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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Corbett: You Will Be Stunned

HARRISBURG — When the next criminal charges come in a public corruption investigation of the Legislature, they will "shock the conscience of people" because of the staggering amount of tax money involved, Attorney General Tom Corbett said Thursday.

"You will be stunned," he told the Tribune-Review. "It's the amount of money involved."

For Brad Bumsted's full story, go to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Rendell: Stimulus Good, Not Great

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Ed Rendell said it himself: The $787 billion federal economic stimulus law is good, not great. Among those who either supported it or benefited from it, he wasn't alone in pointing out its flaws.

With the goal of jerking America out of its downward economic spiral, the law signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama slaps a Band-Aid on some local and state government budget gaps and spreads tax breaks across a wide spectrum of taxpayers — among many other steps.

Still, it wasn't perfect.

For the full story, go to

In Case You Missed It

02/19/09 - Man Hurt After Truck Strikes Home
A truck struck a house Wednesday afternoon at around 4 o’clock at 375 East main Street in Bradford. Bradford City Police say that 51 year-old Bruce Haight of Smethport lost control of his truck after a coughing spell and went across a couple of lawns before striking the house. Haight was taken to BRMC with moderate injuries. No other injuries were reported. The house's foundation was severely damaged.

02/19/09 - Woman Charged With Theft From Office
A Bradford woman has been charged with stealing money from her husband’s law office. Court records indicate that 56 year-old Catherine Langella ia accused of taking the money from the law office of Ron Langella over the last four years. The money that has been taken is believed to be in excess of $2,000. Mrs. Langella is free on $20,000 bail.

02/18/09 - Two Bfd Men Charged With Sale of Drugs
Two Bradford men were arrested Monday night by the McKean County Drug Task Force. Court records indicate that 53 year-old James Hannon was arrested after selling morphine to an undercover agent at his Cole Avenue residence. Police then arrested 47 year-old Robert Forquer at his Jackson Avenue home and charged him with possession of morphine and the sale to Hannon. Forquer was also charged with possession a loaded AK-47 assault rifle. He was sent to the McKean County Jail on $20,000 bail Hannon was jailed on $10,000 bail.

KOTS Is a Big Success

The 8th Annual Kinzua Outdoor and Travel Show was a huge success again this year.

Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Diane Sheeley says about 7,000 people attended the day-and-a-half long event.

More than 100 vendors and exhibitors participated in the show.

This year's major sponsors were the Zippo/Case Visitors Center, Edmond Chevrolet and Ed Shults Toyota-Scion, Centro Watt, Z & M Ag and Turf, Custom Turf, Charlie's Cycle Center and R & K Marina of Rushford, New York.

John Sullivan was the event chair.

Pictured, top, are Smokey the Bear and Eddie the Eagle from the National Rifle Association, who was a guest of the McKean County Sheriff's Department; bottom, State Representative Marty Causer and two of his children, Morgan and Matthew.

On a Personal Note ...

My thoughts are with Patti & Frank, and Amanda & Dan --- and family and friends -- as they attend memorial services today.

11-Year-Old Charged with Homicide

WAMPUM, Pa. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has been charged in the murder of a pregnant woman found shot in her western Pennsylvania farmhouse.

For the full story, go to

Feds Say Alleged Coatesville
Arsonist Wanted to be Firefighter

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police found accelerants, firefighting equipment and a newspaper article about the arsons plaguing a small steel town at the home of a wannabe firefighter they arrested while investigating the crimes, which have terrified residents for months and left many of them homeless, federal prosecutors said.

For the full story, go to

Lt. Gov. Asks for Gov's Support

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) is asking Governor Ed Rendell to support his legislation (Senate Bill 9) that requires anyone applying for public benefits, such as Medicaid, to provide identification and a sworn affidavit stating that they are legally present in the United States. The legislation passed the Senate overwhelmingly last session.

In a letter to the governor, Scarnati points out that a recent state audit found that the department of public welfare failed to make proper Medicaid eligibility determinations on more than 1,600 Medicaid recipients over a three-year period, resulting in $3.3 million in improper payments.

To read Scarnati's letter to Rendell, go HERE PDF

Friday's Notes from Pirates Camp

All players on the fields for stretching and long tossing at 10:05........The temperature was a brisk 51 degrees.

Neil Walker missed the workout due to a stomach virus and Andy LaRoche sat out for a second straight day due to his back spasms.

Today's team fundamental drill was bunt plays and involved all players from 11:00 to 11:20.

The highlight of the day was 17 pitchers throwing live BP to hitters from 11:30 to 1:20 The pitchers threw two separate rounds of 14 to 18 pitches apiece. The pitchers were Ian Snell, Ross Ohlendorf, Donnie Veal, Craig Hansen, Matt Capps, Brian Slocum, Tyler Yates, Jimmy Barthmaier, Juan Mateo, Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett, Jesse Chavez, Evan Meek, Romulo Sanchez, Jeff Sues, Ronald Uviedo and Daniel Haigwood.

A few of the catchers took additional batting practice for 10 minutes and all players were off the fields by 1:30.

At the time of this writing, there are still some position players taking BP in the cages.

Saturday's workout is scheduled to start at 10:00 and should conclude between 12:30 and 1:00. Only nine pitchers are scheduled to throw batting practice tomorrow.

Pictured, Nate McLouth awaits the pitch from Ross Ohlendorf
(Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates)

UPB Swimmers, Coach Awarded

By Greg Clark
Pitt-Bradford Sports Information

PITTSBURGH -- The Pitt-Bradford swim team made a big splash in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference post-season awards on Friday.

Head coach Ed Bahan was named Coach of the Year, junior Cameron Lanich of Batavia (NY) was named Male Swimmer of the Year and sophomore Morgan Kinville of Fulton (NY) was named Female Co-swimmer of the Year by the AMCC.

"I'm very pleased," Bahan said. "The swimmers did a nice job and it's great to be recognized."

Lanich was First Team in the 100 Back, the 1650 Free and the 200 Back.

Sophomore Jacob DeVolder of Newark (NY) made the First Team in the 400 IM and senior Mike Dixon of Bradford was First Team in the 200 Fly.

"Cameron (Lanich) was been the leader of the team from the beginning and has one of the best practice attendance records," Bahan noted. "It's great to see his hard work pay off."

The 200 Medley Relay squad of Lanich, freshman Eric Greenawalt of Schuylkill Haven, Dixon and freshman Roland Cross of South Euclid (OH) was named to the men's Second Team.

Kinville was also named to the women's First Team in the 500 Free, the 200 Free and the 100 Free. Freshman Rachel Davis of White Plains (NY) was named to the Second Team in the 100 Fly.

"She (Kinville) is one of our most talented and hardest workers," Bahan declared. "She swam well in the AMCC finals."

First Day of KOTS is Success

About 1,500 people attended the opening day of the annual Kinzua Outdoor and Travel Show Friday at the Bradford Mall – and the fun continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

One of today's highlights is Robert J. Miller from the Governors Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. He'll be talking about the advantages of Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania. He's scheduled to speak at 11 a.m.

