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Saturday, December 13, 2008

PGC Adds Coyote to Program

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that coyotes will become legal game under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP) effective Saturday, Dec. 20.

The addition, which was given final approval by the Board of Game Commissioners at its Oct. 24 meeting, is slated to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Commonwealth’s official compendium of regulatory actions, which is the final step required for the change to take effect.

Roe noted that the logic behind the MYHP is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield.

“This program paves the way for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in actual hunting while afield with mentoring adults,” Roe said. “The program accommodates hands-on use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation that will help assure hunting’s future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated mentors.”

When first introduced in the 2006-07 license year, the species identified as legal game were woodchucks (groundhogs), squirrels and spring gobbler. In the 2007-08 license year, the Board approved the addition of antlered deer.

According to the agency’s annual Game-Take Surveys, participation in the MYHP has increased in terms of adult mentors and youths. In 2006, the first year of the program, 43,780 youths were mentored by 32,913 adults. That year, the mentored youths harvested 52,788 squirrels and 36,351 woodchucks. In 2007, the number of mentored youth grew to 58,883, and there were 51,141 adult mentors. That year, mentored youths harvested 61,160 squirrels, 52,114 groundhogs, 5,199 antlered deer and 3,496 spring gobblers.

Under the program, a mentor is defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who will serve as a guide to a youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting, learning firearms or hunter safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth is identified as an unlicensed individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related activities.

The regulations require the mentor-to-mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses only one sporting arm when hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor until the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, when the youth may take possession of the sporting arm and be within arm’s length of the mentor at all times.

Those youths participating in the MYHP are required to follow the same antler restrictions as a junior license holder, which is one antler of three or more inches in length or one antler with at least two points. The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any antlered deer or spring gobbler taken by making and attaching a tag that contains his or her name, address, date, WMU, township, and county where it was taken, as well as the number of antlers, if it was a deer harvested. The youth must submit a harvest report card, which is available on page 33 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, within five days for any antlered deer or spring gobbler he or she takes.

For more information on the program, visit the Game Commission’s website www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on “Mentored Youth FAQs” in “Quick Clicks” box in the upper right corner of the homepage. Information also is included on page 15 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, and a sample harvest tag can be found on page 33 of the Digest.

Bailey's Beads Taking Submissions

Baily’s Beads, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s award-winning literary magazine, is now accepting writing submissions through Feb. 20.

The magazine accepts poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, memoir, travel writing, personal essays, plays and translations. Written work should have a cover sheet with the author’s name and contact information, but the author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript.

Poetry should be single spaced, while prose should be double spaced. Writers may submit up to 20 pages. Submissions may be dropped off at 103 Blaisdell Hall or mailed to Baily’s Beads, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, Pa., 16701.

Mandy Colosimo, a writing major from Bradford, will be the editor of the next issue. Dr. Nancy McCabe, associate professor of writing, serves as the magazine’s advisor.

Last year the magazine earned a Gold Medalist Award from Columbia University’s press association for content, organization and design, earning 993 out of a possible 1,000 points. The same issue also won a Silver Crown Award, placing it among the top 12 college magazines in the country.

It was not the magazine’s first award: in 2006, it earned a Silver Medalist Award, and in 2005 it received its first Gold Medalist Award from Columbia.

Casey Wants PA Pretzels in DC

After learning that Senate Restaurants no longer offer Snyder’s Pretzels and Utz Potato Chips both of Hanover Township in York County, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to Acting Director of Senate Food Services, Dan Cassil, and General Manager of Restaurant Associates for the United States Senate, Andrew Lisi, urging them to reconsider the decision.

“The fact that these products were on the shelves for more than a decade is a testament to their universal appeal,” wrote Senator Casey. “If the complaints my office has received are any indication, numerous patrons are unhappy with your decision. As you continue the management transition of Senate Restaurants operations, I urge you to reconsider any action that will fundamentally restrict access to products that your customers have come to enjoy.”

Due to new management, Senate Restaurants no longer offer Snyder’s Pretzels and Utz Potato Chips. Utz Quality Foods has been a Pennsylvania staple for almost 90 years and still remains family-owned. Snyder’s of Hanover has been baking savory snacks for a century and continues to be “America’s favorite pretzel.”

A copy of the letter follows:

Dear Mr. Cassil and Mr. Lisi:

It has unfortunately come to my attention that under the new management of Restaurant Associates, Senate Restaurants no longer offer Snyder’s Pretzels and Utz Potato Chips, both of Hanover Borough in York County, Pennsylvania. I am disappointed in the decision to deny patrons of the Senate Restaurants some of Pennsylvania’s best snack foods and strongly urge you to reconsider your decision.

Since 1996, Senators, staffers and visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy these snack products from my home state of Pennsylvania. The fact that these products were on the shelves for more than a decade is a testament to their universal appeal. If the complaints my office has received are any indication, numerous patrons are unhappy with your decision. As you continue the management transition of Senate Restaurants operations, I urge you to reconsider any action that will fundamentally restrict access to products that your customers have come to enjoy.

Utz Quality Foods has been a Pennsylvania staple for almost 90 years and still remains family-owned. Snyder’s of Hanover has been baking savory snacks for a century and continues to be “America’s favorite pretzel.” I urge you to put these fine Pennsylvania products back on the shelves of the Senate Restaurants.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

CC:The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Early Voting Bill to be Introduced

State Representative Scott Conklin plans to introduce legislation that would allow Pennsylvania voters to cast ballots in advance of Election Day.

Conklin says early voting presents many benefits to voters, including reducing lines on Election Day and reducing the impact of variables such as the weather or work schedules on voter participation.

Under Conklin's plan, eligible voters would be able to vote in person at their county board of elections, or in other locations as the board might approve, beginning 10 days prior to Election Day.

Fire Cause May Never Be Known

Fire investigators say they may never be able to determine the cause of a blaze that killed two children in Olean last Sunday.

They say the South Second Street house was so badly damaged that clues to what started the blaze are nearly impossible to find, although they are continuing their investigation.

18-month-old Jamar Gayton and 3-year-old Aubriana Gayton died in the fire. Their father, Cecil, is still in the burn unit at ECMC after trying to rescue the children. He was able to rescue his third child, 4-year-old Raemont.

The Gayton Relief Fund has been set up at Community Bank. Donations of food, clothing and Christmas presents may be dropped off at Mayor David Carucci's office.

SBU Prof Pens Book on Argentina

Joel Horowitz, Ph.D., a noted scholar on Argentina and professor of history at St. Bonaventure University, has written a new book about Argentina’s government in the early 20th century.

“Argentina’s Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930” examines democracy’s first appearance in a country that appeared to satisfy all the criteria that political development theorists of the 1950s and 1960s identified as crucial. This experiment lasted in Argentina from 1916 to 1930, when it ended in a military coup that left a troubled political legacy for decades to come.

“This book sheds new light on a crucial chapter in the struggle for democracy in Argentina. Drawing on approaches from political and labor history, Horowitz’s study examines the complex negotiations between party leaders, state officials and working people that shaped public life during the heyday of Radical Party rule,” said Eduardo Elena, history professor at the University of Miami. “In the process, it questions familiar assumptions regarding cronyism and popular politics associated with the Argentine republic in the early 20th century.”

Horowitz, who spent more than 15 years working on the book, has studied Argentina’s government and society since he was in graduate school more than 30 years ago.

“It is intriguing to try to understand how a democracy works or, in fact, fails,” Horowitz said. “It is usually assumed in the United States that all you need to do is have elections and there will be a democracy that works. Unfortunately, sometimes it fails and it is important to try to discover why.”

Horowitz challenges previous interpretations that emphasize the role of clientelism and patronage. He argues that they fail to account fully for the Radical Party government’s ability to mobilize widespread popular support. Horowitz compares the administrations of Hipólito Yrigoyen and Marcelo T. de Alvear he shows how much depended on the image Yrigoyen managed to create for himself: a secular savior who cared deeply about the less fortunate and the embodiment of the nation.

Later successes and failures of Argentine democracy, from Juan Perón through the present, cannot be fully understood without knowing the story of the Radical Party in this earlier period.

Published by Penn State University Press, the book will be released in January.

Formerly a contributing editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, which is prepared by the Library of Congress, Horowitz has been a member of the St. Bonaventure faculty since 1989. He was promoted to full professor in 1999. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Round 4 Chess League Results

In round 4 chess league action at School Street Elementary, the Lang Surveying Team, league champion last year, was slaughtered by the Northwest Savings Bank Team. Hamlin Bank battled back after a feeble third round attempt and scored powerfully against Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair. Hamlin Bank and Lang Surveying are now tied for first overall. The Tasta Pizza Team remains in third place with Northwest Savings Bank trailing by only half a point.

