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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Congrats to the Seussical People!


WOW!


Congratulations! You all did great. I already told Pat, but I'm telling all of you now -- I wish I'd gone on Thursday or Friday so I could have gone again tonight.

Cast: Tynan Shannon, Josiah Garges, Ryan Marshall, Leah Costik, Chelsey Colosimo, Mary Bean, Marissa Buchheit, Mollie Hollebeke, Megan Truman, Austin Laroche, Patrick Morrisroe, David Reinhardt, Seth Morrisroe, Katelyn Scanlan, Michael Kassir, Cody Nuzzo, Joe Jones and (show stealer)Lydia Young.

Emily Frederick, Ashley Kervin, Hope Laroche, Tayler Lunn, Melissa Mateka, Mikki Poland, Megan Prosser, Lynzy Wheaton, Brady Karolak, Penny Amacher, Mike Bennett, Shaina Carnahan, Katelyn Carlson, Brigid Colligan, Jess Courteau, Hilary Digel, Jenn Lau, Danielle Lutz, Emily Marshall, Brianna Price, Amanda Young, Brandon Hallock, Gregor Smith, Lucas Smith, Nathan Smith.

Pit Orchestra: Chris Amidon, Debbie Place, Jessie Mascho, Caitlan Bryant, Elizabeth Garadner, Brittany Harsen, Kaitin Barton, Stephanie O'Neil, Chris Salerno, Trevor Sickler, Justin Yohe, Beth Swan, Matt Covert, Dan Romanelli, Samantha McCormick, Andy Kearns, Kathlyn Gardner, Sam Mellon, Dustin Giffin, Chad Young, Father Sam Slocum, Alex Kunz

Chad Young and Kathy Thumpston:
GREAT JOB!
(and Shane and Maria and Ron and Patty and Ryan, too)


(If you didn't see the show -- Get yourself a copy of the program to see all the other people involved in putting this awesome production together. And listen to my advice next time I tell you I think a show is going to be really good.)

Rubin Takes Leave of Absence

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Mitchell Rubin told Governor Ed Rendell on Saturday that he's taking an unpaid leave of absence, effective immediately.

Rubin cited "personal matters" in a letter to Rendell, according to a news release from the turnpike commission.

Rubin's wife, Ruth Arnao, a longtime aide to former Senator Vince Fumo was convicted of 45 counts, including obstruction, on Monday. Fumo was convicted of 137 criminal charges, including one concerning Rubin's employment.

Rubin reportedly held a no-show job as a state Senate consultant. Fumo paid Rubin $150,000 a year in state tax dollars.

Fumo could face up to 10 years in prison when sentenced July 13. Rubin has not been charged

Chess Players Compete in DuBois

The 8th Annual Knights of Columbus Chess Tournament was held Saturday, March 21st at St. Catherine's Church in DuBois.

In the junior varsity section, Justin Wedge won all his games to take first, and his sister, Katie Wedge, won third place.

In the high school division, Cody Hennard took second place, and Nico Alvarado earned fourth.

Other participants from the Bradford club receiving honorable mention included Nancy Lawton and Kyle Wedge.

Bona Women Win!

St. Bonaventure overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to beat West Virginia 68-63 in a Women's NIT game at the Reilly Center Saturday afternoon.

Dana Mitchell scored 18 points to lead the Bonnies, who advance to the third round against the winner of Sunday's Kentucky at Wisconsin game.

Specter Discusses Re-Election Bid

By PETER JACKSON
The Associated Press


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter summed up his situation as well as anybody this week, when he all but shot down the most recent burst of speculation — that he might quit the Republican Party and run as an independent.

"It is a possibility in the sense that almost anything is a possibility," he told The Morning Call in Allentown. "But I'm not planning to run as an independent."

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Two More Fires in Coatesville

Two more fires have been deliberately set in Coatesville.

Authorities say the fires at 11:40 p.m. Friday were on intersecting streets. They say there were no injuries or damage.

22 fires have been set in the city so far this year, and at least 48 have been set since February of 2008.

Five people have been arrested so far.

Lanigan's Bail is $250,000

A judge has set bail at a quarter of a million dollars for a man accused of trying to kill his parents.

Police say 50-year-old Michael Lanigan stabbed his parents with a utility knife several times Sunday night in their Clearfield County home.

According to court records, Lanigan told police he planned to kill his parents, James and Olivette Fogg, but didn't give a motive. The Foggs are hospitalized in serious condition.

Lanigan is charged with two counts of attempted murder. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Friendly Ghosts at Slippery Rock

It's official, folks. Miller Auditorium is haunted. But the good news is, they're friendly ghosts.

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

It's a Hoax, Folks

The text message you got saying gangs are targeting women at Wal-Mart is a hoax

According to Snopes.com, versions of the message have been circulating since July of 2005, and it's making the rounds again. People in Pennsylvania and New York are among those who have received it.

The text says gang initiation activity targeting women would be taking place, and claims a national news network has confirmed the report.

DEP: Drilling Risks Inevitable

"You can't do a large amount of drilling and have zero impact," (John) Hanger, acting secretary of the state's Department of Environmental Protection, told Reuters. "There's going to be a lot of good that comes from drilling in Pennsylvania, but there are also going to be some problems."

The story also says that, for the first time, DEP has listed fracking chemicals (PDF) on its Web site.

For the full story, go to Reuters.

Judge Says 'No' to Plea Change

A judge has rejected a man's request to withdraw his guilty plea to third degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend.

50-year-old Bobby Lee Komrowski of White Haven pleaded guilty in February to killing 31-year-old Amy Comly, and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. He later decided he wanted to go to trial.

For the full story, to to the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.

Part of PA Town Evacuated

Parts of Wind Gap, PA, have been evacuated after an accident involving a tractor-trailer carrying hazardous materials.

Authorities say the rig was carrying a "dangerous chemical" and there was a potential threat.

Everyone within a one-mile radius of the accident has been evacuated. A shelter has been set up at a local high school.

Wind Gap, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, has a population of about 2,800.

For an update, go to pennlive.com.

Austin Dam Bioblitz

An army of students, scientists and folks of all ages will convene at the Austin Dam Memorial Park May 29 and 30 to identify as many species of life as possible in a 24-hour period.

The event is hosted by Austin Area School District in cooperation with the Austin Dam Memorial Association, Patterson Lumber Co., Austin Borough, Potter-McKean Cooperative Extension, Potter County Conservation District, the Dominion Foundation, God's Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Everyone is welcome.

For more information, go to the Austin Dam Bioblitz Blog.

The Future of Recycling

The future of recycling in McKean County was the topic of a meeting between State Representative Marty Causer, county commissioners and other officials.

"We want to continue recycling in the county and it's important for our environment, and also to cut down on any illegal dumping," Causer said. "However, with the downtown in the economy there's really no market for much of the recyclables."

Causer explained that the tipping fees currently go toward a fund in Harrisburg that awards grants to recycling programs, but the DEP is discontinuing the grant program. Rustick Landfill is considered a suspension of the recycling program.

The City of Bradford would not be affected.

Mark Adams of Senator Joe Scarnati's office says Elk, Jefferson and Clearfield counties have not suspended recycling yet, but it's still an option.

Chemtura Files for
Bankruptcy Protection

The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has approved all of Chemtura's motions, allowing the company to continue normal business operations during its restructuring process.

Chemtura filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

The company will pay all outstanding employee wages, health benefits, and certain other employee obligations. Chemtura's U.S. and worldwide operations are expected to continue without interruption during the restructuring process.

The Middlebury, Connecticut-based company said that its non-U.S. subsidiaries were not included in the filing and will not be subject to the requirements of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Chemtura was formed in 2005 with the merger of Crompton Corporation and Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. Crompton was formed in 1999 by the merger of Crompton & Knowles Corporation and Witco Corporation.

More Benefits for Unemployed

HARRISBURG – Out-of-work Pennsylvanians now may be eligible for up to 13 more weeks of unemployment benefits and receive a $25 increase to their weekly compensation, Governor Ed Rendell said.

“Additional unemployment benefits could help keep families afloat during these difficult economic times,” Rendell said. “The extra safety net allows unemployed workers to continue to pay for food, shelter and other necessities until they are able to rejoin the workforce.”

All laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits will get the additional $25 a week that was authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama last month. The payment will be made separately from claimants’ regular benefit payments.

People eligible for the additional 13 weeks of benefits will be notified by the Department of Labor & Industry with instructions on how to apply for the extended benefits.

