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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Apartment Building Demolished

Crews demolished the apartment building at 42 Elm/85 Congress Street Saturday morning after a fire destroyed it Friday morning. The fire has been ruled accidental. No one was hurt, but three families were left homeless. The Red Cross is assisting them.

Egg-citing Easter Event

Bradford City Firefighter Butch Kreiner (above) corrals some kids who are overly eager Easter egg hunters and just waiting for the siren to blow to start the hunt.

This was the Firefighters' Local 655 41st Annual Easter Egg Hunt. It was held at Callahan Park. This is the 2- to 4-year-old age group. They also had groups for 5 to 7 year olds and 8 to 10 year olds.

The videos aren't very long, but you get the idea:

Keep 'Rock Snot' Out of Streams

From the US Forest Service:

Rock Snot – spreading terror in streams. Do your part – keep ‘rock snot’ out! OK – just what is rock snot? The scientific name is Didymosphenia geminate, more commonly called ‘Didymo’. Rock snot is a diatom, which is a one-celled freshwater algae (plant) with siliceous (quartz or glass-like) cell walls. The cells are microscopic. The danger of rock snot is that the algae blooms in the summer and forms a mat across the entire stream that can be as much as eight inches thick, and many miles long. This mat literally suffocates aquatic insects and the stream bottom. It ruins the visual appearance of a stream because rock snot looks like toilet paper streaming in the flow. Unlike other algae, rock snot is not slippery; it has the consistency of wet cotton. Throw your line in the stream and try and reel back a t-shirt… rock snot ruins angling opportunities. Once rock snot invades a stream there are no techniques to remove it.

Where did rock snot come from? Rock snot originated in Europe and anglers carried it to New Zealand, Canada, and the western United States, all fabled fishing destinations. Boats, felt-soled waders, fishing equipment, minnow buckets, anything that can stay moist enough so the single-celled diatom doesn’t die, can harbor a diatom and move it to another stream. Once rock snot had been carried to Canada, it spread to the western United States, then the southern United States, and in 2007 showed up in some of the famous trout streams of New England. Rock snot now lives in both the east and west branches of the Delaware River here in Pennsylvania.

Rock snot impacts water recreation because it is unlikely tourists will attempt to swim, tube, boat, or fish in a stream where plants in the stream look like a sewage spill mixed with wet toilet paper. Rock snot can be yellow, brown, or tan in color.

Rock snot cannot be removed from a stream once it invades the stream, but it can be prevented from moving into a new stream by boaters and anglers paying attention to these protections:

Do NOT transport any live fish, bait, other critters, plants, or water from one stream to the next!

Avoid the use of felt-soled waders.

Inspect your boat, equipment, and remove all plants, mud, and ‘gunk’ from your equipment before leaving the area.

Drain all water from your boat onto the ground (not in the stream) before leaving the area.

Disinfect your live wells with a quart of bleach in one-half of a 5-gallon bucket. Dispose of the water on the ground (not in the stream).

Dump your leftover bait on the ground in the trash (not in the stream).

How to disinfect equipment?
1. Soak or spray all non-absorbent surfaces for one minute in a solution of 2 cups of detergent in a 2.5 gallon container, or 1 cup of bleach in a 2.5 gallon container, or hot water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Soak absorbent items, such as bathing suits and felt-soled waders, for 40 minutes in hot water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit or in hot water with dish detergent;
OR freeze absorbent items until solid;
OR dry absorbent items until dry to the touch, and then let dry for at least another 48 hours before use.

Photo by Tim Daley, PA DEP

MJ Charter Coalition Fundraiser

The Mount Jewett Charter Coalition recently held a "DeSio's Famous Chicken Parmigiana Dinner" fundraiser for the proposed Charter School.

The group sold and served 241 dinners Mount Jewett FireHall. Approximately $2,600 was raised during this fundraiser. This money will be used for upcoming legal fees associated with the Charter Appeals Hearing in Harrisburg and for a PA Charter Coalition of Charter Schools Conference that members of the MJ Charter Coalition will be attending that is being held in Philadelphia this month.

The Charter School supporters turned out in large numbers to support the MJ Coalition's efforts to put a Charter School in Mount Jewett. People from as far as Ludlow, Kane, Bradford, Corry, Olean, St. Marys and Smethport attended the dinner.

Photo provided by the Mount Jewett Charter School Coalition

Spring Gobbler Season April 25

By Jerry Feaser
PA Game Commission

HARRISBURG – This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Keystone State’s spring gobbler hunting season, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission is reporting turkey hunters should expect to find exciting opportunities afield as they head out for both the youth and traditional spring season openers.

The state’s one-day youth spring gobbler season is April 18; the general spring gobbler season is April 25 to May 25. Hunters who have purchased a second spring gobbler season license may harvest up to two bearded turkeys.

“For the springs of four decades, wild turkey hunters have had a chance to match wits with gobblers in the fields and forests of Pennsylvania, and to say they have taken a shine to this special season would be an understatement,” explained Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Although the season was somewhat controversial when proposed, and we started it conservatively to ensure the resource could handle it, today it is one of our most popular seasons and annually provides recreation for hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, it’s hard for most of us to imagine a time when Pennsylvania didn’t have a spring gobbler season, or what spring would be like if we didn’t have one.”

The first spring gobbler season started on a Monday and ran only six days so biologists could get a pulse on hunter success and the season’s impact on the more than 60,000 wild turkeys inhabiting about half of Pennsylvania’s forestland at the time. It worked! More hunters were afield on the last day of the season – a Saturday – than the opener, and hunters took a total of 1,636 turkeys in the new season.

In 2008, hunters took 40,522 bearded wild turkeys in the spring gobbler seasons (including 1,954 with second spring gobbler licenses) from an estimated statewide spring population of about 335,000. The spring wild turkey population peaked in 2001, when it numbered 410,000. So, it’s fair to say the status of wild turkeys has changed dramatically over the past 40 years.

“Pennsylvania began to establish its well-respected presence in the annals of America’s wild turkey management history back in the ‘60s through the efforts of two biologists who made their peers stop and look at what was going on here,” said Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist. “Gerald Wunz and Arnie Hayden refined turkey trap-and-transfer techniques and multi-season frameworks to help turkeys reclaim their former range throughout the state.

“With each passing year, the turkey population grew, and ultimately compelled the agency, in 1980, to close its turkey farm, which had produced more than 200,000 birds over its half-century of operation.”

Today, Pennsylvania manages one of the most prolific wild turkey populations in America. It is an accomplishment that is directly related to both previous and ongoing management practices, the state’s outstanding tapestry of turkey-friendly habitats and the resiliency of Pennsylvania’s wild turkeys.

“The preliminary 2008 spring gobbler harvest was the sixth highest on record,” Casalena said. “It is nine percent above the previous three-year average, and just three percent below the previous 10-year average, which included a period when Pennsylvania logged five consecutive harvests of more than 40,000 gobblers.”

Final spring gobbler harvests, prior to 2008’s preliminary harvest of 40,522, are: 37,880, 2007; 39,297, 2006; 32,593, 2005; 41,017, 2004; and 42,876, 2003. The preliminary fall wild turkey harvest was about 26,500, which is up substantially from the 21,900 in 2007, and 21,500 in ’06.

Final 2008 harvest figures will be available later this summer.

In 2008, 1,954 second turkeys were taken by 8,795 hunters who purchased special turkey licenses. That compares with 1,507 turkeys with 7,585 licenses in 2007, and 1,454 turkeys with 8,041 licenses in 2006.

So what can hunters expect this spring? Well, according to Casalena, some spillover of last fall’s success.

“Harvesting a spring gobbler is challenging, there’s no doubt about it!” Casalena reported. “This year, I predict a slightly higher-than-average harvest, based on the slightly above-average summer turkey reproduction two years ago. We know, from preliminary data analyses of three years of our four-year gobbler study, hunters select the older ‘long-beards’ over juveniles, or ‘jakes’, and the two-year-old age class, in particular, are the most vocal, and most readily come to a hunter’s call. The older four- and five-year-old age classes usually are much more wary, and there just aren’t as many in the population. So, because of the slightly above average number of two-year-olds in this year’s flocks, I predict a slightly higher than average harvest.”

