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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Man Accused of Shooting Dog

A South Dayton man is facing charges after allegedly shooting a dog in his home.

Sheriff's Deputies say they responded to 133 Oak Street after receiving a call that a dog had been shot downstairs in the home while the man's wife and four children were upstairs.

38-year-old Harry Smeal was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and four counts of endangering children. Deputies say their investigation is continuing and additional charges may be filed.

Smeal was released on his own recognizance.

Mom Finds Bullet in Baby's Diaper

A Tennessee woman found a bullet in her baby's diaper believed to be from New Year's celebrations:


Beattie Sentenced to Life in Prison

A Warren County man found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his roommate will spend the rest of his life in prison.

46-year-old David Beattie was found guilty December 16 of shooting his roommate Andrew Balog, who was found lying on his bed, dead, of a single gunshot wound to the head by State Police in February 2008.

Warren County District Attorney Ross McKeirnan referred to the house as a drug-dealing den, and called Balog's death part of the fallout of drug activity.

Beattie is still claiming he's innocent.

Penn Gets Gotham's Books

About 200,000 items from the Gotham Book Mart, which closed in 2007 after 87 years as a New York literary haven of international stature, have been donated to the University of Pennsylvania.

An anonymous donor purchased the store’s inventory and donated it to the university.

There are books from the personal libraries of Truman Capote and Anaïs Nin, as well as items signed by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robinson Jeffers, Woody Allen, Wallace Stevens and John Updike.

The Gotham Book Mart was founded on West 45th Street in 1920 by Frances Steloff. Its customers included George and Ira Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, Katharine Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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

Carucci: Best Days Lie Ahead

Olean Mayor David Carucci says the city is moving in the right direction.

In his State of the City address last night, Carucci also said he's confident that the city's best days lie ahead.

He pointed to several positive changes in the city over the past year, including Park Center Development's multi-tenant and retail complexes, and Dresser-Rand's $4 million test facility and $12 million office complex expansion.

Also last night, Common Council voted to return Alderman Ray Wangelin to the president’s position. He follows Rick Smith, who decided not to seek another term as president.

Increase in SUNY Tuition

Students attending State University of New York schools will be paying more this semester.

Undergraduate students who live in New York will pay over $300 more in tuition, while out-of-state students will pay about $1,000 more.

The tuition hike is part of Governor David Paterson's attempt to fix the state's financial crisis. This is SUNY’s first tuition increase in more than 5 years

Gene Found in Amish Community
Could Help Fight Heart Disease

Researchers have identified a gene variant that may make people more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Although the variant was found in members of the genetically homogeneous Old Order Amish community in Pennsylvania, it is carried by about one of every five white Americans, said Yen-Pei Christy Chang, assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Maryland. Chang is a leader of the research group reporting the new finding in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For the full story, go to The Washington Post.

Attic-Dweller Becomes 'Infamous'

By Edward Lewis elewis@timesleader.com
Staff Writer

Just Google his name and it becomes quite clear.

Stanley Carter, 21, has become infamous around the world despite his failed attempt to remain quiet while allegedly staying in the attic of a Plains Township residence without the homeowner’s knowledge for a week.

For the full story, go to Times Leader.com.

To Our WESB Listeners:

It's not our decision to replace Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly is leaving radio to concentrate on his television show.

"NEW YORK, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Westwood One is pleased to announce the debut of The Fred Thompson Show on March 2, 2009. The show will replace The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly when the program ends its successful six-year run on February 27, 2009."

Read the story HERE.

We have not decided yet whether to run The Fred Thompson Show, or something else. But, no matter how many e-mails you send us telling us not to drop O'Reilly, we have no choice.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Travolta's Son Dies in Bahamas

Police in the Bahamas say John Travolta's teenage son has died after injuring himself at the actor's vacation home.

Police spokeswoman Loretta Mackey says 16-year-old Jett Travolta hit his head in a bathtub Friday morning. She said he was declared dead at Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama Island.

Jett was the oldest child of Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, who also have an 8-year-old daughter.

A spokeswoman for the hospital in Freeport said she could not release any information because of privacy concerns.

For more, go to CNN.com.

It's That Time of Year Again

Lake Superior State University "maverick" word-watchers, fresh from the holiday "staycation" but without an economic "bailout" even after a "desperate search," have issued their 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

On the list:

"It's that time of year again!"
"Green"
"Carbon Footprint"
"First Dude"

For the list, and more, go to the LSSU Web site.

