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Showing posts from December 21, 2008

Kennedy Waited for Right Moment

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NEW YORK (AP) — With the wind of her family's legacy at her back, Caroline Kennedy says her quest for a Senate seat has been a long time in the making.

In her first sit-down interview since she emerged as a Senate hopeful, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy told The Associated Press that she has always pondered jumping into politics, but waited for the right moment.

"I am an unconventional choice. I understand that. I haven't pursued the traditional path. But I think that in our public life today, we're starting to see there are many ways into public life and public service," she said.


For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

Fatal Fire in Philadelphia

A brief but lethally intense house fire killed seven people - four of them children - and injured two others late Friday night in Southwest Philadelphia.

More from philly.com and CNN.

Earthquake in Lancaster, Pa.

More than 1,000 people called the Lancaster County 911 center after a minor earthquake shook the area early this morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.4 magnitude quake hit just after midnight and was centered just outside Lancaster.

Many who called 911 thought there had been an explosion nearby, but there were no reports of injuries or severe damage.


U.S. Geological Survey

Man Charged for Importing Beetles

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have charged a man for allegedly importing 25 giant beetles from Taiwan without a permit.

If convicted, 36-year-old Marc DiLullo of Birdsboro could get up to a year in jail, one year on probation and a $100,000 fine.

Prosecutors say someone in Taiwan mailed the package to DiLullo and he tried to pick it up at a post office on May 8. But postal workers were suspicious of the package labeled "toys, gifts and jellies" and notified authorities.

Politico Will Miss Ed Rendell

Governor Ed Rendell has made the list of politicians who will be missed by Politico.com in 2009.

They say Rendell is a reporter's dream: a powerful, plugged-in politician who actually speaks his mind. One of the first stirs caused by Rendell happened when he told reporters that some white people in Pennsylvania were probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate.

Rendell's name still pops up as a possible Cabinet member, but that won't happen until he leaves Harrisburg in 2010. The Democrat has said he won't leave the state in the hands of new Republican Lieutenant Governor Joe Scarnati.

For the full story, go to Politico.com

Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges

A Brookville area man has pleaded guilty to charges filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Child Predator Unit.

Steve Kempski is accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition and send sexually explicit photos to people who he believed were young girls. They were actually undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit.

Kempski will be sentenced after the state Sexual Offender Board peforms a Megan's Law evaluation.

Gov. Considers Gambling Expansion

New York Governor David Paterson is considering raising money for the financially strapped state by expanding gambling.

Paterson believes the state could get nearly $500 million in additional revenue by extending gambling to bars, restaurants and racetracks.

Among the proposals are allowing the Quick Draw game to be played 24 hours a day instead of 13 and making the game permanent instead of subject to review by the Legislature every few years.

Paterson also wants to lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 18.

Snow Globes Being Recalled

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A holiday decoration is being recalled because it can be a fire hazard.

The Hallmark jumbo snowman snow globe is being recalled because when the glass globe is exposed to the sun it can act as a magnifying glass and ignite nearby objects. So far there have been two reports of fires caused by the snow globes.

The snow globes were sold at Hallmark Gold Crown stores for $100 but, if you have one, you can return it to any Hallmark store for a full refund.

For more information, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site.

United Way Reaches 60% of Goal

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The United Way of the Bradford Area has reached 60% of its 2008 campaign goal of $375,000. “This wonderful achievement illustrates the commitment of the Bradford community to care for others,” states Kristen Tate Luther, Executive Director. “The capacity to care for one another is the key concept the founding fathers of the Community Chest were aiming to accomplish back in 1925 and the same level of caring exists within our community today.”

Monies raised from the annual appeal are allocated locally to health and human service agencies in Bradford. The 2008 funding cycle benefited 28 programs and 17 local agencies. “We work diligently to ensure donors their contributions DO stay locally, but many misconceptions regarding who is funded and where the monies go oftentimes prevent residents from contributing. The United Way of the Bradford Area operates on the ‘abundance philosophy’ where resources are utilized to their full potential so we can achieve the common good. Other United W…

Judge: NY Can't Enforce Tax Law

A New York State Supreme Court judge is temporarily barring officials from enforcing a new law requiring the collection of taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian retailers to non-Indians.