In the JV division, the field has narrowed considerably for top challengers. Only Leah Swineford, captain for Tasta Pizza, and Mitchell Forbes, captain for Hamlin Bank, remain undefeated in league competition.

In the varsity section, the Parkview Super Market Team retains possession of first place followed by Ed Shults Toyota and Bradford Window’s teams, who are tied for second. Dr. Laroche’s team, Dr. Gonzalez’ team, and Dexter’s Service Center’s team, and are only half a point behind.

Vying for first place individual in the varsity division are Tamara Ferguson, captain for Smith’s Fine Jewelry; Mike Jones, captain of the Dr. Gonzalez team; Rob Ferguson, captain for Ed Shults Toyota; Todd Hennard, captain of the Bradford Window team; Greg Henry, captain for the Dr. Laroche team; and Bob Ferguson, captain for Parkview Super Market.

UPB's SNO Donates Presents

Charlotte Beimel, a freshman nursing student from St. Marys wraps gifts for area children and senior citizens.
(Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford nursing students have enjoyed giving $750 in gifts to area seniors and children this holiday season, including new games for the residents of Chapel Ridge in Bradford and presents for needy children, seniors and adults.

Members of the Student Nurse Organization raised money this fall by selling candles. As part of Pitt-Bradford’s Make a Difference Day activities in October, members visited Chapel Ridge to play games with residents and were surprised to find few choices.

Since they had enjoyed playing games with the residents, they used $250 of their earnings to purchase games for Chapel Ridge and wrapped them and delivered them for opening on Christmas morning.

“We here at Chapel Ridge were just so pleased that the Student Nurse Organization remembered us at this holiday time,” said Greg Ulyan, administrator. “When the students came in with those gifts, everybody’s eyes were just popping. The whole tree’s just full.”

Ulyan said the games will be well-used with the residents, and that they are looking forward to the student nurses returning to play games with them.

Members also chose to spend $500 filling gift wishes for children, adults and seniors listed on various tag trees in Bradford, Kane and St. Marys. Members also shopped for, wrapped and delivered these gifts to the ELF (Era’s Less Fortunate) Fund, Salvation Army, YWCA and various churches.

Earlier in the semester, the Student Nurse Organization held a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit The Friendship Table, St. Bernard Parish and the YWCA food pantry.

The organization is planning events for the spring, including a “SNO-ball” at the Bradford Nursing Pavilion in February.

Understanding Diabetes

Priya Mohanty, M.D., a member of the Olean Medical Group who specializes in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, gives a presentation Friday during a “Diabetes 2008” seminar at Bradford Area Public Library.
(Photo Courtesy of BRMC)

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department


Diabetes is a metabolic disease, rife with potential life-threatening complications, that shows no signs of decreasing in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.

This is why those with pre-diabetes, diabetes and at-risk individuals need to learn about the disease, be aware of possible telltale symptoms and undergo screenings. Also, it’s critical of those diagnosed with the disease to follow their physician’s treatment advice and get help from diabetes educators who can set them on the right course to make necessary lifestyle and dietary changes.

During a “Diabetes 2008” seminar, held Friday at the Bradford Area Public Library, more than 30 individuals learned about the disease, symptoms and treatment methods from Priya Mohanty, M.D., a member of the Olean Medical Group who specializes in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism. She also has authored and co-authored a variety of publications about diabetes.

The seminar was sponsored by the McKean County Diabetes Task Force, of which Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) is a member. The physician said, “Diabetes is a metabolic disease resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.”

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy that’s needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetic and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles, Dr. Mohanty said.

In the U.S., nearly 21 million children and adults, or about 8 percent of the population, have diabetes according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she said. But the incidence of diabetes is likely to increase. “By the year 2030, estimates call for a 70 percent increase in diabetes,” the physician said.

It’s vital to understand the disease and the complications of diabetes that can be a major cause of death, Dr. Mohanty said. In order to determine whether or not a person has pre-diabetes or diabetes, healthcare providers conduct a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Here’s a look at the four major types of diabetes:
~~ Type 1 diabetes: Results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, the hormone that unlocks the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10 percent of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes;
~~Type 2 diabetes: Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes;
~~Gestational diabetes: Immediately after pregnancy, 5-10 percent of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually the type 2 form; and
~~ Pre-diabetes: This is a condition that results when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Although the causes of diabetes are not known, the contributing factors are genetics, environmental causes, obesity, lack of exercise, pancreas disease and medications, Dr. Mohanty said.

Getting control of diabetes is crucial. Complications from unmanaged diabetes can include blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs and nervous system disorders, she said.

“Those treated have less chance of complications,” the physician said.

Additionally, managing the disease means regularly monitoring blood pressure as well.

The physician also talked about at-risk individuals who should be screened for diabetes. They include: those with a family history; signs of insulin resistance; gestational diabetes; age 40 and older; being overweight, with a 40-inch waist for men and 35-inch waist for women; high blood pressure; and a fasting glucose reading of more than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/DL).

Treating diabetes can include several measures, including insulin and other possible medications. Dr. Mohanty said. It also can require lifestyle modifications that include regular exercise each week, undergoing medical nutrition therapy and also eating a healthier diet that focuses more on fruits and vegetables and less on carbohydrates and fat.

“To control diabetes you need to have a team that includes a physician and diabetes educators so you can learn to self-manage the disease,” she said.

"We're committed to helping our patients manage their lives through education and improve their health through better management of their individual situations," said Stacia Nolder, RN, CDE, CPT, program coordinator of BRMC's Center for Diabetes. "The role of the patient today is much more expansive than in the past, and gives individuals greater control over their treatment options, leading to better overall health."

The seminar was sponsored by the McKean County Diabetes Task Force, along with BRMC, its members include BRMC’s Center for Diabetes & Nutritional Education, Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems, Community Nurses Inc., McKean County Collaborative Board and the Pennsylvania Health Department.

Healthcare professionals, drug representatives and vendors had displays at the seminar. They included the Center for Diabetes, BRMC, Community Nurses Inc., Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

Also at the seminar, free flu shots and pneumonococcal vaccines were offered to diabetics and their family members.

The Center for Diabetes, located at 222 W. Washington St. in Bradford, provides diabetes self-management training, insulin pump education, medication training and medical nutrition therapy. The program is staffed with nurses and dietitians. For more information, call the Center for Diabetes at 814-362-8717. The program is accredited by the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bradford Bank Not Being Sold

National City Bank in Bradford will not be one of the 61 branches PNC Financial Services must sell before finishing the deal to acquire National City.

A PNC spokesman said earlier in the day that transfers of the branches will take place shortly before or after the Pittsburgh-based bank closes on its deal to acquire Cleveland-based National City.

The branches to be sold include 50 in the Pittsburgh area, six in Erie County, four in Crawford county and one in Warren county.

Customers and accounts of the affected branches will be transferred to whomever acquires those branches.

Crosby's/Tim Hortons:
Grand Opening Friday Morning

The new Crosby's/Tim Hortons officially opens on Friday, but some people got a sneak peak of the new store Thursday evening.

Speaking to a crowd of local dignitaries, store associates and their families, Doug Galli, vice preisent and general manager of Reid Stores Inc. said the company is "very excited about this relationship that Crosby's and Tim Hortons are about to embark upon. We hope this is the beginning of a great relationship."

Galli praised the associates, vendors, contractors and others involved in getting the store ready to open on the target date that was set four months ago.

As for what everyone accomplished within the last couple of days, he said, "all the work to shut down a store (and) in two days, empty it, tear it down and a few days later have it up and running … it was a Herculean effort."



Galli said this is the largest effort Reid Stores has ever undertaken. Once the Ransomville, New York, store is open, they will have 31 locations.

He also pointed out that "Crosby's" is the new name. (Note from Anne: That means it's not Crosby Mini Mart or Crosby Marts anymore. Note to self: Remember that when recording commercials. "Crosby's -- There's one near you.")



The Foster Brook location is the first to have the new look and the new logo.

Galli also thanked previous owners Jim O'Mara and Gayle Bauer.

"They laid a very solid foundation with the Crosby stores in Bradford that allowed us to build upon that," Galli said. "They've been a great friend and great partner, and helped me learn all there is to know about Bradford … I feel like it's a second home."


A ribbon cutting ceremony will mark the official grand opening at 9 a.m. Friday. The Morning Buzz will be broadcasting live from the grand opening.

