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Showing posts from January 4, 2009

Heisman Has Titusville Tie

TITUSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — If Jerry Schill has his way, 2009 will be the year when everyone knows where the legend of John Heisman got its start.

Schill, the executive director of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, has been working to spread the word about the legendary college football coach's connection to the city since Schill assumed his job in July 2007.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Steelers vs. Chargers Wager

The mayors of Pittsburgh and San Diego have their own unique wager on the Steelers-Chargers playoff game.

If the Chargers lose, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will send San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders a Steelers cap, jersey and pair of skis. Sanders must send Ravenstahl a photo of himself in the gear while holding the skis at the Sea World Penguin Encounter.

If the Steelers lose, Ravenstahl must wear Chargers swim trunks and a jersey and pose with a surfboard next to one of the city's three rivers.

New Web Site

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How cool is THIS?


Well, I think it's cool and I maintain the blog, so there ya go.

It's the Buzz Week in Review

Check out the latest webisode of the Buzz Week in Review

Dan, I'm with ya on the tartar sauce.

Salmonella Outbreak Hits PA

At least a dozen Pennsylvania residents have been infected in a salmonella outbreak that's hit 42 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 400 people have been infected with the bacterial illness. No deaths have been reported.

The infected Pennsylvanians are in Bucks, Butler, Chester, Clinton, Delaware, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, and Montgomery counties. Their ages range from three to 73 years.

Health officials in Minnesota say lab tests traced the salmonella bacteria to a container of peanut butter. They are waiting for more test results.

Man Jailed After Alleged Threats

A St. Marys man is in jail after allegedly threatening two people early this morning.

Police say 38-year-old Scott Gore entered a private residence and made the threats at 1:45 today.

He was charged with criminal trespass, terroristic threats and having a prohibited offensive weapon.

Gore is in Elk County Jail on $10,000 bail.

Cops: Man Made False Report

An Olean resident has been charged with making false reports to law enforcement.

34-year-old Andrew Washington reported that his vehicle had been stolen from the City Limits Bar in Olean.

While investigating an accident on Goodrich Street involving the vehicle that had been reported stolen, sheriff's deputies learned that Washington allegedly crashed the vehicle on his way home from the City Limits, then reported it was stolen.

Russell Man Hit By Car, Dies

A Russell man is dead after being hit by a car Friday morning.

Police say 78-year-old Randall White was walking on Cemetery Road when he was hit by a car driven by 20-year-old Joshua Graham of Sugar Grove.

White was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown, N.Y., where he died as a result of his injuries.

Graham wasn't hurt, but has been cited for driving too fast for conditions.

Child Porn, Firearms Charges Filed

A Potter County man is facing several charges including firearms violations and possession of child pornography.

Police say when they executed a search warrant at the North Bingham home 25-year-old Adam Johnson they found three firearms, which he can't possess because he is a convicted felon. Two of the shotguns were stolen from a seasonal residence in New York.

Police also found identity and credit cards of four people besides Johnson, computer printouts depicting child pornography and two pipes containing marijuana.

St. Marys Residents Arrested

Two St. Marys residents were arrested in Allegany for allegedly having property stolen from St. Marys.

31-year-old Aubrey Sapielak and 33-year-old Jeffrey Geyer have both been charged with criminal possession of stolen property and sent to Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail each.

Deputies say they responded to a complaint of two people in the parking lot of the Allegany Wal-Mart who were possibly in possession of stolen property. After speaking with St. Marys Police, deputies verified that the property was stolen from during a burglary in St. Marys.

Man Admits to Robbing Banks

A Jamestown man is facing 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing five banks.

31-year-old Rashawn Smith, who also has a Buffalo address, admitted to robbing a total of $39,000 from banks in Jamestown, Pittsburgh and Erie between April and July of 2007.

Smith carried a knife during one of the robberies and a pellet gun during another.

He will be sentenced June 17 in US District Court in Buffalo.

Nutter, Bloomberg Bet on Game

As the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for the National Football Conference divisional playoff game, the mayor of each city placed a traditional wager on the outcome.

The winner of the Sunday afternoon game at Giants stadium will advance to the NFC Championship game.

If the Giants win, Mayor Michael Nutter will send five cheesesteaks from popular shops across Philadelphia. If the Eagles win, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will send a giant, New York-style cheesecake from Manhattan's Carnegie Deli.

Mayor Bloomberg better get used to Cheese Whiz – fast. Remember, that's coming from a Bills fan who thought they were going to make the playoffs this year. So, what do I know?

Better Late Than Never ...

Sorry I forgot to post this a couple of days ago. I guess it's old news now, but just in case you want to read it sometime in the future, you know it'll be archived here.

Joint statement to the media from Mayor Tom Riel and District Attorney John Pavlock:

"We recently met and had a lengthy discussion regarding these limited disagreements. Each of us now has a much better understanding of the other's position. As far as both of us are concerned, any limited disagreement between the two of us about these issues has been completely resolved.

