Posts

Showing posts from February 1, 2009

CNN: A-Rod Tests Positive

From CNN's Breaking News: Baseball star Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003, sources tell Sports Illustratd.

For more, go to SI.com.

Happy Birthday to ..

Jim Pasinski

Forest Ministry Needs Help

That bump in the road didn't stop Allegheny Forest Ministries, which found another property for its Kinzua Youth Retreat House. But now the Christian ministry is struggling to avoid a financial pothole.

Although based in McKean County, the ministry's board also has representatives from Erie, Potter and Warren counties.

For the full story, go to the Erie Times-News.

Searching for Isa

Image
As you may have heard on Ad Line and read on Talk About Bradford, Isa, a yorkie-poo mix dog has been on the run for nearly 2 months.

She's been sighted all around Bradford – most recently in the Euclid and Homestead avenue area yesterday afternoon.

Today, several concerned people have organized a search party to help find Isa. If you're interested in helping, meet at the Dresser's parking lot on Euclid Avenue at 2 p.m. today.

~~~

In a related story ...

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A golden retriever named Buck that darted from his owners last summer after being spooked by a train whistle and went missing for six months is back home in Washington state, thanks to several residents of rural north-central Montana.

For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

Scarnati's Toll-Free Number Misprinted in Coudy Phone Book

The toll-free phone number for Senator Joe Scarnati's (R-Jefferson) district office was misprinted recently in the Coudersport phone directory. The correct number is 877-787-7084.

Scarnati urged residents to make a note of the proper number in case they need to access information available in his district offices.

"My district offices can provide residents with a wide range of information on programs and services available to individuals and families in our area," Scarnati said. "I would urge Coudersport residents and those in surrounding communities to ensure they have the proper number listed to reach me if they have any concerns or problems with state agencies."

Healthy Heart Walks at BRMC

Image
Getting fit and healthier gained heightened focus Friday at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) for employees and members of the community who took time to exercise their hearts. More than 140 BRMC employees and community residents participated in one of three “Healthy Heart Walks” held inside the hospital. As part of National Wear Red Day, designed to promote awareness of heart disease and stroke in women, BRMC physicians led walkers on a quarter-mile loop which took about 10 minutes to complete. The walks were held at 7 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Leading the lunchtime walk were (from left) Mark J. Welch, M.D., Jill Owens, M.D., and Steven C. Herrmann, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.S.E., director of Cardiovascular Services at BRMC’s Heart Center. All of those participating got a free T-shirt donated by the Bradford HealthWorks Project, a health initiative of BRMC, the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Zippo Manufacturing Co., and Highmark Blue …

UPB to Celebrate Darwin Day

Image
The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Charles Darwin with a musical performance and lecture by a noted Darwin scholar and impersonator, scientific displays and a nature hike.

All events are free and open to the public.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with demonstrations and displays until 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. A birthday cake for Darwin will be served at 11:30 a.m.

At noon, Richard Milner, author of the forthcoming “Darwin’s Universe: Evolution from A to Z” with a foreword by Stephen Jay Gould, will give the lecture “Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Naturalist,” which promises to expound on Darwin’s adventures with dinosaur diggers, slave owners, flower-breeders and coral reefs. The lecture will also take place in the University Room.

Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology and Darwin Day organizer, said Milner’s afternoon lectu…

Disney Creates Pausch Fellowship

Image
The Walt Disney Company has donated money for two three-year fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University in honor of Randy Pausch the inspirational professor who died of pancreatic cancer in July.

The Disney Memorial Pausch Fellowships will go to a fine arts student and one in computer science.

Pausch became famous for "The Last Lecture," a best-selling inspirational book that grew out of a lecture about dealing with his illness that became famous as an online video.

Man Trying to do Good Deed
Sets Fire to His House

A man who was trying to do something nice for a neighbor this afternoon ended up setting fire to part of his house.

Bradford City firefighters say David Nichols of 159 South Avenue told them an extremely large icicle forms on his house every year and, every year, falls and damages the neighbors' siding.

He was trying to thaw the icicle with a 20-pound propane tank and hand torch, when the eaves on his house caught on fire. The fire spread to the attic, but firefighters were able to contain it.

Firefighters say quite a bit of damage was done to the roof, but that's because shingles had to be removed to make sure there was no fire underneath them.

12 firefighters were on the scene for about 2 hours. The Nichols house is insured.

Scarnati Bill Would Return Funds From Legislative Accounts

