Showing posts from May 31, 2009

Obama Delivers D-Day Speech

Embedded video from CNN Video

Member of All-Black D-Day Battalion
to Receive Overdue Honor
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2009 – Sixty-five years ago, he was a young black soldier whose role in the allied landing at Normandy would go largely ignored. But now William Dabney returns to France with due honors.

William Dabney, a veteran of the D-Day invasion, poses with son Vinny Dabney at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 2009, ahead of their trip to France where the elder Dabney is to receive the Legion of Honor, the French government's highest award for his actions in WWII. DoD by John J. Kruzel

Then a 20-year-old corporal, Dabney stormed the beleaguered Omaha Beach armed with a type of explosive-laden helium balloon the Army floated at low altitude to interfere with German aircraft. He represented the 320th Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion, the first exclusively African-American unit to fight in World War II.

Dabney, the l…

My Opinion:
Playing Politics with Parks

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has said if the Senate Republican budget (SB 850) passes, up to 50 state parks in the Commonwealth would have to close.

It turns out one-third of those parks fall within the districts of three state senators: President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman.

Coincidence? Maybe.

Playing politics? Probably.

A recent news release from DCNR Acting Secretary John Quigley said, in part, "Families that cannot afford to take a vacation because of the tough economic times could always count on enjoying a little rest and relaxation at a nearby state park or forest. However, if the Senate's budget proposal is enacted, there would be even fewer of those opportunities as we would have to close a number of state parks. That means less traffic and fewer dollars being spent in the rural communities with businesses and jobs that count on these parks and forests.&q…

The Purple Boxes are Back

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is hanging purple panel traps in trees along roadsides and other open areas in the forest to survey for emerald ash borer (EAB) beetles. The color of the purple traps is pleasing to EAB beetles; the traps contain Manuka oil which, to an EAB beetle, is a pleasant scent that mimics that smell of an ash tree. Insects attracted to the purple panel traps become stuck on the panels. The panel traps are surveyed on a schedule to identify insects on the trap.

Pennsylvania crews will be driving crew-cab pickup trucks with yellow magnetic signs identifying them as PDA Plant Pest personnel. These crews will also be completing visual surveys and sweep netting of brush to potentially catch a beetle. Placement of these traps is part of a much larger EAB management strategy that includes quarantines, closure orders, tree harvesting, surveys, and bans on the movement of firewood to slow the spread of EAB. Since 2002, the EAB beetle has killed 5…

Plans for Surgery Center in Allegany

Developers who want to turn the former Kmart Plaza in Allegany into an ambulatory surgery center are asking for some of Cattaraugus County's proceeds from the Seneca-Allegany Casino to extend sewer and water lines from the village to the site.

The project is expected to cost $5 million, but a $1 million infrastructure investment is needed before the tenant can go ahead with the project.

Because of a confidentiality agreement, the name of the surgery center can’t be revealed yet, according to Rob Savarino, consultant for the vacant plaza’s owner, Benson Construction and Development.

County Development and Agriculture Committee Chairman Jerry Burrell asked legislators to move quickly as a lead funding partner with the Town of Allegany, the state and the federal government because the site is getting so old it's an embarrassment to the county.

Possible Job Loss in Paper Industry

Pittsburgh—Members of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) are informing members of the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee and their congressional representatives and senators about the need to retain the alternative fuel mixture tax credit for the U.S. paper industry. Local paper worker Joe Calla, who works at the Domtar mill in Johnsonburg, Pa., is one of the members who met with elected officials.

“We believe this is a long-overdue credit for an industry that is the leader in the use of renewable energy,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The paper sector has invested millions of dollars in recovery boilers and other technologies that use renewable fuels derived from biomass and even sells excess energy generated back to the power grid. This credit allows the industry to play a vital role in our country’s transformation to clean energy.”

The tax credit originated from a 2007 tax law change that expanded eligibility for a 50 cents-per-gallon altern…

Thompson Speaks on Health Care

Traveling to Ireland to Work on SBU's Mychal Judge Center

As the next step in the development of the Father Mychal Judge Center at St. Bonaventure University, a core group of faculty and staff left this week for a visit to Northern Ireland.

