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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fire Destroys Building, Equipment
Owned by Minard Run Oil Co.

A fire Saturday morning destroyed a building, trucks and equipment owned by Minard Oil Company Wells Services Division.

A passerby reported the fire at 4:08 a.m. Saturday near the intersection of Big Shanty and Taintor roads.

The contents of the building included three new water hauling trucks, a pickup truck, tools and oil field equipment. The building also housed an office.

Several explosions were caused by the cutting torch tanks and 55-gallon drums of products being stored on the property.

No one was injured. About 45 firefighters from Lafayette Township, Lewis Run, Bradford Township and Hilltop battled the blaze.

A state police fire marshal was called to the scene. Fire crews were called back to the scene late Saturday night for a re-kindle.

Rendell Announces Formation of
ARRA Oversight Panel

Governor Ed Rendell has announced a new panel to oversee use of federal stimulus money in Pennsylvania.

Rendell says creation of the Pennsylvania Stimulus Oversight Commission is intended to ensure that stimulus money is spent "wisely, transparently and in a manner that assures accountability."

The panel will include members of all four legislative caucuses, the congressional delegation, representatives of the AFL-CIO, United Way and Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.

On Tuesday, Rendell will announce the state's chief accountability officer for federal stimulus funds, then the panel will hold its first meeting in Harrisburg.

Senate and House Republicans had planned to introduce resolutions calling for oversight of the stimulus money. Previously, Rendell had said that wouldn't be necessary because the federal government, not the state, has discretion over how the money is spent.

Man Facing Numerous Charges

A Pittsfield man is facing several charges after he allegedly fought with his girlfriend and police Thursday night.

Randy Hildum allegedly grabbed, punched and threatened to kill Jamie Bean. He also knocked her to the ground while her children were present. After she got away, Hilldum threw a large stone through the windshield of Bean's vehicle then drove it through the yard, hitting trees, rocks and stumps.

He drove the vehicle onto Route 6, then onto Barton Run Road, where police stopped him. He then became combative with the troopers and was arrested.

Hildum is charged with assault, terroristic threats, resisting arrest and a number of other offenses.

Hungry Robbers in Buffalo

An apparently hungry 19-year-old and two juveniles are facing charges after trying to steal a sandwich from a man on a Buffalo street Friday morning.

The victim says he was walking from Jim's Steakout when three people approached him and tried to take his submarine sandwich.

19-year-old Eric Goldzweig and the two juveniles were charged with robbery and obstructing governmental administration after a police officer spotted them.

Man Takes Police on Chase

A Portville man took police and sheriff's deputies on a chase last night.

Employees of Country Fair on East State Street in Olean say 26-year-old Joshua Edwards was causing problems so they called police. When sheriff's deputies arrived Edwards was leaving in a vehicle. When they attempted to stop him, he fled through the City of Olean, then into the Town of Olean.

Edwards eventually lost control of the vehicle on West Windfall Road and traveled into a field. He fled on foot but was caught by police without further incident.

He's facing numerous charges by the sheriff's department and City of Olean police.

Sex Offender Sentenced

An HIV positive sex offender charged with assaulting two boys has been sentenced to 30 months to six years in state prison.

Louis Robert Flick of Warren, who's currently serving another sentence at the State Correctional Institute in Houtzdale, was arrested in October of 2008 after admitting to State Police investigators that he sexually assaulted two boys under the age of 13 between February and November 1999.

Flick, who says he was sexually assaulted in the past, addressed the court prior to his sentencing and said he feels sorry for the victims because they're going to the same mental health clinic he went to and it didn't help him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the YMCA

Members of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Sport and Recreation Management Club are teaming up with the Bradford Family YMCA to offer an Easter Egg-Stravaganza Saturday, April 4.

The sleepover event will follow the YMCA’s regular Saturday Family Night, which will feature gym time with the blow-up slider, swimming and pictures with the Easter bunny. Family night is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free for YMCA members and $15 for non-member families.

Following Family Night, children in kindergarten through fifth grade can stay over for a sleepover that includes snacks, swimming and Easter games and crafts such as coloring eggs, egg relays and making Easter flowers. The cost is $10 for YMCA members, $22 for non-members.

The Sport and Recreation Club members have planned the event and will provide supervision.

“We wanted to get the club involved in the community and gain some event-planning experience,” said Kim Rublee, president of the Sport and Recreation Club.

For more information, or to make a reservation by April 2, call the YMCA at (814)368-6101.

Man Killed After Shooting at Police

State police shot and killed a man who fired at them while they were helping mental health case workers in Mercer County.

For the story, go to WTAE-TV.

Cow Dies on I-80

A cow died when two trucks hit it this morning on Interstate 80 in Centre County near Howard.

The cow was hit at about 3:30 a.m. Neither trucker was hurt, but both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Police don't know who owned the cow, or how it got onto I-80.

Police Looking for Robbery Suspect

Police are searching for man who tried robbing a pharmacy of hydrocodone Thursday night.

They say a man walked into the CVS at the intersection of Market Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Warren at about 7:15 and passed a pharmacist a note saying he had a gun.

The suspect left before the pharmacist handed over the pills.

The suspect is described as a white man in his mid- to late-20s. He is about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thick build, and was clean-shaven.

'Dumbest Criminal in Pennsylvania'

A retired police chief says he was robbed by "probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania."

It happened this morning at a police officers' convention, where 300 narcotics officers from Pennsylvania and Ohio were gathered.

John Comparetto says as he came out of a stall in the men's room, a man was pointing a gun in his face and demanding his money.

Comparetto gave up his money and cell phone. But when the man ran away, Comparetto and some colleagues chased him.

19-year-old Jerome Marquis Blanchett of Harrisburg was arrested as he was trying to leave in a taxi.

For more, go to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Possible Change in NY Drug Laws

New York's drug laws may change in an effort to send fewer people to prison.

Lawmakers say the changes include sending more nonviolent drug offenders to addiction treatment or putting them on probation. They would also eliminate minimum sentences for lesser felonies.

Senate Republicans are warning that watering down the laws will protect drug dealers and release criminals into the community

Man Accused of Assaulting Troopers

A Sugar Grove man is in jail for allegedly assaulting two state troopers while he was on his way to the hospital for an evaluation.

Police say Paul Kocur asked to be taken to the hospital to prevent him from hurting people he said were harassing him over a CB radio.

While at the hospital, Kocur allegedly tried assaulting an ER doctor but then assaulted one of the troopers who was trying to restrain him. He allegedly spit at the other trooper.

He's charged with aggravated assault. His bail is set at $25,000.

Students Helping Students

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford writing students are helping area elementary school students prepare for a regional reading competition April 2 at Floyd C. Fretz Middle School.

The students are members of Dr. Nancy McCabe’s Writing for Children class. McCabe, associate professor of writing, is the director of the Pitt-Bradford writing program.

“The reading competition is a great event that really gets kids enthusiastic about reading,” McCabe said. “And helping out was a way for my Writing for Children students to familiarize themselves with books for a middle-school audience and gauge what that audience values in its literature.”

For the reading competition, teams made up of 8 to 10 students read 40 books, then compete against other teams in a quiz bowl-style trivia competition, explained Melissa Cornelius, librarian and reading competition coordinator at School Street Elementary School. Each team member is responsible for the contents of at least four or five books, about which they are expected to be able to answer questions.

McCabe and each of her students also read at least one book from the list, then met with the elementary school students who had read the book to help prepare them for the competition, reviewing the books and practicing sample questions.

Nick Jones, a sophomore writing major from Wynnewood, said that by hearing the children’s reactions to the books, he is learning what works and doesn’t work in children’s writing.

“It’s a lot different writing for children,” he said. “You have to put yourself in the mindset of a kid. It’s harder.”

Having the Pitt-Bradford students help prepare the fourth- and fifth-graders was a huge help to Cornelius, she said. “We had a review session about every single book this time because of the Pitt-Bradford students.”

Pictured, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford writing major Nick Jones helping School Street Elementary School fifth grader Josiah Garges prepare for the upcoming regional reading competition. The two discussed “Murder in the Middle Pasture,” which is part of the “Hank the Cowdog” series for children. At left, writing student Sarah Dorben asks girls questions about “Tom’s Midnight Garden.”
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Another Fumo-Related Target?

Sources familiar with the Fumo case say that Michael Palermo, 68, who was given a lucrative Senate contract by Fumo, may have been sent a "target letter" by the feds.

For the full story, go to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Cop Delays NFL Player Going to
See Dying Mother-in-Law

DALLAS - A police officer was placed on administrative leave yesterday over a traffic stop involving former Philadelphia Eagle Ryan Moats, whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law was dying inside the building.

For the full story, go to

Anderson Search Postponed

The search for a Jamestown mother who has been missing since late October has been postponed because of possible inclement weather.

Texas EquuSearch had planned to search for 36-year-old Corrie Anderson next weekend. They'll announce a new search date on Monday.

