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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Havers Falls to Peppelman

Bradford High's Mark Havers fell to Central Dauphin's Marshall Peppelman 8-0 in the PIAA state wrestling championships in Hershey. This is Peppelman's second straight title. He's now 46-0. This was Havers' first loss of the season.

Allegheny Brambles:
Backyard Habitats & Shrubs

Mary Hosmer
Public Affairs
Allegheny National Forest

Grouse (partridge) eat Japanese barberries in my God’s Little Acre every fall. Japanese barberries (Berberis thunbergii) were introduced to the United States in 1875 and early settlers planted barberries for hedgerows, and to make jams and dyes. I want to ‘go native’ as much as possible in my God’s Little Acre (near the Allegheny National Forest), so I search for an American barberry. I quickly find American barberry (Berberis canadensis) is not common and does not live in Pennsylvania any more; it has been ‘extirpated’ from Pennsylvania.

I’ve already settled on silky dogwoods, highbush blueberries, and sweetspire for their pretty white flowers in spring and flaming red leaves in the fall. I’m now concentrating on finding shrubs that produce foods for wildlife. The search begins through the seed and plant catalogs. I also search It is time to add to the list of plants to order.

I find northern bayberry intriguing. Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), also called candleberry, is now endangered in Pennsylvania. I also find it’s a wetland plant. The west side of my God’s Little Acre is wet in the spring, but will it be wet enough? I keep northern bayberry on my list, but tentatively.

Grouse love to eat berries from spicebushes. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is native to Pennsylvania, attracts birds, and produces yellow flowers in the spring and bright red berries in the fall. It thrives in moist woodlands, and that I have. I learn that settlers steeped the twigs and bark to make a fragrant tea, hence the name spicebush. I keep spicebush on my list.

I plan to make some wine and jellies next fall. I already have red chokecherries growing on the property, and I think black or red chokeberries would be a good addition. Red and black chokeberries are prized by birds, and are both native to Pennsylvania. I learn that red chokeberries (Aronia arbutifolia) are sweeter than black chokeberries. They are also high in vitamin C and antioxidants. I keep red chokeberries on my list.

I hunt every fall; I notice how attractive gray dogwoods (Cornus racemosa) are to all types of birds, particularly grouse. Woodcock nest in gray dogwood thickets. The white berries on red stems in late summer standout visually across a landscape. I HAVE to add this shrub to my God’s Little Acre. I keep gray dogwood on my list.
I spend another weekend weighing the pros and cons of what shrubs to plant with the conifers to complete my windbreak. I decide to plant spicebush, red chokeberry, and gray dogwood.

Red Chokeberry/Mixed Berry Jam

1. Mix red chokeberries with other berries to make 6 cups.
2. Crush berries.
3. Add Pectin per directions in Pectin package.
4. Bring the berries and pectin to a full boil (should take 5-10 minutes on medium heat). Add ½ cup sugar. Stir.
5. Add 4 cups sugar and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6. Skim off excess foam and discard.
7. Put into pint jars and seal.
8. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let seal.

Cast of 'The Seagull' Announced

St. Bonaventure University’s theater program will be taking a chance on love in Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” for its spring production.

The play is about a young, struggling writer named Konstantin who wants his stories to be told and his mother, Arkadina, is a famous actress who is uninterested in her son’s life and dream to be a writer. He is in love with Nina, a woman who is in love with Arkadina’s love interest, Trigorin. The play tells their story and how people have the tendency to reject love that is freely given and seek it where it is withheld.

“The play is about people struggling to find love and the mistakes they make on the way,” said Dr. Ed. Simone, chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and director of St. Bonaventure’s Theater Program. Simone said this is the first full-length Chekhov play produced at SBU in more than 40 years.

“It’s long overdue,” he said. “Chekhov is one of the cornerstones of our theater and he’s an absolute gem for students to use for emotion and character work.”

Auditions for the show were open to all students and the cast is a veritable cross-section of the university, including theater majors and students from many other disciplines. The play is a true ensemble piece; while Konstantin, Arkadina, Nina and Trigorin could be called the main characters, everyone in the cast has a significant part.

Playing the roles of Konstantin, Arkadina and Nina are students Adam Sorokes,’09, of Olean, a political science major; Ashley Waterman, ’12, of Dunkirk, a double major in theater and English; and Brittany Henry, ’09, a journalism and mass communication major from Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

Even though this is Waterman’s first appearance with SBU Theater, she has experience with the program; she was an assistant stage manager in last fall’s production of “Dead Man Walking.” Sorokes and Henry have both appeared in numerous SBU Theater productions including “Reckless,” “Dead Man Walking,” and the popular one-act festivals.

In preparing for their roles, the cast does some unusual things to develop character and to ensure a detailed performance.

Waterman is wearing high-heeled shoes every day because her character is “a little bit of a diva.”

“I’m taking inspiration from Meryl Streep in her role in ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ and Ann Bancroft in “The Turning Point,’” Waterman said.

Adam Sorokes finds a personal resonance in the role of Konstantin.

“I find Konstantin to be really interesting and I see myself like him, an artist starving to do something that he thinks can’t be done,” said Sorokes. Sorokes said it’s the actor’s absolute mastery of the text that allows him to develop a successful character. “Know your lines early and cold,” he said.

“The Seagull” will be Sorokes’ final appearance with SBU Theater.

Brittany Henry, also making her farewell SBU Theater appearance, focuses on the greatness of Chekhov and his ability to move audiences.

“I hope the audience understands why this is considered a classic piece, and that they’ll get involved in the lives of the characters in the show,” said Henry.

The production is designed by Becky Misenheimer, assistant professor of theater at SBU. The set will contain very painterly elements that utilize skills taught in her scene painting class and also reflect the “dreamy” nature of the play’s setting — a farm on a lake in the Russian countryside.

“One of the characters refers to the lake as ‘magic’ because everyone falls in love when they’re near it,” Misenheimer said. “We’re using that and artistic influences like Maxfield Parish and period portraiture to create our show environment.”

“The Seagull” will run Wednesday through Saturday, March 25-28, at 7:30 p.m. in The Garret Theater on the SBU campus. An audience talkback, a regular feature of SBU Theater productions since 2005, is scheduled after the Friday, March 27,

Tickets for “The Seagull” are available by calling (716) 375-2492. They are $8 for the public, $6 for subscribers, seniors and employees, and free student rush seats are available at the box office beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show with a valid student I.D.

Other cast members and the technical crew, whom Simone calls “techtors,” include:

Trigorin — Karim Troncelliti, ’11, Brooklyn

Masha — Liz Mohun, ’10, Cowlesville

Sorin — Ryan Kasperski, ’10, Olean

Dorn — Joe O’Halloran, ’09, East Islip

Paulina — Erin Lowry, ’11, Shanghai, China

Shamareyev — Jason Pagliaccio, ’09, Depew

Olga, the Cook — Shannon Gawel, ’12, Hamburg

Medviedenko — Clint Lienau, ’10, Pittsboro, N.C.

Oona, the Maid — Maria Hayes, ’12, Akron

Yakov — Chris Britten, ’11, Schenectedy

Gregor, the Butler — Alex Sanders, ’09, Howell, N.J.


Catherine Turner, ’12, Barnstable, Mass.

Katie Reusch, ’12, Depew

Mickey Geary, ’10, Dunkirk

Mary Puusalu, ’12, Chemung

Monica Edwards, ’12, stage manager, Binghamton

Bills Sign TO

The Buffalo Bills have signed controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. Owens became a free agent on Thursday following his release from the Dallas Cowboys.

Get more from Buffalo

Bonnies Are In

It was win and in for the Bonnies and --- they won so they're in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Chris Matthews led the Bonnies with 22 points. Andrew Nicholson had 15.

Patrick Pierson
Sports Information Director
St. Bonaventure University

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — With its postseason hopes still hanging in the balance, St. Bonaventure capped its regular season by clinching its first Atlantic 10 Tournament berth since 2005 with a 74-68 win over Charlotte on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

With the win, the Bonnies improve to 15-14 overall and finish with a 6-10 mark in the A-10. More importantly, the Brown and White will enter next week’s A-10 Tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. as the No. 11 seed and will take on the No. 6 seed, which will be determined later this evening. The game will be on Wednesday, March 11, at 9 p.m. at Boardwalk Hall.

“It was tough as a coach to have such a big game and have seven days off to think about it,” said head coach Mark Schmidt. “I thought the guys came out really well. We shot the heck out of the ball in the first half and we did a good job of attacking. It’s great to have seniors have it pay off for them and they played extremely well.”

Playing in the final home game of his career, senior Tyler Benson (Morgantown, W.Va./Massanutten Military Academy) drilled four three-pointers as the Bonnies tied a season-high with nine trefectas on the night. All 12 of Benson’s points came via the long range field goal, as the four-year letterwinner will make his first trip to the A-10 Tournament.

“I told the guys as we went to the locker room that they couldn’t wipe the smile off my face,” said an elated Benson in the postgame press conference. “It’s just been so long and that second half felt like four years. All the hard work we’ve put in paid off.”