(Hi Doug!)

Rep.-Elect Thompson Names Staff

Bellefonte, PA – Congressman-Elect Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Howard, announced today that he has hired Jordan Clark to serve as his Chief of Staff and Peter Winkler to serve as his District Director. Jordan will be based in Thompson’s Washington Office, while Peter will run the district operations from offices in Bellefonte, Pa. and Titusville, Pa.

“Having worked with Jordan and Peter in various capacities over the years, I have come to respect their judgment, work ethic and extensive knowledge of the Fifth District,” said Thompson. “As a newly elected Member of Congress, I have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish on behalf of the constituents and could not think of two more qualified professionals to assist me in that effort.

“Jordan brings a wealth of experience to the table. With strong Pennsylvania roots, Jordan has served as Chief of Staff to several Members’ of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, was a high level official at the Department of Energy under President Reagan, and has served in senior leadership positions at a host of not-for-profit organizations in Washington.

"As a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, Jordan is acutely aware of the needs and challenges facing our men and women in uniform, Is an expert in energy policy, and brings an insight and understanding to the job that will serve the constituents of this district to the highest degree.”

Thompson’s Washington office will open on January 6, 2009, and will be located in Room 124 of the Cannon House Office Building.

“Representing the largest, most rural district in Pennsylvania, I am committed to working with county, township, and borough governments to legislate and advocate on their behalf in Washington. My district staff, led by Peter Winkler, will be extremely active and visible in all 17 counties that represent the Fifth District. Peter understands this district better than anyone, and has a solid reputation as someone who gets the job done.”

Peter currently serves as Representative Peterson's District Director, hails from Franklin, Pennsylvania and has been active in Pennsylvania politics for nearly three decades. He received a B.A. in English and a MSA in Institutional Administration in from the University of Notre Dame and holds professional certifications from the University of Pittsburgh and Florida State University.

"The team that I have assembled represents a strong cross section of experience, community involvement, and knowledge that will allow for a seamless transition as I am sworn into office. My team will be ready to hit the ground running on day one and will continue to provide the first rate constituent service that they have become accustomed to over the past 12 years,” concluded Thompson.

Dr. Klausner Presents Paper

Dr. Michael Klausner, associate professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, presented a paper at the Pennsylvania Sociological Society’s conference held in Harrisburg last month.

Klausner’s paper, titled “Environmental Racism and Classism: Sociological Perspectives,” dealt with the nature, prevalence and responses to environmental racism and classism.

Environmental racism and classism is the disproportionate siting of various kinds of facilities, including toxic waste dumps, oil, lead, chemical refineries and other structures in areas populated primarily by members of minority groups (mainly African Americans) and those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale.

The phenomenon also refers to the differential enforcement of environmental laws both in specific communities and in the workplace. A variety of studies have indicated that environmental racism and classism in one form or another has and still exists in many communities in the United States. In addition to negatively affecting the health of victims, environmental racism and classism also results in reinforcing the adversarial relationship that exists among different segments of society.

Klausner’s paper also discussed why the nature of the negative effects of toxic pollutants makes it difficult, at times, but not impossible, to show causal relationships between the pollutants and disease. He also addressed reasons for the existence of environmental racism and classism, including the role that industry lobbying and deception play in sustaining the phenomenon. Responses to environmental racism and pollution by those most affected were dealt with, including the emergence of the environmental justice movement and popular epidemiology.

Klausner teaches a variety of sociology classes. He spends his summers in New York City, where he is involved tutoring homeless children with New York Cares.

Money for Rail Freight Programs

Governor Ed Rendell has announced a $30 million investment in PennDOT's Rail Freight programs, and part of that money is going to Elk and Warren counties.

In Elk County, Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad will receive $1.5 million to connect the Allegheny & Eastern and the Buffalo & Pittsburgh main lines in Johnsonburg to bypass the Johnsonburg Yard for thru trains.

“Rail freight is a vital link in the economy of our region and the commonwealth, and this grant will help improve the timely delivery of goods, which is critical in today’s marketplace,” said Senator Joe Scarnati. “Rail is not only a celebrated part of our history, it’s a key component of our region’s future, and to remain competitive it is important that the rail lines continue to improve to serve 21st century needs.”

In Warren County, Elkhorn Propane will get $215,000 for the construction of new siding off the Allegheny & Eastern main line for transloading natural gas liquids produced by Elkhorn.

And in Armstrong, Tioga and Warren counties, D&I Silica will receive $700,000 to build two new transloading facilities and upgrade one existing facility to transload silica sand from rail cars to trucks for local gas well production.

Paterson to Decide on Cig Tax Bill

New York Governor David Paterson has 10 day to either sign or veto a bill requiring collection of taxes on sales of cigarettes by Indian retailers to non-Indians.

Paterson asked the Assembly to hold onto the bill since its final passage in August so he would have more time to try to negotiate a resolution to the tax impasse with the Indians.

Last week, Paterson met with Seneca Nation leaders but no deals came out of that meeting.

The bill would make it illegal for tobacco companies to supply wholesalers that ship cigarettes to retailers that sell tax-free. It follows a bill previously passed, but not enforced by the Paterson or Spitzer administrations, to collect the taxes at the wholesale level.

Paterson has said he wants to collect the tax, but believes forcing the issue would only result in litigation, more delays.

Casey Honors More Fallen Troops

Remarks of U.S. Senator Bob Casey

As Prepared

December 10, 2008


Yesterday, I came before the Senate to pay tribute to Pennsylvanians who gave, as Lincoln said, “the last full measure of devotion” in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Therefore, today, I would like to honor the men and women of Pennsylvania who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. This struggle began in the weeks following the gravest terrorist attack on American soil – and it was a direct response to eliminate the sanctuary of those who plotted the horrific events of 9/11. The men and women who have served in Afghanistan have faced extreme danger, but have persevered with a can-do spirit. Our men and women of the United States Armed Forces are in a class all their own. And, like their brothers and sisters serving in Iraq, they mourn the sacrifices of their own.


So here in the Senate, I would also like to enter into the Congressional Record the names of those twenty five Pennsylvania heroes who may have fallen in the battles of Afghanistan, but have only risen in our appreciation for their service and sacrifice:

Chief Warrant Officer Fourth Class Michael Slebodnik of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Private First Class Michael Dinterman of Littlestown, Pennsylvania

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Berrettini of Wilcox, Pennsylvania

Specialist Jonathan L. Luscher of Scranton, Pennsylvania

Specialist Derek Holland of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania

Private Second Class Matthew Brown of Zelienople, Pennsylvania

First Lieutenant Jeffrey Deprimo of Pittston, Pennsylvania

Second Lieutenant Michael Girdano of Apollo, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Douglas Bull of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant Troy Ezernack of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Petty Officer Third Class John Fralish of New Kingstown, Pennsylvania

Captain Bryan Willard of Hummelsown, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Jonathan McColley of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Sergeant James Fordyce of Newton Square, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Brett Hershey of State College, Pennsylvania

Private First Class James Dillon Jr. of Grove City, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant Paul Sweeney of Lakeville, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Christopher Geiger of Allentown, Pennsylvania

Sergeant First Class Scott Ball of Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Jan Argonish of Peckville, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant Patrick Kutschbach of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania

Captain David Boris of Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Master Sergeant Arthur Lilley of Smithfield, Pennsylvania

First Sergeant Christopher Rafferty of Brownsville, Pennsylvania

Master Sergeant Thomas Maholic Bradford, Pennsylvania

To the families of these fallen heroes, know that your son or daughter will be forever remembered and appreciated. Every time a child is able to go to school without fear they are appreciated. Every time a graduate looks positively toward their future, they are appreciated. Their response to the ultimate call to service ensures that each of us may live in freedom. As Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

During this holiday season, when thoughts of our families and loved ones are on all of our minds, I want to express my condolences and gratitude to those families who loved and lost those dear to them or those whose loved ones are serving in a war theater far from home. Please know that you are in our prayers.

Mr. /Madam President, I yield the floor.

Rep. Rapp Will Return COLA

Due to the struggling national economy and the estimated $2 billion 2009-2010 state budget deficit, State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) announced today that she will return the 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that was automatically added to all state lawmakers’ salaries as of Dec. 1.

She also announced her support for state Sen. Dominic Pileggi’s (R-Chester/Delaware) legislation that would suspend the automatic COLA and corresponding pension increases that were enacted into state law in 1995.

