mahanoy, is charged with eight counts of delivery, nine counts of possession with intent to deliver, six counts of criminal conspiracy, six counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Anthony Manchio, 49, Box 122F 212 Farmhouse Lane, Wapwallopen, is charged with four counts of delivery, four counts of possession with intent to deliver, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Rick Wilkinson, 45, Clearfield County Jail, Clearfield, is charged with three counts of delivery, three counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Michael Marshall, 32, Centre County Jail, Bellefonte, is charged with two counts of delivery and two counts of possession with intent to deliver.
Jacob Pittman, 29, SCI Camp Hill, is charged with six counts of delivery, six counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Kenneth Smeal, 38, 7876 Shiloh Rd., Shiloh, is charged with six counts of delivery, seven counts of possession with intent to deliver, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
Adam Caldwell, 21, 1215 Woodland Rd., Clearfield, is charged with one count of delivery and one count of possession with intent to deliver.
Matthew Olson, 27, 314 Clearfield St., Clearfield, is charged with three counts of delivery, three counts of possession with intent to deliver and two counts of criminal conspiracy.
Tammie Barney, 41, 514 E. 5th St., Clearfield, is charged with one count of possession with intent to deliver and one count of criminal conspiracy.

'Just the Sexiest Man Alive'

My guest on Saturday's Weekend Wrap is author/lawyer Julie James, whose new book "Just the Sexiest Man Alive," is wonderful!

Check it out HERE.

You can hear my interview with Julie at 6 a.m. on 100.1 The HERO and at 9:15 a.m. on 1490 WESB.

PGC Approves Land Transfer

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a land exchange with the Tony L. Stec Lumber Company Inc. that will result in 100 acres of additional land being added to State Game Land 86 in Warren County.

Stec previously was the high bidder on a Game Commission timber sale on SGL 86 and agreed to pay the agency $202,020 for the timber. The Stec family is the owner of a tract of land comprised of 100 acres in Deerfield Township, Warren County, which is an indenture into SGL 86. As the Game Commission is interested in acquiring this tract to protect potential encroachment into SGL 86, the agency and Stec have agreed to the value of $170,000 for the 100-acre parcel.

As part of the exchange, Stec will transfer the 100-acre parcel to the Game Commission, and the agency would credit Stec’s timber contact $170,000 toward the $202,020 commitment.

The property is entirely forested with mostly mixed northern hardwoods to include hickory, oak and cherry. The majority of the tree species are in early forest succession. A small one-acre wetland is located on the property and an unnamed tributary, which supports native brook trout, flows across the property.

SGL 86 currently consists of 14,271 acres in Warren County.

PNC Buying National City

PNC Financial services is buying National City Corporation for $5.6 billion. PNC says the transaction values National City at $2.23 per share -- a value about 19 percent below the Thursday closing price of $2.75. National City posted a $729 million quarterly loss earlier this week.

Ron Howard Video

This is the video Scott and I were just talking about on The Morning Buzz.

In Case You Missed It

10/17/08 - Bfd Man charged with Purse Snatching
A Bradford man was arrested Thursday morning after snatching a purse from a 79 year-old woman on Congress street in Bradford. Bradford City Police say that 37 year-old Timothy Stingel grabbed the purse from the lady and ran. Stingel was in custody by noon yesterday. He is facing robbery, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance charges.

10/21/08 - ARG Awarded Biomass Grant
The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority has awarded a $1 million grant to American Refining and Biochemical Inc. to construct a new biomass facility. Officials say there isn’t a timetable for construction of the plant saying it is still in the early stages. The plant could process up to 180,000 tons of biomass per year into more than 60,000 tons of a coal-like product.

10/22/08 - Another Bfd Teen Arrested in Robberies
Another Bradford teen has been arrested in connection with a series of robberies in Pennsylvania and New York state. Court records indicate that 19 year-old Douglas Carnahan is charged with the robbery at the Uni-Mart on Chestnut Street in Bradford. He is the fifth Bradford man to be charged in the on-going robbery investigation on both sides of the border. Carnahan was sent to the McKean County Jail on $100,000 bail.

10/23/08 - Shinglehouse Woman, Kansas Man Apprehended
A Kansas man wanted on a fugitive from justice warrant was arrested Wednesday in West Clarksville, New York. New York State Police say that 36 year-old Daniel Winkler broke his parole by leaving Kansas earlier this year. Winker is being held in the Allegany County Jail Shinglehouse Police Chief Brad Buchholz adds that Winkler had been staying at the home of his girlfriend 24 year-old Jamie App of Shinglehouse. App was arrested too and charged with hindering apprehension and endangering the welfare of children.

Guilty Plea in Elderkin Murder

A second teenager has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Dusty Elkderkin last December in Stockton.

16-year-old Lyman Whitmore entered his plea on the third day of jury selection for his trial in Chautauqua County.

Whitmore faces 7 years to life in prison when he's sentenced on January 5. He's currently in the Erie County Youth Detention Center in Buffalo.

A 14-year-old was tried earlier this year in Family Court and was sentenced to 5 years in a state detention facility.

Station Van Hits Deer on I-86

The Twin Tiers Action Van hit a deer on I-86 near Jamestown while returning from the Owls game late Thursday night.

Frank, Stefan, Tom and Mike were shook up, but not hurt.

The van was disabled and the deer was killed in the collision.

The Owls broadcast crew arrived back in Bradford safely at 1 a.m.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

GOP and ACORN Still Fighting

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Lawyers for the state Republican Party and ACORN clashed Thursday at a procedural hearing, providing a preview of next week's Commonwealth Court hearing on the GOP's voter-fraud lawsuit against the community activist group.

For the full story, go to

Fumo's Son-in-Law Testifies

The estranged son-in-law of Vincent Fumo started his testimony today in the senator's corruption trial.

33-year-old Christian Marrone told jurors how he spent much of his time as an aide in Fumo's South Philadelphia district office overseeing renovations at Fumo's historic mansion.

Marrone says he oversaw more than a dozen contractors and often stopped at the house several times a day in his first 18 months in his Senate job.

Fumo's daughter, Nicole, listened to her husband's testimony, but did not speak with her father. Fumo and his daughter have been estranged for several years.

Fumo is a Democrat. The Marrones are now Republicans.

Former Teacher Headed to Jail

A former substitute teacher in the Erie School District has been sentenced to three months to one year in jail for having consensual sex with a female student.

Twenty-five-year-old Erica Baker of Corry pleaded guilty to corruption of a minor in September.

Authorities say Baker had a consensual sexual relationship with the 17 year old in August and September 2007. The two met while Baker was a student teacher.

The judge said jail was warranted because Baker was in a position of authority. She also surrendered her teaching license.

Politicking Gone Bad

A woman robbed at knifepoint at a Pittsburgh ATM says her attacker knocked her down and carved a "B" in her face after noticing a John McCain sticker on her car.

Police say the woman was withdrawing money at 9 o'clock Wednesday night when a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her neck and demanded money. She says she gave him $60.

The woman told police the robber then noticed the bumper sticker, punched her in the back of the head, knocked her down and then carved a "B" on the right side of her face.

The woman did not seek medical attention.

Tales of the Sabres

True Buffalo Sabres fans don’t need to read about the history of the team because most of them have lived it. But there are many interesting and funny behind-the-scenes stories about some of the Sabres most beloved and infamous players and coaches that many fans may have never heard.

Paul Wieland’s new book, “Then Perreault Said to Rico … The Best Buffalo Sabres Stories Ever Told,” delves into some of the most memorable stories about favorite players, coaches and cherished games throughout the Sabres history. The book also comes with an exclusive audio CD that features rare play-by-play action and interviews with Sabres greats.

Wieland, who now teaches in the Jandoli School of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University, joined the Sabres in the first few months of the new franchise in 1970 and spent more than 25 years there as public relations director, communications director and executive producer of television sports for the Sabres cable network and for a TV station owned by the hockey team. He also served as a practice goalie for many years.