Out-of-work Pennsylvanians may now be eligible to receive unemployment benefits for up to 72 weeks. Prior to the 13-week extension, unemployed Pennsylvanians could claim up to 59 weeks of benefits – 33 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits after their maximum 26 weeks of state benefits ran out.

More information is available at www.uc.pa.gov.

Hospitals' Parent Has a Name:
Upper Allegheny Health System

Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital have a name for their new organization. Upper Allegheny Health System is the name for the parent company of the two hospitals. In October, officials announced plans to integrate the hospitals. The process is expected to be finished in October of this year. Both hospitals will keep their names.

Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital officials and staff celebrated the launch of the new parent company name and logo this week, moving the organizations forward toward an expected Oct. 1, 2009 completion of regulatory requirements for integration. Pictured at Ho-sta-geh Restaurant (Thursday evening) from left are Chris Howell, OGH Manager, Cardiopulmonary/Sleep Center; Timothy J. Finan, OGH President/CEO; George E. Leonhardt, BRMC President/CEO; and Nellie Wallace, BRMC Physician/Professional Recruiter. The sign (pictured) features the new name and tag line, Upper Allegheny Health System, Creating the Path to Regional Care.
(Photo provided)

Still Searching Seven Years Later

As the 7-year anniversary of the disappearance of a Warren man approaches, police are asking for the public's help.

Damien Sharp was last seen when he was dropped off at a Memorial Day weekend party in Warren on May 25, 2002. He was 22 years old at the time of his disappearance. Police are asking people to come forward with any information they think will help in the investigation.

Warren County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for any information that leads police to Damien Sharp. The Crime Stoppers Hotline is 1-800-83-CRIME.

Bona Women Take On WVU

The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team will take on West Virginia in the second round of the Women's NIT today at the Reilly Center. This is the women's first postseason appearance in program history. St. Bonaventure has already set program records for total wins (21) and Atlantic 10 wins (9).

GO BONNIES!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Smith's, Gonzalez Tie for Lead

The regular rounds of the chess league competition for the 2008-09 season are complete. Now we have the playoffs to determine the final team and individual champions. Tasta Pizza and Hamlin Bank are only one and half points apart. In round 14, Tasta Pizza decimated Drs. Rhinehart, but Hamlin Bank did the same to Edmond Chevrolet. Lang Surveying outplayed Domino’s Pizza with a plus score of one. And Northwest Savings Bank outscored Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair by a score of 3-1.

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

Smith’s Fine Jewelry defeated the Pharmacy at Union Square with a plus score of 1.5. Parkview Super Market had a surprise upset against Dr. Gonzalez, the #1 team in the league. Dr. Laroche defeated Dexter’s Service Center. And Bradford Window tied its match with Ed Shults Toyota.

Mike Jones, captain of the Dr. Gonzalez team, is first place individual. Tamara Ferguson, captain for Smith’s Fine Jewelry, and Greg Henry, captain for the Dr. Laroche team, are tied for second. Rob Ferguson, captain of the Ed Shults Toyota team, and Bob Ferguson, captain for Parkview Super Market, are a half point behind in third.

For additional information about the league or chess events, contact Robert Ferguson at execdirchess@amchess.org or visit the club’s website at http://bradfordchessclub.com/.

Standings after round 14:

Junior Varsity Division

Hamlin Bank
42.5

Tasta Pizza
41.0

Lang Surveying
36.5

Northwest Savings Bank
34.0

Edmond Chevrolet
30.0

Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair
29.0

Domino’s Pizza
28.0

Drs. Rhinehart
21.5

Varsity Division

Dr. Gonzalez
20.5

Smith’s Fine Jewelry
20.5

Bradford Window Co.
18.5

Ed Shults Toyota
16.5

Parkview Super Market
16.0

Dr. Laroche
15.5

Pharmacy at Union Square
13.5

Dexter’s Service Center
13.0

Corrections Officers Assaulted

Several corrections officers were injured during an incident at the State Correctional Institute in Houtzdale.

One inmate reportedly got violent in the dining hall, and several others joined in and assaulted the officers.

One officer was taken to the hospital for treatment of a broken bone below his eye.

Charges are pending.

Man Sentenced on Escape Charges

A man who broke out of two police cruisers and a county sheriff's van last spring will spend at least 2 ½ years in state prison.

38-year-old Christopher Stevenson pleaded guilty to the felony escape charges.

In April of last year, he broke out of the Titusville police cars while officers were attempting to take him to jail following an assault incident. Two days later, he jumped out of a moving sheriff's department van while deputies were taking him to the Crawford County Correctional Facility.

Holocaust Survivor at Pitt-Bradford

Dr. Livia Bitton-Jackson, Holocaust survivor, international lecturer, professor and author will speak with students and community members via video conference Wednesday, March 25, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Bitton-Jackson will be speaking from her home in Israel. The live video conference, which is included in the Adolescent Literature course taught by Dr. Wayne Brinda, assistant professor of education, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 237 of Swarts Hall. The public is invited to attend.

She will share her experiences as a teen during the Nazi invasion of Hungary near the end of World War II, what being a Holocaust survivor means in today’s world, as well as what we can learn and teach from this history.

Bitton-Jackson has written several books about her experiences as a girl in several concentration camps, including “I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing up in the Holocaust,” which Brinda’s students are reading in advance of the conference. She has also written as an adult about coming to terms with this history. Her books are published throughout the world and have been translated into several languages.

In addition to writing and lecturing about the Holocaust, Bitton-Jackson addresses topics relating to Jewish identity, current events and women’s issues.

Bitton-Jackson, who has a doctorate from New York University, has taught at several institutions of higher learning, including Long Island University, Tel Aviv University and Hunter, Brooklyn and Lehman Colleges of the City University of New York, where she has been professor of history and Judaic studies for 39 years.

Bitton-Jackson was born in 1931 and grew up in Hungary, the daughter of a Jewish grocer. In 1944, her family was deported, then relocated to Auschwitz and Dachau.

Brinda became familiar with Bitton-Jackson through his work as a Museum Teaching Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Brinda said he finds many students today who believe they are far removed from the Holocaust and this history. Some are becoming susceptible to the idea that it was not real or could never happen again.

“Dr. Bitton-Jackson makes this history accessible, honest and real,” he said. “She also brings hopeful, truthful inspiration to us to dispel prejudice and misinformation. Meeting and speaking with her is a special opportunity for everyone.”

Increased Marcellus Shale Fee
Could Take Effect Next Month

An increase from $100 to at least $900 for permitting fees to drill in the Marcellus Shale formation is likely to take effect next month.

A state regulatory panel has approved the proposal by the Rendell administration to increase the fees.

The administration's goal is to hire about three dozen more inspection and permitting staff to catch up with surging interest in the Marcellus Shale.

The fee has not gone up since 1984. Before the new fee structure takes effect, the attorney general's office must review it to make sure it's legal.

Punxsy, Farm Get State Grants

The Borough of Punxsutawney and the Quiet Creek School of Country Living & Herb Farm in Jefferson County have been awarded $172,035 in state grants for local environmental projects, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Punxsutawney Borough has been awarded a $100,000 state grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to make improvements that will guard against flood damage in the area.

Scarnati said the grant will be used for the restoration of a flood-damaged channel along a tributary to Mahoning Creek. The money will also be used to install structures to convey localized drainage into the improved channel.

"This project is important to protecting against future floods and to provide better drainage for the borough," Scarnati said. "I’m pleased we received state funding for this important environmental initiative."

The Quiet Creek School of Country Living & Herb Farm will use its $72,035 grant to fund a hybrid wind and solar system.

"This grant program is a great way to encourage local businesses to take advantage of alternative energy and reduce their power costs," Scarnati said.

ANF Earth Day Projects

From the US Forest Service:

State Game Land (SGL) 29 in Warren County is going to be a better place for native brook trout after Earth Day 2009. The Allegheny WINS Coalition has planned several Earth Day projects in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Chapman State Park, Allegheny National Forest, Allegheny Outdoor Club, Warren County Conservation District, and YOU for Wednesday, April 22.

This project contains something for everyone:

decommissioning of a road;
restoration of 41 seep, spring, and stream crossings;
construction of vernal pools;
planting of trees and willow stakes;
seeding and mulching; and
pruning of apple trees.

Meet at Chapman State Park Office at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, if you want to ‘break a sweat’ to help reduce sediment levels in the upper West Branch Tionesta Creek. Wear rubber-bottom boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, a hat, gloves, and bring a lunch and drink.

This project is so tremendous because the failing roadway is adversely affecting both Wildcat and Slater Runs on SGL 29. Wildcat Run is classified as a Wilderness Trout Stream by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Both streams are classified as Exceptional value by the Department of Environmental Protection. “Back the Brookie” and join this event!