Along with the vendors – many of whom are holding special raffles that include Zippo lighters, Case knives, bicycles and gift certificates – there are activities for the kids to enjoy.

New this year is the Kids Casting Competition.

Our own Scott Douglas will be broadcasting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 100.1 The HERO. The broadcast is sponsored by the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sportsman's Outlet.

For more on the KOTS, visit Bradford

Breaking News from CNN

Police are close to making an arrest in the Chandra Levy murder case, according to CNN affiliate KGO.

For more, go to

Luther Resigns at UWBA Director

Kris Luther has resigned as executive director of the United Way of the Bradford Area, effective June 30.

She started working with the United Way as a volunteer in 1992, and has been executive director since 1999.

The board of directors is searching for a replacement – although, in my book, she's irreplaceable.

Happy Birthday to ...

Paula Johnson Alter!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Elementary School Artist Exhibit

By Tom Missel
Director of Media Relations/Marketing

Don’t be fooled by the age of the artists who will gather at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts for an art exhibition opening and benefit auction at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26.

By the end of the night, this group of 54 fourth- and fifth-graders will have made a difference in the lives of children half a world away.

The project, “Art From The Heart,” links Olean’s Washington West Elementary School with a school and orphanage in Uganda, a connection cemented by people and programs at St. Bonaventure University.

Laura Hamed, a fourth-grade teacher at Washington West, was inspired by Susan Bosak’s book “Dream” to find a project that would build global awareness among her students and give them the opportunity to help others. She and fellow teachers Robin Charles and Cari Matejka landed on the idea of donating money raised from an auction of their students’ original artwork.

“After that,” said Hamed, “everything else was kind of serendipity,” a snowball of opportunity set in motion by a discussion with Evelyn Sabina, a former Washington West teacher who is now curator of educator at SBU’s Quick Center for the Arts.

“I thought it was something we could do at the Quick Center, treat it like a gallery opening,” said Sabina.

St. Bonaventure would provide two more pieces of the puzzle: a link to a school and orphanage in Africa in need of the students’ help and an undergraduate art student looking to feed his new-found passion for teaching.

St. Bonaventure senior Lindsay Pohlman of Orchard Park introduced the Washington West students to the Bethlehem Parents’ School and Orphanage in Uganda, which Pohlman and other SBU students have visited and are aiding through Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a university service organization. The Washington West students began writing to the children in Uganda.

Fellow SBU senior Grant Lytle, who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in visual arts, made weekly visits to Washington West through the university’s Journey Project, a program that encourages students to engage in service to others. Lytle, a Rochester native, enrolled at St. Bonaventure as a premed major, but a lifelong interest in art overtook him his sophomore year.

“Art was always there, but I kept chewing it out of my mind. Finally, I just said I’d rather be happy the rest of my life,” said Lytle. “When I first heard about ‘Art From The Heart,’ I said it sounds like something right up my alley.”

He became the project’s art director, teaching the students about color, sketching techniques and different art forms. It’s a role he was born for, said Hamed. “Grant’s a natural with the boys and girls,” she said. “He’s so patient and encouraging. They all really enjoy him.”

To inspire the young artists, their teachers asked them to write an essay about a special family member, “someone really important to them,” said Hamed. They then created a drawing, painting or piece of art that reminds them of that person.

The Feb. 26 exhibition opening and auction at the Quick Center, which is open to the public, will be a multi-media affair. The paintings and drawings will hang in the West Gallery while the students’ essays will be projected on a screen in the center’s Rigas Family Theater. Anyone may bid on the children’s art in a silent auction, with all proceeds going to Bethlehem Parents’ School and Orphanage.

It will be an exciting evening for students and parents alike, said Hamed.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine,” she said. “I think it’s going to be amazing to walk in as a mom or dad and see your child’s artwork up there and then read the essay about his or her special person.”

Sabina agreed. “The children are so passionate and excited about this,” she said. “And what’s neat to me is that the experience has confirmed in Grant that he wants to be an art teacher.”

The project is another in a long and continuing series of Quick Center programming that reaches thousands of schoolchildren each year.

“We’re very proud of the outreach program that we’re able to provide in the area,” said Joseph LoSchiavo, the center’s executive director. “I’m very gratified for the positive feedback that’s come from the schools and also grateful to the individuals and businesses that support the program.”

Pictured, St. Bonaventure University senior Grant Lytle gives a lesson in mixing paints to Washington West students (from left) Matthew Stahley, Kristina Rivera, Tabitha Tuttle and Courtney Wilder.
(Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure University)

Bill Would Ban Grad Requirement

State Senator Jane C. Orie (R-40) has introduced legislation expressly prohibiting the Department of Education from establishing any new high school graduation requirement without legislative approval.

“For the past several years, the Rendell Administration has been moving toward mandating a new test -- the Graduation Competency Assessment -- that all 11th graders would have to pass prior to receiving a diploma,” said Sen. Orie. “While I believe in high academic standards and accountability, we should be monitoring these students in third through eighth grades and intervening then in order to be proactive rather than reactive -- when it is too late.”

Last year, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law legislation prohibiting the Department of Education from promulgating, approving, or proposing a regulation to change or establish high school graduation requirements during the 2008-09 Fiscal Year. Despite this ban, the Department has proceeded with the development of the controversial tests, which are estimated to cost $45 million in a few years.

“In these tough fiscal times, when many programs are being slated for cuts in funding, we cannot afford this new program,” said Sen. Orie. “It is my hope that we can stop this wasteful spending -- and redirect our resources to schools in a more useful manner.”

Senate Bill 281 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee, which is holding a hearing on the legislation tomorrow (February 19th) in the State Capitol. Senator Orie will be attending and testifying in support of the bill.

University Hit By Madoff Scheme

The University of Pittsburgh is receiving $75,000 in emergency funds for Parkinson's disease research in the wake of losses due to the Bernard Madoff financial scandal.

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation is providing the money for the lab at Pitt's School of Medicine. Researchers there are trying to determine if Parkinson's medications can also be used to improve patients' gastrointestinal condition.

The lab received about $750,000 a year for Parkinson's research from a Florida-based foundation that stopped making grants in December because its endowment was managed by Madoff.

Stimulus Money May Help Cemetery

Federal economic stimulus money may help with rehabilitation of the Corydon-Riverview Cemetery.

The cemetery is on a bluff above the Allegheny Reservoir and is in danger of collapsing into the water because waves and fluctuating reservoir levels have eroded the sand and silt bank that protects it.

The cemetery, which was moved from its original location during construction of the Kinzua Dam in the 1960s, contains the remains of relatives and descendants of Seneca Chief Cornplanter.

The Allegheny National Forest could not provide a list of shovel-ready projects, but forest supervisor Leanne Marten has said she is interested in working to protect the cemetery.

The stimulus bill authorizes more than a billion dollars for the Forest Service, which breaks down to about $7 million per forest, although the money does not have to be divided evenly.

Show Considering Wielinski Case

Nearly 60,000 Facebook users have petitioned ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to rebuild the Buffalo home that was ravaged in the crash of Continental Airline's flight 3407.