The judge's order tells government officials to appear in court next month to show why she shouldn't issue a permanent injunction against the tax collection.

The new law scheduled to take effect in February will prohibit manufacturers from selling tobacco products without a state tax stamp to any wholesaler that doesn't certify the cigarettes won't be resold tax-free.

A spokesman for Governor David Paterson says the state will comply with the judge's order.

Paterson in No Hurry To Name
Hillary Clinton Successor

New York Governor David Paterson says he's in no hurry to pick a successor to Hillary Clinton in the US Senate, and he wishes people would stop talking about who he will choose when, and if, Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State.

More attention has been given to Paterson and his choice since Caroline Kennedy decided to seek the seat once held by her uncle, Robert Kennedy.

Paterson says he doesn't feel that much anxiety over the choice because, under the state constitution, whomever he appoints much stand in the next general election in 2010.

Leon Man Jailed for Firing Guns

A Leon man has been for firing guns outside a house on Route 62 Wednesday night.

Sheriff's deputies say that at about 10:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve someone called to complain about an intoxicated man who was making threats and firing guns.

44-year-old Timothy Donner was taken into custody without incident and charged with menacing, trespassing, unlawful possession of marijuana and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

He's in Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Christmas Break-Ins in Smethport

Police are looking into Christmas Day break-ins at The Cottage House Restaurant and St. Elizabeth's Church in Smethport.

They say someone broke into the church sometime between 1 and 8 a.m., broke a window on the church's basement door, took $10 from a cabinet and fled in an unknown direction.

Sometime between 1 and 1:25 a.m. someone forcibly opened, and broke, the cash register drawer at The Cottage House. Police say there was loose change in the drawer but it wasn't taken.

Police say they're not sure if the door was locked and secured by employees before they closed the restaurant, but no force was used and the door was not damaged.

Accused Orange Thief Jailed

A Jamestown man has been accused of stealing a Christmas present from a front porch on Christmas Eve.

Police say a neighbor told them he saw someone take a package that had been left on the porch by a delivery person at about 4:15 Wednesday afternoon.

Police officer Rick Hooks followed footprints from that house to a house nearby and found 28-year-old Ruben Mascitti hiding under the kitchen sink.

Mascitti was arrested and taken to Jamestown City Jail.

The package contained a box of oranges.

Gas Leak Evacuates Homes

Some Roulette homes were evacuated Wednesday night when natural gas from a new Marcellus Shale well started leaking in heavy concentrations.

At just after 6 p.m., Route 6 was closed from the eastbound Roulette Main Street exit to the Fishing Creek exit.

Roulette firefighters had to access the wells with four-wheel-drive vehicles to turn off the valves. The leak was eventually stopped.

Guardian Exploration of Texas owns the wells, but they have an office in Shinglehouse and are investigating.

For the full story, go to Solomon's Words.

Yes, Virginia ...

From The Newseum:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.
"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty …

Council Passes 2009 Budget

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Bradford City Council passed its 2009 budget Tuesday night, which does include a tax increase – but not as big as council members thought it would be.

Mayor Tom Riel says a lot of the credit for that goes to City Clerk John Peterson.

He said Peterson cut roughly $750,000 from the budget when the city was looking at a $1.2 million deficit.

"That's tremendous," Riel said. "I'm proud of the rest of city council … Everyone's worked hard."

Riel said he's sorry they had to pass the tax increase on to the public but they had no other choice.

Also Tuesday night, passed the new "residential rental unit ordinance," which is aimed at cracking down on landlords who don't take care of their property.

City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck explained that, following a work session with area landlords, some language in the ordinance was changed from its first reading.

Hollenbeck said the ordinance makes it clear that a violatio…

UPB Prof Reviewer for Textbook

Dr. David Soriano, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is among 22 professionals who reviewed the newest edition of a textbook for college courses on drugs and society.

The 10th edition of “Drugs and Society” is the only introductory text of its kind co-authored by two pharmacologists and a criminologist, Soriano said. The authors are Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., DDS; Peter Venturelli, Ph.D.; and Annette E. Fleckenstein, Ph.D.