New Carlson Scholarship at UPB

The children of Robert L. and Patricia A. Carlson have endowed a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in their parents’ memory.

The $10,000 gift from R. Michael and Susan Carlson, John P. and Terry Carlson, and Michael and Cathy Medden, has been matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge.

The Robert L. and Patricia A. Carlson Scholarship will benefit local students, including those living in nearby western New York, who plan to attend Pitt-Bradford.

“We developed this scholarship to provide a legacy,” said Mike Carlson, who has served on the university’s Advisory Board since 1995. “My parents worked hard and never had a chance to go to college. Yet, they sent three kids to college.”

Carlson, along with his brother and sister believe that those who have benefited by education should give back through education. “A scholarship is a great way to recognize those who shaped your life,” he said.

In this case, the life-shaping force was Robert Carlson, who, at the age of 14, began working at City Carpet in Bradford. He later purchased the business, dedicating 50 years of his life to its operation.

On Sept. 25, 1947, Robert Carlson married his wife, Patricia. Both graduates of Bradford High School, Mr. Carlson was a member of the Bradford Club, Pine Acres, Bradford Exchange Club, Bradford Parking Authority and the Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems board of directors.

Mrs. Carlson was a member of St. Bernard Church, various bridge clubs and the Zonta Club. Together they owned and operated City Carpet for 28 years.

“My parents gave a great deal of themselves for us to go to college,” Carlson said. “They instilled upon us their core beliefs of education, a strong work ethic and helping others whenever possible.”

The Carlson family ties to Pitt-Bradford are strong. Carlson’s son, Michael, is a 2003 graduate. His in-laws are Dorothea and Howard Fesenmyer, for whom Pitt-Bradford’s newest residence hall is named and who established the Howard and Dorothea Fesenmyer Scholarship Fund. Mr. Fesenmyer is also an Advisory Board member.

“My parents and the Fesenmyers were life-long friends,” Carlson said. His siblings, as well, have numerous ties to Pitt-Bradford.

Mike Carlson’s sister and brother-in-law, Cathy and Michael Medden of Arcade, N.Y., with Greg and Mary Huber of Bradford, previously established a scholarship to honor the memory of their father, Dr. Edwin J. Medden, former head of surgery at Bradford Hospital and an emeritus member of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board. Mary Huber is also an Advisory Board member.

Mike Carlson’s brother, John Carlson, married a Pitt-Bradford alumna, Terry Eger Carlson, who graduated with a degree in human relations in 1980. The couple lives in South Dayton, N.Y.

Mike Carlson said he would “love to see more people in the community use scholarships to recognize family, give back to the community in which they were raised, create a legacy, and help others better their lives.”

For more information on donor scholarships and how to apply for them, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Financial Aid at 814-362-7550.

The Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas. For as long as the funds last, the challenge allows donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $10,000 to new and existing scholarships. Gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible.

For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (814) 362-5091 or e-mail Karen Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement and managing director of the Bradford Educational Foundation at kpb@pitt.edu.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Former QB, Fugitive Dies in Crash

Authorities had been concerned that a former NFL quarterback faked his own death, but they used fingerprints to determine that William "Jeff" Komlo was the victim of a car crash in Greece on Saturday.

Komlo failed to appear for sentencing on drunken driving charges about four years ago. Two months before that, he didn't appear for a hearing on charges that he assaulted his girlfriend. He was also under investigation for fires at his home in Chester Springs.

For the full story go to The Assoicated Press.

Man Sentenced in Lancaster
Cell Phone Ransom Case

A man who demanded $185,000 to return a woman's stolen cell phone – but agreed to settle for $200 – has been sentenced in Lancaster County.

After negotiating the lower price, the victim took authorities with her when she when to pick up her phone from Randy-Jay Jones in October of 2007.

For the full story, go to the Lancaster New Era.

Olean Girls Lose in Title Game

The Olean girls' basketball season has come to end with a 55-31 loss to undefeated Oneonta in the state championship game.

Rachel Kasperski led the Huskies with 10 points. Junior forward Rachel Bantelman, who averages 19 points a game, was held to seven points, all in the first half.

The Huskies were competing in their first New York State Championship since 1981-1982. Olean ends its season 22-4.

Tuition Aid Bill Introduced

HARRISBURG – In an effort to rein in skyrocketing college tuition costs, Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-15), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, introduced today a legislative package that promises to deliver affordability, accountability, and choice to Pennsylvania students and their families.

Senate Bill 653 would appropriate an additional $145 million to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant Program, thus benefiting approximately 25,000 additional students. Students would receive tuition aid so long as they attend any college or university – private, public, or state-related – in Pennsylvania. As a condition of receiving state funds, higher education institutions would be required to raise tuition only by the rate of inflation set by the Consumer Price Index.

"This bill will provide long-overdue support to our Commonwealth's families without expanding gambling in every corner of the state but instead by establishing necessary cost controls and by simply spending public funds more efficiently. Pennsylvania taxpayers are hurting because they not only are struggling to send their children to college, but they are also unable to afford the taxes that support these schools," Piccola said.

Piccola emphasized that his plan would also direct a 5 percent increase for Pennsylvania's community colleges. "Our community colleges are the best access point of higher education for many lower income students particularly in these recessionary times, and that's why they too deserve our support and help," he said.

Other components of Senate Bill 653 include accountability measures that would ensure students are also held responsible. The bill would require all state grant recipients to maintain at least a C average to remain eligible for tuition aid and to graduate in four years.

Funding for Piccola's initiatives would be obtained by redirecting state spending and priorities. Specifically, Senate Bill 652 would repeal Governor Rendell's $75 million Hollywood film tax credit and a sales tax exemption for movie theaters. Other parts of his plan would cut 50 percent of non-preferred state appropriations, such as museums.

Piccola's legislation also makes changes to Pennsylvania's Dual Enrollment Program, which allows high school students to enroll in college-level courses and receive both secondary and postsecondary credit for that coursework. Under Senate Bill 653, the $10 million appropriation to the Commonwealth's universities and colleges to administer this program would be eliminated. However, the state Board of Education would be required to develop regulations directing institutions to accommodate high school students on a space available basis for a nominal fee.

"My legislative package contains practical solutions to a major problem. College tuition costs have outpaced inflation for more than a decade. Aside from addressing affordability and accountability issues, these bills will help assure competition and choice is preserved in higher education," Piccola said.

Bucs, Pens Organist Passes Away

Vince Lascheid the longtime organist for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates, has died. He was 85.

Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan says Lascheid was a Pittsburgh original. Lascheid worked for the Penguins from 1970 to 2003 and is in the team's hall of fame.
Lascheid still worked part-time for the Pirates.

Pirates President Frank Coonelly says the Pirates family is deeply saddened.

“Those that knew him well speak to his strong character, unwavering professionalism as well as his passion for life and for Pittsburgh sports," Coonelly said in a news release. "He was not only an extremely talented musician, but a wonderful father, grandfather, friend and true definition of the word gentleman. This is not only a huge loss for his family and the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also for the city of Pittsburgh."

“We are proud to say that even though he is gone, Vince will continue to be the Pirates organist through digital recordings. When our fans hear organ music at PNC Park it will continue to be Vince Lascheid for years to come. We can think of no better tribute than carrying on the tradition of playing Vince’s music at Pirates games," Coonelly said.

Lascheid is survived by his wife, Linda, and five children.

Reservoir Cleanup on May 9

The Allegheny National Forest (NF) is once again organizing the popular shoreline clean-up of the Allegheny Reservoir on Saturday, May 9, 2009. Pre-registration at 814/728-6163, will be accepted until Thursday, May 7. Pre-registration is required. Volunteers are to meet at the Elijah Run Boat Launch by 8:30 a.m. Volunteers should dress for the weather as the clean-up will be held rain or shine. The work should be completed by 4:00 p.m.

Pre-registration will also be accepted by email at nwelker@fs.fed.us. Organized volunteer groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, and individual volunteers are encouraged to pre-register and plan a day of fun while cleaning up the reservoir and protecting the environment. “It gets better each year,” said Nathan Welker, the event organizer.

All volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement. Parental consent and adult supervision is required for any person under the age of 18. All volunteers need to bring a lunch, drinking water, and gloves, and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes or boots.

Research!America Honors Specter

From Research!America:

US Senator Arlen Specter will be honored with Research!America’s 2009 Legacy Award for his: outspoken advocacy and leadership in achieving significant support for medical and health research in the recent economic recovery legislation, staunch support for embryonic stem cell research and many noteworthy contributions as a champion for health research.

