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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Back

You know the drill:
1)Turn your clock back 1 hour
2)Change the batteries in your smoke detectors
3)Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector
4)Enjoy that extra hour of sleep

Spooky Stuff in Smethport

By Kate Day Sager
Olean Times Herald

With the Halloween season in full swing, many thrill seekers are actively digging around for good, healthy scares that will make goosebumps erupt and hairs rise.

And what better way to get the old heart racing than to visit a haunted house or building in the area, or at least to drive past them on a dark night.

In the historic borough of Smethport, Pa., most of the town residents have heard the tale of the Old Jail Museum where the ghost of Ralph Crossmire is reportedly stalking the dark hallways or pulling pranks on the staff

For the full story, go to The Olean Times Herald

Drunk Driver Sues K of C, PennDOT

A Bensalem woman on Friday filed a civil lawsuit against the Knights of Columbus in Middletown, Peco Energy, PennDOT and some Middletown homeowners for negligence after the woman was involved in March in a debilitating car accident in Middletown.

The lawsuit alleges that the Knights of Columbus was negligent for serving her and allowing her to leave and drive visibly intoxicated. The organization declined to comment.

For the full story, go to the Bucks County Courier Times.

Man Who Microwaved Cat is Jailed

EASTON -- A Bethlehem man who celebrated his sentence of probation for microwaving a cat by posting a message on his MySpace page was sent Friday to Northampton County Prison.

For the full story, go to Lehigh Valley

Missing Man Found

A Town of Ellicott man reported missing by his wife Wednesday was found on Saturday. 54-year-old Steven Gehret was last seen leaving a Jamestown Bank Wednesday afternoon. At that time, he called his wife and said he would see her later, but did not return home. Police say Gehret left on his own, and they will release more information on Monday.

Yes, we know the site's down. We're workin' on it. Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Man Convicted of Double Murder

An Ohio man has been convicted of killing a Clarion University graduate and a retired Pennsylvania state trooper.

It took a jury less than six hours to return a guilty verdict against 44-year-old Calvin Neyland, who shot his victims August 8, 2007, at a Liberty Transportation Company facility in Perrysburg Township, Ohio.

Neyland killed 44-year-old Douglas Smith, who was the son of Douglas Smith Jr., a former vice president with Quaker State, and nurse Charlene Smith, who still live in the Oil City area. Neyland also killed 58-year-old Thomas Lazar of Belle Vernon, who was the corporate safety director for Liberty Transportation.

Prosecutors say Neyland killed the two men after learning that he was going to be fired for repeated violations and for falsifying his driving log.

For the full story, go to the Toledo Blade.

'...Like Trying to Leave the Mafia'

State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo is an "evil individual," and trying to leave his office was "like trying to leave the Mafia," his estranged son-in-law told a federal court jury yesterday during a second day of unrelenting cross-examination.

For the full story, go to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Alleged Threat With Chain Saw

A North Harmony, New York, man is in jail after allegedly threatening to kill a woman with a chain saw. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say they responded to a domestic incident on Open Meadows Road at 3:20 this morning and found 39-year-old Rodney Austin and the woman he allegedly threatened to kill. She says the chain saw was running in the house when he made the alleged threat. Austin has been charged with menacing and reckless endangerment.

Just a Reminder ...

No, this is not the reminder about turning your clocks back. That'll come later.

This reminder is about a holiday. Thanksgiving. For those of you who don't remember, Thanksgiving is the American holiday that come in between Halloween and Christmas.

Some of you may be saying? "Huh? What's this reminder all about?"

Well, as I was driving home at about 10:30 last night, the people who had their Halloween decorations up on Labor Day, were in the process of putting up their Christmas decorations. As I was driving to work this morning, I saw two more houses with Christmas lights on.

I have no problem with putting up Christmas decorations in October or November. After all, you just don't know what the weather's going to be like later. But just because they're up, doesn't mean you have to light them.

So, one more reminder: Thanksgiving. It's a great holiday. Let's not forget about it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fun Day for Phillies Fans

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of fans showered the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies with brotherly love and confetti on Friday, climbing trees and ladders, hanging out of windows and packing sidewalks, balconies and rooftops to honor the team that ended the city's 25-year title drought.

Left fielder Pat Burrell led the confetti-filled parade, riding on a horse-drawn beer wagon and pumping his fists in the air. Next came eight flatbed trucks filled with waving players and other members of the Phillies organization, including the furry green Phanatic mascot.

For the full story, go to

Students Push UWBA Closer to Goal

The students at School Street Elementary concluded their Halloween festivities Friday with a pie-eating contest and a sense of pride and satisfaction from giving back to their community.

For the second year, the fifth-graders brought in donations for a read-a-thon, and the entire student body voted in a “favorite baby picture” contest which featured all of the staff. All of the donations benefited three local organizations of the student service league’s choice, with the United Way receiving more than $1,000.

“What an absolutely wonderful way to conclude the week,” says Mandi Wilton Davis, Assistant Director. “The pie-eating contest featured Principal Sarah Tingley, the three teachers who won the photo contest, as well as a student drawn at random, and it was a blast!”

Although no person was chosen as winner of the pie-eating contest, fifth-grade teacher Keri Baldwin emphasized that the student body, as well as the organizations which received the donations, were the true winners of the week.

“I hope they are all proud of what they’ve accomplished this week, as we raised more money than in previous years,” said Baldwin. “And, I hope everyone had fun.”

“We are so appreciative of the efforts of these students and the staff,” says Davis. “It’s great to see that they are gaining an understanding and appreciation for charitable work right here in their local community.”

The donation to the United Way put them at 40% of the $375,000 campaign goal.

“Aside from the hard work and fun that was had this week, they made an impact by helping us to raise the red in our thermometers,” said Davis.

The United Way is continuing with it fundraising efforts, going into the final six weeks with a positive attitude.

“As we’ve said before, we’re very aware of what’s going on around us,” says Davis, “but, we also have seen the generosity of this local community, and are confident in the choices that those who live and work here will make the choice to give here.”

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

Men Charged for Killing Bear

Two Missouri men have been arrested for killing a black bear that had been feeding at a Dumpster outside the Ho-Sta-Geh Restaurant. State Department of Environmental Conservation officers found the men dragging the carcass out of a wooded area near the restaurant. 40-year-old Carl Brown and 65-year-old David Shimamoto were charged with a variety of offenses. Brown is free on bail Shimamoto was released on his own recognizance. They're scheduled to appear in Allegany Town Court on November 24.

Zippo Lays Off 46 More People

Zippo has laid off another 46 employees, and will also be implementing a staggered four-day work week at both the Congress Street plant and downtown headquarters.
They say this is in response to the volatile business conditions in this country and around the world, and is temporary.

The staggered work week goes into effect Monday and will end as soon as possible early next year. During this period, Zippo offices will continue to be open during regular business hours.

Zippo also has announced the layoff of 46 production employees, effective today. In addition, Zippo has extended annual holiday breaks, which will affect most employees at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Zippo’s President and CEO, Greg Booth, explained that current market factors beyond the company’s control have forced the company to make these changes. In a statement to employees, Booth explained, “Zippo strongly regrets these layoffs; however, the company must make these adjustments in order to be competitive in today’s challenging global business environment.”

“Zippo remains a strong and viable company with products that are second to none,” Booth noted. “Currently we are aggressively pursuing new sales opportunities with existing customers and many new customers in emerging markets. We will return to normal staffing levels and working hours as soon as business conditions allow.”

Sharon Isbin at Pitt-Bradford

BRADFORD, Pa – Grammy award-winning classical musician Sharon Isbin, whose recordings include the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film “The Departed,” will perform on Nov. 8 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Hailed as “the preeminent guitarist of our time” by Boston Magazine, Isbin will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in Bromeley Family Theater of Blaisdell Hall as part of the university's Spectrum Series. Admission is $14 for the public and free to students.

Isbin has collaborated with many personalities of our time, from Muhammad Ali and Bernie Williams to Melissa Etheridge and Yo-Yo Ma and played for the memorial held at Ground Zero on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2003, she premiered the “Joan Baez Suite,” a seven-movement solo guitar work featuring songs from early in Baez’s folk-singing career written exclusively for Isbin.

In 2005, she earned a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album for her recording with the New York Philharmonic, which spent 17 weeks on Billboard’s Top Classical Chart.

