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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Owl Makes Home at Home Depot

A Home Depot in northern Arkansas has someone new looking out for mice at the warehouse store. A great horned owl now lives in the Harrison store's garden center, looking down on surprised customers shopping for flowers and paving stones. Employees say the bird's mother flew inside of the enclosed garden center during a January ice storm and laid eggs atop a pallet of merchandise.

For the full story, go to The Associated Press.

(Photo from the Pennsylvania Game Commission)

Substitute Teacher Charged

An area substitute teacher is being accused of providing alcohol and marijuana to teenagers at a birthday party in November.

District Judge Rich Luther arraigned 51-year-old Linda Jennings of Duke Center on 14 counts of selling and furnishing alcohol to minors. She was also charged with giving false testimony and intimidating witnesses.

Court records indicate that, during the investigation, Jennings asked a person to tell police she wasn't at the party and had been four-wheeling with her nephew.

Also arrested in connection to the alleged incident were 20-year-old Tod Chaffee of Olean and 20-year-old Brandon Gustin of Eldred.

All three are free after posting bail.

Two teenagers, whose names have not been released because of their ages, have also been charged.

Jennings worked as a substitute teacher in the Otto-Eldred School District, as well as other area districts, according to Otto-Eldred Regional Police.

Almost Ready to Go

The new gas pumps at the Foster Brook Crosby's/Tim Hortons are almost ready to use. They should be running next week -- just in time for Scott Douglas and his live broadcast from the store. Stay tuned for more details on that. ... And the Worth W. Smith store in the background reminds me that "Around the Home" with Bob Harris (sponsored by Worth W. Smith) returns next Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on 1490 WESB.

Officers' Persistence Leads to
Mother/Daughter Reunion

When a Texas narcotics officer received a tip about a mysterious little girl seen begging for food in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, he wasn’t certain it was a police matter.

But Ricardo Huerta pursued the lead anyway, and because he did, a missing 8-year-old girl from Jamestown was reunited with her mother this week.

For the full story, go to the Buffalo News.

Horse Dies, 2 People Hurt in Crash

A horse is dead and two people are hurt after a car hit an Amish buggy last night on Route 380 in Stockton.

A car driven by 49-year-old Kenneth McClune of Salamanca hit a horse-drawn buggy operated by Mahlon Byler of Stockton, ejecting Byler and his passenger Emanuel Kurtz.

Byler was treated at the scene by Stockton rescue pesonnel while Kurtz was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The horse had to be euthanized at the scene. Sheriff's deputies say no charges have been filed.

Contract Awarded -- Finally!

After about eight years of waiting – and more waiting – Foster Township supervisors were finally able to award a contract for the access road to the Lafferty Hollow Industrial Park.

Horizon Construction Group of Sandy Lake, PA, submitted the winning bid of $1.8 million. The road will give access to the property from Route 46 (South Kendall Avenue).

PennDOT and DEP have been holding up the project, mainly because of the environmental impact on the area.

The funding is through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RCAP) and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Zippo on 'The Today Show'

From Zippo:

On February 11, a TV crew from NBC news visited Bradford to file a story about Zippo and how the company is performing in the current business environment. Zippo officials learned late Friday evening that the segment is scheduled to air on one of the Weekend Today Show editions, either this morning or Sunday morning.

The feature covers the longevity of the Zippo brand and the extensive variety of designs Zippo produces on its famous windproof lighter. It also showcases the Zippo Repair Clinic and the fact that as long as Zippo lighters are backed by a lifetime guarantee, there will always be jobs at Zippo to repair lighters.

The reporter, Jeff Russen, and producer, Carla Marcus, interviewed several Zippo employees including Zippo Chairman George Duke. According to Zippo marketing communications manager, Pat Grandy, "Zippo was very pleased to host the news reporters from one of the nation's largest broadcast news organizations. It is a nice spotlight on both our company and Bradford." This report follows another national news story about Zippo that aired on NPR radio in December.

Grandy also said that NBC News advised that the Zippo segment is slated to run this weekend but there is always the chance that major national news could bump the story from the schedule. Weekend Today airs on WGRZ Channel 2 from 7-8:30 am on Saturdays and from 8-9 am on Sundays.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dillsburg Still Rattled by Quakes

A 2.9-magnitude earthquake rattled residents in York County at around 1:30 this morning, setting off concerns that the series of temblors that rocked the northern part of the county in the fall and early winter have returned. The last series of earthquakes occurred from October to January.


US Geological Survey.

14 Non-Profits to Share Money From Norfolk Southern Corp.

14 non-profit organizations in and around McKean County will share the $100,000 that was part of the sentence against Norfolk Southern Corporation for a trail derailment and hazardous materials spill in June of 2006.

The train derailed near the village of Gardeau and spilled 42,000 of lye into Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek, causing millions of dollars worth of damage and killing more than 100,000 fish. In November of 2007, Norfolk Southern pleaded guilty to violations of the Solid Waste Management Act. In addition to the $100,000 announced today, the company was also sentenced to pay of $150,000 fine to the state DEP Solid Waste Abatement Fund.

In September of 2008, the operator of the train, Michael Seifert of West Seneca, New York, pled guilty to a felony violation of the Solid Waste Management Act and was sentenced to serve one to two years in prison plus two years of probation, and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.

Organizations receving money are:

Seneca Chapter Trout Unlimited, located in Port Allegany, will receive $10,000 for stream improvement projects, such as stream bank erosion control.

PA Cleanways of McKean County, located in Smethport, will receive $10,000 to focus on cleaning up illegal dumps and removing trash from streams in McKean County.

McKean County Conservation District, located in Smethport, will receive $10,000 to aid in the development, improvement and conservation of McKean County's soil, water and related resources. The money will also go to educate the community in various conservation and environmental practices and methods.

Port Allegany Fire Department will receive $7,500. Port Allegheny Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Norwich Township Fire Department will receive $7,500. Norwich Township Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Bradford Township Fire Department
will receive $7,500. Bradford Township Fire Department was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

McKean County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. McKean County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Cameron County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. Cameron County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Elk County Emergency Services will receive $7,500. Elk County EMS was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Port Allegany Ambulance will receive $5,000. Port Allegheny Ambulance was one of the first responders at the derailment site.

Kinzua Fish and Wildlife Association, located in Kane, will receive $5,000 to aid in stocking and improving fish and aquatic habitats in the Allegheny Reservoir.

Hazelhurst Fishing for Kids Club
, located in Hazelhurst, will receive $5,000 to stock their trout hatchery.

Northeast Environmental Enforcement Project will receive $5,000 to provide environmental crimes enforcement training.

American Red Cross - McKean-Potter Counties Chapter, located in Bradford, will receive $5,000 to help fund its disaster relief efforts.

(Photos provided by the state attorney general's office.)

Plunging Pooches at Park

Risky rescue efforts had to be launched twice in the last month when unleashed dogs plunged into the Genesee River gorge at Letchworth State Park. Both dogs survived, including one that plummeted 150 feet.

For the full story, go to the Buffalo News.

Lt. Gov. to Address UPB Graduates

Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati will be the keynote speaker at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s commencement on Sunday, when he will address the largest graduating class in the university’s history.

Two hundred and eighty-six students will be receiving either associate’s or bachelor’s degrees during the exercises, which will be held at 2 p.m. in the KOA Arena of the Sport and Fitness Center. In addition to those students, 15 employees of Zippo Manufacturing Co. will be receiving two-year degrees in business on Sunday on behalf of Pitt-Titusville, a partnership between the two campuses and Zippo.

Sunday’s ceremony will also include the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Distinction to The Stackpole-Hall Foundation in St. Marys and Dr. William C. Conrad, its executive director.

Scarnati, Pennsylvania’s 31st lieutenant governor, also serves as Senate President Pro Tempore. He is currently serving his third term in the Senate, representing the 25th District, which encompasses all of Cameron, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter and Tioga counties along with parts of Clearfield and Warren counties.

Scarnati, R-Brockway, was sworn in as lieutenant governor on Dec. 3, 2008. He assumed the lieutenant governors duties after the death of Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll on Nov. 12.

As lieutenant governor, Scarnati is second in line to Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who was Pitt-Bradford’s commencement speaker in 2007. In his new role, Scarnati’s primary responsibilities will be presiding over the Senate and serving as chairman of the Board of Pardons, which each month reviews the cases of convicted criminals seeking clemency for their sentences.

Scarnati has been in politics for more than 20 years, getting his start on the Brockway Borough Council and later becoming chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. He was first elected to the Senate in 2000.

He holds a degree in business administration from Penn State University’s DuBois Campus and is an ex-officio member of Pitt-Bradford’s Advisory Board.