This matter is now behind us and we will continue our joint efforts to work for the citizens of McKean County and the City of Bradford. Anyone who thinks otherwise, particulary criminals, will be sadly mistaken."

It's National Blood Donor Month

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By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department


It’s conceivable Beverly Vinca of Bradford has saved the lives of more than 40 people and she doesn’t even know their names.

Although Mrs. Vinca never met any of them, she’s undaunted in her self-less act of giving the gift of life. With predictable regularity, every eight weeks she donates blood at Community Blood Bank (CBB) at Union Square, 24 Davis St., in Bradford. CBB is the sole provider of blood and blood supplies to Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC). Donating a pint of blood takes less than an hour and can be done by an individual every 56 days, say CBB officials.

Mrs. Vinca and a friend became motivated several years ago to give blood when someone they knew became ill and eventually died. “It was then that we decided to start giving blood. And it’s not hard to do at all,” Mrs. Vinca says.

There are a couple reasons that keep Mrs. Vinca returning to donate blood. First, “It makes me feel good to know this is going t…

Family Fitness Grants Awarded

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Coudersport, Austin, and Galeton school districts each received a $10,000 grant through the Healthy High 5 School Challenge Grant Program to fund the Family Fitness Challenge for students in each of the schools.

The Family Fitness Challenge is a 10-week fitness and nutrition program for school aged children. Curriculum for the program was developed by Penn State University. Additional enhancements were made by Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, who also assisted with writing the grant, and includes pediatricians, registered dieticians and an exercise specialist.

“The Highmark Healthy High 5 School Challenge Grant Program is geared toward helping schools address their unique health and wellness challenges,” said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. “This grant provides the Coudersport, Austin and Galeton school districts with the resources and tools to implement an innovative program that will help their students establish lifelong, healthy hab…

Prof's Article Appears in Journal

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An article by University of Pittsburgh at Bradford assistant professor of communications Dr. Fang-Yi Flora Wei appears in the January issue of the journal Communication Teacher.

Wei’s article, “Birthdays Then and Now: Applying Uses and Gratification Theory to Analyze the Media Progression Cycle,” outlines a classroom lesson that communications teachers can use to increase students’ knowledge of print media.

Wei developed the lesson as part of the Mass Media and Society course she teaches at Pitt-Bradford.

In the lesson, students study newspapers from the day they were born and from 40 years before they were born as well as an online version of the newspaper. Wei has the students examine which sections and headings are most prominent in the paper, look at the advertisements and see what the headlines of the day were.

The lesson ties into the uses and gratification theory of media that says that audiences use the media to get specific gratific…

Dem. Senators Setting Priorities

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With the new session of the state legislature underway, Democratic lawmakers are setting their priorities.

Senator Mike Stack is the new Democratic vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and he says he wants to see a "responsible" state budget that encourages growth in the state's economy.

"It's going to be a rocky time, and we've got to make sure that we keep the economy rolling in a stable way, and make sure Pennsylvanians' interests for the future are protected," he said, adding that lawmakers need to "spend the state money in a responsible way so that the state once again is functioning smoothly and we're creating jobs and people are holding onto jobs"

Stack said that he will continue to advocate for senior citizens, education, health care and jobs.

He said, "The number one thing is: We've got to get the economy under control. All the other things fall into line after that."

Senator Andy Dinniman agrees, say…

Casey Statement on Job Numbers

WASHINGTON, DC- Following release of new job numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 7.2% in December from 6.8% in November and that the U.S. economy lost 524,000 jobs in December, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement:

“As expected, the December job loss numbers were grim. They were record breaking. The unemployment rate is the highest since 1993. The 2.6 million jobs lost this year mark the highest level since 1945.

“I've heard story after story from my constituents about the effect the economy is having on them, their families or their businesses. I hope that Washington will move quickly to pass a stimulus that will immediately jump start the economy, create millions of jobs, reverse the decline in our economy and prepare the country to compete in the new economy.”

PennDOT Encourages Sled Safety

CLEARFIELD- With winter snowfalls, children of all ages head outside for sledding fun. Unfortunately, each year thousands of people are seriously injured while sledding. Most injuries are preventable and the following tips can help you keep the fun from turning to tragedy.

· Make sure that children wear a helmet when sledding. Many head injuries occur because children often ride headfirst.

· Children should be warmly dressed with gloves and boots to prevent frostbite. If they get wet, have them change into dry clothing.

· Always supervise young children when they sled ride.

· Choose a safe area with plenty of light. Avoid parking lots, roadways, and areas with trees or other obstructions.

· Use a sled that is in good condition and in not broken.

· A “steerable” sled is safer than a tube or saucer you can’t control. Teach children to roll off a sled that will not stop.

· Don’t ride on a sled that is being pulled behind a moving vehicle.