"Extreme Makeover" executive producer Anthony Dominici said the petition was under review, "but we do not comment on casting."

For the full story, go to ABC News.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deadline for Radio PSA Contest

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding high school students that they have until Saturday, Feb. 28, to enter the “Drive Safe PA” radio 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.

One finalist will be chosen from each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts. The winning students will be offered the opportunity to travel to Harrisburg to have the PSA professionally recorded and then distributed to radio stations in their respective areas. Winning students from each PennDOT district will receive certificates and copies of the finished PSA.

Students can submit a completed audio PSA or written script which can be sent via e-mail to or mailed to PennDOT Press Office, c/o Alison Wenger, 8th Floor-Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17120. Entries must be received or postmarked by Feb. 28.

For complete contest rules, visit and click on Drive Safe PA.

Witness Disputes Fumo Testimony

One of Philadelphia's best-known defense lawyers yesterday repudiated the testimony of his one-time friend, former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, and said he never advised Fumo that he could destroy e-mail as the FBI was investigating him.

For the full story, go to

Testimony ended today. Closing arguments are expected to start Monday.

Thompson Introduces No Tolls Bill

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., announced today that he has introduced legislation that would prohibit the tolling of federal highways, including Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania. Thompson issued the following statement on the introduction of the Keeping America’s Freeway’s Free Act (KAFFA):

“The American people currently pay for our Interstates through gas taxes, the Highway Trust Fund, and apportionment taxes on trucks hauling goods. Tolling the Interstate Highway System would not only be a double tax on the American people, but a dangerous step toward slowing the economic growth of Pennsylvania and the entire country during these trying times.

“Tolls are taxes, plain and simple. As a Member of the House Small Business Committee, the last thing small business owners and hard working families along the I-80 corridor need is another tax when some are struggling to heat their homes and put gasoline in their tanks.

“As a State that continues to lose one Congressman every ten years because of population decline, and according to Forbes Magazine is one of the least friendly states in the union to conduct business, I find it troubling that the Commonwealth would continue to head down this path in a futile attempt to toll Interstate 80.

“The Federal Department of Transportation has rejected the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s (PTC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s I-80 tolling application on two separate occasions – one would hope they had finally got the message. The Governor and Legislature need to go back to the drawing board with Act 44 and leave tolling I-80 out of the equation.

“The Interstate Highway System – the greatest public works project in history – was built with Federal funding to unite our nation. The Interstate Highway System’s profound effect upon the American economy has contributed significantly to development and improved quality of life through increased economic efficiency and productivity. Today, virtually all Americans have the ability to move quickly within their communities and travel throughout the nation inexpensively.

“The Keeping Americas Freeways Free Act (KAFFA), will preserve this notion and allow for the free flowing of commerce not only in Pennsylvania, but across the nation.”

Among the prime concerns the FHWA had with the plan to toll I-80 was the fact that the application did not meet the legal requirements for the use of toll revenues. Under Act 44, the Turnpike Commission was required to use toll revenues to pay an annual lease payment to PennDOT. The amount of the payment was an arbitrary number to fill the gaps in the Commonwealth's funding shortfalls; making it the second time the Turnpike Commission had failed to provide a real market value tolling I-80 would create.

Note: attached is the September 11, 2008 rejection letter that the Federal Highway Administration issued in response to the Commonwealth’s tolling application as well as a copy of H.R. 1071, the Keeping America’s Freeways Free Act.

Man Waives Hearing on Sex Charges

A Warren County man accused of having sex with children more than 80 times has waived his preliminary hearing.

Louis Robert Flick is accused of having sex with a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old in 1999 in Russell and Titusville.

He's charged with rape, statutory sexual assault and related offenses.

State police say Flick confessed to the crimes.

Teen Girl Facing Child Porn Charges

A 15-year-old Clearfield County girl has been charged with possession, distribution of and creating child pornography for allegedly sending nude pictures of herself to a 27-year-old man over the Internet.

Police found the pictures on the man's computer. They say the girl and the man engaged in unlawful sexual activity as well.

The man has been charged, but his name hasn't been released.

The girl is in the custody of her mother.

CNN: Airline Issued Alert
Before Crash of Flight 3407

(CNN) -- Southwest Airlines warned its pilots just weeks before the crash of a commuter flight in Buffalo about safety issues with so-called instrument approaches at the airport. The warning concerned runway 23, the same runway the crashed commuter plane was lined up to use.

For the full story, go to

NY Flags to be Half-Staff on Monday

Governor David A. Paterson has directed that flags on State government buildings across New York be flown at half-staff on Monday, February 23, 2009, in honor of the 50 victims of the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407.

Governor Paterson said:

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, loved ones and friends of the victims of Flight 3407. As we struggle to make sense of this loss, we must devote our energies and efforts to those whose lives were forever changed by this dark tragedy.

“We are all connected, and we find out just how connected we are when tragedy such as this strikes our communities. We are taught to love our neighbors as we would love ourselves, but during this time of need we love our neighbors because we realize they are ourselves.

“I would also like to express my thanks and appreciation to the countless first responders and volunteers who worked with flawless professionalism and swift coordination in maintaining the safety and security of the site, and comforting those who lost loved ones. The extraordinary outpouring of support, human caring and effort I witnessed that day will always be carried with me.

“I urge residents across the State to join us as we honor the victims of Flight 3407. Their lives will live on forever in the hearts, minds and souls of all New Yorkers.”

Bonus Probe Has Cost $5.8 Million

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Legislature has burned through $5.8 million in taxpayer money so far on legal fees and other expenses stemming from an investigation into staff bonuses and potential misuse of public resources.

For the full story, go to

Arson Arrest in Coatesville

COATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A 19-year-old was charged Thursday with setting at least seven fires in an arson-plagued steel town, including a block-long blaze that displaced dozens of people last month.

Roger Leon Barlow Jr., of nearby Downingtown, was charged with arson, aggravated assault and related counts. He was arraigned Thursday afternoon and his bail was set at $9 million.

For the full story, go to

Site Change for Jerman Ceremony

Due to weather conditions, the ceremony to mark the 10-year anniversary of the death of Kane Borough Police Officer Steve Jerman will be held at the Elk Club at 210 Chestnut Street in Kane starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Jerman was shot during a traffic stop just outside the borough in the early morning hours of February 20, 1999.

If you have any questions about the event, you can call the Kane Police Department or the McKean County District Attorney's Office.

Three Hurt in Elk County Crash

One person is hospitalized with serious injuries and two other people suffered moderate injuries in an accident at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon in Horton Township.

Police say 47-year-old Annette Young of Brockport was driving a van that hit a tree. She's in serious condition at DuBois Regional Medical Center.

Two passengers -- a 16-year-old girl and 41-year-old Michael Ivan Clark also of Brockport -- suffered moderate injuries.

PEER: USFS to Regulate Drilling

An environmental group says the U.S. Forest Service plans to regulate drilling and mining on national forest land.

In the Allegheny National Forest, 93 percent of mineral rights are privately owned, and because of that, the forest service has long maintained that it cannot regulate drilling or mining.

