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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Plain Joe

This is from an editorial in the Jeffersonian Democrat:

"Not long ago when the Senator was elected as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, I asked him how he should be addressed. He said, 'How about just plain Joe?'"

Similiar situation here. I jokingly asked if I could still call him Joe. He said something along the lines of "You better." Anyway, this editorial is good. I think it'll be an especially good read for people who don't know him personally.

How Much Did We Get?


Well, according to the WESB/WBRR Offical Snow Measurer atop the Official WESB/WBRR Official Snow-Measuring Site ...


... not as much as it seemed like when it was coming down. Actually, it's a little bit more than the 2 1/2 inches the snow measurer says because I couldn't get the thing to stand up straight.




Anyway, Mike Cejka says we can expect more snow today -- possibly another four inches. But we'll see sunshine for part of the day Sunday. Yay Mike! (I only give him credit for the good days. I don't blame him for the bad ones.)

45 Years Ago Today

"... that day in 1963 will never be forgotten — it's a landmark like Dec. 7, 1941, before it, and Sept. 11, 2001, afterward."

For one of, I'm sure, many stories remembering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, go to The Cape Cod Times.

Chess League Results ...

In the Junior Varsity Division, Hamlin Bank and Lang Surveying remain tied for first place followed by Tasta Pizza. Team captains Nico Alvarado (Lang Surveying), Leah Swineford (Tasta Pizza), and Mitchell Forbes (Hamlin Bank) remain undefeated in league competition.

In the Varsity Division, Parkview Super Market and Dr. Laroche are tied for first with Dr. Gonzalez only half a point behind.

There will be no chess next week due to Thanksgiving vacation. League matches will resume on Wednesday, December 3 at School Street Elementary.

More than a dozen students from Bradford will be competing in the Southern Tier Scholastic Chess Championship this weekend in Olean, NY.

Good luck!

Sentencing for Eagles Club Assault

The man who broke into the Warren Eagles Club and beat a female bartender until she was unconscious wanted to delay his sentencing until he received a psychiatric evaluation.

A Warren County judge said no, and sentenced 27-year-old Jason Lee Wilson to 8 ½ to 17 years in state prison.

He was also sentenced to 2 to 4 years for running from the courthouse during a bail hearing.

Hoden Sentenced for Burglary

A Sheffield teenager who brutally attacked an elderly woman then stole her car and fled to Florida has been sentenced to up to 16 years in state prison.

Jeremy Hoden, who was 17 years old when he attacked 77-year-old Irene Rice in August of last year, is already serving a three-year state sentence in Florida for fleeing and eluding police.

The sentences for burglary and robbery imposed Friday in Warren County Court will be served consecutively to the Florida sentence.

Friday, November 21, 2008

KOA Speer Looking at Layoffs

KOA Speer is offering its employees a voluntary layoff for the month of December because many of the company's customers will be going through shutdowns next month.

KOA CFO Lance Eastman says the company has received a number of notices from customers – primarily in the automotive industry – that they will be shutting down for part of December.

The number of people laid off will depend on how many volunteer, and is not expected to go into January.

Former Fumo Aides Testify

Two former aides to State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo testified yesterday that they were unhappily made to toil in an environment where there were no barriers among political, personal and Senate assignments.

The two aides also helped federal prosecutors lay the groundwork for an obstructing-justice case against their old boss, saying that computer security was stepped up after the FBI investigation became publicly known.

For the full story, go to philly.com.

No One Hurt in Potter Co. Wreck

A 75-year-old Coudersport woman escaped injury when she tried to give a snow plow more room on the road.

Police say Shirley Saulter was on Peet Brook Road just north of Route 49 when she steered toward the edge of the road. But she went off the road and eventually hit several trees while traveling down a 40-foot embankment.

The car had to be towed from the scene.

Khanna Has New Role at CCMH

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has announced that Dr. Amit Khanna, M.D., D, ABSM, D, ABFM, will oversee Coudersport Primary Care, located at the hospital’s Irwin Medical Arts Center.

In his new role, Dr. Khanna will serve in a supervisory capacity as well as see patients. A member of the medical staff since 2006, Dr. Khanna also practices family medicine at CCMH’s Northern Potter Health Center and is medical director of the CCMH Sleep Disorders Center, where he will continue to see patients.

“I’m very excited to join the Coudersport Primary Care office,” Dr. Khanna said. “I am fortunate to be joining a great team of providers. The office and nursing staff have a long history with this office and community which has made my transition very smooth. The Coudersport community is fortunate to have such a great resource available to them and I feel honored to become a part of that.”

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Khanna as a member of the Charles Cole family. His dedication and compassion for the patients he serves is very well recognized. Coudersport Primary Care is excited to welcome Dr. Khanna to the practice,” said Ed Hardesty, executive director, medical staff relations and clinic operations at CCMH.

Dr. Khanna earned a medical degree at Saba University School of Medicine. He completed a family practice residency at the University of Minnesota and a sleep medicine fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. He is a certified diplomate by the American Board of Family Medicine and American Board of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Khanna and his wife, Dr. Ekta Khanna, a pediatrician at CCMH, live in Coudersport.
For more information, visit www.charlescolehospital.com.

KQDC Needs More Hunters

From the USFS:

Seven years of data collection across the 75,000 acre Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative (KQDC) in McKean County have yielded some interesting results, but none more interesting than the differences in deer herd numbers on private lands, as compared to public lands. The deer herd is larger in numbers on private lands. And why?...

When both public and private lands open roads for firearm deer season?

When both public and private lands managers use DMAP, as needed?

When both public and private lands managers provide the same hunting information to hunters?

Managers struggle with the ‘why’s’. The deer herd on public lands within the KQDC boundary is within goal to sustain habitat. But, this is not the case on private lands. And such is the quandary… how to get an adequate harvest on private lands directly adjacent to public lands where harvest is deemed adequate.

One theory behind the disparity of harvest on a 75,000 acre area composed of 50,000 acres of public land and 25,000 acres of private lands is that hunters are more familiar with public access roads on public lands, and are unfamiliar with the private access roads on private lands. In an effort to combat this disparity of harvest and to encourage hunters to try new hunting areas, the KQDC is offering hunters the following map to showcase areas of higher deer density going into the fall hunting season of 2008.

The private landowners within the KQDC are opening roads, as in year’s past, to facilitate hunter access. Hunters – take advantage of this opportunity! Explore new territory. Try a new deer hunting area during this fall hunting season. Pick the KQDC in McKean County!

Deer Density Maps

Hunting Safety Message from ANF

It’s hunting season. Employees of the Allegheny National Forest (NF) have some timely tips for hunters and other visitors.

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and snowmobile trails: All motorized trails are closed for the big-game hunting seasons. ATVs or snowmobiles may not be used to drag your harvest back to camp. The ‘after the hunt’ processing of harvested game is all part of the hunting experience. Hunt with a friend and use the ‘buddy’ system to remove your harvest from the woods.

Tree stands: Portable hunting stands are allowed on the Allegheny NF provided they do not damage trees during their placement or use. Permanent hunting stands are not allowed on the Allegheny NF.

Hunter orange: Always wear hunter orange in the woods. The Hunting and Trapping Digest of the Pennsylvania Game Commission has defined minimum amounts of hunter orange clothing required while hunting or moving in the woods. This same advice is recommended for forest visitors that are not hunting – make yourself visible to other people in the woods!

Safety first! Have you left instructions with a friend or member of your family as to when you should be back? A hunter that doesn’t arrive at a pre-determined place at a pre-determined time is often the first sign that a hunter may have been injured or become disoriented.

Carry a safety pack containing waterproof matches, a small flashlight, a whistle, candy bars for quick energy, an orange blaze cloth to place on a tree near you, an emergency blanket, and twine. The twine can be used to start a fire and rig a simple lean-to if forced to spend the night.

Dependent upon the size of your pack, you may also want to carry a hat, a dry pair of socks, and light wool shirt. Wool retains heat even when wet. Most of a body’s heat is lost through the head; cover your head to stay warm. A dry pair of socks, particularly wool socks, can help increase body temperature if your feet become chilled.

Finding your way through the woods: Stay alert as to where you are moving away from your vehicle; use a compass, a map, familiar landmarks, or a GPS navigation system. Make certain you can find your way back to your vehicle. The Allegheny NF is on a plateau so landmarks such as mountain peaks or ridgelines may not be visible. Days are often overcast and it may be difficult to tell which direction the sun is setting. If you do become disoriented, stay warm and do not wander. Aimless wandering can rob a body of energy and result in hypothermia, particularly if a wind chill is coupled with cold temperatures.

Watch the weather: Check the radio, the TV, or even some GPS units for weather forecasts before you head into the woods. The Allegheny NF has many access points, be they roads or trails, and all streams eventually lead to a road. The concern for hunters is contracting hypothermia which disorients thoughts before they can devise a logical plan. If you feel confused – stay put! Build a fire, and be prepared to conserve your energy.