“Then Perreault Said to Rico … ” includes stories such as:

• The story behind Gilbert Perreault’s rookie goal-scoring record

• The transition from Memorial Auditorium to HSBC Arena

• The 1999 team that made it to the Stanley Cup finals

• The legend that was Taro Tsujimoto

• Behind the scenes with popular head coach and hockey legend Scotty Bowman

• The beer drinkers of professional hockey

Whether you’re a fan of the Bowman era or the Lindy Ruff era, or you just want to learn a few new tidbits about the Sabres, “Then Perreault Said to Rico” has something for everyone.

Wieland both heard and witnessed countless stories during his more than 25-year career with the Sabres organization. He waded through decades of heroics and hijinks to highlight some of the all-time greatest tales from the most memorable figures to take the ice in Buffalo.

Wieland signed books in the SBU Bookstore Thursday afternoon. He is now working on a satirical novel about the pro sports business.

Note from 'The Kite Runner' Author

Dr. Patrick Dooley, Board of Trustees Professor of Philosophy at St. Bonaventure University, will occasionally send a note to an author whose writing inspires him.

Seldom does he expect a response.

So Dooley’s expectations were low when he e-mailed a student’s class journal entry to the agent of Khaled Hosseini, author of the national bestselling novel “The Kite Runner.” A response from the author came this week, and in it was a personal note from Hosseini to the student, SBU senior Adam Mutch.

To say that Dooley was surprised is putting it mildly. “Frankly, I was blown away,” he said.

Dooley read “The Kite Runner” in 2006 while he was a scholar in residence at San Jose State University’s John Steinbeck Center. Hosseini lives in the San Jose area.

Like millions of readers worldwide, Dooley was captivated by the emotionally gripping story of two young half-brothers, Amir and Hassan, caught up in the destruction of their native Afghanistan. The characters’ relationship is altered when Amir witnesses the attack and rape of Hassan and is forever haunted by feelings of cowardice and disloyalty.

Dooley introduced the novel in his “Literature and Art” classes this semester, asking students to submit journals on a number of topics. Mutch’s journal entry about the narrator’s observation that “the past is always with us” was, in a word, “extraordinary,” said Dooley.

“Adam perceptively notes that whereas Amir is obsessed with his past, Hassan has an ability to move on with his life, unencumbered by past events (even horrible ones) in his life,” Dooley wrote in his e-mail to Hosseini’s agent.

It’s an insight into the book that had “completely missed me,” Dooley said. “Adam’s one of those cases where the teacher learns from the student. This guy really has talent. It was very insightful observation.”

Dooley’s e-mail made it to Hosseini, who was impressed enough to send a response that included this note to Mutch: “I admire your insights and appreciate the essay you have written. It was great for me to read how my story resonated with you.” The author urged Mutch to face his future with courage. “With a generous heart and kind spirit, you can carve out your future and perhaps change that of the world as well.”

An excited Dooley went to class Monday prepared to celebrate the arrival of Hosseini’s note with Mutch and his classmates. A rare absence by Mutch, who was nursing a mild case of food poisoning, couldn’t quash Dooley’s enthusiasm. He read the note anyway.

Mutch found out later that day from another student in the class, who showed him a copy of the e-mail from Hosseini.

“It was pretty cool,” said Mutch, a journalism and mass communication major from Penfield, N.Y. “I didn’t know that Professor Dooley had sent it off. It’s one thing if he were kind of a minor author, but Hosseini is such a popular and important author. It’s amazing.”

Mutch said the note is particularly meaningful because he, too, “harbors thoughts of writing fiction one day.”

Dooley made sure that Mutch was properly recognized in his next class.

“Adam was flattered and the people in the class gave him a hand,” said Dooley. “We walked downstairs together after class and he thanked me. It’s pretty amazing, but it’s just the sort of classroom experience that goes on around here.”

In the photo, provided by St. Bonaventure University, Dr. Patrick Dooley, holds a copy of “The Kite Runner,” while meeting with senior Adam Mutch of Penfield, N.Y., in St. Bonaventure University’s Friedsam Library.

On a personanl note: Dr. Dooley was one of my philosphy professors. He divided us into groups for one project, and we had to debate other groups. One of the people in my group was John O'Rourke, who now co-owns O'Rourke and O'Rourke Funeral Home in Salamanca, and who was a roommate of Tony "Chico" DeSio of the Mount Jewett Charter School Coalition. OK. I thought that was interesting.

LIHEAP Information

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is reminding residents who are struggling to pay home-heating costs this winter that applications for Pennsylvania's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be available starting Nov. 3.

LIHEAP, which is funded primarily by the federal government and administered by the state Department of Public Welfare (DPW), helps low-income households pay their heating bills and provides assistance to individuals in danger of losing heat due to emergency situations.

Income eligibility for the 2008-09 LIHEAP season was expanded to 210 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guideline. As a result, nearly 80,000 more Pennsylvanians will be eligible to receive help paying their heating bills this winter through the cash grant portion of the LIHEAP program.

This year, a family of four with an annual income of up to $44,443 can qualify for LIHEAP. The guidelines are updated annually and published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

People do not need to have unpaid bills in order to receive energy assistance, and they can receive this assistance without being on welfare.

If a person is eligible for LIHEAP, a payment will be sent directly to the utility or fuel dealer, and the payment credited to the person's bill.

Additionally, crisis grants are available through LIHEAP in the event of a dire emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing their heat. Examples include broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated.

To apply for LIHEAP, call or visit the local county assistance office to set up an appointment. Residents should be sure to apply in their home counties and are reminded they need the following to obtain assistance:

· Names of people in the household.

· Dates of birth for people in household.

· Social Security numbers for all household members.

· Proof of income for members of household.

· A copy of a recent heating bill.

For more information, contact the appropriate county assistance office:

· Cameron County -- 814-486-3757.

· McKean County -- 814-362-4671.

· Potter County -- 814-274-4900.

Assistance is also available by calling the toll-free LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095 (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886). Internet users can access additional information at Causer's Web site at

Brockway House Torn Down

The house where 10 people died in a fire has been torn down.

Nine members of the Peterson family and family friend Jason Mowry died in the April fire in Brockway. The ages of the victims range from 4 months to 40 years old.

The fire marshal's investigation into what caused the fire is not finished yet, but the house was turned over to the family after their insurance company finished its investigation.

Tax Eliminated for 113,000

Governor Ed Rendell today announced that an estimated 113,000 senior homeowners statewide have had school property taxes eliminated as a result of Pennsylvania’s historic property tax relief law.

In McKean County, an estimated 969 people have had their property taxes eliminated. $1.2 million in rebates have been distributed.

Nearly 500 eligible people in McKean County have not applied for rebates.

In Elk County, 664 eligible people have not applied. In Potter County, 408 people have not applied.

In contrast, everyone in Cameron and Warren counties who was eligible for a rebate applied and received about $1.1 million.

Energy Conference & Expo

MAYVILLE, NY -- Two companies, one that specializes in producing high-efficiency boilers, the other in manufacturing wood gasification products, will be front and center at Chautauqua County's First Annual Energy Conference and Expo November 14th and 15th.

ECR International and Alternative Fuel Boilers LLC, a subsidiary of Dunkirk Metal Products Inc., will play a major part in the event, which will take place at Chautauqua Suites Meeting and Expo Center, located in Mayville, NY.

On Saturday, November 15th, from 12:45 until 2 PM, Mark Belcher, Regional Sales Manager of ECR International Inc., Karl Mayer with ECR and Mark O'Dell, Vice President of Marketing at Dunkirk Metal Products will all speak on panels dealing with Co-Generation Energy Applications.