The Boss, The Super Bowl and You!

You may have heard Dan talking about this:

On February 1, 2009 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform in the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIII Halftime Show in Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to be part of the on-field audience for the show.

For more information, go to Super Bowl Cast.com.

Another Earthquake in PA

2008 went out with a bang in the Dillsburg area. Authorities say a small earthquake jarred the York County area just after the midnight on New Year's Eve.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the tremor measured a 2.1 magnitude on the Richter scale. It was centered near Dillsburg and struck about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 31.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Philly Mummers Parade Struts On

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Musicians dressed as Wild West gunslingers and comics dressed as bullfighters, knights and Mexican wrestlers strutted through downtown Thursday during the annual Mummers Parade, celebrating New Year's Day and, perhaps, the fact the beloved tradition did not fall victim to the city's budget ax.

Thousands braved sunny but frigid temperatures that rose to 30 degrees to ring in 2009 Philadelphia-style, watching the parade of comics, musicians and others dressed in elaborate costumes of satin, sequins and feathers.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

To learn more about the Mummers (and to see some great pictures!) go to Philly Mummers.com.

Tough Year Already for Corry Cops

Corry Police have had a tough year already.

At 1:40 a.m. Thursday they were called to a home for a noise complaint and, after they got there, they say 20-year-old Michael Smith began fighting with them, and 41-year-old Penny Smith repeatedly hit one of them.

About an hour later, they were called to a report of a burglary in progress.

When they arrived, they said they found 31-year-old Jeremy Meerhoff and 31-year-old Carol Bane. Bane allegedly pushed and struck an officer. She and the Smiths were charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Meerhoff was charged with disorderly conduct.

The officers involved in the incidents were not hurt.

Paterson Leaning Toward Kennedy?

ALBANY, N.Y. - Officials say the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy will be the governor's choice to fill the New York Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Two people close to Gov. David Paterson tell The Associated Press they believe Caroline Kennedy will be his choice, but the governor cautions he's still looking.

For the full story, go to MSNBC.com

New Fire-Safe Cigarette Law

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Laws mandating stores only sell cigarettes that are slow-burning and fire-safe went into effect in five states on New Year's Day.

Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas on Thursday joined 17 other states in mandating the fire-safe cigarettes. Fifteen other states have laws that will take effect this year or next, according to the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Suicides in National Parks Increase

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Freshly unemployed, former business executive Bruce J. Colburn flew to the far northwest corner of Montana in search of a place to die.

In early October, he paid a hotel clerk to drive him into Glacier National Park. He spent the night in a campground and then made his way on foot to a valley between two deep glacial lakes. On a forested slope not far from the trail, he shot himself in the chest with a handgun, according to park officials.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Radiology Accreditation at CCMH

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has been awarded a three-year accreditation as a result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology.

“We are very proud to have earned ACR accreditation,” said Keith Hartjen, director of radiology services at CCMH. “This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to quality patient-centered care and I thank Scott Brewer and Dee Taylor for all of their hard work and help in achieving this certification.”

ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-reviewed evaluation which is conducted by board certified physicians and medial physicists. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their finds to the ACR’s committee on accreditation, which provides the practice with a comprehensive report. The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

For more information on CCMH’s imaging services, visit http://www.charlescolehospital.com/services_imaging.shtml.

Metcalfe to Run for Speaker

A Butler County Republican says he'll be running for speaker of the state House of Representatives when the chamber meets for the first time this year on Tuesday.

Daryl Metcalfe is considered a long shot to defeat the Democratic nominee, Keith McCall of Carbon County, because the Democrats have a five-seat majority in the House.

Metcalfe emphasized fiscal restraint by state government in his announcement today. He says his candidacy will end what he describes as McCall's "fiscally irresponsible coronation process."

Metcalfe has been among the Legislature's most devoted pro-gun figures and has also taken a strong position against illegal immigration.

(Pictured, Metcalfe with RadioPA's Matt Paul)

National Fuel Projects Decrease

National Fuel is projecting a 17 percent decrease in prices for later this year.

In its annual filing to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, National Fuel is projecting a decrease in overall gas cost expense.

If approved as filed, in August the bill for a typical residential customer would decrease from $138 to $115 a month.

Nancy Taylor of National Fuel says the forecast for gas costs will be reviewed again in the coming months and may be adjusted further to reflect actual market prices during the winter.

