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Showing posts from January 11, 2009

Pitt Improvers to Perform

Pitt Improvers, a student improvisational club, will perform a comedy show on Jan. 22 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Members will take to the stage from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The free show is geared toward teenagers and adults.

Like the popular television show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” hosted by Drew Carey, the 16 students seek input from the audience and create unexpected scenes.

Ten to 12 games will be performed, said Kristin Asinger, adviser and visiting instructor in sports medicine at Pitt-Bradford.

The group hopes to draw a large crowd following a successful three-night performance at last November’s Kiwanis Kapers charity variety show in Bradford, she said.

“We would love to get big crowds; it adds to the energy,” Asinger said. “We performed for the Kapers and got a lot of positive feedback.”

The troupe is led by Asinger and her husband, Tim Asinger, wh…

'I Have a Dream ..."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

To read the entire speech, go HERE.

Adding More Nice People ...

Iris Ervin, Lisa Geitner, Jason Bange, Greg Ulyan, Joanne Walter, Mandi Davis, Kris Luther ...

Add yours HERE.

Attention Owls/Panthers Fans!

If you listen to the games on Network 1 Sports.com, you can now chat live with other fans who are listening.

That's right, Network 1 Sports.com has added a chat room feature. They tell us their software has allowed them to block more than 600 words that could be considered objectionable, so the chat rooms will be family-friendly.

You can hear the Owls game starting at 2:20 p.m. today. The Panthers game follows at 4 p.m.

Cattaraugus County Leader Says
County Should Support Senecas

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The leader of the Cattaraugus County Legislature thinks county lawmakers should support the Seneca Nation in its tax fight with the state.

James Snyder says the Senecas have been good friends and neighbors to the county over the years and lawmakers should support their sovereignty and economic development.

Governor David Paterson signed a law that would require wholesale tobacco distributors to certify the tax-free cigarettes they sell to Indian retailers are not being resold to non-Indians. Paterson says the law would generate at least $60 million in additional revenue for the state.

The law is being challenged in state Supreme Court, and the Senecas are making plans to collect tolls on the part of the New York State Thruway that runs through reservation land in Irving.

B-R-R:
And That's An Understatement!

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I took this picture in the WESB Weather Center at 5 a.m. so people wouldn't think I was exaggerating about how cold it is here.



As I was downloading the picture, I looked up at the Weather Center and saw this:



I hope the thermometer starts going the other way soon! (Wind chill, schmind chill. It's just plain cold!)

It actually got colder before it got "warmer," but I didn't want to depress people even further.

'The Real MLK' at St. Bonaventure

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The community is invited to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a Monday, Jan. 19, program called “The Real MLK” at St. Bonaventure University.

“The Real MLK” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in Dresser Auditorium by St. Bonaventure faculty members Dr. Barry Gan, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Nonviolence, and Dr. Mark Huddle, associate professor of history and board member of the Association for the Study of African American History and Life.

“Each year we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., but we celebrate only a small part of his life, making him a hero without recognizing that people become heroic by overcoming their own shortcomings and weaknesses,” said Gan.

“In this presentation we will explore the real Martin Luther King Jr., the man few Americans ever learn about, who, despite his failings, rose to greatness because he battled with them, and who, despite being sanitized by mainstream America, offered insights, critiques, and analyses that we …

Special Snow Goose Season to Start

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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are set to offer hunters the opportunity to participate in a snow goose conservation hunt designed to help stem the growth of continental snow goose populations.

Hunters must obtain a free snow goose conservation hunt permit and report cards from the agency to participate in the season, which will be held from March 11 through April 1. To do so, hunters can access the “Snow Goose Conservation Hunt” page by clicking on the appropriate icon in the center of the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and then following the instructions. By completing the application online, hunters will be able to print off the permit and report cards and will not have to wait for the package to be mailed.

For those individuals with no online access, permits and the required report cards can be obtained by calling the Game Commission at the Harrisburg headquarters (717-787-4250) and asking for the Bureau of Wildlife Management. However, this process…

D'Vine to Perform at Pitt-Bradford

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World-class gospel group D'Vine, which has performed at the White House and during the Olympic Games in Atlanta, will perform gospel music, spirituals and songs during a concert on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The show, a Martin Luther King Jr. special event, starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The cost is $10 for the public, $6 for faculty and staff, and free for students. The concert is a part of the university’s Season Subscription Series.