Her repertoire spans over 25 recordings, including Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th Century to crossover and jazz-fusion. Among her released albums are J.S. Bach Complete Lute Suites, Artist Profile, Wayfaring Stranger, Greatest Hits and Double Concerto. Her music also appeared on Showtime’s “The L Word.”

“There are many great guitarists, but Sharon is in a league of her own, the pinnacle everyone compares themselves to,” said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming at Pitt-Bradford.

Isbin has taken home several Grammy awards, including Best Instrumental Soloist Performance in 2001 for Dreams of a World: Folk-inspired Music for Guitar; and a 2002 award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for Baroque Favorites for Guitar.

Isbin has performed at sold-out concertd throughout the world, including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In addition, she also has performed as a soloist with more than 160 orchestras across the country.

A frequent radio guest on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, Isbin has also been featured on television programs, including “CBS Sunday Morning”, and on the A&E Network. Isbin has been written about in periodicals from People to The New York Times, as well as appearing on 35 magazine covers.

After learning to play the guitar at 9 years of age, Isbin studied under renowned instrumentalists Rosalyn Tureck, Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia.

She earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in music from the Yale School of Music.

For tickets, call the Bromeley Family Theater Box Office at (814) 362-5113.

She'll be my guest on WESB's LiveLine at 12:40 p.m. November 6.

Changes in BRMC's ED

After completing a multi-phase renovation and expansion of its Emergency Department to enhance customer service, officials at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) are announcing another process improvement change.

According to George E. Leonhardt, BRMC President/CEO, the hospital has signed an agreement with Exigence Group of Williamsville, NY, to oversee the management of its Emergency Department. The department operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"As a final piece of the plan to provide the most efficient services to our patients, we chose a company with a proven track record of success in this field," Mr. Leonhardt explained.

Dr. John Radford, FAAEM, of Exigence has been named Medical Director for the department and Sami Manirath, Esq., of Exigence will serve as Practice Manager.
The company, a national healthcare management organization, has been working with existing medical staff in the department to offer employment contracts.

Previously, physicians and nurse practitioners in the department were either hospital employees or contract employees with other agencies, Mr. Leonhardt noted. Further announcements regarding the staff are forthcoming.

"We feel that the changes we're making have already resulted in positive outcomes, and with Exigence's experience we feel optimistic about the future services we can provide our community," added BRMC's Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services Deborah Price.

Since the recent expansion and renovations, the patient triage experience has been enhanced to reduce wait time, along with the addition of around-the-clock, specially trained liaisons in the Emergency Department Waiting Room. The Medical Center staff treats more than 16,000 patients annually.

For Exigence officials, the new arrangement is an opportunity to further enhance patient satisfaction, reduce Emergency Department wait times and improve national patient safety and quality scores.

"Bradford Regional has an excellent reputation. We're thrilled to have been chosen to partner with the hospital's medical, administrative and support staff to serve the Northwest Pennsylvania community," said Mark E. Celmer, President of Exigence North America.

"While we are expanding our healthcare management programs throughout the country, it is particularly gratifying to be selected by another hospital in the Western Pennsylvania/Western New York market, further enhancing our leadership position in our home region," Mr. Celmer said.

Exigence develops and manages customized Emergency Medicine, Hospitalist, Urgent Care, and Occupational Medicine programs and facilities. The company also provides consulting services in areas such as Emergency Department design, electronic medical records, electronic scheduling programs, rapid response programs and on-call panels.
This summer, BRMC completed renovations and the largest renovation project of this century at its Interstate Parkway Emergency Department. The project was the last phase of a multiphase, multimillion project which included the $15 million construction of the Outpatient Services Center, located off the North Bennett Street access.

Features of the newly expanded Emergency Department include upgraded patient waiting area and new children's section, expanded triage and pre-registration services, the addition of electronic communication devices for staff, centralized nursing and physician station, new televisions in the patient rooms, dedicated ambulance bay, a new decontamination room and an isolation room for patients with special privacy and safety needs, improved medical supply storage and enhanced security systems.

Judge Rendell Congratulates Kids

HARRISBURG – First Lady of Pennsylvania Judge Marjorie O. Rendell today congratulated five Fox Chapel Area High School students from Allegheny County for their video that won the grand prize in an online contest designed to highlight the importance of civic engagement through voting.

The video, “Voter vs. Non-Voter,” is a spoof of the Apple vs. PC commercials. It depicts two high school-aged students discussing the important issues facing the nation and the convenient access to answers on voting questions through the Department of State’s Web site.

The winning entry was produced and submitted by Thanh Doan, Alexander Radkoff and Charles Wei of Ohara Township; Akansh Murthy of Aspinwall Township; and Anders Bergren of Fox Chapel Township. All students are seniors.

“These students are to be commended for their creativity in taking a concept that is widely recognized and using it to convey the opportunity before young voters to help shape the future of this country at a time when there are so many pressing issues,” said Judge Rendell.

The first lady also recognized Michael Wolfe as the runner-up in the contest. Wolfe, of Shickshinny, is a senior at Northwest Area High School in Luzerne County. His video, “An Honest Opinion,” is a silent 40-second spot that depicts how one person’s opinion cannot have an impact unless it is voiced by going to the polls.

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Representative Democracy, or PennCORD, launched the Voting: The Power of Your Voice contest in September. The statewide contest challenged Pennsylvania students in grade six or above to create a 30-to-60-second video that demonstrates how voting gives power to citizens’ voices and why it is important for them to exercise that power. The competition was presented in partnership with the Pennsylvania departments of State and Education.

All videos submitted urged viewers to visit to learn more about voting in the 2008 general election on Tuesday. is a Pennsylvania Department of State online tool that has information for different types of voters, including first-time voters, college students, older Pennsylvanians, citizens with disabilities, members of the military, and voters who have recently moved or changed their name.

The Web site’s Election Day assistant can help voters find their polling place and tell them what to bring. Those with questions about electronic voting machines can learn more about their county’s system by watching a video demo. First-time voters or voters who are voting in a precinct for the first time can view a list of acceptable types of identification they need to present at the polling place.

The Web site also provides facts about absentee, alternative and provisional ballots.

PennCORD is a unique union of educational, advocacy and governmental organizations committed to improving civic learning for students in grades K-12 that was created in 2004 in response to The Civic Mission of Schools report and is currently supported by the Annenberg Foundation. PennCORD’s goal is for every Pennsylvania school to prepare its students to understand and participate in their communities, society and government. The initiative supports schools across the commonwealth in their efforts to fulfill their civic mission by offering resources and opportunities to participate in statewide and local programs. For more information, visit

PennCORD, led by the first lady, was founded by the National Constitution Center, Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Governor’s Office of the First Lady.

“I want to congratulate all of the students who participated in this competition,” said Judge Rendell. “The response and number of entries we received tell us that young, eligible voters are aware of the issues we face and are excited about participating in the upcoming election.”

The top videos, as well as each entry received, are available at; click on “Music Videos” near the top of the page.

The grand-prize winner and the runner-up will receive a cash prize for themselves and their school. The grand-prize winner will have the opportunity to appear on the Comcast Newsmakers program with Judge Rendell and will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Harrisburg or Philadelphia. Additionally, the top 20 videos will be available for viewing on Comcast OnDemand, available to all Comcast digital cable customers.

November 4 Ballot Question

On Election Day, Pennsylvanians will be asked to vote yes or no to a $400 million bond issue which would fund the reconstruction, rehabilitation and improvement of the state’s water and sewer systems and help reduce pollution in local waterways. Senator Ray Musto is the sponsor of legislation placing the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"These funds will help alleviate the necessity of raising local fees or taxes to pay for the upgrades," Musto says. "In many communities the federal government has mandated improvements leaving local governments with no choice."

The funds, which will be distributed through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), will help municipalities with the following:

1. Collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater, including industrial waste;
2. Supply, treatment and storage or distribution of drinking
3. Control and elimination of combined sewer overflows, such as discharge from a sewer that combines sanitary wastewaters and storm waters;
4. Meeting stricter federal standards for reducing Chesapeake Bay pollution;
5. Control of storm water;
6. Addressing source pollution associated with storm water runoff.

If approved, the $400 million bond issue would help municipalities pay for the improvements without passing the financial burden on to water and sewer users and local taxpayers. It would be combined with other action by the Pennsylvania Senate earmarking $800 million in slots revenue for water and sewer projects.

Jeremy Hoden Pleads Guilty

A Sheffield teenager charged with brutally assaulting an elderly woman has pleaded guilty.