The other half of the Bona long range threat came from junior Chris Matthews (Washington, D.C./Washington State), who brought his season three-pointer total to 80 with four more long range field goals. Matthews finished with a game-high 22 points, sinking 8-of-10 from the free throw line in 38 minutes of work.

Mixed in with St. Bonaventure’s solid outside shooting was the inside play of 6-foot-9 freshman Andrew Nicholson (Mississauga, Ontario/Father Michael Goetz Secondary School). A candidate for A-10 Rookie of the Year, Nicholson turned in his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nicholson sank 7-of-10 from the field en route to his 20th double figure outing.

St. Bonaventure overcame 14 second half turnovers by shooting 54 percent (24-44) from the field, including 9-of-18 from three-point land for the game. The Bonnies also held a 42-35 edge on the glass, marking the 21st time this season they’ve out-rebounded their opponent.

St. Bonaventure owned the opening 10 minutes of the game, sprinting out of the gates to a commanding 23-8 lead. The Bonnies scored the opening eight points of the contest, highlighted by a three-pointer by Benson.

After a bucket by Charlotte made it 14-6, sophomore Malcolm Eleby (Philadelphia, Pa./Franklin Learning Center) drew the third foul on Charlotte leading scorer Lamont Mack, who was fresh off a 32-point game against Richmond. The Bonnies thrived with Mack on the bench, reeling off a 9-2 run for the 23-8 edge.

As quickly as the Bona lead came it started to evaporate, as Charlotte scored the next eight points behind the play of its ultra-quick point guard DiJuan Harris. The junior scored four straight points during the run and assisted on the last basket to make it 23-16.

A pair of free throws by junior Ray Blackburn (Lackawanna, N.Y./Erie CC) broke the UNCC spurt and led to back-to-back three-pointers by Benson that sent the RC crowd into a frenzy and forced the 49ers to call a timeout trailing 31-16 with 5:42 remaining.

It turned out Benson long range makes were just the start of the Bona three-point barrage, as Matthews followed with a pair of triples, while Blackburn added one, as well, ballooning the lead to 40-20 by the three-minute mark.

St. Bonaventure took a 42-28 lead into the locker room after shooting 61 percent (14-23).

It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half, as the Bona lead reached 22, 54-32, with just over 16 minutes to play.

Charlotte answered back by scoring the next 12 points over the next four minutes, but the first half deficit was too large, as St. Bonaventure held on down the stretch for its fourth consecutive home win.

Junior Jonathan Hall (Miami, Fla./South Plains CC) had a great all-around game, collecting nine points, nine rebounds, a team-high five assists and two blocks. Playing the most minutes since returning from injury, Blackburn finished with five points, six rebounds and tied with Hall for the team lead with five helpers.

All five starters finished in double figures for Charlotte, who earned the No. 12 seed with the loss. The 49ers fell to 11-19 on the season and 5-11 in the A-10.

Cowburn Wins State Title

Dirk Cowburn did it again. He beat Joe Harper of Susquenita to capture his second straight Class AA PIAA state wrestling championship. Cowburn took Harper down five times in registering a 10-5 decision.

Corman on State Budget

"We have one budget together, the Legislature and the administration," said a clearly frustrated (Sen. Jake) Corman, R-Centre. "This is an artificial way of raising the cost of spending in the budget every year, and quite frankly, it's disrespectful to the Legislature."

For the full story, go to

One More to Go!

When Mark was on Sports Forum in August, he said his dream was to be the first state wrestling champion from Bradford. He's almost there!

Good luck, Mark!

One More for Mark Havers

Bradford High's Mark Havers will wrestle for the state title in tonight's PIAA championships in Hersehy.

Havers won a 3-1 decision over Dan Karpency of Albert Gallatin.

Tonight Havers goes against defending champion Marshall Peppelman of Central Dauphin.

(If you're near a television tonight ... PCN (Channel 9 on Atlantic Broadband in Bradford) ... to see the championships).

The Impact of Protecting Mussels

Designating five species of freshwater mussels as threatened or endangered would eliminate commercial sand and gravel dredging on 6 percent of the Allegheny River now available to the industry, according to the state Fish and Boat Commission.

For the full story, go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Settlement with

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett has announced that the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection has reached a settlement with the owner and operator of the official Miley Cyrus fan club,, as the result of consumer complaints about the fan club's members-only "pre-sale" of popular Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana concert tickets.

The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) was reached with Interactive Media Marketing, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, requiring the company to extend fan club memberships for nearly 1,000 Pennsylvania consumers. Interactive Media will also pay $10,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 to support future public protection activities.

According to the settlement, the Attorney General's Office began receiving complaints from Pennsylvania fan club members in September 2007, regarding ticket sales for Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus "Best of Both World" concerts in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The majority of the complaints were from consumers who paid $29.95 for memberships in the fan club in order to receive special codes that would allow them to purchase concert tickets during a special "pre-sale," before tickets would be available for sale to the general public.

Corbett said the website failed to inform consumers that all "pre-sale" tickets were sold within the first 15 minutes of their offering to fan club members. The fan club website also allegedly continued to sell memberships to new consumers, and continued to provide "pre-sale" codes, after all tickets had been sold - without informing consumers that their membership codes would be useless.

The settlement requires Interactive Media to provide an additional four months of fan club membership benefits to a total of 996 Pennsylvania consumers who joined the club during the ticket pre-sale period and were unable to purchase concert tickets.

Additionally, the agreement requires clear disclosures on the website in the event of any future ticket pre-sales, so that consumers will have accurate information about the availability of concert tickets.

Corbett noted that a recent class action lawsuit in Tennessee provided an additional two months of benefits to all fan club members, but the terms of the Pennsylvania settlement require the benefits to be extended to four months for all eligible consumers from Pennsylvania.

Corbett said that all of the Pennsylvania consumers eligible for this settlement will be contacted directly by with information about their extended membership benefits.

The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance was filed in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas by Senior Deputy Attorney General Jesse F. Harvey and Deputy Attorney General M. Susan Ruffner, from the Pittsburgh Regional Office of the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

'Parking Wars' Paying Off

The televised real-life comic melodrama of the Philadelphia Parking Authority and its beleaguered customers is beginning to pay dividends for the city, and will help keep swimming pools open this year.

For the full story, go to the The Philadelphia Inquirer.

This is one of my guilty pleasure shows.

Pastor Accused of Stealing from Deceased Congregation Member

A Camden County (New Jersey) pastor has been accused of stealing from a deceased member of his congregation by forging documents that gave him ownership of several of her properties.

For the full story, go to The Philadelphia Inquirer

Why do we care? Well, I care because this is near where my aunt lived when she was in New Jersey.

Cops: Couple Left Kids Home Alone

Two Warren residents are accused of leaving their young children at home alone while they went to bar.

26-year-old Thomas McQueen and 24-year-old Emily McFall have both been charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Police say they left a 7-year-old, 2-year-old and 5-week-old alone at 10:30 p.m. on February 27 while they went to a bar for half an hour.

Amish Man Fined for Trespassing

An Amish man has been ordered to pay a $300 fine for trespassing on the farm of his brother-in-law earlier this year.

46-year-old Atlee Gingerich was found guilty of two counts of criminal trespass during a non-jury trial.

The trespassing incident was part of a bigger battle between Gingerich and some of his family members, and others in the Brown Hill Amish enclave near Cambridge Springs.

The battle was over the shunning of Gingerich's brother Edward Gingerich, who was convicted in 1994 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife.

After being released from prison, Edward Gingerich his unlawfully took his daughter from her grandparents' home. They were found 4 days later in Kushequa. Gingerich was subsequently shunned by the community. Atlee Gingerich and other relatives say they were shunned when they tried to convince the community elders to welcome Edward Gingerich back.

Lynch Buys Jim Kelly's House

Jim Kelly, the Hall of Fame quarterback, has sold his longtime home to controversial star running back Marshawn Lynch.

For the full story, go to The Buffalo News.

Charges Filed in Hooftallen Death

An Austin man has been charged in relation to the death of another Austin man in December of last year.

38-year-old Steven Schneider has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Brock Hooftallen, who was found dead in his home from an apparent drug overdose.

Court records indicate that, during a party, Schneider provided drugs including oxycodone and fentanyl.

Schneider is also facing a number of drug charges and one count of tampering with evidence.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dirk Cowburn Wins

Dirk Cowburn has defeated Sam Kuhn of Harborcreek and will wrestle against Joe Harper of Susquenita tomorrow in the championship round.

The AA finals start at 2:30 p.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey.

From Solomon's Words:

Dirk's little sister Delaney will be playing in the Girls State Basketball playoffs at the same time. Best of luck to both!!

Good luck to the Cowburns!

Lady Bonnies Win

St. Bonavneture defeated St. Joe's in the first round of Atlantic 10 playoffs 65-72 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dana Mitchell led the Lady Bonnies with 17 points.

Special Olympics Results

Over 130 special athletes from McKean, Warren, Elk and Cameron counties gathered at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Sport and Fitness Center pool today (March 6) for the annual Special Olympics Swimming Invitational, Sponsored by Dallas-Morris.