Casalena also believes scouting – as always – will play an important role in hunter success this spring and that hunters can improve their chances by lining up multiple locations for the spring season.

“Last autumn’s mast crop varied across the state with below-average mast in many areas of the state, which most likely changed turkey movement patterns with turkeys abandoning traditional winter areas, if winter food was lacking,” she said. “In these cases, gobblers may return to their breeding grounds later than normal, remaining where the winter food items are still abundant. Therefore, where gobblers are in late March may change by mid April, so continue to scout throughout the preseason.”

Prior to the spring gobbler season, hunters are discouraged from using turkey calls to locate gobblers, because it can educate birds and cause them to be less inclined to respond to the early-morning calls of in-season hunters.

“If you’re trying to locate a gobbler, it’s best to head out at first light to listen for calls,” Casalena advised. “Now is a great time! On a still morning, a gobbler’s call often can be detected up to a half-mile away or more.”

Hunters are reminded that it is illegal to stalk turkeys or turkey sounds in the spring gobbler season. Given the wild turkey’s keen senses, it’s not a wise move anyway, but more importantly, it makes a tremendous difference for the personal safety of everyone afield. Over the years, too many hunters have been shot for game while approaching a hunter calling for turkeys, and callers have been shot in mistake for game by stalking hunters.

In 2008, eight hunters were shot – none fatally – during the spring gobbler season. One was a self-inflicted injury; another was an in-the-line-of-fire incident. In the remaining six incidents, the offender failed to properly identify his target and shot the victim in mistake for game.

“Safety must be the foremost consideration of every turkey hunter,” emphasized Keith Snyder, Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education division chief. “If every hunter followed the state’s hunting regulations and positively identified his or her target as legal game before squeezing the trigger, we could nearly eliminate hunting-related shooting incidents during the spring gobbler season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.

“The Game Commission encourages all spring gobbler hunters to hunt safely and defensively. Consider wearing fluorescent orange clothing at all times – even though it is no longer required by law – and treat every sound and movement in the forest as if it is another hunter until you can positively confirm it is a legal turkey. Be patient. Wait until the bird is fully visible before you squeeze the trigger.”

Legal sporting arms are: shotguns plugged to three-shell capacity in the chamber and magazine combined; muzzleloading shotguns; and crossbows and bows with broadhead bolts or arrows of cutting-edge design.

Shot size can be no larger than No. 4 lead, bismuth-tin and tungsten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Rifle-shotgun combinations also may be used, but no single-projectile ammunition may be used or carried.

Carrying or using rifles, handguns, dogs, electronic callers, drives and live decoys is unlawful. The use of blinds is legal so long as it is an “artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all manmade materials of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within the blind from an observer located outside the blind.”

While not required by law, hunters are encouraged to wear fluorescent orange material when moving through the woods. Agency officials also recommend that hunters wrap an orange alert band around a nearby tree when stationary, especially when calling and/or using decoys.

Coyotes may be harvested by turkey hunters. However, turkey hunters who have filled their spring turkey tag or tags may not hunt coyotes prior to noon Monday through Saturday during the spring gobbler season, unless they have a furtaker license. Woodchuck hunting is not allowed during spring gobbler season shooting hours.

Successful spring gobbler hunters must properly tag their turkey and report the harvest to the Game Commission within 10 days, using the postage-paid report card provided with their hunting license. Hunters who can't find one of the harvest report cards that came with their license, or those who purchased their 2008-09 licenses through the Pennsylvania Automated License System, can tear out and use the harvest report card found on page 33 of the 2008-2009 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or make their own harvest report card and mail it to the Game Commission. The card should include: hunter’s name and address; date and location of kill (WMU, county, township) and firearm used.

Hunters also are encouraged to report all leg-banded turkeys they take to assist the Game Commission in ongoing research. In the final year of a four-year turkey leg banding program, hunters can earn a $100 reward for reporting their harvest of a banded wild turkey. Reports must be received by July 31, to be eligible for a reward. Hunters may keep the band; the agency just needs the information on the band.

Junior hunters who participate in the youth spring gobbler day (April 18) are required to have a junior hunting license. On this one-day hunt, junior license holders under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult, who cannot carry a sporting arm. Accompanying adults may only provide guidance, such as calling or scouting. All other hunting regulations are the same as those for the general spring gobbler season, including the hunting hours of one-half hour before sunrise until noon and only bearded turkeys may be taken.

And, for the third year, youths under the age of 12 years may participate in the spring gobbler seasons through the Game Commission's Mentored Youth Hunting Program. They can hunt with a mentor during either the one-day youth or general spring gobbler season. Mentored youths do not need a hunting license or permit, but must be accompanied by a mentor who is a properly licensed adult at least 21 years of age. Mentored youths also are required to report their harvest to the Game Commission by mailing a homemade report card.

For field reports, click HERE.

Church Offers 'Stimulus' Package

Starting this weekend, Pastor Mike McAvoy will teach a four week series entitled "Stimulus - God's Bailout Plan For Your Life".

"With all the talk about a bail out plan for the American Economy, I thought Easter a great time to kick off a series about God's bail out plan for our life," said McAvoy.

McAvoy said that the Christian faith is about something more than just sitting in a church on the weekend, "God has a lot to say about stimulating our lives to go from nominal to great, ordinary to extraordinary."

McAvoy said, that unlike the recently publicized bailout plans geared toward large corporations, God's plan is for everyday people."We all find ourselves facing difficult circumstances throughout our lives and it's good news that God has provided a bailout/stimulus to help us out. We don't have to try to do this thing called life on our own by our own means."

The four week series starts this Easter weekend, during the regular church services, at 5:30 on Saturday nights and 10:15 on Sunday mornings at Open Arms Community Church
1289 East Main Street, Bradford, PA. The teachings will also be featured on the church's website at

ANF Meetings on Oil, Gas
As Well As Lawsuit

The Allegheny National Forest (NF) announced today that it will be hosting three public meetings to discuss the oil and gas program and a recently filed settlement that will have a direct effect on future development within the Forest.

Meetings are scheduled for:
1. Monday, April 13th, 7:00 p.m., Warren Holiday Inn (Main Ballroom), Ludlow St. in Warren;
2. Tuesday, April 14th, 7:00 p.m., Frame-Westerberg Commons (University Room) at University of Pittsburgh in Bradford
3. Wednesday, April 15th, 7:00 p.m., Clarion Holiday Inn at the junction of State Route 68 and Interstate-80 (exit 62).

As Forest Supervisor Marten expressed, “Although this is short notice regarding these meetings, the public deserves to know as soon as possible how we are planning to move forward.”

On April 9th, 2009, the United States Forest Service, Allegheny Defense Project, Sierra Club and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics filed a stipulation of dismissal of the pending lawsuit, along with a settlement agreement with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The settlement resolves all matters related to the case brought by the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. This lawsuit was filed in November 2008 and challenged the issuance of Notices to Proceed for development of reserved and outstanding oil and gas resources within the Allegheny NF.

In summary, the settlement filed with the Court, includes the processing of 54 pending oil and gas proposals for a total of 588 wells, 2 pipelines, and one seismic line following current procedures. All remaining pending oil and gas proposals, and all future proposals, will be processed after the appropriate level of environmental analysis has been conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

KASD Sees Energy Cost Savings

Kane Area School District facilities manager John Rook said the school used to pay between $105,000 to $125,000 annually in natural gas heating costs. With the biomass system, those heating costs have been reduced to $40,000 annually.

For the full story, go to the Courier-Express.

Possible Study on New Trail System

The McKean County Planning Commission is planning a feasibility study on the possible conversion of the Knox and Kane Railroad right-of-way to a trail system.

McKean County is working with Elk, Forest and Clarion counties on the proposal to create a 69.9-mile trail from Kinzua Bridge State Park to Knox in Clarion County.