ECR International was formed in June of 1999 out of a merger between The Utica Companies (Utica) and Dunkirk Radiator Corporation (Dunkirk).

On September 11, 2008, ECR introduced the freewatt® Home Heating System. Manufactured by ECR, freewatt is the green alternative in home heating, allowing homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort.

Freewatt operates using micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) technology, which marries an ENERGY STAR-rated, high-efficiency natural gas furnace or boiler to a Honda generator.

This electricity can be used to power the home or can be sold back to the “grid.” Freewatt is now available throughout New York State.

Meanwhile, Alternative Fuel Boilers LLC manufactures and sells the Econoburn ™ wood gasification boiler at Dunkirk Metal Product's Brocton plant.

Econoburn's technology captures and re-combusts chimney flue gases to dramatically increase energy efficiency and significantly reduce air emissions.

Because of the gasification technology, Econoburn boilers perform with emissions below EPA standards.

Econoburn units range in size from 100,000 to 1 million BTU's for use as either a primary heat source or to supplement one that already exists. The boilers are adaptable to both hot water and forced air heating systems, and the company offers accessory products for swimming pools and hot tubs along with heat exchanger fans for industrial buildings.

Dunkirk Metal Products is working with the NYS Energy Research and Development Administration to document the high-quality energy and environmental performance of their boilers, which are completely made in the U.S.

"Our dealership and distribution network continues to rapidly expand," said Alternative Fuel Boilers president William Raines. "That's a testament to the quality of the product we produce and the level of customer service we provide."

"The Econoburn is quickly becoming one of the most well recognized and highly demanded, made in America wood gasification boilers," Raines said.

Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards said, "It is to be celebrated that two companies which produce such energy-efficient products, and who will be a part of Chautauqua County's upcoming Energy Conference and Expo, are both located in the Dunkirk-North County area."

Exhibits begin Friday afternoon at Noon with opening remarks from Edwards and Energy Conference Chairman Doug Champ.

On Saturday, simultaneous exhibits & panel discussions on Energy Use & Development Issues will begin at 9 AM.

There is no charge to individuals interested in visiting the exhibits and attending the panel discussions. The CCIDA will be coordinating the conference and all exhibits.

For more information, contact the CCIDA at (716) 661-8900, or go to

In the provided photos are

TOP: L-R Doug Champ, Chairman of the Chautauqua County Energy Conference, Ronald Passafaro, V.P. ECR, County Executive Greg Edwards, Bill Daly, Administrative Director/CEO of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA).

BOTTOM: L-R Doug Champ, Dale Furman, Product Development at Dunkirk Metal Products, Dana Johnson, Executive V.P. and G.M. at Dunkirk Metal Products, County Executive Greg Edwards, Hank Abraszek, Sales Manager at Dunkirk Metal Products, Joe Schull, Plant Manager

Grant Money for NORCs

On Thursday, Senator Mike Stack presented a state grant of 200 thousand dollars to help five NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) located throughout Pennsylvania. The funding will also be used to help start new NORCs in non-urban communities. Right now, there are only five Aging in Place Communities which have met NORC qualifications: three in Philadelphia, one in Pittsburgh, and one in Franklin County.

NORCs coordinate services for senior citizens that ultimately provide them with the resources that allow them to live independently. Those services include health assessment and monitoring, home health care, home repairs, socialization activities, and technological and transportation assistance. Seniors can still live independently, knowing that NORC is a resource for them. Additionally, seniors and their families are saving money by staying out of nursing homes.

Senator Stack says when the new session of the General Assembly convenes next year, he'll push for passage of the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities Act. This act would help the existing NORCs and provide an incentive to create more NORCs to communities statewide.

Theismann: Tailgate Responsibly

As millions of Pennsylvanians kickoff football games with tailgate parties, the Liquor Control Board, Charmer Sunbelt Group, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and State Police today said they are joining forces to make sure that these pre-gridiron experiences are responsible and fun.

“TURF – Tailgaters Urging Responsibility and Fun” is a national public-awareness campaign that is debuting today in Pennsylvania. It features former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, promotes safe and responsible tailgating, and is underwritten in Pennsylvania by the LCB’s industry partners: Charmer Sunbelt Group, Capital Wine & Spirits, Brown-Forman and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

“Tailgating is a beloved American pastime and we understand how much fun it can be for fans,” said LCB Chairman Patrick “P.J.” Stapleton III. “Unfortunately, some people take their excitement to a level that disturbs and even endangers others. That’s why we’ve assembled this great team to bring TURF to Pennsylvania.”

Theismann, who played for the Washington Redskins from 1971 to 1985, has made TURF a personal passion.

“An estimated 36 million Americans pack coolers and fire up their grills at tailgate parties around the country each season, but the unsportsmanlike conduct of a few fans can endanger the happiness and safety of many others,” Theismann said. “I’m proud to work with these outstanding organizations to support this important program.”

TURF, which will continue through the conclusion of this football season and beyond, was created by Charmer Sunbelt Group, one of the nation’s leading distributors of alcoholic beverages, to ensure tailgating as the safe pre-game tradition of friends and families.

The program, which was recently adopted in Maryland and will be introduced in other states later this year, promotes several strategies for safe and fun tailgating:

· Provide ample food for guests before serving alcoholic beverages.

· Designate a driver prior to tailgating.

· Watch your language around young fans.

· Support zero tolerance for underage drinking.

· Notify security of any rude, unsportsmanlike or offensive fans.

· Respect the fans. Respect your team. Respect the law.

· And remember, one 12-oz. beer, one 5-oz. glass of wine and 1.5 oz. of spirits all have the same alcohol content.

“TURF addresses concerns from community leaders, regulators, law enforcement and, most important, fans who no longer want themselves or their children exposed to the rowdy and unsafe behavior of a few who spoil the game day experience for everyone,” said Charmer Sunbelt Group Community Relations VP Brian Fischer.

Fliers detailing the program’s tips will be available at PLCB Wine & Spirits Stores, Stapleton said. In addition, Theismann’s public service announcement is on Penn State Live (, the university’s news Web site, and will run on PantherVision during Pitt home games at Heinz Field.

A radio version is running on broadcasts of Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles games. Additional information is available at

“Penn State is committed to ensuring that fans of all ages have a safe and memorable tailgating experience,” said University Relations VP Bill Mahon. “Penn State is proud to add TURF to the broad range of initiatives designed to curb dangerous drinking that have been ongoing at Penn State for more than a decade. Having a broad range of efforts in place to curb this national problem is the best solution.”

“Tailgating is a traditional part of college football Saturdays across the country,” said Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson. “We want to encourage enjoyable yet safe tailgating at Heinz Field, ensuring a great Pitt football experience from start to finish for everyone.”

PA Man Accused of Threatening
President George W. Bush

A Red Lion man has been indicted for allegedly threatening the life of President George W. Bush.

U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson says the Secret Service started investigating 50-year-old Patrick Bloodsworth, after he was admitted to York Hospital following an altercation with members of his family.

The Secret Service says a hospital nurse heard Bloodsworth making the threats on October 8.

Carlson's news release says the grand jury returned the indictment Wednesday.
If convicted, Bloodsworth faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

A federal magistrate has sealed most of the case documents.

Game Commission Calendar on Sale

HARRISBURG – As Pennsylvanians plan for the holiday gift-giving season, the Pennsylvania Game Commission unveiled its 2009 calendar, priced at $8.95 (plus tax and shipping). To purchase a calendar, call the Game Commission at 1-888-888-3459 (toll-free) or visit the Game Commission's Web site.

The 2009 calendar provides a listing of approved season dates from Jan. 1-June 30, and tentative season dates for July1-Dec. 31, as well as a reminder about National Hunting & Fishing Day in September.