During their time in Northern Ireland, the group will participate in programming related to Ireland’s educational, economic, political, and reconciliation issues, talk with other higher education faculty and administrators, meet community members who have been involved in the Irish peace process, and identify pedagogical and research areas of common interest to faculty at St. Bonaventure and the Irish colleges. The opportunity to offer St. Bonaventure courses in Northern Ireland and/or to establish a study abroad program at a Northern Ireland college will also be pursued.

The Father Mychal Judge Center for Irish Exchange and Understanding will provide opportunities for students to explore the issues that face the people of Ireland as they respond to the end of a century of violent conflict.

“We will be loo…

KCH Adds Stereotactic Breast Biopsy to Diagnostic Arsenal

At this week's Hamot-KCH Breast Cancer Forum, J. Gary Rhodes, CEO of Kane Community Hospital and Janet Brunner, R.T. (R),(M) and Clinical Ancillary Services Leader at KCH, announced to those attending the recent addition of stereotactic breast biopsy to their Diagnostic Imaging arsenal, with more equipment and technology on the way.

“The newly dedicated room housing the new purchase is complete with state review and approvals and patients are being scheduled for procedures,” noted Brunner.

“This equipment is the first of three purchases that will form a new Breast Center to be launched this fall. The other pieces are digital mammography (the first in the area) and small bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging for which the current MRI room is being renovated,” Rhodes announced.

The Director of Radiology at KCH, Jamil Sarfraz, M.D. who was speaking at the forum, concurred that he had requested the new equipment for the breast center and that he was hopeful that the community would avail…

Earthquake Shakes Attica

A small earthquake shook up the village of Attica, New York, this morning.

The US Geological Survey says the quake hit at just after 11 a.m. and measure 2.9 on the Richter scale.

The epicenter of the quake was three miles southeast of the village, and was big enough to be felt but there wasn't any significant damage.

The Attica area is on the Clarendon-Linden fault line and has experienced seismic activity before.

CARE for Children Dice Run

The fourth annual motorcycle dice run “Let’s Ride for Special Kids” will be held on Saturday, June 13th to benefit CARE for Children’s special assistance fund for children with disabilities. Pictured from left to right are some of the dice run committee members including Jeff Stahlman from Byllye Lanes Bowling Center, Kim Murphey, community relations coordinator at CARE for Children, Charlie Krepp and Dusty Krepp of Charlie’s Cycle Center and Rodney Jones(seated), age 14, son of Kelly Clark and Jesse Jones.

The ride will begin at Charlie’s, on Route 219 in Limestone, NY, with registration from 11:30am to 12:45pm, and kicking off at 1pm. The bikes will travel over 100 miles through McKean County, ending at Byllye Lanes by 5:30pm, where there will be a pig roast and the band Lickin’ Post will perform.

CARE’s special assistance fund provides emergency assistance and little extra’s for children with disabilities. Last year’s dice run proceeds were used to help a child’s family with me…

Acetylene Tank Fire in BT

Emergency crews are on the scene of an acetylene tank fire near Minard Run Road.

The fire was called in at about 2:30 this afternoon, and explosions have been reported.

The fire is just north of Northland Road, which is off Minard Run Road. An ambulance has been called for a burn victim.

The Bradford Township and Hilltop fire departments are responding. Two other departments are on standby.

Worker Falls From Bridge

A construction worker on the Route 219 project in the Town of Ashford fell from a bridge this morning, and was hanging more than 200 feet in the air before his co-workers pulled him back up.

48-year-old Ron Gallor was wearing fall-restraint gear when he fell off the bridge at just before 8 o'clock this morning. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say the gear kept him from hitting the ground.

Gallor suffered minor cuts to his arm and wrist and was treated at the scene by West Valley Emergency Medical Services personnel.

Bradford Walking Tour Available

A self guided audio walking tour of the downtown historic district is now available at the Main Street Mercantile, 96 Main Street, Bradford, Pa.

People wishing to participate in the tour must leave an ID when picking up the headsets at the Mercantile. The ID will be returned when the headset is returned. There is no charge for the audio tour.

“The tour really was community collaboration,” said Anita Dolan, Main Street Manager. The project involved local business owners, staff from OECD and the Bradford Landmark Society. “What a great way to spend an hour or two on a summer day than walking our historic district. Bradford has some beautiful architecture,” added Dolan.