Fumo Secretary Accused of Stealing

An East Pennsboro Twp. woman and executive secretary to indicted former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia, is accused of using her job to steal more than $60,000 from the state.

Susan Skotnicki, 52, who resigned her $103,169-a-year state Senate post Dec. 17, is to plead guilty to a single count of mail fraud on Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, a court spokesman said.

According to court records, Skotnicki is accused of submitting false expense vouchers to the Senate in Fumo's name over at least four years for meals at La Veranda, a restaurant at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

For the full story go to The Patriot-News.

Kane Area Relay for Life Kickoff

On Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 6 p.m. at the St. Callistus Hall, the Kane Area Relay will have their formal Kickoff for the 2009 Kane Area Relay for Life.

The public is invited to attend the festivities to learn more about Relay, the goals and opportunities. Food and beverages will be served up as well as plans for the 2009 event in July.

Who should attend? Marianne Rook, Chair of the Kane Area Relay answers the question, "Everyone….all team leaders and members, people considering forming a team, organizers, people living with cancer, caregivers, family, friends, interested community residents -- anyone who might like to be a part of the event which is a fight for a cure for cancer."

Teams have been forming and fundraising, but Tuesday is the official public KICKOFF. With an American Cancer Society set goal for the Kane Area Relay of $65K, fundraising officially began right after the close of the 2008 event.

For more information call Marianne Rook at 837-7115 or Co-Chair Shirley Morgan at 837-9696.

"We look forward to seeing everyone Tuesday night," encouraged Rook. "If you resolved to get involved in a worthy cause this year, we HOPE you will consider Relay. If you have been touched by cancer, we HOPE to see you on Tuesday. One thing you should know up front is that we set goals, we work hard, we play hard, we laugh, we cry, we are inspired, we support those engaged in personal fights, we are hopeful. Thoughout the year, we remember, we celebrate and we fight back against cancer with action and hope. We invite you to join us on this incredible journey."

Zerbian Named Alumnus of Year

Tina Zerbian has been named the 2008 Leadership Cattaraugus Alumnus of the Year.

The annual award is presented to an alumnus who best represents the mission and vision of the LC program. Zerbian, chief executive officer, Cattaraugus Community Action, was selected because she is a leader and helps to make Cattaraugus County a better place to live, according to LC administrator Jesse Gugino.

Zerbian is past president of the New York State Community Action Association. She was also named Woman of the Year by the Enchanted Mountain Business and Professional Women’s Club. She serves on numerous state and area boards.

“She brings an air of integrity to everything she touches,” said LC alumna Sharon Mathe.

Past recipients include Wendy Bourgeois, Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services, and Len Riker, formerly of Cytec Corp.

Leadership Cattaraugus was established in November 2003 as a joint effort of Jamestown Community College’s Cattaraugus County Campus, The ReHabilitation Center, Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, and St. Bonaventure University. The founding partners include: Alcas Corporation, Cattaraugus Empire Zone Corp., Cooper Power Systems, Cytec Industries, Dresser-Rand, Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, The Iroquois Group, Jamestown Community College, Olean Advanced Products/AVX, Olean General Hospital, The ReHabilitation Center, and St. Bonaventure University.

An inaugural class of 21 members completed the program in 2004, with a second class of 20 participants in 2005, 20 participants in 2006, and 18 in 2007 and 2008. All graduates participated in sessions on economic development, education, tourism, media, government, health and medical issues, human services and a full day of board member development.

For more information, visit the Leadership Cattaraugus website at www.leadershipcattaraugus.org or call 716-376-7572.

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to the Lieutenant Governor!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Museum Honors Weapons Plant

During World War II, Americans launched a variety of volunteer efforts.

Children participated in competitive scrap metal drives and helped their parents plant victory gardens while motorists planned errands to conserve the rationed gasoline. But some of the weapons fueling the Allies' military might came from a north-central Pennsylvania valley near the New York border, 3 miles north of a town called Eldred.

For the full story, go to Go San Angelo.com.

PA House Members Going to Iraq

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two members of the state House of Representatives will be in Iraq on active duty with the Pennsylvania National Guard next year.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-York, and newly elected freshman Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, will serve together in a helicopter combat brigade while their colleagues vote on legislation and their staffs deal with constituents' questions and problems.

For the full story, to to pennlive.com.