“Just as I did with my original votes against the 2005 pay raise and for its repeal, and against all four of the governor’s fiscally irresponsible, debt-increasing state budgets since taking office in 2005, I am again basing my decision to return and support the repeal of my automatic COLA on one undeniable factor: the median income of the three counties I represent,” said Rapp. “As a lawmaker representing some of the most financially depressed areas in all of Pennsylvania, I simply cannot morally, ethically, professionally or constitutionally justify accepting a pay raise and the subsequent pension increase in any way, shape or form.”

Unfortunately, state law does not allow lawmakers to automatically cancel their COLA and the corresponding state pension increase. Barring a complete and total legislative repeal retroactive to Nov. 30, the only options Rapp has is to accept the salary increase and send a monthly check to the state to reimburse the after-tax increase.

Rapp reiterated her call to the governor and all PA House and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairmen to immediately re-open and make even more substantial spending reductions to the 2008-09 state budget.

“Even if every state lawmaker actually does return his or her full COLA, the recovered revenue will amount to less than one million dollars and will not even scratch the surface of the estimated $2 billion budget deficit,” said Rapp.

“Waiting until next June or July to substantially address the actual revenue shortfall makes absolutely no sense if the true objective is to deliver a fiscally-responsible 2009-10 state budget, and most importantly, avoid a massive tax increase. Regardless of how ‘painful’ it is for the governor and the General Assembly to make necessary and long-overdue spending cuts, it will ultimately be far more painful for working Pennsylvania families who do not have luxury of balancing their budgets on clearly anticipated deficit,” concluded Rapp.

DA Considering Death Penalty

Warren County's district attorney hasn't decided yet if he'll seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing his friend's estranged husband.

28-year-old Cory Altman is has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Shawn Yeager of Tionesta.

Yeager's wife 33-year-old Susan Yeager and 26-year-old Robert Pessia have been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

District attorney Ross McKiernan says he's still considering all the factors involved in the shooting to see if it meets Pennsylvania's guidelines for a capitol case.

Police say Susan Yeager hatched the plot because she wasn't getting as much time with her sons as she thought she should.

La Herradura Owner Indicted

The former owner of La Herradura restaurant, along with men from Salamana, Allegany and Dunkirk, have been indicted on charges of harboring and concealing illegal aliens.

Jesus Francisco Escalante of Dunkirk, was one of those arraigned Wednesday in the Western District of New York along with Sergio Antonio Resendiz Martinez of Salamanca; Honorio Banda Mireles of Bradford; Maurilio Bautista Feria of Allegany.

The US Attorney's office says they smuggled the undocumented Mexicans into the United States to work in seven Mexican restaurants, including establishments in Bradford, Allegany and Dunkirk.

Harboring illegal aliens carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

BACC Open House on Friday

The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Board and membership will celebrate their first year at their new location, 121 Main Street “in the theatre district”. The open house will take place from 5:00-7:00 pm and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend.

The drawing for our “One of a Kind” Zippo Collectible lighter hand-painted by Jack Clark will be held during the open house. Raffle tickets are available from the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce or many Bradford Area High School Booster Clubs.

The open house is in conjunction with Living Windows, December 12, 2008 6:00-8:00pm around Downtown

Tops' New $3.99 Prescription Plan

Tops Friendly Markets, the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania, today announced that the Tops stores at 2401 W. State Street in Olean, NY and 150 Main Street in Bradford, PA are part of the launch of a new $3.99 Generic Prescription Drug Program aimed at helping the underinsured and uninsured during this time of economic hardship. The new program is initially being offered at participating Tops stores, including the Olean and Bradford locations.

Effective immediately, consumers who shop at the Olean or Bradford locations can get up to a 30-day supply of one of more than 300 common generic prescription maintenance medications that treat conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure at a cost of $3.99 each. All consumers are eligible for the program by paying a $5 annual enrollment fee.

“The number of Americans without adequate health insurance is staggering,” said Frank Curci, Tops Markets president and CEO. “We felt that in these difficult economic times it is our responsibility to offer consumers the piece of mind that they can obtain affordable pharmacy services.”

“Tops’ prescription savings plan is another way that we can pass along significant value and savings to our customers,” Curci added. “We’re testing the plan in various locations and expect to eventually expand the program to all Tops stores.”

Consumers can sign up for the $3.99 Generic Prescription Drug Program at the Tops Friendly Markets pharmacies at the Olean and Bradford stores. A list of all medications covered by the plan is also available at any Tops pharmacy. In addition, program members will receive significant discounts on most brand name and many other generic medications.

Tim Nyquist to Work for Corman

Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) today announced that his staff member Tim Nyquist has been named Chief of Staff to Senator Jake Corman, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Nyquist, who served as Scarnati’s Director of Policy and Communications will start his new position effective immediately.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is one of the most powerful of the standing committees. It reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in developing the state budget.

Nyquist, a native of Youngsville, has worked for Sen. Scarnati for eight years.

“Tim has worked tirelessly for the people of this district and is a loyal friend who will be missed, but I’m confident that he will be successful in his new position,” Scarnati said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Costa: Tough Decisions Ahead

Pennsylvania faces a difficult financial situation in the months ahead as the national economy remains in recession, Sen. Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) said. Costa is encouraged, however, by the prudent actions of the Rendell Administration, and by the spirit of cooperation among lawmakers of both parties.

Costa was among 10 legislative leaders who shared the stage with Gov. Ed Rendell Tuesday at the State Museum auditorium as the governor, during his annual mid-year briefing, predicted a revenue shortfall of $1.6 billion by the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year in June. Rendell also outlined the steps he is proposing to balance the state budget.

‘The governor deserves credit thus far for the way he has handled this economic crisis,” said Costa, who was newly chosen last month to the influential position of Democratic Senate Appropriations Committee chairman. “He has been forced to make some painful budget cuts, but he has done so in a way that I believe has spread the burden evenly and fairly.

“During his first six years in office, Governor Rendell has also made strategic investments in our economy and engaged in sound fiscal management practices that have left us in much better shape than most other states,” Costa added.

While painting a sobering state budget picture, Rendell also noted that 41 states face potential deficits, some of them billions of dollars greater than Pennsylvania’s. Our state’s October unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, while climbing, is also better than the national 6.7 percent jobless rate announced last week.

Rendell noted that he has already trimmed $500 million from this year’s budget, and anticipates another round of $101 million in cuts. He expects to close the remainder of the gap by using half of the $750 million now in the Rainy Day Fund, or $375 million, another $174 million from natural gas drilling royalties for the Marcellus Shale, plus another $450 million in assistance that Pennsylvania will receive through the federal government’s next stimulus package.

The administration has instituted a hiring freeze, banned out of state travel, and asked more than 13,000 non-union workers to forego scheduled salary increases.

“I believe we are in a good position to balance this year’s budget,” Costa said. “With economists predicting continued hard times, next year’s budget is going to present an even greater challenge. It is likely that we are going to have to make additional cuts. At the same time, we have to keep in mind that more people are now relying on the state for safety net services. We must also remember the importance of investing our resources in ways that will create jobs.”

Costa was pleased by the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that marked the briefing.

“I sensed a genuine feeling among leaders from both political parties that we are all in this together. I’m looking forward to working with the administration and with legislators on the Republican side of the aisle to guide us through this bleak economic period with the minimum amount of suffering possible for Pennsylvania workers and their families,” Costa said.

Tracking Baby Jesus With GPS

(AP) — When Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a Nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him.

A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Money Available for Development

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has announced that more than $3 million is available to develop and implement projects that benefit fishing, boating, and aquatic resources in McKean, Cameron, Elk and Potter counties, with primary emphasis on projects within the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed.

This funding is available through a 2007 settlement with Norfolk Southern as restitution for environmental damages from a June 30, 2006, train derailment that spilled sodium hydroxide into the Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek.

Under the settlement, Norfolk Southern agreed to pay the Commonwealth $7.35 million as restitution for environmental damages.

Alleged Rooster Fighting in Dunkirk

116 fighting roosters have been found at a western New York house and the homeowner has been charged with animal fighting.

74-year-old Concepcion Virella was arrested today by Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies, who say he kept the roosters in cages in the basement of his Dunkirk home and other buildings on his property.

Some of the birds were worth up to $3,000 each. Authorities also found a fighting pit and boxing gloves to put over the birds' spurs.

St. Marys Business Gets State Loan

Pennsylvania is looking at a possible $1.6 billion budget deficit, but that doesn't mean Governor Ed Rendell can't dole out money for economic development projects.