The trio, composed of sisters Paula McGuire Saunders and Pamela McGuire Dees and their friend, Sheryl Denise Pollard, will perform gospel music, spirituals and songs and special a cappella renditions of the American and Black National Anthems.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to book D'Vine is their respect for Martin Luther King’s legacy,” said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming at Pitt-Bradford. “This will be a special concert …

VNA & Hospice in Full Compliance

A recent inspection of McKean County VNA & Hospice by the Pennsylvania Health Department found the home health agency to be in full compliance with state and Medicare guidelines.

“The state Health Department said we were in compliance with all the required standards for a home health agency,” says Kathy Pascarella, director of VNA & Hospice, the home health agency of Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC).

“They evaluated our agency by going on home visits, looking at our policies and procedures and doing chart reviews. It was a thorough look at how we provide care and how we bill” for rendered services, Mrs. Pascarella notes.

“Our home health agency performs a wonderful and valuable array of services for people throughout all the communities in McKean County,” says Deborah Price, BRMC’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services.

“We at BRMC are proud of what the VNA can offer to those in need so they can remain safely in their home. The recent state Health Department inspe…

'The Great Poe Debate'

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Edgar Allan Poe, master of the horror tale, inventor of the modern detective story and a pioneer in the field of science fiction, was also during his life an example of another literary category: the starving artist.

"Philadelphia was the crucible for Poe's imaginative genius," Philadelphia-area critic Ed Pettit said. "The six years he spent living here were the most productive and successful of his writing career. Poe became a great writer while living in Philadelphia."

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

WESB Programming Note

1490 WESB will be broadcasting the inauguration of Barack Obama LIVE on Tuesday starting at 11:30 a.m.

PennDOT Releases 'Wish List'

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Friday produced a list of the projects it hopes will qualify for a future economic stimulus program from the federal government.

PennDOT's highway and bridge projects on the list would cost $1.5 billion. A list of transit projects also was released.

Route 219 from Lewis Run to Custer City, and the Janders Run Bridge in Ceres Township are on the list. The Area Transportation Authority is on the list for new vehicles, shelters and a management center.

PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler said projects were selected that can get started quickly and cut the state's backlog of infrastructure needs.

The department said it was putting the lists forward now, but acknowledged more discussions with regional planning agencies will take place before a final list is adopted.

Road and Bridge Projects PDF

Transit Projects PDF

FDs Get Federal Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, a senior member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the Department of Homeland Security has approved funding for several fire companies in Northwest Pennsylvania.

“These fire prevention and safety programs will help protect the citizens of Pennsylvania and the firefighters who risk their lives every day,” Senator Specter said. “I commend the Department of Homeland Security for recognizing this priority and for its continued support of the nation’s fire services.”

The funding is contained in Rounds 17 through 20 for the competitive Fiscal Year 2008 Fire Grants Award announcements. The awards are administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

The AFG programs are designed to enhance first responders’ ability to protect the health…

Norovirus Cases on the Rise

Outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis, or “stomach flu,” are sharply on the rise in Pennsylvania, prompting the Department of Health to offer tips to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious norovirus infection – a common cause of the illness.

“Norovirus infection is very common this time of year and spreads easily,” said state Acting Health Secretary Everette James. “If you have symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, you should try to stay home and practice good hygiene, like washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, to avoid spreading the illness to others.”

Norovirus symptoms often begin suddenly and can include nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus illness can be a difficult experience for those affected, but most people normally recover within 12 to 60 hours.

Because norovirus is very contagious, sudden outbreaks can result when people bring the infection into facilities such as hospitals, residential and nursing ho…

Williams: Our Binding Strength is
That We're All Americans

Senator Williams introduced a resolution on the floor of the Senate (Senate Resolution 4) naming January 11-17th "Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Week" in Pennsylvania. The resolution passed unanimously.

Senator Williams says Dr. King's birthday celebration is special this year because it occurs one day before Barack Obama, the country's first African-American president, is sworn into office. He says this is important not just for the African-American community, but for all Americans, because the civil rights Dr. King fought for affect all Amercians of all ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds.


Listen to Senator Williams' floor remarks HERE

Thanks to Senate Democratic Communications for providing me with the audio.