Buildings included in the tour are: The Congress Street Diner, Beefeater’s, Bradford Fire Station, Bradford Era, The Option House, the Old Post Office building, Masonic Temple, Veterans’ Square, Herbig Bakery, Old City Hall, Forest Oil Building, Bay State Building, Schonblum Building, Cline Oil Well and the Hooker Fult…

BAHS Commencement Speaker: Follow Your Own Path

Digital Transition is Next Week

From President Obama:

On June 12 – one week from tomorrow – the nation’s full-power television stations will switch to all-digital programming. The transition to digital will free up airwaves for broadband and enhanced emergency communications for our police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

In February, I worked with Congress to postpone the deadline television broadcasters had to end their analog signals, because it was clear that millions of Americans would have been left in the dark if the conversion had gone on as planned. I directed key members of my Administration to reach out and help Americans, especially those in our most vulnerable communities, to make the switch to digital television.

In the months since then, we have worked hand in hand with state and local officials, broadcasters, and community groups to educate and assist millions of Americans with the transition. The number of households unprepared for digital television has been cut in half. Stil…

Bradford Bypass Update

Signal work will continue at the intersection of Kendall Avenue and East Main next week as part of the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project.

PennDOT says motorists should be alert for daytime flagging and short travel delays.

Also, Kendall Avenue northbound will be closed for reconstruction, and southbound traffic will be restricted to one lane.

And, the contractor will also continue the removal of existing roadway near the Foster Brook interchange.

School Exhibition at Quick Center

Story & Photos by Tom Missel
Director of Media Relations/Marketing

As curator of education at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, Evelyn Sabina spends a lot of time in area schools connecting with young artists at the elementary and secondary levels.

Her visits leave her with one central thought: There is some real talent out there.

“I was going into a lot of schools and seeing some pretty amazing artwork,” said Sabina. “I got to thinking that this should be in The Quick Center.”

A meeting with some like-minded teachers has resulted in the inaugural Middle and High School Juried Exhibition at The Quick Center, a showcase of approximately 100 pieces of art created by students from 20 area schools. The exhibition, which opened with an artists’ reception Wednesday, June 3, runs through June 21.

Nearly 300 people – the young artists, their art teachers, parents and guests – filled The Quick Center’s atrium for Wednesday evening’s opening, a sight that Joseph…

Relay for Life Quilt Raffle

Bonnie Kratzer, left, and Rachel Forsythe display a quilt that was made and donated by Marie Potocki to benefit Charlie’s Pride, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life team. Chances to win the quilt can be purchased for $3 each or 2 for $5, by calling Kratzer at 274-0384 or Forsythe at 274-9301, ext. 1436. The winner will be announced at the Relay, held at CCMH, on June 27.
(Photo courtesy of CCMH)

From Camp Taji:
Joint Air Assault Checks for Caches

Staff Sgt. Craig Stevens, center, of Pottsville, Pa., with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, maneuvers through a cloud of dust to get into position between two other Soldiers, June 3, after dismounting the departing UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team Soldiers air assaulted into the desert near Nubai, northwest of Taji, along with Iraqi army soldiers to conduct searches for possible weapons caches.
(Photo by Sgt. Doug Roles)

Application Deadline Extended

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) would like to inform residents that the deadline to file for the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2009.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2008. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with permanent disabilities.

Eligibility income limits for homeowners were expanded last year to the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:

$0 and $8,000, up to $650 rebate (Homeowners and renters)
$8,001 to $15,000, up to $500 rebate (Homeowners and renters)
$15,001 to $18,000, up to $300 rebate (Homeowners only)
$18,001 to $35,000, up to $250 rebate (Homeowners only)
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lott…

'Drive-Through' Mastectomies

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy.

It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support.. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below.

Protect Breast Cancer Patients from "Drive-Through" Mastectomies

Thanks to Lisa Campogiani for passing this on!

Obama Appoints Great Lakes Czar

President Barack Obama has appointed someone to oversee the administration's initiative to restore the environment of the Great Lakes.

Cameron Davis, president of the Chicago-based environmentalist group Alliance for the Great Lakes, will head the effort, which is expected to cost more than $20 billion.

The effort includes dealing with the issues of invasive species, polluted harbors, sewage overflows, degraded wildlife habitat and more.