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) is preparing to introduce legislation that would transfer a significant portion of surplus funds from legislative accounts to the General Fund.

Senate Bill 10 would leave sufficient funds in legislative accounts to continue operations for up to four months in the event of an emergency or budget impasse. The bill would require that all funds in excess of this reserve be returned to the General Fund after each fiscal year.

"It is critical for state government to tighten its belt during this recession, and we must look for every possible avenue to help taxpayers," Scarnati said. "This funding would provide a much-needed boost to the General Fund without compromising the General Assembly's ability to operate in a crisis or an impasse."

It is estimated that Scarnati's legislation will return over $100 million to the General Fund this year to help balance the budget. "These funds will aid us in eliminatin…

Bradford Man Among Latest
Child Predator Unit Arrests

Image
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have made a series of recent arrests, including men from Lehigh, Erie and McKean counties who are all accused of sending sexually explicit webcam videos to what they believed were children. Agents have also filed new criminal charges, related to illegal child pornography, against a Lehigh County man who was arrested in September 2008 after allegedly using the Internet to sexually proposition a child.

Corbett identified the defendants as:

· William C. Moyer, 43, 1854 Siegfriedale Road, Breinigsville, Lehigh County.

· Christopher A. Sims, 25, 6510 East Lake Road, Erie.

· Jonathan E. Farnham, 25, 2 Bushnell St., Bradford.

· Paul A. Marmon, 62, 1897 Molinaro Drive, Allentown.



“Over the past four years the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit has arrested 189 men who have tried to use the Internet to sexually proposition children,” Corbett said. “…

Idling Law in Effect Today

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians — particularly those vulnerable to air pollution such as children and the elderly — will breathe easier, thanks to a new measure taking effect today that limits engine idling by heavy-duty diesel vehicles. Governor Edward G. Rendell signed the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act (Act 124) on Oct. 9.

The law restricts heavy-duty diesel vehicles from idling more than five minutes per hour. Truck and bus drivers often idle their engines during rest periods to heat or cool their sleeper compartment, to keep the engine warm during cold weather, and to provide electrical power for their appliances. Acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger added that the new restrictions will save the owners of these vehicles billions of dollars a year while also reducing Pennsylvania’s dependence on foreign oil.

“Idling of these heavy-duty engines produces large quantities of dangerous air pollutants that can be particularly harmful to young children, the elderly …

Casey Named Subcommittee Chair

Image
WASHINGTON, DC- In his third year in the Senate, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has been named the Chairman the Senate Foreign Relations Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee. The Subcommittee will play a key role in the foreign policy debates in the critical regions of the Middle East and South Asia.

“I am pleased and honored to serve as the Chairman of such a critical Subcommittee. Many of today’s most important foreign policy challenges facing the United States fall under the jurisdiction of this Subcommittee. I look forward to working with Chairman Kerry as we address such topics as responsibly drawing down our combat forces in Iraq, reversing a sharply deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, halting Iran’s rapid progress in its nuclear program and revitalizing the moribund Middle East peace process.”

This Subcommittee deals with the geographical region spanning from Israel to India, with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in between. Its geographic …

Specter, Others Introduce
Health Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa) joined with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and a bipartisan coalition of Senators today in offering the Healthy Americans Act (S.391), legislation that seeks to guarantee that every American has quality, affordable health care. The Healthy Americans Act introduced today improves on the version first offered in the 110th Congress with the inclusion of several innovative additions developed and agreed upon by the bill’s sponsors. The list of co-sponsors includes returning sponsors: U.S Senators Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), as well as new co-sponsors: U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.).

“We have long struggled to adequately cover all Americans with health insurance, and I believe the Healthy Americans Act provides a …

Bradford Man to be Sentenced
May 18 for Crash that Killed Wife

The Bradford man who pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of his wife will be sentenced May 18.

56-year-old Lanny Holly was driving while intoxicated on November 9, 2007, in the Town of Carrollton, when his vehicle went off the road, hit a tree and burst into flames.

He was able to get out of the vehicle but his wife, 53-year-old Carol Holly, was trapped inside the vehicle and died.

Charges Dropped in Case of
'Ham Sandwich Stabbing'

Charges have been dropped against an Erie woman who had been accused of stabbing her longtime companion in the stomach, then making herself a ham sandwich.