Joshua Seitz Remembered

A private burial is expected to be held Tuesday in Genesee, Pa. at the family farm for Navy Seaman Apprentice Joshua Seitz, 19, who died Christmas day in Bahrain.

For the full story, go to the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

Thompson Heads to Washington

It is with the sense of community, willingness to lend a helping hand and the rural values of a lifetime living, learning, working and caring for his family in Centre and Clinton counties that Glenn Thompson will assume the role as U.S. Representative. Having grown up in these areas, Thompson attests to the rural values influencing his life.

For the full story, go to The (Lock Haven) Express.

Brookville Woman Dies in Crash

A Brookville woman died Wednesday after a vehicle spun into the path of a pickup truck in Crawford County.

Authorities say 35-year-old Gena Renae Brumbaugh was pronounced dead at Meadville Medical Center, where she was taken after the 4:30 p.m. crash.

She was a passenger in the vehicle driven by 33-year-old Eric Weaver of DuBois that went out of control on a snow-covered road and spun into the path of the truck driven by 29-year-old Matthew Haught of Meadville.

Haught was treated for a minor injury at the scene. Weaver was taken to Meadville Medical Center, where is condition is not being released.

Year in Review 2008

In case you missed it on the radio Wednesday:

WESB's Year in Review for 2008

Winners and Losers of 2008

PolitickerPA.com looks back at the biggest winners and losers of 2008.

Joe Scarnati: Senate Republicans, along with Corbett, are the lone bright spots for the Pennsylvania GOP. Scarnati led an effort that, depending on a pending special election in the 29th District, could see the GOP increase its already vast majority in the Senate despite a horrible year for Republicans across the country. His ascension to lieutenant governor, while tragic in its circumstances, also launched talk of a possible gubernatorial bid in 2010.

For the rest of the story, go to PolitickerPA.com.

Rigas Family Asking for
Commutation of Sentence

Thanks to Solomon's Words for passing this on:

Due to the considerable number of persons, who have contacted the Rigas family, urging an effort to request a commutation of John Rigas's sentence, the family has proceeded to have the necessary papers filed on Monday. Anyone who would like to write a letter to President Bush to recommend John's commutation, may send them as below.

The time remaining for President Bush to act is extremely limited, so time is of essence in this effort. A few minutes of your time and your prayers may have a profound effect on the life of this man who tried to do so much for the people of Potter County and the surrounding area.

People wanting to support the Commutation request of John Rigas should send their letters to the following address:

Lizette Benedi
Bancroft Associate PLLC
1919 M Street, NW
Suite 470
Washington, DC 20036

However, the letters should be addressed to the President as follows:

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

The Bancroft Associate group will assemble the letters and send them as a group. Thank you.

Obituary
Sister Maurita Murnaghan

Sister Maurita Murnaghan, SSJ, 89, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania passed away Tuesday Decemer 30, 2008, at the Villa Maria Community Living Center.

She was in her 72nd year of religious life.

Born in Ridgway on December 12, 1919, she was the daughter of the late Henry and Cecelia Modenbach Murnaghan. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Leo Parish, Ridgway, on September 8, 1937, and professed her final vows on August 15, 1943.

Sister Maurita earned a BA in Music from Villa Maria College, Erie, in 1952 and a Master's Degree in Music from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Most of Sister’s ministry was in the field of music, as a choir director and a piano teacher. She taught at both St. Andrew and St. Joseph Schools in Erie, St. Francis School in Clearfield, Holy Rosary in Johnsonburg, and then for more than 40 years in St. Bernard Parish in Bradford teaching piano. In addition she served in various other ministries at the Villa Maria Motherhouse and St. Mary’s Home of Erie.

Retiring from active ministry in 1998, Sister has since resided at the Villa Maria Community Living Center in Erie, always enjoying music and related activites as well as Wii bowling.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother Henry. She is survived by members of her religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pa., and additionally a sister, Ann Price of Brookhaven, MS and a brother William Murnaghan of Ridgway.

A letter of recommendation from her parish priest that accompanied Sister’s application to become a Sister of St. Joseph included the following: “You are getting my best girl from St. Leo’s parish. She will be all that you can expect --our loss is your gain. She is especially talented in music and has been junior organist for five years; St. Leo’s Church will miss her too. In character, in spirituality and in application to work, I can find no defect.” Such has been the experience of her sisters!