The Old Charm Bed and Breakfast in Elk County is getting a $50,000 tourism loan to go toward the purchase of a $200,000 property in St. Marys.

Rendell says this and other investments throughout the state encourage private development to generate jobs and help the commonwealth weather the national economic storm.

He says funding will help create 2,200 new jobs throughout the state.

Lowman Henry: Scarnati Gets It

by Lowman S. Henry
CEO, Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research


Let us try not to get to optimistic, yet, but it appears that Pennsylvania's new Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati (who is also President Pro Tempore of the state Senate) actually gets it.

Addressing Pennsylvania's growing budget crisis Scarnati has ruled out raising taxes. He said that if Republicans raise taxes: "what's the reason to vote for us?" He went on to tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that voting for higher taxes is the reason why Republicans have tanked at the national level.

Exactly!

You can read Lowman Henry's complete column HERE, and listen to Lincoln Radio Journal at 9:30 Sunday mornings on WESB.

Taxing Cows for Passing Gas?

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to tax dairy and beef cattle because of greenhouse gases resulting from methane produced when they pass gas.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says that's ridiculous.

He says the proposed regulation under amendments to the Clean Air Act would impose a tax of $175 per dairy cow and $87.50 per beef cow.

Schumer says the cow tax would devastate upstate New York family farms, putting many at risk of going out of business. He added that a "cow tax" would put local farms at a competitive disadvantage in the world agriculture markets.

United Way at 50 Percent of Goal

The 2008 campaign of the United Way of the Bradford is currently at 50% of its $375,000 goal, according to agency representatives.

“We’re so appreciative of the donors who are included in this latest update,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “We understand the choices that so many in our community are having to make during the current economic situations, and are grateful that their choices include a contribution to the United Way.”

Executive Director Kris Luther says that although it may seem like it has taken a bit longer to reach 50%, expect the thermometers to rise quickly in the coming weeks.

“This figure does not include quite a few substantial accounts which we are looking to secure and finalize soon,” she says.

The members of the United Way Board of Directors, serving as this year’s campaign chairs, have been working to solidify various pledges throughout the local area, as well as to educate the community on the agencies and programs which benefit from the annual appeal.

“Our board members are our greatest advocates,” says Luther, “and we’re confident in their abilities to conclude a successful campaign.”

In other United Way news, the office will be open this Friday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, participating in the downtown activities and family shopping night.
“We will be selling our Christmas cards and our cookbooks,” says Davis. “This is an excellent opportunity for those looking for last-minute gift ideas to finish their shopping, all the while supporting your local United Way.”

The cards, available in packs of 10, are available for $8.50, while the cookbooks are being sold for $15. The cards were designed by the Life Skills students at both GGB and School Street Elementary schools. The cookbook, “From Our Events To Yours”, features over 200 recipes from local individuals who have been associated with the organization during past several years.

The last day for the United Way to make initial solicitations for the current appeal is December 15, but representatives will be issuing various reminders to those wishing to complete their pledge and/or payment for the coming weeks.

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

Scarnati Asks Rendell to Not
Re-Submit Tolling Application

Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati has written a letter to Governor Ed Rendell asking that he urge the turnpike commission to not re-submit their application to impose tolls on Interstate 80.

He says asking people who live and work along the I-80 corridor to bear the brunt of the financial burden to repair decaying roads and bridges is not the answer to the state's transportation funding problem.

Scarnati added that President-elect Barack Obama has indicated he's interested in providing infrastructure funding to states and Pennsylvania should work with the new administration to make sure any new federal funding is directed toward projects in the commonwealth.

Rendell hasn't commented yet.

You can read Scarnati's letter HERE. PDF

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

City Millage Rate To Go Down

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


After some number crunching, and other work, Mayor Tom Riel said the 4.46 millage rate proposed in the city budget will be lower.

"We don't know how much yet," Riel said during Tuesday's City Council meeting, "because we're still getting money in from timber and all kinds of other things."

"I can't promise you how much lower it's going to be, but it's not going to be the 4.46 mills."

Riel said they don't have their final numbers in, and don't want to make the situation seem any better or any worse than it is until they do get the numbers.

Council did, however, have to vote for the 4.46 rate Tuesday because that was the rate given in the first reading of the budget.

Riel said council will explain the budget to city residents on the radio and in the newspaper when they get the final numbers.

Later in the meeting, council approved a measure that will allow the city to charge other municipalities for requests for the police department for fingerprinting and criminal history background checks.

"This is one of the things we're doing to generate more revenue instead of giving things away for free," Riel said.

What Bradford budget discussion would be complete without talk of transforming the city fire department from paid to volunteer?

Bradford businessman John Kohler addressed council, saying that he doesn't understand why the city needs a paid fire department.

Riel said city government can't change that. It would have to be done by a referendum vote.

Riel said city officials are still doing everything they can to trim the budget but, he said, "It's not like we're a company putting out a hundred widgets a day and when half the business falls, we get rid of half the people."

He said they have to have police officers, firefighters, snow plow drivers, trash collectors.

"We have to provide essential services. You can't just go around and whack a bunch of people to avoid a tax increase," he said.

Firefighter Matt Rettger also addressed council and said that the average household pays just 18 cents a day for the fire department.

Councilman Ross Neidich said it may be time to look again at combining some township and city services.

"There are lots of things residents in the whole area are being given services for that they don't pay for," Neidich said. "Yet, we're looking at an increase in taxes for city residents who are footing bills for things that we are providing out of our realm of business."

Also Tuesday, council approved an ordinance that raises fines for parking tickets

Riel said although he voted for the ordinance he is still "in favor of removing parking meters and using computerized devices to generate tickets rather than having parking meters."

"I think the city would make out better in the long run if we go that route, and hopefully that might happen next year," he said.

Prior to the regular council meeting, OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews led a public hearing on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's new Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 allocates nearly $60 million to Pennsylvania for the program, and Bradford is eligible for some of that money.

Among the projects Andrews plans to include in the grant application is demolition of blighted properties in the Elm Street (Project Pride) area.

Also prior to the meeting, council held a work session with Bradford landlords concerning an ordinance regarding rental properties.

Most of the landlords who packed city council chambers were concerned about penalties for violations.

Riel said several times that the ordinance is not aimed at the "good" landlords.

Attorney Greg Henry explained that the ordinance addresses "people that will rent out a code-deficient property, deliberately, in order to make money."

"It's designed to be an ordinance which helps us improve the housing stock within the city," Henry said. "(It's) not to punish people for simple mistakes."

During the regular meeting, Neidich commended the landlords for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the work session.

"They checked their nooses at the door," Riel joked.

Oil and Gas Industry Donation
Funds Scholarships, More


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Petroleum Technology program has received $13,500 from an annual Oil and Gas Industry charity auction that has purchased equipment and given scholarships to students to help pay for books and supplies.

Each full-time student in the program will receive $250 and each part-time student $125.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, said the donation represented a vote of support for the reinstatement of the petroleum technology degree program two years ago.

“In re-establishing the program we hoped to secure the support, endorsement and good will of representatives of the oil and gas industry. This generous gift is a clear indication that our friends in the industry support what we are attempting to do.

“We are deeply grateful to the local Oil and Gas Industry for its generous support of students enrolled in the program and for making it possible for us to secure vital equipment.”

Dr. Assad Panah, director of the petroleum technology program and professor of geology, said two desktop computers and a Trimble handheld computer designed for field data collection, were purchased with the donation. The program was also able to purchase a ProScope HR, the world’s first handheld digital microscope, which can let students see samples in the field at magnifications of 30 to 100 times.

“The ProScopes,” Panah said, “will be used in the laboratory for field sample analyses and reservoir rock characterization.”

The donation also funded the purchase of 12 pocket stereoscopes for interpreting enhanced aerial photos that appear three dimensional and high-powered hand magnifying lenses and surveying tools to collect geologic field data and measure rock layers.

“Students will be better prepared for careers in the petroleum industry from experience with this equipment,” Panah said.

The annual event was co-chaired by Betsy Aiello of Aiello Brothers Oil & Gas and Renee Snyder of Snyder Brothers Oil & Gas, with assistance from Lisa Pecora of Rattler Well Services.

Pecora explained that the auction “started three years ago to bring together all facets of the oil and gas industry for an evening of celebration while giving back to community charities. We are thrilled to support the university’s petroleum technology program this year. Our industry counts on good quality education in the various aspects of the oil- and gas-related businesses in Bradford and hopes the funds donated provide equipment to keep the program current. We want the scholarships to assist students in the program as they continue their petroleum related education.”