Chess League Results

After the holidays and a week off for inclement weather, chess league action at School Street Elementary resumed on Wednesday, January 14. Several upsets marked round 6 in the junior varsity division. Rayelle Nelling (a member of the Tasta Pizza Team) defeated last year’s individual champion in her match, as Tasta Pizza defeated Team Edmond Chevrolet. Lang Surveying Team drew with the Hamlin Bank Team to leave the latter in control of first place. The Tasta Pizza Team is only half a point behind Lang Surveying in third, and the Northwest Savings Bank Team destroyed Drs. Rhinehart Team. The Domino’s Pizza Team tied their match against Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair Team.

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 drew its match against the Bradford Window Co. Team to retain a narrow lead for first place. The Ed Shults Toyota Team drew with th…

Casey Wants TV Conversion Delay

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement regarding to the TV digital conversion date which is scheduled to occur on February 17, 2009:

“The digital conversion is less than 35 days away and I am concerned that during these tough economic times, nearly half a million Pennsylvanians who have broadcast-only systems will be left behind. This is why I support including additional funds in the stimulus to continue the coupon program and would support Congressional action to carry out President-elect Obama’s recommendation to push back the digital conversion date. I am going to continue to fight on behalf of Pennsylvanians to ensure that they do not have their television service disrupted.”

Say Good-Bye to the Pickle

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Goodbye gherkin, hello tomato. After more than 110 years, H.J. Heinz Co. is giving the tomato top billing on its namesake ketchup and bumping the pickle from the label of one of America's most iconic brands.

For the full story, go to Forbes.com.

A Birthday Wish

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Happy Birthday to
Marilyn Horne!

Rendell Defends Surra Hiring

He defended Surra as qualified and told reporters peppering him with questions to "get off your butts and go up to the Pennsylvania Wilds and ask the people up there" about Surra.

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

OK "people up there (here)" ... What do we think about this? Please comment!

To read a couple of letters to the editor of the DuBois Courier-Express, go HERE

Strong Wind Chills Today, Tonight

By Mike Cejka
News 4 Meteorologist


A WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect for all of Western New York until 11 AM Saturday for wind chill vales in the -10’s and at times into the -20’s. A WIND CHILL WARNING is posted for the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.

A LAKE SNOW WARNING is in effect for Southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties until 1 AM Saturday and a LAKE SNOW ADVISORY is in effect for Wyoming County. Wind speeds have increased somewhat overnight but could actually increase a bit more after sunrise today.

Even though the actual air temperature will increase slightly today, with the wind, wind chill values will remain steady if not even worsen a bit during the day.

Lake snows will oscillate between the extreme southern suburbs; Hamburg, East Aurora, Wales, the ski country of Southern Erie and Wyoming Co’s and extreme northern sections of the Southern Tier where as much as 5-10 inches of snow could fall today. Expect sunny breaks with a few snow showers in the metro northwar…

Artist Andrew Wyeth Has Died

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Artist Andrew Wyeth, who portrayed the hidden melancholy of the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley and coastal Maine in works such as "Christina's World," died early Friday. He was 91.

For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

Malcolm Kysor Pleads Guilty

A convicted murderer has pleaded guilty to escaping from a northwestern Pennsylvania medium-security state prison.

Authorities say 54-year-old Malcolm Kysor escaped from the State Correctional Institution at Albion on Nov. 25, 2007, by hiding in a trashcan that was taken from the prison and picked up by a farmer who collects food scraps.

He was picked up in a Bakersfield, Calif., park last April. He had been serving a life sentence for a 1981 murder in Erie County.

'Family Cookout' Leader Sentenced

An Albion-area man accused of operating a methamphetamine ring with his brother for 10 years has been sentenced to five to 20 years in state prison.

46-year-old James Frey pleaded guilty to possession of meth with intent to distribute.

Although the judge acknowledged letters saying Frey supported his family and neighbors, he said Frey hurt more people than he helped through the distribution of "poison."

Prosecutors say Frey was one of the two most prolific meth dealers in Pennsylvania arrested by the state Attorney General's Office in 2008 as part of Operation Family Cookout.

Rendell Ups Shortfall Estimate

Gov. Ed Rendell is upping his estimate of the state's 2008-09 budget shortfall to $1.9 billion.

Rendell's administration had previously estimated the shortfall at $1.6 billion, but Rendell disclosed the higher estimate today in a speech at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Rendell has said one way he'll offset the shortfall is using money from the state's Rainy Day Fund.

