Showing posts from April 19, 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 co…

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 …

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, whi…

'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 C…

'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 Outrea…

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 Kreine…

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 o…

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?

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 donat…

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.


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 W…

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

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 p…

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 Councilmembe…

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 …

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 R…

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 throug…

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 du…

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 …

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 partn…

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 …

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

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…

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 Tho…

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 p…

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 Pennsylv…

'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 Da…

Did You Miss Today's Noon News?

Did You Miss the 6 O'Clock News?

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 lev…