The invitational is the culmination of the swimming season for most of the athletes, who have been in training for several months for this event. Seven swimmers, whose names will be announced, will advance to the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games at Penn State, June 4-6.

Gold medal winners were:
15yd Walk: Jean Zumstein, Steph Heffner, Chris Koch, Cody Pellerito, Matt Latshaw, Kyle Fortman

10yd Assisted: Heather Kephart, Alex Rakieski, Devin Guras, Zach Frontera, Jeff Gagliardi, Zack Williams

15yd Unassisted:Taylor Dunkle, Amber Jordan, Devin Guras, Charlie Black, George Burton, Kyle Fortman

15yd Adapted: Tina Whitford

15yd Float: Janet Pressler, Carsen Davis, Derek Hottel, Jeff Gagliardi

25yd Float:Terika Schleicher, Dante Lockett, Devin Guras, Leroy Phelps, George Burton

25yd Freestyle: Tiffany Gardner, Rachelle Russell, Maggie Freidman, Ragenea McLaughlin, Jacob Kephart, Leroy Phelps, Andrew Wilson, Aaron Nagle, Kyle Thompson, Tim Taylor, Matt Kronenwetter

25yd Breaststroke: Regenea McLaughlin

25yd Backstroke:Tiffany Gardner, Morgan Nelson, Rachelle Russell, Susan Parkes, Sharon Petitt, Jeremiah Kephart, Mitchell Rakieski, Andrew Wilson, Chris Gage, Charles Meyerink

50yd Freestyle: Tiffany Gardner, Jacob Kephart, Andrew Wilson, Charles Meyerink, Tom Sorg, Eric Baxter, Matthew Scott, Renee Snyder, Mitchell Rakieski, Katie McDonough

50yd Backstroke:Emily Dunkle, Jeremiah Kephart

100yd Freestyle:Renee Snyder

100yd Relay: Regenea McLaughlin, Charles Meyerink, Charles Black, Kyle Fortman

Crowley is A-10 Coach of the Year

St. Bonaventure women's basketball coach Jim Crowley is the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.

Crowley led the Lady Bonnies to a 20-9 record, including a 9-5 conference record.

Also, junior Dana Mitchell was named to the A-10 second team and senior Katelyn Murray was a conference all academic selection for the second straight year.

Roswell Lays Off 27 Employees

Roswell Park Cancer Institute has laid of 27 employees in anticipation of a decrease in state funding, among other issues.

President and CEO Dr. Donald Trump says the hospital has been planning for months on how to deal with the economic challenges.

Governor David Paterson's proposed budget cuts include a decrease in Roswell's annual state funding. The hospital is also anticipating increased taxes and fees on health care providers.

The laid off workers are on the research side of the cancer center's operations.

DA: No Crime Committed at Hamot

No crimes were committed by officials at Hamot Medical Center when organs were harvested from an 18-year-old Ohio man who suffered a head injury while snowboarding at Peek 'n' Peak.

That's the conclusion from Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk, who reviewed medical files in the case of Gregory Jacobs.

Jacobs' parents, of Bellevue, Ohio, are suing the hospital, the Center For Organ Recovery and Education, and various doctors. They claim medical officials purposely medicated and treated their son to speed up his death so they could harvest his organs.

CORE and Hamot officials say they used proper procedures and deny wrongdoing.

Health Center Reopens Monday

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital announces the reopening of the Bowman Health Center in Smethport, effective Monday. New and returning patients can schedule appointments by calling 814/887-5395.

Dr. Amit Khanna, Dr. Nirav Patel, Dr. Seth Shifrin, and Judy Flynn, CRNP will continue to see patients until April 20, when CCMH will welcome Dr. David Kulling to the Bowman Health Center.

CCMH and the Keystone Rural Health Consortia have been operating the center jointly since Dr. Douglas Bowman’s untimely death in November. CCMH intends to operate the Bowman Health Center at the Misty Valley Health Center location until the end of the year at which time the practice will move into a portion of CCMH’s building on Marvin Street, utilizing a shared space model with the Guidance Center.

“We want to assure the Smethport community that we will continue to provide the very best health care services at the Bowman Health Center now and in the future,” said Ed Hardesty, executive director, medical staff relations and clinic operations, at CCMH.

Dr. Bowman, a member of CCMH’s medical staff since 1983, served the hospital and Smethport area in numerous capacities. He joined Keystone in 2005 at which time he opened the Misty Valley Health Center.

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital is a full service, comprehensive health system based in Coudersport with service throughout north central Pennsylvania. In addition to the hospital’s main campus in Coudersport, CCMH provides primary health care, including wellness and physical therapy, to surrounding communities at rural health centers in Galeton, Ulysses, Westfield, Shinglehouse, Port Allegany, Eldred, Smethport, and Emporium. For additional information on the hospital’s services and medical providers, visit

Guilty Verdict; Guilty Plea

A jury found Johnnie Gale Lee of Mount Jewett guilty of all charges in two child-rape cases.

He was found guilty of 12 counts of rape, aggravated indecent assault, incest and corruption of minors in connection with incidents that happened from 2002 to 2008 in the Sergeant Township area.

A sentencing date hasn't been scheduled yet.

A former Warren County man has pleaded guilty to having sex with a 5-year-old boy and 9-year-old more than 80 times.

46-year-old Louis Robert Flick committed the crimes in February and November of 1999.

Flick has been serving time at SCI-Houtzdale for unrelated crimes. His sentencing for this guilty plea is March 27th.

Man Sentenced on Crack Charges

The man who ran a crack house in Jamestown has been sentenced to 4 years in federal prison.

36-year-old D'Andre Turner of Buffalo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver cocaine.

Turner was originally indicted on June 21, 2006, as port of Operation Jamestown, which targeted street sales of cocaine in the Jamestown area. Turner manned a crack house in Jamestown for Adrian Yarborough, who recruited him in Buffalo and transported him to Jamestown to distribute from the crack house.

Yarborough was sentenced last year to more than 15 years in prison.

The case involved more than 4 ½ kilograms of crack and resulted in the guilty pleas and sentences of 10 other co-conspirators.

Mark Havers Wins Again

Bradford High's Mark Havers took down Cumberland Valley's Bryce Busler with 30 seconds left and won 3 to 1.

Havers remains undefeated at 31-0.

His next opponent is Dan Karpency of Albert Gallatin in Fayette County.

Also today in Hershey, Smethport's Tim Hubbard fell to Josh Lahr of Shamokin.

Coudersport's Dirk Cowburn is in the semi-finals tonight, and we'll have that result as soon as we get it.

Smethport's Woody Biomass Project

The borough of Smethport, Pa., plans to implement a community-wide woody-biomass powered combined heat and power (CHP) system. On March 5 the Smethport Board of Trade announced that the Pittsburgh-based Richard King Mellon Foundation had awarded the community a $50,000 planning and engineering grant to support the Smethport Woody Biomass Demonstration Project.

For the full story, go to Biomass Magazine.

Area Hospitals to Get Money

Rural health care facilities in Pennsylvania will benefit from $5.2 million in funding which was included in the state budget, as well as significant additional federal dollars, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). Recipients include six hospitals in the 25th Senatorial District. Scarnati was instrumental in obtaining the funding, which is important to aid hospitals that serve a large number of low-income and senior citizens.

Among those facilities are Brookville Hospital, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Bradford Regional Medical Center, Clearfield Hospital, Kane Community Hospital and Punxsutawney Hospital. The health care facilities are included under the Designated Critical Access Hospital Program, which mirrors a federal program created by Congress. The program was designed to help improve rural health care access and reduce hospital closures.

Scarnati said that while federally designated Critical Access Hospitals are entitled to receive cost-based reimbursement for Medicare claims, there is no such guarantee for Medicaid reimbursement.

“Because many rural hospitals treat a large portion of Medicaid patients, they are facing serious financial distress because of the payment policy,” Scarnati said.

“Rural hospitals provide an important lifeline and crucial safety net to many residents who otherwise might not have access to affordable health care,” Scarnati said. “This funding will ensure that these hospitals are fairly reimbursed so they can continue to provide care to residents who rely on them.”

O'Maras Donate to UPB Chapel

James O’Mara and Dr. Kimberly Young O’Mara have made a gift of $25,000 to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for a planned interfaith chapel to be built this year on the west end of campus.

The gift helps the university close in on its $2.5 million fundraising goal for the chapel.

“Jim and Kimberly have been strong and generous supporters of Pitt-Bradford for quite some time,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president. “As we enter the final phase of our chapel project fundraising effort, we’re delighted and very fortunate that they have once again come to our aid. We are deeply grateful to them.”

Since Pitt-Bradford is a state-related university, money from the commonwealth usually pays for a large part of the construction costs for a new building. But because of the unique use of the chapel, private funding is the only source of money that can be used for its construction.

“We’ve been committed to the chapel for a long time,” said O’Mara, who graduated from Pitt-Bradford as a nontraditional student in 1996 and has served as a member of the university’s Advisory Board since 1994. “We really wanted to participate in this project. We believe in what it does for the community and for the college.”

Young O’Mara is a former faculty member at Pitt-Bradford and current member of the faculty at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y.