Timothy Lyon, sales engineer for Schlumberger and adjunct professor in the program, agreed. “Choosing Pitt-Bradford’s petroleum technology program as the benefactor from this year’s event underscores the industry’s desire for local high school graduates to continue their education in science with the two-year associate degree program in petroleum technology, “ he said. “This offers a promising opportunity for gainful employment and advancement, which is most attractive, especially as the country faces an economic recession.”

The curriculum includes classes in geology, drilling, petroleum and natural gas chemistry, gathering and transportation, well log interpretation, geophysical prospecting, as well as classes addressing environmental and safety aspects of the industry.

In the photo, provided by Pitt-Bradford, from left, Dr. Assad Panah, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professor of geology, shows new equipment to Douglas E. Kuntz, president and CEO of Pennsylvania General Energy Co., LLC, Tim Lyon, sales engineer for Schlumberger, and Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. A donation from a Oil and Gas Industry charity auction earlier this year purchased equipment for Pitt-Bradford’s petroleum technology program and provided scholarships for students in the program.

Alleged Chain Saw Thieves Arrested

Two former Coudersport residents have been charged with a burglary at Mahley's Track Repair back in May.

On Monday, police obtained a warrant for 19-year-old Evan Ross Heller for burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft. He's currently in Centre County Jail.

On Saturday, police arrested 19-year-old Robert Muirhead on the same charges. He's free on $35,000 bail.

They're accused of breaking into the building by throwing a rock through the window, then stealing 3 new Stihl chainsaws and a new Stihl leaf blower. They also allegedly took money and stamps from the cash register.

Police say they recently received information that lead to the recovery of one of the chainsaws at home in Smethport.

Salamanca Woman Found Dead

Sheriff's deputies say a Salamanca woman found lying in the snow along a railroad bed died of hypothermia and complications from an excessive amount of alcohol in her system.

They say 36-year-old Leslie Farmer was found in Jimerstown along Old Route 17 by two people spotting deer along the road.

Farmer was pronounced dead at Olean General Hospital.

41-year-old Glenn Miller, also of Salamanca, was found with Farmer. He was admitted to Olean General for treatment of hypothermia and excessive alcohol consumption.
Deputies have determined that no foul play was involved.

Fatal Fire Believed to be Accident

Cattaraugus County Fire Investigators say they believe the fire that killed an Olean brother and sister was accidental.

Three-year-old Auribana Gayton and her 18-month-old brother Jamar Gayton died in the fire that started late Sunday night in the South Second Street home.

Their father, Cecil Gayton, is in serious condition at ECMC after suffering severe burns to his arms while trying to save his children.

Gayton was able to save his four-year-old son, Raemont, who was not hurt.

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

The Capitol Rotunda glowed much brighter today as children of Pennsylvania National Guard members helped Governor Edward G. Rendell light a more energy-efficient Christmas tree.

Approximately 80 family members and 25 children of members of various Pennsylvania National Guard units were the guests of honor at the annual ceremony. The children helped the Governor push the button to light the tree, which – for the first time – uses light-emitting-diode, or LED, lights.

“Again this year, we show our gratitude to the men and women who are spending this Christmas serving here and abroad in our nation’s military,” said Governor Rendell, who also asked for a moment of silence to honor of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in order to protect America’s freedoms. “This year, we especially want to honor the families of military service men and women—most importantly, the children—because of the many sacrifices they, too, have made over the years.

“Not having your loved ones around during the holidays is difficult enough, but I’m sure that the hardship of not having your Mom or Dad around is especially hard during the holiday season,” Governor Rendell said.

Before the ceremony concluded, the children were treated to a surprise visit by Santa, who read, “Twas The Night Before Christmas” to the crowd.

The Cumberland Valley High School Vocal Ensemble, directed by Carol Anderson, sang carols. Speakers included James P. Creedon, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services; Brigadier General Randall Marchi of the Pennsylvania National Guard; Rev. Brenda Alton, pastor of Kingdom Embassy in Harrisburg; and Chris Botek, co-owner of Crystal Spring Tree Farm and representative of Pennsylvania’s Christmas Tree Growers Association.

For the first time, this year’s tree – a 21-foot Douglas Fir from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Carbon County – is decorated with 600 energy-saving LED lights donated by PPL Electric Utilities. The C-7 LED lights use about 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.

The LEDs are expected to reduce the cost of lighting the Rotunda tree 96 percent over last year’s costs. Officials estimate operating the energy-saving lights will cost about $12—or just more than three cents per hour—during the duration of the holiday season. Last year’s energy bill for the Rotunda tree, which used standard mini-lights, was about $334.

The tree will be lit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Wednesday, Jan. 7.

The tree also features more than 300 handmade ornaments that were donated by the members of more than 50 senior centers through the coordination of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

Senator Casey Honors Troops

WASHINGTON, DC- On the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) honored Pennsylvania servicemembers who are proudly carrying out their duty protecting our country during the holiday season. Senator Casey also paid tribute to the 190 Pennsylvanians killed in action during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Continuing a practice he started last year, Senator Casey read the name and hometown of 21 Pennsylvanians killed since he last read the names of fallen troops.

A copy of his remarks follows:

As we bring the 110th Congress to a close, our nation confronts a daunting set of challenges. While we face the gravest economic crisis since perhaps the Great Depression, we must also remember that we are a nation at war. From Iraq to Afghanistan, from the Pacific to Europe, and countless places in between, American servicemen and women are proudly carrying out their duty to protect our country and our way of life. Under stressful conditions and the constant threat of danger, members of our Armed Forces do what it takes to get the job done every day.

During this holiday season, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to our servicemembers. Their personal courage and honor should not be taken for granted, but genuinely appreciated. So today, on the behalf of my family, the people of Pennsylvania, and people throughout the country, I thank the members of our Armed Forces, their families, and especially those who gave, as Lincoln said, “the last full measure of devotion,” to their country.

To the families of those who died or who are far away now, there’s a void in their lives. The words of Bruce Springsteen come to mind:


“When I shut out the lights, you’re missing,

When I close my eyes you’re missing,

When I see the sunrise, you’re missing.”


So far, 190 sons and daughters of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have sacrificed their lives during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Since last time I paid tribute to those who have fallen, 21 Pennsylvanian families have lost their loved ones. Today, I would like to honor each one of them by entering their names into the record.

Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class Daniel Verbeke of Exton, Pennsylvania

Private 1st Class Joshua Waltenbaugh of Ford City, Pennsylvania

Lance Corporal Travis Stottlemyer of Hatfield, Pennsylvania

Private 1st Class James Yohn of Highspire, Pennsylvania

Sergeant 1st Class Shawn Suzch of Hilltown, Pennsylvania

Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Marino of Houston, Pennsylvania

Specialist Jason Kazarick of Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sergeant Timothy Van Orman of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania

Captain Nathan Raudenbush of Royersford, Pennsylvania

Specialist Luke Runyan of Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Chief Petty Office Michael Koch of State College, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant Brian Hause of Stoytown, Pennsylvania

Specialist Michael Hook of Altoona, Pennsylvania

Specialist Zachary Clouser of Dover, Pennsylvania

Sergeant First Class Michael Tully of Falls Creek, Pennsylvania

Staff Sergeant David Wieger of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Specialist Camy Florexil of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Private First Class Adam Chitjian of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sergeant First Class David Cooper Jr. of State College, Pennsylvania

Captain Erick Foster of Wexford, Pennsylvania

To each of their families please know that our prayers are with you. I extend my sincerest gratitude to each of these men and women for accepting the call to service. These men were courageous warriors who belonged to the finest military in the world and contributed to something larger than them

I would also like to personally thank the men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The Pennsylvania National Guard’s motto is “Civilian in peace. Soldier in war,” and they have certainly lived up to this motto. With two units deploying this winter and spring, the Pennsylvania National Guard is in the midst of its largest deployment since the Korean War. The 20,000 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard who give up the comforts of their civilian lives on moment’s notice, who protect Americans in the mountains of Afghanistan, the sands of Iraq and worldwide, and who rescue Americans from devastating floods and natural disasters deserve our highest praise.

Therefore, this holiday season, I want our servicemembers to know that we are thinking of them, and that we are praying for their safety and well-being and that of their families.

Thank you Mr./Madam President. I yield the floor.

Review of DEP Permit Process

State Sen. Ted Erickson (R-26) announced plans to convene a work group to review the permitting process of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The group will include officials from DEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other experts involved in the permitting process for projects that require DEP approval.