18-year-old Jeremy Hoden broke into the home of 77-year-old Irene Rice in August of last year and repeatedly hit her in the head with a blunt object. He then stole cash and her car and fled to Florida.

He could spend more than 50 years in jail, depending on whether the judge imposes the sentences to run consecutively or concurrently.
Hoden has already been sentenced to two concurrent terms of three years in Florida state prison for assaulting a police officer and fleeing from police.
A sentencing date in Warren County hasn't been scheduled yet.

Pipe Bomb Suspects in Court

Two men charged with detonating pipe bombs in Warren have entered pleas.

29-year-old Edward Thornton of Warren pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment for helping to dentonate an explosive device at Point Park.

23-year-old Justin Steinman of Warren, who police identified as the primary suspect in the manufacturing of at least five pipe bombs, pleaded not guilty to criminal conspiracy to possess weapons of mass destruction, causing or risking a catastrophe and related charges.

40-year-old Ricky Barr of Warren waived his hearing on similar charges. A fourth defendant, 28-year-old Robert Edwards didn't appear for his arraignment, and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Education for Diabetes Patients

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

Pastor Brad Preston of the Sawyer Evangelical Church in Bradford could no longer ignore his symptoms of extreme exhaustion. When too tired to stand, he simply had to give sermons from a bench.

It was nearly two years ago when the pastor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which requires daily insulin to control his blood-glucose level.

In fact, Pastor Preston has an insulin pump which dispenses his insulin throughout the day, depending on varying needs. But he learned how to properly operate the insulin pump, input data so it could calculate when to administer the next dosage and better manage his diet and nutrition through vital education from the Center for Diabetes & Nutrition Education at 222 W. Washington St., which is a department of Bradford Regional Medical Center.

“I couldn’t function with this pump or this disease unless I got
the help I did from the Center for Diabetes,” Pastor Preston admits.

“Every person diagnosed with diabetes is eligible annually for two hours of education with a diabetes educator and another two hours with a dietitian,” says Stacia Nolder, RN, CDE, CPT, program coordinator of the Center for Diabetes.

“Too often, people don’t realize they can take advantage of this education,” Mrs. Nolder says, noting Nov. 2-8 is National Diabetes Education Week. This week promotes the benefits of diabetes self-management training and the role of diabetes educators as healthcare providers.

Last year 202 people were referred by physicians to the Center for Diabetes for diabetes education. “Of those, 192 attended,” she notes.

“But more people could clearly benefit by attending,” the program coordinator states.

“Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing condition and the staff at the Center for Diabetes has the ability to devote time to those who need to be educated,” Pastor Preston says. “I come here every three months to talk with the staff.”

Diabetes educators show how people can evaluate their daily routines and “also enlighten them on a healthier lifestyle,” Mrs. Nolder says. “They educate on the standards of care to reduce risk of complications.”

Cindy Simms, RN, a diabetes educator at the center, says, “We explain what diabetes is and discuss treatment which includes exercise, meal planning and medications.”

Additionally, “We also show people how to self-monitor their diabetes and we can provide (glucose) meters to people if they don’t have them,” Mrs. Simms says.

Meanwhile, dietitians at the center will focus on better eating habits, particularly if someone diagnosed with diabetes is experiencing weight fluctuations.

“People will learn the goals for healthy eating. Also, they will understand how to use carb counting to plan meals and help manage blood-glucose levels,” Mrs. Simms notes.

“People can benefit from continuing annual visits to the Center for Diabetes because diabetes is a progressive disease. Their treatments can change as time passes,” Mrs. Simms notes.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. This is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes is unknown, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The Center for Diabetes offers consults to those with diabetes of any age, including children. However, they must be referred by a physician.

Also, most insurance pays for educational consults from the center.

Gregory Ambuske, D.O., is the medical director.

There are an estimated 23.6 million children and adults in the U.S., or 7.8 percent of the population, who have diabetes. While 17.9 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, another 5.7 million people are unaware they have the disease, the association says.

The Center for Diabetes provides diabetes self-management training, insulin pump education, medication training and medical nutrition therapy. The program is staffed with nurses and dietitians. For more information, call the Center for Diabetes at 814-362-8717. The program is accredited by the American Diabetes Association.

(In the photo, courtesy of BRMC, Cindy Simms, RN, a diabetes educator at BRMC’s Center for Diabetes & Nutrition Education at 222 W. Washington St. in Bradford, talks to Pastor Brad Preston about meal planning.)

Maniacal Clown Harasses Teen?

State police are looking into allegations that a clown harassed a teenager during a Halloween event.

The alleged incident happened October 24 at a Halloween-themed attraction at Conneaut Lake Park featuring eight levels of fear that organizers promised would be scary enough to change your life forever.

Clown Town featured maniacal clowns, some of whom carried chain saws, and one of whom allegedly harassed the teenager.

Police did not release the suspect clown's name. No charges have been filed.

National Fuel Lowering Rate

National Fuel Gas is expected to lower the price for natural gas by 10 percent starting tomorrow. Nancy Taylor of National Fuel says that in August the company had projected rates they would pay for this winter would be about 38 percent higher than last year, but their purchase price has come down. She says the decrease is a direct result of lower wellhead prices plus lower projected costs for natural gas as compared to the costs that were projected as recently as September.

Another Missing Person

Police in Chautauqua County are looking for another missing person. 54-year-old Steven Gehret of Ellicott was last seen leaving Lakeshore Savings Bank in Jamestown at around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Gehret left his house in the morning driving his pickup truck, but is reportedly driving a 1995 blue Geo Prism. Neighbors say they heard the Prism leave during the day but no one actually saw Gehret.

He didn't show up for work on Thursday and there has been no activity on his cell phone.

Gehret is described as 6 feet, 2 inches tall, approximately 200 pounds with salt and pepper brown hair, a medium length mustache and blue eyes.

More Child Predator Arrests

Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have arrested six Internet predators from across Pennsylvania during the past week, including suspects from Fayette, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties. The men are accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition children, or transmitting sexually graphic photos and webcam videos. The “children” were actually undercover agents using the online profiles of young teens.

Corbett identified the defendants as:

· Dennis C. Brossman, 50, 411 Weidman St., Lebanon.

· Robert William Lohr, 40, 379 Canaan Church Road, Gibbon Glade, Fayette County.

· Timothy Eric Shorkey, 33, 80 Fawn Road, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County.

· Theodore Patrick Malinowski II, 34, 66 Spring Road, Dingmans Ferry, Pike County.

· Glenn Larry Quail, 39, 3 Whirling Post Lane, White Mills, Wayne County.

· John H. Hettes, 53, 643 Bodle Road, Wyoming, Luzerne County.

“Movies and television are filled with scary stories and frightening images this Halloween season, but it is real-life predators stalking the Internet that are the true ‘horror story’ for parents and children,” Corbett said. “Unlike Hollywood monsters, these Internet predators don’t disappear when the movie is over or the TV is turned off.”

Corbett noted that since its creation in 2005, the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit has arrested 175 men from across Pennsylvania, and from as far away as Kentucky and Florida. So far this year, the unit has made 63 arrests – more than any other previous year.

“Every day, adults are using Internet chat rooms, message services, social networking sites and other online resources to search for vulnerable young victims for their own sexual pleasure,” Corbett said. “The number of predators we have been able to identify and arrest has been growing rapidly, and it is vital that parents and children understand this threat.”

Corbett said that Internet safety, just like traditional Halloween safety, starts as home.

“During Halloween, we talk to kids about staying in neighborhoods that they know; avoiding strangers; not traveling alone; telling parents and friends where they are going; avoid suspicious treats and reporting unusual activity,” Corbett said. “Those same basic tips can be applied to online safety every day.”

Corbett encouraged parents to regularly talk to their kids about how they use the Internet, including:

· What website they use.

· What social networking sites they frequent (MySpace, Facebook, etc).

· The importance of not sharing personal information with people you do not know (names, ages, addresses, schools or other identifying information).

· Avoiding strangers who approach you online.

· Reporting any contact with individuals who engage in sexual discussions or attempt to send graphic photos or videos.

Corbett said that as the weather turns cold and the days grow shorter, more young people turn to their computers and online communities for entertainment or to stay in touch with their friends.