Anderson's family reported her missing on October 29 after she didn't pick her son up from school.

For more information, visit

Jury Finds Olean Man Guilty

A jury has found an Olean man guilty of drug possession following a four-day trial in Cattaraugus County Court.

46-year-old Elliott James had crack cocaine on February 25, 2008, on Bishop Street in Olean and intended to sell it.

He's already serving an eight-year prison sentence for drug possession, so when he's sentenced on July 20 it will be as a second felony offender.

District Attorney Ed Sharkey tried the case and credited the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and a confidential informant for the successful prosecution.

Austism Disorder Workshop at SBU

Sheila Wagner, M.E.D., an internationally renowned lecturer, addressed nearly 100 people Thursday afternoon in the first of two workshops to be held at St. Bonaventure University on autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. Wagner discussed inclusion, behavioral and social best practices interventions in dealing with children with autism spectrum disorders.

Representatives from six school districts, several local agencies, parents with children on the autism spectrum, SBU faculty and students attended the luncheon presentation in the San Damiano Room of Francis Hall.

Participants also had access to a variety of information resource tables representing: The Autism Society of WNY, BOCES, Directions in Independent Living, Merrill Lynch, The ReHabilitation Center, Summit Educational Resources, and VESID.

Wagner is the assistant director at Atlanta’s Emory Autism Center and the program coordinator for the MONARCH School Age Program at the center, which is dedicated to providing information and resources to families and school systems throughout Georgia for the education of K-12 students with autism.

Wagner has more than 20 years’ experience in working with autism spectrum disorders as a teacher, consultant and evaluator. Wagner is also the author of many books that focus on inclusive programming for students with autism. Her first book concentrated on elementary students and was recognized with the ASA Literary Award in 2000.

Summit Education Resources will provide additional autism training from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, in Dresser Auditorium of the Murphy Professional Building.

Titled “Supporting Students with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism in Educational Settings,” the workshop features a keynote talk focused on fostering independence, followed by a session choice: “Asperger’s and Social Strategy Development” or “Early Intervention and Applied Behavioral Analysis.”

The cost for the training is $10 for professionals, $5 for parents and students. Checks should be payable to St. Bonaventure University, and sent in care of: Dr. Barbara Trolley, St. Bonaventure University, School of Education, St Bonaventure, NY 14778. Include the attendees’ names and contact information.

The registration deadline is Thursday, April 16; space is limited. Questions may be directed to Trolley at or 375-2537.

These workshops have been made possible by a Children’s Guild Foundation grant, and a St. Bonaventure University Keenan grant.

Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure University

Addressing Misuse of Non-Profits

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) and Senator Elder Vogel (R-47) today announced their intention to introduce a new Senate rule designed to address the potential abuse of non-profit organizations highlighted in this week’s grand jury presentment.

The presentment alleged that former Representative Mike Veon created a non-profit organization, the Beaver Initiative for Growth (BIG), for his personal and political benefit, and that he funneled approximately $4.7 million of taxpayer money through BIG between 2004 and 2006. Some of that money was allegedly used to pay bonuses for campaign work.

"We must do everything we can to prevent the kind of wrongdoing alleged by the grand jury," said Senator Pileggi. "In light of Wednesday’s announcement by the Attorney General, it is clear that a Senate rule should be in place."

"This last election, my constituents voted for the restoration of character and integrity in the halls of our State Capitol," said Senator Vogel. "This new rule will be yet another step forward in changing the culture of Harrisburg."

The new rule will create restrictions relating to members and employees of the Senate establishing, incorporating or directing the operation of a nonprofit organization or other entity whose primary purpose is to receive funds from the Commonwealth.

Senators Pileggi and Vogel said they expect to introduce the measure in early April.

Coach Jeff Puglio on Sports Forum

New Bradford Owls Varsity Football Coach Jeff Puglio was Frank Williams' guest on Friday's Sports Forum. You can listen to the show HERE.

Update on Two Local Marines

Marine Corps Cpl. Thomas A. Keltz and Marine Corps Pvt. Andrew R. Riehle are currently deployed with fellow Marines and sailors of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), Camp Lejeune, N. C., assigned as the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan (SPMAGTF-A), Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Keltz is the son of Dawn M. Luzzi of Bradford, Pa. and Richard C. Keltz of Kane, Pa. He is a 2005 graduate of Bradford Area High School. Riehle is a 2005 graduate of Otto-Eldred High School, Duke Center, Pa.,

The Marines recently graduated 150 Afghan national policemen from an eight-week training program that focuses on security, weapons handling, marksmanship, advanced first aid, non-lethal weapons techniques and human rights.

With the Afghan national police (ANP) in the lead, Marines conducted a search of a high-interest village resulting in the discovery of 150 pounds of explosive materials, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive device materials. The Marines also found evidence leading to the identification of suspected insurgents. The Biometric Automated Toolset or BATS system was used to record fingerprints, photographs, background information and iris scans to be added to an international database accessible by any federal agency for future identification of individuals.

A select group of all-female Marines within the SPMAGTF-A are trained specifically to interact with the Afghan female population, a task that is culturally unacceptable for male Marines to perform in the Islamic Republic. The female Marines deliberately donned brightly colored head and neck scarves, respecting the cultural beliefs of the community and enabling them to perform valuable community relations while gathering intellegence during Operation Pathfinder.

Operation Pathfinder required Marines to partner with ANP to target suspected insurgent cells and perform security patrols in southern Afghanistan along Route 515. The Marines discovered numerous caches containing more than 200 pounds of explosives and weapons and detained 11 suspected insurgents.

SPMAGTF-A's mission is to conduct counterinsurgency operations with an emphasis on training and mentoring Afghan national police.

Bradford Bypass Work Update

One-lane traffic is returning to the Route 219 Bradford Bypass next week.

Beginning next Friday, Route 219 North will be restricted to one lane from the Forman Street on-ramp to Hillside Drive in New York.

As always, all work depends on the weather.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bona Women Still Dancing!
Sunday's Game at the RC

By Patrick Pierson
Sports Information Director

MADISON, Wis. — For the second straight game the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team overcame at 14-point halftime deficit with a nearly perfect second half, this time stunning Big Ten Conference foe Wisconsin 56-51 on the road Wednesday night in the third round of the WNIT at the Kohl Center.

With the win, St. Bonaventure moves into the quarterfinal round of the WNIT to face Big East member South Florida (24-10), who defeated Mississippi, 74-57, earlier in the evening. The game will be played at the Reilly Center on Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m.

“This is group is really something,” said an emotional head coach Jim Crowley. “We were really frustrated with our first half performance because we played like a team I’ve never seen before. That being said, I’ve learned to never doubt this group because they have more fight and heart than any team I’ve ever coached.”

The Brown and White continue to add to their program record win total and now stand at 23-10 on the season heading into Sunday’s Elite Eight round. St. Bonaventure’s 23 wins are now tied for the fourth-best total by either a women’s or men’s team in St. Bonaventure history. The Bonnies are also the final A-10 basketball program still alive on either the men’s or women’s side.

Three players finished in double figurers for the Brown and White, but it was the Bona bench that made the difference during the second half comeback. The freshmen trio of Jessica Jenkins (Marion, Ohio/Marion Harding), Armelia Horton (Harlem, N.Y./Murry Bergtraum) and Megan Van Tatenhove (Sheboygan Falls, Wis./Oostburg) combined to score 19 of their 23 points off the bench in the game over the final 20 minutes. For the game, the Bona bench out-scored Wisconsin’s subs, 26-2.

“The bench was tremendous tonight and was the catalyst during the last big run,” Crowley said. “They gave us so much energy when we needed it and that’s something they’ve done all season long.”

Junior forward Dana Mitchell (Fairless Hills, Pa./Pennsbury) finished with team-best 12 points while adding eight rebounds, but it was the play of senior Ashley Edwards (Philadelphia, Pa./Central) combined with Mitchell’s late surge that helped the Bonnies produce a 40-30 edge on the glass. Edwards gathered a team-high nine rebounds and scored six points, highlighted by a jumper with 6:51 remaining that broke a 44-44 tie and gave the Bonnies their first lead of the game.

“Ashley was absolutely tremendous. She defended so hard and came up with rebounds that limited them to just one shot. I feel great for her and this senior class.”

It was a tale of two halves for St. Bonaventure, as the opening 20 minutes were a struggle for the Bonnies on both ends of the court. Wisconsin took full advantage of the Brown and White’s deficiencies, dealing the visitors their second 14-point halftime deficit, 32-18, in as many games.

Trailing 35-20 early in the second half, the Bonnies embarked on a 10-0 run that cut the deficit to five, 35-30, by the first media timeout. Katelyn Murray (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity) ignited the spurt with her 194th career three-pointer, while Jenkins capped things with her first of three long range field goals during the half with 16:16 remaining.