She recently spoke at a gathering of chapel supporters about what having a chapel on campus has meant to her.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester, she was going through a rough time as a freshman when she discovered the campus chapel.

“Sitting quietly in the chapel was something that comforted me and meant a lot to me,” she said. “I always visit the chapel when I return to campus.”

Jim O’Mara also recognizes the students’ need for a chapel. “Students need a place to go reflect, and you need a place to hold religious events. The chapel will provide a spiritual anchor for the Pitt-Bradford community and the larger community as well.”

In appreciation of their gift, a wooden bridge leading into the chapel, which is raised several feet above the ground, will be named in honor of the O’Maras.

O’Mara is the former president of Crosby Dairy Products Inc. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Pitt-Bradford, he went on to earn a master of social work degree from Pitt in 2000. In 1996, the O’Maras established a scholarship in memory of their mothers for nontraditional students with preference given to single parents.

Young O’Mara is a full professor in the school of business at St. Bonaventure and has taught at Pitt-Bradford and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. A psychologist, she is also the founder of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery and the author of three books on Internet addiction.

In January, officials announced that the university had raised more than $2 million of its goal to build the chapel. Major gifts have included a $1 million anonymous gift given in honor of Harriett B. Wick and a $500,000 gift by Wick in memory of her grandson, Michael Quinn Wick, who died in a 2005 automobile accident.

Designed by Albert Filoni of MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni Architects Inc. of Pittsburgh, the chapel itself will take advantage of the campus’s natural surroundings, with the glass-walled sanctuary facing the west branch of the Tunungwant Creek.

The chapel will be built using several green construction practices, including the use of pilings instead of moving earth for a foundation and special insulated glass to keep the sanctuary from overheating in the summer.

In addition to being a site for religious services, the chapel will also serve as a center for coordinating student volunteerism and an intimate venue for lectures, concerts and poetry readings.

For more information on the chapel or to make a donation, contact Karen Niemic Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement, at (814)362-5091 or

Charges Involving Kinzua Bridge

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit have filed criminal charges against a former senior state civil engineer who is accused of conflict of interest and failing to report an expensive gift from the president of a company that received a no-bid "emergency" contract for repairs to the historic Kinzua Railroad Bridge, located in McKean County.

Corbett identified the defendant as James Allen Eppley, 61, 63 Lehman Road, Halifax, Dauphin County.

Corbett said that Eppley, in his role as a Senior Civil Engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, was the manager for a 2003 project to repair the deteriorating Kinzua Bridge - a historic railroad trestle in McKean County that was the centerpiece of a state park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the criminal complaint, the paint product that Eppley selected for an emergency no-bid contract was produced by a company whose president provided Eppley and his wife with an all-expenses-paid trip to London, England. Eppley allegedly failed to inform his superiors about the trip, valued at $4,850, and failed to include the trip in his state-required Statement of Financial Interest, in which state employees must disclose various gifts they have received.

Corbett said that because of their role in the first "emergency" phase of the repair project, the company that manufactured the paint - Thortex America, Inc. - was in consideration for a larger second phase of the project. The remaining portion of the project was never completed because a tornado struck the bridge on July 21, 2003, while Eppley was still on his trip to England, causing more than half of the structure to collapse.

Corbett said that Eppley is charged with one count of conflict of interest, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Eppley is also charged with one count of tampering with public records, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine, along with one count of unsworn falsifications to authorities, a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Eppley is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Monday, March 9th, at 10 a.m., before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Marsha C. Stewart.

The case is being prosecuted in Dauphin County by Deputy Attorney General James M. Reeder of the Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit.

Corbett thanked the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

Police Find 900 Bags of Heroin

A Clearfield County man is facing numerous charges after being found with about 900 bags of heroin and other drugs during a traffic stop last month.

18-year-old Ryan Schoening of Rockton was stopped for an equipment violation, and did agree to a search of his vehicle. Along with the heroin, police found more than a quarter of a pound of marijuana and 100 ecstasy pills. Police later found another pound of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

Schoening is in Armstrong County Jail on $40,000 cash bail.

Alligator May Have Caused Fire

A fire in a former New Castle elementary school may have been caused by an alligator.

The four-foot alligator was rescued from the fire, but officials believe it may have started the fire by knocking over a space heater.

Officials are not identifying the owner of the building, who they say was living with about 70 rabbits and a number of aquatic animals, as well as the alligator.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is involved in caring for the alligator.

Police Looking for Theft Victims

Police are still trying to return stolen property to victims of a crime spree last summer through 7 counties in north central Pennsylvania.

Scott Fisher, Travis Fisher and Edward Whitten – all of Wellsboro – are accused of breaking into more than 20 camps in Cameron, Elk, Potter, Tioga, Lycoming, Clinton and Clarion counties and stealing thousands of dollars worth of items including guns, money and alcohol.

Police say the value of the items stolen from Potter County alone is more than $6,000. They say there are still a number of unidentified victims who have not reported a burglary or theft, and they're being asked to contact police.

Whitten is in Elk County Jail awaiting action in Cameron County Court. Both of the Fishers are awaiting preliminary hearings in all 7 counties, and are in Potter County Jail.

Thousands of Turkeys Die in Fire

10,000 turkeys are dead after a barn fire in central Pennsylvania.

Eight fire companies were called just before 3:30 this morning to the Ray Byer farm in Adams Township, about 45 miles north of Harrisburg.

The barn was engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived.

The 300-foot-long turkey barn was destroyed, but firefighters were able to save another larger barn nearby that held even more birds.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Eliot Spitzer Has a New Job

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has a new job.

He's a commercial real estate investor in Washington, DC, and worked with his father's company to buy an office building – one block from the Mayflower Hotel, where he had his infamous tryst with a high-priced prostitute.

The building's tenants include the Washington outpost of the Nixon Presidential Library.

A Bad Time to Fall Asleep

A Dillsburg man picked the wrong time to take a nap after a night of drinking.

Police say an S-U-V sat through six red lights at an intersection and, when they went to investigate, they found a 41-year-old driver asleep at the wheel with his foot on the brake and a beer in the console.

Officers yelled to wake the man, then had to quickly stop the SUV when his foot came off the brake and it drifted into the intersection.

Police did not identify the man, who has been charged with DUI.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chess League Update

Only two rounds remain in chess league action, and several teams are close to capturing the league trophy. In the JV section, Tasta Pizza moved into second place after defeating Lang Surveying by a score of 3-1. Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair outscored Drs. Rhinehart by 2 points. Northwest Savings Bank defeated Edmond Chevrolet by a score of 2.5 to 1.5, and Hamlin Bank crushed Domino’s Pizza 4-0.

Nico Alvarado, captain for Lang Surveying, maintains first with a half point lead over Leah Swineford, captain for Tasta Pizza in the JV section. In third place is Justin Wedge, captain for Northwest Savings Bank.

The Pharmacy at Union Square drew its match against Dr. Gonzalez, the #1 team in the league. This is a huge comeback for a team that started off so slowly. Smith’s Fine Jewelry upset Bradford Window to move into second place. Dr. Laroche crushed Parkview Super Market. And Ed Shults Toyota won a decisive match against Dexter’s Service Center.

Mike Jones, captain of the Dr. Gonzalez team, is still first place individual with a perfect score. Tamara Ferguson, captain for Smith’s Fine Jewelry, and Todd Hennard, captain of the Bradford Window team, are tied for second. A half point behind in third are Greg Henry, captain for the Dr. Laroche team, and Rob Ferguson, captain for Ed Shults Toyota.

For additional information about the league or chess events, contact Robert Ferguson at

Standings after round 11:

Junior Varsity Division
Team Score
Hamlin Bank

Tasta Pizza

Lang Surveying

Edmond Chevrolet

Northwest Savings Bank

Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair

Domino’s Pizza

Drs. Rhinehart

Varsity Division
Dr. Gonzalez

Smith’s Fine Jewelry

Bradford Window Co.

Ed Shults Toyota

Parkview Super Market

Dr. Laroche

Pharmacy at Union Square

Dexter’s Service Center

Support for Film Tax Credit

HARRISBURG, March 5, 2009 – State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Brookline) today provided the following statement in support of Pennsylvania’s Film Production Tax Credit:

“In light of some proposals from my colleagues who are calling for the suspension of the Film Production Tax Credit, I used today’s Senate Budget Appropriations Hearing to take the opportunity to ask questions geared at determining what the impact of the tax credit has been in Pennsylvania. Based on the information provided, I believe that it has been misrepresented.

“Twenty-four productions that received film tax certificates (spending at least 60 percent of their budgets in Pennsylvania) have put 2,600 people to work and pumped $186.4 million into local economies – in addition to $12.2 million in new state revenue; and that’s only one part of the story.

“In order to judge the success of the credit, you must also consider the jobs created, the local businesses that benefit and the potential for expanding the film industry in Pennsylvania.

“Actors and crew members all need to eat, they need someplace to sleep, and they rent cars – at a minimum. Film production accounted for nearly 25,000 hotel room nights in Southwestern PA in 2008. Hotels report that revenue from rented rooms due to film production has increased 800 percent. Car rental agencies have reported a 250 percent increase in revenues from car rentals.