But the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says it has obtained a document saying the government can regulate drilling.

PEER says lawsuits involving the Allegheny National Forest and the Forest Service's recent plans to clarify management of the national forest system point to impending regulation.

For more information, go to

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Geocache Prompts Evacuation

State police evacuated the Titusville Wal-Mart on Tuesday after a suspicious black box was found in the parking lot.

Police cleared the store and the parking lot at 10:30 Tuesday morning.

They later determined that the box was a geocache -- part of a GPS-based treasure hunt.

It's OK to Feed the Carp Again

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has decided to continue allowing visitors to the Linesville Spillway to feed bread to the carp.

The decision comes after months of consideration. The DCNR proposed the ban in 2008 as a way to keep the spillway clean and keep geese away.

More than 350 people turned out to a public meeting in September to support their right to feed bread to the mass of carp.

More than 300,000 people visit the Pymatuning State Park spillway every year.

Man Accused of Raping Students

A Philadelphia man is accused of raping Lock Haven University students in their off-campus apartment.

23-year-old Domenique Thomas Wilson, a former student at the university is accused of entering the apartment and holding them against their will for several hours.

Police say he threatened them with a knife, sexually assaulted them, took ATM cards and later withdrew money from their bank accounts.

Wilson was arrested Friday on an unrelated warrant, and was arraigned today on rape and other charges. He's being held without bail.

Colgan Air Releases Statement

Colgan Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (NASDAQ: PNCL), today issued the following statement regarding the ongoing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation of Flight 3407:

Historically, NTSB investigations are confidential and involve a thorough determination of the facts before public statements are made. Colgan Air continues to cooperate in every respect with the NTSB as it conducts the investigation. As such, we will respect the integrity of the NTSB ongoing investigation by not commenting on specifics. However, we do feel compelled to comment on public speculation about potential causes of the accident.

Here are the facts about our operations. Colgan has instilled a systemic culture of safety throughout our organization that is rooted in significant investment in crew training, systems, leadership and equipment.

Our crew training programs meet or exceed the regulatory requirements for all major airlines. Our ground and air training is designed in coordination with the aircraft manufacturer, one of the most respected providers of aviation flight training and the Federal Aviation Administration utilizing state-of the-art training devices such as full-motion simulators, among others.

In addition, Colgan has committed significant financial resources to upgrade aircraft safety, efficiency and quality in recent years. The Q400 is a sophisticated, highly capable aircraft that is designed for cold-weather operations with a long, proven history of safe operations globally.

Captain Renslow had 3,379 total hours of flight experience and was Airline Transport Pilot rated, which is the highest level of certification available. That rating, combined with 172 hours of formal training on the Q400 aircraft, qualified him fully in accordance with all applicable Federal Aviation Regulations.

We continuously review our safety policies and training procedures as part of our everyday operations. In the wake of an accident, we are even more focused on ensuring our operations remain safe and have specifically reexamined our procedures for this aircraft. We have reinforced strict adherence to all of our flight operations policies, including flying during icing conditions.

We continue to fly confidently and appreciate the support of our partners and customers.

Piccola Unveils Higher Ed Plan

HARRISBURG – In response to the Governor’s recent unveiling of his proposed Tuition Relief Act, Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-15), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, announced his plans today for the “Affordability, Accountability, and Choice in Higher Education Act.” This is a new proposal that promises to provide financial assistance to 25,000 additional students attending a college or university of their choice in Pennsylvania, along with increasing funding for community colleges, placing caps on tuition increases, and instilling other accountability measurements. Piccola’s plan will be accomplished without the expansion of gambling as a revenue source.

Under Piccola’s plan, an additional $145 million dollars would be appropriated to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s (PHEAA) State Grant, which helps students through an existing needs-based program. As a result, students would be able to use grants at the college or university of their choice and not be limited to the State System of Higher Education (SSHE) or community colleges, which the Governor’s proposal would do.

“I believe that we already have a vibrant network of colleges and universities throughout our Commonwealth. Our marketplace works, therefore, students and their families should have choice and not be pigeonholed like Rendell’s plan,” Piccola said.

Piccola’s proposal would also provide a generous increase for the state’s community colleges, which are the front line for access to higher education in recessionary times. His plan would be funded through cuts in spending and the elimination of the Governor’s film tax credits and other film industry exemptions.

In an effort to control tuition, Piccola’s plan would ensure all Pennsylvania colleges and universities receiving state funding would be prohibited from increasing their tuition beyond the Consumer Price Index. “Currently no state plan exists that would address the exorbitant increases in tuition for higher education. Unlike the Governor’s proposal, my plan requires our higher education institutions to get their costs under control as all working Pennsylvania families must do,” added Piccola.

In addition to providing tuition relief for students and their families by holding the line on tuition increases and providing choice and assistance for thousands more of the Commonwealth’s students, Piccola’s proposal focuses on establishing accountability on the student. PHEAA grant recipients would be required to maintain at least a “C” average – or an equivalent measure – to remain eligible and will be required to graduate within four years. “This would serve as an incentive to our higher education institutions to ensure they provide appropriate academic advising and course offerings that allow students to graduate on time,” said Piccola.

Pictured, Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-15), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, unveils his plans for the “Affordability, Accountability, and Choice in Higher Education Act” which would provide financial assistance to 25,000 additional college students, increase funding for community colleges, place caps on tuition increases, and instill other accountability measurements.
(Photo courtesy of Senate Republican Communications)

John Kanzius Has Died

John Kanzius, the retired broadcast engineer and station owner who grabbed the world’s attention by inventing a device that kills cancer cells, died this afternoon at a hospital near his winter home in Florida.

Kanzius, who also lived near Erie, was 64.

Senator Bob Casey released a statement saying, “I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. John Kanzius, a man who dedicated his life to finding a cure for cancer. Dr. Kanzius believed that nothing was more important and more urgent than finding a humane treatment for the terrible disease. Dr. Kanzius and his work will be greatly missed, but it is my hope that someone else will be able to pick up where he left off. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Kanzius and his family.”

For more, see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

'Biggest Fan' Winner Announced

PITTSBURGH – Governor Edward G. Rendell, along with Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II, today announced that Cole Hughes of Pittsburgh was selected as the grand prize winner out of more than 1,300 entries submitted in the “Why I love the Pittsburgh Steelers” essay contest.

The contest stemmed from a wager between Governor Rendell and Arizona Governor Janice Brewer on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Under it, the state with the losing team had to offer a three-day vacation to a resident of the state with the winning team. Accommodations, meals and tickets to the different venues included in each vacation package were donated by the respective companies, organizations and venues.

No taxpayer dollars were used to fund any prizes.

“I was thrilled with the essays we received; some were very clever while others were filled with emotion,” Governor Rendell said. “The loyalty expressed by fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers is unprecedented and it is clear there are no borders to the Steeler Nation.”

Hughes will receive roundtrip airfare to Phoenix via US Airways; three nights at the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa, a luxurious and renowned Arizona landmark; two rounds of golf on any of the resort’s three, 18-hole championship golf courses; dinner for two at one of the city’s finest restaurants; and two seats at a regular season home game of one of Arizona’s major league sports teams. The Steelers have also contributed Super Bowl T-shirts and hats for Hughes.