Wisconsin built its lead back up to double-digits, 44-34, by the 11:20 mark, but the Bonnies refused to away as the Bona bench came to the rescue. Horton was the catalyst of the game-changing 12-0 run, scoring the opening six points vault the Brown and White from 10 down to up two, at 46-44. Jenkins knotted the game at 44-44 with another three-pointer, while Ashley Edwards buried a jumper from the left baseline to give the Brown and White their first lead of the game.

The Badgers tied the game at 46-46 with a pair of free throws at the 5:52 mark, but, again, it was Jenkins hitting from long range to make it 49-46 giving the edge back to the Bonnies for the final time.

Mitchell made it a two-possession game on a pair of occasions over the final four minutes with the last coming with 1:49 to play, at 53-49. Wisconsin cut it to a two-point game, 53-51, but failed to score over the final 1:26 as St. Bonaventure improved to 21-0 when leading with two minutes remaining.

For the game, St. Bonaventure shot just 40 percent (21-53), but finished with a 54 percent (13-24) clip in the second half. On the flipside, Wisconsin shot a staggering 62 percent (13-21) in the opening 20 minutes, but just 21 percent (6-29) in the second half.

The Bonnies magical WNIT run has been fueled by lockdown defense in the second half of both of their wins over West Virginia and Wisconsin. Over those two games, St. Bonaventure has given up a combined 40 points, eight field goals and has held its two opponents to a 16 percent (8-50) shooting clip in the second half.

Murray finished in double figures for the 51st time in her illustrious career with 10 points, while Jenkins also had 10 points that all came in the second half. Horton added eight points, as 10 different players played at least 13 minutes.

The combo of Teah Gant and Tara Steinbauer scored 35 of Wisconsin’s (19-15) 51 points. Gant led all scorers with 20 points.

Attitude and the Agburbs

WESB/WBRR News Director

People with a passion and love for their community can make a difference.

That was one of the messages Jack Schultz sent to a packed Rice Auditorium Thursday night.

Schultz is the author of “Boomtown USA: The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success In Small Towns." He's also CEO of the Boomtown Institute (Agracel Inc.), an industrial development firm specializing in the agurban market. (Agurban? We'll get to that.)

When listing his keys to success he gave examples of how several communities across the country lifted themselves up by making the right choices.

Having the right attitude is a major part of being successful. And it's not just the attitude of the people trying to make the changes that's important.

"Are you willing to back visionary people who are trying to take your community to a higher level … to create new opportunities for your kids and grandkids?" he asked. "Or are you going to listen to those curmudgeons – and every town's got 'em – those curmudgeons … that are saying 'Oh we could never do something like that here. That would never work in this town. That's too expensive for us to try?'"

"Unless you're willing to take those chances," he said, "I'm telling you right here and right now that you don't have a chance in the world to create those opportunities for your kids and your grandkids so they're going to want to come back home to Bradford."

Schultz also talked about a "hybrid version" of the curmudgeon. CAVE people.

A man he was speaking with while doing research in Missouri explained that CAVE people are very educated, articulate and well-read.

They are: Citizens Against Virtually Everything.

The man told him, "You have got to watch the CAVE people. You cannot let them take control of your community."

Aside from attitude, one of the most important keys to success, he said, is entrepreneurship – especially within the "Millennial" population – 12 to 27 year olds.

He said they will be the most entrepreneurial generation in history.

Two prime examples he pointed out were Mark Zuckerburg, the creator of Facebook, and Evan Williams who created Blogger and Twitter.

On a related note, the state Legislature is working on a package of bills named "YouLead" that aims to get the millennial generation involved in the policy making arena, support their entrepreneurial spirit and keep them from moving out of Pennsylvania after they graduate from college.

As for the future of Bradford, Schultz said the city has potential and he sees a lot of positives. Among those are the trails system, manufacturing and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Back to agurban. Schultz coined the term for the small towns in rural America with great opportunities for success with business, jobs and lifestyles. He says as people concentrate on quality of life issues, along with business, the next great population shift will be from the suburbs to the agburbs.

April's LiveLines

I was looking at my April LiveLine calendar and I realized I have an interesting month coming up.

First, it's our second annual series on child abuse (and taking a proactive approach to preventing it). Thank you, Tina Martin!

The Pitt Improvers will be on to talk about an upcoming show. Dr. Bob Tahara and Nancy Chesnut are making return visits. Other guests include State Sen. Mike Stack and best-selling author Steve Martini.

See? Pretty good month so far, isn't it?

Veon Says He's Innocent

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A once-powerful former Democratic state lawmaker and a staff aide said Thursday they are innocent of newly filed corruption charges that they siphoned millions of dollars in state grants from a nonprofit organization for personal benefit.

For the full story, go to

Economic Potential is
'Beyond Imagination'

"The economic potential for the state of Pennsylvania is beyond imagination," Penn State geosciences professor Terry Engelder said Tuesday during the Lycoming County Conservation District's annual awards banquet.

For the full story, go to the Sun Gazette.

Legal Woes for Walker Attorney

The lawyer representing former Congressional candidate Derek Walker has some legal problems of his own.

For the story, go to The (Clearfield) Progress.

'England' Dan Seals Has Died

Dan Seals -- England Dan in the pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley -- has died of complications from cancer. He was 61.

For the full story, go to The Dallas Morning News.

Disaster Drill Labeled a Success

By Tom Missel
Director of Media Relations/Marketing

Wednesday’s St. Bonaventure University campus disaster drill was dissected for two hours Thursday morning, and while some minor problems were discussed, all parties directly involved agreed on one point: The drill was a resounding success.

“As I’ve talked about this plan with my peers in higher education, I think we’ve set the bar pretty high here,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.

Police agencies applauded the exhaustive nature in which the university planned for the drill.

“I’ve overseen a number of drills like this, and I just have to say the level of detail and cooperation shown here was outstanding,” said Sgt. Michael Dembrow of the New York State Police.

Police officials, emergency responders and members of the university’s emergency planning groups attended Thursday’s open forum, which evaluated the drill from its onset at 8:30 Wednesday morning. Lessons learned from the drill will be incorporated into future emergency planning.

In a nutshell, the scenario played out as follows:

A female student approached the main desk at Friedsam Library and reported having just been attacked by a young man wearing a hooded sweatshirt just after 8:30 a.m. A library staffer called Safety and Security to report the incident. Ten minutes later, a male student reported being injured after being attacked in a stairwell in Plassmann Hall by a man fitting the same description.

Security alerted the Office of Communications, which issued the first e2campus text alert ordering a lockdown at 9:06. That was quickly followed by Cisco phone system notification updating the information, with indications that a gun had been spotted by a faculty member at just after 9 a.m. The Cisco alert was followed soon after by e-mail, Web page and additional text alerts to the emergency in progress.

A faculty member in Plassmann 211 then called security about 9:40 reporting that a man with a gun had entered Room 210 and began screaming. Dr. Leigh Simone’s 8:30 Spanish class had been taken hostage by the gunman.

Several more police officers arrived on campus shortly thereafter. By this time, entrances to campus had already been closed by police.

Police began hostage negotiations at 10:20 after the gunman’s ex-girlfriend led police to determine the likely identity of the suspect. Members of the university’s Emergency Management and Residence Life teams began assisting police officials with their investigation of the suspect. The suspect’s room was searched and roommate interviewed about 10:45.

Further negotiations led the suspect to release the student hostages at 11:15 a.m., but the instructor was not released. Upon hearing shots around 11:30 a.m., police entered the classroom and seriously wounded the shooter. The professor had suffered a gunshot wound to her shoulder, inflicted by the suspect, and was led away by police after the suspect had been disabled.

At 11:46 a.m., the campus community was alerted via text message, e-mail and Cisco phone system that the drill had ended.

Despite the inconvenience of locking down campus for three hours, Student Government Association vice president Jeff Butler expressed thanks to emergency planners and police at the end of Thursday’s evaluation meeting.

“On behalf of the student body, thank you for all the work you’ve put into this,” Butler said. “The students might not have known exactly what was going on, but they really appreciate it.”

Sr. Margaret reiterated, “Concern for the student body was always the primary driver in this plan.”

Effort to Get Young People a
Voice in State Government

Harrisburg -- On Wednesday, March 25, 2009, Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) Executive Director Erin Molchany and Pennsylvania Senator Rob Wonderling (R-24th) were joined by young people from throughout the state to announce a new program aimed at giving twenty to thirty something's a voice in state government. The event was held at 10 a.m. in the Main Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

The initiative called YouLead is designed around the idea of making Pennsylvania a premier state for young adults ages 21-34 years of age. More than just reversing the flow of young professionals out of the state, the initiative hopes to make the Commonwealth a place for the young to move to, start a business, work within their communities, and raise a family.