A state grant would pay half the cost of the study, which has an estimated price tag of about $69,000. If the grant application is approved, the study would start early next year and be finished by spring of 2011.

County planning director Debbie Lunden would also like the study to address a proposal for retaining the railroad tracks for a possible new tourist train operation from Kane to Kinzua Bridge State Park.

Hungry Beagle Eats Money

Penny scarfed down 75 pennies and change - a quarter, two dimes and a nickel, to be exact - totaling $1.25.

For the story, go to the Reading Eagle.

Grandma of Accused Cop Shooter
Chains Herself to Crime Scene

Saying she wanted to retrieve medical records, insurance records, clothes and other belongings from the home at 1016 Fairfield St., Catherine Scott, sat on the steps in front of her yard draped with a Steelers blanket, a book of "Healing Prayers" in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

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


Normally, I would not clarify information found on another radio station's Web site. However, because of numerous e-mails I've received and comments posted to this blog (none of which I published because they were inflammatory, at best), I'm making an exception.

The legal definition of "unattended death" is that a person was not under the care of a licensed medical professional at the time of death.

Furthermore, Pennsylvania law requires that the coroner investigate an unattended death.

Friday Fires Ruled Accidental

State police fire marshals have released more information on Friday's fires that left seven families homeless.

Trooper Greg Agosti investigated the fire at 85 Congress Street and has determined it was an accident. He says the fire started in the downstairs rear apartment and quickly spread to the second floor due to the balloon construction style of the apartment building.

There were no injuries, but three families have been left homeless.

Edna Hallock of Bradford owns the building. Damage is estimated at $250,000. The building is scheduled for emergency demolition today.

Trooper Mike McCracken says the fire at 23 Tibbitts Avenue was also accidental.

He says the fire started in second floor apartment and spread throughout the second floor. The first floor was heavily damaged by smoke and water.

Four families in that apartment building were left homeless. There were no human injuries, but one kitten died.

Guider Investments of Loveland, Ohio, owns the building. Damage is estimated at $200,000.

The McKean/Potter Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the families.

You can find more pictures at Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Friday, April 10, 2009

'Bye Bye Birdie' at the Bromeley

“Bye Bye Birdie,” a Broadway musical comedy based on the early career of Elvis Presley, will be staged Thursday, April 30, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Woodwind Productions will present the Rock 'n' Roll era-inspired show at 7:30 p.m. at the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Admission is $29 at the door and $24 in advance for the public, $25 at the door and $20 in advance for Pitt-Bradford faculty and staff, and $12 at the door and $10 in advance for students. The show is part of the university’s Season Subscription Series.

“Bye Bye Birdie” provided the launching pad for the Broadway careers of songwriters Charles Strouse and Lee Adams.

The title character is a Presley-esque Conrad Birdie, idol of teens across the country. Conrad, like Presley, is drafted, throwing his agent, Albert Peterson, out of work. Albert and his girlfriend hold a nationwide contest -- a lucky girl will give a good-bye kiss to Conrad on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

The winner, Kim McAfee, gets a visit from Conrad at her Midwestern home, frustrating her father and making her boyfriend jealous.

“‘Bye Bye Birdie’ is the historical ancestor to ‘Grease’ and ‘High School Musical,’” said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming at Pitt-Bradford. “Birdie is the teen musical that started the trend, and it’s a lot of fun to see where these modern musicals originated.”

Making its debut on April 14, 1960, “Bye Bye Birdie” had 607 performances on Broadway before being turned into two movies in 1963 and 1995. Dick Van Dyke and Charles Nelson Reilly portrayed roles in the original production.

The lineup of songs include “How Lovely to be a Woman,” “Put on a Happy Face,” “Kids” and the famous scene of “The Telephone Hour.”

The stage production garnered eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Life Magazine described the show as “a tuneful teenage rampage... a buttercup-bright musical hit that adds a note of fun to the Broadway season.”

A pre-show dinner will begin at 5:45 p.m. in the KOA Dining Hall of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The menu includes grilled chicken with vodka sauce, sour cream smashed potatoes, carrots Vichy, Caesar salad with homemade croutons, rolls with butter, vanilla custard with mixed berries and fresh whipped cream, iced tea, water and coffee. Cost is $18.

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

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

The photos of Woodwind Productions’ ‘Bye-Bye Birdie,’ are ‘Idol’ -- Eli Budwill plays Birdie for a bevy of starstruck teens; ‘Key to Sweet Apple’ -- the mayor, played by Dave Adamick, gives the key to the city to Birdie, played by Eli Budwill; and ‘Telephone Booth’ -- a cast number from the show.

Mission Team Coming to Bradford

The public is invited to attend a special presentation by the Bob Jones University Ministry Team at Faith Baptist Church, 498 Seaward Avenue, Bradford, on Wednesday, April 15, at 7:00 P.M.

The group will present a program of familiar hymns and gospel songs, consisting of vocal, piano, and instrumental music, as well as testimonies from team members. The leader of the team, Matias Espinel, will close the service with a brief message from the Word of God.

The Music Ministry Team is touring the Mid-Atlantic United States this spring. Members of the group are students at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

Dr. Bill Raymond, pastor of Faith Baptist Church and a graduate of Bob Jones University, invites you to attend this special service.

Photo provided by the First Baptist Church.

NWF Endorses Wilderness Proposal

WARREN --­ On the heels of the passage of the federal Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) supports expansion of Congressionally designated wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

The ANF wilderness proposal of Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) has the support of a rapidly growing, broad-based grassroots constituency that seeks protection for some of Pennsylvania¹s last parcels of remote, wild forestland.

FAW¹s Citizens¹ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania¹s Allegheny National Forest advocates adding eight areas and 54,460 acres to America¹s National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), which was established with the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

"With passage of this important federal public land protection, it¹s now time to turn our attention in earnest to Pennsylvania¹s only national forest -- the Allegheny," said Anthony Caligiuri, Executive Director of NWF¹s Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic Regional Center, in Annapolis, Maryland. "Beyond the protection that this designation would afford individual species, wilderness designations help improve ecological health across an entire landscape."

"The ANF is a remarkable resource that deserves more protection. We look forward to working with FAW and our Ohio affiliate, the League of Ohio Sportsmen, to ensure that these ecologically valuable parcels retain their natural splendor for future generations while remaining open to non-mechanized hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation," said Nick Schroeck, Regional Representative with NWF.

National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children¹s future. The president and CEO is Larry Schweiger. Schweiger previously served as president and CEO of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

"Friends of Allegheny Wilderness is honored to have the endorsement of such an historic and committed organization as the National Wildlife Federation supporting our carefully developed proposal for the Allegheny National Forest," said Ronald Simonsen, M.D., president of the board for FAW. "We look forward to further expansion of our wilderness coalition in the coming months with other practical-minded groups."

The Citizens¹ Wilderness Proposal was published in 2003 to coincide with the revision of the ANF¹s long-term management plan, or "Forest Plan." Forest Plan revision lasted nearly four years, with the new plan being published by the Forest Service in March of 2007. Of the 8,200 public comments submitted on the draft Forest Plan in 2006, more than 6,800 (better than 80 percent) specifically favored the Citizens¹ Wilderness Proposal.

Originally encompassing nine million acres around the country, today there are nearly 110 million acres protected as part of the NWPS, but only two wilderness areas totaling 9,000 acres in the ANF ­ Pennsylvania¹s sole national forest. This acreage equates to a scant two percent of the 513,300-acre forest. Nationally, 18 percent of national forest land is protected as wilderness.

"While we certainly recognize the significance of continued timber production and other important uses of the Allegheny National Forest to the region¹s economy and way of life, it must also be acknowledged that there is an acute shortage of protected wilderness here," said Kirk Johnson, FAW¹s executive director. "We are grateful to the National Wildlife Federation for recognizing this unfortunate deficiency, and acting to help us rectify it."