· Never use alcohol or drugs while sledding or supervisin…

Clubs Urged to Participate in
Pheasant Chick, Egg Program

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HARRISBURG -- Sportsmen’s organizations with approved propagation facilities can augment local ring-necked pheasant stockings and increase localized recreational hunting opportunities by raising day‑old pheasant chicks supplied free-of-charge by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Applications to participate can be downloaded from the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on “Forms & Programs” and then selecting “Pheasant Chick & Egg Program.” In order for Game Farm superintendents to plan and set hatches to accommodate requests, the Bureau of Wildlife Management must receive completed applications by March 31.

“To restore self-sustaining and huntable pheasant populations, the Game Commission is committed to creating Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, as outlined in our pheasant management plan,” said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “While we strive to create these areas, we continue to urge interested clubs to participate in…

Man Rescued from Creek

Emergency crews rescued a man who fell into a creek while trailing a wounded deer Thursday night.

Officials say 19-year-old Tyler Lyngarkos of Northeast was trailing the deer from Pennsylvania as it crossed into New York when he fell down an embankment and into 20-Mile Creek.

Rescuers were able to find him in the Town of Ripley by using the signals from his cell phone during his 9-1-1 call.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was given IV fluids and treated for cold exposure. His father, who was helping in the rescue effort, was treated for minor injuries to his leg and back.

Both father and son are in stable condition.

Glenn Thompson Named to Ag,
Small Business Committees

Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, on Thursday was appointed by the Republican Steering Committee to serve on the House Agriculture and Small Business Committees in the 111th Congress.

“I could not be more pleased and excited to serve on both the Agriculture and Small Business Committees,” said Thompson. “As the number one industry in Pennsylvania, I look forward to working with the agriculture community across the district in crafting fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly policies to strengthen family farming, the forest products and timber industry, and assist rural communities in Pennsylvania to create sustainable new jobs.”

The House Agriculture Committee is responsible for a wide array of issues from rural development to bioterrorism and regulation of the commodities markets. The Committee also has jurisdiction over bio-fuels, agriculture research and development, the Allegheny National Forest and rural electrification.

“Representing one of the premier agri…

Yell of 'Help Me' Prompts Search

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By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


About 35 people from more than half a dozen organizations searched last night and today for a person calling for help in Roulette Township, but didn't find anyone.

Coudersport-based state police say they received a call at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday from a resident of Atkins Road reporting that they heard a male voice yelling, "Help me!"

The caller checked with neighbors and area residents, and searched part of the area before calling police. Four other area residents also heard the call for help.

When police arrived, they also heard the call for help, but didn't find anyone during a "hasty" search of the area.

Police then contacted the Roulette Fire Department for help searching the area of Fishing Creek Road, Atkins Road and the West Branch of Fishing Creek Road.
The area within hearing distance was thoroughly searched before the effort was called off at 1 a.m. because of darkness. They used a thermal imaging device during the sea…

'09 Butter Sculpture Unveiled

Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers today unveiled the 19th annual butter sculpture to kick off the 93rd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. This year’s creamy creation, crafted from 900 pounds of butter donated by the Land O’Lakes plant in Carlisle, is a tribute to the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Since Benjamin Franklin formed the first Pennsylvania National Guard in 1747, the brave members have been ready to leave the comforts of home and farm to defend their nation’s interests and bring peace and hope throughout the world.

“Dairy farmers have a long and proud involvement in the Pennsylvania National Guard,” said Tom Croner, a Somerset County dairy farmer and chairman of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. “When the Guard first formed, dairy farmers laid down their farming equipment and picked up weapons to fight for our freedom. Today, we salute the men and women who work diligently to protect us.”

At the conclusion of the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the butter sculpture w…

Great Topic at TAB

"Walking Man" has started a fantastic topic on Talk About Bradford.

Nicest people in Bradford -- name names! What are you waiting for? Go respond!

By the way, I vote for my mom, and I bet some people who remember her as the school nurse at St. Bernard's would agree.

I made the list! WOW! (Thanks Brian. I think you're pretty darn nice, too.) Even better than making the list myself is one of Tom Riel's choices -- My Uncle George. :)

Spring Spectrum Series Announced

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The gallery exhibit “People, Places, Things” by photographer and art professor Ward Roe will kick off the spring term of the Spectrum Series at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The Spectrum Series offers academic and curriculum-based programming at little or no cost to the university community and community at large.

“This semester features exceptionally strong Spectrum Series events, and we are proud to present them,” said Randy Mayes, arts programming director.

Roe’s exhibit will open in the KOA Art Gallery Jan. 30 and run through Feb. 27. Roe will give a gallery talk followed by a reception at noon Jan. 30 in the Webb/Bradford Forest Rehearsal Hall and KOA Speer Electronics Lobby.

“Some of the pictures are quirky, atypical viewpoints or banal subjects photographed in ways that alter their context. In some cases these are downright funny,” Ward wrote in 2006, when the exhibit appeared in Scranton. “Other pictures are sadly poetic and tinged w…

More 'Family Cookout' Guilty Pleas

Two more people accused of operating a Albion-area methamphetamine ring have pleaded guilty.