“Pittsburgh’s first full-time series was the 2007 Spike TV drama ‘The Kill Point.’ It employed 250 people full-time, 80 percent of them local residents. During a two-week shoot in Market Square, an additional 300 extras were on the payroll and producers spent $18 million of the $23 million budget locally.

“Pittsburgh isn’t the only area to benefit – the entire Commonwealth has seen an economic benefit from this program. Aurora Films & Music, a Lancaster based production company, filmed a project in Harrisburg entitled “Another Harvest Moon.” The film was shot entirely in Pennsylvania and generated economic activity in excess of $1 million in the Harrisburg area, including approximately 500 room nights in local hotels and other lodging facilities.

“Proponents of tax credits believe that this money should be used to improve the general business climate in ways that assist businesses in retaining jobs and creating new jobs. The Film Production Tax Credit is accomplishing this objective.

“New businesses have begun or expanded because of the business that the film community brings – including Shooters Post & Transfer located in Philadelphia that has invested $2.5 million to upgrade its visual effects division; Location Lighting, Inc. of Oreland has utilized products and services from businesses in Jonestown, Leesport and Elroy; two new studios are being constructed in Pittsburgh; and over $155 million is being invested in three new studio projects in Southeastern Pennsylvania. These are just a few examples of businesses that are retaining jobs and creating new jobs, as well as new businesses that are opening in Pennsylvania because of the Film Production Tax Credit.

“We are building a new industry in Pennsylvania. Community College of Allegheny County has developed curriculum to train students for local jobs needed by the film industry. The program has been modeled after a similar program offered by Oakland Community College in Michigan which has been utilized in films such as “Gran Torino” starring Clint Eastwood. Membership in IATSE 489, the studio mechanics union for Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, has more than doubled since July 2007.

“There is a line of thought that films would still continue to be made here if there were no tax credit, but that does not appear to be the case. Since July 2007, twelve films and/or television productions have been shot in southwestern Pennsylvania. From 1995-2006, there was an average of only two a year.

“The competitive climate has changed. Thirty-six states have similar incentive programs aimed at luring film industry business to their towns. Without tax incentives for the film industry, this business would go elsewhere.

“A recent report prepared by Ernst & Young for the New Mexico State Film Office showed that their tax incentives to film productions generated $253 million of spending from the 30 films done in 2007 in New Mexico. This figure includes direct jobs, indirect jobs, tourism spending and capital expenditures.

“The film business has been booming in Pennsylvania. Thanks to the film credit, our Commonwealth is among the top five states in attracting filmmakers. I, for one, want to keep it that way.”

Backseat Film Festival

If the beer isn't enough to get you to Philly this weekend, how 'bout dimwitted zombies, Mexican wrestlers and monster-battling hot rod girls?

You'll find that and, oh, so much more at the 7th Annual Backseat Film Festival.

Among the other movies at this year's festival are "Hot Rod Girls Save the World," a documentary about Canadian-born Mexican wrestler Vampiro and "Minghags," directed by MTV star Bam Margera. It's a story of "trailer-trash rockers," a "billionaire scumbag" and an invention called the Garbage Juicer. Margera, who lives outside Philadelphia, will attend Sunday's screening.

For more on the festival, go to 2009 Backseat Film Festival.

'Follow Your Own Advice,'
Smith Tells Gov. Rendell

HARRISBURG - Suggesting Gov. Ed Rendell follow his own advice, House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said today the governor's plan for spending federal stimulus funding will grow the state budget and force a big tax increase in two years.

"The governor is warning school districts to be careful in using the federal stimulus dollars since the funds won't exist in two years. Republicans agree and would add that the same warnings should be heeded by the governor," Smith said. "The governor's $2.5 billion-plus structural deficit needs to be dealt with. and by increasing state spending over last year's budget he is just going to make his deficit problems worse."

Yesterday, as Rendell announced his plans for using the federal stimulus funds, he commented that his administration is warning school districts that the money is only available for two years, and they should budget accordingly. The governor suggested districts might use the stimulus money for capital improvements to existing buildings, as opposed to program expansions.

Ironically, last week, when speaking on a Fox News show, the governor specifically said he understands that states probably can't afford the additional costs associated with the stimulus dollars to extend unemployment insurance, "but I don't care," Rendell said.

"Pennsylvanians care, I care, and the Commonwealth's governor should care," Smith said. "We are at a crossroads. This budget provides a unique opportunity to re-evaluate how our government is operating, not spend into oblivion."

Smith says the governor needs to heed his own advice and understand the federal money will not exist in two years.

At a House budget hearing yesterday, the state budget secretary said the administration is working on preparing what is essentially a new budget which would include the federal dollars the administration plans to use.

"With or without federal money, the governor's current budget proposal spends more money than we have," Smith said.

Smith noted other Democrat governors appear to understand the complexity of the federal dollars and are taking a cautious approach. Rendell has already said he plans to grab every dollar available.

"The federal stimulus bill is an 1,100 page complex law with a couple of hundred streams of grant lines where states can draw money down, some with strings attached and requiring state governments to change their programs," Smith said. "It would be bad for Pennsylvania to accept money from the federal government if it grows our budget and enlarges the governor's structural budget deficit when the federal money dries up."

Man Hurt Stealing Snowmobile

A man who tried to steal a snowmobile ended up with a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts to his face.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 21-year-old Casey Monroe accidentally drove the stolen snowmobile into a wooden fence in Mayville, then left the scene.

Investigators say they knew their suspect had been hurt because of blood at the scene, so they asked around at local taverns until someone told them that Monroe had been injured riding a snowmobile.

Monroe admitted to trying to steal the snowmobile, and has been charged with grand larceny.

3 Selected for Scholarship Program

Three students from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford have been selected to participate in the prestigious Vira I. Heinz Scholarship Program for Women in Global Leadership, which will enable them to travel abroad this summer.

This year’s winners are Vogue A. Bernard of Shinglehouse, Vanessa L. Durland of Meshoppen and Romainne D. Harrod of Peoria, Ariz.

Bernard, a sophomore in the English education program, will travel to Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she will focus on the Heinz programming area of arts and culture by learning about African dance.

A member of the Pitt-Bradford dance team, Bernard said, “Cultural dance and its functions have been a curiosity of mine ever since my grandmother took me to see an African folk group called Ax’e. I found the music enchanting and the dances extraordinary. Thus began my addiction to African arts.”

Durland, who is a sophomore in the criminal justice program, chose the Heinz programming area of children, youth and families. She will study at the American International University in London, where she will focus her research on youth crime.

“I will interview police officers and other members of the criminal justice system to examine how England deals with the issue of youth and drug-related crimes,” she said. “I want to improve my self confidence and become a future leader in the field of criminal justice.”

Harrod, also a sophomore in English education, will spend a month this summer in Madrid, Spain, and will focus on the Heinz programming area of education. She chose Spain so she could both improve her Spanish language skills and compare and contrast the Spanish and American education systems.

“This international experience will serve as a springboard for future leadership opportunities,” she said, “because I’m traveling with a goal in mind: to learn, explore, experience and apply everything that happens to me while in Spain.”

Each young woman will attend a leadership development workshop in Pittsburgh later this spring before traveling abroad. During the next academic year, each woman will design and complete a community-engagement experience, where they will be asked to “think globally, act locally.”

Fifteen colleges in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia participate in the Vira I. Heinz scholarship program, which provides three scholarships for each of the schools.

Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology and director of the international studies program, encourages students to apply for the scholarships.

“The opportunity to network with 45 incredibly talented and motivated young women is a tremendous bonus each woman will carry into her future career,” she said.

The Heinz Endowments, which includes both the Vira I. Heinz Endowment and the Howard Heinz Endowment, support efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center of learning and educational excellence, and a home to diversity and inclusion.

Committed to helping its region thrive as a whole community – economically, ecologically, educationally, and culturally – the foundation works within Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation to develop solutions to challenges that are national and even international in scope.

One of the largest and most innovative independent philanthropic foundations in the country, the endowments awarded more than $75 million in grants in 2008.

Pictured, from left, Vogue Bernard of Shinglehouse, Pa., Romainne Harrod of Peoria, Ariz., and Vanessa L. Durland of Meshoppen, Pa., who will study abroad this summer.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Predator Unit Arrests J'Burg Man

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit have arrested five men during the past week, all accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what they believed were children.

Corbett said that in one of the cases, a Montgomery County man allegedly took advantage of heavy snow and school cancellations in the Philadelphia area to arrange a meeting with what he believed was a 13-year old girl. The "girl" was actually an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit.

In the other four cases, Corbett said that suspects from Clearfield, Elk and Northumberland counties, along with a New Jersey resident, are accused of using Internet chat rooms and message-sharing programs to send sexually explicit webcam videos to what they believed were young girls.

"These cases demonstrate how quickly Internet conversations can escalate to sexually graphic discussions or plans for face-to-face meetings, sometimes within a matter of minutes," Corbett said. "Internet predators are actively searching websites, chat rooms and discussion groups for potential young victims, and it is essential that parents regularly discuss Internet safety with their children and monitor their online activities."