Wilderness designated under the Wilderness Act consists of significant parcels of federal public land set aside to be left in their natural condition in perpetuity. Hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and other forms of non-mechanized recreation are permitted within federal wilderness areas. New roads, motorized recreation, permanent developments, logging and other forms of commercial extraction are not permitted.

The addition of NWF to the list of endorsers grows the total number of local, regional, statewide, and national organization to over 40. Additionally, more than 100 businesses from around the region have endorsed the Citizens¹ Wilderness Proposal, and 60 forest scientists have endorsed. The full list can be viewed online at

Dresser-Rand CEO at St. Bona's

Vince Volpe, president and CEO of Dresser-Rand Group Inc., will discuss business strategy in a talk at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at St. Bonaventure University.

The 90-minute presentation by Volpe, a member of the St. Bonaventure University Board of Trustees, will be held in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building on campus. The talk is part of the School of Business’s Visiting Executives Series and is free and open to the public.

“Mr. Volpe will talk about Dresser-Rand’s business strategy through these tumultuous economic times,” said Dr. John Watson, dean of the School of Business. “The company has weathered the storm very well.”

Dresser-Rand is among the largest global suppliers of rotating equipment solutions, designing, manufacturing and servicing a wide range of technologically advanced centrifugal and reciprocating compressors, steam and gas turbines, and other equipment and control systems used in the oil and gas industry.

Dresser-Rand, headquartered in Houston, Texas, has invested in some of the most advanced testing capabilities in the industry at its world-class test facilities in Olean, N.Y., and Le Havre, France.

DMAP Applications Being Accepted

From the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

HARRISBURG – Landowners looking to enroll in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), which is designed to help landowners manage deer on their properties, have until July 1 to submit an application to the appropriate Game Commission Region Office.

In addition, a map delineating the property boundaries must be enclosed with the application. Landowners may obtain DMAP applications from the Game Commission’s website ( by clicking on “D.M.A.P.” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column of the homepage. Applications also can be obtained from any Game Commission Region Office or the Harrisburg headquarters.

Eligible lands for DMAP are: public lands; private lands where no fee is charged for hunting; and hunting club lands owned in fee title so long as the club was established prior to Jan. 1, 2000, and they provide a club charter and list of current members to the agency.

Coupons for DMAP antlerless deer harvest permits are issued to landowners at a rate of one coupon for every five acres in agricultural operations or one coupon for every 50 acres for all other land uses. Management plans are required only when an applicant for DMAP requests more than the standard rate for issuance of DMAP harvest permits.

Landowners must designate their boundaries in a manner approved by the Game Commission. Landowners will be allotted one coupon for each DMAP permit allocated for their property, and they may provide up to two DMAP coupons per DMAP area to a licensed hunter. Landowners may not charge or accept any remuneration for a DMAP coupon. Hunters may possess up to two DMAP permits for a specific DMAP property in any given license year.

DMAP permit allotments will be made separate from the general antlerless deer license allocations, and will be $10 for residents and $35 for nonresidents.

A significant change this year for landowners and hunters participating in DMAP is that DMAP coupon redemption will be done at any license issuing agent or over the Game Commission website rather than through the mail, thanks to the implementation of the agency’s new point-of-sale electronic license system, of Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS). Landowners have the option of receiving DMAP coupons and directly distributing them to hunters of their choice, or they can choose the “no coupon” option and allow any hunter to purchase a DMAP permit from the license issuing agent to hunt on their property.

The first option on the landowner application – “Yes, I want to distribute coupons directly to hunters that I choose” – is similar to previous years. With this option, the landowner will receive the coupons and distribute them to specific hunters. The hunters will then take coupons to any license issuing agent or the Game Commission website to acquire the antlerless deer harvest permits.

The second option on the landowner application – “No, any hunter can get a permit to hunt my property through the electronic licensing system without a coupon” – is new. With this option, no coupons will be sent to the landowner. Any hunter will be able to go to any license issuing agent or the Game Commission website to get an antlerless deer permit for this DMAP property. If the landowner chooses this second option, they also will be asked whether they want to advertise the location of the property on the Game Commission’s website so that their DMAP information can be made available to the public.

Hunters can apply for DMAP antlerless harvest permits as soon as coupons are available. Hunters without access to the Internet can obtain listings of eligible DMAP properties by mailing a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with a letter indicating their county of interest, to the Game Commission Region Office responsible for that particular county. Region Office contact information, and a listing of counties in its jurisdiction, is as follows:

Northwest Region Office, P.O. Box 31, Franklin, PA 16323. 814-432-3188. Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.

Northcentral Region Office, P.O. Box 5038, Jersey Shore, PA 17740.
570-398-4744. Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, and Union counties.

PennDOT Doing Traffic Counts

CLEARFIELD -- PennDOT’s Bureau of Planning and Research, Transportation Planning Division is collecting traffic counts now through June 30 across many roadways in the commonwealth.

The counts are taking place at approximately 7,200 randomly selected locations on municipally-owned, local roads throughout Pennsylvania. A listing of exact roads is not available at this time Drivers should not experience any delays associated with the traffic counts.

The traffic counts are being performed by vendors contracted by the Department of General Services. The data is needed for annual reporting to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and will also be used to update PennDOT’s database regarding traffic volumes.

For more information on traffic counts or municipal operations, visit the PennDOT website at

Part of I-80 Closing Next Weekend

PennDOT Engineering District 10 is advising motorists that, as part of the Preventative Maintenance (PM) project on I-80, the Interstate will be closed between Hazen (Exit 81) and Reynoldsville (Exit 86) interchanges in Jefferson County during two separate evenings to remove a railroad structure overpass.

Beginning on Friday, April 17, 2009, at 9 pm until Saturday, April 18, 2009, at 9 am, I-80 will be closed between Exit 81 (Hazen) and Exit 86 (Reynoldsville). The Interstate will be closed again on Saturday, April 18, 2009, beginning at 6 pm until Sunday, April 19, 2009, ending at 6 am. During those times of closure, traffic will be detoured as listed:

· Eastbound Traffic - Both passenger and commercial vehicles will use Exit 81 (Hazen) and follow the POSTED DETOUR.

· Westbound Traffic - Passenger vehicles will use Exit 86 (Reynoldsville) and follow the POSTED DETOUR, south on State Route 1830, then west on US 322, then north on PA 28 returning to I-80 at Exit 81 (Hazen).

· Westbound Traffic (Commercial Vehicles) - All commercial vehicles westbound must use Exit 97 (DuBois – Brockway) and follow the ORANGE ARROW DETOUR north on US 219, then south on PA 28, returning to I-80 at Exit 81.

Motorists are advised to anticipate traffic delays and be prepared to stop if necessary. They are also asked to slow down and exercise caution when traveling through work zones. As the need applies, flag crews will direct traffic while work is being performed.

This is a $ 9.2 million investment project with work being performed by HRI, Inc.

Backyard Habitats and
Warm Season Grasses

By Mary Hosmer
Public Affairs
Allegheny National Forest

The rabbit squirted out from almost underneath my feet and ‘zagged’ into a field of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). My shotgun fire had ‘zigged’. Beagle 1, rabbit 1, hunter 0. We were hunting switchgrass fields planted on State Game Lands down in Somerset County. My first experience with this grass left me a believer in its value to wildlife. Rabbits, pheasants, and woodcock – wow! I hadn’t had a day of hunting like that since I was a kid in the cedar swamps of Michigan and snowshoe hare were the prey of the day.

I was determined to learn more. I had learned ‘some’ about warm season grasses, of which switchgrass is just one kind of this grass, when I attended the Forestry Stewardship Course offered by the Renewable Natural Resources Extension and the Bureau of Forestry. Now I really wanted to know how to establish this grass on my farm here in Pennsylvania, My God’s Little Acre.

The first thing I learned was that warm-season grasses were native to Pennsylvania, and originally found along major rivers. Woods bison and elk grazed in these fields. Settlers arrived and turned the soil to plant faster-growing cool season grasses, such as clovers and forage grasses, and crops to feed their livestock and families.