"The group will make recommendations as to how improvements can be made to most efficiently address environmental concerns, while providing a systematic and streamlined process for infrastructure development and repair projects," said Erickson. "This is especially important in light of the recent voter approval of the $400 million bond referendum for the improvement of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems in the Commonwealth. This will enable us to get projects started in a timely fashion and create jobs in this economy."

In addition to drinking water and wastewater projects, Erickson believes that an efficient permitting process will be vital for the advancement of other projects for which extensive federal funding is anticipated, such as bridge and road repair.

Update on Teri Rhodes Sentencing

A district attorney won't oppose or support the stiffer-than-expected sentence for a woman who killed her newborn child while she was a student at Mercyhurst College. The attorney for 20-year-old Teri Rhodes is appealing the nine-to-18 year sentence Rhodes received, saying it's too excessive. District Attorney Brad Foulk says his office left the sentence to the discretion of the judge and it would be dishonest to change that position now. Rhodes pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing her newborn in August 2007 after hiding her pregnancy and researching ways to kill a fetus on the Internet.

Olean Dad's Condition Improves

An Olean man hospitalized following a fire that killed two of his children has been upgraded to serious condition at ECMC.

Cecil Gayton suffered severe burns while trying to rescue his one-year-old son and three-year-old daughter from the fire Sunday night in their South Second Street home. A third child, a four-year-old boy, did escape without any injuries.

The fire started at around 11:20 Sunday night. Fire Chief Robert Bell says they haven't determined a cause of the blaze yet.

Back in September 10-year-old Dawson McKinnon and his 3-year-old brother Clayton died in a house fire in Fredonia.

Possible Murder Motive Revealed

State police say a Tionesta woman charged with plotting her estranged husband's murder wanted it to look like a hunting accident.

State police say they were called after 39-year-old Shawn Yeager's 12- and 15-year-old sons found him shot on the rear deck of his home in Warren County.

A preliminary hearing is set Dec. 16 for 33-year-old Susan Yeager and her brother, 28-year-old Cory Altman. Police say Altman shot Shawn Yeager with a hunting rifle then joked to a friend that he "got his buck for the year."

Twenty-six-year-old Robert Pessia is also charged in the plot.

Police say Susan Yeager hatched the plot because she was upset about not having the access to her children she thought she should have.

During a news conference, Warren County District Attorney Ross McKeirnan said, "This was an incredibly cold-hearted murder scheme, hatched by three very stupid people,"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Scarnati: No Tax Increase

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Governor Ed Rendell will be meeting with legislative leaders on Tuesday to take a look at the state's fiscal crisis.

Senate President Pro Tempore and Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati says this is a chance for lawmakers to "come together as one body to try to come up with some solutions."

In a news conference following his swearing-in as lieutenant governor last week, Scarnati was asked about Rendell's plan to freeze spending and make budget cuts. He said he was glad to see that Rendell was embracing "conservative Republican" values and thinking.

Scarnati tells WESB and The HERO that he thinks that "shows the gravity of the issue … when the governor recognizes we need to make some freezes and cuts."

"There's definitely going to be pain in what we have to do," Scarnati says, "but like working families have done – balanced their budgets, and cut back and figured out how to make ends meet – Without a doubt, it's time Pennsylvania does that and does it without a tax increase."

He says he believes all four legislative caucuses are aware of the gravity of the situation.

"It's a major discussion that's going on at the Capitol and back in everyone's districts," he says.

"Nobody is certain yet what the enormity of the problem will be when we reach June," Scarnati says, "but something I think we all agree on is: We need to start addressing it now in an attempt to tighten our belts before we get into a situation that proves almost impossible to get out of."

Some experts have estimated that the budget deficit could be as much as $2 billion by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Scarnati also talked about his dual role as senator and lieutenant governor.

"First and foremost," he says, "my position as senator in the 25th District comes first."

He says the job of lieutenant governor comes with "some very large responsibilities," including chairman of the board of pardons, which he takes "very seriously."

But, he says, he "will continue to have a strong presence in the 25th District."

Scarnati will be talking about these and other issues during his next visit to the LiveLine.

Second Child Found Dead

Olean Police have confirmed that a second child has died in an Olean house fire. The remains of a 3-year-old girl were found this afternoon.

The fire started in the South Second Street home at about 11:20 last night. A one-year-old boy also died in the fire. A four-year-old boy escaped uninjured.

The childrens' father, Cecil Gayton, suffered serious burns while trying to rescue the two younger children. He's in critical condition at ECMC.

Fatal Olean Fire UPDATE

A one-year-old boy is dead, and firefighters believe they may have found the remains of a 3-year-old child after a late night house fire in Olean.

Firefighters had been searching what was left of the South Second Street house all day looking for any signs of the 3-year-old. At around 5 p.m., they found what they think could be the child's remains. A four-year-old boy escaped the house without being hurt.

The childrens' father, Cecil Gayton, suffered severe burns while trying to get back into the building to save his children. He's in critical condition at ECMC.

Gayton and his children lived in a first floor apartment. The occupants of the second floor apartment were not hurt.

UPB SGA Adopts a Battalion


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Student Government Association has adopted the 53rd Joint Movement Control Battalion of the U.S. Army currently serving in Bagram, Afghanistan.

The 53rd is lead by Capt. Justin Demiter, a 2004 Pitt-Bradford graduate who also served as SGA president for two years. This is his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, SGA sent 80 letters to soldiers thanking them for their service. Last week SGA asked students, faculty and staff to sign 170 Christmas cards for the battalion and a 6-foot-long banner wishing members happy holidays.

The battalion plans to thank the students by sending them a flag that flew in military aircraft, on a ground convoy and at battalion headquarters in Afghanistan. The flag will then be sent back and put on display in the Frame-Westerberg Commons next semester.

SGA also collected food, magazines, toiletries and other items for the soldiers and will send holiday care packages.

A second round of New Year’s care packages will be shipped Dec. 12. Alumni or community members who would like to donate items may bring them to the president’s office in Hanley Library or the student activities office in the commons through Thursday, Dec. 11.

Popular items for care packages include foods that can be prepared with boiling water or a microwave, phone cards, puzzle books, non-dairy coffee creamer and sunflower seeds and other snack foods.

The photo, provided by Pitt-Bradford, shows Dr. Hashim Yousif, professor of physics, signing a banner that wishes the members of the 53rd Joint Movement Control Battalion happy holidays. The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Student Government Association has adopted the battalion, which is led by Pitt-Bradford alumnus Capt. Justin Demiter ’04.

Dr. Ewert Contributes to Book

BRADFORD, Pa. – A chapter on influential Shakespearean director Michael Langham written by Dr. Kevin Ewert, associate professor of theater at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, appears in the new book “The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare.”

Langham was the artistic director at both the Stratford Festival in Canada and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in the United States as well as director of theatre for many years at The Juilliard School.

“Langham had a dual influence as a director and a teacher,” Ewert said.

In writing his chapter for the book, which was edited by John Russell Brown, Ewert interviewed people who had worked with Langham as actors and students in order to describe the process he undertook for the final result on the stage.

Ewert said he first became interested in Langham after seeing several of his productions at the Stratford Festival in Ontario.

The Companion includes 31 articles on 31 major and/or influential directors of the 20th and 21st century written by 31 different scholars and practitioners.

Ewert had previously worked with Brown to write “Henry V: A Guide to the Text and its Theatrical Life” in a series of books edited by Brown, “The Shakespeare Handbooks.” Currently he is working with Brown as associate editor and contributor to the forthcoming “Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare.”

Ewert teaches Introduction to Theatre, Play Analysis, Movement and Stage Combat, Basic and Advanced Acting, Shakespearean Performances, and he directs the student production each semester.

He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in Shakespeare studies from the Shakespeare Institute and earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Casino Thief Pleads Guilty

A Salamanca woman has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Seneca Allegany Casino.

36-year-old Sandra Whiteeagle was employed at the casino when she conspired with 37-year-old Bradley Stahlman and her mother, 55-year-old Brenda Whiteeagle, to steal the identities of several people by making false player's cards.

Brenda Whiteeagle and Stahlman won more than $3,000 with the fraudulent player's cards between November of last year and April of this year.

Sandra Whiteeagle will be sentenced on February 9.

Gabler Still Opposes I-80 Tolls

From Matt Gabler's office:

Friday's symposium on the possible tolling of Interstate 80 re-affirmed the opinion of state Rep.-elect Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) that enacting such a measure would have a definite negative impact on his district. The event was sponsored by the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation and the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry and held at Zion Baptist Church near Clarion.

