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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obama Delivers D-Day Speech

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 lone surviving member of the 320th Battalion, will receive France’s Legion of Honor tomorrow in conjunction with other D-Day ceremonies across France. The honor marks time the black soldiers of the battalion have been officially recognized for their role in the famed 1944 operation, a defense official said.

“Whether we got credit for it or not, we still felt that we did our job,” the 84-year-old Dabney said in an interview yesterday at the French Embassy ahead of his flight abroad. “And we felt that maybe one day we would get recognition, and this has come that I’m getting some recognition for what I did.

“I’m very thankful for it,” he said of receiving the Legion of Honor, the French’s government highest award.

Dabney is one of about 40 Americans to receive the Legion of Honor during the D-Day anniversary ceremonies tomorrow. The event holds additional significance, since it will be presided over by President Barack Obama, the first African-American to hold the highest U.S. office, Dabney said.

“It’s going to make me feel real proud. I feel as though that we – African-Americans -- have come a long ways,” he said. “And it’s not only me, but it’s something that my grandchildren, my great grandchildren have seen already, and they are grateful.”

For Dabney, Obama’s ascension to the White House reflects the American values he felt he was fighting for during World War II.

“I never would have thought that I would see the day that we would have an African-American president,” he said. “That sort of relieved me. I was over here fighting, and now I can look and see that we have an African-American president.”

Dabney was one of five World War II veterans on hand yesterday with their families at the embassy for a luncheon before their voyage. Joining the elder Dabney was his son, Vinny Dabney, of Roanoke, Va.

“It’s really an honor for me to be able to accompany him as he receives this magnificent honor,” Vinny Dabney said. “He was able to attend the 60th anniversary, but this one is even more important because of the honor, the medals, that will be bestowed on the veterans.

“The contribution of my dad and other African-Americans was kind of something that was swept under the rug for a long time. And now they’ve finally pulled the rug back, and here’s all this history.”

The other veterans at the embassy yesterday who are attending the D-Day anniversary in Normandy include:

-- Burnett Bartley, who also took part in the D-Day landing. For 264 consecutive days, he fought with the 35th Infantry Division, in which more than 25,000 soldiers would lose their lives. During a battle to liberate the town of Destry, he was wounded in the throat; his vocal cords were severed, and the effects have endured to this day. Bartley distinguished himself during the war by his behavior, his courage and his keen judgment, as attested by the honors bestowed upon him by U.S. military officials.

-- Elmer De Lucia, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day with the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion. During this operation, he saw dozens of his friends die; he witnessed the beach become a veritable mass grave, with hundreds of young soldiers mowed down by enemy fire. With his company, he spent 313 days in Normandy, including 60 consecutive days without a day of rest. He fought in five major campaigns -- Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe -- earning five Bronze Stars. Twice wounded in action, in France in October 1944 and in Germany in March 1945, he also received the Purple Heart.

-- James Huston, an intelligence officer with the 35th Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 134th Regiment, who participated in the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach. During his first battle, in Saint-Lô, with a five-man patrol, he took Hill 122, a heavily fortified and mined position occupied by the enemy. This act earned him the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. He subsequently served as a commander when his unit crossed northern France toward Nancy. He then led the battalion that crossed the Meurthe as an operations officer. He carried out the attack and capture of Malzeville, east of Nancy, to establish a bridgehead for the region. His strategic abilities, sharp analyses and personal involvement during his command of this action earned Huston a Bronze Star.

-- Nathan Kline, who was 18 when he enlisted in the Army in 1942. After months of training, he was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Group of the 9th Air Force as a bombardier/navigator on a B-23. He took part in the D-Day landing, with subsequent missions taking him to Reims, Chartres, the Belgian border and, in May 1945, Valenciennes. He carried out no fewer than 65 bombing missions during World War II. His plane was hit twice during the battle of the Ardennes. Without abandoning his position, he continued bombing his target until the action was successful. He provided first aid to his radio operator, who was wounded, before returning to his navigator post and bringing the plane back down into allied territory. For this action, which was decisive to the outcome of the battle, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Before their departure, French Defense Attache Maj. Gen. Gratien Maire saw the veterans off and told them it was a pleasure to honor their sacrifice.

“Thank you for what you did for

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."

Well Mr. Quigley, families can't afford a tax increase either. Remember that when you're whining about funding cuts.

Scarnati has said time and time again that the Rendell Administration is using scare tactics to rally folks against the senate budget bill, which cuts spending more than Rendell's plan.

"Citizens have, sadly, come to expect some exaggeration from state agencies seeking additional tax dollars. But the claims made by DCNR are over the line," Scarnati said in a news release. "Citizens understand that the struggling economy and declining revenues mean the state has to spend less or raise taxes. The budget passed by the Senate chooses to spend less."

In a phone interview with me he said, "I don't believe for one minute that the constituents of the 25th District buy into the fact that I, or anybody else, would vote to close 35 state parks and do these drastic things.'