Leave your campfire wood at home: Dangerous insects are hitching rides inside firewood to new forests as people travel from their home to their recreation area and back. Collect or buy your firewood once you arrive at your hunting camp, be it a tent or a cabin. Firewood is available for purchase from local venders or for collection on the Allegheny NF. If you intend to collect more firewood on the Allegheny NF than needed solely for a campfire (for instance to stock up on firewood at your hunting camp), a fuelwood permit is necessary. Fuelwood permits for personal use are available at all Allegheny NF offices. Protect the forest that provides habitat for wildlife by leaving your firewood at home.

FRG to Provides Services at CCMH

Pittsburgh-based Foundation Radiology Group (FRG) signed a multi-year contract with Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, making FRG the hospital’s exclusive provider of diagnostic imaging services effective December 31, 2008.

“We are pleased to be working with Foundation Radiology,” Ed Pitchford, chief executive officer at CCMH, said. “Having continuous access to professional radiology services within the same group will be of great value to our providers and patients. We are also pleased to now obtain specialized interpretations from neurologic, pediatric or women’s health specialists without having to refer patients out of the area. Foundation’s operating model of using a combination of on site physicians and central services via teleradiology technology is ideal for rural and remote hospitals such as Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.”

FRG’s board certified radiologists are available 24/7, 365 days per year to provide readings in musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology, mammography, cardiac CT, interventional radiology, pediatric radiology, brain perfusion, vascular ultrasound, OB/GYN ultrasound and general radiology. With this broad range of capabilities, FRG is ideally positioned to provide subspecialty radiological services to smaller hospitals and outpatient centers that can’t afford to keep subspecialists on staff.

James W. Backstom, M.D., FRG’s chief medical officer, said, “We are pleased to have Charles Cole join our expanding roster of clients. We will provide their patients the best service levels and subspecialty physician expertise available in the industry today. Our unique capability allows us to cost effectively provide world class diagnostic imaging professional services to patients in the north central Pennsylvania.”

About Foundation Radiology:

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA the Foundation Radiology Group’s mission is to build the pre-eminent diagnostic imaging, radiology service bureau and physician practice group network in the United States. FRG uses state-of-the-art PACS technology, a unique, efficient workflow system, carrier-grade telecommunications infrastructure and the Internet to provide the fastest turnaround times in the industry for diagnostic imaging reads. FRG is focused on serving non-university affiliated health care institutions, with emphasis on serving the rural and suburban hospital segment. It seeks multi-year exclusive contracts for daytime and 7/24/365 radiology full service bureaus. The Group’s administrative office, data processing and primary diagnostic imaging reading center is located at Three Gateway Center, in downtown Pittsburgh, where board-certified radiologists are available 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit www.frg-rad.com.

CCMH Reports High Marks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released results from its first national assessment of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care, known as the mPINC survey, in which Charles Cole Memorial Hospital exceeded scores among the state, national, and centers of comparable size. The Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation conducted the survey for the CDC between August and December 2007.

The survey reported that CCMH’s composite quality practice score was 54 whereas the national score was 27 and state and centers of comparable size scores were each 34.

“We have an excellent nursing staff on our maternity unit and strive to maintain up-to-date training and education in ‘best practices’ for our breastfeeding mothers,” Judy Zeigler RN, OB nurse manager at CCMH, said.

CCMH reported 265 births in 2007 and was one of 2,690 birth facilities who completed the survey which detailed the hospital’s breastfeeding-related maternity care practices and policies. Scores were tallied in seven categories: labor and delivery, postpartum breastfeeding assistance, postpartum contact between mother and infant, postpartum feeding of breastfed infants, breastfeeding support upon discharge, staff breastfeeding training and education, and structural and organizational factors related to breastfeeding.

CCMH’s pediatric staff is proud of the survey results and plans to continue counseling expectant mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding. Drs. Ekta Khanna, Mary Ann Rigas, and Marlene Wust-Smith also encourage mothers-to-be to meet their pediatrician prior to the baby’s birth to set a foundation for educated and healthy families.

For more information, expectant mothers can call 814/274-9198 or 642-7205.

Name That Puppy -- and Win $1,000



ONLYforPETLOVERS.com, a free online pet community catering to all pet owners is inviting its members and the public at large to participate in its Free Presidential Pet Contest. The contest is based on President elect Barack Obama’s promise to his daughters of bringing a new puppy to the White House. He made this announcement public during his acceptance speech.

ONLYforPETLOVERS.com, is offering $1,000.00 USD to the first person that can correctly guess the name and breed of the new Presidential Pooch. All participants must be at least 18 years of age, and be United States Citizens.

If no one guesses the puppy’s name and breed, then the first two entries to guess the name of the dog will win $250 each. If only one person guesses the name of the dog, the prize will be $500.

New York Times: Hillary Will Take Secretary of State Position

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.

For the full story, go to The New York Times.

Quotes from CBK Memorial Service

"Catherine, as her family knows, when she had an idea that she wanted to get across, she was relentless. Relentless. It's been nine days now since Catherine passed, and my guess is that Catherine has been relentless with St. Peter." — Governor Ed Rendell.

"One of her great passions was encouraging and helping women to participate in politics. She shattered glass ceilings and she wanted to others do that as well." — Senator Hillary Clinton.

"I'll always remember her for her smile on her face, the compassion in her eyes and her ability to forget about party affiliation when we're in the Senate. She just wanted us to get along and Catherine was a person who wanted to see results." — Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati.

For more, go to pennlive.com.

Man Probably Died of Overdose

Police say a man who was found dead in his vehicle probably died of a drug overdose.

18-year-old Douglas Reid of Ulysses was found Thursday in a wooded area about a mile west of Hillcrest Road in Bingham Township.

Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury ruled the cause of death as a probable drug overdose.

Charges Filed in Potter Co. Crash

A Galeton man has been charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence in connection with an accident in September.

20-year-old Dustin Rinehart and one of his passengers, 25-year-old Michael Stahli of Galeton, were severely injured in the accident that happened at 11:55 p.m. September 12 on Route 6 in Roulette Township.

During their investigation, police determined that Rinehart was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. He was arraigned earlier today and sent to jail in lieu of $3,500 bail.

Corrie Anderson Search Postponed

The search for a missing Ashville woman has been postponed for safety reasons, but police say the investigation into Corrie Anderson's disappearance is continuing.

They say the heavy snowfall and the onset of hunting season would put searchers at risk.

The 36-year-old mother of three was last seen October 28 at a car dealership in Jamestown. Her family called police when she didn't pick her son up from school.

Anderson's van was found two days later near the New York, Pennsylvania state line. Evidence in the van has been processed by a state police crime lab.

Governor Rendell Remembers CBK

HARRISBURG – During a memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda, Governor Edward G. Rendell today remembered Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll as a lifelong teacher, an important partner in public service, and a tireless advocate for the people of Pennsylvania.

“As the first woman elected lieutenant governor, Catherine was a noted and storied public servant,” said Governor Rendell. “Her family and her faith were driving forces in her life and, until the time of her illness, she was a passionate advocate for everyone, especially children, who she loved to teach.

“Catherine worked hard because she wanted you to know that she was for you and that she wanted to help you. She was one of the most enthusiastic, passionate, caring and compassionate people to ever serve Pennsylvania in elected office. She will be missed in this building and throughout the commonwealth.”

Governor Rendell extended condolences to Knoll’s many family and friends, who were joined by members of Congress, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, judges, officials from other states, and citizens from across Pennsylvania.

Following the Governor’s remarks, speakers, including U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, and Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Joseph B. Scarnati III each shared memories and stories of their time with Catherine Baker Knoll. They spoke of her energy on the campaign trail, her dedication to children’s education, her generosity, and of trips she made to Walter Reed Army Hospital to meet wounded veterans and express her appreciation for their sacrifice.

Hundreds of mourners attended the memorial service today to pay respects to Knoll, who died Nov. 12 after battling cancer. She was in her second term as Lieutenant Governor.

During the ceremony, Knoll’s casket was delivered to the Capitol by an Honor Guard consisting of members of the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania State Capitol Police and the Pennsylvania National Guard. She will lie in repose in the Rotunda until 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, for citizens who wish to pay final respects.

Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Harrisburg, led the invocation and benediction.

Music was provided by the Keystone Christian Education Association All-State Choir, which is made up of 150 students from across the state.

Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor, Knoll served eight distinguished years as state treasurer where she implemented and maintained the highest standards of accountability and integrity. She was particularly proud of her accomplishment in creating the TAP 529 Pennsylvania Tuition Account Program, which has since been renamed “nowU.” She also kept Pennsylvania ahead of the technology curve by building a high-tech investment center that saved Pennsylvania hundred of millions of dollars through increased efficiency and returned nearly $2 billion in interest.

As Lieutenant Governor, Knoll played a vital role in addressing a variety of issues of critical importance to the people of Pennsylvania. She was also instrumental in issues including emergency management, domestic preparedness, economic development and local government. She served as the president of the Senate and chairwoman of the Board of Pardons, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, and the Local Government Advisory Committee.