Corbett said that since its creation in 2005, the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit has arrested 196 men from across Pennsylvania, and as far away as Florida and Kentucky. To-date, the unit has a 100% conviction rate.

Corbett identified the defendants as:

Walter Morse Dewitt, 45, 176 Forge Road, Delran, NJ.
Brian Heslop, 41, 609 Appaloosa Road, Schwenksville, Montgomery County.
Donald E. Jacobson, 44, 123 Wasson Ave., Dubois, Clearfield County.
Shane Allen Washburn, 27, 338 Shawmut Ave., Johnsonburg, Elk County.

Dennis Leigh Bastian, 51, 503 Piper Ave., Milton, Northumberland County.
Walter Morse Dewitt

Corbett said Dewitt allegedly used an Internet chat room to contact an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Dewitt allegedly sent the girl a photo of his penis during their second online chat, asking her, "have you ever thought of that before," and telling her, "I want you to like it."

Corbett said that Dewitt allegedly discussed meeting the girl and described in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform. Dewitt is also accused of using an Internet webcam to send nude videos to the girl and encouraging her to visit pornographic websites.

Dewitt was taken into custody by authorities in New Jersey on February 25th, based on information provided by agents from the Child Predator Unit. After waiving extradition, Dewitt was transported to Harrisburg on March 4th where he was preliminarily arraigned before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Michael Smith.

Dewitt is charged with five counts of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Dewitt was released on $75,000 bail. He was ordered to not have any unsupervised contact with minors and is prohibited from any use of the Internet that is not legitimately work-related.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 13th, at 9 a.m., before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Joseph S. Solomon.

Corbett said that Heslop allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent on February 26th, asking to exchange photos with what he believed was a 13-year old girl and telling her, "I only have x-rated pics." During that initial conversation, Heslop allegedly asked the girl a series of graphic questions about her sexual experience.

According to the criminal complaint, Heslop approached the girl a second time on Monday, March 2nd, as the Philadelphia area was in the midst of a heavy snow storm. Heslop allegedly asked the girl if she had a school "snow day" and if her mother had left her home alone.

Corbett said that Heslop allegedly proceeded to send the girl several nude photos of himself. He is also accused of instructing the girl to masturbate and arranging to meet the girl for sex later that day.

Heslop was arrested by agents from the Child Predator Unit, along with Lower Providence Police, at approximately 2:45 p.m. on March 2nd, when he arrived at a predetermined meeting location.

Corbett said that at the time of his arrest, Heslop was allegedly driving a vehicle and wearing clothing that matched descriptions he allegedly provided during online chats earlier that day.

Heslop is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

He is also charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to statutory sexual assault), a second-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Additionally, Heslop is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and one count of criminal use of a computer, both third degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Heslop was preliminarily arraigned on March 2nd before Collegeville Magisterial District Judge Benjamin R. Crahalla and lodged in the Montgomery County prison in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 12th, at 10 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Crahalla.

Donald E. Jacobson

Corbett said that Jacobson allegedly used an Internet chat room to contact an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Jacobson engaged in a series of sexually explicit chats with the girl. Jacobson also allegedly proposed meeting the girl for sex and provided detailed descriptions of the sex acts he wished to engage in.

Corbett said that Jacobson repeatedly cautioned the girl to not tell anyone else about their sexual chats, warning her, "if anyone found out. I'd be put in jail." Jacobson also urged the girl to get a digital camera or cell phone camera so that she could send him semi-nude or nude photos of herself.

Jacobson was arrested on March 2nd by agents from the Child Predator Unit, assisted by officers from the Sandy Township Police Department.

Jacobson is charged with six counts of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and two counts of criminal use of a computer, all third degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Jacobson was preliminarily arraigned before Dubois Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford and lodged in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 6th before Magisterial District Judge Ford.

Shane Allen Washburn

Corbett said that Washburn allegedly used Internet chat rooms to engage in a series of online chats with an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl. During a number of those chats, Washburn allegedly posed as a 15-year old boy.

According to the criminal complaint, Washburn used a webcam on six different occasions to transmit sexually graphic photos and videos to the girl.

Washburn was arrested on March 2nd by agents from the Child Predator Unit, assisted by officers from the Johnsonburg Police Department.

Washburn is charged with six counts of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and six counts of criminal use of a computer, all third degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Washburn was preliminarily arraigned on March 2nd and lodged in the Elk County Jail in lieu of $25,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 11th, at 2 p.m., before Johnsonburg Magisterial District Judge George A. King.

Dennis Leigh Bastian

Corbett said that Bastian allegedly used an Internet chat room to contact an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit who was using the identity of a 14-year old girl. At the time, Bastian allegedly posed as a 17-year old boy.

During the initial online chat, Bastian allegedly asked the girl if her mom was home and then asked her if she would "like to see what I have in my hand." At that point, Bastian allegedly activated a webcam and transmitted video of his exposed penis.

Corbett said that Bastian is accused of instructing the girl to masturbate and sending her video files of adults engaging in sexual activity. Additionally, Bastian allegedly sent a series of nude photos and sexually explicit webcam videos to the girl.

Bastian was arrested at his home on March 3rd by agents from the Child Predator Unit. He is charged with 12 counts of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene or sexual performances) and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Bastian was preliminarily arraigned in Northumberland County Night Court, before Magisterial District Judge Michael Maychak and lodged in the Northumberland County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 11th, at 10 a.m., before Milton Magisterial District Judge William F. Kear.

Corbett said that Dewitt will be prosecuted in Dauphin County, Heslop will be prosecuted in Montgomery County and Bastian will be prosecuted in Northumberland County, all by Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow, of the Child Predator Unit.

Corbett said that Jacobson will be prosecuted in Clearfield County and Washburn will be prosecuted in Elk County, both by Deputy Attorney General William F. Caye II of the Child Predator Unit.

Internet Dangers

Corbett urged parents to regularly discuss Internet safety with their children.

"Predators are using popular websites to search for potential victims, in many cases sending sexually graphic messages or photos during their first chat" Corbett said. "It is essential for parents to regularly discuss online safety with their children and encourage teens and pre-teens to immediately report anyone who tries to send them sexually explicit messages, photos or videos."

Corbett said that some predators try to arrange meetings with kids, while others send nude photos or sexually explicit videos - often within the first few minutes of an initial online chat. Computer and cell phone technology makes it fast and easy to send messages or images, and many of the men arrested by the Child Predator Unit began sexually graphic discussions during their first online conversations with what they believed were children.

Corbett added that cold weather has increased the online activity of both children and Internet predators. Since the start of January, agents from the Child Predator Unit have arrested 18 Internet predator suspects, and agents have made a total of 42 arrests so far this fall and winter.

Suspected Internet predators can be reported by contact the Attorney General's Child Predator Hotline, at 1-800-385-1044, or filing an online complaint using the "Report a predator" link on the front page of the Attorney General's website,

Internet safety tips and other information are available in the "Operation Safe Surf" and "Just for Kids" sections of the Attorney General's website. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations, contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Office at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at

DCNR's DiBerardinis Resigns

Governor Edward G. Rendell announced the resignation today of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis.

“Michael’s tenure as DCNR secretary has been marked by many achievements that will have a lasting benefit for the natural resources and economic vitality of this commonwealth,” said Governor Rendell. “Michael has worked tirelessly to improve the stewardship of our state parks and forests, at the same time expanding the conservation mission to include efforts to build and maintain sustainable communities and create outdoor connections for citizens and visitors.

“With Michael’s guidance, communities across Pennsylvania are looking to land conservation, open space protection, outdoor recreation, and trails as ever more powerful community revitalization and economic development tools. His vision, leadership and counsel will be missed.”

Pennsylvania protected more than 130,000 acres of natural areas during DiBerardinis’ term as DCNR secretary, a greater amount than was conserved over the past 30 years. He also helped establish large, regional landscape efforts such as the Pennsylvania Wilds—an initiative that is regarded as a national model for mobilizing and coordinating an array of conservation, tourism promotion, economic development and community revitalization interests.

Under DiBerardinis, the commonwealth invested more than $415 million in rehabilitation and improvements to Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. He instituted measures to connect citizens to recreational and conservation activities at these attractions like the adventure camps for urban youth to explore the outdoors and the construction of a nature inn at Bald Eagle State Park to offer overnight accommodations beyond the traditional camping experience.

He also launched the iConserve Pennsylvania outreach effort to encourage people to practice conservation in their everyday lives and helped expand TreeVitalize, the statewide metropolitan tree planting initiative. The goal of TreeVitalize is to plant one million trees across the commonwealth to restore cover, educate citizens about caring for our environment, and build capacity among local governments to understand, protect and restore urban trees.

DiBerardinis’ resignation takes effect April 3.


Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says DiBerardinis will be Philadelphia's parks and recreation commissioner, and will oversee the merger of the Fairmount Park Commission and the Department of Recreation.

Board Votes on Magnifying Scopes

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, in a notational vote, yesterday gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change that would allow hunters to use magnifying scopes on bows or crossbows during the archery deer and archery bear seasons.