On November 19, 2008, YouLead hosted a conference in Harrisburg with young people, entrepreneurs, educators, and legislators to discuss the issues important to Pennsylvania's youth. The result was a number of proposals centered around three areas: Entrepreneurship; Education; and Empowerment. This winter, YouLead has been working on legislation to address these issues, as well as organizing a statewide young person's network, and developing a platform for the younger adult population of the state to have their voice heard in Harrisburg. Legislative sponsors of the various measures include Senator Wonderling, Senator Jay Costa (D-43), Senator John Gordner (R-27), Senator Michael Stack (D-5), Senator Lawrence Farnese (D-1), Senator John Eichelberger (R-30), Senator Mike Folmer (R-48), and Senator Richard Alloway (R-33).

"When it comes to important issues affecting our community, PUMP programs that give young people a voice in the Pittsburgh region are broadly and enthusiastically supported," said Molchany. "So it's exciting for young people statewide to have that same opportunity to participate in policymaking through YouLead."

Senator Wonderling added, "Pennsylvania is truly to lead the way in the 21st century, we must do more to listen to and engage our young adults in the policy making arena and support their entrepreneurial spirit. I look forward to a robust effort to make Pennsylvania a premier place where young people want to live and work."

For more information about YouLead or to join the effort, call Scott Sikoriski with Senator Wonderling's office at 717-787-3110 or email at

Pictured are Wonderling (front) and Farnese. Photo provided by Senate Republican Communications.

Human Remains Identified

The human remains found Saturday in the Town of Cold Spring have been identified.

43-year-old Kieran Alex Murphy of Fredonia, NY, had been missing since late October of 2008.

Forensic doctors at ECMC in Buffalo examined the remains.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John says foul play is not suspected, but the investigation is continuing.

Sen. Young Blasts Gas Tax Plan

ALBANY - State Senators Catharine Young (R,I,C-Olean), George Winner (R,I,C-Elmira) and Thomas Libous (R,I,C-Binghamton) today blasted Gov. David Paterson for secretly pushing a new oil and natural gas production tax that could put thousands of natural gas wells out of business across the Southern Tier, and stifle new development that could generate up to a billion dollars of investment in the state and local economy.

"Albany’s full-scale assault to destroy the Upstate economy continues. This 5 percent tax will kill a major revenue generator in rural areas, making low-volume producing wells unfeasible to operate. There won’t be enough revenue left to cover costs. Farmers, landowners and local governments depend on income from these oil and natural gas wells. Not only will this outrageous tax put people out of business, it will drive up local property taxes," Sen. Young said.

"It damages our efforts to become energy independent, and hurts the environment by depressing production of a clean energy source. Gov. Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, all New York City Democrats, have been meeting behind closed doors to craft a budget that includes enormous tax hikes that will put a knife in the heart of our Southern Tier economy," she added.

“It’s a move to drive the industry, its jobs, and its economic activity out of New York State,” said Sen. George Winner. “The last thing we need in this economic climate is another job-killing tax or another roadblock to economic opportunity for communities and landowners.”

“New York state is already making life difficult for the oil and gas drilling industry,” said Sen. Tom Libous. “There’s great potential for Marcellus Shale drilling in the Southern Tier. Adding another hurdle to this emerging industry could make this economic opportunity disappear. That will be very disappointing to a lot of people who are counting on it in this tough economy.”

The Senators said that there is already a production tax on the existing 14,000 wells in New York which are producing natural gas—through a real property tax process. The Governor’s plan calls for placing an additional 5 percent tax on oil and natural gas production in the State.

The natural gas tax will be another deterrent to exploration of the Marcellus Shale, which could pump millions, if not billions of investment into the state, the Senators said.

Recent technological advances have allowed access to indigenous gas resources in the shallow Marcellus Shale. The entire Marcellus Shale formation, from the West Virginia to New York’s Catskills, is estimated to contain 168 to 516 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Ten to 20 percent of this natural resource lies within New York’s borders.

Existing oil and natural gas wells by County:
Chautauqua - 3,891
Cattaraugus - 2,499
Allegany - 1,508
Erie - 1,492
Genesee - 637
Wyoming - 412
Steuben - 399
Cayuga - 304
Seneca - 180
Livingston - 167
Schuyler - 149
New York -56
Ontario - 55
Chemung - 42
Westchester - 32
Madison - 38
Tioga - 25
Yates - 18
Chenango - 10
Bronx - 9
Albany - 4
Wayne - 4
Essex - 3
Oswego - 3
Cortland - 2
Sullivan - 2
Broome - 1
Niagara - 1
Oneida - 1
Onondaga - 1


Frank Williams &
Stefan Arlington

for winning awards from the
Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters

Igor won for producing a HERO Web site promo. Frank and Stefan won for an Owls football broadcast.

Once again ... Congratulations guys!

Listen to Igor's winning promo HERE.

Hunter Found Not Guilty

A hunter who accidentally shot another hunter in December of 2007 has been found not guilty of criminally negligent homicide.

John Gisel of Webster was hunting in the town of Almond when he shot 30-year-old Brandon Haugh of Geneseo with a single shot to the neck. Gisel says he thought Haugh was a deer.

A jury in Allegany County reached its verdict on Wednesday.

Donald Riley Back Behind Bars

Fugitive Donald Riley is back behind bars.

The 46 year-old Riley, of Pearl Street in Bradford, was arrested last night by Bradford Township Police. Police say Riley was a passenger in a vehicle which had been stopped by a Bradford Township Police officer for a license check.

Riley was sent to McKean County Jail in Smethport and is awaiting extradition to Jefferson County to face charges of escape. Riley, who had been in the custody of Jefferson County Sheriff Deputies, had left the Dubois Regional Medical Center Monday during treatment for a foot infection.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lanigan Hearing Postponed

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of trying to stab his parents to death in their home has been postponed until after he has a psychiatric evaluation.

The attorney for 50-year-old Michael Lanigan of DuBois says he's not sure if Lanigan will be able to help in his own defense.

Lanigan is charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit homicide and aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing his parents, James and Olivette Fogg.

The Foggs were taken an Altoona hospital, where they are recovering from their wounds.

Lanigan's evaluation is expected to be done at Warren State Hospital. His hearing had been scheduled for Friday.

Fire Burns Abandoned House

An abandoned house on Collins Court burned this afternoon, and will probably be torn down tomorrow.

Bradford City Fire Department Lt. Chris Angell says the house was fully involved in flames when they arrived on the scene. He said firefighters knocked it down from the outside and a few of them went inside to make sure the fire was completely out.

He says there were no utilities going to the house. A state police fire marshal will be on the scene investigating tonight. Angell says the house will be on the emergency demolition list and will probably come down tomorrow.

Angell says two other house within three or four feet of the burned house had no damage at all.

No one was hurt. Firefighters were called out at 3:48 p.m. and returned to the station at 5:45.

The Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department was on standby.

Collins Court is off East Corydon Street, across from Sehman's Tire Service.

Chuck D Coming to St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure University will host Chuck D, the recognized leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, for a candid discussion on “Race, Rap and Reality.” The free program is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, in the Reilly Center Arena on campus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Chuck D has made a loud impact in the music industry, which few have transcended. He redefined rap music and hip-hop culture with the release of Public Enemy’s explosive debut album, “Yo! Bum Rush the Show,” in 1987.

His lecture will address serious issues that go beyond rap music, such as electoral politics, Internet file sharing, the representation of urban space and culture, and race in the media, offering his audiences a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence.

Born Carlton Ridenhour in Roosevelt, Long Island, Chuck D formed Public Enemy in 1982. Two decades after the group’s debut album was released they went on to produce 12 more albums, which delivered powerful messages about race, rage, reality and inequality. Three of the 12 went multi-platinum. Chuck D and Public Enemy were celebrated in the May 2004 issue of Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “fifty most important performers in rock and roll history.”

Chuck D is a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League and the National Alliance of African American Athletes. He is featured in the critically acclaimed documentary, “Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome,” a retrospective of the group and its incredible impact on American music. Variety magazine has called the film “one of the best of its kind – intimate, powerful, astute and absorbing.”

In 1999, he was named to Upside magazine’s “Elite 100” list of Internet leaders, alongside the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In 2001, Chuck D created an online, offline and midline artist distribution channel through his record label SLAMjamz and launched a radio station on the Internet,, which made Public Enemy the first multi-platinum-selling act to release an album via the Web before it was available in retail stories.

He continues to write his own books and music that highlight social injustice and community empowerment. As a result, he is often called upon to be a spokesperson for hip hop and rap music on television, radio, documentary and book projects.

This program is sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Journalism/Mass Communication, School of Education, University Ministries, Orientation, First-Year Experience program, Office of Admissions, Damietta Center, Vice Provost for Enrollment, Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, Higher Education Opportunity Program and the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

High schools and colleges that plan to bring a group of students to the lecture are asked to reserve seating by contacting Jonelle Massey at

Johnson to Speak at Pitt-Bradford

Kirk Johnson, executive director of the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness, will present a program on “Keystone Wilderness: A Citizens’ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest” at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on Thursday, April 2.