“Predators know that online activity increases at this time of year, and they also know that more young people may be home unsupervised, either before or after school,” Corbett said. “Time and distance mean nothing to Internet predators because computer technology allows them to reach across the street, or across the country, to ‘groom’ young victims for sexual meetings or to flood their computers with explicit webcam videos, sexually graphic pictures or illegal child pornography.”

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

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

Corbett said that all six recent Internet predator arrests involve suspects accused of sending sexually explicit videos or photos to what they believed were young teenage girls.

Dennis C. Brossman – Lebanon County

Corbett said that Brossman allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent who was using the profile of a 13-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Brossman asked the girl if he could see her nude and questioned the girl about her sexual experience, asking her, “do you like to masturbate?”

Corbett said that Brossman allegedly sent the girl several nude webcam videos, including a video that showed another woman performing a sex act with Brossman.

Brossman is charged with three counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Robert William Lohr – Fayette County

Corbett said that Lohr is accused of using an Internet chat room to contact an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl. During his first chat, Lohr allegedly asked the girl if she could send him nude pictures of herself and also asked if any man had ever showed her his penis.

According to the criminal complaint, Lohr quickly sent the girl a webcam video that showed a man masturbating in front of his computer. Lohr also allegedly asked the girl if she would meet him and described the sex act he wished to perform with her.

Corbett said that Lohr allegedly transmitted a series of sexually explicit webcam videos, along with numerous digital pictures of nude women or women engaging in various sex acts.

Lohr is charged with ten counts of unlawful contact with a minor and two counts of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Timothy Eric Shorkey – Monroe County

Corbett said that Shorkey is accused of using an Internet teen chat room to contact an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 14-year old girl. During his initial chat Shorkey allegedly asked the girl, “are u all alone,” and then proceeded to send a webcam video that showed him masturbating in front of his computer.

According to the criminal complaint, Shorkey proposed meeting the girl for sex, telling her, “I could teach u how to do this, if you like.” He is also accused of sending her additional webcam videos that showed him masturbating.

Shorkey is charged with three counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Theodore Patrick Malinowski II – Pike County

Corbett said that Malinowaski allegedly used Internet chat rooms to approach two different undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit, who were using the online profiles of 13 and 14-year old girls.

According to the criminal complaint, Malinowski quizzed both girls about sex, asking one of them to, “tell me what kind of kinky stuff you want me to do,” and telling the other to take naked pictures of herself and send them to Malinowski.

Corbett said that Malinowski is accused of sending multiple webcam videos to both agents, showing him naked and masturbating in front of his computer.

Malinowski is charged with four counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Glenn Larry Quail – Wayne County

Corbett said that Quail is accused of using an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 14-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Quail asked the girl if she was home alone and then gave her step-by-step instructions about how to delete the transcripts of their chats. After completing those instructions, Quail allegedly sent the girl a nude webcam video.

Quail is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

John H. Hettes – Luzerne County

Corbett said that Hettes is accused of using an internet chat room to approach an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl. During their initial chat Hettes allegedly asked the girl if she enjoyed sex or had watched someone on a webcam.

According to the criminal complaint, Hettes sent the girl a total of three nude webcam videos during their first online conversation, exposing his penis and masturbating in front of his computer.

Hettes is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Corbett said the cases will be prosecuted in the counties where the arrests occurred, by Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow and Deputy Attorney General William F. Caye II, of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

Corbett thanked local police departments and the District Attorney’s Offices from Fayette, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, along with Pennsylvania State Police, for their cooperation and assistance with these investigations.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Cliparts

For Trick-or-Treating Times
go to our
Regional Events Calendar

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No One Hurt in Haz Mat Incident

WESB/WBRR News Director

Rutherford Run in the vicinity of Baker-Petrolite is still down to one lane of traffic, but no one was hurt and there was very little, if any, environmental damage during a hazardous material spill this morning.

Bradford Township Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse says the building at 40 Rutherford Run will have to be monitored for 24 to 48 hours to make sure the chemical – acrolein – is stabilized.

Burkhouse says the building at 40 Rutherford Run had already been evacuated when firefighters arrived on the scene at around 11 a.m. He says they knew they were "in for a lengthy incident" when they surveyed the situation.

He says the first thing they did was secure the area. Then, because of "the possible severity of the incident," they called other agencies to respond.

McKean County Emergency Management Director Bruce Manning arrived at 11:23 a.m. The Port Allegany Volunteer Fire Department Decontamination Team arrived at 12:10 p.m. The Elk County HazMat teaam arrived at 12:53 p.m.

After learning that a 370-gallon cylinder of acrolein was releasing a toxic vapor, they called the manufacturer in Texas to get information on how to stabilize the chemical. The answer was "continuous water flow for 24 to 48 hours."

Burkhouse says emergency crews turned the building back over to the company at 7:30, and employees will monitor the situation until a specialist from Baker-Petrolite gets there.

Burkhouse says, "During the initial stabilization, the road had to be shut down for 2 ½ hours."

He says they did the best they could to keep the traffic flow going for the ATA, Schlumberger, and area residents but, because it's a dead end road, they couldn't re-route motorists.

He apologizes for any inconvience to businesses and residents but "we did the best we could to make sure they were safe."

He says they were prepared to evacuate as far as 3,000 feet in every direction "but fortunately we didn't have to put that in place."

The organizations that responded were the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department, Bradford Township Police, Bradford Township supervisors, Bradford City ambulance, Star Hose Company of Port Allegany, Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department, McKean County Emergency Management Agency, McKean County Sheriff's Department, Elk County Emergency Management Agency, Cameron County Emergency Management Agency, Elk County HazMat Team the McKean-Potter Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The Corydon Township and Derrick City fire departments were on standby. American Refining Group supplied foam in case of a fire.

"Thank God we didn't need that," Burkhouse said, adding that he appreciates everyone who was involved in the operation.

'You Don't Know Who I Am'

SCRANTON – An attorney with the state Office of Attorney General was charged Friday with drunken driving and other offenses after police said he crashed his car and then became belligerent with officers and hospital staff.

Police said James P. Kearney, 56, of Misty Lane, Clarks Summit, became combative when officers attempted to arrest him after he crashed his 2009 Hyundai Sonata on North Keyser Avenue at around 12:49 a.m. Friday.

Upon telling Kearney he was under arrest, he became extremely disorderly and combative and repeatedly threatened the officers, telling them “you don’t know who I am” and that he would “have your jobs.” He also threatened to kill the officers, and challenged one officer to a fight.

For the full story, go to Times

Voters Can Wear Partisan Attire

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania state judge Thursday effectively allowed counties to let voters wear partisan attire to the polls and refused to clamp down on the voter registration group ACORN as the state Republican Party had sought.

For the full story, go to

Wind Farm Companies Sign
Agree to Ethics Principles

Two wind power companies under investigation for possible improper dealings with government officials have agreed morning to adopt a set of ethics principles designed to provide a level of transparency into the expanding alternative energy sector.

The agreement between the companies does not close the investigation started this summer by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is looking into possibly shaky deals offered by the companies to local government officials in return for land-use agreements for placement of the controversial wind turbines.

The code of conduct principles was signed by Massachusetts-based First Wind, and Connecticut-based Noble Environmental Power, which has five wind farms under development in Allegany, Chautauqua, Wyoming, Clinton and Franklin counties.

Happy Birthday President Lincoln

WASHINGTON (AP) — Happy 200th Birthday, Honest Abe! The nation is preparing to throw you a party. The celebration will be focused in the nation's capital, where museums, theaters and other attractions announced plans Thursday for more than 80 exhibits and programs in the coming months to celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

For the full story, go to

Missing Woman's Van Found

Police have found the van belonging to a missing mother from Ashville a short distance from her home. Police found the empty 2005 Blue Dodge Caravan belonging to Corrie Anderson in a wooded area south of Jamestown. There was no sign of Anderson. The 36-year-old woman was last seen at a car dealership in Jamestown Tuesday afternoon.

Biden, Palin in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — This blue-collar town is known mostly as the birthplace of Little League baseball, but it turned into an epicenter for vice presidential politics for one crisp, fall afternoon.

The Democratic and Republican vice presidential candidates were holding campaign rallies Thursday just a couple hours, and several miles, apart in this often-overlooked area of Pennsylvania, one of the most hotly contested battleground states in the nation.

"It's a big deal. I even kept my kids out of school to bring them here," said William Shannon, 41, of Cogan Station, as he waited outside the late-afternoon rally for Democratic candidate Joe Biden at a gym at Lycoming College. "Kind of open their eyes to the world, of what the big picture is."