The District Attorney's office dropped the charges against 48-year-old Tammy Yeaney after the man who was stabbed – 58-year-old Ralph Clark – told prosecutors it was an accident.

Yeaney's lawyer says the stabbing didn't happen during a fight on December 26. Yeaney was washing dishes when Clark came in to make himself a sandwich. As he was approaching, she turned with a 7-inch knife in her hand and the two collided.

Yeaney's lawyer added that his client doesn't even eat ham.

Man Sentenced for Stealing Bell

A Randolph man has been sentenced to a year in jail for stealing a 500-pound brass bell from a Girl Scout camp.

20-year-old Travis Lundberg took the bell from Camp Timbercrest. It was sold as scrap and destroyed.

Lundberg pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal possession of stolen property.

Rendell Set to Testify Monday

...on Monday Gov. Rendell is scheduled to take the stand, possibly to be followed by (former Sen. Vincent)Fumo.

Rendell is expected to say Fumo and his aides were well-known in Harrisburg for their long work hours. Defense lawyers hope the governor's testimony will help rebut the prosecution allegation that the senator shortchanged taxpayers by having his staff do personal and political work on state time.

For the full story, go to philly.com.

Specter's Save Our Small and
Seasonal Business Act of 2009

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today introduced the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2009, legislation that will protect small and seasonal businesses from a devastating cut to their workforce by providing an exemption for returning seasonal workers.

“This bill protects our borders, protects American jobs, and rewards people who play by the rules,” Senator Mikulski said. “Without these seasonal workers, many businesses will not survive—they’ll be forced to limit services, lay off permanent U.S. workers or, worse yet, close their doors. As our nation confronts the most severe economic problems in generations, it is critically important that our government take bold steps to protect American jobs and small businesses. My bill does just that.”

“In times of economic turmoil, it is important to address the needs of the small businesses that constitute the backbone of our national economy,” Senator Specter said. “This bill will provide busine…

Exhibit of WWII Posters at Bona's

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Feb. 6, 2009 — An extensive collection of World War II posters is getting its first public showing in years at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The 62 posters, on loan from Olean Public Library, were produced in the early 1940s by a government information machine trying to rally a nation behind the war effort.

The posters are a fervent call to patriotism, reminding citizens that the success of Allied forces overseas depends on the support and sacrifices of Americans back home. They implore the citizenry to buy war bonds, step up production in the work place, walk instead of drive to conserve gasoline, and to collect for the war effort everything from tin cans to cooking fat.

That the posters exist at all is due to equal doses of foresight and serendipity.

Produced by the Office of War Information and other government agencies, the posters were distributed to libraries, post offices, schools, factories and other public places, said…

This Week's Chess League Results

Round 8 chess league action at School Street Elementary on Wednesday, February 4 saw more upsets in both divisions. Justin Wedge, captain of the Northwest Savings Bank Team, defeated Leah Swineford, captain for the Tasta Pizza Team. Although Swineford’s team eked out a narrow victory over Northwest, Leah spoiled her perfect record. Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair held Lang Surveying to a draw. Team Edmond Chevrolet triumphed in its match against the Domino’s Pizza Team. And the Hamlin Bank Team foreclosed on the Drs. Rhinehart Team to maintain the lead.

In the JV division, only Mitchell Forbes, captain for Hamlin Bank, remains with a perfect record in league competition.

In the varsity section, Team Pharmacy at Union Square outscored Team Dr. Laroche. The Bradford Window Co. Team prevailed in its match against the Dexter’s Service Center Team. Team Ed Shults Toyota lost a close one against Dr. Gonzalez Team. And Smith’s Fine Jewelry Team won a slim victory over the Parkview Super …

Get Well Soon ...

Mike Cejka!

As some of you may know, Mike fell on some ice Tuesday morning, broke his ankle in three places and had to have surgery. He won't be on TV for a while.

But, don't fret. Those of you in McKean and Cattaraugus counties can still hear his forecasts for your areas on 1490 WESB and 100.1 The HERO Monday through Friday.

Rendell Rumors in Washington

University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato says he'd be surprised if President Obama picked Rendell (for Health and Human Services Secretary). “That would turn the governorship over to a Republican,” he said.

“I suppose if Scarnati agrees not to run in 2010, and agrees not to reverse Rendell’s policies or fire his appointees, it is possible,” Sabato says.

For the full story, go to the Forty-Fourth Estate.

Specter, Casey, Schumer, Others
Introduce Stimulus Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bipartisan amendment to provide state and local governments with more flexibility in using funds allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

“A disturbing byproduct of the increased rates of foreclosures is that entire communities are being affected and local economies are being dragged down,” said Senator Casey. “We have to get these neighborhoods stabilized efficiently and quickly and we must give the states the flexibility to allocate the funds so that more families and communities don’t suffer.”