Johnson’s talk, which is presented by the Friends of Hanley Library, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

The program will include a viewing of a film produced by Friends of Allegheny Wilderness that uses photography and video of proposed areas to be protected. Following the screening of the film, Johnson will discuss his organization’s efforts for conservation on the Allegheny National Forest, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Kirk Johnson graduated from Albion (Mich.) College in 1991 with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., in 1999 with a master of environmental studies degree. He founded Friends of Allegheny Wilderness in June of 2001.

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness seeks to foster an appreciation of wilderness values and benefits and to work with local communities to ensure that increased wilderness protection is a priority of the stewardship of the Allegheny National Forest.

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness can be found online at

The Allegheny National Forest is Pennsylvania’s only national forest.

Reckless Skiing Charges Filed

A Lancaster, New York, man is facing charges of reckless skiing after an instructor at Kissing Bridge was seriously injured earlier this month.

25-year-old Dominic Galasso is charged with reckless endangerment. On March 4, he was skiing down the Mistletoe trail in a full tuck position and hit instructor Carl Hensler.

Hensler suffered a broken arm, broken leg, broken nose and internal injuries. So far, he's had two surgeries and his still a patient at the ECMC Rehab Unit. Because of the severity of his injuries, doctor's don't know when he'll be released.

Galasso was arrested Tuesday and issued an appearance ticket for Town of Concord Court on Monday.

US Houses Passes
Land Management Act

Kirk Johnson,
Executive Director,
Friends of Allegheny Wilderness

"Today the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act [H.R. 146] which when signed into law by the President will protect in perpetuity as wilderness under the Wilderness Act of 1964 two million acres of our Federal public lands in their natural condition for future generations of Americans to use and enjoy.

Although there are no Allegheny National Forest lands included in the measure, Friends of Allegheny Wilderness and our vast network of supporters applaud the 15 out of 19 Pennsylvania House members who voted to invest in our grandchildren's future by supporting this important bill. Both Arlen Specter and Robert Casey are also to be heartily congratulated for voting for the measure previously in the U.S. Senate.

The wilderness community across the country has invested a tremendous amount of blood, sweat, and tears over the last decade to get to this point. With today's vote we will grow the National Wilderness Preservation System to nearly 110 million acres -- the largest single addition to the System since 1994. This is a deeply profound validation of all the work, hopes, and dreams of wilderness advocates everywhere. Its significance cannot be exaggerated.

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness now asks the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to turn its attention in earnest to the Commonwealth's only national forest -- the Allegheny -- and work to see that comprehensive wilderness legislation is implemented for the Keystone State before the end of the 111th Congress. We of course are not seeking to reduce or eliminate timber harvest from the Allegheny -- directly, indirectly, or otherwise -- but simply to permanently protect the most wild of what's left."

Former Rep Facing More Charges

A former Beaver County lawmaker is facing corruption charges for allegedly establishing a nonprofit so he could use the money for his own personal and political purposes.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett says a grand jury determined the Beaver Initiative for Growth was established primarily for former state Representative Mike Veon's own use and that it "was tightly controlled by Veon, who allegedly spent the taxpayer money at his own discretion without any oversight by BIG, DCED, or any other government agency."

Corbett says only 23 percent of the $4.7 million the nonprofit spent over a two-year period went to program expenses.

Veon faces charges of theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest. His former staffer Anna Marie Peretta-Rosepink is also charged.

Veon and Peretta-Rosepink already face charges in the Bonusgate investigation.

Veon was defeated in the 2006 election.

For more information, go to the attorney general's Web site.

Ex-PennDOT Supervisor Charged

A former PennDOT supervisor in Coudersport has been charged with theft for, among other things, using state money to buy personal items.

48-year-old Timothy Brem of St. Marys has been charged with several counts of theft along with tampering with public records and receiving stolen property. In all, he's been charged with 20 counts.

Police say Brem was initially caught buying tires for his personal truck using state money. This prompted an internal investigation by the state Comptroller that included a complete review of records that Brem would keep or authorize.

According to court documents, Brem forged other employees' names on requisition sheets to order personal items for himself. He submitted forms to have equipment dismantled as junk then would take the items. And, he took items from PennDOT surplus for himself.

Brem's bail was set at $40,000. He left his job in 2007 after the initial discovery in the investigation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two Die in Route 6 Crash

Two people died in a head-on collision on Route 6 just east of Port Allegany near the Potter County line Tuesday afternoon.

67-year-old Leslie Badanes of Olean and 61-year-old Ronald Gehman of Port Allegany died in the crash, according to Kane-based state police.

They say Badanes was half a mile west of Boyer Crossing when his car crossed the centerline and hit Gehman's pickup truck.

The accident happened at about 4:30. The road was closed for about 3 hours.

Police were assisted at the scene by Star Hose Company of Port Allegany, Port Allegany fire police and ambulance, Coudersport State Police, Port Allegany Police, PennDOT and McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill and Deputy Coroner Bob Hartle.

For more information, you can go to the Star Hose Company.

Bonnies Top Canisius

The St. Bonaventure baseball team used a four-run fifth inning and a five-run seventh to snap a four-game losing streak as it defeated Big 4 rival Canisius on Tuesday afternoon at Fred Handler Park.

The win also put an end to a four-game losing streak to the Griffs, as the Bonnies improve to 8-7 overall heading into its weekend A-10 series at Saint Joseph’s. Canisius, on the other hand, slips to 10-11 on the season.

The story of the game was the Bona bullpen, as it kept a potent Canisius lineup off the scoreboard in the middle portion of the game. Junior Dennis Sherba (Binghamton, N.Y./Binghamton) turned in his second solid relief outing in a row, earning the win by giving up just one run over three innings of work. Sophomore Aron Meindl (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport), senior Matt Stewart (Hornell, N.Y./Hornell) and junior Cory Sudbrook (Bradford, Pa./Bradford) followed Sherba with scoreless innings of their own. In all, seven different players took the mound for the Brown and White.

Offensive, seven different players collected a hit for the Bonnies, while eight players scored at least one run. Senior Kevin Suminski (Mentor, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) had the lone multi-hit afternoon, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple, a run scored and an RBI. The teams only other extra-base hit came on sophomore Alex Calderon’s (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville North) first career double.

Canisius plated a run in the second and third innings to take a 2-0. The first run came during Jim Britton’s last inning of work, while the run in third came off Sherba.

The Bonnies final figured out Canisius starter Benson Merritt in the fifth inning, touching up the right-hander for four runs on four hits to take a 4-2 lead. Sophomore Brad Steinbach (St. Marys, Pa./St. Marys) led off the inning with a single and came around to score on an error by the left fielder during a Nick Brennen (DuBois, Pa./Elk County Catholic) single. After a single by Kyle Gorby (DuBois, Pa./DuBois Central Catholic) put runners on the corners, Ryan Skellie (Erie, Pa./McDowell) drove home Brennen with a fielder’s choice to the right side. Skellie then scored all the way from first on Calderon’s double. Calderon then came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Salerno (Warren, Pa./Warren Area).

Still leading 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Brown and White put the game away with a five-run inning for a 9-2 advantage. Sophomore Jesse Bosnik (St. Marys, Pa./Elk County Catholic) started the big inning with a bases loaded single that scored two, while Suminski followed with an RBI double. Bosnik eventually came around to score on a passed ball, while Suminski was brought home by a sacrifice fly to right field from Brennen.

Canisius was able to plate three runs in the ninth, but it was too little too late as the Bonnies held on for the win.

St. Bonaventure will look to get on the winning track in A-10 play this weekend against the Hawks. All three games of the weekend set will be played in Camden, N.J. at Campbell’s field. The opener will take place on Friday, March 27 at noon.

UPB Beats Brockport State

Justin Smith and Josh Mesler drove in three runs apiece as Pitt-Bradford defeated Brockport State 9-4 in non-conference baseball on Tuesday.

The Panthers scored four runs in the second inning on two-run singles by Mesler and Derek Smith, and then added two runs in the fifth on RBI singles by John Bizzak and Mesler.

Pitt-Bradford then tacked on three more in the sixth on a bases-loaded triple by Smith. All nine of the Panthers' hits occurred in their three scoring innings.

"We are a streaky hitting group and it worked in our favor today," said Bret Butler, Pitt-Bradford head coach. "We are a young team and we dwell on them to forget their mistakes and go on to the next at bat."

Jeremy Grove allowed five hits and just one earned run in 5.2 innings in improving to 2-0 on the season. James Ashley relinquished just two hits and no earned runs in 3.1 innings for his first save on the year.

"We needed that (pitching)," Butler declared. "I was tough on our bullpen in our four-game losing streak, but today James (Ashley) pitched three good innings. Jeremy (Grove) gave us six good innings, and he kept the ball down and got ahead of the hitters."