A couple hours later, Republican Sarah Palin was slated to give her own speech at Bowman Field, an old, minor-league ballpark.

For the full story, go to

From the AP story on Palin's visit to Erie:

Palin received a smattering of boos when she said she was glad to be in the home state of the World Series-champion Philadelphia Phillies. Northwestern Pennsylvania baseball fans favor the Cleveland Indians or Pittsburgh Pirates.

I bet she had better luck with the Phillies line in Williamsport -- the home of Phillies farm club the Williamsport Crosscutters. How do I know such things? I saw the Crosscutters play the Mahoning Valley Scrappers last year.

I think it's kind of strange, in a cool sort of way, that the first major league baseball game I saw was the Phillies (vs. San Diego at The Vet ... a loooong time ago) and the first minor league game I saw was the Scrappers and a Phillies farm club. (Another piece of useless information from Anne)

Corry Teens Charged with Burglary

Two Corry teenagers are in the Chautauqua County Jail after allegedly breaking into a condominium at the Peek 'n' Peak ski resort and stealing $11,000 worth of items, including large-screen TVs, bedding and snowboards.

19-year-old Christopher Gibbons and 17-year-old Ryan Butcher allegedly broke into the condo on October 19 and were charged earlier today. Sheriff's deputies received a tip saying the stolen items had been taken to Corry. Corry police searched two homes and found the items.

Gibbons and Butcher have each been charged with felony burglary and grand larceny. They're being held on $20,000 bond each.

Rendell IDs $350 Million in Cuts

HARRISBURG – With the national economic crisis continuing to affect state revenue collections, Gov. Edward G. Rendell said today that his administration has identified $350 million in cuts to help keep the 2008-09 budget balanced while preserving crucial services.

“I asked my cabinet secretaries last month to find ways to save $200 million this fiscal year,” the Governor said. “They have responded by identifying $289 million in savings in their agencies. They have also followed my directive to preserve critical spending, including funding for state police protection and much-needed health, education and safety net programs for our most vulnerable citizens.

“The revenue situation may get worse before it gets better. We will continue to monitor these volatile economic conditions in order to maintain the commonwealth’s balanced budget.” Governor Rendell said. “Any dire predictions about next year’s potential budget shortfall are premature and counterproductive. We need to focus on the spending reductions announced today and use the expertise we developed in the past six years to continue improving government efficiency to save taxpayer money.”

The $289 million in cuts to agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction announced today is in addition to the 1.3 percent budget reduction that Governor Rendell agreed to in budget negotiations because of economic conditions. The enacted budget is $72.4 million less than the budget he proposed in February.

With revenues for the current fiscal year coming in below expectations, last month the Governor directed his cabinet secretaries to cut 4.25 percent of their enacted budgets. Agencies that provide public safety, health and education services were given smaller percentage targets to meet. As part of his call for fiscal restraint, the Governor also announced a general hiring freeze and bans on out-of-state travel and on the purchase of new vehicles for the state fleet. The funds from all cost-saving measures will be put into budgetary reserve.

Governor Rendell also requested that independent entities, including the legislature, the judiciary, the treasurer, the attorney general, the auditor general, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (not including direct grants to students) reduce their budgets by the same 4.25 percent that was expected of agencies under his jurisdiction.

The $289 million in cuts identified by agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, combined with a $22 million cut the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and a $457,000 cut from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, comes to $311 million. The SSHE and Thaddeus Stevens cuts represent the 4.25 percent savings the Governor requested.

An additional $39 million in savings would be realized if the General Assembly and other independent state entities agree to make 4.25 percent cuts in their budgets. The General Assembly and the other independent entities have not yet revealed whether they will do so.

“It is my hope and expectation that every branch of government will do their part. I look forward to their cooperation and prompt response,” Governor Rendell said. “Pennsylvania’s revenue shortfall is of no single branch’s making, and it will take the work of all branches of government to respond to this challenge.”

The administration will continue monitoring revenue collections closely in the coming months, the Governor said, and will work to keep the budget balanced.

Security Changes in Mayville, NY

MAYVILLE, NY -- Effective October 31, procedures at the Gerace Office Building and the Chautauqua County Court building in Mayville will be changed, in response to orders from the NYS Office of Court Administration.

Starting Friday, the public will be required to enter either building through a new, secure entrance located off the parking lot which can be accessed from New York State Route 394.

Residents will longer be able to access the GOB through any of its other side-entrances, or the County Court building through its main doorway.

The New York State Office of Court Administration has been the lead agency in the construction of the new entrance, which houses state of the art screening devices and security cameras.

These changes designed in 2005 were implemented to better protect Court personnel.

If residents have any questions concerning the new, main entrance, they are asked to call Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Lori Holder at 753-4668.

Mackowski Co-Authors Article

Civil War historian Chris Mackowski, a professor in St. Bonaventure’s Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has co-authored a 16,000-word article for the spring issue of Blue & Gray magazine.

The Eldred, Pa., native wrote about the May 1864 horror at the Bloody Angle, one of the deadliest battles during the Battle of Spotsylvania in central Virginia. For nearly 24 hours, soldiers from north and south engaged in savage close-quarters and hand-to-hand combat.

The article’s publication in spring 2009 marks the 145th anniversary of the battle.

The magazine comes out quarterly, with each issue focusing on one major battle as its main theme.

“Unlike most magazines, which have a one-month shelf life, Blue & Gray designs itself so each issue stands as a long-term reference piece,” Mackowski said. “So, while it might be on newsstands for a month or two, issues of the magazine will sell for years into the future through the company’s Web site, Civil War shops and the like. The magazine is really the top publication for hard-core Civil War aficionados.”

Mackowski and co-author Kris White were in Spotsylvania Oct. 20 to give Blue & Gray editors a tour of the battlefield. The editors will now craft a “General’s Tour” of the battlefield as a sidebar to the main article so readers can follow the action on their own when they visit.

White works as a historian with Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, a national park in central Virginia that encompasses four major Civil War battlefields, including the Spotsylvania battlefield. Mackowski serves as a historical interpreter at the park, giving battlefield tours and assisting with special programs. He and his daughter, Stephanie, travel to the park to work one weekend per month.

In the photo, courtesy of St. Bonaventure University, Chris Mackowski (left) and Blue & Gray editor David Roth stand near the remains of the McCoull house at the heart of the Mule Shoe Salient, the center of fighting during the May 12, 1864, battle of the Bloody Angle.

Belfast Man Dies in Rushford Crash

A 26-year-old Belfast, New York, man died when his vehicle went out of control on a snow-covered road in Rushford Wednesday morning. Police say Donald Sadler was on Route 243 when the vehicle rolled over several times and hit a guard rail. Sadler was pronounced dead at the scene. Two passengers were treated at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville.

Former County Commissioner
Charged with Prostitution

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that Pennsylvania State Police have filed criminal charges against a former Cumberland County Commissioner, who is accused of using hidden surveillance throughout his home to videotape sexual encounters with young men.

Corbett identified the defendant as Bruce Barclay, 49, 253 Brindle Road, Mechanicsburg. Barclay served as Cumberland County Commissioner from January 2004 to April 2008.

According to the criminal complaint Barclay was accused of raping a 20 year-old male on March 31, 2008 at his Monroe Township home. State Police filed criminal charges against the accuser in April accusing him of making false reports to police concerning the incident.

At that time, police executed a search warrant at Barclay's Cumberland County home and seized video surveillance footage, cameras and computer equipment.

The criminal complaint states that Barclay had hidden surveillance cameras located in various locations throughout his residence including in the bathroom, bedrooms and indoor recreational areas. These cameras were located inside of AM/FM radios, motion detectors and intercom speaker systems.

According to the charges, Barclay allegedly used the cameras to record sexual encounters that he had with young men, some of whom were male escorts. Barclay allegedly saved approximately 100-500 sexual encounters for personal sexual gratification.

Corbett said that Barclay allegedly saved the footage from the encounters on his computer system and had direct feeds from his video surveillance system into his computer system.

The charges state that 13 separate males were observed nude and/or engaged in sexual intercourse on hidden camera footage in 176 separate video clips.

The charges state that Barclay was the only one who knew about the hidden cameras located throughout his home and allegedly never obtained permission to video tape anyone engaged in sexual activity.