Obama's proposed 2010 budget allocates $475 million in new spending on the lakes.

13 Alleged Drug Dealers Arrested

13 Erie residents, including several from Iraq, are accused of distributing and selling, cocaine, marijuana and prescription pain medication.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says the arrests are the result of an 18-month state grand jury investigation that focused on drug trafficking activities in and around Erie.

Corbett says the alleged dealers used sources from Detroit and other cities to bring tens of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and Oxycontin into northwestern Pennsylvania.

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

First Night 2010 Planning Underway

Planning for one of the area’s most successful events, First Night Bradford 2010 are still underway despite the nation’s economic downturn.

The local First Night committee has been meeting since January and is moving forward with plans and fundraising for the event which attracts many families to celebrate the New Year in an alcohol-free environment.

First Night Bradford 2010 will be the 12th year for the event and there will be some changes in the format this year. However, these changes will make the event even more safe and family-friendly. Changes include shortening the evening, using more local entertainment, committing to book entertainment acts based on fundraising contributions and having fewer venues, but certainly not a lesser quality of shows. The committee is committed to keeping the fireworks finale and will be beginning community wide fundraising support specifically for the finale.

Larry Petry, chairperson for the event says that as a committee, “We realize that we ar…

Georgia Fugitive Picked Up

A fugitive from Georgia has been picked up in Chautauqua County.

21-year-old Michael Hoitinik of Flowery Branch, Georgia, was taken into custody at just before 8 o'clock this morning at the Pine Bluff Trailer Park in the Town of Poland.

Sheriff's deputies say he was wanted for obtaining a controlled substance by forgery.

Hoitink was taken into custody without incident. He's being held in Chautauqua County Jail pending extradition to Georgia.

Escapees Won't Fight Extradition

The two convicted killers who escaped from an Arkansas prison while wearing guard uniforms have decided they're not going to fight extradition.

Thirty-nine-year-old Calvin Adams and 32-year-old Jeffrey Grinder appeared in Hornell City Court this morning and told a judge they want to go back to prison in Arkansas.

Adams and Grinder escaped from the prison on Friday night. Tuesday afternoon, a New York State Trooper attempted to pull their car over for a traffic stop. They took troopers and local police on a 20-mile chase before wrecking the car and trying to get away on foot. Police caught them in a residential neighborhood.

Officials haven't said when Adams and Grinder will be sent back to Arkansas, where they're serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

On the Way to States ...

Our own Mike Walter boards the bus that's taking him and other athletes from McKean and Warren counties to the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games at Penn State University today through Saturday. The McKean and Warren athletes will join more than 2,000 Special Olympians from across the state for three days of competition. Mike will be sending us reports from Penn State, and you'll hear those on 1490 WESB.

Pirates Trade Nate McLouth

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that they have acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton and left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke from the Atlanta Braves organization in exchange for outfielder Nate McLouth. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington. The Pirates also announced that the club has selected the contract of outfielder Andrew McCutchen, the club’s first-round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and that he will report to Pittsburgh immediately.

“This may be the toughest decision we have made in my time with the organization,” said Huntington. “Nate is a quality player and person, but as we have said several times, tough decisions will need to be made as we build and sustain a championship caliber organization. Nate has worked as hard as any player to become a starting Major League Player, proving wrong anyone who may have doubted him. When we signed Nate to a long-term contract…

Golubock: NEPA Regulations Could Be 'Devastating' for Area Economy

WESB/WBRR News Director

Harvey Golubock says new regulations for drilling on the Allegheny National Forest could be devastating for the regional economy.

The president and chief operating officer of American Refining Group commented during a public meeting held by US Forest Service officials Wednesday night, and said the forest service needs to consider the economic and social impact of drilling on the forest, as well as the environmental impact.

He said ARG buys 80 to 85 percent of all the crude oil in Pennsylvania, and 25 percent of that comes from the ANF.

He said the fact that there has been "virtually no drilling" on the forest this year has already had an impact on some companies and will have an impact on the refinery in the next year and the year after that.

Golubock explained that wells in this area produce 50 percent of their product in the first year and the rest is spread out over the next 10 to 20 years.