The Panthers (6-4) will host Allegheny College on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.). You can hear the game on tape delay at 7:10 p.m. on 1490 WESB.

Firefighters Hoping for New Station

WESB/WBRR News Director

It's only "a wish and a prayer" right now, but Bradford City firefighters are hoping federal stimulus dollars will help them build a new fire station.

Fire Chief Boo Coder explained during Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting that the Department of Agriculture has grants available for new fire stations and, because of the stimulus package, there is more money in the mix this year.

"We're not licking our chops," Coder said. "We haven't even put pen to paper yet."

Councilman Ross Neidich added that if the city does get the money for the new fire station, they would make it "totally green," which would save money in the long run.

The alternative fuels they would use include solar, geo-thermal and hydroelectric.

"That's the future," Coder said. "That's where everyone's going."

Coder said a green building would pay for itself in 20 years. He also said, if the grant is approved, it would be the first totally green fire station in the state.

"It would be a heck of a testament to everybody … the first oil (refinery), the first green building … the first in a lot of things," he said. "This is something we could really be proud of."

They don't know where the new station would be yet, other than it would be "centralized and downtown."

The current downtown fire station is 106 years old.

Council did authorize the department to file the grant application.

Council also authorized the filing of a grant applications with FEMA for the fire department to get new cots, staircharis and miscellaneous medical equipment and with the state DCNR for the purchase of a new pickup truck and skid mounted fire suppression equipment.

The police department isn't being left out of the economic stimulus pot of money.

Council authorized a grant application to the US Department of Justice that would allow them to hire up to three more police officers.

Mayor Tom Riel said this would allow them to bring back Officer Mark DeLuca, who was laid off because of budget shortfalls.

In other matters, council enthusiastically authorized the OECD to advertise for bids to tear down the former Bradco building on State Street.

Council also granted the building inspector permission to issue a demolition permit to Riel and Dianne Thompson, and Peter Dzirkalis, to tear down the building at 52 Mechanic Street.

Code Enforcement Officer George Corignani says the building is beyond rehabilitation and could pose a danger to public safety and a hazard to surrounding properties.

During a public hearing prior to the meeting concerning projects using CDBG money, council and OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews discussed moving some of the money around to do some paving projects in the city.

Among the streets discussed were Kennedy, Forman and Boylston. East Main Street was also mentioned. Riel said the road from Main and High streets to East Avenue will be done this season.

Also during the hearing, Jeff Andrews of the OECD said the traffic lights at Kennedy and Boylston streets will be installed in May and should be operational by June.

Council also observed a moment of silence prior to the meeting in honor of Lloyd Huntoon, who died March 15 at the age of 63.

"(He) was a 28-year member of the (Bradford) Special Police who was chief of the special police at the time of his death," Riel said. "He gave thousands of hours with no reimbursement. He volunteered his time to the City of Bradford to help make it a better place."

Wife of Pirates Minor Leaguer
Questioned in Kidnapping Case

"I was shocked to be told today that my wife has been arrested for kidnapping. I am hurt, frustrated, and confused by her actions. I have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials in anyway that I can. Until I have all of the facts, I cannot comment any further." - Jose Tabata

The wife of a Pittsburgh Pirates minor league player is being questioned in connection to an alleged kidnapping in Florida

Authorities in Manatee County issued an Amber Alert for two-month-old Sandra Cruz-Francisco, but the infant has since been reunited with her family and was unharmed.

Investigators are questioning Amalia Tabata Pereira, the wife of Jose Tabata.

We received the following statement from Piartes President Frank Coonelly:

“While we have received very little information at this point in the investigation, we have received no indication that Jose is believed to have had any involvement in the matter. We are attempting to secure more information as quickly as possible. Until we receive further information, it would be inappropriate to comment further other than to say that we will provide whatever assistance that we can to the Sherriff’s Office and to Jose as they deal with the matter.”

Coonelly said "This is an extremely serious matter and we have given the matter our full attention."

For more on this story, go to The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger.

Obama on Budget Strategy

The White House has provided exerpts from President Obama's opening remarks at tonight's news conference:

[W]e’ve put in place a comprehensive strategy designed to attack this crisis on all fronts. It’s a strategy to create jobs, to help responsible homeowners, to re-start lending, and to grow our economy over the long-term. And we are beginning to see signs of progress.

The budget I submitted to Congress will build our economic recovery on a stronger foundation, so that we do not face another crisis like this ten or twenty years from now. We invest in the renewable sources of energy that will lead to new jobs, new businesses, and less dependence on foreign oil. We invest in our schools and our teachers so that our children have the skills they need to compete with any workers in the world. We invest in reform that will bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and our government. And in this budget, we have made the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term – even under the most pessimistic estimates.

At the end of the day, the best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that have led to a narrow prosperity and massive debt. It’s with a budget that leads to broad economic growth by moving from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest.

That’s what clean energy jobs and businesses will do. That’s what a highly-skilled workforce will do. That’s what an efficient health care system that controls costs and entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid will do. That’s why this budget is inseparable from this recovery – because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity.

Specter to Oppose 'Card Check'

US Senator Arlen Specter has decided to vote against the Employee Free Choice Act, commonly referred to as the Card Check bill.

Specter was the only Republican to support the bill two years ago. Unions were counting on him as the crucial 60th vote needed to overcome an expected GOP filibuster of the measure when it's taken up later this summer.

To read Specter's floor remarks, or watch the video, go to the senator's Web site.

11-Year-Old to Stand Trial

An 11-year-old boy has been ordered to stand trial in the killing of his father's pregnant fiancée.

Jordan Anthony Brown was in court today for a preliminary hearing, but did not speak.

He's accused of shooting 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in the back of the head while she was sleeping in their farmhouse on February 20.

Brown is charged as adult with homicide and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

The boy's attorney has unsuccessfully argued to have the case moved to juvenile court.

'Women of Promise' Honored

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford honored four high school students at a luncheon Tuesday for being Women of Promise. Shown here with speaker Julie Coates of WICU-12 News (center) are, from left, Jennifer Anderson of Port Allegany, who was honored in athletics; Alyssa Lapp of Port Allegany, honored for community service; Katelyn Scanlan of Bradford, honored for creative and performing arts, and Jennifer Andrews of Randolph, N.Y., who was also honored for athletics. This is the 13th year Pitt-Bradford has honored Women of Promise as part of its Women’s History Month events.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Housing Authority Gets Money

The Bradford City Housing Authority will receive more than $335,000 in federal stimulus money.

HUD’s Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

This funding can also be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs; and for the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems to more energy efficient standards.

Sorg to Head KCH Rehab Services

"For several years, it’s been the goal of Kane Community Hospital (KCH) to bring its rehabilitation services back in-house for both inpatient and outpatient care and that will be achieved beginning April 1," announced J. Gary Rhodes, CEO of KCH. "Our contract with Keystone ends March 31."

"We have assembled a highly experienced team and will offer the full spectrum of rehabilitative services – physical, occupational, and speech therapy – that will be led by Joseph Sorg, PT, PhD., a native of St. Marys."

The rehabilitation services team will complement already successful KCH prevention care teams such as the KCH Athletic Training program in the Kane Area School District, an established outpatient Cardiac Rehab and Fitness Center, as well as, nutrition and community wellness programs.

Delivering “personal, professional and progressive care” is a hallmark of KCH’s 80 years of caring for the communities they serve. Together these in-house teams allow the hospital to deliver their hallmark care and closely monitor the patient’s experience from hospital to swing bed, to home through home health delivery, and into the community.

"It’s all coming together in a powerful, comprehensive way for area residents and patients at KCH," KCH Senior Leader of Patient Care Services and Director of Nursing Pam Bray, RN noted while introducing the new KCH leader.

Dr. P. Joseph Sorg received his BS in biology from Niagara University, a certificate in physical therapy from Northwestern University, and PhD in Anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University.

He has practiced extensively in chronic pain management, orthopedics, and has spoken and published in the areas of chronic pain and electrotherapy. Dr. Sorg taught at the University of Scranton and West Virginia University.

The full Rehabilitation Services Team will be introduced next week.

KCH will continue to deliver outpatient rehabilitation services from the outpatient Center across from the Hospital at 4355 Route 6, Kane. The entrance is around back where patients park and enter at the ground level. The phone number remains 814-837-4735 or 1-800-595-9200, ext. 4735. KCH accepts most insurances.

Neurologist Joins CCMH Staff

Neurologist and stroke specialist James DeMatteis, M.D, FACP, FAAN, FAHA, joined the medical staff at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital March 19.

Dr. DeMatteis is director of the Stroke Center at Hamot Medical Center where he is also the neurology division chief. He also serves as director of neurological services at HealthSouth Great Lakes Rehabilitation Hospital, HealthSouth Lake Erie Institute of Rehabilitation, and is a staff neurologist at Northshore Clinical Associates, LLC in Erie.