According to the criminal complaint, many of the sexual encounters videotaped were males that Barclay had hired from an escort service. The charges state that Barclay also hired male prostitutes on a weekly basis at his home.

As investigators reviewed Barclay's computer files they located an email from SpectorSoft, confirming the purchase of Eblaster software. The software is marketed as computer spy software aimed at enabling parents to monitor their children's computer use.

The software uses a stealth technology that does not show up on the computer or slow its operation.

The charges state that Barclay purchased the software in July 2007 and installed the software on a 22 year-old male's computer. Barclay's email account was then automatically sent the young man's personal emails, chats, keystrokes typed and visited Internet sites.

According to the criminal complaint, Barclay purchased the young man a laptop shortly after buying the software and allegedly installed the Eblaster software without permission.

Barclay is charged with 13 counts of invasion of privacy, one count of interception, disclosure or use of wire, electronic or oral communications, one count of unlawful use of a computer, one count of unlawful duplication and one count of prostitution. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 48 years in prison and up to $113,500 in fines.

Barclay will be preliminarily arraigned before Mechanicsburg Magisterial District Justice Thomas Placey.

The case will be prosecuted in Cumberland County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach of the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit.

Police: Avoid Rutherford Run Area

Emergency crews were called to a hazardous materials spill at Baker-Petrolite on Rutherford Run at 10:50 this morning, and police are asking that everyone avoid the Rutherford Run area.

Reportedly, about 370 gallons of a hazardous material leaked or spilled.

Bradford Township firefighters are on the scene. Once again, Bradford Township Police are asking that everyone avoid the Rutherford Run area driving and walking. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Rendell Congratulates Phillies

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell today congratulated the Philadelphia Phillies on winning the 104th World Series, the team’s first world championship in 28 years.

“I’m thrilled for what this team has achieved. Nobody believed in them at the beginning of the year. What they accomplished is a great tribute to Charlie Manuel, the coaches, players and the Phillies’ ownership,” Governor Rendell said. “As Brad Lidge got ready to throw the last pitch to Eric Hinske, I couldn’t help thinking of Tug McGraw striking out Willie Wilson 28 years ago. The feeling was every bit as great now as it was then.”

Former Bucks County ADA Charged

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced the arrest of a former Bucks County Assistant District Attorney for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a minor, along with providing alcohol to and smoking marijuana with the victim and two other juveniles.

Corbett identified the defendant as Anthony Cappuccio, 31, 16 Country Road, Perkasie. Cappuccio was a Bucks County Assistant District Attorney until his resignation from the position on Sept. 6, 2008.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began on Sept 5, 2008, when Richland Township Police officers discovered Cappuccio and a 17-year-old male, both partially-dressed, inside a vehicle at a shopping center located at 225 N. West End Blvd., Quakertown.

Corbett said that as a youth leader at the First United Methodist Church in Perkasie, Cappuccio allegedly took the three juveniles to various concerts in the area starting back in 2005, smoked marijuana with two of the juveniles and provided all three of them with alcohol on different occasions.

Corbett noted that the Attorney General's office received the case as a referral from Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry.

Cappuccio is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of children, three counts of corruption of minors, three counts of furnishing liquor or malt or brewed beverages to minors and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Cappuccio was preliminarily arraigned today before Bucks County Magisterial District Judge Robert C. Roth, at 281 California Road, Quakertown.

The case will be prosecuted in Bucks County by Senior Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo.

They're Back

Time-Warner customers can once again see new episodes of "Two and A Half Men" and "The Amazing Race" -- not to mention Sunday's Bills game. Read about the agreement between Time-Warner and LIN Television HERE. But, remember, although you can watch the game on WIVB-TV, you can listen on 100.1 The HERO. That way you still get to hear Murph and The Gang.

Ashley Todd in Court

The McCain campaign volunteer accused of making up a story about being assaulted in Pittsburgh by a man who disliked her McCain bumper sticker will enter a program for first-time offenders. Twenty-year-old Ashley Todd of College Station, Texas, will also be required to undergo mental health treatment. Todd has been jailed since Friday, when police say she admitted making up a story about being robbed near a Pittsburgh bank and then assaulted a man who scraped a backward letter "B" into her cheek. Todd couldn't explain why she invented the story.

Cops: Couple Stole Steaks, Wings

A Buffalo couple has been charged with stealing 20 steaks and a bag of chicken wings from a supermarket. Police found 57-year-old Julius Marable and 39-year-old Rhonda Smith in a house a short time after the robbery. Police recovered the steaks inside a washing machine and the chicken wings inside Smith's purse. Marable and Smith were both charged with first-degree robbery. Smith was also charged with possession of a steak knife allegedly used in threatening a cashier at the supermarket.

Getting Even Lower

I think it's really great that the AAA Fuel Gauge Report (from Pittsburgh) tells us how much we're paying for gas up here, but I prefer to actually go outside and look at the signs at the pumps. This was Wednesday afternoon at Tops.

Confirmation of Chestnut Find

The American Chestnut Foundation has confirmed that trees found near the Rimrock Overlook in the Allegheny National Forest are American chestnuts with no sign of blight. Samples were collected during a hike in which hikers found more than 30 America chestnut trees. Twigs, burrs and seeds were sent to the foundation for confirmation. Healthy, mature American chestnut trees are extremely rare in the eastern United States since a blight introduced early in the 20th century virtually wiped them out.

Veltri to Answer Homicide Charges

The Brockway man involved in an accident that severely injured a Bradford woman and killed her two sisters is scheduled to appear in court on November 10.

33-year-old Eric Patrick Veltri is charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle and homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, among other offenses.

29-year-old Connie Bailey of Brockway and 39-year-old Karen Peters of Newark, Delaware, died in the March accident. Delora Burrow-Bradish was severely injured.

The accident happened on Route 219 in Jefferson County when Veltri's truck crossed the centerline and hit Bradish's car head-on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

House Recognizes AKtion Club

A Resolution recognizing the members and sponsors of the Aktion Club of Bradford as the newest service club in Bradford has been introduced in the State House by Rep. Marty Causer.

House Resolution 948, Session 2008.

PGC Releases Test Results from
Alleged Mountain Lion Attack

HARRISBURG - In announcing the most recent results of its ongoing investigation into an alleged mountain lion attack on Oct. 9, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced tests conducted on a knife allegedly used by Samuel Fisher, 42, of Sadsbury Township, Lancaster County, were positive for human blood. The tests were conducted by East Stroudsburg University in Monroe County.

On Oct. 20, the Game Commission announced that tests conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab determined that samples collected from multiple sites the scene of the alleged attack tested negative for blood. Further tests are being conducted by the State Police Crime Lab to determine what the substance is.

Game Commission officials were called to an area of Mount Pleasant Road, when Fisher alleged to have shot one large cat and then was attacked and injured by a second large cat on Oct. 9.

A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter was brought into the area to search for the presence of the alleged animal using a FLIR Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera. Search dogs specifically trained to find and follow the trail of cats detected no cat activity in the area other than a small house cat.

Game Commission officers gathered numerous samples at the scene alleged to be blood. Samples collected from multiple sites at the incident, including the alleged blood trail, area where Fisher allegedly shot the animal and where Fisher allegedly fought with the animal, all tested negative for blood by the State Police laboratory. At that time, chemical testing by the State Police Crime Lab did indicate the presence of blood on the knife that Fisher allegedly used to stab the animal, however, the lab also found that the knife contained deer hair.

Investigating officers announced that they found no evidence of mountain lion hair or scat or tracks at, around or in the vicinity of the alleged incident. The shirt that Fisher was wearing during the alleged attack contained no blood or any signs of dirt from a struggle with an animal on the ground.

Charges may be filed against Fisher for making false or fraudulent statements.

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission has no evidence of wild, breeding populations of large cats in Pennsylvania to date,” said Doug Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region director. “With that in mind, we do acknowledge that numerous people do have exotic animals which escape or are released illegally. While this incident is considered to be a hoax, we will continue to investigate credible sightings or evidence of exotic wildlife.”

To reiterate his point, Killough noted that, in the past 10 years, confirmed sightings of wallabies, wolf-hybrids, emus, alligators and other non-native exotic wildlife have been captured in the Southeast Region. Also, in 2002, charges were filed against a Dauphin County resident for illegal possession of a mountain lion that had been purchased in Virginia.