Friends may call at the Villa Maria Community Living Center, 5031 West Ridge Rd. on Friday, January 2, 2009, from 3 to 7 p.m., when a prayer service will be held. Further calling on Saturday from 11 a.m. until a Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00 p.m. in the Living Center’s Chapel. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Community Support Fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 5031 West Ridge Rd., Erie, PA 16506-1249.

Arrangements are under the direction of the John J. Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th & Liberty St. (Thanks to the funeral home for sending the obituary to me! I appreciate it, and I'm sure many other people do, too.)

First Night Finale

In case you couldn't join Scott and me in Veterans Square at midnight -- here's what you missed:





Happy New Year!

All the events I was able to attend were great, but I have to give special kudos to Roger Peters for, what I think, is the best art show he's ever put together. If you missed it, you missed something special.

WESB's Week in Review

Week in Review 1/25/09 to 1/31/09

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Glowing Pickles and Giant Peeps

By LYNN OLANOFF
The Express-Times


The fiberglass Peep's competition was stiff.

There was a glowing pickle, a papier-mache gumbo pot and an 18-foot sausage.

But in the end, it was the intriguing combination of a conch shell, a drag queen and a costumed pirate wench that beat Bethlehem's Peep as TripAdvisor's No. 1 quirkiest New Year's Eve event.

For the full story, go to Lehigh Valley Live.com.

Must be TripAdvisor didn't hear about our gazebo drop, or the awesome oil derrick fireworks we had last year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Riel Outlines Changes to PD

One of Tom Riel's campaign promises when he was running for mayor was that he would make positive changes to the City of Bradford Police Department.

In a speech Tuesday afternoon during a joint meeting of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, Riel said one of the first things he did after being sworn in as mayor was to make good on that pledge.

He said when he named Mike Close as the new chief "reforming the City of Bradford Police Department began."

"The publicly requested beat cop was walking the streets the next day," Riel said. "Chief Close dove in head first and was hard at work making the changes the city and police department needed."

The department now has the Emergency Response Team and Street Crimes Unit, which were equipped, armed, trained and have specialized vehicles all at no cost to the city.

Riel said Microtech, American Refining Group and Zippo were "more than generous" in their support.

"The officers themselves were very giving, too," Riel said, adding that they volunteering their time to be trained out of the area and paid for their own lodging and meals while they were away from home.

"This is testament to the dedication and the increased morale in the City of Bradford Police Department," Riel said.

Also during the past year, the late Joe Warner started the web site, City of Bradford Police.com, which includes an anonymous tip line that Riel said is an "invaluable resource in the fight against drugs in the city."

Since February, police have received 131 anonymous tips.

Riel noted that in 2007, 81 drug-related arrests were made in all of McKean County. This year, 103 drug arrests were made in the City of Bradford alone.

He said city police and the McKean County Drug Task Force are doing a tremendous job and putting a huge dent in the drug trade.

He did say, however, that he's shocked in the discrepancy between sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania and New York.

He said a person can be arrested in Pennsylvania for selling cocaine and can get a sentence of probation if they don't have a previous record. But in New York, a person who is convicted of possessing a small amount of cocaine for personal use can get a year in state prison.

Riel said that's one reason drug dealers from other states come to Pennsylvania, and we need to "curb repeat, recycled offenders."

Also Tuesday, Riel mentioned the new look of the police department – from the uniforms that are more versatile, cheaper and more comfortable to black and white police cruisers – which came at no extra cost to the city.

He also mentioned the efforts of Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani in getting Segways for the department, which allows officers to patrol more ground.

"We should all be thankful for the officers of Bradford City Police Department, and especially Chief Close, for doing their part to make Bradford a safer and better place for us all," Riel said.

Cops: Teens Blew Up Mailboxes

Four Dunkirk teenagers accused of blowing up mailboxes with homemade explosive devices have been arrested.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, along with the US Postal Service and Dunkirk Police have been investigating the incidents for two months.

Some of the explosive devices didn't detonate and the county bomb squad had to be called in.

18-year-old Jacob Schnur and Michael Barras and 17-year-old Aaron Cole and Michael Mirek were all sent to jail on felony criminal mishief charges.

Former No. Po Student Dies in Iraq

A sailor who attended Northern Potter High School died on Christmas Day in Bahrain, Iraq.

19-year-old Master-at-Arms Seaman Apprentice Joshua Seitz suffered fatal injuries when his patrol boat collided with a barge moored in the Mina Salman port harbor.