A native of Allegheny County, Knoll, 78, devoted her life to public service, first as a school teacher and business woman and later advancing issues such as finance, transportation, housing, education, environmental work, human rights, small business development, and urban and rural revitalization efforts.

Knoll’s late husband, Charles, was a U.S. Postmaster. Their four children are Charles, Mina, Albert, and Kim Eric.

On Sunday, Nov. 23, Knoll will lie in repose from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Saint Paul Cathedral, 108 N. Dithridge St., in Pittsburgh. A public Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh, at Saint Paul Cathedral at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 25. Interment will be private.

Gabler Ready, Anxious to Serve

State Rep.-elect Matt Gabler (R-Elk/Clearfield) is anxiously preparing to begin his first term in office representing the 75th Legislative District.

"I am honored and humbled by the people of the district who are sending me to Harrisburg," Gabler said. "I plan to hit the ground running as soon as I officially assume the title of state representative."

By state law, Gabler's term in office begins Dec. 1. His official swearing-in will take place on Jan. 6.

"Upon assuming my new office next month, my staff and I will able to serve our constituents full-time with their legislative needs such as driver's license and vehicle registration applications and renewals," Gabler stated. "After initially ceasing operations prematurely and directing constituents to call me directly with their concerns, our current state representative has decided to re-open his office and serve out his term."

Until district offices are opened and local phone numbers established, Gabler is asking his future constituents to call 1-866-901-2916 for help with state-related problems. They may also e-mail him at mgabler@pahousegop.com.

"I promise to do my best to address every legislative question posed to me between now and the time I take office," added Gabler.

Gabler's time is being spent with issues such as setting up his district offices and filling staff positions. He is also continuing to live up to the pledge that got him elected.

"As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, I know that any good plan of attack begins with plenty of listening before acting," Gabler commented. "Those skills are a key to what brought me to this point, and they will continue to be a hallmark of my service to Pennsylvania."

The 75th Legislative District is comprised of all of Elk County, in addition to the City of DuBois, the Borough of Troutville and the townships of Brady, Huston, Sandy and Union in Clearfield County.

Cattaraugus County Indictments

An Olean man has been indicted by a grand jury on burglary and menacing charges. The indictment says 29-year-old Benjamin Bloomfield broke into an Olean house on May 27, intentionally damaged property and intentionally placed a person in fear of physical injury by displaying a weapon and restraining the person. An arraignment date hasn't been scheduled yet.

A South Dayton man has been indicted on charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of children. The indictment says that between May of 2004 and August of 2007 in the Town of Little Valley 47-year-old Dana Reimer engaged in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child younger than 11 years old; subjected another person younger than 11 to sexual contact; and subjected someone younger than 14 years old to sexual contact. An arraignment date hasn't been set yet.

Man Sentenced for Two Arsons

The man who set fires that destroyed a ballroom at Conneaut Lake Park and damaged a church as been sentenced to three to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.7 million restitution.

Twenty-year-old Nickolas Dean Pope of Hartstown pleaded guilty to two counts of arson on August 28.

He set fire to the 164-year-old Harmonsburg Presbyterian Church on January 13, causing $180,000 in damage. He also set a February 1 fire that destroyed the 99-year-old Dreamland Ballroom at Conneaut Lake Park, causing an estimated $1.5 million in damage.

Clinton: CBK Shattered Glass Ceilings, Wanted Others To Do That

HARRISBURG -- Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. John Murtha and Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati today praised former Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll as a woman who was a pioneer in Pennsylvania politics, "a woman of steel but also a woman of compassion."

For the full story, go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Rendell: Tougher Times Ahead

Reacting to the announcement that Pennsylvania lost 7,300 more jobs in October, Governor Edward G. Rendell expressed concern that mounting losses could put a strain on families and businesses and continue to depress state revenue collections.

“The nation’s economic downturn is affecting the lives of workers across the country and here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Rendell said. “The fact that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remains well below the national rate shows that we are weathering the storm better than many states, but economists are predicting things could get worse before they get better.

“We need to remain vigilant about cutting and controlling state spending wherever possible, while we continue strategic investments that can provide immediate economic stimulus that will create jobs for hard working Pennsylvanians.

“We have already identified hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts without significant negative affect on services. This week, I directed my cabinet to look more closely at their budgets because we need to cut more. We will try to do this with as little harm as possible, but some cuts will be painful.

“Fortunately, Pennsylvania is already focusing on infrastructure investments to stimulate our economy and keep people working. Thanks to our historic infrastructure investment this year, workers are busy repairing and replacing more than 400 bridges, fixing water and sewer systems and making communities safe from floods.

“We can do more. Voters overwhelmingly approved the $400 million clean water bond referendum on Nov. 4, which will produce a significant level of new economic activity.

“In addition to using the resources approved in this year’s state budget, I continue to push for increased federal infrastructure funding that will create jobs and provide an immediate stimulus to our economy.

“Working with our federal partners we can take the steps necessary to turn the nation’s economy around,” he said.

Earlier this week, Governor Rendell met in Washington with members of President-elect Obama’s transition team and key legislative leaders to discuss the nation’s infrastructure needs.

“If we don’t act quickly, we will see our infrastructure fall further into disrepair,” the Governor said. “Now is the time to make infrastructure investments that will support tens of millions of jobs. These are good-paying jobs that put steel and concrete into the ground. They will stimulate our economy now and pay dividends for our economy and society for decades to come.”

School Bus Driver Facing Charges

A school bus driver will be charged with endangering a 10-year-old boy for intentionally braking suddenly so the boy would fall down, police said.

For the full story, go to the Beaver County Times.

Rhodes Sentenced for Baby's Death

A former Mercyhurst College college volleyball player who suffocated her baby after secretly giving birth in a campus apartment has been sentenced to nine to 18 years in prison.

Twenty-year-old Teri Rhodes, of Commerce, Mich., pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in August. She was sentenced Friday in Erie County Court.

Rhodes was a sophomore at Mercyhurst when she gave birth to the full-term baby girl on Aug. 12, 2007.

Prosecutors charged Rhodes after learning she searched the Internet for ways to kill her fetus.

Paterson's $21,000 Rug

New York State is looking at a $2 billion budget deficit – but people in the governor's mansion are looking at a $21,000 antique Turkish rug.

As Governor David Paterson was ordering state agencies to cut spending and warning of dire economic hardships, the rug was being sent to the mansion.

A spokesman with the Office of General Services says the 10-foot-by-15-foot custom-stitched rug was part of routine maintenance at the mansion.

For the full story, go to the Albany Times Union.

Man Hit By Firetruck After Accident

The driver of a car that plunged down a steep embankment off Route 33 north of Wind Gap on Thursday crawled out of the wreckage and scrambled back up to the highway, where minutes later he was struck and killed by a firetruck, police said.

A wedding ring lay on the driver's seat of his crumpled 2008 model car, and pictures of two young children were propped in the instrument cluster by the speedometer.

For the full story, go to the Allentown Morning Call.

Iowa First Lady Defies Smoking Ban

From The Associated Press:

Her husband just signed a smoking ban into law in April. Now Iowa first lady Mari Culver admits she already broke it.

The wife of Gov. Chet Culver released a statement Thursday saying she quit smoking last year but started again a few months ago and smoked in a state vehicle.

The ban outlaws smoking in most workplaces, including cars of employers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More on COLA Raises

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati told reporters that he would consider taking away the cost-of-living raises for legislators in discussions about cutting spending to offset a deepening budget deficit.

"Nothing is off the table," Scarnati said. "It's all on the table and we need to work as four caucuses and the governor to come up with a solution."

Scarnati is taking over for the late Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, who died Nov. 12 after a four-month battle with cancer. He will also take the higher salary of her office, which rises to nearly $147,000 on Jan. 1.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Could Huntling License Fee Go Up?

The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee explored the possibility of hunting license fee increases during a public hearing Wednesday, according to Committee Chairman Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks and Montgomery).

Carl Roe, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, testified that a hunting license fee increase was needed to maintain current programs to protect the Commonwealth’s wildlife. He expressed support for Senate Bill 1527, legislation sponsored by McIlhinney that would increase adult resident hunting license fees from $19 to $25 in 2009, $30 in 2012 and $35 in 2015. Roe added that cost of a license would still be the cheapest part of the hunting experience.

“Senate Bill 1527 is vital to ensure that we can continue to provide the services for our hunters and trappers and the general public,” Roe said. “I believe that the Game Commission and sportsmen of this state have come too far over the past 110 years to compromise our outstanding wildlife conservation programs.”

McIlhinney said that the increase would be the first license fee adjustment since 1999 and would support the state’s $3 billion hunting industry for the foreseeable future.

“Our sportsmen understand the need to protect and preserve our wildlife resources for future generations, and I am confident that a reasonable fee increase will still allow our hunters and trappers to participate while helping the Game Commission to deal with its financial challenges,” McIlhinney said.