I turn to the Renewable Natural Resources website,, for help. I also visit my friend’s farm to check out his warm season grass fields and learn firsthand what the pitfalls might be in establishment of these grasses. The cool season grasses grow better in spring to produce early crops, whereas the warm season grasses grow best in July and August. The difficult part of warm season grasses is the time it takes for the grasses to become established. It takes four to five years for a good ‘stand’ of grasses to develop.

Even though it may take time for these warm season grasses to establish themselves, the benefits are worth the wait. Warm season grasses are called ‘bunch’ grasses because they produce a plant that grows into a large bunch with many leaves. These grasses are tall, four to six feet, when mature. The winter snows may bend them over to create little hiding holes for wildlife, but the winds don’t flatten these grasses as they do goldenrod stems. The deep roots, five to six feet, hold soil well and prevent erosion. Aw, the colors – I love the yellow flowers of Indian grass (Sorghastum nutans), and the purple ‘turkeys-foot’ of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).

I learn that little bluestem (Schziachyrium scoparium), big bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass can be planted in a mixture to benefit wildlife. Another plus for warmseason grass is low nutrient needs. Farmers and homeowners can save money by planting a grass that doesn’t need lime and fertilizer every year, and will grow well in the low pH of western Pennsylvania soils. Warm season grasses can live up to fifty years; this eliminates the need to constantly renew the plant every three to five years, such as in clovers.

The important thing in establishment of fields of warm season grasses is to start with a weed-free field. Last year’s cornfield is a good site to start warm season grasses. Old fields with already established weeds and brush will take more herbicide and more work to remove the competition. I also learn that planting wildflowers into the warm season grass fields will add flowers and seeds to the grasses that benefit many birds, including pheasants. Turkey and grouse will bring poults (young birds) to a field with flowers in it because the flowers attract more insects to eat.

Good seed-to-soil contact is needed to properly grow a seed into a grass bunch plant. You can broadcast seed over a frozen ground as spring breakup occurs. But, the preferred method is to drill the seed with a no-till drill. Contact your local Pheasants Forever Chapter as they own several of these drills in Pennsylvania. Contact your County Conservation District for places to obtain technical advice when you establish warm season grasses on your property.

Pictured, from top, are little bluestem, Indian grass, switch grass and big bluestem.

Inmate Back in Custody

An Elk County Prison inmate who was missing for about a week is back in custody – in Oklahoma. Douglas Eugene Green was picked up without incident in Oklahoma on Thursday. Elk County officials say he's probably facing charges there, too, so they're not sure when they'll get him back. Green had been granted a six–hour furlough to attend a funeral in Clarion and was supposed to return to Elk County last Friday afternoon, but didn't show up. Green had been serving a 180-day sentence for domestic relations contempt.

Investigation Into Fatal Crash

New York State Police are investigating the handling of a call reporting that a car had gone off the Thruway in the Town of Portland Monday.

The call from a passing motorist came in at around 5 p.m., but Dr. Steven Abrusko and his children weren't found until around 8 p.m. after Ambrusko regained consciousness, found his cell phone and called for help.

His four-year-old son Peter and six-year-old daughter Katherine died in the crash.

State Police Captain Steven Nigrelli says the responding trooper went to the scene but said he found no sign of the car.

Woman Loses Leg After
Good Friday Church Service

Several people leaving Good Friday services at a Forest Hills church were injured this afternoon, including a woman who lost a leg, when a car driven by a priest lost control in a parking lot.

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

Open Records Chief Questions Gov.

Terry Mutchler, executive director of Pennsylvania's Office of Public Records, has written to Gov. Rendell questioning whether top administration officials share the view that government should be open and transparent.

For the full story, go to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Good Friday Cross Walk

Area Christians participated in the annual Good Friday Cross Walk this afternoon in downtown Bradford. This part of the walk was from St. Bernard's Church to the First Presbyterian Church. Other churches along the walk were the First United Methodist, First Baptist, Church of the Ascension and Hill Memorial United Methodist.

'It Was Kind of a Nightmare':
Firefighters Battle 2 Blazes

WESB/WBRR News Director

No people were hurt but one kitten died, one apartment building is destroyed and two more are damaged as a result of two fires at about the same time in one Congress Street neighborhood this morning.

"It was kind of a nightmare," says Bradford City Fire Department Lt. Chris Angell.

They got the first call for a fire at 42 Elm Street at just before 7 a.m., and Angell says they called a second alarm before they even got to the scene because he could see the smoke.

"The entire rear of the house was engulfed … there was smoke coming from every window," he said.

They weren't able to save that building but were able to save the building "two feet away."

"With the help of Bradford Township, 87 (Congress Street) had some minor damage, but we basically saved it," Angell said.

The apartment building, owned by Edna Hallock, has addresses of 42 Elm Street and 85 Congress Street.

Lt. Mike Scrivo says that while they were still working on that fire, and trying to save the other building, a passerby told them there was another fire at 23 Tibbitts Avenue.

That was at about 8:20 a.m.

"With two going at once, we knew we needed help," Angell said.

Scrivo says the majority of the damage at the Tibbitts Avenue fire was limited to one apartment although the other two did have smoke and water damage.

He says they were able to pull a mother cat and four kittens from the fire. One of the kittens died, but the other three are in "pretty good" shape and the mother is "great." They were taken to the McKean County SPCA.

Scrivo says the Red Cross is helping the families.

Besides Bradford Township, city firefighters were also assisted at the scenes by Derrick City and Lewis Run firefighters. The departments from Corydon and Lafayette townships were on standby.

In all, about 40 firefighters were on the scenes. They were at Tibbitts Avenue for about 2 ½ hours and Elm/Congress Street for about 5 ½ hours.

A state police fire marshal is investigating.

City officials say the Elm Streeet building is scheduled for emergency demolition tomorrow.

Cops: Man Assaulted 3 Boys

A Galeton man is accused of sexually assaulting three young boys at his home between January of 2004 and September of 2008.

22-year-old Edward Stahli allegedly touched the boys' genitals while he was baby-sitting. The boys are four, seven and eight.

Stahli has been charged with 15 counts each of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

He's free on $50,000 bail.

Forest Service Settles Suit

Environmental groups and the US Forest Service have settled a federal lawsuit over several oil and gas drilling projects in the Allegheny National Forest.

Under the settlement, the Forest Service agrees to conduct environmental reviews that the environmentalists say are required.

The plaintiffs, including Allegheny Defense Project and the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, claimed the reviews weren't being done.

The Forest Service will pay about $19,000 in attorney fees, but admits no wrongdoing.

Gas and oil drilling has increased significantly in the forest, and environmentalists say drilling, along with the roads built because of it, can destroy wildlife habitat and hurt recreational opportunities.

Baked Food Battle

Ealier this month we told you about a state senator who wants to change a law regarding baked food sales.

Now the issue has gotten national attention in the Wall Street Journal:

Inspector Nabs Homemade Desserts At St. Cecilia Church's Lenten Fish Fry.

'Bucky' Family Member Can Sue

Norma Gloss, the grandmother of one of convicted cop killer Ralph “Bucky” Phillips’ children, will be able to sue for damages for false arrest by New York State Police during the intense search for the jail escapee in 2006.

State Court of Claims Judge Michael Hudson has ordered a trial. Gloss says State Police falsely arrested and illegally held her for several hours on June 28, 2006.

Gloss lives in the Town of Pomfret in Chautauqua County.

Phillips is serving life in prison in the Clinton Correction Facility in Dannemora, New York, for killing State Trooper Joseph Longobardo. He also shot and wounded troopers Donald Baker Jr. and Sean Brown.

Guilty Pleas for Robberies

Two Bradford men have pleaded guilty in McKean County Court to their roles in several area burglaries.

Court records indicate that 18 year-old James Baribeau and 20 year-old Douglas Carnahan pleaded to robbery, receiving stolen property and hindering apprehension.

Carnahan took part in a robbery at a Bradford Uni-mart last October and one at Mastercraft Auto parts in Bradford last August. He’ll be sentenced on May 14.