Fumo Son-in-Law Felt 'Betrayed'

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In what's fast becoming a family, political and legal drama in a Philadelphia courtroom, the estranged son-in-law of indicted state Sen. Vincent Fumo endured heated questioning Wednesday from Fumo's lawyer.

Fumo, 65, is charged in a 139-count federal indictment with defrauding the state Senate and others of more than $3.5 million, and then trying to systematically destroy e-mail evidence.

For the full story, go to

Paper Ballots Must Be Available

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania election officials must make paper ballots available to voters if half the machines at a polling place break down, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The state has previously required that paper ballots only be offered if all the machines break down, but several voter groups filed a lawsuit last week in which they said long lines at the polls could disenfranchise voters.

For the full story, go to

Dentist Buying Back Candy

Local dentist Dr. Kurt Laemmer wants to offer children in the community an opportunity to sell their Halloween candy -- and not just for the money. There's a patriotic twist.

Laemmer is allowing children ages 12 and younger to bring their Halloween candy to his office at 197 Interstate Parkway from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. November 1. They receive one gold Washington dollar coin for every pound they bring in (maximum of 5 pounds per child). The dollar coins are available until Laemmer collects 300 pounds of candy. Once all the candy is collected, it will be packaged and shipped to local soldiers who are stationed overseas so they can have "a taste of home."

Laemmer says his motivation came from his affiliation with an online organization of more than 1,000 dentists around the world. Dr. Chris Kammer came up with the concept.

Laemmer says not only will children be consuming less candy and, in turn, saving their teeth from possible decay, the children will be showing local soldiers that even children in the community are thankful for their sacrifice.

Laemmer says he hopes the soldiers do "whatever they want" with the candy.

"Whether they give it children in Iraq that do not get the opportunity to have the treats we take for granted every day, or if they leave it in the barracks to munch on from time to time, it doesn't matter," Laemmer says. "They know we are thinking about them and we are grateful for the unselfish sacrifices they have made. After all, they deserve it."

Shane Oschman of Northwest Savings Bank donated the $300 in gold Washington dollar coins. Byllye Lanes, Little Caesar's and McDonald's are also donating prizes to be given to the children. Dawn McGriff of KOA Speer will see that the candy gets to the troops from our area.

"The community response is very touching," Laemmer says. "I am honored to be able to do something like this for the children that will impact them for the rest of their lives simply by making the right choice."

He says, "We are doing the right thing here. It not only helps the children, it helps the men and women that give so much to make our lives better and a little sweeter."

Wick Donates to UPB Chapel

Longtime University of Pittsburgh at Bradford supporter Harriett B. Wick has made a $500,000 donation to the proposed interfaith chapel on campus in honor of her grandson, Michael Quinn Wick, who died in a 2005 automobile accident.

The sanctuary of the chapel will be named in honor of Michael Wick and will be a nearly all-glass room with a ceiling that will sweep upward.

Michael Wick was an artist and taxidermist who graduated from Bradford Central Christian High School in 1991. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Taxidermy in Ebensburg in 2000.

He owned and operated Artistic Outdoors Taxidermy Shop and was an accomplished outdoorsman, receiving many awards and trophies for both saltwater and freshwater tournaments.

In May, anonymous donors made a $1 million gift toward the construction of the $2.5 million chapel in honor of Harriett Wick.

Albert Filoni president of MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni Architects Inc. of Pittsburgh designed the chapel, which university officials hope to break ground on in the spring. The firm also designed the renovation and expansion of the Frame-Westerberg Commons and Blaisdell Hall on campus.

Since Pitt-Bradford is a state-related university, money from the commonwealth usually pays for a large part of the construction costs for a new building. Because of the unique use of the chapel, however, private funding is the only source of money for its construction.

Harriett Wick served as vice president and secretary of Zippo Manufacturing Co., which was founded by her father, George G. Blaisdell, in Bradford in 1932. She and her sister, Sarah B. Dorn, assumed ownership of the company following their father’s death in 1978.

Through the Philo and Sarah Blaisdell Foundation, the sisters have given funds to the university for capital improvements. As part of Campaign 2000, the Blaisdell family provided a $1.5 million challenge gift to complete the communications building and fine arts center named in their honor.

In 1980, Wick and Dorn established the Miriam Barcroft Blaisdell Scholarship at Pitt-Bradford in honor of their mother to help support approximately 65 students every year at Pitt-Bradford. More than 2,000 students have benefited so far from the scholarship.

Wick and Dorn received the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Presidential Medal of Distinction in 1993.

Read a previous story on the chapel here.

Scarnati Endorses Thompson

President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania State Senate, Joseph B. Scarnati III, today endorsed the candidacy of Glenn Thompson for the Fifth Congressional District. Scarnati, who represents eight of the 17 counties that comprise the Fifth District, issued the following statement:

"As we come down the home stretch of this campaign season, I am proud to support and endorse Glenn Thompson's candidacy as our next representative in Congress. Glenn has a keen understanding of the challenges facing Rural Pennsylvania and offers solutions that are pragmatic and will be effective in solving the issues that are important to us.

"As a healthcare professional, Glenn brings 27 years of experience to the table and will work to reform Medicare and Medicaid - as opposed to increased regulation, which has been all too prevalent in Washington these days. With an aging population, now more than ever before, Glenn's expertise in healthcare is needed in Washington so that older Pennsylvanians will continue to receive the highest quality of care.

"Glenn understands the transportation and infrastructure needs of the Commonwealth and will work with the State Legislature to make sure Pennsylvania receives its fair share when Congress reauthorizes the Highway Bill next year.

"When elected, Glenn and I will work well as a team on the issues that affect the 25th Senatorial District, the Fifth Congressional District and the Commonwealth. Glenn has my full support and I urge you to support him on November 4th."

Thompson issued the following statement in reaction to Senator Scarnati's endorsement:

"Senator Scarnati has been a true leader in reforming the 'politics as usual' culture in Harrisburg and should be commended for being a champion of rural initiatives. I am honored and humbled to receive his support and endorsement and look forward to working with him to tackle the issues facing Rural Pennsylvania.

"Over the course of this campaign, having traveled - to and through - Joe's Senate District countless times, I learned first hand from his constituents the level of service he provides and the work he has done on their behalf. It is that same level of service I will guarantee at the federal level to the folks living across the Fifth District."

Wilson Changes Mind -- Again

A Warren man charged with assaulting a woman during a break-in at the Warren Eagles Club has changed his mind again. 27-year-old Jason Lee Wilson has entered guilty pleas in connection with the assault and break-in and his escape from the Warren County Courthouse. Last week, when he was scheduled to enter a plea, he changed his mind and said he wanted to go to trial, but then he changed his mind again and entered pleas to aggravated assault with extreme indifference, criminal trespass and escape. On July 16, after breaking into the Eagles Club, Wilson punched and choked a woman until she was unconscious. A month later, Wilson ran from the courtroom during a bail hearing and was tackled in a yard across from the courthouse by a Warren County sheriff's deputy.

'Bad News' Drug Ring Broken Up

A marijuana ring, which operated in Luzerne County for at least four to five years, was broken-up today by agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI).

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation, known as "Operation Bad News," began in 2006 and focused on Robert Francis Bovolick, 27, 154 Sharpe St., Kingston, who allegedly sold large quantities of marijuana and purchased numerous assets with the proceeds of his illegal enterprise.

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

According to the grand jury, Bovolick was a known high-grade marijuana dealer in the Wilkes-Barre area since at least 2002 and had numerous customers and individuals who sold his marijuana on the streets for profit.

Corbett said that Bovolick had a number of contacts in Philadelphia, who he relied on to supply him with enough marijuana to satisfy his demand in Wilkes-Barre. Bovolick regularly traveled to Philadelphia to obtain marijuana for re-distribution and in 2003 met a Drexel University student, who became his main Philadelphia marijuana connection.

The grand jury identified his main marijuana supplier as Christopher Roberto, 23, 17 Saint Pauls Road, Ardmore, Delaware County. Bovolick and Roberto allegedly met regularly in Philadelphia to exchange money and marijuana for re-distribution in Wilkes-Barre.

Agents estimate that Bovolick allegedly made between $5,000 to $6,000 a week selling marijuana. He allegedly broke down pound quantities for resale and increased his profits the more the pound was broke down.

Corbett said that if Bovolick sold a pound of marijuana he made $600. If he sold it as two half pounds he made $800; as four quarter pounds he made $1,000; and if sold by the ounce he made as much as $1,800.