The 2009 calendar features a year’s worth of dramatic wildlife photos taken by current and retired agency employees, including: Jacob Dingel, radio dispatcher in the Northwest Region Office; Timothy C. Flanigan, retired Bedford County Wildlife Conservation Officer; Coy D. Hill, retired Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer from Fulton County; Willard C. Hill, retired Game Lands Management Supervisor in the Southcentral Region; and Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist in Harrisburg.

Each month features a full-color photo of a different wildlife species. This year’s subjects are: female Northern cardinal; snow goose flight from Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area; an American wigeon drake; tree swallows; raccoon; a group of red foxes; an American kestrel; mourning dove; elk; gray squirrel; wild turkey; and white-tailed deer.

New this year are insert photos of Game Commission employees conducting various wildlife management tasks.

The calendar also provides a brief overview of the Game Commission and a list of contact information for the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters and six region offices.

Alumni Association Earns Award

For the 11th consecutive year, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Alumni Association has earned a Gold Banner Award from the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Association.

“A Banner Award at the Gold Level comes with a $500 scholarship, so we are most proud to be able to provide a student with financial assistance in this meaningful way,” said Lindsay Hilton Retchless ’98, director of alumni relations.

Retchless and members of the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association board of directors will receive the award during Pitt’s homecoming weekend Friday, Oct. 24.

The Pitt Alumni Association gives the Gold Banner to constituent alumni groups in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in serving as the link between alumni and the university.

The Association’s Gold Banner Status is the highest level of award and is reserved for those groups demonstrating exceptional performance in alumni communications, student involvement and other partnerships.

PBAA board member Ward Garner ’89 said, “The Gold Banner Award is a great opportunity for the PBAA to show off its dedication and commitment to the alumni. The award is proof that PBAA is pursuing best practices in serving the needs of alumni.”

The PBAA serves alumni through Alumni and Family Weekend, and giving awards for a distinguished alumnus, volunteer and member of the faculty.

The PBAA also helps connect current students with alumni in their field during the Career Networking Luncheon held during Alumni and Family Weekend and the Backpack to Briefcase program held each January and welcomes graduates to its ranks through Graduation Central, a one-stop commencement planning fair, and the graduate dinner for graduates and their families.

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 814-362-5091 or e-mail

Homicide Charges Bound to Court

Homicide charges against the Marienville teenagers accused of killing Timothy Finucan have been bound to court.

18-year-old Raymond "R.J." Lambert and 17-year-old Stephan Hall are accused of killing Finucan after they went into his house in Sigel to steal guns and money in mid-August.

Lambert testified that he and Hall went to Finucan's house saying they hit a deer with their vehicle and needed help. He said he fired a shotgun in the air to scare Finucan, but when he thought Finucan fired from his own gun, he fired his gun again.

Lambert and Hall are in Elk County Jail without bail.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PA's Miss America Passes Away

Evelyn Ay Sempier, crowned Miss America 1954 and the only Miss Pennsylvania to win the national pageant, has died, according to her daughter. She was 75. Sempier, of Malvern, died Saturday of colorectal cancer, said her daughter, Stacy.

Evelyn Ay, born in Ephrata to German immigrants, was a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania when she won the state title and then the national pageant's swimsuit competition and crown. She was the last Miss America to be crowned before the pageant was televised, according to the Miss America Web site.

When she was crowned, according to the site, her father said "This could happen only in America!"

For the full story, go to

Cheesesteak Vs. Crab Claws

Governor Edward G. Rendell today accepted Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s friendly wager over the outcome of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays.

When the Phillies win, Governor Crist will send Governor Rendell stone crab claws and a box of oranges. Should the Rays somehow prevail, Governor Rendell will send Governor Crist a Philly cheesesteak and soft pretzels.

“I believe the Rally Towel is more powerful than the cowbell, so I’m honored to accept this friendly wager with Governor Crist,” Governor Rendell said. “Pennsylvanians are proud of our National League Champion Phillies and we look forward to a great World Series.”

The first two games of the 104th World Series will be played tonight and tomorrow night in Florida. The series moves to Philadelphia on Oct. 25.

Court & Crime

A Bradford woman accused of shooting a gun in the city has waived her preliminary hearing.

Teresa Reed allegedly discharged a .45 caliber handgun at just before noon August 22 on Longfellow Avenue.

Court records say children were playing outside, and nearby businesses were opened, when the alleged incident happened.

Theft charges against a Bradford woman have been bound to court by District Judge Dom Cercone.

Lisa Martin allegedly withheld $130 from a confidential informant with the McKean County Drug Task Force during an investigation.

Martin is free on unsecured bail.

A Rixford woman accused of urinating in neighbor's bathtub, passing out topless on a bedroom floor and, later, assaulting a police officer, has waived her preliminary hearing.
The alleged incidents happened October 13. When police took Katherine Strang back to her home a short distance away and found an infant 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.
District Judge Rich Luther reduced Strang's bail on Wednesday and she was released pending further court action.

Two Coudersport men have been arrested on burglary charges.

New York State Police say 23-year-old Anthony Dwell and 34-year-old Randy Aglira broke into a barn on Four Mile Road in Allegany and stole scrap metal.

The alleged incident happened at around 3 o'clock Tuesday morning.

A Wellsville man has been arrested for trying to damage property in the village police station.

Police say 23-year-old John Cosgrove tried to damage property in the police department's booking room while he was being held on a harassment charge.

He's been charged with felony criminal mischief.

SBU to Receive L.O.U.I.E Award

St. Bonaventure University has been named the recipient of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce L.O.U.I.E. Award.

The award is given annually to a privately owned business in the Olean area that demonstrates a well-planned, thorough and serious approach to business development and exemplifies the hometown charm of the area.

The chamber says St. Bonaventure has earned a reputation for academic excellence and the extraordinary character of its students, paving the way for the success of its 25,000 graduates.

The award will be presented during the chamber's 103rd annual dinner on November 6.

Woman Who Swore at Toilet
Settles Lawsuit, Gets $19,000

The city of Scranton is paying a woman $19,000 to settle a lawsuit that started after she was arrested for swearing at her overflowing toilet. Scranton is also paying Dawn Herb's legal fees. Herb was arrested last year after a neighbor, who was an off-duty police officer, heard her cursing through an open window. A judge later found her not guilty of disorderly conduct, saying her language was constitutionally protected free speech. The ACLU announced the settlement today.

Cortés, Gleason Still Sparring

Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés today called continued allegations by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania against state and county elections officials disappointing.

“The majority of the counties in Pennsylvania are controlled by Republican Commissioners. While the Republican Party may not have confidence in the counties’ abilities to administer a fair election, we do,” Cortés said.

Working collaboratively, the state and counties continue to make final preparations for a fair, accurate, accessible and secure election on Nov. 4.

Three of the primary safeguards, Cortés added, are the database that helps stop fraud before it even has the chance to start; the laws that require voter identification and signature verification; and the laws that criminalize voter fraud.

Pennsylvania’s Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) continues to be used by the counties to process applications. Last week, nearly 150,000 voter registration applications were outstanding. Today the number is less than 20,000, with only a handful of counties still needing to process applications.

SURE prevents voter fraud through a system of checks that verifies an applicant’s driver’s license or Social Security Number. Since the 2007 general election SURE has rejected more than 200,000 applications for various reasons, most of which were duplicate registrations.

For more information about voter rights, responsibilities and preparations, visit, or call 1-877-VOTESPA (868-3772).

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Robert A. Gleason, Jr. was joined at a press conference today by former Supreme Court Justice and PAGOP Fair Elections Task Force Chair Sandra Newman where they announced the creation of the PA GOP Fair Elections Web page and a new toll-free number to track voter fraud complaints.

“It has become clear that the Secretary of the Commonwealth is not doing enough to help address the situation created by his favorite group ACORN,” Gleason said. “The flawed registrations that county boards of election offices have already discovered indicate that we have a serious problem on our hands and these issues need to be resolved before it’s too late. County election offices are overwhelmed and we have a responsibility to make certain that the outcome of our elections truthfully portrays the will of the people and that is why we have developed the PA GOP Fair Elections Web page,, and developed a hotline at 1-877-51-PAGOP (1-877-517-2467), which will be live first thing tomorrow morning.