“I think that Senator Scarnati will enjoy getting to know our bright and talented students,” said University President Dr. Livingston Alexander, “and I’m sure he’ll be pleased that many of our graduates plan to live and work in the region and contribute to the long term health and vitality of its various communities.”

'Creating a Cure' in Emporium

By Alex William Davis
Public Relations Director
American Cancer Society of Cameron County

At least eight artists will demonstrate their talents to raise money for cancer patients during the American Cancer Society's pilot program Creating A Cure on Saturday, May 30.

Painters, wood carvers, a felt knitter, a welder and a caricature drawer will set up in pavilions and musicians will perform from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. at Sizerville State Park, along Route 155, six miles north of Emporium.

Declining interest in the county's Relay for Life prompted members to launch the program to raise money for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services.

Instead of walking a track for a period of 24 hours, community members can view art through the state park. The fund raising goal is $30,000.

"I think it is exciting that Cameron County is taking on a new idea," said ACS spokesperson Marie Costello. "All of the money will come back to support cancer patients in Cameron County."

Kicking off Creating A Cure at 10 a.m. will be an opening ceremony to honor cancer victims. Family members and friends will be able to fill and decorate a bag with memories, similar to luminary bags at Relay for Life, which will be set up as a maze.

Upwards of 30 survivors will be recognized, and a speaker will talk during a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. An auction with wood carvings, jewelery and paintings will be held at 3 p.m. Park naturalist Tom Murphy will give guided hikes around the park at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Also available will be kid games, face painting, food and beverages, and raffles will be chanced off.

A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at the Cameron County Recreation Center (Memorial Hall) on Chestnut Street in Emporium.

For more information, contact Costello at 1-888-333-5129, ext. 3010 or

'Maximum Impact' at Pitt-Bradford

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is one of 500 sites across the country to broadcast the Maximum Impact Simulcast leadership training event May 8.

Topics of the simulcast will include overcoming personal and professional adversity, embracing change, learning the keys to building strong teams and best practices for balancing the needs of customers, employees and company shareholders.

The event will be broadcast live from the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and will feature speakers such as former British prime minister Tony Blair, golfing legend Jack Nicklaus and leaders in business and marketing.

The Bradford viewing of the simulcast will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 162, Swarts Hall, and includes lunch. The cost is $89, which also includes program materials. However, there is a special rate of $22 for employees of Pennsylvania Regional Manufacturers.

Sponsors for the event are the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Outreach Services, Leadership McKean, the North Central Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We were able to keep costs down by collaborating with several partners,” said Ann Robinson, director of the Pitt-Bradford Business Resource Center.

Registration is limited to 75 participants. To register, call Laurie Dennis in Pitt-Bradford Outreach Services at (814)362-5078 or e-mail

More information on the simulcast is available at

SBU Has Plans for Castle Site

St. Bonaventure University is working with developer Ross Wilson & Associates of Williamsville in assessing the feasibility of a plan for the former Castle property, located on Route 417 across from the east side of campus.

Brenda Snow, senior vice president for finance and administration, says the possible components of the plan include apartments, a hotel, convenience retail, restaurants, and a recreation venue.

The study is expected to be complete in August, with the goal of starting construction as soon as possible thereafter.

Snow says they're eager to move forward with the project primarily because it will enhance the campus life experience of the students while also boosting the regional economy,

BRMC's 'Biggest Loser' Winners

By Kimberly Maben, Director
Department of Communications

Bradford Regional Medical Center is over two tons lighter and a whole lot healthier - thanks to the efforts of the organization's Wellness Committee in hosting a "Biggest Loser" contest to raise awareness of healthy lifestyles and dietary choices.

A beach party was held April 17 to reveal the winners of the 12-week contest which started Jan. 19, according to Wellness Committee member Beth Price. "The competition was a huge success," Mrs. Price noted.

Bridget Pascarella of BRMC's Same Day Surgery Department took the top individual award of $1,000 for having the highest percentage weight loss of 23.5 percent. Also, the Pre-Admission Testing Department earned the top team award for the highest percent weight loss of 14.1 percent. The winning team was comprised of Mrs. Pascarella, Shannon Madore and Lois Sager. The team members received hooded "Biggest Loser" sweatshirts.

Additionally, Tom Kreiner, a member of the hospital's Pharmacy staff, lost 52 pounds -- the most of anyone -- and for his effort he won a $150 gift certificate at Rhoda's. The certificate was provided by Robert Landfried, D.O., F.A.O.C.A., chairman of BRMC's Department of Anesthesiology/Pain Management.

There were 37 employees who lost 10 percent of their body weight and their names were put in a drawing for a $500 prize with the winner being Pauline Kindervater of WIC. More than 130 employees completed the competition and lost a total of 2,149 pounds.

(Photo of Kreiner and Pascarella courtesy of BRMC)

Too Much Power Equals
Too Much Greed

By Senator Lisa M. Boscola

How much do you trust big corporations today? Do you really believe that Exxon Mobil has absolutely nothing to do with the rising price of gasoline? Do you trust that big drug companies aren’t ripping us off when the same pills we take cost 50 percent less in other countries? Do you believe that AIG executives really deserved million-dollar bonuses after they bankrupted the company and took a taxpayer-financed bailout?

If our country’s current financial mess taught us anything, we’ve learned the hard way that greed is really the driving force behind a lot of corporate decisions. Corporations exist to make as much profit as possible, so you shouldn’t expect any corporate executive to tell you the truth as long as telling a lie is more profitable for his company.

I hope you keep that in mind over the next seven months. Because the people who run your “friendly neighborhood power company” are going to take a lot of the money you pay them to keep our lights on and use it to convince you that electric deregulation is “good for you.” In fact, you will be paying for the commercials they’ll be running to tell you exactly why you should be happy about paying higher electric bills – because it’s “good for you!”

Of course, the truth is that electric deregulation is only good for the companies that sell electricity. Once rate caps come off at the end of this year, their corporate profits will double – and they are already making record profits with rate caps still in place.

When I called for extending electric rate caps two years ago, an army of utility lobbyists and their corporate lawyers flew to the State Capitol from Houston, Chicago, New York City and Washington, DC. They each tried to convince me that my efforts were illegal, unconstitutional and sure to plunge all of Pennsylvania into total darkness because power companies would soon go bankrupt unless they could raise the electric rates we all pay by 50 percent.

But, one lobbyist – an “energy expert” from Manhattan – left an impression on me that I will remember for the rest of my life. In fact, his words continue to motivate me to this day to keep fighting on this important issue.

He said, “Senator, can I just ask you why you are doing this?”

It was a fair question, to be sure. So I started to explain that electric deregulation had failed to produce either lower prices or more competition. On top of that, power companies were making billions of dollars in record profits even with rate caps still in place and – before I could continue, he stopped me.

“No, no, no,” he said, waving his arms in disgust. “That’s not what I’m talking about! Why are you even trying to take on these big utility companies? Don’t you know that you are going to lose? You can’t possibly win against them! They’re too big and too powerful. They will squash you!”

It’s that same mentality of putting “profits before people” that caused the economic crisis we find ourselves in today. It may be easy for Alan Greenspan to admit he “made a mistake” in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight, but it is going to be a lot harder for people who lost their jobs, their savings, their investments and their homes to ever recover what they lost.

Big companies, with huge amounts of PAC money, high-priced lawyers and political lobbyists at their disposal, have gained too much power and too much influence over our lives. In fact, some elected officials have forgotten that democracy is government “by the people and for the people” – not government “by big corporations and for bigger corporate profits.”

When greed finally got out of control last year, any sense of common decency that ever existed in the corporate world disappeared faster than the money in your 401(k). Financial institutions exploited people for profit and Wall Street traders took reckless gambles with other people’s so-called “safe investments.” HMOs hired doctors who were more than willing to deny the legitimate claims of sick people, rather than pay for the health care they were entitled to. And that’s why companies like AIG still keep tossing around million-dollar bonuses like horseshoes at the company picnic – even though taxpayers are now footing the bill.

Electric deregulation will soon take a much bigger bite out of your family budget – at a time when a lot of our friends and neighbors and family members are out of work, without a paycheck or health care for their kids, and really struggling to make ends meet.

It’s time for the people’s representatives to get on with the people’s business. This is a fight that matters to all of us, especially seniors who are living on fixed incomes and small business owners who will be forced to go out of business when higher electric bills hit. Thousands of jobs will be lost, not just here, but all across Pennsylvania.

Like I said to the lobbyist who threatened to squash me: “I’m going to stand up for what I believe in – and I won’t apologize for not backing down.” Neither should you! So stand up and join me. Don’t be intimidated by these big corporations. Now is the time to fight back against corporate greed and keep electric rate caps on until we have “real” competition.