Baribeau took part in a robbery at a Bradford Uni-mart last October and the Hilltop Baptist Church in October. He’ll be sentenced on May 28.

More Fire PIctures

While Bradford City Firefighters battle this blaze (above) at the corner of Elm and Congress streets, Bradford Township firemen were called to this fire (below) near the old Second Ward School, just a few hundred feet away from the first blaze.

Two Fires in Same Neighborhood

Bradford City Firefighters are battling a blaze at the corner of Elm and Congress streets this morning. Everyone got out of the house.

While city firefighterse were still battling this fire (and they are still on the scene as of this posting), another fire started just a few hundred feet away across the street from the old Second Ward School. Bradford Township Firefighters are battling that blaze.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NH Group Buys Land in Elk County

Conservation Forestry of New Hampshire is buying 10,000 acres of forest land in Elk County from Kaul and Hall Oil and Gas Company.

The Nature Conservancy has an option from Conservation Forestry to get a legal agreement that will limit development on the land, but will provide a "long-term supply of timber" while protecting the ecology that supports wildlife.

Part of the land is on the Allegheny National Forest, and part of it is state land east of Route 219.

For more information, go to the Nature Conservancy.

Candy Makers Can Appeal

Hershey and Mars can appeal a federal judge's decision concerning a civil lawsuit that accuses them of price fixing.

U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner has issued a memorandum allowing the Pennsylvania candy makers, and others, to appeal his decision. Last month, Conner denied the companies' requests to dismiss the case.

The manufacturers control 75 percent of the U.S. market. They are being sued by buyers who accuse them of fixing prices between 2002 and 2007.

They say they never conspired to fix prices.

Sandi Vito Pleads Guilty

Pennsylvania's acting Department of Labor and Industry secretary has pleaded guilty to a charge of public drunkenness and has paid $329 in fines and costs.

43-year-old Sandi Vito paid the fine at a Harrisburg district judge's office to resolve charges that stemmed from her arrest after drinking at a hotel bar last month.

Vito entered a rehabilitation facility after the incident, but has since returned to her $136,000-a-year job.

Governor Ed Rendell has said her personal difficulties aren't a reflection of her work performance.

Records 'May Have' Been Breached

A computer at Penn State Behrend containing Social Security numbers for nearly 11,000 alumni may have breached.

Director of marketing and communication Bill Gonda stresses the "may have," saying that it's very unlikely the breach happened. But, he says, the fact that they can't confirm information has been downloaded means they can't deny it either.

Letters notifying each of those former students will be mailed from University Park on Saturday with instructions for notifying credit reporting agencies.

College Student Charged in
Killing of Ex-Girlfriend

A Gettysburg College student is facing criminal homicide charges after his ex-girlfriend was found dead in his off-campus apartment.

Police charged 21-year-old Kevin Robert Schaeffer of Oley in the choking and stabbing death of 19-year-old Emily Rachel Silverstein of Roosevelt, New Jersey.

For more information, go to the Gettysburg College Web site.

Pirates to Honor Police Officers

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that the organization will honor three of Pittsburgh’s Finest who were fatally shot while on duty on April 4. The Pirates will host a special pre-game moment of silence and the playing of taps in honor of Officer Eric G. Kelly, Officer Paul J. Sciullo II and Officer Stephen J. Mayhle prior to the team’s Home Opener against the Houston Astros.

Pirates players will wear Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP) caps throughout the game, as well as a commemorative “PBP” patch on the left sleeve of their uniform, in recognition of the three fallen officers. In addition, the visiting Houston Astros players will wear Pittsburgh Bureau of Police caps during pregame introductions.

The Pirates will then auction off the authenticated, signed caps from both teams and the game worn Pirates player jerseys on All proceeds will go to the Pittsburgh Police Fallen Heroes Fund to support the Officer’s families they have left behind.

The Pirates will also partner with volunteers from the Pittsburgh Police Department to collect funds at the gates prior to the game, and during the game at donation stations located in Section 101 and the Guest Relations Office on PNC Park’s Main Concourse level.

Pirates pregame ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. All fans in attendance are asked to arrive as early as possible to ensure they are in their seats for the start of the ceremonies.

AG Cautions Homeowners

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection has launched an investigation into the business practices of American Escrow LLC, an Illinois-based escrow company that suddenly halted operations in March 2009.

Corbett said that homeowners across Pennsylvania, along with consumers from several other states, used American Escrow to handle the payment of their property taxes and/or homeowners insurance.

"Based on our preliminary investigation, it is possible that property tax and insurance bills for more than 100 Pennsylvania consumers were not paid by American Escrow," Corbett said. "It is essential that consumers who used American Escrow contact their local taxing authorities and homeowner's insurance companies as soon as possible to notify them of the problem, verify what payments have been made and make arrangements to directly pay any balances that are due."

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

Students Honored at Convocation

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford recognized individual students for their academic achievements and contributions to campus life at the university’s annual Honors Convocation held Thursday, April 9.

Before the awards were given, Dr. Hashim A. Yousif, professor of physics, gave the keynote address.

Eighteen students were named University Scholars, an honor given to juniors, seniors and students from the previous year’s graduating class who are or were in the top two percent of their class.

Those named University Scholars who were 2008 graduates were Jenelle M. Elmquist, a history/political science major; Kathryn Anne Hetherington, a sports medicine major; Corey William Hickey, a sports medicine major; Juliane Elizabeth Rees, an economics and business management major; and Matthew Thomas Seiberg, a social studies 7-12 major.

Those seniors named University Scholars were Debra J. Bell, a history-political science major from Shinglehouse; Katie J. Moore, an accounting and business management major from Warren; Stephanie Lynn Pascarella, a sociology and psychology major from Bradford; Kathleen A. Plyler, a business management major from Titusville; Jennifer Louise Snyder, a social studies 7-12 major from Rixford; and Lindsey K. Green, a human relations major from Townville.

Those juniors named University Scholars were Jessica M. Hamilton, a writing major from Wilcox; Barbara S. Headley, a human relations major from Port Allegany; Matthew Lee, a business management and accounting major from New Albany; Joshua L. Malone, a business management major from East Springfield; Ashley R. Neal, a sports medicine major from St. Marys; Mary Jo Stuckey, a sociology major from Coudersport; and Dianna L Wadlow, a psychology major from Eldred.

Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs, presented academic excellence awards to students with the highest academic performance in their class: freshmen Jessica R. Catalano, a nursing major from St. Marys; and Kaitlin M. Zapel, a human relations major from Bradford; sophomores Brittany R. Gorrell, a history/political science and social studies 7-12 major from Gifford; Patrick D. Jardini, a pre-physical therapy major from Ridgway; Christopher M. Leonard, an information systems major from Warren; Gino A. Macioce, a criminal justice major from Verona; Leslie K. Shallop, a pre-veterinary medicine major from Bradford; and Jessica N. Smith, a pre-medicine major from Lebanon;

Juniors Christine J. Bradshaw, a pre-pharmacy major from Randolph, N.Y.; Nicole M. Dipilato, a nursing major from Roulette; Prashant Gabani, a pre-medicine major from Bridgeville; Joshua L. Malone and Ashley R. Neal; graduating seniors Debra J. Bell, Marie A. Rucinski, a nursing major from St. Marys; Jennifer Louise Snyder and Dianna L. Wadlow.

Five seniors received Outstanding Achievement Awards, given by each academic division to the senior with the best academic performance: Janet McCauley Award for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Debra J. Bell; Biological and Health Sciences, Marie A. Rucinski; Communication and the Arts, Eric C. Hund, a public relations major from Great Valley, N.Y.; Management and Education, Katie J. Moore; Physical and Computational Sciences, Curtis Grant Pfleegor, an applied mathematics, mathematics education 7-12 and engineering science major from Howard.