“Where Secretary Cortes is greatly failing in his duties is that he is not making it clear on his own application for an absentee ballot, which is available on his Web site, that first time absentee ballot voters need to show identification. First time voters have to provide identification in some form with the application or absentee ballot, and the Secretary is not requiring this info and that is a clear instance where he has been negligent in his duties. We have concerns that ACORN knows the weaknesses in the system that the Secretary has allowed, and may try to exploit these loopholes to their advantage.”

“The Web page will function as another resource for voters to express the problems they are experiencing with registration so that we can help get to the bottom of these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Justice Newman added. “We are witnessing this situation in multiple counties and it is affecting a lot of Pennsylvanians. That is why we are urging the Secretary of the Commonwealth to take serious action and why we will do whatever it takes to guarantee the sanctity of the voting process.”

'Keystone Country' Web Site

Sample produce at a farm market, experience the excitement of a county fair, visit a working farm or take a sleigh ride to cut your own Christmas tree with the help of a new interactive tool that showcases agricultural destinations across Pennsylvania, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today.

“Keystone Country” is a new program that unites two of Pennsylvania’s largest economic forces – agriculture and tourism – and highlights farm markets, county fairs, farm stays and wineries (including Flickerwood Wine Cellars and The Winery at Wilcox) on an easy-to-use Web site:

“Pennsylvania is home to a vibrant agricultural industry,” said Wolff. “With gas prices pinching consumers’ pocketbooks, Keystone Country makes it easy to plan a fun-filled vacation any time of the year while remaining close to home.

“By taking advantage of the many stops on Keystone Country’s interactive maps, travelers can connect with the rich traditions of rural life, while growing the local economy and the state’s agricultural industry.”

Keystone Country’s Web site features four interactive maps with agritourism destinations searchable by city or region, and lists nearby restaurants, lodging and activities. For added convenience, the Web site offers pre-planned road trips with stops at some of Pennsylvania’s best farms and markets.

Keystone Country replaces the Department of Agriculture’s previous agritourism program, Blue Ribbon Passport, which focused on destinations in the I-78 and I-79 corridors rather than statewide.

Allegany-Limestone Students Win

Allegany-Limestone Central School students won the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Fourth Annual Northwestern Pennsylvania Business Competition last week. Members of the winning team are, front row, from left, Katie McMullen, Abby Blumenthal, Christine Wittmeyer and Anna Jaremko, back row, Cody Vreeland, Ben Giardini, David Forsythe and Casey Ensell. (Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

A team of eight students from Allegany-Limestone (N.Y.) Central School took top honors last week at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Fourth Annual Northwestern Pennsylvania Regional Business Competition.

Teams from seven area high schools spent two days on campus creating a sample business plan and making presentations before panels of experts and judges. They also had a chance to hear a talk from Carl Knoblock, Director of the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Each student in a team was responsible for a particular area of the plan. Students received guidance from faculty, staff and members of the Students in Free Enterprise club before reuniting with team members to write their business plan.

They presented their plan before a panel of experts at the end of the first day and used the panel’s critique to fine tune their plans before the final presentation the next afternoon.

Members of the winning team, which created a business plan for a teen night club called Club Pluto, were Christine Wittmeyer, Anna Jaremko, Ben Giardini, David Forsythe, Abigail Blumenthal, Cody Vreeland, Casey Ensell and Katie McMullen. The students’ advisor was Pat Ash. Pitt-Bradford awarded each of the winning team members a $500 Pitt-Bradford scholarship and a gift card.

In second place was the team from Coudersport Area Junior/Senior High School, which made a presentation for Sunwell Solar Panels.

Students from Smethport Area Junior/Senior High School took third with their idea for Palates, a restaurant where patrons assist in the creation of their gourmet meal.

Judges for the competition were Fred Feightner of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.; Jill Foys of the North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission; Ashtin Moyer of Dresser Piping Specialities; Lindsay Foster of the Pitt-Bradford Business Resource Center; and Amy L. Ward, Web manager, and Steven E. Williams, senior accountant, from Pitt-Bradford. Other schools competing were Bolivar-Richburg (N.Y.) Central School, Johnsonburg Area Junior/Senior High School, Northern Potter Junior/Senior High School and Cameron County High School.

The competition was sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford Entrepreneurship Program and Students in Free Enterprise club.

Erin Howard Sentenced

A Corry woman whose 6-year-old son died in a drunken driving crash has been sentenced to two to 9 years in prison. 26-year-old Erin Howard pleaded guilty in August to charges related to the crash, and to an escape charge for going to a bar, and not returning to Erie County Prison, after her son's funeral. The accident happened June 14 near Corry when Howard's car left road and slammed into a creek bed, killing her son, Sam Carpenter.

Rudy Giuliani in Warren, Ohio

Why do we care that Giuliani was in Warren, Ohio? Because he shook my 7-year-old nephew's hand.

My other nephew is 6. They are the ones who decided they wanted to see Giuliani. I don't think they're leaning toward either party, though. During the primaries, they wanted an Obama sign in their yard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

GOP's Gleason to Cortés:
Stop Grandstanding

HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Robert A. Gleason, Jr. was shocked and amazed that Gov. Ed Rendell and Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortés have not held a press conference or issued a press release about the scores of duplicate and fraudulent registrations that ACORN submitted this year.

“The U.S. District Attorney’s office is investigating fraudulent voter registrations in Philadelphia and local law enforcement officials and agencies are investigating issues in several other Pennsylvania counties,” Gleason said. “Why aren’t Governor Rendell and Secretary Cortés questioning the activities of a group that has burdened county election officials with potentially bogus registrations which will prevent legitimate registrations from being cast on Election Day?

“If Secretary Cortés was spending his time working harder to ensure our elections were open and fair and less time congratulating groups like ACORN for submitting duplicate and fraudulent registrations, our lawsuit wouldn’t have been necessary.

“I again would call on Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortés to stop congratulating ACORN and these groups for submitting bad registrations and address the serious concerns Pennsylvanians have about the integrity of the process.”

Apparently Barack Obama is not the only one with close ties to ACORN, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortés has also been a faithful supporter of the group ACORN, which has come under attack in numerous states, including Pennsylvania, for election fraud. In fact, in March of 2005, Secretary Cortes praised ACORN for the work they did to register voters.

According to the transcript from the Pennsylvania Reform Task Force Meeting on March 31, 2005 in Harrisburg, PA, Cortés said:

“And thank you kindly on behalf of the Department and on behalf of the Administration for all of the good work that ACORN, as well as Project Vote, has conducted through the years, particularly ACORN. I work very closely with some of your members on a national level, and appreciate your dedication and commitment to enfranchising all of the eligible voters.” (Secretary Pedro Cortés, Transcript of Proceedings from Pennsylvania’s Election Reform Task Force, 3/31/2005, Page 188.)

“I would call on Gov. Ed Rendell and Secretary Cortés to formally denounce ACORN’s activities. They shouldn’t be wasting their time with press conferences, especially when they have so much work to do with regards to keeping this election fair and honest

Cortés: Lawsuit is Unwarranted

Expressing outrage, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés today called “completely unwarranted” the Oct. 17 complaint filed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and others against the Department of State regarding voter registration processes, and noted that Pennsylvania is ready to conduct a fair, accurate, accessible and secure election.

“The plaintiffs either do not know how voter registrations are processed or – worse yet – they know but are purposely trying to misinform voters,” he said. “This complaint hides behind the guise of protecting the electoral process when, in fact, it undermines the very foundation of our democracy – solely for political gain.”