Specter will be honored on the evening of March 24, 2009, at the 13th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards event at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Specter is among the strongest and longest-standing champions of health and medical research in Congress. He initiated and was a pivotal voice in securing $6.5 billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health in the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, he led the doubling of the NIH budget (1998-2003). Each year he continues to fight to ensure strong, sustained investment in medical research.

Specter is a tireless advocate for embryonic stem cell research and for prevention and many other health and research issues. In February he reintroduced, with Senator Tom Harkin (IA), the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, building on his leadership in passing an identical bill that was vetoed by President Bush in 2006. He has worked to secure U.S. funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980 and is the longest serving Senator in Pennsylvania’s history. He is a ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the LHHS Subcommittee. Previously, he was district attorney of Philadelphia (1965-1974).

Other 2009 Research!America Advocacy Award winners are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD; Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, PhD; Stowers Institute founders James “Jim” E. Stowers Jr. and Virginia G. Stowers; ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff; and the Genetic Alliance.

Easter Egg Hunt in Salamanca

From the Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce:

The Salamanca City Youth Bureau and the Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce invites the community to come and enjoy our Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4, 2009 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Activities will take place at the Youth Bureau grounds located at 36 South Avenue.

This year’s Easter Egg Hunt is open to children ages 10 and under and will be grouped by age with the youngest going first. After the hunt, hop your way over to get a hug from the Easter Bunny or take a swing at the piƱata that will be filled with various treats and prizes. You can also have your comic portrait drawn by Eric Jones, our beloved caricaturist, or have your favorite animal balloon created right before your eyes by the wonderful Balloon Man, David McHenry. And don’t forget to visit Morton’s Petting Zoo, where all those adorable baby animals will be on hand.

All the fun and family-friendly activities will keep you smiling all day long. Food and refreshments are being provided by the Salamanca Lions Club. In the event of rain, all activities will take place inside the Youth Bureau’s gym. For more information, please contact either the Salamanca City Youth Bureau, 716-945-1311, or the Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce, 716-945-2034. We look forward to seeing you there!

Charges Bound to Court -- Again

Charges against one of the men accused of intentionally spilling oil onto the Allegheny National Forest have been bound to court again.

The lawyer for 22-year-old Christopher Horton challenged the ruling in the first preliminary hearing held in November, so a second hearing was held Thursday.

Horton and his father, Andrew Horton, are accused of vandalizing oil tanks which caused about 45,000 gallons of oil to spill onto the forest and leak into creeks and streams, killing fish and aquatic life.

For story on the first hearing, go HERE.

IUP Student Died of Drugs, Alcohol

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student found dead on campus apparently died from a mix of drugs and alcohol.

Preliminary toxicology reports indicate that 18-year-old Brenton Croll of Roaring Spring had more than one substance in his blood, but more testing will be done to identify the specific drugs.

Croll was found unresponsive in a dorm room Wednesday after he had gone to the room to sleep off a night of drinking. He was a freshman majoring in nursing.

Convicted Sex Offender Returns to
Crayola Factory, Refuses to Leave

A year to the day since he was caught watching children in the coatroom, Lareau Joseph Laube, a 57-year-old homeless man and convicted child molester, was arrested about noon Thursday after refusing to leave the (Crayola Factory).


For the full story, go to Lehigh Valley Live.com.

Man Who Set Himself on Fire Dies

A Clarion area man who set himself on fire during a confrontation with police has died of his injuries.

Twenty-four-year-old Levi Mohney died Thursday at a burn center in Pittsburgh.

He confronted troopers Wednesday at the home of his ex-girlfriend, Patty Rae Ferris in Strattanville, which ended a chain of events that started when he stole Ferris' television.

Police say Mohney returned to the home later, assaulted Ferris and stole more items. Several hours later, he was back at the house and, when police tried to arrest him, he ignited some kind of accelerant, setting the room and himself on fire.

He was taken by ambulance from the scene and later airlifted to the Pittsburgh hospital.

'Kitty Auschwitz' Operators
Facing Animal Cruelty Charges

A Pottsville-area couple who operated the Cats With No Name Sanctuary have been ordered to stand trial on animal cruelty and drug charges.

Virginia Justiniano and Andy Oxenrider are accused of stockpiling donated cat food and reselling some of it at auctions to finance drug binges while leaving dozens of animals hungry.

For the full story, go to the Allentown Morning Call.

'Fumo World' Probe Continues

After a post-conviction hearing in U.S. District Court for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, an FBI agent stood up, crossed the courtroom toward Fumo friend Mitchell Rubin, and handed him a "target letter" warning him that he could face criminal charges.

For the full story, go to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kartesz Cohort Sentenced

A business partner of former Bradford landlord Frank Kartesz has been sentenced to four years and five months in federal prison for his part in a scam that defrauded victims out of more $1 million.

Thirty-five-year-old Gregory Finney was sentenced on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Finney, Kartesz and Robert Dodsworth bought run-down houses and sold them at inflated prices.

Dodsworth is serving six years and Kartesz is serving three years for fraud and conspiracy.

Penn Grade 1 Has a New Name

American Refining Group has changed the name of its Penn Grade 1 Racing Oil line to Penn Grade 1 High Performance Oils.

First introduced in 2001, the Penn Grade 1 line has enjoyed remarkable growth within the racing segment.

With the reduction of zinc and phosphorus in a majority of oils, it's also realized tremendous growth within the classic, historic, vintage, muscle car and hot rod markets, which led to the name change to encompass the different market segments.

Luksik Makes it Official

We told you this last week, but here's the official announcement:

Johnstown, PA – Seated at a Johnstown kitchen table earlier today, conservative Republican Peg Luksik announced that she will seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate seat currently held by Arlen Specter of Philadelphia.

“Americans from all walks of life, and across the political spectrum are sick and tired of the arrogance of Washington’s elitists,” said Luksik. “Pennsylvania’s hard-working citizens deserve elected representatives who use the same level of common sense that we use around our kitchen tables. “

The 53-year old mother of six is well-known across Pennsylvania as a savvy, “no nonsense” political activist who advocates strong family values, the sanctity of life, conservative fiscal policies and a strong national defense. “In the last few years we have not only seen the erosion of many of the core values upon which this country was founded, but we have also endured the greedy, embarrassing and often illegal behavior of the very people we have entrusted with its leadership,” she said. “It’s time that the families of Pennsylvania have an advocate in government. An advocate who listens to those who elect her. An advocate who is more interested in serving them than in acquiring power. An advocate who puts speaking truth before protecting self-interest.”

Luksik has a track record of achieving amazing successes in grassroots campaigns. She shocked the political establishment in 1990 when she tallied 45 percent of the vote against party-backed candidate Barbara Hafer on a budget of only $45,000.

Luksik concluded, “The greatness of America lies in our families, not in the government. Beginning today, I am asking the families of Pennsylvania to join me in rebuilding that greatness, not from the government down, but from the family, up!”

More Charges Against Woman
Accused of Killing FBI Agent

A woman already accused of murdering an FBI agent who was attempting to arrest her husband on drug charges has now been charged with drug trafficking and weapons violations.

40-year-old Christine Korbe has been jailed since November 19, when she shot and killed agent Samuel Hicks, who was the first of several officers who entered her Glenshaw home in the raid targeting her husband, Robert Korbe.

Robert Korbe remains jailed on the separate cocaine trafficking conspiracy charges. He claims he's innocent.

Christine Korbe says she shot Hicks because she thought he was an intruder and the couple's two young children were in danger.

More info at the US attorney's Web site.

Fatal ATV Accident in Potter County

A 21-year-old Westfield man is dead after an ATV accident this morning in Hector Township.

Randall McCutcheon was on a private lane leading to a camp about ¾ of a mile east of Bailey Hill Road when he turned down a private driveway and hit two steel cables at the entrance to the driveway.

McCutcheon was thrown from the 4-wheeler. He was taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury says the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Snake, Turtle Poachers Nabbed

An undercover investigation into poaching and illegal sales of New York's native turtles, snakes and salamanders has led to charges against 25 people – including six from Pennsylvania.
Eighteen people were charged by New York state officials and one under Canadian law.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials say "Operation Shellshock" uncovered an international black market for poaching and selling native, protected New York species through the Internet and at herpetological shows,

More than 2,400 individual turtles, snakes and salamanders were involved in the documented crimes, with DEC currently holding nearly 400 live animals in evidence.

Commissioner Pete Grannis says, "A very lucrative illegal market for these creatures does exist, fostered by a strong, clandestine culture of people who want to exploit wildlife for illegal profit."