Other awards were presented to Alexander B. Fish, an accounting and business management major from Coudersport, who received the IMA Outstanding Accounting Student Award and Student Life Award for Outstanding Leadership, Scholarship, Character and Service to the University; Vanessa L. Martini, a business management major from St. Marys, David L. Blackmore Award for Excellence in Business; Katie J. Moore, The PICPA Excellence in Accounting Award and the Student Life Award for Outstanding Leadership, Scholarship, Character, and Service to the University; Heidi Kathleen Holjencin, an elementary education major from Emporium, Education Student Award; Pamela J. Foringer, a human relations major from Spartansburg, Human Relations Award;

Stephanie Lynn Pascarella, Social Researcher Award; Theresa Ann Thorwart, a nursing major from Johnsonburg, ASN Student Nursing Award; Ashley D. Whiteman, a nursing major from Bradford, BSN Student Nursing Award; Justin J. Smith, an engineering major from Smethport, Engineering Award; Joanne Conde, a chemistry major from Sarver, The American Chemical Society Award; Stephanie N. Petchel, a broadcast communications major from Beaver Meadows, James D. Guelfi Award in Broadcast Communications; Alex W. Davis, a public relations major from Emporium, James D. Guelfi Award in Public Relations; Jessica Visseau, an English education 7-12 major from Shinglehouse, Vincent T. Kohler Prize in the Humanities; and John Edward Slackman Jr., a sport and recreation management and economics major from South Orange, N.J., Student Affairs Special Recognition Award.

Pictured, Katie Moore, a senior accounting and business management major from Warren, receiving the Student Life Award for Outstanding Leadership, Scholarship, Character and Service to the University at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Honors Convocation Thursday. Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs, presented her with the award.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Rendell Attends Memorial Service

Governor Ed Rendell today joined thousands of people from across the United States in honoring three Pittsburgh police officers who were killed in the line of duty on April 4.

Officers Paul J. Sciullo II, Eric Kelly and Stephen J. Mayhle were shot and killed while responding to a 911 call in the city’s Stanton Heights neighborhood. Two other officers were injured.

The Governor praised the officers for their service and sacrifice, and urged all Pennsylvanians to take an active role in making every community safer. The Governor also ordered state flags at all state facilities to fly at half-staff through April 11 to honor the fallen officers.

Representatives from the Bradford City Police Department went to Pittsburgh for the service.

The Red Coats are Coming

From the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

HARRISBURG – The Red Coats are coming! The Red Coats are coming! Well, they’re not exactly the British Red Coats invading New England; they’re ruby-throated hummingbirds and it would appear to be a northern invasion!

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are encouraging residents to be on the look-out for ruby-throated hummingbirds, the only hummingbirds regularly found in Pennsylvania or east of the Mississippi in spring and summer.

“Hummingbirds begin to trickle into Pennsylvania in April and, by May 1, they’re usually well established across the state,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “They winter in Central and South America. When they head north, they fly nonstop across the massive Gulf of Mexico and then flit from flowerbed to feeder to flowerbed through the South as they work their way north to their nesting grounds.”

To help Pennsylvanian’s track this migration, the Game Commission has posted a “Backyard Hummingbirds” section on its website (, which includes a link to map by that is being updated by citizen participants.

“According to entries submitted so far, hummingbirds were first spotted in Pennsylvania this year on April 4, in the southwestern corner,” Roe said. “Other sightings include the northeastern and eastern portion of the state on April 5, and southcentral region on April 6. Could your area be next?”

Pennsylvanians interested in seeing hummingbirds also can find information about what they can do in their backyards to make it more hospitable to this charismatic bird.

“Some people are convinced there's a secret to getting hummingbirds to visit their yards,” explained Dan Brauning, the agency’s Wildlife Diversity Section chief. “As a rule, if you set the table for hummingbirds, they will come. They’re really not that finicky, and they’re surely interested in just about any feeding location they uncover. So the secret – if there is one – is getting noticed!

“As long as the feeder is visible, filled with relatively fresh nectar or sugar water, and hummingbirds have returned from their wintering grounds, there’s a good chance you’ll attract hummingbirds,” noted Brauning. “It doesn't hurt to window-dress your rock gardens or flowerbeds with plants that hummingbirds seek out. But the feeder – preferably one that incorporates red in its design for establishing a new feeding location – is your first and best shot to attract early hummingbirds.”

Plants are great hummingbird attractors. Some of their favorites include red salvia, coral bells, trumpet vine, honeysuckle, gladiolus, jasmine, begonias, and scarlet morning glory. Other flowering magnets include hanging fuchsias, morning glory, paintbrush, petunias and trumpet-creeper. Wild flowers, such as columbine and beebalms (Monarda), are very appealing to hummingbirds and are easy to grow. Flowering trees and shrubs, such as mimosa (silk tree), or those that blossom, including rose-of-sharon, black locust, horse chestnut and sweetgum, also are great attention-getters.

Color is the key to stopping hummingbirds in your yard, so catch their eye with something colorful, particularly vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, even pinks and purples. Hummingbird feeders usually have red and yellow parts for flagging that get the job done. Then it’s up to the day-glow of your flowers to convince hummingbirds to drop their landing gear.

Some of the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds are those of tubular design. So go tubular and select festive colors. It's also a good idea to create large patches of similar flowers rather than to put together a mish-mash in each bed. If your flowerbeds are near where you'll hang your feeder, they'll definitely serve as billboards to hummingbird traffic.

“The first step in getting hummingbirds to establish residency in your yard is to make them hit the brakes,” Brauning said. "As long as you’re not trying to attract hummingbirds to a busy urban area, it shouldn't take a lot of work to get a hummingbird to stop. They prefer open areas with ample vegetation, and they aren't opposed to zipping around houses, or approaching people.

“It's usually a good idea to try attracting hummingbirds to a location on your property where disturbances are minimal and there is at least partial shade,” Brauning said. “Whether that's a feeder off the back-porch, or suspended from a rod-iron stand in a rock garden in front of the house, doesn't really matter. Once hummingbirds are using the feeder, move it five or 10 feet every other day toward the location you'd prefer they use for your viewing pleasure. They will follow readily.”

Male hummingbirds are extremely territorial; they guard feeders from lookout posts and chase one another away with the ferocity of maddened hornets. But they also will occasionally and enthusiastically attempt to chase bees, small mammals and other larger birds. It is because of this aggressive nature that it's never a good idea to place hummingbird feeders near windows, particularly picture windows.

What makes the hummingbird so susceptible to glass – and each other – is the fabulous flight gear nature has provided. Its body can hum to a beat of up to 80 wing strokes per second. It can fly backwards, hover and rise like a helicopter and go from zero to 30 miles per hour in 20 feet. The bird is a natural wonder, one that few people ever tire of watching.

Of course, to keep its finely tuned body operating smoothly, the hummingbird requires an ample supply of nectar that is readily available. Nectar is as potent as rocket fuel to hummers because of its high-caloric content. But given the hummingbird's limited ability to store energy and its high metabolic rate, the bird must constantly eat to satisfy its body's needs and fuel flight. That's why flowerbeds and feeder bottles are so “sweet” and essential to hummingbirds.

One word of caution about these feeders, however, is to be careful if you live in “bear country.” Due to their high-caloric offering, hummingbird feeders may attract any of Pennsylvania’s more than 15,000 bears, many of which will soon be out of their winter dens if they are not already.

So, if you want to feed hummingbirds, but want to avoid attracting bears to your property, consider bringing feeders inside at night or suspend feeders from high crosswires so they are at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from anything a bear can climb, including overhead limbs.

Sister, Brother to be Tried Together

The trial for the brother and sister accused of killing the woman's estranged husband is set to start on May 11 in Warren County.

Susan Yeager of Tionesta and Cory Altman of Endeavor are both charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the December 5 shooting death of Shawn Yeager.

Altman faces additional charges of possession of a firearm and cruelty to animals.

According to court documents, Susan Yeager had repeatedly asked her brother to kill her estranged husband. She then allegedly enlisted the help of another man, Robert Pessia of Warren who faces the same charges as Yeager.

Pessia will be tried separately, but no date for that trial has been scheduled yet.

Authorities say Yeager hatched the plot because she didn't think she was getting enough time with her sons. Her sons found their father's dead body.