Seitz attended Wellsville middle and high schools, and Northern Potter High School, but graduated in 2007 from a Reading-area school.

Two other sailors riding with Seitz survived and are hospitalized in stable condition.

The incident is under investigation.

Mayor Tom Riel Describes Alleged
Elaborate, Clumsy Plot Against Him

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Mayor Tom Riel says after he won the election in November of 2007, some people went to great lengths to try to make sure he was never sworn in.

"An elaborate but clumsy plot was hatched by a few rogue members of law enforcement to try to set me up with some sort of drug charges so that I would never be sworn in as mayor and I would never appoint a new police chief," Riel said Tuesday afternoon during a joint meeting of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

He said, "drug-related rumors were spread wildly" about him all over town so that when and if the charges were filed people would be more likely to believe them.

Riel went on to describe parts of the "plot."

He said a man who hadn't lived in Bradford very long was arrested on charges that were later dropped. While this man (who is not being named in this story in deference to Riel and the man's family) was in jail he was approached by law enforcement, shown a picture of Riel and offered "a way out," Riel said.

He was let out of jail to help "get Tom Riel," and the reasons were explained to at least one member of his family, Riel said.

At the end of last December when "he hadn't gotten Tom Riel yet," the man was arrested for robbing the Lewis Run Crosby's although he didn't come close to matching the description given by witnesses.

The family went to the late Joe Warner, who posted all the related documents on Bradford-Online.

"Mysteriously," Riel said, a few hours later a no contest deal was reached.

"Is that McKean County justice for poor people who know too much?" Riel asked.

Riel did contact the state attorney general's office, which is conducting an investigation.

Riel said he knows this story "would cause waves" and probably shock people, but he believes the truth should be told.

He said at least one person allegedly said the story should never get out because "it could damage the integrity of law enforcement in McKean County."

"Now you know what can happen when you take a stand for what you believe in and truly try to change things," Riel said. "Your life will never be the same."

Attic-Dweller Wanted in Arkansas

A Trumann man who slept in a Pennsylvania attic for several days was being sought on misdemeanor offenses when he was arrested in the Keystone State last week, Trumann police said Monday.

Detective Jerry Foster said authorities had been seeking Stanley Carter, 21, of Trumann on violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law and contempt of court-nonpayment of fines since June.

For the full story, go to the Jonesboro Sun.

Charges for Driving In Floodwater

A Falconer man is in hot water after driving his car into floodwater in the Town of Poland.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 77-year-old Theodore Clark attempted to drive through a section of Clay Pond Road that was flooded. When the car was pushed off the road by the floodwater and the car began to flood.

A passerby was able to transport Clark and his passenger to dry land.

Clark was charged with disobeying a traffic control device because there were barriers in place indicating the road was closed due to flooding. Deputies say Clark apparently drove around the barriers.

Spare Him the Bowling Jokes

KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama thought he'd put the bowling jokes behind him.

Not likely.

On the golf course Monday, a woman waiting at the 18th green reminded Obama of his disastrous bowling during the presidential campaign. It was an unwelcome reminder for Obama, whose golf game during a 12-day vacation has been just as troublesome.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stanley's Christmas List

An intruder slept undetected for days in a family's attic, stealing food and clothing when they were away, and only surrendering when he heard a police dog inside the Wilkes-Barre area home.

21-year-old Stanley Carter of Trumann, Arkansas, was reported missing December 19th by the homeowners' neighbors, who he had been staying with. Police believe Carter sneaked next door through a shared attic of the duplex.

The family called police when they noticed a laptop and an iPod were missing. They also saw footprints in a bedroom closet, where a trap door leads to the attic.

Police say Carter did keep track of everything he took, and labeled it "Stanley's Christmas List."

Tionesta Teen is Missing

State Police are asking people to be on the lookout for a missing Tionesta teenager.

15-year-old Tara Jean Phillips left her house to visit a friend, and was last seen late Saturday afternoon at a Youngsville bowling alley.

Tara was wearing a new, brown winter jacket with fur lining, blue jeans and a white T-shirt.

Anyone with information concerning her whereabouts is asked to contact state police.

3-Year-Old Boy Hospitalized After
Wearing Same Diaper for a Month

GREENSBURG, Pa. - Suffering skin burns from a diaper that likely hadn't been changed in a month, a child was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment, police said.

The father -- Jesus Rodriguez, 34, of Greensburg -- was arrested Friday on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.