43-year-old Patricia Frey and 30-year-old Bradley Hatcher are two of 29 people charged in connection with the state Attorney General's Operation Family Cookout investigation.

The ring was operated for more than 10 years by brothers James and Ronald Frey. Patricia Frey is Ronald's wife. She faces up to 10 years in prison when she's sentenced on February 24.

Hatcher faces a maximum of 27 years in state prison for his role in the operation.

SWAT Team Shoots Suspect

Pittsburgh police fatally shot an armed man after they cornered him in his apartment bathroom, ending a standoff that lasted more than 9 hours and started as a domestic dispute.

As a SWAT team surrounded the building, officers shot the man when he made aggressive movements toward them shortly after noon.

They tried to negotiate with the man, but he did not come out even after police fired several tear gas rounds into the building.

A man who claimed to be the suspect's brother said his brother was distraught over a recent death or deaths in his family. Police didn't release the suspect's name.

Earlier this week, a domestic dispute in Erie ended with a man dying in a house fire. Authorities are waiting for DNA test results to confirm that the body they found in a burned-out building was the man who shot at them early Tuesday morning.

Bills Declared StormReady®

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will announce on Tuesday that the Buffalo Bills have become the first National Football League team to be a StormReady® Supporter.

To achieve this status, the Buffalo Bills met rigorous guidelines, which include developing severe weather safety plans, actively promoting severe weather safety through awareness activities and conducting safety training in an effort to better protect fans and spectators of events at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

For more information, you can visit NOAA's StormReady Web site.

The Pennsylvania Bowl

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Just a little note to Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, Troy Polamalu, Asante Samuel, et al.:

I really have my heart set on an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl, although I am a Bills fan. (Please don't hold that against me, though. In fact, you could use it as motivation to win. Ya know -- win it for the long-suffering Bills fan in Bradford and maybe her loyalties will swtich to a team in her own state.)

Anything you could do to make my dream come true would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

In Case You Missed It ...

01/07/09 - Three Bills Finalists for Hall of Fame
Three Buffalo Bills are among the 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson, defensive end Bruce Smith and wide receiver Andre Reed will be on the final ballot. For Wilson and Reed it's their third time as finalists.

01/07/09 - Eldred Ethan Allen Plant is Closing
Employees of the Ethan Allen plant in Eldred were told during a Tuesday afternoon meeting that the plant will be closing in a few weeks. The Ethan Allen plant had employed nearly 200 people. The plant manufactures custom furniture and other products.

01/07/09 - Leonard to Redshirt at St. Bona
St. Bonaventure has announced that junior Lewis Leonard will redshirt his first year in the program. Leonard, a highly touted forward from San Bernardino Valley and Philadelphia, will attend classes, but not play. He averaged 25 points per game last season in the Foothills Conference in California.

01/07/09 - Former Bill Jack Kemp has Cancer
Form…

Catt County Man Charged with Rape

A Cattaraugus County man is has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl.

25-year-old Brandon Darcy of Conewango Valley allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old on Monday.

He's been charged with rape and endangering the welfare of a child and was sent to Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

State Performance Report Out

The Rendell administration has released its second annual report on state government performance, outlining the accomplishments of various agencies.

Rendell describes it as a way to measure and improve state services, partly by comparing Pennsylvania's government to other states.

The 224-page document is part of the governor's attempt to show how tax dollars translate into public services.

The report costs about $24,000 to print.

You can see the report HERE.

Clarion County Man Found Guilty
on Federal Weapons Charges

A Clarion County man has been found guilty of federal weapons charges.

A jury took about an hour to convict 59-year-old Dana Darryl McCall of possessing unregistered firearms, including a machine gun with a heat-sensing device on it, a "street sweeper" shotgun and the various materials necessary to make pipe bombs.

Prosecutors say McCall was targeting a state trooper from the Clarion barracks because the trooper had cited him for a summary violation that carried a $100 fine.

Read the news release HERE.

Micek: Senator Has New Office (LOL)

From John L. Micek's Capitol Ideas Blog:

"Quote Of The Day.
I am speaking only for myself, but for [Senate President Pro-Tem Joe] Scarnati to represent the position of all the southeastern Republican senators the way he has, that we will not support any tax increase, is not correct.

-- state Sen. Ted Erickson, R-Delaware, puts a ding in the Senate GOP's united front (via Capitolwire).

In a related story, Erickson's new office is now in the Capitol garage."

Once again, here's the link to the blog. My fellow PCN addicts will recognize Mr. Micek from Journalists Roundtable.

Auction Raises $719 for Ventilator

A silent auction over the holidays for 21 employee-donated wreaths and swags at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) raised $719 toward Bradford Area High School's ongoing fundraising effort to purchase a ventilator, says Stacy Williams, the hospital’s director of Annual Giving and Volunteer Services.

Auction proceeds benefit “First Breath,” a fundraising effort to purchase a ventilator for BRMC’s Respiratory Services Department, she says.

The First Breath fundraising campaign was started by a Bradford High student who had a desire to attend the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Health Care and her need to participate in a leadership program.