Limiting drilling even further, he said, "w…

Cops: Man Had Child Pornography

A Coudersport man has been charged with sexual abuse of children for allegedly having child pornography on his computer.

39-year-old James Steiner is charged with three felony counts each of sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility.

Police say they found the images after executing a search warrant at Steiner's home.

He's free on $25,000 bail.

Reports of Mistreated Students

Foreign exchange students who think they were mistreated in Pennsylvania are encouraged to file complaints with the state attorney general's office.

Some students participating the exchanges organized by the San Francisco-based Aspect Foundation were kept in filthy homes in northeastern Pennsylvania or were malnourished. Scranton city officials say one student was in a home filled with dog feces.

The area coordinator handling the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre areas has been fired.

Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for Attorney General Tom Corbett, says his office wants to hear from students who may have been mistreated.

Senator Bob Casey issued a statement on the matter today, following his meeting with Miller Crouch, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“As new details emerge on the intolerable living conditions foreign exchange students were forced to endure in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, I have concluded that our system failed these you…

Thompson Quizzes Official on ANF

Washington, DC—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson today pushed the Forest Service to acknowledge that the economic downturn around the Allegheny National Forest was due to actions of the Forest Service in regard to oil and gas development and timbering.

Jay Jensen, deputy undersecretary for natural resources and the environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, replied, “I share your sensitivities around the ANF. We need to look at the nation’s energy needs. I am hoping our actions to date have been moving forward with both those two, but that we must be mindful of protections as well.”

Agriculture is the department that has auspices over the U.S. Forest Service. Thompson got Jensen’s word that he would join the Congressman for a formal discussion on the ANF in the near future.

At a hearing before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry, Thompson pressed Jensen about the website maintained by the U.S. Fores…

Oil Industry Groups Create Petroleum Technology Scholarships

Three petroleum technology scholarships have been endowed at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford by industry representatives reflecting continuing support for the university’s reinstated petroleum technology program.

Donors are Barbara and Harvey Golubock, United Refining Co. of Warren and the Penn York Oil & Gas Affiliates of Desk and Derrick Clubs.

The Penn York Oil & Gas Affiliates of Desk and Derrick Clubs gave a $14,100 gift to create petroleum technology scholarships, and Barbara and Harvey Golubock and United Refining each gave $5,000 for scholarships.

These scholarships were all matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge. The Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas and allows donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $50,000 to new or existing scholarships, as long as funds last. Gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible. For example, a $5,000 gift pledged over five yea…

Senate Adopts Legislation on 'Problem Solving' Courts

The Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Jane C. Orie, Majority Whip (R-Allegheny) which seeks to improve public safety while at the same time providing more extensive supervision of non-violent offenders.

Problem solving courts, which include mental health courts and drug courts, divert non-violent offenders from more costly jail cells and encourage rehabilitation through extensive supervision.

"As a former prosecutor and a strong advocate for improving our drug rehabilitation and mental health systems, I believe this legislation is crucial to helping those in need and to improving public safety," Orie said. "These courts will reduce prison overcrowding and improve cooperation between our criminal justice system and drug and alcohol and mental health systems."

Orie said that specialized problem solving courts are being used across the nation to save money and help offenders who have particular issues including drug addiction and mental …

Rendell Attends Rail Meeting

Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood challenged governors to think boldly when designing high-speed rail plans during a roundtable discussion at the White House today. The session was a unique opportunity for state leaders to share their ideas with the Obama Administration about the future of high-speed trains in America.

In April, President Obama released a strategic plan outlining his vision for high speed rail. The plan identifies $13 billion in federal funds -- $8 billion in the Recovery Act and $5 billion requested in the President’s budget -- to jump-start a potential world-class passenger rail system and sets the direction of transportation policy for the future. Detailed guidance for up to the first $8 billion in federal grant applications will be announced later this month and the first round of grants are expected to be awarded as soon as late summer 2009.

In developing the high-speed rail program, Administration officials have sought extensive…

DA Foulk Has Lung Cancer

Erie County District Attorney Bradley Foulk has revealed that he has lung cancer, but plans on remaining in office while he's being treated.

Foulk says doctors have told him the type of cancer he has is the most treatable kind of lung cancer.

The 61-year-old DA had been a heavy smoker but says he has now quit. Foulk says he got sick last month and had tests as a result. That's when doctors discovered the cancer.