The hearing included a public comment period to give sportsmen and other interested individuals the opportunity to ask questions and present their opinions on the topic. McIlhinney said that all of those who took part in the public comment portion of the hearing were supportive of a fee increase to protect the state’s wildlife resources

Peterson Comments on ANF Suit

From Congressman John Peterson:


U.S. Representative John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, Member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee – which has jurisdiction over the Forest Service and the Allegheny National Forest – issued the following statement responding to yet another baseless, fact less, frivolous lawsuit by radical environmentalists designed to destroy the economic engine of Northwestern Pennsylvania and prevent our country from producing oil and natural gas domestically:

“Today’s lawsuit filed in Federal Court by the Sierra Club and the Allegheny Defense Project – two of the most radical, misguided groups in the country – only further demonstrates their eagerness to increase dependence on foreign energy sources and ship good paying jobs overseas.

“Having represented the ANF first in Harrisburg as a state official and now in Washington as a congressman, I remain committed to a healthy environment, while at the same time ensuring mineral right owners access to the resources they rightfully own. Today’s lawsuit throws land owners’ rights out the window in an effort to bring responsible oil and gas production to a halt in the ANF.

“The only winners if this lawsuit proceeds are foreign energy producers who now supply roughly 70 percent of the energy we consume annually in the United States. The losers are the citizens, our struggling economy and workforce, U.S. energy independence and national security”

Clinton, Scarnati Among Speakers
for CBK Memorial Service

Governor Edward G. Rendell, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. John Murtha and Lt. Governor Joseph Scarnati III will address a memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda at noon on Friday, Nov. 21, to honor Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, who died Nov. 12.

Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Harrisburg, will lead the invocation and benediction.

The service will include performances by the Keystone Christian Education Association All-State Choir, which is made up of 150 students from across the state. An Honor Guard that will include representatives of the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania State Capitol Police and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard will serve as pallbearers. The program is as follows:

Performance by Keystone Christian Education Association All-State Choir
Honor Guard carries Lt. Gov. Baker Knoll’s casket to Rotunda
Invocation - Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Diocese of Harrisburg
Governor Edward G. Rendell
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York
Lt. Gov. Joseph Scarnati III
U.S. Rep. John Murtha
Choir performs
Benediction - Bishop Kevin Rhoades

The public may view the service via closed-circuit video at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg. Accommodations are available for persons with disabilities.

The service also will be carried live by the Pennsylvania Cable Network, which is distributed on more than 150 cable systems serving more than 3.3 million homes. A complete listing of PCN affiliates and network channel designations is available at www.pcntv.com.

For reasons of security and crowd control, the Capitol Rotunda will temporarily close to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. The Rotunda will reopen at 2 p.m. to allow the public to pay final respects to the Lt. Governor, who will lie in repose until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

One More Alleged Predator Caught

Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit have arrested a Luzerne County man accused of using an Internet chat room to sexually proposition what he believed was a 14-year old girl, as well as sending nude photos to the girl. The "girl" was actually an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit using the online profile of a child.

Corbett identified the defendant as Emory Earl Faux III, 22, 21 South Welles Avenue, Kingston, Luzerne County.

Corbett said that Faux, using the screen name "ttrojan12," allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent using the online profile of a 14-year old girl. During their initial chat, Faux allegedly posed as a 17-year old boy.

According to the criminal complaint, Faux asked the girl to send him a picture of herself and quickly sent her two photos during their first chat, both showing an exposed penis. Faux then allegedly asked the girl, "lets say u came home from school and I was in ur bed naked like that. wat would u do?"

Additionally, Corbett said that Faux is accused of using an instant message program to contact another undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit, posing as a 16-year old boy. During that online chat, Faux allegedly sent sexually explicit photos to what he believed was a 13-year old girl.

Faux is charged with two 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.

Faux was arrested at his home on Thursday, November 20th, by agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit, assisted by officers from the Kingston Borough Police Department.

Corbett said that Faux was preliminarily arraigned before Kingston Magisterial District Judge Paul Roberts and released on $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on November 26th.

Corbett thanked the Kingston Borough Police Department for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Corman is Appropriations Chair

The new Appropriations Committee chairman for the state Senate Republicans is Jake Corman of Centre County. The position was decided in a closed-door, secret ballot vote held Thursday to set the party's leaders for the new two-year legislative session that begins in January. The job was up for grabs because Sen. Gibson Armstrong of Lancaster County retired. Corman is in his third term. The GOP also elected Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County to a second term as floor leader.

Scarnati Re-Nominated As
Senate President Pro Tempore

State Senator Joe Scarnati of the 25th Senatorial District has been nominated by his Republican colleagues to once again be President Pro Tempore in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust that my colleagues have shown in giving me the opportunity to lead this great institution,” Scarnati stated. “Without question, I once again stand ready to accept the many challenges that lie ahead and look forward to my continued involvement in both policy matters and budget discussions.”

While it was evident that voters were not pleased with many of the initiatives taking place around the country, they did acknowledge that the Senate of Pennsylvania was moving in the right direction toward reform. With a difficult election cycle, Republicans were successful in maintaining control of this body with a 29-20 margin.

“Certainly, the General Assembly has placed reform measures at the top of the agenda, but we also worked together in an effective, efficient manner to move Pennsylvania into a better state to live, work, and raise a family,” Scarnati added. “We focused on the needs of working families, the desires of job creators, and the health and safety of our citizens.”

Scarnati stated that along with the significant reform measures, he is most proud of the restoration of fiscal sanity in the budget process. Working with the basic premise of no tax increases, no new taxes, and no excessive spending, Pennsylvania is better off than most states in the country during these difficult economic times.

“The General Assembly led by the Senate, and more specifically Senate Republicans, saw the merit in promoting sound, fiscal policies,” Scarnati said. “As we are now experiencing a revenue downfall due in large part to federal economic struggles, this objective proved to be beneficial.”

In addition, Scarnati also mentioned that the tone and civility of the Senate led to tremendous debate and ultimately successful resolutions.

“Without question, there are many differing opinions on a wide array of issues, and serious debate is essential in moving forward important initiatives,” Scarnati stated. “However, I am proud that our debates were always thoughtful and professional, but never disagreeable.”

“Once again, I want to thank my colleagues for this privilege and I look forward to working with the members to accomplish the many challenges ahead,” Scarnati concluded.”

BRMC, OGH Start Integration Work

Officials from Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital are taking the first steps toward fulfilling requirements for the integration of the two facilities to create a healthcare system to meet the needs of patients in northwest Pennsylvania and southwestern New York State.

According to BRMC President/CEO George E. Leonhardt, Steering Committee meetings have begun for the purpose of reviewing regulatory requirements and setting time frames to complete what's expected to be a nearly one-year process.

On Oct. 20, officials from both facilities announced to the media and respective hospital groups a decision by their Boards of Directors to sign a non-binding letter of intent to integrate the two not-for-profit organizations under a new parent company. This week, hospital employee work groups met for the first time to begin fact gathering in the "due diligence" process.

"We are gathering information that will be reviewed by Olean General Hospital, and visa versa, as we assess each others' strengths and weaknesses," Mr. Leonhardt explained.

The Steering Committee, comprised of members from each hospital board and community members, will work through the process with consultant Marc Voyvodich, Stroudwater Associates. Last week's meeting of the Steering Committee was held in Olean.

Mr. Leonhardt said the discussions addressed specific tasks and timelines related to due diligence, regulatory application and approval requirements, and the development of an operating plan that will serve as the blueprint for linking the two institutions from both a clinical and business standpoint upon final approval of the integration.

The operating plan is targeted for completion in the spring of 2009. From that time period until about the end of September 2009, review of the plans by various regulatory agencies in both states takes place.

"It's about a six-month process," Mr. Leonhardt said, noting that it's "business as usual" at both organizations in the meantime.

Once the regulatory review process is completed, it's expected that both organizations would be operating as the new healthcare system by Oct. 1, 2009, when officials would carry out the operating plan.

With regard to the proposed operating plan, Mr. Leonhardt said the hospital families would be an integral part of the process. "Its development will include a lot of people at the hospital as we work through each area of interest," the hospital president explained.

At the December meeting, the Steering Committee expects to review topics including clinical service lines, management, support services and administrative support elements at both institutions.

"We've just begun the process, but I can say that there is a lot of excitement and optimism," Mr. Leonhardt said. "There's a lot of energy to get started and to get this process completed."

Hospital officials have said that this locally driven and orchestrated initiative will help ensure access to vital medical care and health services for more than 150,000 residents living in the two health systems' combined service areas.

Among the goals and benefits of integration are the growth of shared services, the enhanced ability to attract and retain high-quality medical specialists, clinicians and management staff, and enhancing business stability by establishing regional healthcare services, greater purchasing power and the ability to share overhead.

Anyone with questions regarding the integration is invited to call BRMC at 814-362-8298 or log onto the form at www.brmc.com.

ADP, Employees Sue USFS

Environmental groups and U.S. Forest Service employees are suing the Forest Service over its approval of several oil and gas drilling projects in the Allegheny National Forest that they say will hurt wildlife and the environment.

The suit says the forest service approved the plans without the necessary environmental review. The suit was filed today in federal court.