Steve Mongillo, a Bradford High guidance counselor, says, "This was quite an undertaking for one student. The school and other students would like to see this project through and will continue to work on fundraising efforts."

Earlier fundraising activities included a walk-a-thon at Callahan Park and a coin drive.

Driftwood Bridge to Open Tuesday

The new Driftwood Bridge on Route 555 in Driftwood will open to traffic on Tuesday.

A new roadway alignment will be in effect with the opening.

Once the new bridge is open, the old bridge will be closed and removed. A temporary road will remain open for Driftwood Avenue until paving is completed later this spring.

The new 278 foot, concrete bridge replaces the old, one-lane, steel structure over the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek. The new bridge is downstream from the old location.

Contractor on the $3.5 million project is Clearwater Construction Inc. of Mercer.

Murder Charges Added

First-degree murder has been added to the charges against two people in connection with the shooting death of a Tionesta man.

33-year-old Susan Yeager and 36-year-old Robert Pessia were originally charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Originally, 28-year-old Cory Altman was the only one of the three charged with murder because he allegedly shot 39-year-old Shawn Yeager last month.

Both Susan Yeager and Pessia have been arraigned on the new charge and are in Warren County Jail without bail.

Authorities believe Susan Yeager hatched the plot against her estranged husband because she wasn't getting as much time with her sons as she thought she should.

Young: We Can't Tax Our Way Out

State Senator Cathy Young released the following statement after Governor David Paterson's State of the State address:

“Tax relief and economic growth are our state’s most pressing needs. Our families are having a terrible time trying to afford living here, and we desperately need more jobs. Instead of new spending, we should eliminate the proposed 151 new taxes and fees that hit the middle class squarely between the eyes. And, I’m hoping for more details from the Governor about stimulating small businesses and manufacturers.

“While I agree that one element of rebuilding our economy should be developing jobs related to clean energy, I was surprised that agriculture was not mentioned even once. I also was hoping that the Governor would bring up the Jamestown BPU’s oxy-coal plant.

"We have very tough times facing us, but we can’t tax and spend our way out of this crisis."

Listen to Young's statement HERE.

(Audio courtesy of Young's office. Thanks Matt!)

BRMC's ED Holds Open House

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More than 120 people visited Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) expanded and redesigned Emergency Department during an open house held Wednesday. Shown speaking during a tour to visitors were (from left) Donald Human, M.D., an Emergency Department physician; Theresa Potter, LPN, the Emergency Department’s triage liaison; and Deborah Price, BRMC’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services. The $3.5 million project, completed this past summer, was Phase II of BRMC’s overall “Building the Future” campus improvement plan. The Emergency Department doubled its size to increase efficiency and patient monitoring. Along with streamlined patient admission procedures, the Emergency Department expanded to 8,500 square feet to accommodate more beds. It now has the ability to add patient beds during “surge capacity,” meaning times of disaster or a sudden influx of individuals due to the flu, for example. Other improvements include the ability to treat 15 patients, two more than before; …

Causer Announces VFD Grants

Volunteer emergency response organizations in Cameron, McKean and Potter counties have been awarded more than $330,000 in grants from the state, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) announced today.

“In these challenging economic times, it is important to ensure our fire and ambulance companies have the resources they need to continue protecting the public safety,” Causer said. “I applaud the dedicated volunteers who give so much of their time in service to our communities.”

The grants were awarded to 32 fire and ambulance companies in the 67th Legislative District that Causer represents. The funding comes from an ongoing grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

This year’s program provided $25 million in grants statewide. Projects eligible for funding include: construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training, or reduction of existing debt.

Following is a…

Causer, Rapp Named to Task Forces

State representatives Marty Causer and Kathy Rapp have been named to task forces that will develop policy solutions to get Pennsylvania out of its current fiscal crisis.

Causer has been named to the Infrastructure Task Force and Rapp is on the Education and Job Training Task Force.

Other groups will tackle the budget and economic policy; health care; energy and government reform.

Republican Policy Committee Chairman Stan Saylor has asked the task forces to begin work immediately so proposals will be ready for upcoming budget discussions.

Prof's Article Appears in Journal

An article by University of Pittsburgh at Bradford assistant professor of education Dr. Wayne Brinda appears in the winter issue of the scholarly Journal of Aesthetic Education.

“Building Literacy Bridges for Adolescents Using Holocaust Literature and Theatre” is about using Holocaust literature to engage adolescent readers and draws on Brinda’s background in both Holocaust studies and the theater.

“As literature becomes complex, adolescents tend to struggle with comprehension and may forgo the idea of discovering enjoyment,” said Brinda, assistant professor of education. “Incorporating nonfiction stories from the Holocaust with innovative theatre experiences can engage these students in literature with complex themes, characters and plots.”

As an educator, researcher, and stage director, Brinda teaches and conducts research on adolescent literacy, theater and Holocaust education. As the co-founder and artistic director of Prime Stage Theatre in Pittsb…

KOA Lays Off 28 People

More bad economic news for Bradford.