The new text, published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, illustrates the impact of drug use and abuse on the lives of ordinary people and provides students with a realistic perspective of drug-related problems in our society.

“I consider it an honor to be selected as one of the reviewers for the newly released 10th edition of this highly regarded text,” Soriano said.

“The publishing company and authors asked me to review the new edition because they are aware of the number of stude…

CCMH Awards Scholarships

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Several area students were recently awarded scholarship funds from Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.

Funds are awarded to students pursuing nursing and allied health careers. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients agree to work at CCMH for a minimum of two years.

“The hospital looks to its scholarship program to help with recruiting the next generation of heath care workers. Today, we have over 40 past recipients working at Charles Cole,” said Tom Noe, executive director, corporate support services at CCMH. Noe said that $75,000 in scholarship funds will be awarded this year

Those receiving scholarship funds include:

Carol Strawderman of Port Allegany is attending the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. She is married to Michael Strawderman and is a daughter of Gloria Kelly of West Virginia and Ron Kelly of South Carolina.






Megan Woods is attending UPB and is a daughter of Dan and Kim Woods of Smethport.









Amber Gardner of North Bend, Pa., is attending Lock Haven University’s Clearfield Camp…

Rep. Peterson Has Mixed Emotions

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By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


After nearly 40 years in public office, Congressman John Peterson says he is retiring with "mixed emotions."

Peterson represented the 5th district for six terms in Congress, but decided not to seek a 7th term this year. He says he has no firm plans for the future, but will be spending time with his family and working around his Victorian home and two-acre flower garden.

"I leave office with very, very mixed emotions. I'm not tired, I'm not sick, I'm not out of gas," Peterson said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. "I don't think these are jobs you should hold for life. … I think a good turnover in a legislative body is healthy."

Peterson, who turns 70 on Christmas Day, says he believes he has been a strong voice for rural issues in Congress. He says he tried to get people to work together on issues including economic growth, rural health care and technology education.

He says be believ…

One Book Bradford Receives Grant

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The Bradford Area Public Library and its One Book Bradford Committee has received a grant for $2,883 from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council as part of its Our Stories, Our Future initiative on American History.

The grant was received to support the February 9, 2009, visit of author David Laskin at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Bromeley Family Theater.

One Book Bradford is a collaborative venture among local book clubs, the Friends of the Bradford Area Public Library and the Spectrum Series of Pitt-Bradford.

“This year’s selection, ‘The Children’s Blizzard,’ by David Laskin, was chosen with care and understanding of the residents of the local area who identify with fierce independence and family loyalties of the early settlers of the American prairie,” said Linda M. Newman, director of the library.

“The author’s visit will offer a unique opportunity for a rural audience to interact with a published author who has made a meaningful contribution to the field of literature.”

Ot…

Parkview, Hamlin Bank Lead

In round 5 chess league action at School Street Elementary, there were several upsets in the junior varsity division. Lang Surveying Team was knocked out of first place by the Tasta Pizza Team. Northwest Savings Bank Team drew their match against Team Edmond Chevrolet. Hamlin Bank Team crushed the Domino’s Pizza Team to take over the division lead. Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair Team won a major victory against Drs. Rhinehart Team. Hamlin Bank now has a 2-point lead in the league followed by Lang Surveying in second and the Tasta Pizza Team in third place.

In the JV division, only Leah Swineford, captain for Tasta Pizza, and Mitchell Forbes, captain for Hamlin Bank, remain undefeated.

In the varsity section, Parkview Super Market Team won its match against Dr. Laroche Team by half a point to continue in first place. Bradford Window Co. Team managed a narrow win over Smith’s Fine Jewelry. Dexter’s Service Center Team tied with the Ed Shults Toyota Team, and Team Dr. Gonzalez beste…

Bradford Makes Top 200

By SANDRA RHODES
Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau


If you like the outdoors, Bradford should be on your destination list.

That’s according to Outdoor Life magazine’s Top 200 Towns for Outdoorsmen. Bradford is ranked 164th, according to Outdoor Life’s December/January issue.

The towns were rated based on several criteria – population, huntable species available, fishable specials available, “trophy potential,” year-round hunting and fishing opportunities, public land access and lack of gun laws limiting sportsmen.