On the LiveLine earlier this week, Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati said taking money from the Rainy Day Fund won't solve the problem.

"You can't just take that money and balance the budget and not cut expenditures, because you'll have those expenditures re-occuring next year and no money to pay for them," he said.

Scarnati said the shortfall could end up being $2 billion by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Sounds Good to Me

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Invitees to the Pennsylvania inaugural gala next week are in for a special treat for dessert.

A scoop of "BaRocky Road," anybody?

It's one of three flavors created by the Berkey Creamery at Penn State University specifically for Tuesday night's ball celebrating President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Plane Down in Hudson River

From CNN:

US AIRWAYS FLIGHT 1549 HAS CRASHED IN THE HUDSON RIVER IN NEW YORK.

Watch live coverage now on http://CNN.com/Live.

A small plane carrying more than a dozen people splashed down in the frigid waters of the Hudson River off Manhattan and survivors are standing on the wings awaiting rescue.

It was not clear what caused the plane to go down. It is floating on the surface of the fast-moving river and ferries are approaching to rescue passengers.

MSNBC is reporting that the plane flew into a flock of geese, and a bird hit the engine. There were 146 passengers and 5 crew members aboard the plan that was on its way from LaGuardia to Charlotte. All of them have been rescued.

'Biggest Loser' at BRMC

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By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department



Just when people tend to become less active in the winter, Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) is giving its employees the incentive to lose weight and start exercising so they’ll be healthier.

BRMC’s Wellness Committee is sponsoring its own 12-week-long “Biggest Loser” contest that will ultimately award separate grand prizes to an individual and the team with the biggest weight-loss percentages.

The contest starts Monday, Jan .19, and it’s received far more employee entrants than originally expected from BRMC’s workforce of 750.

“There’s been a lot of talk about it throughout the hospital and we’ve gotten a good turnout. About 160 to 170 employees have registered for either of the two weigh-in days this week,” says Beth Price, RN, who’s the Wellness Committee’s chairman and also BRMC’s education coordinator and manager of the Employee/Occupational Health Department.

The contest was spawned partly from the popular television s…

Be Aware to Prevent Crime

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Crime prevention is the concept of simply being aware and using common sense to keep things from happening.

Senator Mike Stack says if a person is aware of his or her surroundings and observes what is going on in the immediate vicinity, there is a better chance that person will not become a crime victim. By limiting the opportunity for crime, a criminal’s ability to commit the crime is reduced

He says crime prevention is simply the concept of being aware and using common sense.

Most people have survival mechanisms that should help them be aware of their surroundings and observe things that are going on around them, Stack says, adding that being observant gives people a better chance of preventing a crime.

"If you sense that people are looking a certain way, they're standing in the shadows, they've got their collar up and they're trying to not be identified, and you're getting ready to walk by them – it might be a decent idea to cross the street and not walk by that…

Native Dance Ensemble at SBU

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The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble will open the 2009 world music series at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22.

The performance, “The Drum is the Thunder, the Flute is the Wind,” will be presented by Friends of Good Music in association with The Quick Center for the Arts.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer Kevin Locke as the first concert in this unique world music series,” said Nancy Consedine, president of Friends of Good Music. “We offered the series for the first time last year and it was extremely popular.”

The one-of-a-kind Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble features award-winning Native American performers representing the Plains nations of Lakota, Anishinabe and Comanche, the Southeastern tribe Choctaw, and the Woodlands Nations of Ojibwe and Oneida. Their performance offers a rich variety of native traditions and aesthetics in dance, instrumentals, song, storytelling, sign language and audience i…

New Identity Theft Action Plan Site

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the State Police and the Department of Transportation today unveiled an updated “Identity Theft Action Plan” Web site to help consumers prevent, and recover from, identity theft.

The Web site, www.identitytheftactionplan.com, offers resources for consumers and law enforcement. A companion brochure includes a checklist allowing consumers to write down and quickly access their credit card, bank and driver’s license information. The checklist should be stored in a secure location, such as a lockbox.

“These are vital tools that all Pennsylvanians can use to fight back against identity theft,” said Walter M. Phillips Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. “As someone who has experienced identity theft, I understand the frustration and fear that can follow such a crime. Our combined efforts are designed to help consumers avoid identity theft and also help victims repair any damage to their iden…

Paterson, Snyder in War of Words

ALBANY - Tensions between Gov. David Paterson and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr., are rising, with the Seneca leader this morning telling the governor he needs to brush up on his history lessons and stop lecturing Indian leaders.