Cortés said the meritless suit seeks to have the Department of State implement voter registration and data verification processes that are already in place and have been used by the state and counties for several years. He also noted the lawsuit has the detrimental effect of diverting valuable human and financial resources that could be better used for election-related activities.

“These accusations against the Department of State and the counties are shameful and are an attack on our democracy. Making outright false accusations about the integrity of the electoral process is a very dangerous practice and has no value other than to instill fear. The charges are just another effort to suppress participation in the very foundation of American democracy – the right to vote.

“I am outraged that ‘politics’ has called into question the honesty and integrity of 67 county boards of elections, 67 county election directors and the staff of the Department of State. Election officials are the pillar of our democratic process and they have done exceptional work this year, as they do every year.

“I question the timing of these allegations and note that they were not made in prior years. The simple answer is that there never has been a basis for the allegations and this year is no exception,” he said.

Cortés noted that the three actions the plaintiffs requested the Department of State to undertake have been in place since 2006:

Since Jan. 1, 2006, all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have been the primary users of the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system, Pennsylvania’s voter registration database. The system provides election officials full access to input data about applicants, in order to process applications and perform Help America Vote Act verifications in a timely and efficient manner. The only time the system was not conducting verification checks with the Social Security Administration was when the federal agency shut down its process for a two-day maintenance period. This did not prohibit counties from entering data, and when the system came back online the applications were processed and verified accordingly.

As part of their duties, election officials are required to ask for identification from all first-time registrants. In fact, the SURE system notes new registrants in the poll books, which poll workers use on Election Day to ask first-time voters for identification. The Department has prominently included the first time voter identification requirement in its training materials for county poll workers, including its Election Officials Training Program DVD and Election Officials’ Information Card.

The Department continues to provide guidance to the counties regarding a number of issues, including having an adequate supply of provisional ballots at each polling place in light of the anticipated high voter turnout. In fact, in the 2008 presidential primary, 15,687 provisional ballots were cast of the approximately 3.2 million ballots cast overall, which averages less than two ballots per precinct. Provisional ballots are cast by people whose name does not appear in the poll books and first-time voters who do not present identification.

Many county election officials echo the fact that these activities are already in place.

“County commissioners and voter registration personnel from across the state have been working diligently to avoid any of these allegations against the Department listed in the lawsuit,” said Erick Coolidge, Republican Chair of the Tioga County Commissioners and Election Board. “Both the Department of State and the SURE system have helped tremendously during this record high registration period.”

“As a Beaver County commissioner, a nine-year member of a local board of elections and the Chairman of the County Governance Committee of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, I am surprised with the complaint regarding voter registration applications filed against the Department of State,” said Charles Camp. “County commissioners of both parties throughout the entire Commonwealth have and will continue to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of elections through application screening processes, the use of the SURE system, and a desire to preserve the fundamental right of voting."

Pennsylvania has laws and safeguards in place that help deter fraud and protect the integrity, accuracy and security of the electoral process. When a county receives a new voter registration, they check it by:

Using the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors, the state’s voter registration database, to identify duplicate registrations;
Verifying information on voter registration applications using a driver’s license number or the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number; and
Conducting a physical review of the application forms, including a check for questionably similar handwriting.

State law also requires county staff to send a voter identification card to the voter at the voter’s home by first class, nonforwardable mail. If the voter card is returned undeliverable, the county is required to investigate. If the county finds that the individual is not qualified to vote from the address, the county must reject the voter registration application and inform the individual by first class forwardable mail of this action.

In addition, on Election Day steps are taken to prevent ineligible voters from casting their ballots. For example, a first time voter must present an approved form of ID before voting. Additionally, on Election Day, every voter must match his or her signature to the signature in the poll book.

The Department of State continues to encourage county election officials to remain vigilant as they process applications received by the voter registration deadline.

Teen's Murder Trial Underway

Jury selection is underway in the case of a 15 year-old boy charged in the murder of another teen in Stockton last December. The teen, who has not been publicly identified, faces murder, and other charges. He, and a 14 year-old whose case has already been disposed of in Family Court, are accused of beating 18-year-old Dusty Elderkin to death and dumping his body near a creek. The trial is expected to take several weeks.

Specter Stops in Smethport

Senator Arlen Specter listens to a woman asking about Social Security during a Town Hall Meeting Tuesday afternoon in Smethport. Issues related to the Allegheny National Forest took center stage during the meeting.

Specter said his staff will look into the proposed oil and gas drilling at Rimrock, the dwindling of the deer herd due to timber management as well as the deterioration of Corydon-Riverview Cemetery.

The senator also answered questions about health care, Social Security, immigration and the economy.

He also talked about the need for Democrats and Republicans to work together.

"The American people are fed up with the bickering … and arguing in Washington," he said.

Later, when a member of the audience made a similar comment, Specter said, "I hear you and I agree with you … and I've sensed it coming for a long time."

He said that's one of the reasons he has town meetings in all 67 counties every year.

"I believe that every elected official ought to leave Washington, and leave the Beltway, and come out here and go to work," Specter said.

After the meeting, Specter told WESB and The HERO that he thinks the Philadelphia Phillies will win the World Series in 6 games.

Oil Spill Cleanup Continues

Cleanup at the site of the oil spill on the Allegheny National Forest is ongoing, although efforts have been hampered by low stream flow conditions.

Snyder Brothers has maintained two temporary siphon dams to contain oil on Chappel Fork that was intentionally spilled in August. DEP issued an Emergency Permit authorizing use of the dams for 30-days. Since oil is still gathering behind the dams, DEP has extended the permit at the request of Snyder Brothers to maintain the dams until November 29, 2008.

A damage assessment team consisting of multiple federal and state agencies continues to measure resource damages as a result of the spill. Analyses of collected data are ongoing.

Father and son Andrew and Christopher Horton have been charged with causing and risking a catastrophe for allegedly causing the spill, and remain in McKean County Jail. Andrew Horton waived his preliminary hearing 2 weeks ago. His son's hearing is scheduled for next month.

22nd Century Telecommunications

Several prominent Bradford organizations announced today their agreement to obtain ultra-high speed Internet, data and digital phone services from the Coudersport-based firm of Zito Media Communications.

At a luncheon hosted by the Bradford Area Alliance, Zippo, American Refining Group, Bradford Regional Medical Center, Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems and Zito Media Communications expressed gratitude to the McKean County Commissioners, the Bradford OECD, North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission, and Northwest Savings for their support in providing Bradford with state of the art telecommunications.

Construction of an advanced optical fiber telecommunication system will provide the region with unlimited IP based digital voice, data and Internet capacity. Expected to be operational by early December, businesses and institutions are poised to benefit from a network that will offer world class telecommunication capabilities and services.

Local business and political leaders have worked for the past two years to create an advanced telecommunication infrastructure that will allow existing companies to benefit from modern digital services. The first Bradford business to sign on with Zito Media Communications was the Zippo Corporation. “We enthusiastically supported these efforts”, says Greg Booth, CEO. “Today, we are close to achieving our IT network goals.”

Harvey Golubock, COO of the American Refining Group, Inc. (ARG) is equally enthusiastic, “Not only will we be able to greatly improve our internet connectivity speeds but with the new Virtual PBX offering, we can also upgrade our entire phone system with no upfront capital expenditures.”

The new fiber optic system is being constructed by the Coudersport based telecommunication firm Zito Media Communications. Comprised of advanced glass fibers, the infrastructure will be built in ‘ringed’ formats’. These provide redundancy so customers will not lose services if damage occurs to a portion of the ring. “We are excited to provide the Bradford business community with this next-generation solution” says James Rigas, President of Zito, “The support of these pioneering organizations enables us to complete a regional optical system that will allow world class products and services to be extended to other organizations in the northern tier of Pennsylvania.”