Woman Charged with Prostitution

A Warren woman has been charged with prostitution after police responded to a call reporting a cell phone theft at a bar.

44-year-old Kelly Hartley is also charged with theft, public drunkenness, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. She's in Warren County Jail.

Police say while investigating the theft Wednesday afternoon, they found a woman who matched the suspect's description staggering on East Pennsylvania Avenue. They say when they tried to arrest her, she physically resisted.

The phone's owner identified Hartley as the thief. Hartley is also accused of soliciting a man in the bar, and offering to perform a sex act in return for money.

Company Decides Not to Drill

Seneca Resources Corporation has decided it will not sign leases worth $31 million to drill on state forest land in Tioga and Lycoming counties.

No reason has been given.

In December, Governor Ed Rendell said he planned to take $174 million of the $191 million coming from Seneca and three other companies to help fill a shortfall in the state's budget.

Rendell's press secretary Chuck Ardo says the administration is waiting to see whether ExxonMobil, the second-place bidder, wants to exercise its option before deciding what to do.

Live Coverage from Pittsburgh

KDKA-TV is providing live Internet coverage of the memorial service for the three police officrs who died Saturday.

Click HERE.

City Cleanup on Saturday

Local residents will be working together to help clean up Bradford this Saturday, thanks to some initiative from a local church and Bradford Mayor Tom Riel.

Complaining about the trash along the sides of the road was not an acceptable solution for Open Arms Media Coordinator Josh Hatcher, "I decided rather than complain about the trash strewn along the roads, that it would be better to just pick it up. But to be honest, it's a much bigger job than I can do."

"No one of us can do it all, not as a person or an organization," said Open Arms Pastor Mike McAvoy. "but together we all can accomplish a much bigger work in our community to make it a great place to live."

Hatcher contacted Mayor Tom Riel about a clean up of some problem areas. "Tom had already been in touch with area residents about their concerns, and he took my on a drive to show me what areas need to be cleaned up," said Hatcher.

Hatcher invited members from Open Arms Community Church to join him for the clean up efforts, as well as extending the invite to the greater community as well. Members of the City Police Department, and the Special Crimes Task Force will also be helping with the project.

"I think it's great that the police and the mayor have taken an interest in making this happen," said Hatcher. He says that a few volunteers from other churches, including Grace Lutheran have stepped up to help as well.

Hatcher says he also wants to clear up a few misconceptions about the project, "We're not just going in and cleaning up after irresponsible landowners. A lot of this trash is in right of ways along the roads and railroad tracks. There are a couple yards that have been covered in trash by irresponsible neighbors as well, and we are working with the current landowners to clean up that trash. They will be working to help us on this project. It's not just a free bailout. It's a cooperative effort to clean up the trash."

Wal-Mart has also donated supplies needed for the clean-up.

McAvoy said, "It's our privilege to serve our city. We believe in Bradford-- both the people and the community, God's plan for Bradford, and believe that God loves us and wants to bless us and this is our opportunity to be a part of that blessing."

Volunteers wanting to help should meet in the parking lot at Grace Lutheran Community Church at 8:30 AM Saturday.

ANF Featured in Italian Magazine

By Sandra Rhodes
Visitor & Member Services
Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau

If you see Italian tourists later this year, it’s thanks to some press coverage in qui Touring, Stati Uniti 2009, an Italian magazine.

The Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau conducted a FAM (familiarization tour) traveling with the Italian writer and photographer throughout McKean County. Many local businesses and residents assisted with hosting the group. In a courtesy copy of the magazine received by the bureau earlier this month, an entire section devoted to Pennsylvania features some items closer to home for McKean Countians.

The 10-page spread on Pennsylvania includes a sidebar on the Allegheny National Forest. Bradford and the Allegheny National Forest are two of the eight destinations featured on the map of Pennsylvania.

One of the photos in the spread is a train going over the Kinzua Viaduct before its collapse in 2003.

The text reads that after leaving Niagara Falls, one should head south to Bradford to visit the Zippo/Case Visitors Center, spend the night in one of the “beautifulest” cottages at Glendorn, trekking through nature and visiting the Kinzua Viaduct. According to the article, the viaduct is still visible today and “in 2009, beginning the recovery.”

Work is expected to begin later this year on the restablization of the bridge and the construction of a partially glassed skywalk. Money was just earmarked from the state budget for a proposed interactive discovery/visitors center with fabulous views of the bridge.

This is an image that was included in the magazine spread. Only a few areas in Pennsylvania are mentioned – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh PLUS Bradford and the Allegheny National Forest.

Stupid Pet Trick

This is one of my favorite Stupid Pet Tricks of all time. I think it's because Bailey reminds me of my dog, Beebe.


St. Marys Woman Missing

Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers are offering a reward for information relating to the disappearance of Michelle Benjamin of St. Marys. The 36 year-old Benjamin disappeared in June of 2007 and hasn’t been seen since. Investigators believe there are suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers number is 1-800-4PA-TIPS.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Prank Leads to Smashed Window

Jamestown Police Department responded to the Best Western Hotel for a report of a window being smashed out. After speaking with the manager of the hotel, officers learned that the hotel received a phone call from a male stating that he was cut off from his phone call with a male customer in room 210.

Hotel staff did transfer the phone call from the unknown male to the room. When the customer in the room answered the room's phone, he was advised by the unknown male that he was a member of HAZMAT and that the fire department and HAZMAT were in the hotel lobby with a major gas/carbon monoxide leak.

At that time, the male customer was told to smash out a window to avoid injury or death. The male customer believing he was in danger did so, damaging the window.

The male customer was not charged with the damages. The Jamestown Police Department is advising the public and businesses to be aware of this type of scam, and to contact the Jamestown Police Department should they receive any such phone calls.

Thanks Chuck!

Thanks to our friend Chuck Pollock at the Olean Times Herald for the mention of Frank and Stefan in his column.

The column also talks about the amazing St. Bonaventure women's basketball team and TO.

Man Duct-Taped Teen Son's Face

A Chester County man admitted in court that he slapped his 14-year-old son in the face, put soap in his mouth and duct-taped it closed.

Following the incident on November 19, 2008, the boy went to school and a teacher noticed bruises to his neck, a lump on his temple and bloody lips. The Department of Children Youth and Families was called.

The father was sentenced to two years' probation, and must attend an anger management course, submit to drug and alcohol evaluation and follow all recommendations, and have no contact with his son, who has gone to live with another relative.

For the full story, visit Chester County's Daily Local News

Pitt Improvers' Last Show of Season

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s improvisational comedy club, the Pitt Improvers, will perform a family-friendly show at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall.

The show will also serve as a fundraiser for The Friendship Table. Tickets will be available at the door and are $5 for adults and $2 for students. Pitt-Bradford students are free with a student ID.

Kristin Asinger, visiting instructor of sports medicine, and her husband, Tim, are advisers for the group of 16 students. This is the Improvers first year on campus, and the group has been well received. Recent performances have drawn about 100 students and community members, and the group performed as part of the 2008 Kiwanis Kapers.

During the performances, members of the cast play a variety of improv games and perform them based on suggestions given by the audience.

It was the group’s performance as part of Kapers that made members think of putting on a larger show.

“A larger crowd has a lot of energy as well as more people from whom to draw suggestions,” Asinger said. “The more creative the suggestions, the funnier it is, and what makes it so funny is the unexpected. We laugh, too. This show should be a stress-relief night since it’s the day after taxes are due and the week before final exams.”

Some of the Pitt Improvers (I don't know how many yet -- I told them the more the merrier) will be my guests on the LiveLine on April 15.

Pictured, top, Nuwangi Dias acts out a scene at a recent performance of the Pitt-Bradford Improvers improv comedy group at St. Bernard Middle School. Dias is a biology major from Kanata, Ont. Also, Kristin Asinger, left, and Nicholas Olumese act out a scene at a recent performance for St. Bernard Middle School. Asinger is a visiting instructor of sports medicine, and Olumese is a pre-physical therapy major from Fort Washington, Md.
(Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)