For more, go to The Buffalo News.

Lawmakers Question Surra Hiring

Some GOP lawmakers are questioning the hiring of former state representative Dan Surra for a newly created $95,000 a year job after Governor Rendell imposed a hiring freeze.

Surra, who was on the House Democratic leadership team before he was defeated by Matt Gabler in the general election, started work on Monday as an adviser to the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Six Republican House members have written to Rendell saying his double standard and favoritism toward friends is out of touch with the realities facing most Pennsylvanians.

~~
Here's the letter:

Dear Governor Rendell,

You implemented a statewide pay and hiring freeze to combat a mounting state budget deficit. This policy is adversely affecting many of our constituents, yet we understood and supported your various efforts to decrease state spending.

Bluntly, we are troubled by the recent news that you have hired former House Democrat leader Dan Surra to fill an apparently specially-created, $95,000-plus-per-year job with the Department of…

Gov. Wants to Meet with Senecas

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New York Governor David Paterson is defending the state's right to collect taxes on cigarettes by Indian retailers, but also says he want to meet with Seneca Nation leaders to discuss their differences.

He also talked of the state being compensated for the “privileges and benefits” the Senecas enjoy being located in New York.

Paterson's comments came a day after Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. said the tribe wants to begin collecting $2 tolls on vehicles traveling the Thruway through reservation land in Irving. The Senecas have also called on President-elect Barack Obama to send in federal troops to protect the tribe’s sovereignty from New York’s efforts.

On Thursday's LiveLine ...

Dr. Daniel A. Monti, co-author of The Great Life Makeover.

SPCA Winter Pet Care Tips

Special steps need to be taken to keep pets safe in cold weather. The SPCA recommends that all dogs and cats be kept inside with their families.

If you aren't able to keep your animals inside, however, it is important to make provisions for the warmth, health, and safety of your outdoor pets. Animals are at risk of freezing if not provided with adequate shelter, and their caloric needs are much higher in the cold weather.

Dog houses should have four sides, a roof, and a floor. They should not be placed on the ground, but raised a few inches off the ground. Houses should have a door that's just big enough for the dog to go in and out, and should be roomy enough inside for the dog to sleep while stretched out. They should be kept clean at all times and bedding (straw, for example) should be provided. Similar shelter arrangements should be made for cats that live outdoors.

Animals have a hard time regulating their body heat if they're kept outside during the day and brought in …

From Mike Cejka ...

A WIND CHILL WARNING has been issued for all of Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania from 4 AM until Noon Friday when wind chill values are expected to reach -20.

A LAKE SNOW WARNING has been issued for Southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties from Thursday Noon until 1 AM Saturday.

Persistent lake effect snows will continue to impact sections of Niagara and Orleans counties where several more inches of accumulation are possible Thursday. Lake snows will become more organized in the ski country later today and overnight where as much as 6-12” of feathery snow could fall overnight. Expect sunny breaks with just some very light snow showers in the metro.

Over the next few days, it is suggested to protect exposed skin and limit exposure to the outdoors. Also, due the severity of this cold, check on elderly neighbors and keep pets out of the cold. Dressing in layers is the best safe guard against extreme cold. At home, close off unused rooms and stuff towels in cracks u…

Cops: Money Spent from Bank Error

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania couple is behind bars after police say they failed to call the bank when a glitch put an extra $175,000 in their account. Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Pratt instead withdrew the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida. They were buying a house in the Orlando area when the mistake was traced.

For more, go to The Associated Press.

Man Charged with Cruelty to Cows

A Celoron, New York, man has been charged with cruelty to animals for not providing proper food, water and shelter for 32 cows.

64-year-old James Lee is also accused of failing to properly dispose of seven dead cows.

Lee was charged following an investigation that started a month ago. The SPCA conducted tests on the dead cows and determined they died of malnutrition.