SCI-Forest to Expand

An expansion to the state correctional institution in Forest County is part of a planned $862 million expansion that will add nearly 9,000 beds to the system.

The expansion also includes two new state prisons in Montgomery County, just outside Philadelphia.

Together they'll have 4,100 beds for medium-security and maximum-security inmates. They're expected to open in three years.

New prisons are also planned for Centre and Fayette counties. Besides the Forest County facility, other expansions are planned for Crawford, Indiana and Northumberland counties.

Bill Aimed at Helping Dairy Farmers

Pennsylvania dairy farmers would get some help under legislation introduced today by the Commonwealth's senators.

Arlen Specter and Bob Casey say the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2009 will help dairy farmers get a fair price for their milk.

Farmers are seeing prices as low as $10 and $11 for a hundredweight of milk – down from $24 per hundredweight in July.

The act would require that all milk produced in the United States be priced using a national average cost of production. The Secretary of Agriculture would be required to reassess milk price every quarter.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

You can read the proposed legislation HERE. (PDF)

Did You Miss the Noon News?

Listen now:
Midday News for April 24, 2009.

Pittsburgh Pirates Raise $76,103

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that the Pirates front office staff, players and fans raised $76,103 for the Fallen Heroes Fund during the Home Opener and through an online auction on All the funds raised will be donated to assist the families left behind by fallen Pittsburgh police officers Eric G. Kelly, Stephen J. Mayhle and Paul J. Sciullo II.

“I would like to personally thank all of our fans, employees and players who donated their time and money to assist these families,” said Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting. “We recognize that no amount of aid can fill the void left behind by this senseless tragedy. Once again the people of Pittsburgh have shown how we always rally together to help those in need.”

The Pirates and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police teamed up during the Home Opener to encourage fans to donate to the fund as they entered the gates. Police officers and Pirates players and staff held collection buckets at every PNC Park gate where fans could donate prior to the start of the game. The Pirates front office staff also set-up collection stations inside PNC Park during the game.

In addition, the team placed the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP) caps and Pirates jerseys with the “PBP” patch worn by all Pirates players and coaches during the 2009 Home Opener at PNC Park up for auction on Also up for bid were the PBP caps worn by the Houston Astros players and coaches during the pre-game ceremonies. All the items were autographed and authenticated, including the Matt Capps jersey and hat that went for an auction-high $2,625.

Brookville SD Cuts Taxes

The Brookville Area School District is doing something very unusual – especially these days.

They're cutting taxes.

The board voted to eliminate a long-standing occupational assessment tax and two $5 per capita taxes. The tax bill for working residents of the district will be reduced by $210.

Those taxes generate about $600,000 a year for the school district.

Board members who voted for the cut said, because the district is financially stable, they thought it was a good idea.

Driver Tries to Miss Turkeys

A Driftwood man has been cited after an accident Wednesday night on Barr Hollow Road in Cameron County.

34-year-old Clinton Stanton told police he swerved to miss a flock of turkeys in the road and went down an embankment.

Stanton fled the scene but was located a short time later.

Fires at Regional Restaurants

A fire destroyed the Perkins restaurant just outside of DuBois Thursday afternoon.

No one was hurt, and firefighters were able to save the neighboring Burger King although it did have some smoke damage.

Crews who were on standby for the Perkins fire were called to an electrical fire at Arby's in the DuBois Mall. That fire was quickly extinguished.

For photos, and more information, go to Potter County Fire News.

The McDonald's in Westfield has minor damage after a fire Thursday evening.

Investigators say the fire was near the deep fryers and in an exhaust fan on the roof. They say a problem with the rooftop exhaust fan caused the unit to stop functioning properly. It overheated and started the grease on fire.

The Westfield Fire Department put the fire out quickly, but the restaurant was closed for the night.

Bradford Man Arrested in Mexico for Kidnapping Jamestown Girl

A Bradford man has been arrested in Mexico on international kidnapping charges.

39-year-old William Amacher as well as his girlfriend, 62-year-old Linda Wynn are accused of kidnapping Wynn's 8-year-old niece in 2007.

The girl was in Wynn's custody because her mother, of Jamestown, New York, was having what authorities are calling difficulties. They say when the mother turned her life around and the court granted her custody of her daughter, Wynn and Amacher fled to Mexico with her.

Authorities found them Wednesday after a Texas law enforcement officer reported that he had seen a disheveled white girl begging for food in a Mexican border town.

Editor's Note: In an earlier report, authorities identified Amacher as Wynne's boyfriend. Amacher is actually Wynn's son. Wynn is the great aunt of 8-year-old R.J. Myers.

Montecalvo Completes Training

Navy Seaman Recruit Joseph J. Montecalvo, son of Mary M. and Vincent J. Montecalvo of Lewis Run, Pa., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Montecalvo completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations". This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly ''Navy'' flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.

Montecalvo is a 2006 graduate of Bradford Area High School of Bradford, Pa.

SBU to Celebrate Annual
Girls and Women in Sports Day

Female high school athletes from across the region will have the opportunity to hone their skills as the St. Bonaventure University Department of Athletics, Department of Physical Education and School of Education sponsors its annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Friday, May 1.

The high school students will also have the opportunity to hear from freestyle wrestler and 2012 Olympic hopeful Leigh Jaynes. Jaynes, who competes for the New York Athletic Club, is a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army Reserves. She is training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as she competes for a spot on the 2012 Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team.

Jaynes began wrestling as a senior at a south New Jersey high school. After being named All-American, she was recruited by Missouri Valley College. There she wrestled for four years, rising through the ranks to be the No. 1 contender among those in her weight class on the college level. She now participates in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, where she trains for national and international competitions while maintaining a professional military career.

Throughout the Sports Day Celebration, members and coaches from St. Bonaventure’s varsity athletic teams, women’s rugby team and ROTC program will conduct clinics for the female students from 13 area high schools. From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., athletes and coaches will teach skills from their respective sports as well as give high school students and coaches the opportunity to talk with them.

Participants can choose from softball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, tennis, swimming or an Army fitness challenge. Most of the clinics will be held outside the Reilly Center, weather permitting.

The Army is also supporting the event by providing rock climbing walls and Army Humvees that will be on site.

Students from the following area high schools will be attending this year’s program: Allegany-Limestone, Southwestern, Bradford, Cuba-Rushford, Genesee Valley, Hinsdale, Portville, Olean, Ellicottville, Silver Creek, Salamanca, Scio and Bolivar-Richburg.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day participants are encouraged to attend the St. Bonaventure women’s softball game against Saint Joseph’s University at 3 p.m., after the conclusion of the event.

The National Girls and Women in Sports Coalition was started in 1987 to remember Flo Hyman, an Olympic volleyball player. Before Hyman’s death, she worked to promote equality for women’s sports. Since then, the day has been celebrated to acknowledge past and present women’s sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continued promotion of equality and access for women in sports.

For more information, contact Dr. Paula Scraba in the Department of Physical Education at or (716) 375-2444.

Read more about Leigh Jaynes (pictured in red) at

(Photo courtesy of St. Bonaventure University)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

Listen now:
WESB News Review for April 23, 2009

Glenn Thompson Appears on Fox

Relay for Life:
Changes, Additions for 2009

The annual Bradford Relay for Life is making a couple of changes – and adding a couple of things – this year.

The first change is the time. This year's relay will be from noon June 19 to noon June 20, instead of 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The other change is in location. It won't be at Callahan Park this year because of a scheduling conflict.

Fran Stewart of the American Cancer Society says, "The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford was gracious enough to let us come out there and use their facilities."

Relay participants will be walking "the loop" around campus.

The tents will set up in the Hanley Library lawn.

The University is also allowing relay participants to use the Sport and Fitness Center.

The first new addition to the relay will actually be held on the night before the event.

The Fight Back Parade will start at 5:30 p.m. June 18 on Main Street and make its way to the Bradford Area High School parking lot.

Any area group or organization interested in being in the parade can call the American Cancer Society at (9814) 368-3646 before May 29.

The other event has been called "cross-dressing for cancer," but it's actually the Miss Relay contest – for men only.

Stewart explains that men dress up like women, and also write a biography about themselves. In between the Survivor and Luminaria ceremonies, the men go around the site collecting money. The money goes toward the winning contestants' team.

Lawmakers Want High-Speed Rail

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) today sent a letter to Ray LaHood, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, urging him to reconsider high-speed rail designations that would divide the Great Lakes Region into two separate, unconnected routes.

“Given the region’s interest in being connected to the proposed high-speed passenger rail network, we would appreciate the benefit of your views as to whether the current designated high speed rail corridor map precludes Erie from competing for a role in the President’s vision for high-speed rail,” the members wrote.