This type of cutting edge technology is absolutely critical if our region is to be competitive in the twenty first century”, “says Mike Glesk, Executive Director of the Bradford Area Alliance, “It offers lightening speed and virtually unlimited capacity which is comparable to that available in any large metropolitan area in the country.”

A significant beneficiary of the new service is Bradford Regional Medical Center. All nine BRMC locations will be connected with high capacity data links back to the main hospital. Records that previously took ten to twenty minutes to transfer will now be transferred in less than one second. Advanced telemedicine applications will provide live diagnostics and high definition video conferencing with specialists around the world…right in the doctor’s office. “Delivery of advanced health care will equal, and in some cases surpass, capabilities traditionally found in major city hospitals” says George Leonhardt, President and CEO of BRMC. “We will be able to bring the nation’s top specialists and diagnostic applications right into any of our facilities…instantly.”

Terry Palmer, BRMC's Chief Information Officer, says this is vital to the integration with Olean General Hospital.

Palmer also praised Zito for its accessibility and cooperation, saying that Rigas was available any time he was needed.

"Try to get the CEO of Verizon on the phone," Palmer joked.

“The capability and capacity is enormous” says Steve Zwerin, Sr. Director of Business Development at Zito Media, “Zito Media offers advanced telecommunications with no capital expenditures by the customer. Businesses will now have access to modern digital telephone services, location to location high speed data connections and internet speeds tens of thousands of times faster than DSL or Cable based internet Services.”

He said they are bring "pre-22nd Century" technology to the region.

A highlight of the new network is the ability to provide advanced telephone capabilities. With the Virtual PBX system, all business telephone operations will be controlled via an online system. Companies will pay a simple monthly fee for the digital phone sets with unlimited local and long distance services. They will not have to purchase a new phone system.

Bradford Area Alliance Executive Director Mike Glesk said if the major companies involved didn't have a commitment to the region, instead of just profits and bottom-lines, the project would not have happened.

"They've been absolutely instrumental in getting this thing to go," Glesk said.

Official Tackles Quarterback

Frank Williams has passed THIS along to us.

The collision between South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia and umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr. in Saturday's loss to LSU has drawn a lot of attention over the past two days, but Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier says Hackett did nothing wrong. See the video at the link provided above.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More From the Fall Festival

Marissa Buchheit (with the BAHS Key Club) concentrates on painting a youngster's face, while the young lady at the right concentrates on painting her pumpkin during the Fall Festival at Tops on Saturday.
Bradford City Firefighter Rich Zmuda and United Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis judge the apple pie contest. All proceeds went to the United Way.

They Could Be White Tomorrow

I couldn't resist taking this picture on my way back from the Ho-Sta-Geh -- especially when I found out that some of these trees may have -- ugh! -- snow on them by morning.

Monday in Catt County Court ...

A Salamanca man has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Seneca Gaming Corporation. 38-year-old Bradley Stahlman used identity cards that another person had forged to gamble at the Salamanca casino. The incidents happened between November of 2007 and April of this year. Stahlman and the others are accused of cheating the company out of $30,000 to $40,000. Stahlman will be sentenced on January 26.

Five men picked up in a drug sweep in Olean on April 5 have all pleaded not guilty in Cattaraugus County Court. Dion Sawyer and Briet Boykin of Olean, along with Carlson Croom, Sam Carson and Charlton Owens of Buffalo, were all indicted for criminal possession of a controlled substance. Sawyer was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon. The matters have been adjourned for motions.

An Allegany man and an Olean man have pleaded not guilty to drug charges. Deon Maull is charged with selling crack cocaine in Olean on June 18. Jared Capra is charged with possession of a narcotic with intent to sell it, and unlawful possession of weapons. Those incidents allegedly happened on April 18 and June 13 in Olean. Both matters have been adjourned for motions.

Rhoades' Name Will Stay on Ballot

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The late state Sen. James J. Rhoades may get elected to an eighth term, since Republican Party officials say his name will stay on the ballot in the three-way race for his northeastern Pennsylvania seat.

Rhoades, 66, died Saturday from injuries he suffered in a car accident the night before, a little more than two weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

Todd Nyquist, a spokesman for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, confirmed that party officials will not seek to replace Rhoades on the ballot that also includes Democrat P.J. Symons and independent Dennis Baylor.

For the full story, go to

No Dating the Dentist

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Dentists who find their perfect love match sitting in the patients' chair must end the professional relationship and wait a few months before dating, according to new state regulations.

The new rules say that any sexual conduct — even consensual contact — with a current patient, including "words, gestures or expressions, actions or any combination thereof," is subject to disciplinary action by the State Board of Dentistry.

For the full story, go to

SBU Goes Green, Saves Some Green

Tom Missel, director of marketing and media relations, was one of hundreds of SBU employees and students to work by just natural window light on Sustainable Bona’s Day. (Photo Courtesy of St. Bonaventure University)

Going green saved quite a bit of green during St. Bonaventure’s day-long effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Nearly $4,000 in savings was realized as a result of Sustainable Bona’s Day, a campuswide energy rollback on Oct. 16 that was hampered slightly by dreary skies but helped more significantly by temperatures in the low 60s.

“We weren’t able to keep, for example, the classroom lights off in Plassmann and take advantage of all the windows they have for natural light,” said Phil Winger, associate vice president for facilities. “But it was mild enough that we essentially were able to shut the heat down.”

Electricity usage dropped by 24 percent compared to Oct. 15, thanks to reduced lighting and the idling of unused air conditioning and ventilation equipment, Winger said. The drop, he said, eliminated three tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The reduction saved about $800.

But the biggest savings — about $3,000 — came because of a 50 percent reduction in natural gas usage, Winger said. The drop, which prevented 23 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, was attributed to lower settings on heat, conservation of hot water, and shutting off the central boiler plant for part of the day.

“We proved that individuals can make a difference,” Winger said. “I think it was certainly a big success.”

Students and staff were also encouraged to carpool if possible, and to limit how much they drove on campus during the day. Based on a census of parking spaces, vehicle usage dropped by 20 cars for students and 25 cars for faculty and staff, while maintenance and housekeeping idled 12 vehicles that would normally have been used, Winger said.

Discussions have already begun about a sequel to Sustainable Bona’s Day, possibly in the spring, Winger said.

Sustainable Bona’s Day is just one component of the SBU Green Commission, which is studying ways the university should react to the challenge of global climate change associated with energy use and other activities of a modern society.

United Way at 30 Percent

The temperatures are dropping, but the red in the United Way thermometers is rising as the organization announces that 30% of the $375,0000 goal has been raised to date.

“We are still in the process of soliciting the community, whether it be the small businesses or the corporate employees,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “We remain very confident that the coming months will see us reaching 100% of the goal.”

The organization has also remained busy with recent special events, including the second-annual soup lunch, as well as the fall festival at Tops.

“We are so appreciative to everyone who made those two events so successful,” says Davis. “It takes a lot of hard work to host special events, and we’re very fortunate to have a great group of volunteers who do such a wonderful job.”

The United Way Board of Directors, also acting as this year’s campaign chairs, is currently in the process of reviewing the requests for proposals for funding during the 2009 calendar year. Final approval will be made in November, with an announcement to come to the agencies in early December.

“It’s hard to believe that we’re more than half way through the month of October,” says Executive Director Kristen Luther, “but we continue to work throughout the area to ensure that the needs of community members are able to be met.”

Also coming up for the United Way is the sale of the cookbook, “From Our Events to Yours.” The three-ring binder style cookbook features 205 recipes from various United Way associates and volunteers. The cost is $15, will all proceeds to benefit the local United Way. The cookbook will be available for holiday distribution.

“We need to express our gratitude to everyone who has made the choice to donate to campaign 2008,” says Board President Bob Marasco. “It’s because of the generosity of so many in the Bradford area that we’re able to support the agencies that support the local needs.

“Thank you, again!”