Possible Tuition Tax Credit

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, joined by Senators Evan Bayh, Patty Murray, Joe Lieberman, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, and Bob Casey, today announced they will introduce a bill to quadruple the value of the current college tuition tax benefit and will push to pass it as part of the economic recovery package currently being assembled in Congress. The bill is a new approach and a major change to the current college tuition tax benefit. The new credit will save middle class families up to $4,000 on their taxes per student each year. Schumer said today there is a good chance that this credit could pass with the economic stimulus package, as it has received broad support from the Senate Finance Committee and the incoming Obama administration. If so, middle class families across the country could utilize the new tax credit as soon as this tax year for returns filed next year. The senators said the savings is needed now more than ever as the economic downturn takes its toll…

Ricardo Montalban Has Died

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Actor Ricardo Montalban, best known as the mysterious Mr. Roarke on the popular television series "Fantasy Island," died on Wednesday at the age of 88, a Los Angeles city official said.

Mexican-born Montalban had a long career in entertainment but found broad fame as the star of ABC's "Fantasy Island" in which he fulfilled the dreams of his guests with the help of his sidekick, Tattoo.

He was also known during the 1970s as a TV spokesman for Chrysler and played the villain in "Star Trek," both on television and in a feature film.

Jobs Taking Leave 'Til June

CNN is reporting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a leave until the end of June; Jobs says his health issues are "more complex than I originally thought."

Thompson Votes for SCHIP

Washington, DC – Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, who has spent the past 26 years as a patient advocate in Central Pennsylvania, voted today in support of reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Originally authorized by Congress in 1997, SCHIP was designed to cover needy children that do not qualify for Medicaid and whose parents cannot afford to purchase insurance on the open market.

“Like most legislation passed out of the House, this SCHIP bill is not perfect – far from perfect,” said Congressman Thompson. “While I would have written a much different bill if provided the opportunity, this program is worthy of reauthorization and will ultimately increase the number of insured children in the Fifth District.”

Currently, over 12,000 children in the 17 counties that comprise Pennsylvania’s sprawling Fifth District are enrolled in the SCHIP. By reauthorizing this legislation SCHIP enrollment will increase from 7 million children nationwide to 11 mi…

Memorial May Be Unfixable

Five plywood boards are now plastered on the side of the Eternal Peace Light Memorial in Gettysburg after someone vandalized the monument last week.

"There ain't no point in it, nothing to gain by it," said James Hickman, a West Virginia man who stopped by to see the monument Tuesday afternoon.

For the full story, go to The Evening Sun.

Punxsutawney Phil in a Coma?!?!?

Well, not exactly.

But another groundhog in PA is laid up and, wouldn't ya know it, the accident happened whenthe biggest day of the year for groundhogs is just a couple of weeks away.

Follow the surreal adventures of the Groundhog and his Shadow at www.groundhogdreams.com, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office's new Web site promoting the annual Feb. 2 Groundhog Day celebration, Governor Ed Rendell said today.

"Visitors to the site will learn that even in Groundhog's dreams, he can't escape Shadow," Governor Rendell said. "As excitement for Groundhog Day builds, we are again having a little fun and keeping those who love Groundhog on the edge of their seats."

Visitors can send Groundhog a "virtual get-well gift" of Pennsylvania products ranging from traditional flowers, to soft pretzels with mustard, or shoofly pie. Two new dreams will debut each week between today and Feb. 2.

As for Phil, as far as we know he's fine as is Tarport Tony.

Corbett: Report is Misleading

HARRISBURG -- Attorney General Tom Corbett today called a recently issued report on Internet safety a setback in developing safety guidelines for children using the Internet.

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force report was issued by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. MySpace, at the request of the attorneys general, agreed to create and lead the task force to identify and explore age verification and technologies to improve social networking safety. Although the attorneys general requested the creation of the task force, they did not serve as members.

“I believe this report is incredibly misleading and significantly lessens the progress we have made in implementing safety techniques for children using the Internet,” Corbett said. “Giving parents a false sense of security about their children’s safety online is dangerous, especially when thousands of predators are still trolling the Internet seeking victims.”

“The threat is real,” Corbett said. “In the …

Sen. Specter Supports Shinseki

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Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) expressed his support for retired General Eric Shinseki, Veterans Affairs Secretary-designate, at today’s Senate confirmation hearing. Senator Specter and General Shinseki also met in Senator Specter’s office on January 7, 2009 to discuss General Shinseki’s nomination, at which time Senator Specter and General Shinseki expressed their mutual desire to build a strong Veterans Affairs Department for the 21st century.