KOA Speer Electronics has laid off 28 people.

Chief Financial Officer Lance Eastman tells WESB and The HERO that the layoffs are due to the current economic conditions, especially within the auto industry on which KOA heavily relies.

Eastman says they hope to call everyone back when economic conditions improve but, for now, they told employees "they know as much as we do."

KOA offered a voluntary layoff in December, expecting that business would pick up in January. Eastman says all of those people were called back before today's layoff.

Villa, Prep to Become One Entity

Bishop Donald Trautman of the Erie Dioceses has announced that Villa Maria Academy and Cathedral Prep will become one educational entity while remaining as two separate campuses.

Villa Maria will begin returning to its roots as a female-only campus starting in September.

Male students, who currently make up about 20 percent of Villa's enrollment, will be allowed to graduate, but no new male students will be accepted as of the 2009-10 school year.

Cathedral Prep will continue as an all-male school. The schools will be run by a joint board, but will maintain their existing names.

Paterson: State of State is 'Perilous'

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In his first State of the State address, Governor David A. Paterson outlined his plan for a stronger New York including the need to confront the current fiscal crisis head on. He laid out a progressive policy agenda to help working families during these difficult times including calling for one of the most ambitious clean energy plans in the nation, setting a “45 by 15” goal that 45 percent of New York State’s electricity needs will be met through improved energy efficiency and greater use of clean renewable energy by 2015.

For the full text of Paterson's address, go to the governor's Web site.

Heroin, Other Drugs Seized in City

Bradford City Police have arrested three people after finding a large amount of prescription medication, heroin and marijuana at a Pike Street home.

Police executed a search warrant early this morning and found the drugs, paraphernalia and a large amount of tobacco cigarettes that had been stolen from a warehouse in Salamanca.

Toni Taylor has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance

Phillip Haight has been charged with possession of marijuana. Vincent Santiago has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

All three have also been charged with possession of paraphernalia and receiving stolen property.

The Bradford City Street Crimes Unit, Bradford City Emergency Response Team, Bradford Township Police and University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Police executed the search warrant.

The Salamanca Police Department is assisting in the investigation into the stolen cigarettes.

Rep. Glenn Thompson Sworn In

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Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, Tuesday was sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania’s sprawling Fifth District. He will replace John Peterson who did not seek reelection after holding the seat for 12 years. Thompson issued the following statement shortly after being sworn in:

“To stand on the House Floor today and take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America is awe inspiring and in some sense a surreal moment. However, the job before me, which is to represent the citizens and interests of the Fifth District and to work with my colleagues across the aisle to get the economy back on stable ground, is a task that I am more than ready to embark upon and eager to get under way.

“As I said on the campaign trail and above all else, my motto of People above Politics will continue to guide my thinking and shape my positions in the months and years ahead. The people of the Fifth District and …

Rep. Causer Starts 4th Term

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) joined 202 fellow House lawmakers in taking the oath of office during ceremonies at the state Capitol today. It marks the start of his fourth term representing the people of Cameron, Potter and McKean counties.

"Swearing-in day is almost like another New Year's Day," Causer said. "It's a new beginning, a time to assess past accomplishments and set goals for the new session."

Causer acknowledged that his biggest concern heading into the new year is the state's financial condition. During the first half of the current fiscal year, state revenues have come in $658 million below the administration's estimates. At his mid-year budget briefing last month, the governor indicated the state could face a shortfall of at least $1.6 billion by the time the fiscal year ends in June.

"We are going to have some very tough decisions to make as we craft a budget for next year," Causer said. "But given the financial c…

Letter to the Editor
Fuino: Enough About Me

Editor's Note: This letter concerns the conflicting opinions of Bradford Mayor Tom Riel and McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock.

I am appalled that I seem to be a "red herring" between these to "warring" public officials.

While Mr. Riel has a legitimate complaint with 1 or 2 local law officers for instigating a false complaint against him in an apparent attempt to keep Mr. Riel from office, a complaint in which I was approached to be a part of, Mr. Pavlock doesn't seem to have a legitimate complaint concerning me. Then why am I being dragged through the mud?

I don't fit any description given by any witness concerning the Crosby Mini Mart robbery of Lewis Run. I do not have gray hair. I do not and have not had a beard. I do not have an acne-scarred face. I have never confessed to anyone, especially a Pennsylvania State Trooper, of my guilt to any crime.

I find it ridiculous that I be the center of attention here. I have a past record. I never said t…

Matt Gabler Sworn In as State Rep.

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State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) was sworn into office today during ceremonies held on the House floor of the State Capitol. He is one of 12 Republican freshmen representatives that make up the 193rd General Assembly.

"Officially becoming a member of Pennsylvania's state Legislature was a humbling experience," said Gabler. "What transpired today featured an oath I will always uphold on a day I will always remember."

Gabler took the oath of office before a crowd that included his family, district office staff and friends from his home district.