“Cole’s essay described how, as a 13-year-old, he insisted his father take the only ticket available to watch the 1972 AFC Championship Game acting on a lesson his father had taught him – to think of others before you think of yourself,” Governor Rendell said. “This memory and his devotion to the Steelers began before the team’s first Super Bowl victory and has only grown stronger with six championships to celebrate.”

The essay contest semi-finalists are as follows:

· First runner-up: Amie Shannan, Mars, Pa.

· Second runner-up: Jessica Kruise, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

· Third runner-up: Maggie McGuigan, Wexford, Pa.

· Fourth runner-up: Lisa Loftis, Oakdale, Pa.

All semi-finalists will receive two tickets to an upcoming regular season Pittsburgh Steelers home game. The first and second runner up also will receive weekend accommodations in the Pocono Mountains courtesy of the Hotel Fauchere in Milford.

“After reading the essays, I wanted to award the first and second runners-up with a weekend in the Pocono Mountains,” Governor Rendell said. “Due to the generosity of the Hotel Frauchere, they will be treated to first class accommodations and dining at this historic hotel in downtown Milford.”

The essays were judged by a panel comprised of five members of the Pennsylvania State Police with Governor Rendell making the final selections.

Cops Say Man Drove on Sidewalk

Emergency crews in Bradford, other parts of McKean County, as well as Cattaraugus County are responding to accidents due to weather.

Motorists are advised to use caution on area roads.

A Warren County man has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly driving drunk when his vehicle went onto a sidewalk and hit a street sign.

Police say that at just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, 20-year-old Shane Huffman of Grand Valley was attempting to make a left turn when he went onto the sidewalk. He then drove away.

After police caught him, they charged him with aggravated DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on the sidewalk.

Fumo Admits Deleting E-Mails

Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo yesterday admitted that he stepped up his computer security after news broke that the FBI was investigating him - and that his staff continued to destroy e-mails even after prosecutors blanketed his allies and his network of nonprofits with subpoenas.

For the full story, go to

Money for Girl's Funeral Stolen

A burglar broke into an Erie-area home and took money donated to the family for their 4-year-old daughter's funeral expenses.

Lawrence Park police say they have identified a person of interest in the case.

Mercedes Bohman died unexpectedly February 4 at Grove City Medical Center. Her parents had collected between $250 and $400 in donations. It was taken sometime overnight last night.

OSHA Investigation Complete

OSHA has finished its investigation into the death of a firefighter who died while battling a blaze at Port Erie Plastics last April.

24-year-old Michael Crotty died instantly after being hit in the head with a 200-pound piece of equipment that launched 75 feet from a ladder after it was pressurized.

OSHA's report makes multiple recommendations to firefighters and equipment manufacturers about how to minimize the risk of similar incidents.

To read the entire report visit

Man's Conviction Overturned

An Eldred man's conviction on charges of sexually assaulting a minor has been overturned.

35-year-old Michael Lisek had been convicted of sexual contact with a minor in 2007.

Lisek's conviction has been overturned in Potter County after he argued that he received ineffective counsel from his original attorney, Jarrett Smith.

Lisek has been released on $30,000 bail pending his next court appearance.

Coins Stolen from Auction

State Police are looking for a suspect with a pocketful of coins – nearly a thousand dollars worth of them.

They say a man signed in to an auction under a false name and successfully bid on six gold and silver coins valued at $970.

He left the auction with the coins, but never paid.

The theft happened at Cox's Auction House on Elgin Road in Crawford County.

The suspect was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 175 pounds. He is in his early- to mid-20s and wore glasses.

Bacon: Save Gifted Teen Program

Movie star and Philadelphia native Kevin Bacon is appealling to Gov. Rendell to retain an educational program for gifted teens that has fallen victim to the state's budget crisis.

The Governor's School for Excellence of the Arts, founded in 1973, has trained 19,000 Pennsylvania teenagers in realms as diverse as medicine and entertainment. The program cost the state $3.2 million last year.

For the full story, go to

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teen Accused of Razor Blade Attack

A Corry teenager is in jail after being accused of holding a razor blade to another teen's neck and threatening to kill him.

18-year-old Mason Swanson allegedly confronted 18-year-old Richard Livingston, who was able to pull Swanson's hand away.

Livingston did suffer a deep cut to his hand and was treated at a local hospital.

Swanson is charged with assault, terroristic threats and other crimes and is in jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.

In Case You Missed It

02/16/09 - Seton Hill Student Killed by Police
A 22-year-old from Maryland who held police at bay for over three hours at his on-campus apartment at Seton Hill in Pittsburgh was shot and killed by police. Police say that Joseph Briggs fired 30 to 40 shots at police and other emergency officials outside his Concord Avenue apartment early Sunday morning. None of the officers were hit, but Briggs did hit several parked cars and a house nearby. Officers say when Briggs fired a long-barreled gun out of an upstairs bedroom window at an officer a state police marksman shot and killed Briggs.

02/10/09 - Clerk Sentenced on Fake Money Charges
A former clerk at the Olean Bon-Ton was sentenced Monday to probation in Cattaraugus County Court. 30 year-old Brett Anderson of Olean was charged with switching fake money for real money between last June and August. Anderson gets five years’ probation, 100 hours of community service, and must pay $1,000 in restitution.

02/10/09 - Two Charged in Mausoleum Burglary
State Police have arrested a North Bingham man in connection with an incident of vandalism at the White’s Corner Cemetery in Potter County. Police have charged 26 year-old Adam Johnson with abuse of a corpse and other charges after a burglary at the cemetery in May and July of 2008. Johnson and a 16 year-old entered the Kibbe Family Mausoleum and caused extensive damage to five caskets. Johnson is currently in the Potter County Jail on unrelated charges.

02/09/09 - Case of Salmonella Poisoning in Catt Co.
A case of Salmonella poisoning has been confirmed in Cattaraugus County. Cattaraugus County Board of Health Director Barb Hastings says a 9-year-old Town of Freedom boy contracted Salmonella poisoning from a peanut butter cookie in November. The tainted peanut butter has been traced to a manufacturing plant in Georgia. The list of recalled products can be found on the Web site of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Repairs to I-86, Routes 60, 62?

The economic stimulus package President Barack Obama signed today could mean improvements to I-86 and routes 60 and 62.

According to Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo, two of Gov. David Paterson's priorities for stimulus money in Western New York are in Chautauqua County - $21 million for repairs to Interstate 86 and $17 million for upgrades to Route 60.

Pennsylvania transportation officials are considering improvements to Route 62, which links Warren to Route 60 outside Frewsburg.

Revenue Drop for Seneca Gaming

The Seneca Gaming Corporation has recorded a $13 million drop in gaming revenues for the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year.

Revenues from slot machines and table games at its three Western New York venues totaled $137 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2008. That compares to $150 million in gaming receipts in the prior year's quarter.

Net revenues, which include both gaming and hospitality revenues, fell 7.6 percent.