“We have a lot of work to do to provide adequate funding,” Senator Specter said during his opening statement. “We tend to forget about the veterans after they’ve done their job, and I’ve urged General Shinseki to be a tough advocate for the Office of Management and Budget. I’m pleased to support you, General.”

Senator Specter is the longest serving Republican member on the Veterans Affairs Committee. He has served on the committee during his entire tenure in the Senate, and has served three terms as chairman…

Rapp Announces VFD Grants

Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) announced today that 31 volunteer fire and ambulance organizations throughout Forest, McKean and Warren counties have been awarded approximately $271,587.62 from a grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

“I am very pleased once again to see that hundreds of thousands of dollars will benefit first responders throughout Warren, Forest and McKean counties,” said Rapp. “Many of these companies struggle to pay basic necessities, such as fuel and other operating costs, and have little money left to upgrade their facilities or their equipment. I continue to support this funding because it is specifically designed to help them meet basic needs and to improve their services. I applaud all of the men and women of our volunteer companies for applying for this funding, and most importantly, for serving their communities.”

Specific emergency response providers and grant amounts aw…

Mayor Steelerstahl -- For Now

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Pittsburgh's mayor has a new name. Because the Steelers are playing the Baltimore Ravens Sunday for the AFC Championship, Luke Ravenstahl has changed his last name to Steelerstahl.

The mayor made the ceremonious change today and will keep it at least through Sunday.

He says he didn't come up with the idea for the name change himself. Callers to a local radio station's morning show thought the name change would be a good idea.

The mayor agreed.

See? Radio gets results.

Police Address Council

Bradford City Police Officer Chris Lucco addressed Mayor Tom Riel and City Council last night concerning the lay off of Officer Mark DeLuca because of budget problems. Riel said it's unfortunate that DeLuca had to be the one laid off because he's one of the most valuable members of the department, and he hopes the city can bring him back as soon as possible.

Listen to Lucco's address and Riel's response HERE.

Naked Dancers, Santa and Lawyers

Sometimes you just have to hear something to believe it. Such is the case with the following exchange between "Hollywood" Helen Burfield, Mayor Tom Riel and City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck from Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

Enjoy.

City Council 1/13/09

'Facelifts' at BRMC

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With an eye toward the comfort of patients and visitors at Bradford Regional Medical Center, several locations on the first floor of the facility will undergo cosmetic "facelifts" beginning this week.

"They're just small changes, but they'll make a big impact," says Plant Services Director Jeff Gabel.

While no detours or closing will take place in any of the areas, the public is asked to watch for "wet paint" signs in the areas where the maintenance staff will be working.

"We'll have the hallways clearly marked so everyone should know where the work is taking place," Mr. Gabel explains.

Two years ago, the Medical Center hosted an open house for its $11.5 million Outpatient Services Center, a state-of-the-art facility with sleek, modern finishes. "The project we started this week will help present a better transition from the new building to our older areas and will blend the colors and finishes," the Plant Services direc…

Man Charged in Rhoades' Death

BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A man was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide while under the influence in a head-on crash that killed a veteran state lawmaker.

Thomas Senavitis, 45, had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit for driving when his pickup truck crossed over the center line and plowed into Sen. James Rhoades' Cadillac on Oct. 17 in the Poconos, state police said in court documents.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Fumo to Collect State Pension

HARRISBURG - Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo will soon make much more sitting in a courtroom defending himself against federal corruption charges than he did as a legislator.

State pension officials recently authorized Fumo's request to begin collecting $8,421.27 monthly in retirement benefits.

For the full story, go to philly.com.

More Nice People to Add ...

Pam Fredeen, Don Fredeen (no, I'm not sucking up. They really are nice!), Jeannie Satterwhite, Mike McAvoy, Paula at the Jackson Avenue Crosby's, Kimberly Weinberg. I know someone already mentioned Father Gallina, but he's on my list, too. And since the mayor mentioned my uncle, George Bove (and I totally agree with that), I'm going to add his daughters -- Kathy, Karen, Kris and Karla. I'm sure I'll add more later.

You can add yours HERE.

Today on the LiveLine

Ginny Hauser from the Bradford Hospital Auxiliary and Mike Walter of the AKtion Club talking about the upcoming "Touching Hearts, Changing Lives" fundraiser.

Senecas to Collect Thruway Tolls

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The Seneca Nation will start collecting tolls on the New York State Thruway in response to state taxes on wholesalers who deal with Indian retailers.