At its January meeting, the Board gave final approval to a regulatory change to permit the use of crossbows in archery deer and bear seasons. Prior to that vote, however, the Board accepted an amendment to prohibit the use of magnifying scopes during the archery deer and bear seasons.

“The agency has received significant public comment about that vote, the Board decided it would be appropriate to revisit this aspect of the recently approved use of crossbows in the state’s archery seasons,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “This notational vote will require final adoption at a future meeting of the Board, and we are hoping to have that vote take place at the Board’s scheduled public meeting in April.”

The Board will meeting on April 20 and 21, in the auditorium of the agency's Harrisburg headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81 in Harrisburg. A copy of the agenda for the upcoming meeting will be posted on the agency's website prior to the meeting.

On Monday, April 20, the Board will gather public comments and hear Game Commission staff reports beginning at 8:30 a.m. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. Registration for those interested in offering public testimony - limited to five minutes - also will begin at that time.

On Tuesday, April 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Game Commission will take up its prepared agenda. Among other items on the agenda will be final approval for hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2009-10, as well as antlerless deer license allocations. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. Harvest results from the 2008-09 deer seasons will be announced in mid-March.

Derby Chapeau Tea March 29

The Bradford Area Public Library is sponsoring a tea later this month for women who would like to decorate, purchase or watch others create Kentucky Derby-style hats in anticipation of the upcoming Derby Gala community fundraising event in May.

The tea, called the Derby Chapeau Tea, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, in the community room at the library. All proceeds will benefit the library’s endowment fund.

“We created this event to build excitement for the Derby Gala in May,” said Ann Kessel, co-chairman of the Derby Gala’s events committee. “This will give ladies an opportunity to create their own festive hat or purchase one during an auction, which they can wear to the gala.”

Those attending the tea will have the opportunity to decorate a wide-brimmed straw hat using an assortment of accessories, including flowers, feathers, birds, jewelry, etc., which will be provided. About 20 ready-made hats will auctioned off at the event.

“We also welcome anyone who may just want to watch others decorate hats and enjoy the refreshments,” Kessel added.

Refreshments, including tea sandwiches, cookies, petit fours and mints, will be served from 2 to 4 p.m.

Tickets for the tea are available now and can be purchased at the library. Ticket prices vary. For those who wish to decorate a hat, tickets are $35 per person. For those who want to attend but not decorate a hat, tickets are $10 per person. Only 75 tickets will be sold.

Also at the tea, tickets for the Derby Gala, which will be held on Saturday, May, 2, will be available. The gala will be held at the Bradford Club where guests will watch the Kentucky Derby, sample Southern-style cuisine, sip mint juleps and participate in other Kentucky Derby-related events. Tickets for the gala are $50 per person.

As with the tea, all proceeds from the gala will benefit the library’s endowment fund.

For more information about the Derby Chapeau Tea or the Derby Gala, contact Linda Newman at the library at 362-6527.

ANF to Hold Oil, Gas Meetings

Warren, Pa. – Contrary to information portrayed in the recent news release issued by the Allegheny Defense Project, the Forest Service will be conducting extensive public involvement throughout the process to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement for oil and gas standards and guidelines for the 2007 Forest Plan. The first of the meetings will be next week:

1.Monday, March 9, 7:00 p.m., Forest Supervisor’s Office, 4 Farm Colony Drive, U.S. 62 north of Warren;
2.Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 p.m., Rice Auditorium (Room 107 in Fisher Hall) of the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford; and
3.Wednesday, March 11, 7:00 p.m., Clarion Holiday Inn at the junction of State Route 68 and Interstate-80 (exit 62).

“Not only will there be numerous public meetings, but there will be monthly conference calls with the public to explain and discuss progress, news releases, website postings, and letters that are all designed to be up front and transparent, and encourage participation. This is all above and beyond minimum requirements outlined in regulations, and to imply anything differently is wrong,” said Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten.

Forest Supervisor Marten goes on to say, “For organizations such as the Allegheny Defense Project to come out with such erroneous information is unfortunate and disheartening because it does nothing but confuse members of the public and cause further discontent and strife amongst community members. My goal on the Allegheny is to help employees do their jobs of managing resources and meet the needs of the communities in which we work and live. Because not all members of the public agree with how and what we should be doing on the Allegheny, or at times with the mission of the Forest Service, this can make achieving that goal extremely challenging. Analyzing and deciding on Forest Plan oil and gas standards and guidelines pertaining to surface resource management is such a challenge. As such, I am asking you to please be involved and share your comments.”

Additional information on the proposal of the Agency regarding oil and gas standards and guidelines, the process, and how and when you may get involved can be obtained directly from the Allegheny NF website,, or by calling (814) 723-5150.

Irwin Run Bridge Work to Start

Crews will begin work on Monday, March 9 to replace the single-lane Irwin Run Bridge on Route 3002 (Spring Creek Road).

The bridge spans Irwin Run on Route 2019 in Spring Creek Township, near the village of Hallton in Elk County.

The existing bridge will remain open and in service, while crews build the first half of the new, two-lane bridge. Once the first half of the new bridge is complete, traffic will be switched to use the new lane. Crews will then demolish the old bridge and build the second half of the new structure. This construction schedule will allow the bridge to remain open. Access to the Irwin Run Canoe launch will be maintained during the life of the project.

During construction, motorists may encounter flaggers along the roadway and short delays. All work is weather dependent, with completion expected by September.

Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College is the contractor on this $1.2 million project.

Former Town Justice Arraigned

A former Town Justice has been arraigned on charges that she stole money from Town of Genesee Court and altered the records to cover the thefts.

43-year-old Cheryl Napora of Bolivar was arrested last month in connection with the thefts that happened from 2005 to 2008. $11,000 in fines and surcharges was taken from the court. She resigned from her position as town justice in December when an audit of her office was made public.

Napora is free on her own recognizance.

Holden Gets Golden Plow Award

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Holden (PA-17th District) has been recognized for his work on behalf of American farm families with the Golden Plow Award, which is the highest honor the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) presents to members of Congress. Holden received the award during a presentation before more than 150 farmers from Pennsylvania, who are in Washington D.C. to participate in Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's 2009 National Legislative Conference.

"Representative Holden was a steadfast supporter of agriculture and Farm Bureau's policies during the 110th Congress," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "With critical issues such as maintaining farm bill support, renewable energy policy and regulatory concerns facing our farm families, Rep. Holden's understanding of agriculture will be key during the 111th Congress. We look forward to working even closer with him in the months ahead," added Stallman.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) cited numerous instances in which Representative Holden, who is Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, demonstrated leadership and action on behalf of Pennsylvania farmers when nominating him for the Golden Plow Award. Only one member of the U.S. House and one member of the U.S. Senate are recognized each year.

"Congressman Holden has been a strong and consistent supporter of Pennsylvania agriculture and played a significant role in helping to craft a Farm Bill that includes economic safety net programs for farmers, new marketing and research opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers and strengthened funding for conservation programs that advance water quality," said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

Farm Bureau recognized Holden's efforts to pass legislation that clarified a section of the Farm Bill to restore economic safety net benefits to farms with small parcels of land. Mr. Holden also worked to extend and strengthen the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, which is providing some assistance to dairy farmers now that milk prices have dropped dramatically over the past few months.

"It's such an honor to receive this award from the Farm Bureau. Agriculture is so important to my home state of Pennsylvania, and I'm pleased I could play a role in supporting our farmers who provide us with food, fiber and fuel. I appreciate having worked with the Farm Bureau for nearly 17 years, helping to sustain agriculture in Pennsylvania and across the nation," said Congressman Tim Holden.

Pictured, Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania (center) receives the Golden Plow Award from American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman (left) and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer (right) during a ceremony in Washington D.C. as part of PFB's National Legislative Conference.
(Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau)

Philly Beer Week Starts Friday

Beer Week starts tomorrow in Philadelphia.

The second annual Philly Beer Week will bring in major craft brewers from across the country.

The event includes more than 100 venues and nearly 700 events, and actually goes into the Philly suburbs and South Jersey.

And, Beer Week is so big in Philly that it actually runs for 10 days.

For more information, visit Philly Beer Week 2009.

Logo used with permission

Oil City Teacher Waives Hearing

The Oil City teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a female student has waived her preliminary hearing.

Angie Fetty of Franklin is charged with of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The 34-year-old English teacher is suspended without pay.

Fetty and the 16-year-old student have each admitted to kissing and sharing a bed in Fetty's home, according to police.

Police began investigating last month after a man called them and said Fetty's 13-year-old daughter witnessed the relationship.

Pitt Freezing Wages

The University of Pittsburgh is freezing wages for 11,800 workers on its main campus and four satellite facilities instead of laying off workers.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg says the economy and related budget issues make the move necessary.

The wage freeze is for the next fiscal year that starts July 1.

Nordenberg says he agreed with the wage freeze recommendation, which came from a budget advisory panel of university employees and students.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Charge for the Teeth

A Wal-Mart customer in Massachusetts claims he found something he wasn't shopping for – human teeth.