Dr. DeMatteis earned a medical degree at the University of Miami and completed post graduate training in internal medicine and neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is board certified in internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, electrodiagnostic medicine, and neurorehabilitation.

He is an American College of Physicians, American Academy of Neurology, and American Heart Associate fellow and a member of the American Association of Electrodiagnosis and Electromyography, American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Erie County Medical Society, American Society of Neurorehabilitation, and Movement Disorders Society. Dr. DeMatteis has written numerous publications and conducted clinical research projects on disorders of the nervous system.

“Dr. DeMatteis comes to CCMH through our emerging clinical relationship with Hamot Medical Center. We are pleased to welcome him and we have plans to introduce other well respected and experienced subspecialty providers to our staff,” Ed Pitchford, president and chief executive officer at CCMH, said.

In addition to seeing patients at CCMH, Dr. DeMatteis will schedule appointments using newly available telemedicine technology in which patients at CCMH communicate with Dr. DeMatteis in Erie using electronic video communication.

“Providing this neurology service for our patients is a wonderful addition to CCMH. Patients will have access to a world class physician for their follow up care sooner and without the need to travel long distances,” Pitchford said.

This clinical affiliation brings nationally recognized care to the region. Hamot was named one of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report, one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by Solucient, and received numerous excellence awards from HealthGrades®.

Appointments with Dr. DeMatteis at Charles Cole can be scheduled by calling 888/559-5111 or 814/452-8300.

Causer: Proposal Would Help
Create Jobs, Expand Industry

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said today he is encouraged by a proposal that should help create jobs by expanding the natural gas industry in the Commonwealth while also generating revenue for the state and affected communities.

At a Capitol press conference Tuesday, House Republicans unveiled legislation that calls for allowing natural gas drilling on 390,000 acres of state forest land during the next three years. The lease fees alone would generate approximately $260 million per year to be shared between state and local governments and conservation districts. Once the natural gas is harvested, additional revenue would be generated from royalty payments to the Commonwealth.

"The difference between our proposal and the governor's tax on natural gas is like night and day," Causer said. "While Republicans want to support this growing industry and the good-paying jobs it will create, the governor's plan would stifle the industry and likely drive many potential employers out of our state."

Causer said the governor's tax plan would also place a heavy burden on land owners who lease their land for drilling and many small, family-operated shallow well businesses.

"The governor has portrayed his proposal as a tax on large corporations that can afford to pay a few extra dollars to the state, but the way the proposal is written, many small operators could be forced out of business," he added. "That's the last thing we need in today's economy."

Because of the vast natural gas reserves buried deep in the Marcellus Shale, it is estimated that recovery of this resource could generate as many as 100,000 jobs. The natural gas industry estimates that the governor's proposed tax would result in the loss of approximately 53,000 jobs during the next five years. The Republican proposal would not lead to any job loss and in fact would create an additional 7,000 new private-sector jobs.

Under House Bill 1050, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources would offer for lease 130,000 acres of state forest land to natural gas drilling companies in each of the next three years. The legislation establishes a minimum bid payment of $2,000 per acre, resulting in $260 million in revenue per year. Most of the revenue (80 percent) would go toward the state budget. Local governments that host existing natural gas, oil or coal shallow well drilling sites would share 12.5 percent of the money, while local governments that host new Marcellus Shale drilling operations would share 2.5 percent. Conservation districts across the state would share the remaining 5 percent to pay for programs that protect the environment.

"I believe this proposal holds a great deal of promise for the future of our regional economy," Causer said. "As a member of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, I look forward to the opportunity to review this plan in detail and refine it as necessary to meet the needs of our citizens and the Commonwealth."

Reward for Alleged Killer

A $5,000 reward is being offered for a Pittsburgh-area man who disappeared after allegedly shooting and killing a woman a year ago.

43-year-old James Garland Watts of Clairton hasn't been seen since the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Shawnta Lee, and the wounding her husband, 53-year-old David Lee on March 24, 2008.

David Lee is offering $4,000 for information leading to Watts' arrest on top of a $1,000 reward by Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.

The case was featured on Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted" last year.

Police say Watts shot the couple while trying to rob them of money to pay a cocaine binge.

Illegal Alien Bill Goes to Full Senate

The Senate State Government Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) that prohibits illegal aliens living in Pennsylvania from receiving public benefits, such as Medicaid, welfare, and in-state college tuition. Senate Bill 9 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

“This has been an issue that I have been pushing very strongly for a number of years, but with the economy in crisis and folks losing jobs, it is even more crucial that we stop providing benefits to individuals who are living outside the law,” Scarnati said. “Pennsylvania citizens, who are struggling to make ends meet, should not have to use their hard-earned dollars to pay for illegal immigrants.”

Federal law prohibits illegal aliens from receiving state or local public benefits, however Scarnati said current Pennsylvania law is simply too lenient in enforcing the federal provisions.

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the current local annual costs of illegal immigration amount to about $36 billion nationwide. In Pennsylvania, which has more than 100,000 illegal aliens, the current estimated cost is $285 million. That cost is expected to grow to $812 million by the year 2020.

Senate Bill 9 will require anyone receiving public benefits in the Commonwealth to provide identification proving they are legal residents. In addition, individuals would be required to sign an affidavit stating they are a United States citizen, or an alien lawfully residing in this county.

Any applicant signing the affidavit stating that they are a legal alien would have their status verified by the Federal Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement Programs operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

“Illegal immigration drains public funds, creates unfair competition for jobs with American workers, and imposes unnecessary strains on services designed to provide assistance to hard-working taxpayers,” Scarnati said. “My bill would help Pennsylvania to take the lead on the growing problem of illegal immigrants by making it clear that we will not provide government benefits and services to those who enter this country outside the law.

Erie VA Medical Center Gets Money

The Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center will get nearly $500,000 in federal stimulus money for boiler-plant repairs and improvements.

Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey announced the $466,440 in funding.

The boiler plant produces steam that generates heat and hot water for the hospital.

Town Justice Admonished

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has admonished Hinsdale Town Justice Monroe Bishop for his conduct during an eviction proceeding.

The commission says Bishop should be sanctioned for ruling against a defendant in a 2007 summary proceeding for eviction and back rent, based on an improper one-sided communication with her lawyer's secretary.

Admonition is the least serious of three potential punishments. Bishop had previously been admonished for presiding over a traffic case involving his niece and for misusing subpoena power in a small claims case.

Hunting Death Trial Underway

The trial for a man accused of shooting and killing another man while hunting in December of 2007 is underway in Allegany County, New York.

39-year-old John Gisel is accused of shooting 30-year-old Brandon Haugh while they were in different hunting parties near the Town of Almond.

Gisel is charged with criminally negligent homicide. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. Gisels has said he thought Haugh was a deer. Haugh died instantly.

Doctors Across New York

Several doctors and medical practices in the Twin Tiers will benefit from New York State's new Doctors Across New York program.

Funding from the program goes toward helping doctors repay medical school loans in exchange for a five-year commitment to working in an underserved area. It will also help health care facilities or practices recruit new doctors.

Olean General Hospital, the Southern Tier Community Health Center in Olean, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and Dr. Kathleen H. Fanos of Jamestown are among those receiving funding.

For more information, go to the governor's Web site.

Judge: 'Finger' is Protected Speech

A judge says a man who flipped his middle finger at a Pittsburgh police officer shouldn't have been cited for disorderly conduct.

David Hackbart of Pittsburgh made the gesture at another driver in April 2006, then made the gesture again when he heard someone yelling at him. After he made the gesture, he realized the second person was a police officer.

The ACLU sued on Hackbart's behalf saying the gesture is protected speech, and the judge agreed.

Actually, There Were No Zombies

The "Zombies Ahead" sign on a road in suburban Philadelphia wasn't part of a horror movie. It was a computer hacker's prank.

On Sunday night, what was originally a bridge construction warning sign on Route 212 in Richland Township read "ZOMBIES AHEAD."

A PennDOT spokesman says the department is investigating how someone could break the locks, get at the controls and change the message.

Similar pranks are being reported from Texas to Australia.

For more on this story, go to

Monday, March 23, 2009

Study Shows Relationship Between
Great Lakes and Climate Change

Scientist says ice cover on the Great Lakes has declined more than 30 percent since the 1970s, leaving the world's largest system of freshwater lakes open to evaporation and lower water levels.

For the story, go to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UPB Names 'Women of Promise'

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will honor four area high school students as “Women of Promise” for their achievements in athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts at a luncheon on Tuesday, March 24.

Julie Coates, meteorologist with WICU-12 News in Erie, will give the keynote address titled “Two Women in the Heart of the Presidential Election.”