For more, visit the NY DEC.

List of Transportation Projects

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) announced that more than $125 million in funding has been approved for a wide range of transportation projects in the 25th Senatorial district.

“These projects will create jobs for district residents and improve our transportation infrastructure to make our roads and bridges safer,” Scarnati said. “Our state is facing a transportation funding crisis as we look for ways to repair and replace our aging infrastructure. This investment will help ensure that our highways, roads and bridges are sustainable for years to come.”

In addition to individual projects listed below, Scarnati said funding will be used for resurfacing and repair projects and bridge preservation programs throughout the 25th Senatorial district.

A recent study found that Pennsylvania has nearly 6,000 structurally deficient bridges and approximately 9,000 miles of roadway in poor condition. “We need to replace and repair these structures so we don’t have an incident like the Minnesota bridge collapse,” Scarnati said. “We also must make long overdue improvements to our roads and highways if we want to protect public safety and encourage economic development.”

Two of the new projects are in Clearfield County. The intersection of Hospital Avenue and Dixon Avenue will be realigned to create a four-way stop for traffic entering DuBois Regional Medical Center. Funding will also be allocated for bridge preservation activities in several municipalities across Clearfield County.

Funding will also be used for streetscape improvements on a five-block area of Pennsylvania Avenue in Warren.

In Elk County, the Elk Creek Bridge, located on State Route 120 in Ridgway Township will be rehabilitated.

Jefferson County will see a number of bridge replacement and road improvement projects including:

Rehabilitation of Sandy Lick Point Bridge over Conrail Railroad in Pine Creek Township.

Preservation of State Route 3011 Hamilton Bridge over Little Mahoning Creek in Perry Township.

Resurfacing of State Route 36 from Main Street to Newcome Road Punxsutawney Borough and Young, Perry and Oliver Townships.

Replacement of the US 322 Blake's Bridge over North Fork Creek in Brookville.

Ramp improvements and reconstruction of the Brookville Interchange of Interstate 80 and PA 36 in Brookville and Rose Township.

Replacement of the Punxsutawney Bridge on US 119 over Mahoning Creek in Punxsutawney Borough.

Replacement of the Howe Bridge on Township Route 342 over Mill Creek in Union and Eldred Townships.

Safety improvements to the intersection of US 119 and Township Route 841 Intersection in Bell Township.

Replacement of the Little Mill Creek Bridge #1 on Township Route 464, Sulgar Road in Pine Creek Township.

Bridge preservation programs in various locations in Jefferson County.

Safety improvement projects at the Findley Street Crossing in Punxsutawney Borough.

Rehabilitation of State Route 310 over Trout Run and Soldier Run in Winslow Township and Reynoldsville Borough.

Rehabilitation of Rattlesnake Road Bridge on SR 1008, 2 miles east of State Route 219, in Lanes Milles, Snyder Township.

Rehabilitation of Sawmill Run Bridge on SR 3021 over Sawmill Run in Young Township.

Resurfacing and paving on various State Routes in Jefferson County.

Replacing and upgrading guiderails in Jefferson County.

Resurfacing State Route 36 from State Route 436 to the Village of Oliveburg.

Resurfacing projects in Cameron McKean, and Potter Counties.


McKean County Projects

Transportation enhancements to the Tuna Valley South Trail from Bradford to Lewis Run in McKean County.

New roadway to Lafferty Hollow Industrial Park Access Road from State Route 46 in Foster Township.

Highway reconstruction and bridge rehabilitation of US 219 (Bradford Bypass) in City of Bradford and Bradford Township.

Bridge replacement and maintenance of the Pratt Hollow Box Culvert in Foster Township.

Potter County

Restoration of US Route 6 from Coudersport toward Sweden Valley in Coudersport Borough and Eulalia Township.

Bridge replacement of 7th Street Bridge over Allegheny River in Coudersport Borough.

Bridge replacement along PA 872 over First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek in Portage and Sylvania Townships.

Replacement of bridge on State Route 1004 over Genesee Branch of Pine Creek in Hector Township.

Replacement of bridge on State Route 1005 over Little Pheonix Run in Pike County.

Tioga County

Replacement of State Route 414 bridge over Zimmerman's Creek in Liberty Township.

Resurfacing of State Route 287 from Wilson Creek to Shumway Hill Road in Delmar Township.

Resurfacing of US Route 15 from State Route 287 to Tioga River in Lawrence, Tioga Townships and Lawrenceville Borough.

Preservation of State Route 2005 bridge over Blockhouse Creek in Liberty Township.

Preservation of US Route 15 northbound bridge over Mill Creek/ Hammond Dam in Tioga Township.

Replacement of bridge on State Route 49 over Holden Creek in Osceola Township.

Replacement of Olmsville Bridge on State Route 3007 over West Branch of Stoney Fork Creek in Delmar Township.

Replacement of bridge on State Route 49 over tributary to Cowanesque River in Osceola Township.

Replacement of State Route 249 bridge over Crooked Creek in Chatham Township.

Replacement of bridge on State Route 4007 over North Brook in Brookfield Township.

Rehabilitation of bridge on State Route 49 over Cowanesque River in Westfield Township.

Resurfacing of State Route 2018 to State Route 4002 Cherry Flats Road to PA 660, Elk Run Road Charleston Township.

Rehabilitation of Catlin Hollow Creek Bridge in Charleston Township.

Rehabilitation of Hornby Bridge on State Route 4012 over Hornby Hollow Creek in Chatham Township.

Rehabilitation of bridge on State Route 4005 over North Fork in Brookfield Township.

Surface treatment along State Route 3022 to State Route 287 and State Route 3022 to State Route 287 in Delmar Township.

Resurfacing of Main Street, Wellsboro to State Route 6 from Kelsey Creek to Main Street in Wellsboro Borough.

Resurfacing of State Route 287 from Central Avenue to US 6Wellsboro Borough.

Resurfacing of State Route 4024.

Chapeau Tea Ten Days Away

This is just a sample of the food that will be served during the Derby Chapeau Tea, which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. March 29 in the community room at the Bradford Area Public Library. In addition to bidding on hats, those attending the tea will be able to decorate or watch others create Kentucky Derby-style hats and enjoy refreshments. Tickets for the tea are available now and can be purchased at the library. All proceeds from the event will benefit the library’s endowment fund.

For more information, including a picture of some of the hats, go HERE.

Jury Convicts Trooper of Murder

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) — A suspended Pennsylvania state trooper faces life in prison after a jury convicted him in the bloody slashing death of a dentist who was divorcing the lawman's live-in girlfriend.

The jury found Trooper Kevin Foley, 43, guilty of a single count of first-degree murder, returning the verdict at 10 p.m. Wednesday after six hours of deliberations.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Gov. Rendell Hires Publicist

Despite the state hiring freeze, Governor Ed Rendell is paying an old political hand $100,000 to spearhead a publicity campaign for programs financed with federal economic stimulus money.

For more on this story, go to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Vito 'Too Drunk to Sign' Citation

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Police in Harrisburg say the acting chief of Pennsylvania's Labor and Industry Department was too drunk to sign a citation for public drunkenness. Forty-three-year-old Sandi Vito entered a rehabilitation facility last week, shortly after news stories were published about the incident at a downtown hotel.

For the full story, go to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Snyder Ouster is 'Nothing Personal'

New Seneca Gaming Board Chairman Norman "Cochise" Redeye says his request to have former chairman Barry Snyder Sr. removed from the board is nothing personal. He says the board is just trying to do what's best for the Seneca people.


Redeye says Snyder refused to be interviewed by auditors, who criticized Seneca Gaming's $2.1 million purchase of land in Lewiston for a championship golf course.

The auditors also looked at the disappearance of $250,000 in Seneca Gaming money that was to bring gaming Buffalo; and how a Seneca program had been used to make a few Senecas wealthy, including the woman who lives with Snyder's son.

Looking for 'Penny Pennzoil'

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Find a penny, pick it up. All day long, you'll have good luck. Or so goes the old saying.

Now, organizers planning a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the nation's oil industry, which began with Col. Edwin Drake's successful oil well on Aug. 27, 1859, in northwestern Pennsylvania are hoping for a little luck in finding the women who served as Pennzoil's "Penny Pennzoil" spokesmodels about 50 years ago.

For the full story, go to pennlive.com.

Lynch Promises No More Screw-Ups

Bills running back Marshawn Lynch is promising that he will no longer be making poor decisions that put him in compromising positions.