“Halting the wave of foreclosures is critical to sparking an economic recovery,” Senator Specter said. “This amendment includes key provisions of a bill I introduced last year to ensure that more attention, counseling and resources are directed toward p…

'Losing' a Shackled Prisoner -- Twice

A prison transportation company has apparently lost an inmate being taken to Philadelphia.

Authorities say 33-year-old Sylvester Mitchell was being moved from Florida to face attempted murder charges in Pennsylvania. He was gone when the van arrived in Philadelphia today.

Police aren't sure how or where Mitchell got away. They say he was held in shackles.

There was a similar case in September when a shackled man escaped from a guard at the Philadelphia airport. He was captured a week later.

The company in both cases was Tennessee-based Prisoner Transportation Services of America.

Man Indicted on Firearms Charges

A Clarion County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating federal firearms laws.

64-year-old Morgan Jones of Lucinda is accused of selling firearms without a license fro about 2 years. On September 29, 2007, he allegedly provide.50-caliber armor-piercing incendiary tracer ammunition to a convicted felon.

If convicted, Jones faces 20 years in prison, fines of $750,000 or both.

DEP Appeals Mercury Ruling

Environmental Protection acting Secretary John Hanger said today the commonwealth has filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking to overturn a recent state court opinion that declared Pennsylvania’s Mercury Rule “unlawful, invalid and unenforceable.”

The Commonwealth Court’s Jan. 31 order blocks the Department of Environmental Protection from continued implementation and enforcement of the state-specific mercury rule.

“The Pennsylvania Mercury Rule is a well-crafted, cost-effective program designed to protect our citizens from exposure to mercury emitted by coal-fired power plants,” said Hanger. “Our rule accelerates adoption of proven technologies that would protect public health and the environment.”

Governor Edward G. Rendell’s administration developed the state-specific mercury rule in 2006 following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s adoption of a less protective regulation and emission guidelines that allowed the interstate trading of mercury emissions. Pen…

Heroin Arrest Made in Williamsport

Image
HARRISBURG - A Williamsport man accused of selling heroin in the Williamsport area, was arrested today by agents from the Attorney General's Office and Williamsport Police.

Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Nigel Jackson, 35, 2517 West Fourth St., Williamsport.

Corbett said that agents made several heroin purchases from Jackson's residence over the course of the investigation. A search warrant was executed on the home Feb. 3, 2009, resulting in the seizure of 31.5 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $19,000.

Corbett said that the heroin was packaged into 788 small packets, which were allegedly ready for street resale.

Agents also seized a .380 semi-auto handgun with an obliterated serial number and $2,910 in cash.

Jackson is charged with four counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, three counts of delivery of heroin, three counts of criminal use of a communications facility, one count of persons not to possess a firear…

Stack: Challenging Path to Budget

Image
HARRISBURG — The current dismal national economic and a projected $2.3 billion deficit in Pennsylvania has put the commonwealth on a challenging path to a balanced budget — a path that includes numerous cuts and a reliance on a proposed federal economic stimulus package.

But today’s budget proposal for the 2009-10 fiscal year is a first step toward addressing those challenges, state Sen. Mike Stack said today.

“This is going to be an extremely difficult year, and we knew this prior to today’s budget proposal because of the worsening economic forecasts,” said Stack. “To say that we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves is an understatement; however, I am committed to working with my colleagues to produce a balanced budget that still invests in education, affordable health care and infrastructure projects.”

Specifically, the senator is encouraged by the budget’s focus on higher education. The budget proposal calls for enacting the Pennsylvania Tuition Relief Act, which would provide publ…

State Paying for Steelers Parade

The Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl victory parade cost $79,500 --- and the state is paying for it.

City officials say the cost of Tuesday's parade was far less than the $500,000 the city spent for police to patrol several neighborhoods on Sunday to keep rowdy fans under control. That cost will also be covered by a state grant earmarked for regional events.

City officials say no one was arrested at the parade, which about 350,000 people attended.

The Steelers didn't contribute money to defray the costs

Gabler Criticizes Rendell's Budget

Image
HARRISBURG - State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) issued the following statement in reaction to today's budget address from Gov. Ed Rendell:

"As someone who ran for office armed with a desire to effect the real change that voters desired from their elected leaders, I find no good reason to support the spending plan laid out today. The administration's strategy for next year's budget exemplifies the same pattern of spending behavior that has contributed to the state of disorder we now find ourselves in.