Being honored are Jennifer Anderson of Port Allegany and Jennifer Andrews of Randolph, N.Y., for athletics; Alyssa Lapp of Port Allegany for community service; and Katelyn Scanlan of Bradford for creative and performing arts.

“It was another amazing year for Woman of Promise nominees,” said Heidi Anderson, co-chairwoman of the Women of Promise committee and purchasing manager for Pitt-Bradford. “It is always a pleasure to receive and review the nominations of these amazing young women.”

Jennifer Anderson, the daughter of William and Bonnie Anderson, is being honored for her athletic ability and outstanding leadership. A senior at Port Allegany High School, she excelled in four sports -- basketball, soccer, track and volleyball.

Anderson was the catalyst behind establishing soccer at Port Allegany. She and some of her friends petitioned the school board to add soccer as a sports team, resulting in the launching of the boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer teams. She was captain of the basketball and soccer teams, as well as MVP in soccer.

Anderson plans to attend Pitt-Bradford, where she will major in athletic training.

“My parents’ interest in sports has motivated me to become involved in as many sports as possible,” says Anderson. “Their inspiration, persistence and guidance helped me to strive to become the person I am today.”

Dan Eskesen, Anderson’s guidance counselor, said, “Jennifer’s willingness to help others and work for what she wanted made her our recommendation for the Women of Promise Award in Athletics. She exemplifies sportsmanship, athletic integrity and leadership.”

Andrews, daughter of John and Kathy Andrews, attends Randolph Central High School. She also excels in four sports -- soccer, basketball, track and field, and softball. She holds the Randolph Cardinals team record as goalie in soccer as well as being named CCIAC Division II Defensive Player of the Year. Active in both school and community activities, she is a member of Student Council and is class treasurer.

She hopes to play soccer or softball at St. Bonaventure University, where she will be a pre-medicine major. Her goal is to become an orthopedic surgeon.

“My family, especially my parents and grandma, helped me keep committed to my goals,” she said. “They have told me I can do anything and be whatever I want -- and watching them and their hard work makes me want to work hard and never stop.”

In nominating her, Andrews’ guidance counselor, Robert Vogtli, said, “Jennifer’s character, commitment and personality are incomparable. She is a model high school student who excels in many activities because of her sense of responsibility to others.”

Lapp, the daughter of Mark and Ingrid Lapp, is being recognized for her community service.

A senior at Port Allegany High School, Lapp initiated and organized a drive to collect personal items for children placed in emergency foster care. With the help of her sister and grandmother, they collected enough items for 10 kits.

She continued the theme of helping others when she initiated and organized “Operation Christmas Child,” also known as the Samaritan’s Purse Project, at her church. She collected toys, clothing and personal items for children and teens living in Third World countries.

Last summer Lapp spent 10 days in Costa Rica while on a mission trip. She worked from dusk to dawn digging a sewer system for a church being built. She spent some of her time having fun with the local children, painting their faces, making balloon animals, doing magic tricks and juggling.

Lapp plans to major in pre-occupational therapy at Westminster University in New Wilmington. She also credits her family for her success saying, “My parents have given me a firm foundation to stand on. Our family motto is ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ Someday I hope to give my own family as much as my family has given to me.”

Lapp’s high school counselor, Kathy Jeselnick, said, “Alyssa’s exceptional character is one composed of wisdom, generosity and a tremendous insight into the plight of others. She has both an optimism and compassion to make a difference in others’ lives.”

Scanlan, daughter of James and Bonnie Scanlan, is being honored for her achievements in music, theater, dance and the visual arts.

A senior at Bradford Area High School, she is involved in marching band, jazz ensemble, wind ensemble, concert band, concert choir and mixed chorus.

On stage, Scanlan has participated in several school musicals, either on stage or in the pit orchestra. In marching band, she was the flute section leader, participating in a variety of band and choir festivals.

She is a tap, jazz, and toe ballet student at the Peggy Johnson Dance Studio in Bradford and is an original member of the Olean (N.Y.) Area Irish Dancers.

Scanlan also studies art with Sean Huntingdon of Bradford and Kong Ho, associate professor of art at Pitt-Bradford. One of her paintings has been selected to be included in the university’s permanent student art collection.

She also participates in a variety of church, community and school activities, receiving awards and recognition for her dedication and leadership.

In nominating her, BAHS band director Kathleen Thumpston, commended Scanlan for her strong leadership skills and her capability to find good qualities in every one and almost every situation.

“As section leader in the marching band, she was responsible for both musical and marching instruction, as well as positive motivation for the flute section. She has a positive outlook and motivates others to share that attitude,” Thumpston said.

Following graduation, Scanlan plans to attend college where she will major in civil engineering and minor in architecture. Her long-term plans are to earn a graduate degree in architecture. Scanlan said she hopes to become an “engineer without borders,” specializing in emergency relief structures, sustainability and historic restoration.

“My greatest source of motivation is people, whether it be actions or kind words,” Scanlan said. “I credit my parents, friends, family, teachers, guidance counselors and my Key Club adviser for their support and constant commitment to guiding me in the right direction.”

This is the 13th year that the Pitt-Bradford Staff Association and the Women’s History Celebration Committee have recognized area “Women of Promise.” Guidance counselors from local high schools are asked to nominate eligible seniors for the awards. A selection committee at Pitt-Bradford then reviews those nominations.

This year all of the young women nominated to represent their respective schools are invited to attend the luncheon and will receive recognition for their accomplishments. Forty-four young women were nominated from 22 schools in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

Police: Philly Man Started Brawl

Police are blaming an inmate from Philadelphia for instigating a brawl at the State Correctional Institution in Houtzdale, where 10 guards were hurt.

Charges are pending against 30-year-old Rhonshawn Jackson and five other inmates from Philadelphia. They allegedly fought with guards who tried to remove Jackson from the dining hall after Jackson refused to pick up his meal ticket.

Two of the guards ended up with broken bones in their faces.

Guilty Plea in Theft, Chase

A Harborcreek man who took Allegany police on a high-speed chase has pleaded guilty.

Anthony Madrigale stole property from Kmart on February 9, drove his vehicle at the store's loss prevention manager then led police on a chase reaching speeds of more than 100 miles an hour.

He's scheduled for sentencing on June 6.

More Corruption Charges Coming?

State Attorney General Tom Corbett says that within the next few days he'll be making an announcement about a state grand jury's corruption investigation into the state Legislature.

He told KYW Radio in Philadelphia today that his office has something imminent. In his cryptic comments, he also said people will think it's Bonusgate, but it's not.

For the full story, go to KYW.

Guilty Plea in Attempted Robbery

A Bradford man has pleaded guilty to charges related to one robbery in a string of crimes last fall in the Twin Tiers.

James Munday , along with Bradford residents James Baribeau and Douglas Carnahan, attempted to rob Domino's Pizza in Allegany on October 9 of last year while Munday displayed what appeared to be a gun.

He'll be sentenced June 1.

Bills on Monday Night Football

Terrell Owens won't have to wait long to show his stuff to a national audience.

The Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots will open up the 40th season of Monday Night Football on September 14.

The game will also mark the return of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The Steelers open their season in a Thursday night game September 10 against the Tennessee Titans.

When the Titans beat the Steelers last year, Tennessee players stomped on a Terrible Towel.

On Thanksgiving, the Lions will be hosting the Packers and the Cowboys will be hosting the Raiders.

Charges Filed in Sexting Case

Two 20-year-olds and 5 teens have been charged for allegedly sending pornographic pictures on a cell phone.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say a 15-year-old received the messages containing the pictures.

Matthew Lahnen and Wade Vosburgh Jr., along with the youths, have been arrested and charged with obscenity and endangering the welfare of a child.

Lawmaker Proposes Updates for
Center for Rural Pennsylvania

State Sen. John N. Wozniak has introduced legislation intended to increase research into the challenges faced by residents of Pennsylvania’s rural areas.

“Rural Pennsylvania is still facing some of the same challenges and some new ones,” Wozniak said. “We have to update our effort to preserve the lifestyle of rural Pennsylvania while, at the same time, make sure the residents have access to health care, quality education and jobs.”

Senate Bill 607 would amend the regulations for the “Center for Rural Pennsylvania,” an agency of the General Assembly governed by an 11-member board. The board oversees distribution of grants to faculty members at colleges and universities to fund study of the issues facing rural communities, including economic development, educational outreach and government finance. Under current law, only universities in the State System of Higher Education and Penn State are eligible to participate. Wozniak’s bill would add the regional campuses of the University of Pittsburgh, while increasing the maximum grant to $60,000. The bill also adds agriculture along with health and welfare concerns to the list of subject areas eligible for grants.

The bill has bipartisan co-sponsorship and Wozniak said he is confident that it can be passed this session.

“Many Pennsylvanians live in small communities that are feeling the pressures of change,” Wozniak said. “The endless growth of suburbs and the big problems of big cities sometimes eclipse the concerns of rural Pennsylvanians. We need to find ways to help.”