For the full story, go to MSNBC.

Funeral for Galeton Fire Chief

Funeral services were held over the weekend for Goodyear Hose Company Fire Chief Tim Martin, who died as a result of a snowmobile accident on December 21.

At the family's request, no fire apparatus was sent to the funeral, but a large contingent of area fire personnel did attend the services.

Martin, who was 32 years old, had been chief of the department for three years. He was the youngest chief in the history of the Goodyear Hose Company.

Duck Hunters Rescued from Harbor

Three duck hunters were rescued after high waves swamped their boats at about Sunday morning in Barcelona Harbor.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office says two of men were able to get to the outer breakwater, where they waited for rescuers. But a 16-year-old remained in a boat and could not get to the breakwater.

Chautauqua County Water Emergency Team members used a rubber raft to pick them up one at a time. All three were treated at the scene.

Deputies say high winds, rain and waves hampered the rescue effort. The Westfield Fire and Police departments also responded.

Brotherly Love Gone Wrong

A Titusville man was accidentally stabbed by his brother after they decided to hug and make up following a bar fight Saturday night.

Police say the brothers got into a fist fight at a Titusville bar. One of the brothers left and they other chased him down the street.

They apparently resolved their differences, but when they went to hug each other one brother's pocketknife cut the other across the face and punctured his cheek.

The injured brother received three stitches. Police say no charges will be filed. They didn't release the names of the men.

Cops: Woman Stabs Husband,
Fixes Herself a Ham Sandwich

An Erie woman is in jail after allegedly stabbing her husband, then making herself a ham sandwich.

Police say 48-year-old Tammy Yeany was making the sandwich when they arrived at her home, and didn't seem concerned that her husband was on the couch bleeding from a stab wound she allegedly inflicted with a 7-inch knife.

Police say Yeany told them she was going to eat the sandwich then go to bed.

She is being held at the Erie County Prison on $25,000 bond. The victim is at Hamot Medical Center in fair condition.

Letter to the Editor

Note: Sorry I didn't post this earlier. With days off, etc., the letter didn't make it to me until today.

As a City of Bradford tax payer and member of the Police Department I feel some facts need to be given about the current financial situation of the city and the police department. I want to stress that these facts are not meant in any way to represent the views of the Fraternal Order of Police or any other members of the department other than myself. These facts are also being stated as a tax payer with knowledge and not as a police officer.

During the last contract negotiations I along with two other representatives met with representatives of the city, one of which was John Peterson. During these negotiations the police officers agreed to concessions partially because John Peterson stated the insurance premiums were expected to raise 17 to 25% in 2008 and were expected to continue rising within those percentages. His anticipated increase fell within the range of the 23% the city received. This should have been anticipated while figuring the next budget.

When the city met with representatives of the departments on December 10th we were given the option to accept a package of three concessions which have been printed in the paper. It was asked in this meeting if the three could be voted on separately and we were informed no, it was all or nothing. I have talked with several members of the police department about the possibility of the wage freeze to help with the financial situation, this may have been acceptable.

There are many other concessions officers have made to better the police service at no cost to the tax payer. All members of the Emergency Response Team volunteered to be trained with the City of Erie S.W.A.T. and receive their Basic S.W.A.T. certificate at no additional cost to the city. Seven officers paid for their own meals, gas and lodging while being trained. Chief Close has also sent officers to other schools with no additional cost to the city to have better trained and qualified officers.

There are many other instances in which officers and the Chief have donated their time or taken compensation time in lieu of overtime.

Another point which should be made is that there are two officers in our department which are eligible for retirement but are unable to leave at this time. One of these officers expressed interest in retirement to save the job of a younger officer more capable of performing the duties. Representatives spoke with City officials and compiled figures which would have enabled one if not both of the officers to retire and keep a more productive officer on the street. These figures did show a significant savings for the city. It is my understanding that Mayor Riel understood the need for young enthusiastic officers in the department who will be an asset and worth training in specialized fields and be serving the city for years. It is also my understanding that Mayor Riel does not have the support from John Peterson or other council members.

I would like to stress that the meeting with the departments was not until December 10th, why was this not discussed earlier with the departments. John Peterson City Clerk, and Councilman Onuffer whom is in charge of Accounts and Finance should have some accountability as this should have been anticipated and the departments approached prior to the first budget reading.

Respectfully,
Michael S Simanowski