This distinction is sure to boost the area.

“Having Bradford selected as one of the national top 200 towns for outdoorsmen is an honor,” said Linda Devlin, executive director for the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau, located at 80 E. Corydon St., Bradford. “Our national assets are unsurpassed.”

The Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau promotes tourism to McKean County.

Sometimes, as Devlin pointed out, those who live in the area don’t always recognize what the a…

VoiceCare Provides Assurance

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Linda South, personal emergency response coordinator for Bradford Regional Medical Center’s McKean County VNA & Hospice, displays the pushbutton activator necklace and the two-way voice console of the VoiceCare Personal Emergency Response System, an alert system available through Bradford Regional Medical Center’s McKean County VNA & Hospice at 20 School St. in Bradford. “We have 150 people who are subscribing to VoiceCare throughout McKean County,” says South. “But more could benefit from this alert unit. It promotes secure independent living for those who are on their own and away from family and caregivers."
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Causer: Health Care is Big Challenge

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By State Rep. Martin Causer

Next to dwindling state budget revenues, one of the biggest challenges facing this Commonwealth and its citizens is access to health care.

In rural areas like ours, it can be difficult to attract doctors and specialists. It is even more challenging to keep them once they get here. Unfortunately, thanks to the high malpractice insurance costs in Pennsylvania, that problem is no longer unique to rural areas. Many parts of the state are struggling to keep enough doctors on hand to meet patient needs. High-risk specialists, such as OB-GYNs, are in especially short supply, and a number of hospitals have closed their maternity wards as a result.

Most of us who are fortunate enough to have good health likely take for granted that if and when we do get sick, we’ll just go to the doctor or the hospital and be as good as new. But talk to anyone who’s had serious health problems and you’ll likely learn that we should not assume the care we need will be available.

In Harri…

WIVB Being Pulled from Lineup

WIVB-TV will be taken off the Atlantic Broadband lineup on January 1 unless an agreement can be reached between the cable company and Channel 4's parent company.

Earlier this year, LIN Television and Time Warner Cable had a dispute that left Time Warner customers without CBS programming for nearly 4 weeks.

LIN was holding out for Time Warner to pay "fair market value," while Time Warner said it should not pay for free over-the-air broadcast signals. An Atlantic Broadband representative says their situation is similar.

Terms of the eventual agreement were not disclosed. WGRZ-TV had a contract dispute with Atlantic Broadband in December 2006, although a deal was eventually reached there as well.

If WIVB is pulled from the Atlantic Broadband lineup, customers can still get CBS programming on WSEE-TV from Erie.

Wong to Lead Pitt-Bradford's Choir

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Maestro Samuel Wong, a former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic who has recently relaunched his medical career, will lead the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s College-Community Choir next semester.

Wong said the choir’s program for its March 18 program will be famous opera choruses, including Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”

“I welcome all voices to join in this exciting program,” Wong said. “It will be a chance to delve into the drama of great operas as well as review language pronunciations in Italian, German and French.”

The first rehearsal will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 6, 2009, in the Webb/Bradford Forest Rehearsal Hall, Room 138 in Blaisdell Hall. No auditions are required, and all young adult and adult singers are welcome.

Wong’s dual career as maestro and medical doctor began with a degree in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in To…

Food for The Warming House

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For the 27th straight year, students from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute pulled their weight — 44,562 pounds, to be precise — for St. Bonaventure University’s soup kitchen in Olean.

Volunteers, about half of them members of the St. Bonaventure men’s swimming team, spent almost two hours Saturday morning unloading more than 22 tons of non-perishable food items and paper products at The Warming House on West State Street.

In all, almost 30,000 food items and paper products were collected for The Warming House.

The three-truck delivery was postponed from Friday, when weather closed almost all schools in Western New York and made driving dangerous. The switch prevented the boys from the Buffalo high school from making the Saturday trip to unload the trucks, so members of the St. Bonaventure community rallied to help.

“It’s the least we could do,” said Sean McNamee, men’s swimming coach. “Help was needed, and we were happy to provide it.”

The donation provides about 90 percent of the non-p…