The current map of high-speed rail corridor designations connect Cleveland to Kansas City and Minneapolis/St. Paul and also includes a line connecting Buffalo to major population centers on the east coast, but does not connect Cleveland to Buffalo. The issue was first brought to the members’ attention by Erie County Councilmember Kyle Foust. Councilmember Foust expressed concerns that the lines as planned would create a gap in the corridor that could potentially isolate the Erie region from a future national high-speed passenger rail network.

Full text of the letter below.

Dear Secretary LaHood:

We write today to bring your attention to a suggestion made by Erie County Councilmember Kyle Foust regarding the designation of high-speed rail corridors. Councilmember Foust raises an important issue, and we would appreciate your consideration of his views.

As Councilmember Foust points out, the current map detailing designated high speed rail corridors across the country divides the Great Lakes region into two separate, unconnected routes. The map connects Cleveland to Kansas City and Minneapolis/St. Paul and also includes a line connecting Buffalo to major population centers on the east coast. Unfortunately, the map in its current form does not connect Cleveland to Buffalo. Councilmember Foust is concerned that this gap in the designated corridor map could potentially isolate the Erie region from a future national high-speed passenger rail network.

If that is the case, the network would fail to include a 190-mile section between two major population centers and may effectively cut off the Erie region from any opportunity to benefit from the Obama Administration’s rightful commitment to establishing a national high speed passenger rail network.

Given the region’s interest in being connected to the proposed high-speed passenger rail network, we would appreciate the benefit of your views as to whether the current designated high speed rail corridor map precludes Erie from competing for a role in the President’s vision for high-speed rail. If your determination is that Erie would be precluded, we would respectfully request that you consider amending the map to include a connection between Cleveland and Buffalo, via Erie.

We applaud the President’s leadership on this important issue and look forward to working with you on this and other matters of importance. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Arlen Specter
United States Senator

Kathy Dahlkemper
Member of Congress

New Head of Straub Brewing Co.

The Straub Brewing Company in St. Marys has a new president.

William Brock is replacing Daniel Straub, who plans to retire June 1. Straub worked at the brewery for 30 years and became its CEO in December when the new position was created.

Brock was formerly a consultant and a workforce development director outside the company. He joined the brewery last year.

Study: PSU Generates $17 Billion

A study commissioned by Penn State shows that the university generates more than $17 billion for the state's economy, making it the largest single contributor to the economy.

The figure includes $8.5 billion in what the study calls "direct and indirect economic impact" and $8.7 billion through business services, research and alumni activities.

The study says Penn State is the largest creator of employment among non-government entities with 44,000 workers.

University president Graham Spanier says he hopes the results will help residents and elected officials in the state understand how much the university system means to the Commonwealth.

Family Homeless After Fire

A Warren County family is homeless after fire destroyed their home early this morning.

The fire in Spring Creek Township was reported at about 1 a.m. Crews from seven departments battled the blaze until about 5 a.m.

No one was hurt. Two adults and two children were outside the home when firefighters arrived.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Teachers Want Munro Out

The Allegany-Limestone Central School District teacher's association has approved a no confidence vote against Superintendent Diane Munro.

During a meeting last night, a letter was read saying due to Monro's lack of educational leadership, the atmosphere among the employees and parents in the district has developed into fear and distrust.

The association is also asking the district to terminate Munro's contract.

Foreign Trade Mission in WNY

Representatives from 39 countries will be in Buffalo next week for a two-day trade mission with regional business leaders.

Governor David Paterson says the mission is designed to foster investment and job creation between international business interests and business in Western New York. During the session, visiting trade commissioners will hear from senior New York officials, learn about investment opportunities in Western New York, meet with local businesses and trade partners, and become acquainted with the strengths of the Western New York Region.

Participating countries include China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

For more on this story, go to the governor's Web site.

DEP Rejects Sewage Plans

MEADVILLE – Concerned about the lack of an intermunicipal agreement that defines a common strategy to deal with significant sewage system shortcomings, the Department of Environmental Protection has decided not to approve sewage plans, referred to as Act 537 plans, that were submitted by the city of Bradford, Bradford Township, Lafayette Township and Lewis Run Borough.

The municipalities, along with Foster Township, all utilize the Bradford Sanitary Authority (BSA) system for their sewage disposal. For years, the sewage collection system has been carrying more flow than the system was designed to handle and the BSA sewage conveyance system has experienced raw sewage overflows and the sewage treatment plant has been compromised.

In 2007, BSA and the municipalities entered into a consent order and agreement with DEP that required the elimination of overflows, evaluation of the sewage treatment plant, and, if necessary, expansion of the sewage treatment plant. Under the consent order, the municipalities were required to submit sewage plans that reflected their common commitment to eliminate the sewage overflows and sewage treatment plant shortcomings. The municipalities submitted their Act 537 plans on time but those plans failed to contain an intermunicipal agreement that would assure all necessary work be done.

“DEP needs assurance that all of the municipalities are in this together, that there is an agreement on assigning upgrade costs to each community,” said DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch. “The sewage plans submitted by the four municipalities did not include that agreement and, as a result, the department cannot approve the plans. Without an agreement, there is no commitment that a sewage system fix would be carried out.”

DEP has informed the municipalities that they need to negotiate and submit a finalized intermunicipal agreement that addresses DEP concerns. Under the 2007 consent order and agreement, the communities have 60 days in which to address the deficiencies.

The consent order and agreement calls for all overflows to be eliminated by December 31, 2013.

Municipal leaders will be meeting Wednesday to discuss their plans.

It's National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is designated to recognize all volunteers and celebrate the spirit of volunteerism.

At the American Red Cross, we are especially grateful for the hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the nation who contribute their time, blood and financial support. Many of us are ourselves volunteers. We know first-hand the selfless nature of people who give with no expectation of being paid for their time.

However, volunteers will tell you that they are well-paid. The reward for their work is not money, but is, instead, the satisfaction of helping others, active involvement in the community and the friendships that form through volunteer work.

Service has a profound effect on the person who provides the help as well. “I’m not wealthy, but I am richer because I volunteer,” comments one Red Crosser when expressing that volunteering has changed her life.

“This year, the theme of National Volunteer Week is "Celebrating People in Action," and that is just what Red Cross volunteers are – people in action”, says Jason Bange executive director of the McKean-Potter Counties American Red Cross. The actions of the American Red Cross volunteers provide relief to victims affected by disasters; they help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies; they provide lifesaving blood to victims of disease, burns and injuries; they connect families separated by a call to duty; they teach lifesaving skills; and the American Red Cross celebrates the actions of our volunteers who enable us to fulfill our mission.

“To our local volunteers, we thank you for all you give us”, said Bange. “If you are not currently a volunteer for the American Red Cross, you are invited to join us. Right now, we especially need people who would like to deliver for our Meals on Wheels program or participate in our Disaster program.” To volunteer, contact Jason Bange at the Red Cross office at 368-6197.

Bradford's Main Street Program
Receives 2009 Accreditation

The Bradford Main Street program has been designated an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center. Each year, the National Trust and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs that have built strong revitalization organizations that have demonstrated their ability to follow the Main Street methodology.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standard,” says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center, “Rebuilding a district’s economic health and maintaining that success requires broad-based community involvement and support, in addition to establishing a solid organization with sound management that is committed to long-term success.”

The National Trust Main Street Center works in partnership with Coordinating Main Street Programs throughout the nation to identify the local programs that meet the National Trust’s 10 basic performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress, and preserving historic buildings. For more information on the National Program accreditation program, visit

The organization’s performance is evaluated annually by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center in Harrisburg, which is the coordinating organization for Main Street programs in Pennsylvania.

The Bradford Main Street program began approximately ten years ago, and works with businesses in the downtown historic business district. The program provides help to businesses by assisting with funding of façade renovations and improvements. Some of the façade projects that are currently ongoing or have recently been completed include the Tin Ceiling Gift Shoppe, The Grocery Stretcher, the Corner Bar, the Option House, the Hooker Fulton Building and Cavallaro Custom Framing. The Main Street program also coordinates downtown events and promotions, and develops economic retention and restructuring plans for the Main Street area. Two Main Street businesses that it directly works with include the The Main Street Mercantile and the Main Street Movie House.

Since 1980, the National Trust Main Street Center has helped hundreds of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts across the nation reclaim the unique quality of life that only a thriving community center can provide. Through the Main Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district revitalization, which combines historic preservation and economic development, the center has forged a nationwide movement for the revival of America’s historic and traditional commercial districts. The Center provides a nationwide membership network, comprehensive on-site consulting services, in-depth seminars and conferences, technical publications and training materials, and national advocacy for commercial districts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories. For more information visit

Workshop to Focus on 'Helping Families in Tough Economic Times'

Robert Feikema of the Parental Stress Center in Pittsburgh will be the keynote speaker at a workshop Friday, April 24, called “Helping Families in Tough Economic Times.”