He believes the state parks will stay open but will have to cut back and find a better way to fund the system over the next several years.

Cut back? You mean live within their means? What a novel concept!

Seems to me, while most tax-paying Pennsylvanians have to re-work their household budgets to make ends meet, DCNR could do the same – considering it's taxpayer money they're spending.

If the folks at DCNR can't make a budget work with what we, the taxpayers, are giving them, maybe it's time to get people in there who can.

Friday, June 5, 2009

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 50 million ash trees in the United States. No treatment options exist on a landscape scale. Slowing the spread of the beetle is the only way to slow the killing of ash trees. I Promise. I Will Not Move Firewood.

Warren and Forest Counties will have traps placed throughout the Allegheny National Forest (NF) portions of the counties as part of a large survey grid. Elk and McKean Counties fall outside of the survey grid, therefore the PDA will not hang purple panel traps in these counties. But, State and Private Forestry personnel within the Forest Service will place a few purple panel traps in McKean and Elk Counties on the Allegheny NF in campgrounds, along major highways, and near heavily used sites. PDA will also conduct targeted surveys in these two counties.

Last year 594 purple panel traps were placed on the Allegheny NF. No EAB beetles were detected. Not moving firewood is of key importance in stopping the spread of the beetle. In 2007, slightly over 50% of the firewood used on the Allegheny NF came from out-of-state or from quarantined areas. Both of these scenarios are illegal. In 2008, 25% of the firewood used on the Allegheny NF came from areas it shouldn’t have. Once people learn the dangers of moving firewood, many people willingly comply to save the forest they love. I Promise. I Will Not Move Firewood.

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 alternative fuels mixture credit to liquid fuels derived from biomass, including the wood pulp “black liquor” by-product. Companies can obtain the credit by mixing alternative fuel with 0.1 percent of a fossil fuel like diesel. There is not a limit as to how much credit can be taken.

The U.S. paper industry produces almost 70 percent of its own power from the wood pulp black liquor by-product. The industry’s contribution toward greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels is lessened by its sustainable forestry practice of planting trees and its use of biomass.

“The timing of this credit is impeccable,” said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, who heads the union’s paper sector. “The paper industry is cash starved right now and in need of capital investment to maintain black liquor recovery systems and develop other biomass conversion This credit maintains other critical infrastructure if there is to be a vibrant paper industry in the U.S.”

UBS Investment Research said that the paper industry represents about 5-6% of U.S. manufacturing gross domestic product and is a top 10 manufacturing industry in most states.

The paper industry has taken a beating in recent years because of declining demand for paper and wood products amid a poor economy. Some 250,000 jobs have been lost since the early part of this decade, and 25 mills were closed in the past two years alone. The tax credit is seen as a lifeline for an industry that has many of its mills in small towns that depend on the economic activity generated from these facilities.

“If this tax credit is removed, thousands of good-paying jobs could be lost,” said USW member Fred Bailey who works for AbitibiBowater in Coosa Pines, Ala. “Jobs like the one me and my coworkers have aren’t readily available in our area. If our mill shuts down, we would have a difficult time finding a job that paid the same amount. So in a way, this tax credit is helping to keep small-town America alive.”

“Many companies are depending on this tax credit to survive and keep the mills running and our members working,” Gerard said. “We have a chance to help the paper industry recover from this recession and sustain a number of high-paying, family supporting manufacturing jobs. No one benefits if this sector is lost.”

The USW represents about 120,000 paper workers and is the largest industrial union in North America. Overall it represents 850,000 workers in the pulp and paper, steel, rubber, oil, chemical, nuclear, mining and service sectors.

To see President Gerard’s letter to the Senate Finance Committee go to

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 looking at a multidisciplinary approach to curriculum, with the idea of helping our students have a deeper appreciation of reconciliation,” said Larry Sorokes, associate vice president for Franciscan Mission and director of the Mychal Judge Center. “Initially, we’ll be looking at how to start mapping our curriculum in Clare College,” the university’s core curriculum.

In addition to Sorokes, members of the team traveling abroad are:

· Dr. David DiMattio, dean of Clare College;

· Alice Sayegh, director of International Studies/Study Abroad Programs;

· Carole McNall, assistant professor of journalism/mass communication;

· Leslie Chambers, lecturer in undergraduate teacher education;

· Michael Kasperski, lecturer in accounting and internship director of the School of Business; and

· Mark Phillips, academic skills specialist with the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

Also serving as part of the team is Dr. Neal Carter, associate professor of political science, who is unable to join the group abroad.

The group’s visit will begin in the Ballycastle region on the north coast of Ireland at the Corrymeela Community’s retreat center. This center, Sorokes said, has attained international acclaim for its development of community dialogue models, service learning, and global citizenship issues. The St. Bonaventure contingent will have the opportunity to meet with other faculty from Northern Ireland, leaders of peace organizations, and journalists from the BBC and other organizations. The Corrymeela visit will conclude with a field trip to the city of Derry, the scene of the historic “Bloody Sunday” in 1972.