These numbers come on the heels of a December lay off of more than 200 employees in a cost-cutting measure and a halt in construction at its Buffalo and Salamanca sites.

Parking Changes at BRMC

Due to renovation work in Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Imaging Services Department, visitors and employees will experience limited parking for several weeks.

Jeff Gabel, BRMC’s Plant Services director, says that due to the renovation work a mobile PET scanner will be parked in a lot near The Pavilion at BRMC, located off North Bennett Street.

“The PET scan trailer should arrive Thursday night and remain on-site throughout the day on Friday,” Mr. Gabel says. “We’re sorry for any temporary inconvenience this will bring our visitors.”

Mr. Gabel says forthcoming announcements will be made when the mobile PET scanner is scheduled to return.

Hospital employees also are being notified this week of a second restricted parking area. Due to the arrival of a mobile MRI unit, an area in the back parking lot will not be available for employee parking. This unit will arrive Wednesday night and remain on location throughout the month of March.

Guilty Plea for Attempted Assault

A Bradford man has pleaded guilty to attempted assault of a police officer in Olean.

On March 12, 2008, 76-year-old James Connelly was driving while intoxicated and attempted to injure a state trooper, according to court records.

Connelly will be sentenced on June 1.

Men Sentenced for Selling Cocaine

Two men have been sentenced for selling cocaine in Cattaraugus County.

Joseph Smith of West Seneca will spend the next 5 years on probation for selling cocaine during last year's Great Valley Fireman's Regatta on May 3.

Gary Maul of Olean will spend a year in jail for selling cocaine on November 28, 2006, in Olean.

Clearfield County Plant Fined

WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Cresson Steel Co. nearly $4,100 for burning solid waste last November in Irvona, Clearfield County, without a permit.

“DEP inspectors saw Cresson employees demolishing a building at the former TYK plant in Irvona and burning solid waste at the site,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “This type of activity is clearly illegal and a violation of the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act.”

Among the burned waste were construction and demolition materials and motor windings.

DEP sent Cresson a notice of violation and directed that all ash and solid waste be removed from the property and properly disposed.

A DEP inspection in late November confirmed that the property had been cleaned up. Cresson provided disposal receipts for about 24 tons of solid waste.

The company is based in Cresson, Cambria County.

The $4,083 fine was paid to the Solid Waste Abatement Fund, which is used to help pay for cleanups across the state.

Possible Scam in St. Marys

St. Marys Police are warning residents of a potential scam in which someone claiming to work for National City Bank asks for a bank account and/or social security numbers.

The business claims to be with the World Financial Bank Services and asks residents to call an 800 number.

Police have received confirmation form the bank that this service is not affiliate with the bank and information given to the service could be used to defraud people.

Port Allegany SD in Compliance

HARRISBURG (Feb. 17, 2009) – A performance audit found the Port Allegany School District, in McKean County, in compliance with tested state laws and regulations for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, Auditor General Jack Wagner said today.

“Our auditors concluded that Port Allegany School District’s records were in order and that it received the funding to which it was entitled,” Wagner said.

The Department of the Auditor General audits Pennsylvania’s school districts and local education agencies to make certain they are complying with state laws and effectively performing their duties, and that internal financial controls are in place and working properly. These audits are useful because they identify ways of improving crucial record keeping procedures that may help administrators avoid future budgetary problems.

Cultural Festival at Pitt-Bradford

Ewabo, a Caribbean-style steel drum band, will headline the annual “One World” Cultural Festival on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Different cultures and traditions will be showcased beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Students, faculty and staff will share food and present entertainment at the event, which is open to the public.

Although there is no formal admission, those attending are asked to bring a dish to share or a $5 donation. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.

“The popularity of the Cultural Festival is seen in how broad the participation is –students, staff, alumni, faculty and all their families and a lot of their friends in the community all take part,” said Isabelle Champlin, co-chairwoman of the Cultural Festival and director of the international studies program.

Ewabo will perform on the steel drum, also called the pan, at 8 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room. The band derives its music from the traditions of Trinidad, Tobago, Virgin Islands and St. Martin.

Billed as one of the preeminent steel bands in the United States, the trio has played at an inaugural ball for former President Bill Clinton and has been featured at human rights day events, including Potomac Riverfest and the D.C. Caribbean Carnival Parade.

The band has also won two consecutive national steel band music festival championships.

During the entire evening, displays will include information and activities about India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Cuba, Mexico, the Peace Corps, Jewish culture, Native American drumming and face painting. Also featured will be a basket-making demonstration, the Enchanted Mountain Weavers Guild, an international studies booth and a Fair Trade Products group.

The international buffet will feature such samplings as Japanese cuisine and sushi and French, Italian, Polish, Russian and Greek dishes as well as fare from the Caribbean. Dishes will be prepared by Pitt-Bradford faculty and staff, guests, Metz and Associates and local restaurants. Scottish kilts, Indian Saris, a traditional Swedish dress and outfits from other cultures will be showcased by students during the international fashion show at 7:30 p.m. in the University Room.

Following the fashion show, three Pitt-Bradford student dance groups will perform – the Diamond Steppers, Bollywood Dancers and a student group presenting dance steps from Nigeria.

The Commons Café will also be adorned with flags, showing the nations that students call home.

The festival grew out of Black History Month activities in the mid-1990s by the Black Action Committee.

“The Cultural Festival is not an event that you view— it must be experienced by all your senses, from the sounds of the drums, to the wonderful aromas wafting from the buffet table, to the rich colors and textures of the traditional garments,” said Holly J. Spittler, co-chair of the event and associate dean of student affairs. “The energy and exhilaration of the evening is contagious and demonstrates what is possible when folks come together in the spirit of unity and good will.”

Contributors to this year’s event include the Cultural Festival Steering Committee, Alpha Phi Omega, the Anthropology Club, the Nontraditional Student Association (NTSA), Metz & Associates, History-Political Science Club, African American Student Union, Hospitality Management Club, the Student Activities Council, the Office of the President, Student Government Association, International Studies Office, Togi's Family Restaurant, and the divisions of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Communication and the Arts, and the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Photo of last year's international fashion show courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

'Touching Hearts' Raises $8,000

George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

On some rare occasions a community fundraising event goes beyond original expectations.

It happened on a wintry evening Feb. 7 when “Touching Hearts, Changing Lives” was held at the Grace Lutheran Church Community Life Center as a fundraiser for the Bradford Hospital Auxiliary, whose goal is to support Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC), and the AKtion Club, a Kiwanis-sponsored organization for adults with disabilities. The event raised $8,000.

“Given the economic conditions, the sponsorships meant that much more to us,” says Virginia Hauser, the Auxiliary’s executive director, of the 170 who attended the gala featuring EJ the DJ and a large video screen for added visual effects, plus a hors d’oeuvres buffet catered by the Kennedy Street Café.

“But sometimes an event like this is not just all about raising money. It’s about touching people’s hearts. From what I saw, we clearly accomplished that at this event,” Mrs. Hauser says. “I saw a lot of genuine emotion and happiness from those who attended.”