The workshop is free and open to the public. It will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The workshop is being co-sponsored by the McKean County Collaborative Board, the Northern Tier Community Action Corp. and the Pitt-Bradford master of social work program as part of their activities for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Also, as part of the groups’ activities the Children’s Memorial Flag is being flown at Pitt-Bradford to focus attention on violent child death in efforts to reduce child mortality.

The workshop will begin and end with a resource and networking fair to take place from 9 to 9:30 and 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Feikema’s talk on short- and long-term ways agencies can help families during changing economic times will take place from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. and will be followed by a panel discussion of how these ideas might be implemented locally.

Feikema is director of programs and community initiatives at the Parental Stress Center, a child abuse prevention agency in Pittsburgh. His special interest is in poverty and the need for human service agencies to support people with low incomes, encouraging them to take a leadership role in changing community conditions. He helped establish the Citizens Leadership Initiative, a multi-agency collaboration that trains low-income individuals to become civic leaders on poverty-related issues.

Feikama will also help facilitate the discussion with the local panel, which will consist of Ken Straub, executive director of Northern Tier Community Action Corp.; Robin Kulek, a home economist with Penn State Cooperative Extension; Harry Solarek, chairman, McKean County chapter of Habitat for Humanity; and Lee Beckes of First Presbyterian Church, the Bradford Ministerium and The Friendship Table.

Gabler Attacks I-80 Toll Efforts

HARRISBURG - An attempt to bring to a vote an amendment offered by state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) that would have removed the authorization to implement tolls on Interstate 80 was blocked Wednesday through efforts spearheaded by House Democrats. By a 106-87 vote, the amendment was ruled out of order, thus preventing it from actually being considered on the House floor.

Gabler issued the following statement in response to the vote:

"I am disappointed that my House colleagues chose to employ parliamentary gamesmanship in stonewalling my effort to remove the threat of tolling of Interstate 80. Rather than doing the people's business and taking action to help our local economy, opponents of this amendment chose to hide from this important debate. Those of us who live in districts adjacent to the interstate know how detrimental tolling would be to the surrounding communities and how detrimental that threat has already been.

"My constituents clearly understand that Interstate 80 is the lifeblood of our local economy. The outcry from the people of the 75th District has not died since last session when this chamber passed Act 44, which authorized the Turnpike Commission to toll Interstate 80.

"Hearings have been held virtually the length of the interstate by the House Republican Policy Committee, and testimony has been taken from people who will feel the effects of the tolling scheme firsthand. Many employers came forward to say the threat of tolling has had a chilling effect on their operations, and certainly any pending expansion that they may like to undertake.

"My district includes Elk County, which has the distinction of having lost the highest percentage of jobs in Pennsylvania in the second half of 2008, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. In fact, preliminary numbers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Elk County at a shocking 13.2 percent unemployment rate for February 2009.

"The people of the 75th District rely heavily on the manufacturing sector. Our local jobs depend on making a product and transporting it to market in a competitive manner. If a factory finds that it is more expensive to do business here than somewhere else, it will take its business elsewhere. If a company is looking for a place to locate an operation and create jobs, it will do so where it is cost-effective to do so.

"With the threat of tolling remaining a distinct possibility, job creators are hesitant to tie themselves to our region. Our entire economic situation nationwide is largely a problem of confidence. Removing the threat of tolling Interstate 80 is the single biggest thing we can do to create confidence in our area.

"The message sent by those who threw up this legislative roadblock is clear- their vote for unconstitutionality was a vote in favor of the economically crippling Act 44. Wednesday's proceedings are disappointing but not discouraging. I vow to continue my efforts to prevent this damaging plan from being enacted upon my constituents."

State Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) also weighed in on Wednesday's decision.

"Based on yesterday's largely partisan vote, apparently 106 members of the state House believe that eliminating this potential 49 cents per mile tax on Pennsylvania motorists and employers along the I-80 corridor is unconstitutional," said Oberlander. "Just like the original plan to toll Interstate 80, this is old-school Harrisburg politics at its worst.

"Once again the Pennsylvania House squandered a golden opportunity to actually begin to address the significant short and long term problems surrounding our Commonwealth's crumbling infrastructure which is the result of decades of poor decision making, bad management and clumsy planning by state government across the board. It has nothing to do with a lack of funding. I applaud Representative Gabler for taking the lead in standing up for the manufacturers, trucking companies, distributors, family-owned businesses and individual Pennsylvania motorists who will carry the heaviest weight of the burden if the tolling of I-80 ever becomes reality," Oberlander added.

Did You Miss Today's Noon News?

Listen now:
Midday News for April 23, 2009

Remember, the flubs give you the "live" experience.

Cops: Man Forged Judge's Signature

A Warren man has been charged with forging a judge's signature on false documents ordering a woman to appear in court.

34-year-old Emmett Confer is a accused of giving the woman a "Notice to Appear" document saying she would be arrested if she didn't appear in court.

He allegedly forged the signature of Court of Common Pleas Judge William Morgan.

The woman believed the notice was real.

The documents were connected to a dispute over child custody.

Fumo Appealing Conviction

Former state Senator Vincent Fumo is appealing his federal conviction on 137 corruption counts.

The 65-year-old Philadelphia Democrat cites insufficient evidence and a juror's online posts on Twitter and Facebook, among other issues.

Prosecutors plan to seek more than 10 years in prison for Fumo at his scheduled July 13 sentencing.

A jury convicted Fumo of defrauding the state Senate, a charity and a museum of more than $3.5 million.

He's free on bail.

Dallas-Morris, OSHA Join Forces

Dallas-Morris Drilling is among the companies that have joined with OSHA to form the Appalachian Oil and Gas Safety Consortium.

The alliance is designed to promote workplace safety and health among companies in the oil and natural gas industry that are operating in the Appalachian Basin.

Through the alliance, OSHA will work with industry partners and the University of West Virginia Education Center to develop training and educational programs for employees involved in exploration, drilling, extraction, servicing, and distribution of oil and natural gas.

A major goal of the alliance is to develop training materials that include OSHA 10-hour, 30-hour and train-the-trainer courses focused on different aspects of the oil and natural gas industry to include site preparation, drilling and production.

OSHA currently has more than 470 safety and health alliances throughout the nation as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to improve the safety and health of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to promote the safety and health of America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit

Bradford Bypass Work Update

Next week crews working on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass will set up temporary barriers on the northbound lanes to prepare for the southbound traffic change.

Mid to late week, southbound traffic will be moved into the northbound lane. Northbound and southbound traffic will both be in the northbound lanes, separated by the barriers.

Also mid to late week, the southbound ramps at the Foster Brook interchange will be closed. Traffic should follow the posted detour.

Zippo Cancels Zippo Fest

Zippo has cancelled its inaugural Zippo Fest – a music-themed event planned for July 18.

Mark Paup, Zippo's vice president of sales and marketing, says in recognition of the serious economic situation, the company wants to tightly manage and allocate its marketing resources for greater sales impact.

"Our focus is on driving sales and revenue growth for maximum return," he says. "Therefore, we feel it is in our best interest to cancel the event."

Paup noted that despite the downturn, the Zippo brand remains strong and other elements of the company's 2009 marketing program remain as planned.

Meetings on PA Broadband Set

From the Potter County Education Council:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is very pleased to announce a series of public meetings across Pennsylvania to engage in public input, raise awareness, and collect comments concerning the Federal Broadband stimulus within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Potter County Education Council will host this meeting on Monday, May 11 from 4 -6 p.m. at the Coudersport Office. PCEC will also be video conferencing this meeting to five off-site locations.

The Act provides for grants and loans through two federal agencies. The Department of Commerce National Telecommunication and Information Administration, which provide grants through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service, which provides loans, loan guarantees, and grants. These two program will provide funds to assist in accelerating broadband access and deployment to unserved and underserved areas.

Governor Rendell’s Office of Administration and the Department of Community and Economic Development are hosting outreach sessions to meet with local leaders, businesses, citizens, and economic development organizations, informing them of the opportunities made available by the Federal Broadband stimulus. We are seeking your comments and suggestion as to the public needs and concerns, and the role of states in energizing the economy, and building an innovative environment through availability of broadband throughout the state.

To view all available off-site location, for more information or to register visit the PCEC website at, email Janine Morley at or call 814-274-4877.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

Listen now:
WESB News Review for April 22, 2009.