Foulk was first elected district attorney in 1999. His third four-year term runs through 2012.

WESB, HERO Contest Winners

WESB and The HERO's Create-a-Commercial winner received her award during an assembly this morning at Bradford Area High School.

Kendra Reily wrote a commercial for Cantwell-Johnson.

Hope Laroche came in second with her commercial for CNB Bank. Emilie Swan placed third with her commercial for Save-A-Lot.

Honorable mentions went to Andy Eliason, Brenna Reily and Christen Taylor.

We also have a winner in the annual Wedding Belles contest.

Crystal Wineberg won the $1,000 grand prize from WESB and The HERO. She'll be marrying Mike Salada on September 5. To see a list of the other winners, and their prizes, go HERE.

This year's contest pumped in more than $1.3 million to the local economy.

Cops: Man Threw, Injured Kitten

A man accused of throwing a kitten to the ground and injuring it is in jail.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 35-year-old Clifford Latta threw the kitten because he was angry with his wife. The incident happened at about 2 o'clock this morning at a home in Mayville.

Sheriff's deputies say when they got to the house, Latta attempted to damage a sheriff's car by punching and kicking at the back of the vehicle.

Latta was charged with injuring an animal, criminal mischief, attempted criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct. His bail is set at $5,000.

Creating a Cure Raises $10,000

About $10,000 has been raised from the American Cancer Society's pilot event "Creating A Cure," held Saturday, May 30, at Sizerville State Park. "We received many positive comments from those attending," said ACS spokesperson Marie Costello. "We are planning on making this an annual event." About 250 people turned out. Proceeds benefit cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. Ground work is already being laid for next year's event, which will likely take place in June or early July at the state park with more artist demonstrations. "Creating A Cure" replaced the Relay for Life, which had been held in Cameron County for a decade. Costello expressed appreciation to volunteers, artists, musicians and attendees.

Pictured, "Creating A Cure" committee members Lora Cope, left, and Pat Martin walking the labyrinth made of bags that honor cancer victims.
(Photo provided by Alex Davis)

From Camp Taji:
Depot to Supply Iraqi Army

Story and Photo by Sgt. Doug Roles

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – A refurbished supply depot at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, will serve as the Iraqi army's new central distribution point for everything from vehicles to clothing.

A partnership between U.S. Army Soldiers and their Iraqi army counterparts, here, has not only renovated warehouses at the Taji National Supply Depot, but has brought the latest inventory control techniques to the Iraqi military.

"This is their national level logistics center," Col. Tim Fucik said. "We're helping to build their capacity."

Fucik, an Army Reservist from Indianapolis, Ind., the senior commander for Joint Depot Team, serves with the 3rd Joint Headquarters Army Assistance Training Team. Fucik's team of fewer than 20 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, who specialize in logistics, has spent the past year working to renovate the massive storage and distribution site at Camp Taji. The team celebrated the grand opening of a new depot headquarte…

Warren County Suing USFS

Warren County and the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association have filed a lawsuit against the US Forest Service and environmental groups over drilling regulations in the Allegheny National Forest.

The suit filed today in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh claims that Forest Service will harm drillers by requiring lengthy reviews of private drilling projects.

A recent settlement between the Forest Service and several environmental groups stipulates that future notices to proceed issued to drillers by the forest service be held up pending completion of requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

While the federal government owns the surface, more than 90 percent of the rights to underground minerals are privately owned.

Judge Blocks NY Bottle Bill

A federal judge has blocked New York from collecting five-cent deposits on bottles of water until next April.

The order prevents state officials from enforcing any amendments to the "Bottle Bill" to give bottlers time to comply with the changes signed into law by Governor David Paterson.

The bill was supposed to take affect on Monday, but a temporary injunction prevented that.

The judge said a requirement for New York-specific bar coding on bottles was unconstitutional.

Prison Escapees Caught in Hornell

Two convicted murderers who escaped from an Arkansas prison wearing guard uniforms made at the facility were captured this afternoon after being stopped for speeding near Hornell, New York.

A prisons spokeswoman says 39-year-old Calvin Adams and 32-year-old Jeffrey Grinder were in the same car that had been left for them at the prison Friday night.