The event may prompt another collaboration between the Auxiliary and the AKtion Club, she notes.

AKtion Club President Mike Walter wholeheartedly agrees with the assessment the event was worthwhile.

“I was pleased that Ginny asked us to be a part of the event. We had fun helping out with the planning and preparation and I was happy with the turnout. Everybody had a good time. Nobody sat down once the music started,” Mr. Walter says.

The cost to attend the event was $50, which provided a ticket for the purchaser and also sponsored an adult with a disability to attend. For each ticket purchased, $25 was tax-deductible.

Since its inception, the 76-year-old Auxiliary has expanded in scope to raise awareness and funds and to provide volunteer services and support for BRMC services, programs, equipment, construction and community programs.

As evidence of its work, the Auxiliary donated $60,000 to the hospital last year. This was part of the Auxiliary’s largest five-year pledge in history of $300,000 for the Outpatient Services Center, which opened in January 2007, that’s a part of BRMC’s $15 million “Building the Future” campus improvement project. Part II of the plan, completed last summer, included doubling the size of the Emergency Department and completely redesigning it to get patients admitted and treated more quickly, improve quality, safety and customer service.

The AKtion Club is Bradford’s newest community service club. It already has had an impact. Last year it helped with Hanley Park renovation work and assisting The Salvation Army with its Kettle Drive.

Accused Cat Piercer Facing Charges

A woman accused of animal cruelty for piercing the ears of kittens, cutting off their tails, and marketing them as gothic will face the charges in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

Holly Crawford, 34, of Sweet Valley, was in Luzerne County Central Court today for a preliminary hearing.

For the full story go to the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice.

The Genographic Project

The Friends of the Hanley Library will present a lecture on “The Genographic Project” on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The presentation by Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology and director of the international studies program at Pitt-Bradford, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

Champlin will review two books by Dr. Spencer Wells, one of which led to the television documentary “The Journey of Man,” which explains how comparisons of genetic markers from the DNA in blood samples from different populations all over the world tell the story of past human migrations.

The Genographic Project, begun in 2005, is a research project being undertaken by Wells, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who is using cutting-edge genetic technology to unravel the migrations of man beginning 60,000 years ago. It is the largest genetic survey of the human species ever taken, and the goals, methods and results are described in Wells’ 2007 book, “Deep Ancestry.”

Poll: Cuomo Over Paterson

If New York's gubernatorial primary election were being held today – David Paterson would be packing his bags.

The latest voter survey from Quinnipiac University's polling institute says Paterson trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo by by two-to-one in a hypothetical 2010 Democratic primary match-up.

Cuomo has not said he is interested in running for governor next year, though many Democrats believe he is positioning himself to make a run possible.

Quinnipiac polling spokesman Maurice Carroll blamed part of Paterson's problem with voters on fallout from the recent debacle over the selection of a new senator to replace Hillary Clinton.

Voters disapproved of the way Paterson handled the appointment process by a margin of 52 percent to 35 percent

A Personal Note ...

to the person who is questioning our decision to send someone to the crash site.

We did not do that just to be there. The person who went to the crash site is related to the one of victims. We think we know better than you do what our listeners want to hear, and we did get comments about that report -- not one of them was critical of it. And, believe me, people have no problem calling to bash us if they feel like it.

It's A Girl!

Congratulations to Mandi and Mark ... and Austin!

Twittering Surgeons

DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) -- It's 7 a.m. at Henry Ford Hospital, and surgeons are preparing to remove a cancerous tumor from a man's kidney.

It's potentially a risky surgery, but everything's ready: The doctors and nurses are in the operating room, the surgical instruments are sterilized and ready to go, and the chief resident is furiously Twittering on his laptop.

That's right -- last week, for the second known time, surgeons Twittered a surgery by using social-networking site Twitter to give short real-time updates about the procedure.

For the full story, go to

Man, I can barely find time for Twitter. How do they do it?

Chimpanzee Attacks Woman

(CNN) -- A woman has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a pet chimpanzee attacked her at a friend's home in Stamford, Connecticut, police said.

Charla Nash, 55, had just arrived at her friend Sandra Herold's house when the chimp, named Travis, jumped on her and began biting and mauling her, causing serious injuries to her face, neck and hands, according to Stamford Police Capt. Rich Conklin, who said the attack was unprovoked

For the full story, go to

Authorities: Teen Kept in Bathroom

SPRING HILL, Fla. (AP) — For three years, neighbors in a quaint, middle-class community scarcely saw the lanky 16-year-old boy who lived with his adoptive mother and her boyfriend.

Now, they know why: According to authorities, the teen was brutally abused and held captive in his own home. Most recently, he'd been confined to a bathroom, locked from the outside and sealed with a piece of plywood over the window.

For the full story, go to

DEP to Open New Oil, Gas Office

State environmental officials are opening a new office in central Pennsylvania to help deal with the drilling rush on the Marcellus Shale rock formation.

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

Applications Availabe for Rebate

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) announced today that applications for the state's Property/Tax Rent Rebate program for 2008 are now available.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2008. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.

Eligibility income limits for homeowners are set at the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:

$0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (Homeowners and renters)
$8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (Homeowners and renters)
$15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (Homeowners only)
$18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (Homeowners only)
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians. Since the program began in 1971, more than $4 billion has been paid to qualified applicants.

Residents are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available at or by contacting Causer's offices at 78 Main Street, First Floor, in Bradford, 814-362-4400, or at 2 Allegany Ave. in Coudersport, 814-274-9769.

Captain Joseph Zuffoletto

WIVB-TV in Buffalo has been showing a video of Captain Joseph Zuffoletto, who died in the crash of Flight 3407. In that video, along with Zuffoletto, are Bradford Regional Airport Manager Tom Frungillo, former McKean County Commissioner Cliff Lane, Olean Times Herald reporter, and Bradford resident, Kate Day Sager and several other McKean County residents.

Kristin Safran

Era Reporter

A Bradford business owner who had been instrumental in McKean County’s recycling program is among the 49 victims of Continental Flight 3407.

Kristin Safran of 50 Jackson Ave. was the owner of Ark Specialty Services, an independent consulting company providing a full range of regulatory and technical services to the bottled water and beverage industries.

Safran served on the board of directors for the International Bottled Water Association, and was apparently flying home from an industry-related meeting, according to Internet news about the crash. On the Web site for the International Bottled Water Association, a meeting was listed as being held Feb. 9 through 12 in Miami, Fla.

For the full story, go to The Bradford Era.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Recovering the Crash Remains

CLARENCE, N.Y. — Experts who helped identify victims from Flight 93's crash in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 have joined the search for remains from a commuter plane's crash site outside Buffalo.

For the full story, go to the Centre Daily Times.

Paterson Staffers Get Raises

New York Governor David Paterson is coming under fire for giving raises of as much as 46 percent to more than a dozen staffers at a time when he has asked 130,000 state workers to give up 3 percent pay hikes because of the state's fiscal crisis.

The governor has also imposed a hiring freeze.

Paterson's spokesperson says promotions in the governor's office were never prohibited under the hiring freeze, and the increase in pay is not raises for old positions, rather new salaries for new positions.