The Allegheny Defense Project says gas and oil drilling has increased dramatically in the forest, and that numerous roads built to support drilling can destroy wildlife habitat and hurt recreation opportunities.

The employees are members of the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics.

The forest service says it hasn't seen the suit and can't comment.

No Cause Yet for LaScala's Fire

The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team says it can't determine yet what caused a fire that destroyed LaScala's Restaurant in Jamestown Wednesday morning.

They say it appears the fire started in the basement but the unsafe condition of the building limited their hands-on investigation.

They say nothing appears to be suspicious.

Sister Margaret to Ring Out NYSE

St. Bonaventure University will help usher in the holiday season on Wall Street when its president and a student ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., and Mark Larry, a senior finance major from Grand Island, N.Y., will ring the bell together in celebration of the university’s 150th anniversary. A live webcast of the event can be seen at www.nyse.com. CNBC’s “Closing Bell” with Maria Bartiromo also broadcasts the 4 p.m. ringing of the bell.

The Franciscan university in Western New York was founded on Oct. 4, 1858. A 15-month celebration of the sesquicentennial began March 31 and continues until the class of 2009 graduates on May 17.

Joining Sr. Margaret and Larry on the bell podium shortly before the 4 p.m. closing will be Michael Fischer and Brenda Snow, university vice presidents; alumnus William Foster; and several university trustees, including chairman John McGinley Jr.

The original signal was a gavel, but during the late 1800s, the NYSE switched to a gong to signal the day’s beginning and end. After the NYSE changed to its present location at 18 Broad St. in 1903, the gong was switched to the bell.

But it wasn’t until 1995 that the NYSE began having special guests ring the bells on a regular basis. Prior to that, ringing the bells was usually the responsibility of the exchange’s floor managers.

AKtion Club Receives Charter

The newly formed Bradford AKtion Club officially received its charter during a celebration last night at Togi's.

Kiwanis Club President Todd Peine had this message for AKtion Club President Mike Walter and the rest of the members, "With all the stuff you guys have already done, it shows you have been wanting to do things for your community; you have the ability to do things for the community. Now you have an avenue to do that."

Other AKtion Club officers are Chelsea Albright, vice president; Rose Colella, secretary; and Renee Chittester, treasurer. Board members are Tom Miller, Sheridan Phillips, Tracy Carson and Jeffrey VanScoter. Other members of the club are Jay Furman, Henny Keller, Ashley Peterson, Patty Price, Robert Tubbs, Lisa Williams and Jackie Wolfe.

Bradford Mayor Tom Riel read a proclamation declaring November 19, 2008, "AKtion Club Day" in Bradford. City Clerk John Peterson, on behalf of State Representative Marty Causer, read a resolution from the Commonwealth recognizing the AKtion Club.

Peterson said he's met most of the members of the AKtion Club over the years and, in congratulating them, said "It's been a true privilege to get to know all of you people."

Dr. Nancy Fuhrman said the AKtion Club was the vision of Kiwanis Club past president Kimberly Weinberg, but she needed a chairperson.

"Paula (Vecellio) jumped in with both feet, arms, legs, the whole bit," Fuhrman said. "She's made it fun for the AKtion Club, Kiwanis and Key Club."



Also last night, Bradford High Key Club President Austin LaRoche presented Walter with a check for half the money the Key Club raised by selling refreshments at Kiwanis Kapers. The Key Club and Evergreen Elm are co-sponsors of the AKtion Club. Dallas-Morris Drilling is the AKtion Club's corporate sponsor.

Luida Shearer, Kiwanis International AKtion Club Administrator, told the gathering that, as far as she knows, this is the first AKtion Club that's had a corporate sponsor.

"You may be making history here in Bradford, and you're to be congratulated for that," she said.

The AKtion Club has already worked on several projects -- including sprucing up Hanley Park -- and will be working with the Bradford Hospital Auxiliary on their annual fundraiser.

(Pictured, Mike Walter gives his remarks after being inducted as the AKtion Club's first president. Jay Furman shows off his AKtion Club membership certificate. Renee Chittester being pinned by Paula Vecellio as Sue Florentine and Greg Foreman from Evergreen Elm look on. ~~ Thanks Kimberly! )

COLA Raises for Lawmakers?

Pennsylvania lawmakers and judges are in line for 2.8 percent cost-of-living raises. Rank and file members of the state House and Senate will see their base pay increase to just over $78,000 starting next month. Members of leadership will get even more. The pay for county judges will be about $162,000. The increases are tied to the regional consumer price index. The same increases are due for Gov. Ed Rendell and his Cabinet secretaries. Rendell says he might suspend them as part of budgetary belt-tightening.

PennDOT's Operation Safe Holiday

HARRISBURG – With millions of motorists planning to travel for Thanksgiving, PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E., today announced that the department will launch Operation Safe Holiday to improve highway safety.

PennDOT will work with state and local police to increase traffic safety enforcement. While police will crack down on all traffic violations, increased focus will be placed on unbuckled, impaired and aggressive drivers throughout the holiday season.

“I am calling on each and every motorist on our highways to drive safely this holiday season,” Biehler said. “Although we can all be distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season, please remember these important driving tips: buckle up, slow down and never drive impaired.”

As part of Operation Safe Holiday, police will use checkpoints and roving patrols in addition to regular traffic safety patrols. Departments may also introduce BOLT operations, which is when a safety checkpoint later turns into a sobriety checkpoint at the same location.

According to PennDOT, there were 4,925 crashes resulting in 46 fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday period last year. The official driving period includes the weekends before and after the holiday.

To improve their safety on the highway, PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert. During long trips, it is a good idea to rotate drivers and take frequent breaks. Motorists should also give their full attention to the road and avoid distractions, such as cell phones.

Along with practicing these safe driving behaviors, PennDOT reminds motorists that weather and road conditions can change rapidly this time of year and motorists need to be alert. As a precaution, motorists should check the forecast before traveling and make sure their vehicles are equipped with a winter emergency kit. Enhanced information on road conditions and links to weather forecasts can be found at www.dot.state.pa.us under “Travel Information.”

Finally, PennDOT encourages motorists to use caution in work zones. While the department does not anticipate major delays due to construction, motorists may encounter minor delays for maintenance activities. The added traffic volumes may also cause delays along heavily-traveled routes.

Senate Dems Pick Leadership Team

Unanimously re-electing state Sen. Robert J. Mellow (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) to a new term as Democratic Caucus leader, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats today elected their new leadership team for the next session.

“We have outstanding leaders and are well-positioned to advance the Democratic agenda on crucial issues facing Pennsylvanians,” Mellow said. “Senate Democrats will continue our work to create good jobs during these challenging economic times, fight to give working families access to health care, and renew our efforts to cut consumer energy costs.”

First elected in 1970, Mellow has served longer than any current senator. He has been the Democratic leader since 1988. Mellow also served as Senate President Pro Tempore between 1992 and 1994.

Voting today, Democrats also re-elected Sen. Michael A. O'Pake (D-Berks) as Democratic Whip, elected Sen. Jay Costa Jr. (D-Allegheny) as Democratic Appropriations chairman, re-elected Sen. Richard A. Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset) as Democratic Policy Committee Chairman, elected Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Phila.) as Caucus Chairman, and elected Sen. Sean Logan (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) as Caucus Secretary.

Sen. Mike Stack (D-Phila.) was appointed Vice Democratic chairman of the Appropriations Committee and Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Phila.) was appointed Caucus Administrator.

O'Pake has been a member of the Senate since 1973. A former member of the state House of Representatives, he has also held the positions of Majority and Minority Caucus Chairman and Minority Caucus Secretary.

Costa was first elected to the Senate during a 1996 special election. He was re-elected to his fourth full term in November. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served five years as Register of Wills of Allegheny County.

Kasunic was elected to the Senate in 1994 following six terms in the state House of Representatives. He will be serving his sixth consecutive term as chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee.

Hughes served in the state House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994. He became a state senator on Nov. 21, 1994.

The former mayor of Monroeville, Allegheny County, Logan was first elected to the Senate in 2000.

Stack was first elected to the Senate in 2000. He also serves in the Pennsylvania National Guard with the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

Tartaglione was first elected to the Senate in 1994. She is the fifth woman in history to become a Pennsylvania state senator.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday in District Court

A Bradford man accused of assaulting his wife and threatening police officers has waived his preliminary hearing. 22-year-old Robert Girdlestone allegedly hit his wife then made threats against police officers and their families while he was being held in the Bradford Police Station. Girdlestone is free on $10,000 bail.

A Bradford man accused threatening police officers, paramedics and a doctor has waived his preliminary hearing. On November 9, paramedics were called to West Washington Street to treat 66-year-old Charles Britton, who had been found unconscious. Britton allegedly threatened to kill the paramedics and police officers, and later the doctor and other staff in the emergency room at Bradford Regional Medical Center. He also allegedly threatened to go to a police officer's home and kill him. Britton is free on unsecured bail.