The man says he found 10 teeth when he unzipped a compartment in a wallet he was thinking about buying.

The customer turned the wallet and the teeth over to store employees but left without giving his name.

Police investigating the incident say the teeth belong to an adult, but since there was no blood or gum tissue on the teeth, they would not be able to perform DNA tests.

Wal-Mart is looking into the situation, but officials believe this was an isolated incident.

Seneca Leaders, Paterson Meet

Governor David Paterson and Seneca Nation leaders met for about half an hour Wednesday – to discuss future meetings.

The state and the Senecas have been clashing over the issue of collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian retailers.

Following Wednesday's meeting in Amherst, the Senecas released a statement saying the discussion was positive and they've set up a process to arrange future meetings.

Poe Apologizes for Drinking

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Edgar Allan Poe apologizes to his publishers for drinking too much and asks them to buy an article because he's "desperately pushed for money" in an 1842 letter acquired by the University of Virginia for an exhibition marking the author's 200th birthday.

For the full story, go to

5-Year-Old Boy Abused for
Not Taking Care of Pet Crab

A Uniontown man shoved a sponge in a 5-year-old boy's mouth until he vomited and hit the boy in the head for not taking care of a pet crab.

29-year-old Robert Steindl Jr. faces a maximum of five years in prison when he's sentenced April 16 in Fayette County Court. He pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges.

Authorities aren't discussing Steindl's relationship to the boy, but say it is a "family situation" that has involved social service agencies. Steindl has been receiving counseling since shortly after the incident in January 2008.

'The Sleeping Beauty' at UPB

The Russian National Ballet Theater will perform the popular fairy tale “The Sleeping Beauty,” billed as one of the greatest accomplishments of classical ballet, on March 24 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The ballet will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The performance is part of the University’s Season Subscription Series. Tickets are $29 and $24 for the public; $12 and $10 for all students.

The production will be staged in three acts by the 60-member company, which includes some of the best dancers in the world. Soloists are often between 17 to 25 years old.

Bringing such a high-caliber group with its arts and dance to Bradford has been a long time coming, said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming at Pitt-Bradford.
“We believed a traditional storybook ballet was the best way to reintroduce dance to the area,” he said. “The Russian National Ballet is a very highly regarded company with strong ties to both the Bolshoi and Kirov.”

The performance was choreographed by Marius Petipa, considered the father of Russian ballet.

Written by French author, Charles Perrault at the end of the 17th century, “The Sleeping Beauty” is centered on a young princess who is put into a deep sleep by an evil fairy and can only be awakened by the kiss of a prince.

“The Sleeping Beauty” debuted at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg in January 1890. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the music.

A version of the fairy tale, named “The Sleepy Princess,” was performed in London in 1921. The production’s popularity spread throughout Great Britain in 1939 under the name of “The Sleeping Beauty” and can now be watched worldwide.

Led by Sergei Radchenko, the Russian National Ballet Theater began in 1989 in Moscow and has amassed dozens of dancers from Russia's top chorographic schools, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation helped form the group.

Radchenko, who serves as the artistic director of the group, is a graduate of Moscow School of Dance and a veteran of the Bolshoi Ballet. He also instructs classes and works with teachers from theaters in Bolshoi and Maryinsky.

Traditionally, the Russian National Ballet makes appearances in large cities but the location of Bradford is perfect, Mayes said.

“Being between the coastal cities of New York City, Philadelphia and Boston and the target cities of Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis and Chicago, makes us well-situated to host a major company in transit,” he said.

“One can pay $90 to see the Russian National Ballet perform the same work in Boston, or they can save their money and see the same show here in Bradford,” Mayes said. “I’m hoping ballet patrons opt to stay home and spend their money here and help spur our local economy.”

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or

For tickets, contact the Bromeley Family Theater box office at (814) 362-5113.

Greed, Power, Sense of Entitlement

A powerful lawmaker achieved lofty goals during a 30-year run in the Pennsylvania Senate, but fell sway to "greed, power and an overwhelming sense of entitlement," prosecutors argued Wednesday in a $3.5 million corruption case.

Democrat Vincent Fumo, a wealthy lawyer and banker from Philadelphia, is fighting his third and most serious political indictment of his long career.

Jurors are to start their deliberations Thursday.

For the full story, go to

Parents Say Hamot Doctors
Harvested Son's Organs

The parents of an 18-year-old Ohio man who suffered a brain injury while snowboarding claim in a lawsuit that doctors at Hamot Medical Center intentionally killed him so they could harvest his organs.

The lawsuit claims that Hamot Medical Center doctors and a representative of the Center For Organ Recovery and Education caused Gregory Jacobs' death by administering medication and by removing his breathing tube, causing him to suffocate.

For the full story, go to

Woman Accused of Forging Ex's Signature to Get Student Loan

A 26-year-old Chautauqua County woman has been charged with forging a co-signor's signature on a school loan application.

Brandy Nielsen was approved for the $37,000 loan in June of 2006. She made small payment for a while, but recently stopped.

Sallie Mae attempted to collect from the co-signor, Nielsen's ex-boyfriend, who told police she forged his signature on the documents.

With interest and penalties, Nielsen now owes nearly $80,000.

The Jordan Anthony Brown Story

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — Good student. Starting quarterback. Aspiring hunter. By most accounts, 11-year-old Jordan Brown was a typical boy in his rural Pennsylvania community, albeit raised mostly by his father after his mother gave him up.

So it baffles Jordan's friends and neighbors that he is accused of taking a 20-gauge youth shotgun he got from his father for Christmas and fatally shooting his father's pregnant fiancee, the woman who tried hardest to be a mother to him.

For the full story, go to

Governor Rendell Outlines Plans for
Spending Stimulus Money

HARRISBURG — Making what he called the first of many regular reports to the people of Pennsylvania, Governor Edward G. Rendell today outlined his administration’s plans to ensure that federal stimulus dollars are spent wisely, transparently and in a manner that ensures accountability.

Governor Rendell said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enables Pennsylvania to provide struggling families with relief that will help them recover from these tough economic times. He also announced plans to ensure the public has an opportunity to provide input on the process so that citizens can track stimulus spending and be confident that the process is working for them.

“We will first and foremost put more of our citizens to work and keep those currently working in their jobs, but this money helps us accomplish other worthy goals,” Governor Rendell said. “These stimulus dollars will help Pennsylvania achieve energy independence, lower the cost of health care, and improve public schools while stabilizing property taxes.

“President Obama has insisted these precious resources be spent in a manner that is transparent and in plain sight of the public, so taxpayers can be certain we’re acting responsibly. Over the next week and a half, we’re going to accept suggestions and input from every corner of the state for their thoughts on how we can best put these dollars to work for Pennsylvania.

“Additionally, the Web site we’re unveiling today provides a window to this process for everyone to see; the public will be able to track how every dime is spent and for what project and where. We’re committed to making this an open process for everyone.”

The Governor added that he will appoint a chief accountability officer within two weeks to work with each agency to ensure every dollar is used to meet appropriate goals and the impact is reported to the public.

Citizens will be able to track expenditures through the stimulus program and provide input on how funds are invested at The Web site will be an online tracking system that is linked to the commonwealth’s accounting system.

The site will also enable citizens to track how effective the commonwealth is in meeting the stimulus program’s objectives.

“Citizens can use this Web site to get quarterly updates and track if we are meeting the goals of the stimulus program,” Governor Rendell said. “For instance in the case of a transportation project: did we repair the bridge on time and did Pennsylvanians get jobs?”

Pennsylvania will receive an estimated $16 billion in grants provided by federal formulas, as well as tax relief and other direct benefits to commonwealth residents. That figure includes $9.8 billion in economic recovery and reinvestment formula-driven grants that can be spent over the next 24-27 months, made up of:

· Health Care - $4 billion

· Education - $2.56 billion

· Transportation Infrastructure - $1.4 billion

· Energy Independence - $472 million

· Other Infrastructure & Housing - $361 million

· Job Training & Other Relief for Pennsylvanians - $1.1 billion, including:

o $425 million for Job Training/Unemployment Services

o $347 million for State Budget Relief

o $120 million for Crime Fighting/Victim Services

o $116 million for Targeted Assistance to Pennsylvania Families

o $82 million for Child Care and Head Start

Governor Rendell said he was committed to applying for every competitive stimulus grant that will benefit Pennsylvanians and the state’s economy.

The Governor has set out an aggressive schedule to solicit input from the Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, state and local elected officials, as well as advocacy and constituent groups by March 15. He promised to release a plan for spending the money no later than early April to ensure that dollars begin flowing for Pennsylvania without delay.

The Governor asked Pennsylvanians to review the Web site and the information that will be made available on each stimulus project and provide their feedback on how the system can be improved.

“We want to ensure Pennsylvania can start benefiting from this investment sooner rather than later, and the public’s participation in that process will certainly be beneficial,” the Governor said. “I encourage everyone to take some time and review the Web site and give us your thoughts. This is an important time for our nation and our commonwealth; if we all play a role we can help ensure that we emerge from this economic crisis stronger and more competitive in the long term.”

For more information, visit