Lynch met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, on the heels of his most recent off the field transgression, after which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor firearms charge. He was sentenced to community service and probation.

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Lynch said his meeting with Goodell was productive, and the commissioner stressed that he won't tolerate anymore "screw-ups."

Flagship Niagara May Stop Sailing

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is considering closing six of 22 state-run historic sites or museums – including the Flagship Niagara in Erie.

Budget concerns are the reason for the talk of closings. Other sites being considered are the Fort Pitt Museum in Pittsburgh and the Brandywine Battlefield in Delaware County. As for the Niagara, the proposal is to stop sailing the ship, but keep it open as a museum.

The commission will hold community meetings near the affected sites for public input. No dates have been set yet.

Disaster Drill at SBU on March 25

An emergency drill will shut down the St. Bonaventure University campus for three hours on Wednesday, March 25.

From approximately 9 a.m. until noon, the campus community will go into lockdown as officers from local and state police agencies arrive on campus to deal with a “shooter scenario” disaster drill. University officials have been working on more detailed emergency planning and preparedness plans since the tragedy at Virginia Tech two years ago.

“We’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of man-hours to working on a plan,” said Rick Trietley, vice provost for student life and head of SBU’s Emergency Management Team, a group of key university officials assigned to make critical decisions at the onset of and during an emergency.

Two additional committees — Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response, made up of representatives from every office and department on campus — have been working for more than a year on preparing for a wide range of potential emergencies, from dangerous weather to pandemic disease.

“Ultimately, we felt we had to conduct an emergency drill to get a sense of how effective our planning has been,” Trietley said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the full cooperation of the campus community, as well as local law enforcement agencies.”

Emergency planners have conducted both in-person and Web-based training to prepare students, faculty and staff for the drill. An independent evaluation team will monitor the drill and share their findings with SBU emergency planners on Thursday, March 26.

Police officers will be stationed at all entrances to campus during the drill, making campus inaccessible to entry or exit until the drill is complete. (People with urgent need to get off or on campus during the drill will need to call campus security at 375-2525.)

“We recognize that this will be somewhat of an inconvenience to people both on campus and off, but this exercise is so important to conduct — for us internally, but just as much for emergency responders who might not be as familiar with our campus as we’d like them to be,” Trietley said.

Operation Avalanche:
'Outlaw' Motorcycle Gang Targeted

A Luzerne County corrections officer is one of more than 20 people arrested today for allegedly being part of a cocaine ring affiliated with the Outlaw biker gang.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says Ronald Molnar was at the center of a drug ring that distributed narcotics worth $3.6 million in the Wilkes-Barre area.

Corbett says the investigation started last year with corrections officer John Gonda and led to the arrests of 22 people.

Joseph Janick, president of the Wilkes-Barre chapter of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club, has also been charged.

For the full story, go to the attorney general's Web site.

Deer Havest Estimates Released

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that hunters harvested an estimated 335,850 deer in the state’s 2008-09 seasons. That’s up four percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 323,070.

Hunters took 122,410 antlered deer in the 2008-09 seasons, up from the previous license year’s harvest of 109,200. Also, hunters harvested 213,440 antlerless deer in 2008-09, which is almost the same as the 213,870 antlerless deer taken in 2007-08.

“This year’s antlered harvest is on average with the harvest for the last five years,” said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer and Elk Supervisor. “As for the antlerless deer harvest, about one quarter of all antlerless deer licenses issued were used to harvest an antlerless deer, which also is on average with the harvest success rate for the past five years.

“It is important to note that in 2008-09 there was a shorter antlerless deer season for firearms deer hunters in WMUs 2D, 2G, 3C and 4B. As a result, in three of the four WMUs, the antlerless harvest dropped. In WMU 2G, the antlerless harvest was similar to last year.”

Rosenberry noted that the agency has launched a study to evaluate the impact of this split-season.

Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2009 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April Board meeting. Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, said that in addition to harvest data, the staff will be looking at population trend data, deer reproduction data, forest regeneration data, and input from new Citizen Advisory Committees.

Harvest estimates for 2008-09 seasons are based on 127,351 usable harvest report cards (44,995 antlered; 82,356 antlerless) returned by hunters to the Commission and 26,057 deer (8,791 antlered; 17,266 antlerless) examined by Game Commission personnel in the field and at processors.

For an explanation of the agency’s deer harvest estimating procedure, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “White-Tailed Deer” icon in the center of the homepage, then scroll down and select “Deer Research” and click on “Reporting rate variability and precision of white-tailed deer harvest estimates in Pennsylvania.”

Yearling bucks comprised 52 percent of the 2008-09 antlered harvest. Since 2003, the percent of yearling bucks in the annual harvest has varied between 50 and 56 percent. Button bucks represented 22 percent of the antlerless harvest, and similar to 24 percent in 2007-08.

Total deer harvest estimates by WMU for 2008-09 are available HERE.

Video Poker Kingpin Charged Again

A convicted Pittsburgh-area video poker kingpin is facing more charges.

45-year-old John "Duffy" Conley is serving a federal sentence for violating probation, after being convicted of running a multi-million dollar video poker operation.

Conley is now charged with running another gambling organization involving bookmaking and poker machines. He's expected to plead guilty.

Conley spent nine years in prison after his 1995 conviction for running a video poker operation that made $15 million a year. He returned to prison in May 2006 for violating his probation on that conviction by running the sports betting and video poker enterprise detailed in the new charges. He faces up to five more years in prison upon conviction.

So, in five years can he start his business up again and help send kids to state universities?

Bat Condo Cleaners Knew It Was Guano Be Dirty Work

It was time for spring cleaning of a different sort in part of Lycoming County. College students Tuesday emptied a home for bats filled with guano, or bat droppings.

YMCA Swimmers Break Records

A record 21 Bradford swimmers qualified for the YMCA East-West State meet Saturday and Sunday and eight team records were broken during the District meet held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania last weekend.

Cadets – Zach Shine, Garett Coder, Jared Schwab, and Justin Aharrah
Preps – Kristin Franklin, Jessica Buchheit, Kyleigh Anderson, and Ann Confer
Juniors – Chelsea Kahle, Maggie Costa, Rachel Confer, Irene Rice, Matt Giudice, Patrick Hollenbeck, Andrew Scanlan, and Chris Eaton
Seniors – Amanda Slavinski, Adam Barnes, Matt Schwab, Josh Schwab, and Jeff Cattoni

New COBRA Options Available

Individuals who were recently laid off and need health insurance may be eligible for help paying for COBRA benefits, according to state Sen. Mike Stack.

The recently passed federal stimulus package may provide a 65 percent reduction on COBRA premiums for up to nine months to eligible enrollees. These enrollees would pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums and the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider or employer through a tax credit. Additionally, individuals who previously declined COBRA coverage because of the cost may re-enroll to see if they qualify to receive coverage at reduced rates.

“COBRA costs can often add to the stress of individuals who have lost their income and health benefits for themselves and their families,” said Stack, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. “Health coverage is still crucial to individuals and families alike, and now there’s a more affordable option, thanks to the stimulus package.”

Employers have until April 18 to send notices to assistance-eligible individuals who lost coverage from Sept. 1, 2008 through Feb. 16, 2009, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

“Unemployed individuals who think they qualify may contact their former employer to learn more about their options with COBRA,” Stack said. “For those who don’t qualify or are looking for more options, Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, offers affordable coverage for children in families of all income levels. The state’s adultBASIC program is also an option for uninsured adults who qualify.”

For more information about COBRA, call the U. S. Department of Labor at 215-861-5300 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 or visit the Web site www.dol.gov/cobra.

Feds to Seize Fumo's Mansion, Farm

Federal prosecutors intend to seize the real estate holdings of former state Senator Vincent Fumo following his conviction on corruption charges.

The government plans to seize a 27-room Philadelphia mansion, a 100-acre farm outside Harrisburg, properties at the Jersey shore and a home in Florida, according to court papers.

Fumo was found guilty Monday of 137 counts of fraud, conspiracy and other charges for bilking taxpayers and a nonprofit out of $3.5 million.

Walker Suing District Attorney

A former congressional candidate is suing Clearfield County District Attorney Bill Shaw Jr. in federal court, saying that Shaw sabotaged his campaign.

Derek Walker was one of nine candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional District seat last spring that was eventually won by Glenn Thompson.

Five days before the April 22 primary, Walker was arrested on burglary-related charges because, according to court records, he broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment early in the morning of August 25, 2007 and used his cell phone to get a video of her with another man.

Shaw says Walker's guilty plea speaks for itself, but Walker says he entered the plea because he feels the Clearfield County judicial system is biased against him.