"Today we witnessed is nothing less than economic sleight of hand from the administration. The proposal is being portrayed as a spending decrease is in fact just the opposite to the tune of a $705 million increase. This request to spend more comes at a time when our constituents are in many instances being forced to spend less, thereby exhibiting more of the undisciplined habits that have been the hallmark of our governor's time in office.

"This budg…

A Special Happy Birthday to ..

Image
Dorie Meabon!

Rep. Glenn Thompson Appointed to
Education and Labor Committee

Image
U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, was informed by the House Republican Leader this afternoon that he has been appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee. This appointment is in addition to the Thompson’s seat on the Agriculture and Small Business Committees.

“I’m delighted to accept this additional assignment and look forward to serving on the Education and Labor Committee,” said Thompson. “The Fifth District is home to 52 school districts and a host of post secondary institutions that provide critical services to our communities and training to our students. This appointment will ensure that their voices continue to be heard and concerns addressed when Congress debates the No Child Left Behind reauthorization later this session. ”

The Education and Labor Committee's purpose is to ensure that Americans' needs are addressed so that students and workers can move forward in the competitive global economy. The Committee and its five Subcommittees oversee…

Boscola: Phase-In of Higher,
Deregulated Rates Will Help

Image
HARRISBURG (FEB 4, 2009) – Hard economic times will make it harder to balance this year’s state budget.

But, a phase-in of higher, deregulated electric rates will help millions of Pennsylvanians stretch their family budgets a little bit further during the current recession, according to State Senator Lisa M. Boscola.

During his annual budget address to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives today, Governor Ed Rendell specifically called for a mandated phase-in of deregulated electric rates “to help families weather these tough times.”

Beginning next year, 85 percent of electric customers throughout Pennsylvania will be charged fully deregulated prices, which means some customers will see their monthly bills double in size, Boscola said.

“For the Governor to make rate mitigation part of his state budget address shows that it’s a top priority,” she said. “I commend him for standing up for working families that are hurting right now. Even in good economic times, peo…

Casey Applauds CHIP Bill Signing

WASHINGTON, DC- Following President Barack Obama signing into law the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) issued the following statement:

“After two years and two Bush vetoes, we will finally provide health care coverage to more than 10.5 million American children.

“Thankfully, for the more than four million children and their families who will join the more than six million children currently covered, we have a new president and another example of change that has come to Washington.

“When we speak of families and children's health insurance we speak and we think mostly about parents and the relationship they have to their children and what they want for their children. They, of course, want their children to succeed in life. They have hopes and dreams for their children. But, of course, for a parent, and especially for a mother, who is often providing most of the care for a child, her initial hopes, her initial fears, her concerns at…

Scarnati: Tough Choices Ahead

Image
While he is pleased that Governor Ed Rendell took his advice and did not include any large-scale tax increases on working families and job creators in his proposed state budget, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) said the legislature must look carefully at every area of spending and craft a fiscally responsible spending plan.

“We have to put the taxpayers first, particularly in these tough economic times when many families are having difficulties making ends meet,” Scarnati said. “This is the time to closely examine and limit our spending, not to increase taxes or create expensive new programs.”

Scarnati said Senate Republicans will carefully study the $28.9 billion general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2009-10 unveiled by Governor Rendell today.

Scarnati, who lead the fight against tax increases in previous budgets, said that he was disappointed to see that the Governor had proposed an increase in the cigarette tax as well as a new tax on smokeless tobacco and cig…

Causer: Spending is Irresponsible

Image
HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said he is deeply concerned by the $28.9 billion budget proposed by Gov. Ed Rendell on Wednesday. The proposal represents a $705 million increase in spending over the current year's enacted budget.

"I seriously question the wisdom of an overall spending increase in this economic climate," Causer said. "The governor's words over the last few weeks - and even today during his speech - do not reflect his actions at all."

In the weeks leading up to the budget address, the governor warned of state employee layoffs and "painful" cuts in spending. In his speech Wednesday, he referred to the nation's economic climate as "the worst economic crisis of our lifetime" and the "worst recession since the great depression." He acknowledged that the proposed federal stimulus package, assuming it passes, is only a temporary solution.

"The governor's actions speak louder than his words…

PSBA Comments on Rendell Budget