A Bradford man who was allegedly drunk and shooting a gun while babysitting has waived his preliminary hearing. On November 9, police were called to State Street for a report of shots fired. They found that 51-year-old Robert Redmond was drunk to the point that he was having coordination problems, according to court records. He told police he fired the shots to scare away two males who were at the door threatening him. Redmond is in McKean County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail.

Charges against a Derrick City woman accused of leaving the scene of an accident have been bound to court. 47-year-old Barbara Arnett is accused of hitting a Harris Oil truck driven by Randy Mihalko September 28 on Williams Street then driving away. Mihalko, who was injured, told police that before Arnett drove away she said she wasn't going to jail for this. After police found her, she said she was under the influence of prescription medication at the time. She's free on her own recognizance.

Court: Church Can House Homeless

A Brookville church will be able to house homeless people after all.

The borough had said the First Apostles' Doctrine Church was violating a zoning code by allowing homeless people to stay at the parsonage.

The ACLU, on behalf of the church, filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming the borough violated the church's religious beliefs.

Today, a judge signed an order allowing the church to house up to eight homeless people and two staff members.

USPS to Issue Bob Hope Stamp

WASHINGTON, DC — Postmaster General John Potter announced today that celebrated entertainer Bob Hope will be immortalized on a First-Class commemorative stamp next spring. The stamp image will be previewed on Nov. 24 in New York City at Ellis Island.

“The Postal Service is proud to immortalize the achievements of Bob Hope,” said Potter. “He was not only one of our nation’s most revered entertainers, but he was also a true American who selflessly dedicated more than half a century of his life to entertaining our men and women serving in uniform overseas — both in war and peace.”

Bob Hope (1903-2003) enjoyed a lifetime of success on stage and in radio, television and film. He moved to America from England a hundred years ago (1908) and quickly exhibited a natural talent for making people laugh. Hope traveled around the globe performing for U.S. troops and hosted numerous highly rated TV specials.

Although Hope never officially served in the U.S. Armed Forces, he dedicated a significant part of his life to entertaining America’s men and women in uniform, starting in 1941 and continuing through Operation Desert Storm five decades later. After giving hundreds of performances overseas, he earned the nickname “G.I. Bob” and in 1997 became the first person recognized by the U.S. Congress as an “honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces.” Hope’s thousands of honors also included the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among his many friends were several U.S. presidents, with whom he often played golf for charity.

He died at his home in Toluca Lake, CA, on July 27, 2003, two months after his 100th birthday.

National High-Speed Rail Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced a bill to create new jobs by updating the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 would transform America’s outdated and underfunded passenger rail system into a world class system.

“We must continue to focus our energies on building and maintaining a strong national passenger rail system in order to ease congestion of air and highway corridors connecting high-growth markets, as well as to meet energy and environmental goals,” said Sen. Specter. “The High-Speed Rail for America Act is an investment in our nation’s infrastructure and has the potential to provide tremendous economic opportunities throughout Pennsylvania and the nation.”

“At a time when our economy desperately needs a jumpstart, we need an effective national investment that puts Americans back to work,” said Sen. Kerry. “A first-rate rail system would protect our environment, save families time and money, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and help get our economy moving again. The High-Speed Rail for America Act will help fix our crumbling infrastructure system, expand our economy, and match high-tech rail systems across the globe.”

Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Joe Lieberman (I-CT.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), cosponsored the legislation.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell both voiced their support for the high-speed rail initiative.

“This long-overdue national investment in high-speed rail would help to stimulate economic recovery while creating good jobs that cannot be outsourced,” said Gov. Rendell, one of the founding co-chairs of the Building America’s Future coalition. “Expanding our nation’s critical rail infrastructure will make our transportation network more efficient, reduce traffic pressure on our already busy interstate highways, and improve the environment.”

“Creating a national high-speed rail network is an ambitious goal, but one that gets more urgent by the day,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Investing in modern infrastructure is vital to the nation’s long-term economic and environmental health - and in the short-term, it would help put more Americans back to work. Many countries in Europe and Asia are investing in high-speed rail, and if our economy is going to remain competitive, we have to start catching up. Greater investment in our railways is a top goal of Building America's Future, the infrastructure coalition that Governors Rendell and Schwarzenegger and I created. I applaud the senators for tackling the issue head-on, and I strongly support their efforts to create the high-speed rail network our country needs.”

The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 builds upon the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 which reauthorizes Amtrak and authorizes $1.5 billion over a five-year period to finance the construction and equipment for eleven high-speed rail corridors. It provides billions of dollars in both tax-exempt and tax credit bond and provides assistance for rail projects of various speeds. The bill creates the Office of High-Speed passenger rail to oversee the development of high-speed rail and provides a consistent source of funding.

Specifically, the High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 provides $8 billion over a six-year period for tax-exempt bonds which finance high-speed rail projects which reach a speed of at least 110 miles per hour It creates a new category of tax-credit bonds – qualified rail bonds. There are two types of qualified rail bonds: super high-speed intercity rail facility bond and rail infrastructure bond. Super high-speed rail intercity facility bonds will encourage the development of true high-speed rail. The legislation provides $10 billion for these bonds over a ten-year period. This would help finance the California proposed corridor and make needed improvements to the Northeast corridor. The legislation provides $5.4 billion over a six-year period for rail infrastructure bonds. The Federal Rail Administration has already designated ten rail corridors that these bonds could help fund, including connecting the cities of the Midwest through Chicago, connecting the cities of the Northwest, connecting the major cities within Texas and Florida, and connecting all the cities up and down the East Coast.

In Case You Missed It

11/17/08 - Bfd Police Chase-down a Four Wheeler
A Bradford man was arrested Sunday night after a chase involving a four wheeler. Bradford City Police received complaints of an ATV traveling in the High and Grove Street area. Officers tried to stop the four wheeler driven by 21 year-old Greg Nichols, but he abandoned it and tried to hide in the woods. Police caught him and took him to BRMC for treatment of a leg injury. Charges are pending.

11/17/08 - Lewis Run Man Facing Indecent Assault
A Lewis Run man has been charged with indecent assault with a five year-old female. State Police say that 49 year-old Roger Grover is facing several other charges including resisting arrest, harassment and corruption of minors too. Grover was sent to McKean County jail on $25,000 bail.

11/15/08 - Three Picked Up on Drug Charges
Three more people have been arrested on drug charges in Bradford. Amanda Szelangowski and, Arnold Pond were each charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver and related offenses. Jeffrey Mackey was charged with possession of a controlled substance. The Bradford City Street Crimes Unit seized Oxycontin, Valium, a vehicle and an unspecified amount of cash during the arrests.

11/18/08 - Eldred Man Facing Numerous Charges
An Eldred man was arrested Monday afternoon after allegedly assaulting a lady at her place of employment. State Police say that 35 year-old Chester Whitcher went to the home of 32 year-old Shannon Green early Monday and harassed her. He then followed her to her workplace, assaulted her, and threatened to kill her. Whitcher is facing numerous charges including terroristic threats, harassment and stalking. He was sent to McKean County Jail on $10,000 bail

Man Found After 32 Hours

Rescuers have found an 82-year-old Pennsylvania man who got lost in the woods of a state park and spent 32 hours braving snow squalls and sub-freezing temperatures.

Charles Harrison of Mount Pocono was conscious and alert when rescuers found him shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday in the woods of Tobyhanna State Park in the Poconos.

For the full story, go to The Pocono Record.

Dupre Apologizes to Mrs. Spitzer

The prostitute at the center of the scandal that led to the resignation of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has apologized to his wife.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre tells People magazine she was stricken by the pained expression on Silda Wall Spitzer's face on March 12 as the governor left office. Her message to Mrs. Spitzer is: "I'm sorry for your pain."

Dupre says the FBI told her in early March they were investigating one of her clients. She found out which client when she recognized Spitzer on TV resigning.

Dupre says she's now in psychotherapy.

PA Senate Unique in Northeast

Republicans have controlled the Pennsylvania Senate for most of the last three decades, and now they have new bragging rights: The Senate is the last state legislative chamber in the Northeast in GOP hands.

Leading the GOP effort to keep Senate control was second-term Sen. Joe Scarnati, a former restaurateur from rural northern Pennsylvania elevated to Senate president pro tempore two years ago.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Plans for CBK Memorial Service

Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced plans for a memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda at noon on Friday, Nov. 21, to honor Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, who died Nov. 12.

The service will include tributes from public officials and performances by the Keystone Christian Education Association All-State Choir, which is made up of 150 students from across the state. An Honor Guard including representatives of the Pennsylvania State Police, State Capitol Police and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard will serve as pallbearers. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Harrisburg, will participate.

For reasons of security and crowd control, the Capitol Rotunda will temporarily close to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. During this period, visitors to the Capitol should use the East Wing entrance on Commonwealth Avenue. The Rotunda will reopen at 2 p.m. to allow the public to pay final respects to the Lt. Governor, who will lie in repose until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The public may view the memorial service via closed-circuit video at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg. Accommodations are available in the Forum Auditorium for persons with disabilities.