The Tribal Council has authorized an action for an advisory opinion to declare the Thruway an illegal invasion of soverign Nation terriorty, and increase the current toll to $2. In May of 2007, the Senecas assessed the state $1 for every vehicle that passed through the reservation. The state owes the Nation more than $20 million.

Seneca President Barry Snyder says the Tribal Council has authorized him to spend as much as $1 milllion to retain emergency response personnel; help with medical care to Nation residents; make sure children can get to school; and that all residents can go about their daily activities without interference.

They didn't say when the toll will go into effect. The Senecas say the impositon of state taxes on wholesalers who deal with them would pose a grave threat to to their livelihood.

Ridgway FD Gets Grant for Truck

Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, announced today that the Ridgway Fire Department is recipient of $190,000 in federal dollars thought the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program to purchase a new tanker truck. AFG is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, otherwise known as FEMA.

“As a volunteer firefighter, I know firsthand the budgetary challenges facing companies throughout rural Pennsylvania,” said Thompson, who is a past president of Howard Volunteer Fire Company. “This grant will go a long way in providing state of the art equipment needed to protect Ridgway and I am glad the Department of Homeland Security saw the merits in this request. First responders put their lives on the line without hesitation, so it is only fitting that these brave men and women have the necessary equipment to get the job done in a safe manner.”

The Ridgway Fire Department will utilize these funds to purchase a new tanker truck w…

PennDOT Contest Underway

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is inviting high school students across the state to help remind motorists to “Drive Safe PA” through a unique contest.

High school sophomores, juniors and seniors are invited to create a 30-second radio public service announcement, or PSA, focused on aggressive driving, buckling up or driving under the influence. The PSA must include the phrase “Drive Safe PA,” which PennDOT is introducing as part of its continued commitment to highway safety.

“As young drivers, high school students have a fresh perspective on the importance of safe driving,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “Our hope is that through this competition, teens will start to talk more about safe driving behaviors and use their creativity to spread the word to others about how to drive safely through Drive Safe PA.”

According to PennDOT, there were 1,491 fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2007. Of those, 101 fatalities involved a 16- or 17-year-old driver, which was an in…

Dan Surra Has a New Job

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Former state representative Dan Surra didn't go very long without a job.

Governor Ed Rendell has made an exception to the hiring freeze he imposed to create a new job for Surra , who started work Monday as a senior adviser for the "Pennsylvania Wilds."

Surra will be paid $95,000 a year — a bump up from the approximately $89,000 Surra would have made had he won a 10th term in the House and kept his leadership position.

Rendell's press secretary says the new position is a wise investment, and Surra's primary responsibility will be to balance the region's tourism with the surging interest in drilling for natural gas.

Gaskew's New Book on Policing Muslim American Commuities

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A new book by Dr. Tony Gaskew, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, helps law enforcement officials better understand Muslim communities following Sept. 11, 2001.

“Policing Muslim American Communities” will be released this week by Edwin Mellen Press.

The book studies the impact of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which gave law enforcement greater authority to search telephone, e-mail, medical, financial and other records of U.S. citizens. Gaskew examines how passage of the act affected the Muslim communities’ relationship with law enforcement, which is seen as key to preventing future terror attacks.

“This book is a one-stop shop for law enforcement who want to increase their understanding of Islam and Muslims in America,” said Gaskew, who wrote the book to be “very readable” for people from all disciplines.

“The first couple of chapters are very personal,” he said. “I share my thoughts and feeli…

Hypothermia Tips, Info from BRMC

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By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department


With winter’s inevitable return, so comes the concern of people suffering from hypothermia from frequently not being dressed properly for conditions.

Contrary to popular belief, hypothermia can strike as high as 55 degrees Fahrenheit when outside and even the low 60s when indoors.

Bradford Regional Medical Center’s John Radford, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department, advises people to be aware of feeling chilled or having prolonged bouts of shivering when they can’t seem to get warm.

“Too often, in these cases, people are getting the early signs of hypothermia and they need to take action before it worsens and they require a visit to the Emergency Department,” Dr. Radford says.

Dressing in layers, whether outside or indoors, is paramount to keeping an optimum body temperature. Multiple layers trap air between them and help the body stay warm, Dr. Radford explains.

So who is at risk for hypothermia? Older adults can los…