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association today commended Gov. Edward Rendell on the proposed $300 million increase for public education. The increase comes despite the size of the state’s budget deficit, deep cuts in other areas of the budget and decreases in education spending in other states.

“We had been anticipating the appropriation levels identified by the governor in his six-year funding plan laid out in 2008; however, we realize the dire financial straits facing state government,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, PSBA’s executive director. “In light of that, the addition of $300 million to the basic subsidy is particularly commendable since it will help to close the adequacy gaps for the commonwealth’s school districts and contain pressure on school property taxes. It is our sincere hope we can return to the governor’s original funding schedule as soon as practical.”

Last year, Rendell laid out a six-year plan to fully fund the adequacy gaps that were identified in the state’s costin…

Wear Red, Walk on Friday

Image
As part of National Wear Red Day, Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) employees and local residents are being encouraged to participate in one of three “Healthy Heart Walks” set for Friday, Feb. 6, inside the hospital.

Starting in front of HeartStrings Gift Shop in BRMC’s new Outpatient Services Center, employees and those from the community can join the indoor walks that will begin at 7 a.m., noon and 3 p.m., say BRMC officials.

Participants will be led by BRMC physicians on a quarter-mile loop which takes 10 minutes to complete. Those participating will be given a T-shirt donated by the Bradford HealthWorks Project, a health initiative of BRMC, the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Zippo Manufacturing Co., and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“The walk is part of National Wear Red Day when people wear red to show their support for women’s heart disease awareness,” says Beth Price, RN, chairman of BRMC’s Employee Wellness Committee that’…

In Case You Missed It ...

02/02/09 - Fatal Snowmobile Accident in Limestone
A man died in a snowmobile accident Saturday on Nichols Run Road in Limestone. NY State Police say that 47 year-old Jeffrey Lattery was pronounced dead at a local hospital. State Police say that Lattery was traveling east on Nichols Run Road’s shoulder, and was struck head on by a vehicle.


02/02/09 - Emporium Man Dies in Snowmobile Crash

An Emporium man was killed Saturday in a snowmobile accident in Portage Township. Pennsylvania State Police say that 41 year-old James “Nick” Guisto died following a crash off Crooked Run Road. The State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is in charge of the investigation indicating that the accident was on state park land.

02/02/09 - Infant Dies of Meningitis
A 1-year-old has died in Cattaraugus County of meningitis. The infant, from the western part of the county was not identified. Cattaraugus County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Gilbert Witte says the child had not been vaccinat…

Dead Farm Animals in Charlotte

A 48-year-old woman and her 16-year-old son have been charged with 31 counts of failure to provide proper sustenance after investigators found dead and starving animals at their home in Charlotte.

Sheriff's deputies found several cows, goats and sheep in the road that appeared to be malnourished. While clearing the road of the animals, deputies found several dead and frozen animals on Anne Mosier's property.

The Chautauqua County Humane Society was called to the scene to check the well-being of the animals. During the investigation, officials found 18 dead and frozen sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and game hens buried in snow. Twelve other farm animals and six pets were seized by the Humane Society.

Wednesday, Thursday LiveLines

Image
In case you missed today's LiveLine with David Laskin, author of "The Children's Blizzard," you can listen to it HERE.

My guest on Thursday's LiveLine is McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock, who will be talking about his new "Safe Choices" program.

Smith: Rendell Spends Too Much

House Republicans say Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposed $29 billion general fund budget and his entire spending plan for fiscal year 2009-10 spends too much money as the economy continues to spiral downward, according to Rep. Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County), the Republican Leader, and Rep. Mario Civera (R-Delaware County), the Republican Appropriations Committee Chairman.

The budget unveiled by the governor during a joint session of the General Assembly today includes a spending increase of at least $705 million over this year’s enacted budget. The budget supports the operations of state agencies and state programs.

“Like working families across the state, we must find a way to make government live within its means, especially as we face a $2.3 billion deficit. This is not a year to fund new programs or new spending,” Smith said. “This is gut-check time, and we in Harrisburg must make fundamental changes in our thinking about budgeting. It’s truly a time to find savings and get more value out o…

UWBA Getting Closer to Goal

Image
Although continuing to make strides and coming closer to the $375,000 goal, representatives with the United Way of the Bradford Area are asking the local community for continued support.

“We are at 76% of the monetary goal as of right now,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis, “but there are still quite a few outstanding pledges we are hoping to include in a final total.”