Man Charged After Son Shoots Twin

An Upper St. Clair man whose 9-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his twin brother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Allegheny County police say 66-year-old Michael Lanese allowed his sons Stephan and Christian, access to guns, ammunition and other weapons. Police say Stephen Lanese was playing with the gun unsupervised when he accidentally pulled the trigger, shooting Christian in the head on October 18.

Michael Lanese was reportedly reading a book at the time.

Bradford Woman on Flight 3407

The Colgan Air manifest for Flight 3407 lists Kristin Safran of Bradford as a passenger on the plane that crashed Thursday night in Clarence Center killing all 49 people on board.

Also, former Olean resident, Kevin Johnston, a graduate of Olean High School, is among the dead.

And a cousin of Patti Arlington of Bradford, David Borner of Pendleton was also killed in the crash of Flight 3407.

This Week's Big 30 Additions

Shane Lindgren, Ridgway High School

5’11” 235lbs. Offensive Guard, Defensive Tackle

Shane will be attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania Majoring in Respiratory Therapy. Shane is an Honor Student and was named to the 2008 Allegany Mountain Football league All-Stars. In 2007 Shane made All-State third team by the Pennsylvania Football news. Shane said “his father and brother both played in the game and it’s one last time for me to play the game. Shane’s biggest thrill was beating Elk County Catholic for Ridgway’s 500th win under head coach Mark Morelli.

Steven Mix, Kane Area High School

6’2” 240lbs. Offensive Tackle, Defensive End.

Steven Plans to attend the Pennsylvania School of Technology for Welding Technology. Steven was a 2 time AML South All-Star – Big 30 Lineman of the Year nominee, Pennsylvania 2nd Team All-State Offensive Line 2007, Pennsylvania 3rd Team All-State Defensive Line 2008. According to Steven “ This will be the last time I get to play football with my friends in high school and my dad and uncles played in the Big 30 game years ago.” Stevens biggest thrill while playing was during his Junior year, playing in the state semifinal game.

Michael Feldbauer, St. Marys Area High School

6’ 195lbs Tight End and Middle Linebacker

Michael plans on majoring in Nursing at Robert Morris University and throwing the javelin for the track and field team. Michael has 3 varsity letters in football, 3 varsity letters in track and field. He was the 2008 D9 champion in the javelin and went to the state meet. He holds the javelin record for his high school. Michael was asked why he would like to play in the Big 30 game and he said “ It is a honor to be picked to play in such a prestigious game. It will be the last time I play football in high school”.

New York

Stephen Jacobson, Salamanca Central School

6’ 200lbs., Center and Defensive End

Stephen is going to attend college and major in Education. Stephens accomplishments include; Defensive MVP in football in 2008, Co-defensive MVP in Lacrosse in 2008, and he is a High Honor roll student. Asked why he would like to play in the Big 30 game Stephan replied “To continue my football career one more step and to follow in my bothers footsteps who played in the Big 30 game in 2000. Stephens biggest thrill was making it to the Sectional Semi-Finals in 2007.

Shawn Pavia, Allegany-Limestone Central School

6’1” 290lbs. Tackle and Nose Guard

Shawn plans on taking over the family business. Shawn was awarded the Offensive Lineman Award his sophomore and senior year while playing football. Shawn was asked why he would like to play in the Big 30 game and he simply stated ‘Defense Nose Tackle”. Shawn also stated that “he likes to win, so I go all out”.

Adam Sullivan, Portville Central School

6’3” 200lbs. Tight End and Defensive Lineman

Adam plans on going to college to major in Sports Management. His awards include Expressway Conference 1st Team All-Star, 2 time Adam Elliot Memorial Tournament MVP. Adam stated’ I have been going to the Big 30 game since I have a little kid. It’s always been a dream of mine to play in it and it is an honor to be selected. Adams biggest thrill is the interaction in the locker and on the field with my teammates and coaches.

Fatal Crash Near Hinsdale

We have more information about the fatal accident last Thursday on I-86 near Hinsdale.

Police say a car driven by 59-year-old Thomas Toy Jr. of Williamsville went out of control on the icy road and rolled over several times before coming to rest in several feet of water.

Although police attempted to revive Toy, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is continuing.

AAUW Endows Scholarship

The Bradford Branch of the American Association of University Women has endowed a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The $6,000 gift made by the group has been matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge.

The scholarship will be awarded to a local student who reflects the values and mission promoted by the Bradford Branch of the AAUW. First preference is given to a Bradford Area High School student, then to a student attending a high school in McKean County.

The idea for the scholarship developed when AAUW treasurer Terri Smith Leven researched endowed scholarships as a possible investment to provide educational scholarships to talented individuals. She presented her findings to 2008 co-presidents Dr. Holly Spittler, associate dean of student affairs at Pitt-Bradford, and Flora Cohen. Members then voted to create an endowed AAUW-Bradford Branch Scholarship at Pitt-Bradford.

“A special relationship exists between the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and the AAUW. Many of its members have attended, served on faculty or staff, and supported its growth, or take advantage of its many educational and cultural opportunities,” Spittler said. “Members of AAUW view the establishment of this endowed scholarship as the next logical step in further strengthening our relationship with Pitt-Bradford.”

The matching pledge from the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge ensures perpetual funding of the scholarship and provides added visibility for the organization while strengthening its relationship with the University. The branch will continue to fund a local AAUW scholarship for students related to an active member of the Bradford Branch.

Since 1881, AAUW has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. On April 16, 1921, a spirited group of women founded the Bradford Branch of the American Association of University Women. Their mission is “to promote equity for women, education and self-development over the lifespan, and positive societal change.”

For more information on applying for this scholarship, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Financial Aid at 814-362-7550.

The Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas. For as long as the funds last, the challenge will allow donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $50,000 to new or existing scholarships. The gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible. For example, a $5,000 gift pledged over five years will yield a $10,000 gift to endow a scholarship or add to a scholarship fund.

For information on contributing to the AAUW scholarship or the Thomas Scholarship Challenge, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (814) 362-5091 or e-mail Karen Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement and managing director of the Bradford Educational Foundation at

The photo, courtesy of Piit-Bradford, shows Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (center), celebrating the new American Association of University Women – Bradford Branch Scholarship with members of the AAUW, from left, Flora Cohen, Terri Smith Leven, Dr. Holly Spittler and Isabelle Champlin (co-president). Not pictured is co-president Patty Neidich.

Cops: Boys Fired BB Guns at Others

Two Potter County boys are facing charges of disorderly conduct for allegedly shooting a group of children with BB guns.

The boys, ages 12 and 13, are accused of using BB guns to open fire on a group of children in a parking lot in Ulysses Borough.

The eight children ranged in age from 7 to 17. No one was hurt. The boys were charged as juveniles.

Tires Slashed in Sinnemahoning

Someone slashed tires on seven vehicles in Sinnemahoning and caused about $3,000 worth of damage.

In all, 20 tires were slashed at homes on Route 120 between the Sinnemahoning Tavern and the Geist Campground.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Emporium-based state police.