Three Pitt-Bradford Seniors
Commissioned Second Lieutenants

Three University of Pittsburgh at Bradford senior ROTC students were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army in a ceremony on campus today.

Lt. Col. Thomas Leitch of the Seneca Battalion of the ROTC program headquartered at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., administered the oath to Michael D. Dixon, a history/political science major from Bradford; Matthew E. Gustin, a criminal justice major from Shinglehouse; and Travis R. Michael, a criminal justice major from Erie.

“These young men have successfully completed all academic, leadership and experience-based requirements for becoming U.S. Army officers, and they will represent the largest number of Pitt-Bradford graduates ever to be commissioned at the same time,” said Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Dr. K. James Evans, who was also honored Wednesday for his support of the Seneca Battalion.

Leitch said that the students are the 13th, 14th and 15th Pitt-Bradford students commissioned since Pitt-Bradford began offering ROTC through St. Bonaventure 29 years ago.

Dixon enrolled in ROTC as a freshman, receiving a 3 ½-year scholarship at Pitt-Bradford. He competed in both swimming and cross country at the university, serving as captain of both teams. He plans to go on active duty in the Army next month as a transportation corps officer. As a cadet, he served as the Battalion S-4 and as Alpha Company executive officer. He is the son of David and Ruth Dixon.

Gustin also enrolled in ROTC as a freshman, receiving a one-year scholarship at Pitt-Bradford. He served as Gold Bar President for two years and was a member of the Criminal Justice Club. He plans to serve in the Army National Guard as an infantry officer. As a cadet, he served as Charlie Company commander and Charlie Company executive officer. He is the son of Scott and Sharron Gustin.

Michael enrolled in ROTC as a junior, attended Leadership Training Camp and received a two-year scholarship at Pitt-Bradford. He served as Habitat for Humanity president for one year and was a member of the Outdoor Club. He plans to serve in the Army Reserves as a military police officer. As a cadet, he served as Charlie Company commander and Battalion S-1. He is the son of Robert and Mary Sue Michael.

Pictured, from top, Ruth Dixon pins second lieutenant bars on her son, Michael Dixon of Bradford. Dixon’s dad, David Dixon, is at right; Scott Gustin pins second lieutenant bars on his son, Matthew Gustin of Shinglehouse; 2nd Lt. Travis Michael of Erie takes the oath of office.
(Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Texting Amendment Fails in House

The state House has rejected a proposal to prohibit using hand-held cell phones or sending text messages while driving.

The proposal would have imposed a $50 fine and made violations a primary offense, meaning police could have pulled over motorists only because they were seen using cell phones.

Among the issues debated was what it means to actually operate a motor vehicle. Representative John Maher is one of the people who spoke against the amendment.

"So under Pennsylvania law, this amendement would have the effect that a mother wating outside a school, parked in a school parking lot, waiting for children to complete a school activity, while she's talking on her cell phone, she would be committing a crime," Maher said.

Debate continues on other amendments to the underlying bill addressing teen driving safety, including proposals to address the issue of distracted motorists.

More Flight 3407 Lawsuits Filed

Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed on behalf of a Westfield couple killed in on Flight 3407 near Buffalo on February 12.

The suits on behalf of Ronald and Linda Davidson are the fifth and sixth filed in federal court in Buffalo.

Attorneys say the crash could have been avoided if the plane had a low-air speed-warning system on it.

Thompson Praises Constituents

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, took to the House Floor today to praise his constituents for speaking out against ‘this broken process we call Washington’. Thompson, who is referring to the Tea Parties that took place across his sprawling rural district last week, was presented with a signed petition by those who partook in the State College, Pennsylvania Tea Party.

Pitt-Bradford Graduation Sunday

Two hundred eighty-six students will graduate from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford during commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26.

Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, will address Pitt-Bradford’s largest-ever graduating class in the KOA Arena of the Sport and Fitness Center.

The commencement will also be broadcast live at

Those from Bradford receiving associate’s degrees are Timothy E. Burkhouse, an engineering science major; Matthew John Labashousky and James J. Pascarella, both information systems majors; Katie Ann Burkhouse, Jeffrey W. Day, Sara Nicole Griffiths, Ashley E. Kline, Nicholle Medine, Allison K. Thimons and Kimberly A. Wonderly, all nursing majors; and Jack A. Spring, a petroleum technology major.

Other students receiving associate’s degrees are Robert B. Good III, an information systems major from Rixford; Gina A. Aiello, an information systems major, and Theresa Ann Thorwart, a nursing major, both from Johnsonburg; Renea M. Wolfe, a nursing major from Kersey;

Steven A. Buck, Heidi Jo Kucenski and Lauren Irene Jardini, a all nursing majors from Ridgway; Maureen Eck, Abby Kaveney, Angela Margaret Meyer, and Jessica Williams, all nursing majors from St. Marys; Robert A. Fry, a nursing major, and Kolbi Renee Bergman, a petroleum technology major, both from Kane;

Todd E. Burgess and John Robert McElwee, both engineering science majors; Cynthia Ann Remington, an information systems major; and Dustin G. Barlow and Todd M. Miller, both nursing majors, all from Port Allegany; Zeke E. Drake and Stephen Jacob Weidner, both nursing majors from Shinglehouse;

Lindsey Renee Burkey, Shelly Ann Johnson and Emily Rose Slack, all nursing majors from Clarendon; Jessica N. Falconer, Andrew Joseph Skerda and Lyndsey Suppa, all nursing majors from Warren; Cole David Fitch, a nursing major from Sheffield;

Kerri Lynn Fitch, a nursing major from Wilcox; David Kosakowski, a nursing major from Portland Mills; Sophie Brandenburg, a nursing major from Ellwood City; Tanner L. Bechtel, an engineering science major from Conneautville;

Curtis Grant Pfleegor, an engineering science major from Howard; Nathan Norris, an engineering science major from Newmillport; Jessica Lynn Mockler, a nursing major from Lancaster; Sara Shaw-Ford, a nursing major from Williamsport; Kathryn Elizabeth Roth and Michael Ryan, both nursing majors from Bethlehem;

Allyson Marie Tacchi, a nursing major from West Grove; Sara Elizabeth Meingossner and Jennifer Lynn Pisieczko, both nursing majors from Lansdale; Crystal Ziegler, a nursing major from North Wales; Jada Amore Reeves, a nursing major from Pittsburgh; and Daniel P. Boyd, a petroleum technology major from East Boothbay, Maine.

Students receiving bachelor’s degrees from Bradford are Catherine Michelle Epstein and Joshua M. Patterson, both broadcast communications majors; Jonathan A. Callahan, Michael J. Chartreau, Amber Lynn Green, Matthew David Guthrie and Zachary I. Weart, all criminal justice majors; Lisa G. Moeke and Sameer N. Pradhan, both environmental studies majors; Matthew D. Daugherty, an accounting and business management major;

Michael David Dixon, Scott Benjamin Sipko and Erica Wallace, all history/political science majors; Sarah A. Colwell, Jennifer Lee Graham, Ryan Nicole Hohman, Staysha Lee Spiller and Sheryl A.H. Wallace, all human relations majors;

Anna Jude Chiodo, a public relations major; Rebecca Gleason Confer and Tarah Marie Lipps, both social sciences majors; Derilyn Heller, a sociology major; Jonathan Robert Hannon, an accounting major; Kelly Ann Neely and Aaron M. O'Toole, both accounting and business management major; Jess Whelan, an athletic training and sports medicine major; Michael James Marcella and Stacy Lynne Tingley, both biology majors;

Daniel Steven Kermick, a biology and biology education major; Jamie Jean Keane, a business education K-12 major; Jonathan Jay Bradish, Lisa Marie Gelormini, Jessica L. Keane, Jessica Lonzi, Timothy Allen Riley, and Eric Taylor, all business management majors;

Juliane Elizabeth Rees, a business management and economics major; John Paul Snyder, a computer science major; Crystal Marie Erwin, Alexis Natalie Newton, Brent M. Raabe, Amber Lee Steck, and Michael Allen Steck Jr, all elementary education majors;

Whitney L. Race, an elementary education and social sciences major; Theresa Lynn Pompa, an English education 7-12 major; Natalie Marasco, a health and physical education major; Allison Rene Armstrong, Laura Prechtl and Emily J. Wilton, all psychology majors;

Stephanie Lynn Pascarella, a psychology and sociology major; Rabecca S. Chase and Jeremy A. Zetts, both radiological science majors; Samantha Lynn McAlpine and Eric F. Schenfield, both sport and recreation management majors; Mark William Austin, Valerie L. Coole and Ashlee Lyn Siffrinn, all sports medicine majors; Susan G. Niegowski, Anibal R. Pombosa and Ashley D. Whiteman, all nursing majors.