Gabler released the following statement concerning Friday's symposium:

"Everyone agrees that Pennsylvania is facing big challenges with regard to our aging infrastructure. We have roadways that have been allowed to deteriorate due to neglect and the impact of increased volumes of traffic.

"We need to be better financial managers, especially in these difficult economic times and particularly with regard to our transportation needs. Having said that, Act 44, which calls for the tolling of I-80, is not the answer. We cannot borrow our way to prosperity, and we need to be more responsible in our spending habits. Tolling I-80 would also mean penalizing the communities that are adjacent to the interstate by diverting more traffic through them on to their already-stressed highways, and increasing costs for employers and residents.

"It has been my belief all along that placing tolls on I-80 would be detrimental to the residents of the 75th Legislative District. I applaud the open dialogue and exchange of ideas that ensued at Friday's symposium and look forward to continuing to work to find solutions acceptable to all parties in the discussion.

"More events like this one need to be held. I feel that Act 44 was passed hurriedly without significant constituent input, and hopefully additional public discourse will lead to the law's repeal."

Baby Dies in Olean Fire -UPDATE

One child is dead and another is still missing after a late night house fire in Olean.

A one-year-old reportedly died in the fire that started at about 11:20 Sunday nigh on South Second Street. Firefighters are searching the what's left of the house for another child. A four-year-old boy escaped the house without being hurt, but his father was taken to ECMC in critical condition.

The names of the victims have not been released.

All of those victims lived together in a first floor apartment. Four tenants from a second floor apartment of the same building escaped without injury.

A woman who lives next door was taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.


We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Bradford's Old Fashioned Christmas

From Main Street Manager Anita Dolan:

The public is invited to help celebrate the holiday season and the heritage of Bradford’s oil history with its annual Living Windows/Old Fashioned Christmas Event scheduled for Friday, December 12 from 5:30 until 8 p.m.

The event will feature traditional holiday decorations and festively decorated displays of oil memorabilia, along with Living Window displays. The memorabilia is a salute to the area’s ‘Oil 150’ celebrations.

Other activities scheduled throughout the evening include free horse drawn carriage rides, a Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Open House, wandering caroling groups, a performance by the Fretz Middle School Show Choir, a Garfield Grubfest Lasagna Bakeoff at the First United Methodist Church, and of course, shopping. Santa Claus and his elves will also be visiting Main Street!

Families are encouraged to shop locally and relax from the hustle and bustle of a busy time of year. The horse drawn carriage rides are free and will begin at National City Bank. The route will alternate around Veteran’s Square returning to the bank, and Festival Way returning to the bank. The Fretz Middle School Show Choir will perform at Veteran’s Square at 6 p.m. Their show will be followed by caroling music sung by members of the community. The Bradford area Youth For Christ will be hosting a ‘Garfield Grubfest’ Lasagna bakeoff fundraiser at the First United Methodist Church on the corner of Chestnut and Chambers Street from 5 – 7 p.m.

Storefronts participating in Living Windows include: Sunset Bay Tanning Salon and Melange, the Massage Spa, Keeping Ewe in Stitches, the Main Street Mercantile, Roseart Gifts and Paper to Pages. Warming stations serving refreshments such as hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and popcorn will be located at Coldwell Banker Realty, the New Broaster, and the SPCA adoption center which will be located for the evening in the former Nickel Paint store on Kennedy Street. The SPCA will have refreshments, pets available for adoption, fundraising items for sale and will offer pictures with Santa.

This will be a fun festive evening for the entire family! Santa Claus and his Elves will be on Main Street with a stocking full of candy canes for the duration of the event!

There will be free parking in downtown Bradford and extended shopping hours throughout the holiday season.

Thompson Opposes I-80 Tolls

From Glenn Thompson's Office:

Congressman-Elect Glenn Thompson (PA-05) joined area business leaders, interest groups and elected officials at a transportation symposium last Friday, hosted by the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation to discuss the transportation and infrastructure funding crisis in the Commonwealth and possible solutions to meeting the budgetary shortfall that will arise in 2010. Thompson, who is set to take office January 6, has vowed to oppose the tolling of I-80 at all costs once he is sworn into office. Below is a copy of his prepared remarks:

"I'd like to thank the Clarion County Economic Development Corp. for holding this informative discussion today. I'd also like to thank the participants for their various ideas on how we can work together to ensure a sustainable funding stream for the Commonwealth's transportation infrastructure, but most of all I would like to thank Congressman Peterson for his leadership on this issue from the beginning.

"It is rare that you see a member of Congress work up until his last days in office; however, I have heard the Congressman say that he collects a check until January and that he'll be working up until then.

"That is not only a testament to Congressman Peterson's strong work ethic, but also his commitment to the people of the Fifth District and especially this issue. I do not doubt that the Congressman will stay active in his opposition to tolling I-80 in the days to come.

"This past September, the Federal Highway Administration declined Pennsylvania's re-submitted application for the authority to toll Interstate 80.

"Among the prime concerns the FHWA had with the plan to toll I-80 was the fact that the application did not meet the legal requirements for the use of toll revenues. Under Act 44, the Turnpike Commission was required to use toll revenues to pay an annual lease payment to PennDOT. The amount of the payment was an arbitrary number to fill the gaps in the commonwealth's funding shortfalls; making it the second time the Turnpike Commission had failed to provide a real market value tolling I-80 would create. Once again, not everything in Act 44 adds up. It is apparent the state legislature needs to go back to the drawing board and leave the tolling of I-80 out of the equation.

"There have been several options for the future of Pennsylvania's transportation funding presented here today, some more compelling than others. However as your next member of Congress I can assure you that I will continue to work to ensure that Interstate 80 does not become a toll road.

"Secondly, as the 111th Congress begins to work on the details of the next Highway Bill, I will be a strong advocate for Pennsylvania. Currently the commonwealth receives around $1.15 for every $1 we send to Washington. Vehicle miles traveled throughout the nation have been on a steady decline over the past year; they are projected to only drop more in the future. This means less gas tax money flowing back into the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which means fewer Federal Highway dollars to go around. While we may not come out with the same federal funding levels we currently have, I will make a commitment to work diligently to ensure that the commonwealth comes out a winner when all is said and done.

"Local, state, and federal officials, must come together as we have done today to determine a sustainable future for Pennsylvania's roads, bridges, and public transit. In these tough economic times we must empower smart government solutions and use fiscal constraint. I believe this can be achieved by examining how the state spends and flexes federal highway dollars, but also by examining the various accounts in the PA Motor License Fund. We must look at potential revenues and find ways to intelligently cut costs from our agencies and take a good look at all options available to us.

"Finally, as I get ready to take office next month, I want to hear from all of you on your individual thoughts on this topic. I would like to once again thank the Clarion County EDC and all the participants for this informative and spirited discussion and thank all of you, the audience, for you interest in such an important issue."

Greentree Landfill Expansion OK'd

The Department of Environmental Protection has approved the application by the Greentree Landfill to expand its municipal waste facility in Fox Township in Elk County.

The decision to issue the expansion permit caps a 21-month-long assessment of environmental issues and technical details of the project.

The permit will allow the landfill to increase the existing disposal area by about 104 acres and increase the overall permit area from 986 acres to 1,148 acres. The site now has about 230 acres of permitted disposal area.

Based on the permit average, the proposed expansion would provide about 10 years of additional disposal capacity.

Cops: Tionesta Woman Conspired
to Kill Estranged Husband

State police say a western Pennsylvania woman conspired with two men to kill her estranged husband.

State police say they found 39-year-old Shawn Yeager's body on the rear deck of his home in Tionesta on Friday afternoon. Police say he was shot to death.

Police say Yeager's estranged wife, 33-year-old Susan Yeager, has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Twenty-six-year-old Robert Pessia has also been charged with conspiracy. Twenty-eight-year-old Cory Altman has been charged with first degree murder and other related charges.

Hearing in Ianna Maybee Case

The lawyer for a Salamanca man accused of killing his three-year-old daughter wants evidence in the case to be suppressed.

Cattaraugus County Judge Larry M. Himelein is to hear a motion today asking that DNA and other evidence against 27-year-old Guy Maybee be suppressed.

Maybee is accused of killilng Ianna Maybee last March has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related charges.

Ianna's injuries included a broken clavicle and ribs, a damaged spinal cord, severe bleeding in the right side of her brain, multiple bruises and internal bleeding.

Maybee’s trial has been postponed several times and is now scheduled for the end of February.

A co-defendant in the case, Maybee’s live-in girlfriend, 32-year-old Stephanie Pierce, has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.