"I am honored to be asked to serve the fine citizens of the 75th Legislative District," Gabler added. "Their vote represents an investment in me, and I promise to show them how wise a decision that is by doing my best to represent their interests in Harrisburg."

Gabler has already established district offices in DuBois and St Marys. You can find out how to contact these offices, and well as sign u…

Alleged Pelt Thieves Arrested

Police have arrested two people they believe stole nearly $6,000 worth of animal pelts from an Oswayo tanning shed over the weekend.

On Sunday, police searched the Coudersport home of Anthony Duell and found all of the stolen pelts. He was charged with burglary and receiving stolen property.

Monday, they arrested Eric Pfenninger of Roulette on similar charges.

They're both in Potter County Jail on $5,000 bail each.

UPB Gets Donations for Chapel

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The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has reached $2 million of its $2.5 million goal to build a chapel on campus with the help of three major gifts.

The university has received a $250,000 gift from the estate of Agnes L. Thomas, a $50,000 gift from Richard S. and Pamela A. Johnson and a gift from Martha and Jack Campbell Jr.

“We’re in the final phase of fundraising for the critically important chapel construction project,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. “The generous gifts from these strong and loyal supporters came at a very good time.

“We’re profoundly grateful to Rich and Pam Johnson and Jack and Martha Campbell for their generous expressions of support. And we’re pleased that a gift of that magnitude from the Thomas estate was designated for the chapel construction project.”

In November, Pitt-Bradford announced a $1million gift from Mrs. Thomas’s estate to establish the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Schol…

State GOP Legal Bills Top $1 Million

HARRISBURG -- Senate Republicans' legal bills have hit more than $1 million in the grand jury investigation of legislative corruption, senators were told in a New Year's Eve memo.

For the full story, go to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Former Exec: Fumo Sought Millions

The former president of Verizon Pennsylvania testified Monday that a powerful state lawmaker sought $50 million worth of demands during negotiations with the state over phone-industry deregulation.

For the full story, go to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Family Suing Over Fatal Fire

A family that lost two children in a house fire last September is suing the village of Fredonia for negligence.

The McKinnon family says they yelled down at police officers from the second floor of their burning home saying that their children were trapped, and they needed help.

The suit claims that the officers told the parents to wait for the fire department, which was on its way. The suit goes on to claim that as a result of the police officers' advice to wait, 10-year-old Dawson McKinnon and his 3-year-old brother Clayton died in the fire.

Teen Sentenced for Murder

The second of two boys convicted of brutally murdering a third teen in December of 2007 has been sentenced to 9 years to life in prison.

16 year-old Lyman Whitmore of Sinclairville received the sentence in Chautauqua County Court on Monday. Late last year he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 18 year-old Dusty Elderkin.

Whitmore will be held in a state juvenile detention center until he's 18. A now-15 year-old accomplice was sentenced to a state juvenile center late last year.

Glee Club Members Hurt in Crash

Eight people were hurt when a van carrying members of the Miami University of Ohio glee club rolled over near Erie.

A Hamot Medical Center spokeswoman says four people were treated and released for injuries such as cuts and bruises and four others are under observation. She couldn't provide their conditions.

A volunteer firefighter says all the injuries are believed to be minor.

Authorities say the van was one of five taking people to a performance in Buffalo, N.Y., when it crashed on Interstate 90 at about 10:45 this morning

Senator Scarnati Sworn In

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Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) was re-elected to serve his second term as President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate during swearing-in ceremonies today at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Scarnati is also serving as Lieutenant Governor, following the death of Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll last November.

Scarnati was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Saylor after he was unanimously re-elected by his colleagues to the top Senate post. He was first elected to the position in January 2007.

During remarks on the Senate floor, Scarnati urged all the members of the Senate to work together on tough issues facing the state, particularly the looming economic crisis.

“Today, more than ever, Pennsylvanians want results, not stalemate,” Scarnati said. “They want family-sustaining jobs, not more unemployment benefits, and they want a vision for the future that is full of hope, and that what we do today will make tomorrow brighter.”

Since his election to the position of …

Body Found in Burned Erie House

Investigators have found a body in the debris of a home that burned on West 25th Street this morning.

They believe it's 42-year-old Robert Daniels, but haven't confirmed that yet.

Daniels had shot at police from the home shortly before the fire started. The shooting set off a manhunt for Daniels, prompting authorities to close roads and ask residents to stay in their homes.

The SWAT team and a State Police helicopter were brought in to help search for Daniels.

Police say the incident started when a woman came to the police station at 3:50 a.m. to report that Daniels had beaten her up.

Man Hurt in Cuba Lake Road Crash

A Black Creek man is hospitalized after an accident this morning on Cuba Lake Road.

Sheriff's Deputies say an SUV driven by 24-year-old Clifford Oakes traveled off the road and into a ditch, where it hit a sluice pipe and flew into the air before landing on its roof in a field.

Oakes had to be extricated by Cuba and Hinsdale firefighters.

He was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC.