Other students receiving bachelor’s degrees are Brittany A. Winner, a business management major; Brian Wood, a sport and recreation management major; and Michael Paul Sorokes, a criminal justice major, all from Lewis Run; Jennifer Louise Snyder, a social studies education 7-12 major, and Michael W. Miller, a public relations major, both from Rixford; Lyndsey Amber Knox, a human relations major, and Jennifer Cole, an athletic training major, both from Cyclone; Jerry M. Brodie, an accounting major from Derrick City; Brandy Patrick, a writing major from Rew;

Margaret Beichner, a history/political science major, Kelly M. Burkhouse, an elementary education major; Heidi Kathleen Holjencin, an elementary education major; Angela K. Moate, a computer science major, and Kaitlyn Ryan, a sports medicine major, all from Emporium;

Olivia Mosier, a criminal justice major, and Tiffany Largey, a nursing major, both from Kersey; Dale Elizabeth Fox, a history/political science major; Jenna Rae Kielbowick, a human relations major; Brenda M. Porter, a nursing major,Adair Rohr and Kellie Jo Young, all nursing majors; Tara Lindgren, an elementary education major; and Jeffrey M. Kuleck, a health and physical education major, all from Ridgway;

David John Slaney, a broadcast communications major; Kristen Camille Allison, a criminal justice major; Kelley Moyer, a human relations major; Bethany Ann Ruland, a human relations major; Adryona M. Taraska, a public relations major; Kathleen J. Moore, accounting and business management major;

Cathie Michelle Vincent, a business education K-12 major; John M. Revetti, a business management major; Nikolai S. Alpatov, a computer science major, and Devin R. Ruhlman, a sport and recreation management major, all from Warren;

Mitchel J. Neely, a criminal justice major from Duke Center; Terry Jeffrey Seal and Stephanie A. Ward, both criminal justice majors, John K. Werlau Jr, an elementary education major, and Dianna Wadlow, a psychology major, all from Eldred;

Carla Gigliotti, a sociology major, and Melissa Anderson, an entrepreneurship major, both from Port Allegany; Matthew Eric Gustin, a criminal justice major, Debra J. Bell, a history/political science major, and Cortney Marie Lagrua, an elementary education major, all from Shinglehouse; Miranda Marie Bailey, a criminal justice major, Cora Louise Hall, a sociology major, Brenda S. Austin and Richard C. Tanner, both business management majors, Anna M. Stewart, an elementary education and history/political science major, and Beth Kay Stratton, a radiological science major, all from Smethport; Geoff Brabham a criminal justice major from Oswayo; Kayla Marie Copello, a radiological science major from Benezette;

LauraJo K. Elmquist, an accounting and business management major, and Andrea Jo Stahli, an athletic training major, both from Johnsonburg; Noel Marie Bartlett, a biology major, Marie A. Rucinski, a nursing major, Vanessa Lynn Martini, a business management major, and Emily Lynn Rieder, a radiological science major, all from St. Marys; Timothy Walter Nelson, a business management and economics major from Wilcox;

Brad Thomas Sanders, an accounting major, Kammi Jo Johnson, an accounting and business management major, Joseph Saquin, a biology major, Barbara J. Haight and Donna Black, both business management majors, Harold Allen Yale, a psychology major, Alixandra Elizabeth Mallery, a radiological science major, all from Kane;

Melissa L. Bartlein, an elementary education major, and Jessica Faes, sports medicine major, both from Mount Jewett; Tiffani Becker, a radiological science major from Roulette; Heather Lynne Rulander, a nursing major from Russell;

Alexander Fish, an accounting and business management major from Coudersport; Jacqueline Bokan, a biology major, and Flynn O'Hagan, a health and physical education major, both from Genesee; Leah Michelle Showers and Jennifer Eck, both psychology majors, Daniel Scott Belcher, a sports medicine major, all from Sheffield;

Luke Hull Vaughn, a broadcast communications major from Ludlow; Joseph Terrasi, a broadcast communications major; Jason Patrick Walters, a communications major, and Elizabeth Ann Sands, a human relations major, all from Pittsfield; Tiffany Leigh Vinopal, a human relations major from Grand Valley; Danielle Marie Salsgiver, a biology and biology education 7-12 major, and Marianna Elizabeth Pascuzzi, a business management major, both from Clarendon; Brittany Killen, a writing major from West Mifflin;

Eric Hund, a public relations major from Great Valley, N.Y.; Frances R. Walters, an accounting, business management and economics major; Andrew David Sickles, an environmental studies major; John Douglas Redington, a sociology major; Matthew Thomas Seiberg, a social studies education major, all from Randolph, N.Y.; Dana Flanigan, a social sciences major from Salamanca, N.Y.; Travis M. Heath, a social sciences major from South Dayton, N.Y.; Justin Elmore, a criminal justice major; June E. Isaman, a social sciences major; Teegan Rachele Forness, a business management major; Nicole Marie Ewings, an elementary education major; Matthew Pietrkiewicz, an elementary education major, and Lori Ann Geise, a nursing major, all from Olean, N.Y.;

Caitlin Metler, a communications major; Sally J. Severtson, an elementary education major; Jenna Holloway, a business management major, and Madelyn C. Bishop, a psychology major, all from Allegany, N.Y.; Andrew Steven Fancher, a psychology major from Bolivar, N.Y.; Diana Joseph, a health and physical education major from Cuba, N.Y.; Danielle E. Williams, a sport and recreation management major from Sandusky, N.Y.; Heather Renee Rochford, a psychology major from Portville, N.Y.; Lloyd E. Long II, an elementary education major; Kimberly D. Rublee, a sport and recreation management major, and Leigh-Anna Printup Miller, a nursing major, both from Salamanca, N.Y.;

Ashley Diane Smith, an English major from Sharpsville; Kellie Marie Isaac, a human relations major from Franklin; Shana L. Young, a human relations major from Pleasantville; Ruth Denae Carr and Julie A. Patterson, both human relations majors; Amanda Marie Enright, Heidi Louise Gebhardt, Ian T. Long, Megan Kathleen Madden, Joseph M. Rakoczy and Haley Marie Schneider, all business management majors; and Douglas C. Atteberry, an elementary education major, all from Titusville;

Nicole Kathleen Schultz and Robin Denise Smith, both human relations major from Centerville; Ryan L. Emerson, a communications major from Corry; Jennifer Lynn Sanders, a human relations major from Edinboro; Nathaniel J. Rhoades, a psychology and criminal justice major from Linesville; Pamela J. Foringer, a human relations major from Spartansburg; Jillian Renee Wales, a broadcast communications major from Millerton; Andrew J. Laganosky, an interdisciplinary arts major from Carlisle;

Brittany D. Faulk, a broadcast communications major from Greencastle; Jason Cody Magargle, an English and writing major from Montgomery; R. Michael Hunter, an environmental studies major from Danville; Zachary James Plummer, a history/political science major, and Udele Ashley Shawver, a sports medicine major, both from McClure; Valerie Donohue, a sociology major from Havertown; Travis Michael, a criminal justice major; Jonathan May, a sports medicine major, and James M. McFadden, a business management major, all from Erie;

Jennifer Marie Autieri, an English education 7-12 major from Beaver; Sherri Rogan, an accounting and business management major from Apollo; Brittany Jean Barnes, a chemistry major from Butler; Joanne L. Condé, a chemistry major from Sarver; Matthew F. Niehaus, a sports medicine major from Sharon; Tyler R. Younkins, a business management major from Freeport; Tina Marie Shetler, a business management major from Polk; Lewis Leroy Reeger Jr, an applied mathematics and mathematics education 7-12 major from Irvona;

Evelyn Marie Young, an accounting and business management major from Emlenton; Bradley D. Blood, a business management major from East Springfield; Gregory Cook, a sport and recreation management major from North East; Lauren N. Sipple, an elementary education and writing major from Waterford; Jason M. Copeland, a biology major from West Springfield; Curtis Grant Pfleegor, an applied mathematics and mathematics education 7-12 major from Howard;

Kyle Dickey, a sports medicine major from Tioga; Lauren Ashley Shroy, a sports medicine major from Harrisburg; Corey J. Watts, a biology major from Muncy; Carissa Lynn Werkheiser, a biology major from Tatamy; Shellana Marie Welsh, a sports medicine major from Quakertown; Brandon James Kinsey, a sport and recreation management major from Upper Black Eddy;

Joseph Andrew Bodri, a business management and economics major from Huntingdon Valley; Rachel M. Miklosey, a sports medicine major; Leyla Yvette Lindsay, an accounting and business management major; and Carla Jasmine Young, a business management major, all from Philadelphia; Stephanie Lynn Rehmeyer, an elementary education major from Glenmoore; Brian A. Guentter, a psychology major from Hatfield; Jasmine R. Reeves, a nursing major from Pittsburgh; Samantha Heather Wolf, a nursing major from Springboro;

Steven J. Potter, a health and physical education major from East Aurora, N.Y.;

Young Hui Kim, a biology major from Rochester, N.Y.; Richard T. Riesenberger, a business management major from Atlanta, N.Y.; Nathan T. Jones, a radiological science major from Horseheads, N.Y.; Andrew Scolaro, a sport and recreation management major from North Royalton, Ohio; Sherard Delanté Thorne, a sociology major from Washington, D.C.; John Edward Slackman Jr, an economics and sport and recreation management major from South Orange, N.J.; and Lee M. Sorman, a criminal justice major, and Marshall Brodsky, a communications major, both from Pittsford, N.Y.