A New York State Trooper tried to stop the car for speeding. The car sped away, but crashed, then Adams and Grinder tried fleeing on foot before being caught by police.

Hornell is about 70 miles east of Bradford.

Both men were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole at the prison about 60 miles southeast of Little Rock.

PGC Instructor of the Year Named

HARRISBURG – Kathryn ‘Cass’ Geary, of Glenmoore, Chester County, recently was honored by the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners as the 2008 Hunter-Trapper Education Instructor of the year.

“Cass Geary is a very essential asset to the success of the Hunter-Trapper Education program in the district,” said Scott Frederick, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) for Chester County, who nominated Geary. “The last several years, she has been running a course in Chester County that she leads at a Chester County park, but also has been running down to assist WCO Jerry Czech in Delaware County, where she has ties.

“All told, Cass assisted in the teaching and leading of 12 classes in both districts this past year, including a bowhunter education course at the John Heinz Refuge outside of Philadelphia.”

Frederick noted that what is so impressive about Cass is that she is so enthusiastic from the start of the class season to the end and she travels a great distance to teach both…

Bona's Alumni Weekend, Baron HOF Induction June 5-7

Announcement of the Alumnus or Alumna of the Year and the induction of former Bonnies basketball player and coach Jim Baron into the Athletics Hall of Fame are two of the key events that will take place during St. Bonaventure University’s Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 5-7.

The reunion salutes graduates of the Class of 1949 and other graduating classes in five-year increments up through 2004, although alums from all classes are welcome at the annual gathering. More than 900 SBU alumni and friends are expected to return this year for activities on and around the St. Bonaventure campus.

Alumni will arrive on campus throughout the day on Friday, June 5, when golf, campus tours and other activities are slated. A Mass for the Class of 1959 and prior graduates will be held at 4:45 p.m. in the University Chapel, after which class dinners will be held at various venues. The evening will end with a social on campus.

Events on Saturday begin with breakfast in the Magnano Centre’s Hickey Dining Hal…

Contractors Must Register

State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) is reminding local residents that as of July 1, all contractors doing more than $5,000 of home improvement work annually must be registered with the state.

In an effort to provide residents with better information when choosing a contractor, details of the contactors' registration will be placed on contracts, promotional materials and business cards so that consumers may use the information to reference a statewide database of complaints.

Every year, thousands of Pennsylvanians file consumer complaints about home improvement contractors who take money and fail to perform satisfactory construction or repairs. These complaints typically increase during the spring, when homeowners are more likely to hire contractors to perform various projects.

There are several things consumers should look out for to protect themselves from disreputable or fraudulent home improvement contractors.

Unsolicited, traveling contractors who come to a home and po…

Gabler to Host Veterans Forum

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) will host a Veterans Benefit and Resource Forum on Friday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Penn State DuBois Campus, College Place, DuBois.

"Everyone attending will get the latest news on veterans' benefits and the local, state and Federal agencies that administer programs for veterans," said Gabler, who is a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve and Commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 424th Medical Logistics Battalion. "Information will also be available on the various local clubs and organizations that veterans can join."

Veterans groups scheduled to attend include representatives from the DuBois Vet Center, Elk County Veterans Affairs Office, Governor's Veterans Outreach, Penn State DuBois Veterans Club and the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center.

No pre-registration is required to attend the forum. For more information, contact Gabler's DuBois district …

Battle of the Bands Held Saturday

Members of Light the Shadow perform for the audience during Saturday's BYN Battle of the Bands. The event was hosted by the Bradford Youth Network and had over 60 students in attendance.

Volunteers Needed at Dam

If you’re concerned about our public lands and natural resources, would like to share your skills and talents with others, and like to meet and work with people, you may be interested in work opportunities under the Corps of Engineers Volunteer Program at Kinzua Dam. All interested persons, especially retired seniors, high school, and college students are invited to apply.

Several part-time volunteers will be needed to fill Visitor Center Host positions starting June 1, 2009. These positions involve staffing the Kinzua Visitor Center daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm. However, work schedules are flexible, with many part-time options available.

This opportunity is open to persons of all ages, but persons under 18 years of age must have parental or legal guardian consent to participate.

If you’re interested, please contact the Kinzua Dam Office at (814)726-0661, for additional information and Volunteer Application Forms.