For more on this story, go to the Centre Daily Times.

Woman Dies in Hanover, NY, Crash

Another fatal accident in Chautauqua County.

At 5:30 Tuesday evening, a vehicle driven by 65-year-old Maryann Hilburger of Silver Creek drove into the back of a vehicle driven by Kathy Stonefoot that was making a left turn into a business on Route 5 and 20 in Hanover.

Hilburger was pinned in her vehicle and had to be extricated by EMS personnel. She was flown by Starflight to Erie County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Stonefoot was transported to Lakeshore Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Tahara Discusses VNUS Closure

Robert W. Tahara, M.D., director of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s Peripheral Interventions and board-certified by the American Board of Surgery, gives a presentation Tuesday morning on vein and vascular procedures at the Bradford Club during the Bradford Hospital Foundation’s Community Relations Committee meeting.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Due to hereditary tendencies, and particularly lifestyle practices, vein and vascular problems have become a growing issue both regionally and throughout the entire U.S. population.

As local evidence, Robert W. Tahara, M.D., director of Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC)’s Peripheral Interventions, now averages 50 VNUS Closure procedures and another 15-20 peripheral arterial surgeries/interventions each month. His growing volume of vein procedures is considered among the highest percentile in the country for a single surgeon.

Dr. Tahara, who heads BRMC’s new Allegheny Vein & Vascular, gave a presentation Tuesday morning at the Bradford Club during the Bradford Hospital Foundation’s Community Relations Committee meeting on how widespread these vein and vascular problems are becoming. Vascular system problems are increasingly common and can often be serious, threatening either life or limb, the surgeon said. To meet the region’s growing need and in recognition of the high volume and quality of vascular work being performed by Dr. Tahara, BRMC named Allegheny Vein & Vascular its newest Center of Excellence last fall.

His office, located on the third floor of BRMC’s Outpatient Services Center, was always busy. But it has become even busier now that the region is aware of its existence and expertise, Dr. Tahara said.

Previously, the new technologies now available at Allegheny Vein & Vascular were only offered in larger urban settings. People no longer have to travel to distant facilities to have state-of-the-art procedures performed.

For further information about any surgical or diagnostic procedures Dr. Tahara performs, his office can be reached by calling 814-368-8490 or 1-866-959-VEIN. Online information can be found at www.brmc.com and also www.alleghenyvein.com.

North Tier League All-Stars Named

The North Tier League has announced its basketball all-stars. On the boys' team are Bryce Healy of Port Allegany, Kyle Doutt of Smethport, Wayne Taylor of Otto-Eldred; Jarek Holjencin and Danny Sullivan of Cameron County; and Joe Carson of Oswayo Valley. Coach of the year is Randy Cooney of Cameron County. Danny Sullivan was named player of the year.

On the girls first team are Kayla Bohn, Karli Duffee, and Jenna Matzinger of Coudersport; Breanna Dunsmore of Cameron County, Justine Wilkins of Otto-Eldred; and Whitney Crosby of Austin, who is also player of the year. Coudersport coach Brian Green is coach of the year.

Bill Would Recoup Money from AIG

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, joined his fellow freshman Republican colleagues in announcing legislation that directs the Secretary of the Treasury to recoup, within two weeks of passage, the $165 million in bonuses paid to American International Group (AIG) executives.

Thompson joined his colleagues at an afternoon press conference to express his outrage.

“As I stated yesterday, it is an utter disgrace that the leadership of AIG found it acceptable to pay their executives over $165 million in bonuses while the company is on taxpayer funded life-support. Not to mention, that eleven of these executives, who received over $1 million each, are no longer with the company,” said Thompson, a member of the House Small Business Committee.

“The Secretary of the Treasury, who severed as the chief architect of the AIG bailout last year, needs to come forward and be forthright with the American people about how this transpired. The American people deserve an honest explanation – it’s called accountability and transparency. ”

The Thompson backed legislation will do three things:

1. Direct the Department of the Treasury to implement a plan to recoup within the next two weeks the payment of AIG bonuses;

2. Require any future bonus payments, of any kind, to Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients, to be approved in advance by the Treasury Department;

3. Any future contractual obligations entered into by TARP fund recipients to make bonus payments of any kind must be approved in advance by the Treasury.

Thompson continued, “The simple fact that we had to introduce legislation in an attempt to halt this absurd policy distracts Congress from addressing the number one issue at hand, and that’s getting this economy back on track so the folks of the Fifth District and the country can get back to work.”

Listen to Congressman Thompson's comments HERE.

Happy Birthday to ...

Patrick Morrisroe



(Go see him in "Seussical the Musical" Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Bradford High)

UPB Pitcher to Play in France

By Greg Clark
Pitt-Bradford Sports Information


Ricky Riesenberger has bid adieu to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and will be playing baseball in France this summer.

Riesenberger, who hails from Atlanta (NY) and Wayland-Cohocton High School, graduated from Pitt-Bradford in December with a degree in business management.

In his senior season (2008) for the Panthers, Riesenberger pitched in 14 games and started nine of those. He compiled a 4-5 record with a 6.06 ERA, and hurled 52 innings with 51 strikeouts.

"Ricky (Riesenberger) was an outstanding pitcher for us the last two years," said Bret Butler, Pitt-Bradford head baseball coach. "Ricky was not only a very talented left-handed pitcher, he was also very intelligent on the mound. He is a very driven young man and will do very well professionally in Europe. I would not be surprised at all if he attracted the attention of a major league scout at some point. I believe if he were given a chance at the minor leagues, that he would certainly succeed. I hope that he gets that shot."

Last summer Riesenberger pitched in the Czech Republic with the American International Sports Tour. Riesenberger had an excellent outing versus the Czech National Team giving up just two earned runs and striking out five in eight innings.

After watching him pitch, the Clermont Arvernes asked Riesenberger if he would like to play a full season in France. So on Feb. 26 he flew from Rochester (NY) to Chicago to Paris. He then traveled to Clermont-Ferrand, which is a city of 140,000 in the Auvergne region of central France and home headquarters for the Michelin tire company.

"The team (Arvernes) paid for the airfare, housing and meals, and I will get paid monthly for playing baseball," Riesenberger said. "We will practice during the week and then play for five months on Saturdays and Sundays. This should be a good stepping stone to the pros. I imagine there are pro scouts in France. This is the highest league in Europe and equivalent to Class A clubs over in the U.S."

When asked if he would have any trouble communicating with his coaches and teammates, Riesenberger replied, "I took four years of French in high school. We'll see."

Riesenberger said his baseball experience at Pitt-Bradford was invaluable.

"Coach is always putting out a good word for you," Riesenberger said of Bret Butler, Pitt-Bradford head baseball coach. "I got stronger and became a better pitcher here."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BRMC Installs New MRI

A towering crane hauls the new Open-Bore MAGNETOM Espree MRI unit to its second-floor location at Bradford Regional Medical Center on Tuesday.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Gleasons Start UPB Scholarship

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford


Colleen Gleason, who supervises the mail center at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, her husband, James, and their families have a history of creating scholarships to help students pay for their education.

“We just want to help kids,” James Gleason said. “It’s as simple as that. We enjoy it.”

Their latest effort to help young people was to establish the Stanley, Bettie and Robert Gleason Scholarship with a gift of $10,000 to the university. In addition to the Gleasons, the scholarship was created by Barbara and Duane Bartlebaugh, James Gleasons’ sister and brother-in-law; John and Jeanie Gleason, his brother and sister-in-law; and Suzanne Gleason, his sister-in-law.

The scholarship, which memorializes their parents and brother, will help promising and deserving students who are enrolled or plan to enroll at Pitt-Bradford.

“My parents thought it was very important to get a college education,” James Gleason said. “By creating this scholarship, we’re paying tribute to their memory, and to the memory of my brother, and also helping young people.”

Stanley Gleason founded S.M. Gleason Co. general contractors and worked there for almost 50 years. He was also an Air Force pilot during World War II. He died in November 2006.

His wife, Bettie, was a stay-at-home-mom, raising the couple’s four children. She loved race horses and enjoyed playing bridge. She died in March 2000.

Their son Robert worked with his father, first as a bricklayer and later helping him bid construction projects. He worked in the family business for almost 40 years before he died in May 2008.

The Gleason family’s $10,000 gift will be matched by the Agnes and Lyle Lewis Thomas Scholarship Challenge, which doubles their contribution. The challenge matches any gift of at least $5,000 given to create a new or add to an existing scholarship.

“It makes you feel really good that you can help students with their college expenses,” Colleen Gleason said, “particularly in these tough economic times.”

Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, said, “Over the years, the Gleason family has been very generous in helping students on our campus pay for their college expenses. I know the students are very grateful to them, and so am I.”

As scholarship donors, the Gleasons have found out first-hand how their gift helps students. Each year, during the annual Donor Scholarship Luncheon, they meet the students who receive their scholarships.

“We love meeting the kids; it’s cool,” James Gleason said. “They’re very appreciative, and that makes us feel really good.”

The students also send them thank-you notes, which the Gleasons enjoy reading.

In her thank-you note, Paige Rockaway, a business management major from Clarks Summit, wrote, “This scholarship has definitely helped alleviate my financial burden. I honestly can’t thank you enough.”

Rockaway received the Tom and Dusty Gray Scholarship, which was created in 2002 by Colleen Gleason and her siblings, Sheila Burton and Shawn Gray. They established the scholarship to memorialize their parents, Tom and Dusty Gray; their brothers, Tim Gray and Shane Gray; and their niece, Sarah Burton.

The scholarship helps promising and deserving students with first preference given to the same student each year as long as he or she maintains good academic standing and continues to be financially eligible.

In 2003, Colleen Gleason’s sister and brother-in-law, Sheila and Gregory Burton, established the Sarah Ann Burton Memorial Scholarship to memorialize their 12-year-old daughter.

First preference for that scholarship is given to students from Bradford Area High School and is given to the same student each year until he or she completes a degree, maintains good academic standing and is financially eligible.

For more information on the Agnes and Lyle Lewis Thomas Scholarship Challenge, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 814-362-5091. To learn more about donor scholarships, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 814-362-7550.

Three Deer Poaching Cases

TWELVE GUILTY OF ILLEGAL DEER IN ELK COUNTY

JERSEY SHORE, Lycoming County – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that 12 individuals recently were found guilty or pled guilty to illegally killing or possessing eight deer in Elk County. The charges were heard by District Judge George A. King, of Johnsonburg, Elk County.

On Dec. 9, the investigation began when Elk County Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Richard Bodenhorn encountered two hunters from New England hiding in the woods with two untagged antlerless deer. The hunters also did not have valid antlerless license for these deer.

An investigation led to a camp in Hallton, Elk County, where 10 other hunters were discovered with three more illegal deer at the camp, and, ultimately, three additional illegal deer in a walk-in cooler in Ridgway. Evidence and admissions indicate that all of the deer had been killed in Elk County in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 2F, by various members of the hunting party while none of them had valid antlerless deer licenses for that WMU. Two of the dead deer were adult bucks with the antlers broken off.

Philip R. Poirier II, of East Corinth, Vermont, and Shaun J. O’Keefe, of Lyme, New Hampshire, were both found guilty of three counts and ordered to pay fines and cost of $1,272. Philip R. Poirier Sr. and David A. Boyce, both of Wells River, Vermont, and David A. Poisson, of Claremont, New Hampshire, were each found guilty of two counts and ordered to pay fines and cost of $962. Five other men were all found guilty of one count and ordered to pay fines and costs of $452. These men are: Richard H. Johnson, of Ridgway, Pennsylvania; Mark I. Smith, of White River Junction, Vermont; Andrew C. Carter, of West Lebanon, New Hampshire; Michael P. Friend, of Claremont, New Hampshire; and Zachary R. Kosakowski, of South Ryegate, Vermont.

One man, David H. Chase of Claremont, New Hampshire, previously pled guilty to one count and paid a fine and costs of $352. A 16-year-old juvenile, of East Corinth, Vermont, was found not guilty in the court proceedings.

Each of those convicted, or having pled guilty, also face revocation of their Pennsylvania hunting and trapping privileges.

WCO Bodenhorn was assisted by Cameron County WCO Wayne Hunt, Jefferson County WCO Roger Hartless, Clarion/Jefferson Counties Land Management Group Supervisor George Miller, and Elk County Deputy WCOs Ron Beeler and Andy Brigger.

NONRESIDENTS CITED FOR DEER POACHING IN ELK COUNTY

An investigation that began by looking into a concerned citizen’s complaint about illegal baiting resulted in three Massachusetts residents being charged for two illegally killed antlerless deer in Elk County, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.

Elk County WCO Doty McDowell, on Oct. 7, was investigating a baited tree-stand in Jones Township, when he encountered two individuals who were staying at a local camp with others from Massachusetts.

“While it soon became clear that these two had no part in the baiting, neither had identification on them, as required by law, so we proceeded back to camp so they could obtain their identification,” WCO McDowell said. “On the way back, one of the men offhandedly mentioned a deer that had been killed and was at camp. When I began to ask about the deer, the individual who first mentioned it refused to provide more specific information.

“Upon arriving at camp, both provided identification and the two claimed they had nothing to do with the deer that had been taken. However, they told me it was in the shed and that it was taken by another in their party.”

At this point, WCO McDowell obtained description of the vehicle that the other individual was in, and contacted neighboring Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn and asked him to patrol the area to look for vehicle.

In a short time, WCO Bodenhorn found the vehicle, and escorted its occupants back to the camp. As the vehicle approached the camp, WCO McDowell noticed that the truck drove past the camp and parked in the dark. As the investigation continued, Kaleb Ryan Severance, 25, of Worchester, Massachusetts, admitted he shot an antlerless deer, and then the landowner signed a consent to search the shed.

“Upon searching the shed, we found the head and hide of the deer,” WCO McDowell said. “The individuals then went into camp and removed meat from freezer and surrendered it to us.

“Another defendant, Michael Christopher Siemaszko, 24, of Millbury, admitted to illegally possessing an antlerless deer that was in the bed of the truck, which had previously been hidden in the woods.

Both deer were seized, and WCO Bodenhorn donated them to needy families in the Ridgway area.

On Oct. 15, WCO McDowell filed charged in the office of District Judge Tony King, of Johnsonburg, Elk County, against the three for unlawfully taking or possessing of wildlife: Kaleb Severance was charged for the first deer in shed, Michael Siemaszko was charged for second deer in truck; and Robert Joseph Siemaszko, 51, of Worcester, was charged for transporting Kaleb Severance’s illegally killed deer.

Kaleb Siemaszkos pled guilty on Oct. 22, and Robert Siemaszkos pled guilty on Oct. 23, and both were ordered to pay fines of $300 each, plus court costs. The case against Severance remains open at this time.

Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: Since Pennsylvania is not part of the Wildlife Violator Compact, each of these nonresidents will be able to continue to lawfully hunt in other states. If Pennsylvania were part of the Wildlife Violator Compact, which would take an act of the General Assembly, these convictions would be reported to the other 31 states, as of January, enrolled in the Compact, and they would be prohibited from hunting in those states as well for their poaching activities here.


YORK COUNTY DUO GUILTY OF POACHING IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY

Two York County residents recently pled guilty to illegally killing four deer and one wild turkey in Clearfield County, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.

Jeffrey Alan Smith, 48, of Hanover, and Keith Eugene Myers, 45, of York, pled guilty before District Judge Michael Rudella, of Kylerstown, to four counts each of illegally killing or possessing deer and one count each of illegally killing or possessing a wild turkey. Judge Rudella sentenced each to pay fines of $1,300 ($300 for each deer and $100 for the turkey).

Smith and Myers also face having their hunting and furtaking privileges revoked.

According to Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David Stewart, of Clearfield County, on Oct. 21, he and Deputy WCO Terry Sheetz witnessed Myers exit his camp and move across a field in Girard Towship. Myers was not wearing any orange, but was carrying a rifle.

“We saw Myers enter an adjacent field and, minutes later, two shots rang out in rapid succession,” WCO Stewart said. “Deputy WCO Sheetz and I made our way toward the location of the gunshots and, from inside the treeline, observed Myers and Smith go into the camp to retrieve a flashlight, and then proceed back into the field to where two deer were laying.

“As the two defendants began dragging the untagged deer back to the camp, Deputy WCO Sheetz and I stopped them.”

During the investigation, the defendants produced two additional skinned and partially butchered deer that were in a refrigerator at camp, along with parts of a freshly-killed wild turkey. The defendants admitted that they had killed these two deer and turkey the previous day, Oct. 20. Turkey season was closed on Oct. 20. Also, Oct. 20 and 21 were part of the overlap for archery and muzzleloader deer seasons, during which the use of a rifle is not permitted.

Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: On March 18, the House Game and Fisheries Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 97, which would increase penalties for a variety of poaching-related offenses. HB 97 is sponsored by Rep. Ed Staback (D-60), who chairs the House Game and Fisheries Committee.