More Forest Meetings Scheduled

Warren, Pa. – The Allegheny National Forest (NF) announces the second round of public meetings for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for oil and gas standards and guidelines for the 2007 Forest Plan. The purpose of these scheduled workshops is to provide information on the comments received during the recent scoping period, and share preliminary significant issues and proposed alternatives. The dates and locations of next week’s meetings are as follows:

1. Monday, April 27th - 7:00 p.m., Israel Building Auditorium on the grounds of the Warren State Hospital, U.S. 62 north of Warren;
2. Tuesday, April 28th - 7:00 p.m., Rice Auditorium (Room 107 in Fisher Hall) at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford; and
3. Wednesday, April 29th - 7:00 p.m., Clarion Holiday Inn at the junction of State Route 68 and Interstate 80 (exit 62).

A notice of intent was published in the Federal Register on Friday, February 27th announcing the beginning of the SEIS process. The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Forest Plan regarding oil and gas standards and guidelines is scheduled to be published in December 2009. Public meetings will continue throughout the process, as well as the monthly conference calls with the public to explain and discuss progress. In addition, the Forest will use news releases, website postings, and letters to encourage public participation in the process.

These meetings are specific to the SEIS process being used to fulfill the instructions outlined by the Chief of the Forest Service in response to appeals of the 2007 Forest Plan, and are separate from the recently announced forest-wide Environmental Impact Statement specific to proposed oil and gas development from 2010 through 2013.

Update on Keystone Exams

Pennsylvania's largest teachers' union and the state PTA are part of a group that's promoting an alternative to the graduation competency tests being considered by the State Board of Education.

The Coalition for Effective and Responsible Testing outlined a plan today that it said would measure student performance more effectively and wouldn't necessarily prevent failing students from graduating.

The coalition's plan would focus on testing students at the time they take a subject, not years later.

Members of the coalition say a valid assessment shouldn't depend on a single test score.


HARRISBURG – Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-15), Chairman of the Education Committee, released the following statement today reacting to the Pennsylvania State Education Association and various other organizations unveiling of the "Keystone Exams 2.0," an alternative plan to the Keystone Exams, which was proposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association last month.

"I applaud PSEA and the other stakeholders for coming to the table and taking this step in proposing another plan for the Legislature’s consideration. Today’s announcement marks another positive development in the conversation and ongoing debate to enact a system of strengthened assessments that can be supported by everyone including the Legislature, the Department, and all of our education advocacy groups."

"Not only is this latest proposal a step in the right direction, but it represents what I have been stating from day one—instituting a rigorous statewide high school exam must have legislative buy-in. Although I don’t find the substance necessarily rigorous enough within this alternative proposal, I recognize that it is the result of many collective parties working together to propose high school graduation requirements and more measurable standards of student performance."

"In recent months, my Committee held a public hearing to further engage everyone in the dialogue on these issues. The hearing was very productive and certainly has proven to set the tone for these conversations as support continues to grow for increased standards and assessments on our students."

"In the end, we must thoroughly consider all of the proposals before us in an effort to increase accountability on our students and educators. It is the students and the competitive edge of our future workforce that need to be our driving interests. We don’t want our children left behind in this very competitive global economy, and we must ensure that when a student graduates from a Pennsylvania high school the diploma signifies that they are ready to compete and/or enter postsecondary education."

'Operation Frequent Flyer' Arrests

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation have filed criminal charges against four Cumberland and Dauphin County men accused of shipping as much as $750,000 worth of marijuana and cocaine cross-country, from southern California to the Harrisburg area.

Corbett identified the defendants as Edward Zimmer, 31, 37 South 39th St., Camp Hill; Kevin Hartung, 30, 107 Silver Spring Road, Mechanicsburg; Flor Rivera Jr., 29, 100 North 2nd St., Wormleysburg; and James Houser, 31, 675 Gregs Drive, Harrisburg.

Corbett said the investigation, known as "Operation Frequent Flyer," began in March 2009 after agents from the Attorney General's Office received information about a group of individuals who were reportedly involved in the large-scale shipment of drugs from California into Central Pennsylvania. The drugs were then allegedly repackaged for distribution and sale throughout Cumberland and Dauphin counties.

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

Did You Miss Today's Noon News?

Listen now:
Midday News for April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

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WESB News Review for April 21, 2009

Former Ridge Fundraiser Accused of Embezzling $1 Million-Plus

An ex-political fundraiser for former Governor Tom Ridge who admitted stealing money from his campaigns is accused of embezzling more than $1 million.

Court records indicate 44-year-old Laurie Simmons will plead guilty in U.S. District on May 1 to a single count of wire fraud in connection with the money she allegedly stole from two companies she worked for in the Harrisburg area.

Under a plea agreement, Simmons agreed to forfeit property valued at more than half a million dollars, including a $225,000 property in Aruba, $40,000 worth of wine and $35,000 in gold and silver coins.

She could spend up to 20 years in prison.

In 2000, Simmons was sentenced to one year in prison for stealing $93,500 she had raised for Ridge's campaigns.

A Tribute to Harry Kalas

Several members of the Pennsylvania Senate paid tribute today to longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died last week. The senators speaking are Ted Ericson, Jake Corman, Larry Farnese, John Rafferty, Mike Stack and Mike O'Pake.

Tribute to Harry Kalas.

Holocaust Commemoration

Today is the international commemoration of the Holocaust -- named the Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Nazi Holocaust, or Yom Hashoah.

A ceremony was held today in Harrisburg. Among the speakers were Governor Ed Rendell, Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati, and State Senator Mike Stack, the prime sponsor of a resolution that designates April 19 through April 26, 2009, as “Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust” in Pennsylvania.

Governor Ed Rendell

Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati

Senator Mike Stack

No Tuition Hike for Pitt-Bradford

The Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh announced Monday that there will be no tuition increase at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for the 2009-10 academic year.

The decision to keep tuition for 2009-2010 at the same level as the current year will apply also to Pitt’s campuses in Titusville, Johnstown and Greensburg, affecting about 7,000 students in the Pitt system.

“Particularly in these difficult times, the university is sensitive to the difficult task of balancing our own financial uncertainties with the challenges faced by families who are budgeting to meet tuition expenses,” Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said in making the announcement. “As a result, we are redoubling our efforts to limit tuition increases.”

Pitt has yet to set the tuition for its Oakland campus.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford, has already commended the Chancellor on his decision to keep Pitt-Bradford’s tuition at an affordable level. Alexander said, “Times are difficult for many families and it’s fitting and proper to look for as many ways as possible to reduce their financial burden.”

The University of Pittsburgh is one of four state-related universities in Pennsylvania that receive support from the Commonwealth’s annual budget.

Current tuition at Pitt-Bradford is $11,012 per year for Pennsylvania residents who are full-time students and $20,572 for out-of-state full-time students. Students in the nursing program pay more.

While tuition will remain the same, Pitt-Bradford is taking additional steps to ease the financial burden for families whose own financial situation may have changed.

A $1 million gift announced in November established the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge, which has yielded 20 new privately endowed scholarships. Half of the challenge money remains, which will allow the university to continue creating new scholarships until the funds run out. The average private donor scholarship awarded during the current year was $1,500, and a total of 295 students received 367 awards.

The college’s administration also works to identify students who are experiencing financial difficulties because of tightening credit markets. In addition to helping them identify federal and state grant and loan resources, Pitt-Bradford has established a Labor Scholarship Program designed to provide work experience for students while they earn money to cover the cost of college.

Students who wish to take classes during the summer are receiving an extra break in the form of free summer housing.

Finally, programs such as Bridges, which allows high school students the opportunity to take classes on campus, and College in the High School, which gives college credit for classes taught by high school instructors, allow area high school students to begin earning college credits at greatly reduced tuition.