Rubin Gave to Rendell Campaigns

A campaign donor who is the target of the federal investigation that forced New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to withdraw from consideration for U.S. Commerce secretary also donated generously to Governor Ed Rendell's campaigns.

David Rubin gave $40,000 to Rendell's campaign committees between 2001 and 2005. His Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company also continues to hold a $45,000-a-year contract as an adviser to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority.

A federal grand jury is looking into state contracts in New Mexico to see whether they are related to $100,000 Rubin and his company gave to Richardson in 2003 and 2004.

Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says questions about the contributions to the governor are "much ado about nothing."

US Attorney Going to Private Sector

U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn is resigning to become a partner with a major law firm.

Flynn will leave his federal job in Buffalo on January 16 to become a partner in the law firm of Harris Beach, which represents Fortune 500 companies and has offices in nine cities in New York state and one in New Jersey.

Flynn, who was appointed as the region's top federal prosecutor by President George W. Bush in 2006, says he fully expected to be replaced sometime after president-elect Barack Obama takes office on January 20.

The U.S. Attorney in Buffalo oversees thousands of criminal and civil cases in 17 counties of Western New York.

Scarnati Re-Elected Unanimously

Senator Joe Scarnati is returning as the presiding officer of the state Senate following his unanimous election as president pro tempore.

Scarnati was re-elected today, moments after Rep. Keith McCall was elected speaker of the House.

Thirty-four freshmen lawmakers joined returning members to take the oath of office amid family members and well-wishers who thronged to the state Capitol for the ceremony.

Audio of Scarnati taking the oath of office.

Scarnati's Address to the Senate.

Thanks to Senate Republican Communications

Riel Stands by His Statements

Mayor Tom Riel says he's sticking by claims he made in a speech last week, despite statements made by District Attorney John Pavlock.

Riel's statement:

John Pavlock is a seasoned politician who regularly tries to sell his story to a jury. It's sad and unfortunate that he somehow now feels he is on trial.

In his statement, he doesn't deny that Mr. (Dennis) Fuino was originally in jail on bogus charges that were later dropped. In fact, I have a recording from the alleged victim admitting the charges were bogus.

He doesn't deny that Fuino was shown a picture of me and let out of jail to – quote – help get me. He also once again gives a description from eyewitnesses that did not match Fuino, yet they supposedly picked him out of a lineup. Hair color and fingerprints didn't even match.

No matter what the spin on the facts, I still stand by my allegations and believe that they are true.

Audio of Riel's statement.

Riel's Dec. 30, 2008, Speech

COMMENT FROM DA JOHN PAV…

Group Urges Temporary Rules

From Common Cause Pennsylvania:

Amid fanfare, flowers, family, and photos Pennsylvania’s newly elected General Assembly will begin its 193rd legislative session today. While the today’s activities are generally ceremonial, one set of very high impact votes will be taken – approving chamber rules. The chamber rules will determine how the legislature will do its business for the next two years. However, while a vote on rules likely will be scheduled for today, late yesterday rank-and-file lawmaker still had not seen this set of rules, generally scores of pages in length with arcane procedures, that will determine how they must conduct nearly all of their official acts.

“The way the legislature does its business can have dramatic effect on the quality of the laws and public policies it produces”, said Common Cause/PA Executive Director, Barry Kauffman. He stated that the chamber rules determine whether power will be concentrated in a handful of caucus leaders or whether it will be dist…

New Year's Baby at CCMH

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Charles Cole Memorial Hospital welcomed the first baby of the New Year on January 3. Hunter James Gross was born at 1:51 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces. He was 19 inches long. Hunter’s parents are Christopher and Jessica Austin Gross of Shinglehouse. He has a sister, Dakota, 11, and Charlie, 3. Maternal grandparents are Chuck and Lori Austin of Eldred. Paternal grandparents are Jean and the late Herbert Gross of Shinglehouse. Maternal great-grandparents are Alton and Dawn Spencer of Port Allegany and Nancy and the late Leroy Austin of Eldred. Pictured are Chris Gross, Charlie Gross (seated), Jessica Gross, Hunter Gross, Dr. Celso Backes. In back are nurses Sara Keck and Laura Patterson.
(Photo Courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)

SBU Prof Co-Pens Civil War Article

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Chris Mackowski, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University, has published an article in a Civil War history journal.

“From Foxcroft to Fredericksburg: Captain Sewell Gray of the Sixth Maine Infantry” appears in this year’s volume of Fredericksburg History & Biography, an annual journal published by the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. This year’s volume — volume seven — was released in mid-December.

Mackowski co-authored the article with Kristopher D. White, a historian who works at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, which encompasses four major Civil War battlefields in central Virginia. Mackowski works at the park one weekend a month as a battlefield guide and interpreter.

Their article focuses on an officer, Sewell Gray of Foxcroft, Maine, who served with the Sixth Maine Infantry. Mackowski and White based their article on Gray’s diary, which recently came to light.

“Sabbath and a lovelier day never overt…