In an effort to relay the importance of the annual campaign and the agencies and programs which stand to benefit from it, Davis tells a story of a local boy in need of food.

“I came across this young man at the YWCA Food Pantry this summer, and was drawn to him immediately because of his age – I’d say he was five or six years old.

“At one point I glanced at him and noticed he was crying. I heard him turn to the woman with whom he was standing and say that they were too far back in the line and he was afraid they weren’t going to be able to get their food baskets.”

The YWCA Food Pantry is just one of several a…

Senate GOP Responds to Budget

Image
Senate Republicans will carefully study the $28.9 billion general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2009-10 unveiled by Governor Rendell today. The proposal includes a $1.26 billion (4.6 percent) increase in spending.

With January's revenues collections at $261.7 million below projections for the month, year-to-date revenues stand at $13.3 billion with a cumulative collections shortfall of about $1.08 billion (7.5 percent). The Governor is now projecting a $2.3 billion shortfall, and that is just over 8 percent of the total revenues that Pennsylvania had expected to take in during the current fiscal year.

The budget proposal anticipates additional revenues from:

A 10 cent-per-pack increase in Pennsylvania's cigarette tax, to a proposed total of $1.45 per-pack.
A new tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco.
A new tax on extraction from the state's Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves.
A proposal to use $250 million from the Rainy Day Fund in Fiscal Year 2008-09 and $375 million in Fisc…

Gov. Rendell's Budget Address

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell outlined a $29 billion budget Wednesday that would expand spending on education, prisons and health coverage while drawing from federal aid and state surpluses, increasing some taxes and cutting other programs.

The plan is a 2.5 percent increase from what was originally approved for the 2008-09 budget, and would also would withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's "rainy day" contingency fund without draining it completely.

It does not call for increasing any broad-based tax.

To read the goveror's budget address go HERE (PDF)

To read about the budget in brief, go HERE (PDF)

Senator Young Responds
to 'Wretched Wine' Comment

Albany, N.Y., -- Two upstate Senate Republicans are calling for a leading Senate Democrat, Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island, to apologize for comments she made earlier today that were critical of New York's wine industry.

State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira), who represents a prominent wine-producing district in the Finger Lakes, and Senator Cathy Young (R,I,C-Olean), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said that Savino's comments to the New York Daily News "were uncalled for and surprisingly disrespectful to a leading state industry."

An entry on today's Daily News blog, "The Daily Politics," reports that Savino, who unexpectedly attended a Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC) fundraiser in Albany last night, told the News' Elizabeth Benjamin, "I ate their salami. . . and I drank their wine; it was wretched."

Winner said that the wine served at last night's SRCC fundraiser came from an award-winning…

Beacon Light Announces Lay Offs

Beacon Light has announced a reorganizational plan that includes laying off 25 employees.

About 50 positions are being cut, but some of them have been removed by not filling vacancies.

CEO Rick Seager says the downturn in the stock market has affected the endowment fund, while rates from payers have not gone up and health insurance costs have.

Seager says Beacon Light is developing more community-based services to supplement the decrease in residential care.

What's Black & Gold & Red All Over?

QUESTION: How would a person go virtually unnoticed while attempting to rob a bank?

ANSWER: Wear a Steelers' jacket during the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory parade.

Police say a man wearing a Steelers jacket, and claiming to have a gun, walked into a Huntingdon Bank branch during the parade and demanded money.

A teller gave him a bag of cash containing a red dye pack, which exploded after he left the bank. Police say he tossed the stained money aside and it was all recovered.

Police say they've got a good image of the man from surveillance video and his black and gold jacket is now stained red.

Specter Wants More NIH Funding

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), along with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), introduced an amendment to the stimulus package to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $6.5 billion.

The Specter-Durbin Amendment provides an additional $6.5 billion for the NIH - bringing the total to $10 billion over two years - and is completely offset by funds from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. The additional dollars would be distributed to each of the Institutes and Centers in amounts proportional to their funding level in Fiscal Year 2008. Economists estimate that the $10 billion provided to NIH could result in the creation of over 70,000 jobs in the health industry over the next two years.

“Including funding for the NIH in the bill will provide needed economic stimulus, enable long-term economic growth and save lives,” Specter said. “The National Institutes of Health have been starved recently. This increase in funding will enable the Natio…