The service also will be carried live by the Pennsylvania Cable Network, which is distributed on more than 150 cable systems serving more than 3.3 million homes. A complete listing of PCN affiliates and network channel designations is available at www.pcntv.com.

On Sunday, Nov. 23, the Lt. Governor will lie in repose from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Saint Paul Cathedral, 108 N. Dithridge St., Pittsburgh. The public is welcome to participate in a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated by Bishop David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh, at Saint Paul Cathedral at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 25. Interment will be private.

Winners in Math Competition

Students from the Springville-Griffith Institute in Springville, N.Y., and Portville (N.Y.) Central School took the top honors at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford-Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College Mathematics Competition held last week.

Mitchell Steiner of Springville-Griffith was the overall winner. Steiner won by making the top score on a two-hour math examination administered to 85 high school students from nine New York and Pennsylvania high schools at Pitt-Bradford on Thursday.

The competition is organized jointly by the mathematics departments of Pitt-Bradford and JCC. The location of the competition alternates each year.

“The competition is a great opportunity for students to interact with students from other schools, to solve interesting math problems and to get familiarized with our campus,” said Marius Buliga, assistant professor of mathematics who organized the competition for Pitt-Bradford this year.

As overall winner, Steiner was also declared the top scorer among Division I schools. Division I schools were those with more than 500 students in grades 9 through 12.

Morgan Costanza of Portville Central (N.Y.) High School was the top scorer among the Division II schools, those with fewer than 500 students in grades 9 through 12. Both Steiner and Costanza received trophies and a $1,500 scholarship to Pitt-Bradford.




Springville-Griffith also took home the first-place team trophy for Division I. In addition to Steiner, other students on the winning team, advised by Tammy Pattison, were Krista Kellner, Andrew Krolikowski, Jake Maeder, Kelsey McCauley, Seth Runge, Jessica Santonocito, Jon Schurr, Amanda Wach and Justin Zwolski.

The team from Warren Area High School took second place in Division I, while Bradford Area High School took third place.



In Division II, Costanza led Portville Central to victory. Her teammates, advised by Barbara Wintermantel, were Laura Giberson, Brian Grosso, Brianne Starks, Alexis Jordan, Courtney Schmidt, Erica Schmidt, Devon Peace, Jessica Emick and Alex Harris.

Genesee Valley (N.Y.) Central School was the second-place Division II team, and Port Allegany Junior/Senior High School placed third.

Other individual winners in Division I were Darren Pifer, second place, Warren; Amanda Wach, third, Springville-Griffith; and Luke Kinney, fourth, Bradford.

Other individual winners in Division II were Laura Giberson, second place, Portville; Griffin Gyr, third, Genessee Valley; and Kelly Mulcahey, fourth, Port Allegany.

Signs of Financial Upturn

Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) officials focused on several bright spots on the horizon in reports given at the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, held during Tuesday's Bradford Hospital Foundation Community Relations Committee meeting.

The event was held at The Bradford Club, featuring presentations by several hospital officials and special guest Timothy J. Finan, President/CEO of Olean General Hospital (OGH).

Recently, BRMC and OGH officials announced plans to integrate to create a healthcare system to meet the needs of 150,000 patients across northwest Pennsylvania and southwest New York state.

At the annual meeting, BRMC President/CEO George Leonhardt reported on the latest steps to bring the year-long plan to completion, noting that organizational meetings and time frames are currently being set by a Steering Committee and that employees are assisting with the task of assembling necessary information during this "due diligence" and planning process to meet regulatory requirements.

"We're just at the beginning of one of our most intensive planning efforts, with the promise of the greatest potential for a positive outcome in our 120-year history," Mr. Leonhardt said following the meeting.

"Growth of shared services, building a stronger employment platform, greater potential for the best use of our economic resources – these are all intentions of integration," Mr. Leonhardt said.

Mr. Finan, who was attending his first BRMC annual meeting, echoed Mr. Leonhardt's enthusiasm for the plan. "Given all the challenges of operating hospitals in today's environment, collaboration represents the best opportunity to ensure ongoing viability," he said, adding that both CEOs recognized that the region "desperately needs quality healthcare and needs the jobs."

Calling the integration plan "a great opportunity to preserve healthcare for the community," Mr. Finan noted, "all of us in Olean look forward to partnering with Bradford, to learning from you and sharing with you."

At Tuesday's meeting, Mr. Leonhardt announced a "new growth opportunity" for the Medical Center, the establishment of Allegheny Vein & Vascular, a new Center of Excellence under the direction of Robert Tahara, M.D.

Mr. Leonhardt also expressed pride in each of the hospital's other four Centers of Excellence -- behavioral health, cancer care, cardiology and surgical services.

He noted, "We feel strongly in the potential we believe these areas hold for our future success in meeting the needs of our region."

During the meeting, Mr. Leonhardt also unveiled the hospital's new mission statement, "Caring for our community through the journey of life."

The Board of Directors this past year, he explained, adopted a new mission/vision/values statement following several months of work by employees representing numerous hospital departments.

"It exemplifies an ideal you'll see everyone work to achieve with each visit you make to our facility," Mr. Leonhardt said.

Other presentations were given during the meeting by BRMC Vice President of Human Resources Dennis Geitner, who reported on a workplace initiative to benchmark and manage labor costs; Physician/Professional Recruiter Nellie Wallace, who provided a report on new physicians during the past year; and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services Deborah Price, who updated the audience on the Emergency Department Expansion Project.

Annual reports and upcoming plans were also given by Vonda Reese, Vice President, Bradford Hospital Auxiliary. Mrs. Reese announced that planning is under way for the organization's 2009 major fundraiser, "Touching Hearts, Changing Lives," partnering with the Aktion Club, on Feb. 7, 2009, at Grace Lutheran Church Community Life Center. Further information will be available through the media. Proceeds will benefit BRMC.

Sandra McKinley, Chairman of Bradford Hospital Foundation, reported on the "Building The Future" capital campaign. After three years into a five-year "Building the Future" capital campaign, "Our $6 million goal is now at $5.1 million and growing," Mrs. McKinley said. During fiscal year 2007-08, "We have raised $1.3 million toward our goal."

Through continued support from the community and the hospital family, "We are still going strong and will reach our goal," Mrs. McKinley pledged.

This week, BRMC officials plan to release an online version of their annual report, available at www.brmc.com.

In its financial report, the Medical Center cites a reduction in losses by $1.3 million over the previous year. While officials reported a $1.7 million loss in the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the 2007-2008 figures reflected a $371,00 loss.
"We're moving in the right direction," said BRMC CFO James Tarasovitch. Among the contributing factors for the optimism, he noted, was a decrease in expenditures such as savings in goods and services through renegotiated contracts and savings in interest expense.

"We've made great strides over the previous year," Mr. Tarasovitch said. "We're doing a great job of getting closer to breaking even, even though we're facing the same obstacles in Bradford that the rest of the country is facing."

Among those, he explained, is the stock market volatility. For BRMC, it’s meant a decrease in investment income by $400,000 this year, with slight declines in donations. As reported in previous years, shortfalls created by Medicare and Medicaid payments also continue to impact the Medical Center's budget, continuing the pressure to create other ways to fund the needs.

Nationally, Medicare and Medicaid payments to U.S. hospitals last year fell over $31 billion short of the cost of care provided to hospital patients insured by those programs, according to a national hospital survey.

"We have high (Medicare and Medicaid) populations for this region," Mr. Tarasovitch said, citing a rising pressure to raise revenue through other avenues such as private insurers, the community and government programs.

A bright spot on the horizon, however, is the "potential of the integration with Olean General," he noted. "It's exactly what these two communities need, to grow together and strengthen our bottom lines."

(Photo of Leonhardt and Finan courtesy of BRMC)

UPDATE on Fatal Accident

26-year-old Ashley Susan Griffin died in a one-vehicle accident at just before 9 o'clock this morning on Hedgehog Lane.

Bradford Township police say Griffin's SUV went out of control while traveling down the hill and rounding a curve. The vehicle slid off the road and hit a large tree.

She died of injuries sustained in the crash. Her 5-year-old and 7-month-old children were treated at Bradford Regional Medical Center for minor injuries. Police were assisted by the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department, Bradford City Ambulance personnel and McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill.

Zippo Chairman of the Board George Duke issued the following statement today about the loss of Greg and Cherie Booth’s daughter, Ashley Griffin:

“The company and employees are saddened by this tragic circumstance. We extend our deepest sympathies to Greg, Cherie and the entire Booth family.”

Young's Statement on NY Budget

Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders failed to reach any agreement this afternoon on cutting $2 billion from the current state budget after an hour-long, often heated meeting at the state Capitol.

State Senator Cathy Young released this statement:

“It’s disappointing that the Governor wouldn’t send us a bill, when the Senate was prepared to vote in Extraordinary Session.

“There is no question that we need to make cuts, but they have to be done in a rational, responsible and comprehensive manner.”