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

'You Can Infer He Intended to Kill'

A New York State appeals court should decide in about a month whether to overturn Ralph "Bucky" Phillips' convictions on murder and other charges.

Despite his admission 23 months ago that he was – quote – "guilty as hell" – Phillips' lawyers argued in court today that he only entered the plea because his court-appointed lawyer gave him bad advice.

His lawyers maintain that Phillips never admitted that he intended to kill anyone.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley argued that if you aim a gun at someone, and you know that gun can kill a person, you can infer that he intended to kill.

During his 5 months on the run, Phillips shot three state troopers, fatally wounding Trooper Joseph Longobardo.

Phillips was captured in September 2006 in a Warren County field.

BRMC, OGH to Integrate Services

The boards of directors of Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and Olean General Hospital (OGH) have signed a non-binding letter of intent to integrate the two not-for-profit organizations under a new parent company. This action is a major, first step toward creating a strong, vibrant regional healthcare system to serve Northwestern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York State.

The decision to pursue this integration was approved by the boards of directors of both hospitals based on a recommendation from a steering committee that includes the CEOs/presidents, board members and physicians from both hospitals.

Final agreement and approval of the integration, including completion of all regulatory reviews, will take about 12 months. For the most part, it will be business as usual at both hospitals during that time frame.

Edwin O. Pecht, chairman of the board at BRMC, and David Prince, chairman of the board at OGH, said today’s announcement marks a new beginning for two long-time, highly respected hospitals that share common missions, values, and cultures.

“Locally driven and orchestrated, this action is being taken to create an integrated health system ‘by the region, for the region,’” said Pecht. “It will help ensure access to vital medical care and health services for more than 150,000 area residents.”

“The integration will preserve and strengthen community healthcare throughout the region,” said Prince. It will also allow two separately licensed acute-care facilities to benefit from the advantages of operating as a regional healthcare system.”

Read the news release HERE (PDF)

Pictured above, BRMC Board Chairman Ed Pecht, OGH Board Chairman David Prince, BRMC President George Leonhardt and OGH CEO Timothy Finan.

More 'Operation Cave-In' Arrests

Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation have filed criminal charges against nine suspects in connection with an ongoing “Operation Cave-In” investigation into the operation of illegal methamphetamine labs, “pill shopping” and weapons trafficking across northwestern Pennsylvania.

Corbett said these latest arrests were based on additional information developed following the September 2008 arrest of 23 Venango and Mercer County residents who were allegedly linked to a $1 million underground meth lab allegedly operated by 62-year old Rockne K. “Rocky” Barber Sr., of Stoneboro.

“Just like the man-made cave that was used to hide a lab near Barber’s home, this drug organization burrowed its way into communities and families across the region – fueling an active business that traded pills, cash and even weapons for methamphetamine,” Corbett said. “Armed with an arsenal of weapons, including an automatic submachine gun hidden in the underground lab, these drug dealers clearly intended to protect their illegal business and keep their supply of meth flowing throughout Venango, Mercer and surrounding counties.”

Corbett explained that identifying and locating clandestine meth labs has been the focus of intensive efforts by local law enforcement, State Police, District Attorney’s and agents and prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office. Since 2005, investigations by the Northwestern Pennsylvania Meth Task Force have resulted in the seizure of 62 labs located in Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.

“We are united in our efforts to attack this problem and shut down the meth trade in this region,” Corbett said. “The number of operating labs identified in the region has been steadily dropping since 2005, but as we have seen with this case and with other recent meth investigations, the labs that remain are growing in dollar-value and size, and meth producers are getting more creative in their efforts to hide from law enforcement.”

Corbett said that among the suspects charged today is David Earl Warner, of Titusville, who allegedly agreed to teach “Rocky” Barber how to produce methamphetamine, in exchange for $20,000 in cash and drugs. Prior to that 2004 agreement, Warner allegedly supplied Barber with meth from his own lab.

According to an investigating grand jury, Barber used the information and skills provided by Warner to begin his own meth lab operation, which eventually grew to include a fully operational lab located in a man-made cave that had been carved into a hillside at the rear of Barber’s home. Between 2004 and 2008, Barber and his associates allegedly produced and distributed an estimated $1 million worth of methamphetamine.

Corbett said that agents from the Attorney General’s Office and officers from the Northwestern PA Meth Task Force seized that lab during an April 24th, 2008 search of Barber’s property. Agents also seized a stockpile of 64 weapons, including a fully-automatic machine gun, $20,000 in cash, approximately $15,000 worth of meth oil (the final production step before finished meth); an assortment of meth-related chemicals and supplies and various drug packaging materials.

According to the grand jury, many of the weapons that were seized from Barber’s home were provided by Michael Dale Lewis, of Titusville. Lewis allegedly sold weapons to Barber for cash, including automatic weapons and handguns, and also allegedly traded cold medicine and other meth ingredients for the finished drug.

Corbett said other weapons seized from Barber’s home were allegedly obtained by “straw buyers” – individuals who purchase weapons and then quickly sell or transfer them to someone else. Straw buyers are often used to conceal the identity of the actual buyer of the weapons, especially in situations involving people who are legally prevented from purchasing firearms.

The investigation into the straw purchase of firearms is continuing.

Corbett said that two other suspects charged today, Jerry Donald Phillips and Martin Eugene Scriven, both from Polk, allegedly assisted Barber by coordinating “pill shopping” at various drug stores and pharmacies throughout the region. Phillips and Scriven are accused of helping to orchestrate the purchase of cold medicine and other necessary ingredients, using numerous other people to visit stores across a wide area in an effort to avoid raising the suspicion of law enforcement.

According to the grand jury, five Franklin residents are accused of acting as “pill shoppers,” purchasing pseudoephedrine pills in return for drugs and cash. Alleged pill shoppers include Christina Joan Hoover; Gregory and Ashley Leige; Karen Lynn Willis (Ashley Leige’s mother) and Penny Sue Andrews (Ashley Leige’s mother-in-law).

Corbett noted that pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient for the type of meth that Barber was producing, became more difficult to obtain starting in 2006 because of a federal law (Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act) requiring those drugs to be placed behind the counter at stores. The law also limits the daily amount of pseudoephedrine that could be purchased, making it more difficult for meth producers to obtain the larger quantity of pills necessary to operate a lab.

According to the grand jury, the federal restrictions prompted Barber to institute a policy of “no pills, no meth,” refusing to supply meth to anyone unless they brought him several packages of pseudoephedrine in addition to cash.

The criminal charges were filed today before Emlenton Magisterial District Judge Douglas Gerwick.

The defendants will be prosecuted in Venango County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Douglas J. Wright of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Corbett noted that this is an ongoing investigation.

Corbett thanked Venango County District Attorney Marie T. Veon and Mercer County District Attorney Richard G. Kochems for their cooperation and assistance with this continuing investigation.

Corbett also thanked the police departments from Cambridge Springs, Edinboro, Franklin, Girard, Meadville, North East, Oil City, Polk and Titusville, along with Pennsylvania State Police from Mercer and Venango counties, for their cooperation and assistance.

The following is a list of suspects and the charges filed against them:

David Earl Warner, 48, 512 West Walnut St., Titusville, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Michael Dale Lewis, 37, 512 West Walnut St., Titusville, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Jerry Donald Phillips, 37, 2317 Jackson Center, Polk, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Martin Eugene Scriven, 35, 4159 Georgetown Road, Polk, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Christina Joan Hoover, 27, 1108 Old Mercer Road, Franklin, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Gregory Allen Leige, 30, 1105 Old Mercer Road, Franklin, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Ashley Marie Leige, 21, 1105 Old Mercer Road, Franklin, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Penny Sue Andrews, 50, 126 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Franklin, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Karen Lynn Willis, 40, 747 Mercer Road, Franklin, is charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the Drug Act, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, along with violating the Meth Precursors and Chemicals Act, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.