Bovolick is allegedly responsible for distributing as much as 300 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of over $1.5 million in the Wilkes-Bare area since 2002.

According to the grand jury, Bovolick was an employee at the Anthracite Newstand in downtown Wilkes-Barre, which is jointly owned by his mother and aunt. Records indicate that Bovolick earned approximately $26,000 per year since 2005 as an employee.

Investigators found that Bovolick's expenditures on real estate and a vehicle far surpass his yearly wages from the newsstand.

The grand jury found that Bovolick purchased a brand new Hummer H2 in 2004, for more than $62,600. Bovolick allegedly gave a $10,000 cash deposit and his father financed the remainder. Within two years of the purchase, Bovolick allegedly paid off the remaining $50,000 owed on the vehicle.

Corbett said that Bovolick also spent thousands of dollars on properties in Luzerne County. Between June 2005 and January 2008, Bovolick allegedly purchased 10 properties at a combined cost of nearly $385,000.

According to the grand jury, Bovolick paid for seven of the properties in cash and financed three. All but one of his 10 properties were purchased between 2005 and 2007 and included:
--136 Sharpe St., Kingston
--90-92 Carlisle St., Wilkes-Barre
--552 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre
--200 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre
--436-439 Elm St., Kingston
--14-16 Mott St., Kingston
--26 Gildersleeve St., Wilkes-Barre
--36-38 Gates St., Kingston
--518 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre
--164 Division St., Kingston

Agents examined Bovolick's expenditures and found that in 2005 Bovolick allegedly spent $46,222, in 2006 spent more than $103,900, and in 2007 spent approximately $100,000.

"The only way Bovolick was able to buy 10 properties, a high-end vehicle, big screen tv's, expensive watches, and leather furniture was through marijuana sales," Corbett said. "Bovolick is known to be a long-time marijuana dealer in the Luzerne County area and today, he is out of business."

Corbett noted that agents seized two of Bovolick's properties this morning including the property at 552 S. Franklin Street and the property at 200 Park Avenue.

Corbett thanked the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office and the Kingston Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Timothy Doherty of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force.

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

--Robert Francis Bovolick, 27, 154 Sharpe St., Kingston, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Christopher Roberto, 23, 17 Saint Pauls Road, Ardmore, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Donald Swainbank, 23, 363 Elm St., Kingston, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Andrew Clements, 27, 3981 Ridge Road, Berwick, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Justin Hart, 26, 81 Ridge Road, Catawissa, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Patrick Rooney, 23, 69 Courtright St., Plains, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

--Eric Kovac, 28, 877 Coxton Road, Duryea, is charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and criminal use of a communications facility.

Police Search for Missing Woman

New York State Police are investigating the disappearance of Corrie L. Anderson of Ashville, NY.
Anderson was last seen yesterday afternoon leaving Lake County Dodge in Jamestown. They say she didn't pick up her child from school, which is very unusual. She was last seen driving a blue, 2005 Dodge Caravan, which has not been located. Corrie Anderson is 36 years old, 5'11", 170 lbs, with green eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing black corduroy pants, a black leather jacket and small wire rimmed glasses. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact New York State Police.

Trick-or-Treating Coming Back

We told you about this story several weeks ago. Today, The Associated Press is running a story about trick-or-treating in Oil City.

OIL CITY, Pa. (AP) — For 16 years, real horror overshadowed the make-believe terror of Halloween in this Pennsylvania town, where trick-or-treating after dark was banned after an 11-year-old girl was abducted off the street and murdered.

But on Friday, pint-sized witches, princesses and vampires will once again be shuffling from house to house at night, thanks to a petition drive by a fifth-grader.

For the full story, go to

Extended Hours for HeartStrings

Bradford Hospital Auxiliary officials are announcing the start of special holiday hours at their local gift shop. According to Virginia Hauser, the Auxiliary's Executive Director, the change in hours at HeartStrings Gift Shop has occurred to meet customer need.

"Our in-house staff and community members say they like the flexibility that these additional hours provide at this busy time of year," Mrs. Hauser explained.

HeartStrings is located just inside the lobby of the Outpatient Services Center at Bradford Regional Medical Center, N. Bennett Street access. Holiday hours, beginning Sat., Nov. 1, are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Fridays. All proceeds benefit BRMC.

Shoppers are invited to bring a food bank donation in to receive 10% off their purchases. The gift shop offers a wide variety of seasonal items such as holiday Annalee dolls and year-round in stock items for infants, children and home accessories items including candles, jewelry. Fresh flowers and balloons are also available onsite for delivery to hospital patients and staff.

Senators Want More Free TV Games

Several U.S. Senators say the National Football League is not making enough football games available on free TV for local fans. The senators have written a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying the NFL is too narrowly interpreting what constitutes a home city. Senator Arlen Specter says the NFL does not consider Johnstown to be part of the home market of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The senators are asking the NFL to reconsider its policy. The NFL hasn't commented yet.

Halloween Wonderland?

Some of you may have already seen this picture on WIVB-TV during Mike Cejka's noon forecast. Well, we somehow managed to get it, too. This was taken not far from downtown Bradford at around 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Council, BSA Vote on Act 537

Bradford City Council and the Bradford Sanitary Authority have adopted the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan.

But City Clerk John Peterson explained during Tuesday's council meeting that, for now, the plan only means that the sanitary authority will monitor inflow and infiltration of stormwater into the sanitary sewer system.

After the flow monitoring is complete, officials will revisit the plan and decide where to go from there.

Peterson reiterated that there are no immediate plans to build an equalization tank at the waste water treatment plant.

The plan does, however, include plant upgrades.

Council and the sanitary authority had to adopt a plan by the end of the month to be in compliance with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The sanitary authority adopted the plan during a brief meeting Tuesday afternoon.

In a related matter, Peterson read information provided by the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalties concerning the question that will appear on Tuesday's ballot asking permission for the state to borrow $400 million to pay for water and sewer improvements.

Mayor Tom Riel said if the measure is approved, it would help the city.

"We would never try to influence anybody's vote, but …" Riel said, smiling, "it would be beneficial if everybody in Bradford voted for it."

Among other things, it could help with repairs to the city's sewer system.

More Changes on Kennedy Street

WESB/WBRR News Director

Bradford businessman Steve Cavallaro is going to be changing the look of Kennedy Street even further.

He's working with a Benjamin Moore paint dealer to open a store. He's also planning to buy the J.C. Penney Catalog store and move it, and move Cavallaro Custom Picture Framing from Main Street to Kennedy Street.

"Everything's a good a fit and I'm looking forward to it," Cavallaro told Bradford City Council Tuesday night. "The Benjamin Moore people are very excited about having a store back in Bradford. They're also excited about Penney's being in there with me … as is Penney's excited about Benjamin Moore."

"I think everybody will be pleased when they come in," he said. "People should feel comfortable when they come in."

Cavallaro is also renovating the apartments upstairs at 10-16 Kennedy Street and already has tenants lined up.

Sara Andrews, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Community Development, said the city is pleased that he's bringing businesses into downtown, and a quality paint store back into the community.

"We appreciate what you're doing, Steve," she said. "Best wishes."

Councilman Bob Onuffer said one of his visions for downtown is to get nice apartments in all the buildings downtown.

"We have a lot of space up there that can be utilized and make some nice apartments," he said.

Council approved a $50,000 economic development loan for Cavallaro to buy inventory.

Also, council approved a $100,000 loan for Mark and Nancy Graham to complete storefront renovations and purchase inventory for their business at 51 Main Street.

Council also approved a new sign for the Grahams that will read "Tin Ceiling Gift Shoppe."

Also Tuesday, council approved three signs for TUT Holdings: one for the "Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce" at 121 Main Street; one for the "Main Street Moviehouse" at 123 Main Street; and one for the Boylston Street side of the Hooker Fulton Building that will read "Hooker Fulton Boylston Street."

All three signs will be black with silver lettering.

Council also approved the demolition of several blighted buildings.

Bob Cummins Construction will tear down the house at 129 School Street. Earth-Works will tear down the house at 76 Bank Street. 6-V Excavation will tear down the building at 120-122 West Washington Street.

Also Tuesday, Mayor Tom Riel read a proclamation recognizing the 20th anniversary of Bradford Recovery Systems' MICA (Mentally Ill/Chemically Addicted) Unit.

Prior to its regular meeting, council held a work session on issues related to garbage pickup.