“A major problem with the Governor's proposal is that he shifts state costs onto the backs of local property taxpayers, when their backs already are breaking.”

“Hurting kids by cutting schools midyear, and hurting patient care by slashing hospitals and nursing homes already facing deficits are not solutions – it is a disaster.”

“We in the Senate have offered, and will continue to offer, alternative solutions that address the short term and long term needs of our State.”

“We are asking the Governor to lead by working with us on a comprehensive plan that covers the next 16 months. It makes much more sense to look at the whole picture rather than pieces.”

Lawmakers and Paterson agreed to wait until Paterson releases his 2009-10 budget on Dec. 16 to consider any cuts to the current fiscal year, which runs until March 31.

State Approves New Trail Money

Money to pay for preliminary work on Bradford's Community Parks Trail has been approved by the state.

The city will receive $175,000 for the planning work, which will include drawings, specifications and related documents to get ready for bidding and construction of about 2.9 miles of trail starting at the Richard E. McDowell Community Trail and connecting to both Callahan and Hanley parks.

Funding for the grants comes from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, Growing Greener I and II and the ATV/Snowmobile Fund.

$25,000 is also going to a study that will look into the feasibility of a trail system connecting the Borough of Smethport and Keating Township, and to develop a master plan for a 325-acre county-owned park and 35-acre park, both in Keating Township.

Carucci Co-Chair of
NYCOM Committee

Olean Mayor David Carucci has been named co-chairman of the New York Conference of Mayors' Legislative Committee.

In announcing Carucci's appointment, the president of the New York Conference of Mayors said Carucci has fought new tax burdens on local taxpayers.

Carucci has announced a new web site – stopthetaxshift.org – which tracks the impact of state budget cuts and unfunded state mandates on local taxpayers.

HAZMAT Team Called to Crash Site

Route 60 in the Town of Charlotte was closed for just over two hours earlier today when a tractor-trailer went out of control due to wintry road conditions and blocked both lanes of traffic.

A HAZMAT team was also called in because the rig was leaking diesel fuel.

Sheriff's deputies say the driver, 50-year-old Kevin McKelvey of Rockaway Park, New York, was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown with minor injuries.

No charges have been filed.

Sherlock Found Guilty of Murder

A Corry man has been convicted of third-degree murder in the shooting death of an accused child molester.

The jury also found 34-year-old Terry Sherlock guilty of five of six other charges.

Sherlock was accused of killing 28-year-old Kenneth Himrod, 28, at the victim's trailer home in Union Township on Nov. 20. Himrod had been accused of molesting Sherlock's 10-year-old-son.

During the trial, the defense argued that Sherlock killed Himrod in a rage, and is guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The prosecution argued that Sherlock planned to kill Himrod.

Sherlock will be sentenced Jan. 15.

Blood Bank Anniversary Thursday

The Community Blood Bank became the exclusive supplier of blood and blood products to Bradford Regional Medical Center in November 1999. Since then, the CBB has helped save thousands of lives and has saved BRMC over $2 million in related blood costs. The CBB is hoping to lay in a safe blood supply before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Community Blood Bank is celebrating this Thursday from 3:30pm to 7:30pm at its fixed site at Union Square (24 Davis St) in Bradford. One lucky donor will win a rocking chair (worth $200) from Between Four Walls! Other gifts will include a $25 gas card, a gift card from Tops and more! There will also be pizza from Tasta Pizza and treats from John Williams.

Frank Williams will be broadcasting live from the blood bank from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on 100.1 The HERO.

"It's a birthday party!" said Dan Desrochers, Director of Marketing at the CBB. "And we are celebrating our success by treating our donors to a great time while they save a life. We changed our tag line to Our Donors Save Lives because without them we can't do anything. So come on down and let us thank you!"

All donors are strongly encouraged to donate. The Community Blood Bank is located at 24 Davis Street in Union Square across from the Sports Café in the BRMC Laboratory. Hours are on Thursday are 3:30pm to 7:30pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. No appointment is necessary. All donors are strongly encouraged to donate. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds and be in generally good health. Photo ID is required.

Fatal Accident on Hedgehog Lane

McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill has confirmed to WESB and The HERO that there was a fatal accident on Hedgehog Lane this morning. The vehicle went out of control and hit a tree, killing the driver. The person's name has not been officially released yet, pending notification of family members.

New BRMC 'Center of Excellence'

By George Nianiatus
Senior Writer, Communications Department


Because of the ever-increasing amount of state-of-the-art vein, vascular and endovascular surgery being performed at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC), the hospital has designated Allegheny Vein & Vascular as its latest Center of Excellence.

Allegheny Vein & Vascular, located on the third floor of BRMC’s Outpatient Services Center, is led by Robert W. Tahara, M.D., board-certified by the American Board of Surgery, who has become an innovations leader in vein and vascular surgery.

“For the past six years, Dr. Tahara has been bringing revolutionary procedures such as arterial stenting, endovasular aneurysm repair, and most recently the VNUS Closure procedure to this region. These are surgical procedures that are normally available only in metropolitan areas,” says BRMC President/CEO George E. Leonhardt.

“Dr. Tahara has developed an unparalleled expertise and reputation in vascular surgery both throughout the region and well beyond. This has lead BRMC to designate his hospital practice as our newest Center for Excellence,” the BRMC president says.

Furthermore, “Our vascular surgery program is locally conceived but nationally recognized for not only the number of procedures we perform annually but the cutting-edge technology which is used,” Mr. Leonhardt notes.

Dr. Tahara, BRMC’s director of Peripheral Interventions, says, “Allegheny Vein & Vascular is a newly dedicated Center of Excellence which will be able to focus intensively on vascular disease.”

The vascular system is the body’s network of blood vessels. It includes the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart. Problems of the vascular system are common and can often be serious, threatening either life or limb, the surgeon says.

“Our broad experience and the cutting-edge technology we use place us among the leaders in the country regarding many of the vein and vascular procedures we perform,” Dr. Tahara says.

Among the many vascular and endovascular surgeries Dr. Tahara performs, he is the regional leader in what’s called the VNUS Closure procedure. The VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that treats varicose veins and their underlying cause, venous reflux, with little or no pain. VNUS Closure patients can walk away from the vein procedure and be back to everyday activities -- either at home or work -- typically within a day.

“We’re averaging approximately 400 VNUS Closure procedures annually. This is among the highest number in the country for a single surgeon -- no matter what the hospital size,” says Dr. Tahara.

Because of his expertise with this procedure and his growing teaching reputation, he was recently selected to the faculty for the national VNUS Total Vein Care Course where he will instruct other physicians in advanced vein care procedures. In the coming months, Allegheny Vein & Vascular will be making another announcement which will increase its ability to perform a greater number of vascular surgeries, Mr. Leonhardt adds.

“I’m very excited about what we’re developing at Bradford Regional in terms of enhanced capabilities to improve the health of this community and well beyond,” BRMC’s president says.

In 2002, Dr. Tahara joined BRMC’s medical staff. Within the first six months, he began using stents rather than vein grafting to treat serious blockages in patients' leg arteries. In 2003, he performed BRMC’s first renal stent procedure, and shortly afterwards began treating peripheral artery aneurysms with endovascular covered stent grafts. In April 2004, Dr. Tahara began using the then-newly FDA-approved endovascular surgery technique at BRMC called CryoPlasty. The technique was developed to bring relief to those who suffer from peripheral vascular disease (PVD), a narrowing or blockage of the blood flow to arteries in the leg.

Just a few months later, Dr. Tahara was credited with first using the new AngioJet (R) Thrombectomy System at BRMC, a minimally invasive treatment for patients with blood clots in their extremities. In 2005, Dr Tahara was the first physician in the United States to use the then-newly approved Neovasc Metricath system for clinical cases. The Metricath system uses a novel balloon technology to measure blood vessels to assist with accurate sizing of stents and balloons used to open blocked peripheral arteries. In 2007, Dr Tahara brought endovascular aortic aneurysm repair to Bradford Regional, using covered stent grafts, miniature incisions, and an overnight stay to repair aortic aneurysms instead of the traditional open surgery requiring large incisions and prolonged hospital stays. Previously, such new technologies were only available in larger urban settings.

“The patients we’ve already helped are profoundly grateful that we’ve made their care, treatment and recovery easier,” Dr. Tahara says.

In considering BRMC’s future as the region’s leader in peripheral interventions, Dr. Tahara says Bradford Regional’s vision will continue to expand.

“They’ve shown a strong commitment to the level of quality that we are already recognized for and continue to build upon. With the advanced training of our staff, the angio suite endovascular team, up-to-date facilities and advanced technology, we already have a winning combination,” the surgeon notes.

The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native received his medical degree with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He then was on active duty with the U.S. Navy as a Diving Medical Officer supporting U.S. Naval Special Operations. Following his release from the military, he then served as Chief Resident in Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

For further information about any surgical or diagnostic procedures Dr. Tahara performs, his office can be reached by calling 814-368-8490 or 1-866-959-VEIN. Online information can be found at www.brmc.com and also www.alleghenyvein.com.