The group will then spend several days in the Belfast area, meeting with faculty and staff from St. Mary’s University College and Queen’s University about opportunities to collaborate on courses, new curricula, service experiences, research, and student and faculty exchanges.

While in Belfast, the St. Bonaventure group will also meet with representatives from the British Council to discuss Northern Ireland’s Business Education Initiative, which provides students from Northern Ireland with an international experience through a yearlong placement in a U.S. school. St. Bonaventure will welcome its first student through the program this fall. The Irish student will be enrolled in business classes, obtain an internship with a U.S. business, and will give campus/community presentations about Northern Ireland each semester. Opportunities for reciprocal participation in the BEI project will be explored; applications from qualified SBU students to spend a semester or full academic year in Northern Ireland may become available for 2010-11.

A portion of the trip is being funded through a Martine Faculty Endowment for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning in Clare College. The balance of the cost has been provided by private gifts and grants to the university. Going forward, the Father Mychal Judge Center is expected to receive a Congressionally-directed grant this year to continue program planning and implementation, support faculty and student exchanges, and develop additional international partnerships.

Background on the Father Mychal Judge Center:
In establishing this center, St. Bonaventure recognizes the strong Irish heritage of its founder, Nicholas Devereux, the centuries-old and significant contributions of the Franciscan friars in Ireland, and the university’s long-standing commitment to servant leadership and social entrepreneurship.

Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M., was famous for the many ways in which he was committed to serving the poor, friendless, and disenfranchised. He was a counselor, pastor, fire chaplain, and peacemaker, and his work focused on the promotion of reconciliation, whether in addressing the AIDS crisis of the 1980s or the Irish peace process of the 1990s. Fr. Mychal died a hero’s death on Sept. 11, 2001, while serving as chaplain to New York City firefighters at the World Trade Center.

Fr. Mychal was a graduate of St. Bonaventure and a former administrator at Siena College in Albany.

More information about the Mychal Judge Center at St. Bonaventure is available here:

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 themselves to the excellent diagnosis and care that is available at Kane Community Hospital.

What exactly is stereotactic breast biopsy?

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous.

The Radiology Society of North America, Inc. (RSNA) notes a breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells—either surgically or through a less invasive procedures involving a hollow needle – from a suspicious area in the breast and examined under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. During a breast biopsy, part or all of a tumor may be removed.

Image-guided biopsy is performed when the abnormal area in the breast is too small to be felt, making it difficult to locate the lesion by hand.

In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to help guide the interventional radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

When is stereotactic biopsy used?

A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as a suspicious solid mass, microcalcifications, (a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits), a distortion in the structure of the breast tissue, an area of abnormal tissue change, or a new mass or area of calcium deposits is present at a previous surgery site.

Stereotactic breast biopsy is also performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality.

Sterotactic guidance is used in four biopsy procedures: a fine needle aspiration (FNA), which uses a very small needle to extract fluid or cells from the abnormal area; core needle (CN) which uses a large hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion; vacuum-assisted device (VAD) which uses a vacuum powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples during one needle insertion, and wire location, in which a guide wire is placed into the suspicious area to help the surgeon locate the lesion during surgical biopsy.

Breast biopsies are usually performed in an outpatient imaging center like that at Kane Community Hospital.

Who performs the biopsy?

Image-guided, minimally invasive procedures such as stereotactic breast biopsy are performed by specially trained radiologists. Interventional Radiologist Jamil Sarfraz, M.D. performs the biopsies at KCH.

For the past five years Dr. Sarfraz has led the Diagnostic Imaging Team at KCH. He holds Specialty American Board Certifications in Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Internal Medicine. He has specialty interests in Breast Imaging and Intervention, Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasonography.

What are the benefits to stereotactic biopsy?

The procedure is less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little or no scarring and can be performed in less than an hour. Compared with open surgical biopsy, the procedure is about one-third the cost.

Recovery time is brief and patients can quickly resume their usual activities. Generally, the procedure is not painful and the results are as accurate as when a tissue sample is removed surgically.

A new digital mammography unit is en route to be followed by a new small bore MRI to complete KCH’s new Breast Center, expected to launch within the next few months.

With our new addition, patients will greatly benefit from the noninvasive opportunities of stereotactic breast biopsy for diagnosing breast abnormalities and tumors and aid in the earlier detection of breast cancer.

Once again KCH is leading the way in diagnostic imaging in the area. KCH has the only stationary, in-house stereotactic breast biopsy equipment and room in the area. With the new technology of the breast center, there will be no need for patients to leave the area for diagnosis.

This new technology will find a home among the arsenal at KCH which includes: 32 slice CT, Dual head nuclear medicine camera, all-digital x-ray, fluoroscopy, chest system, MR, PET/CT, the latest advances in ultrasound, the gold standard in full body bone density, capsule endoscopy (camera in a pill) and our top-rated mammography program, with same-day mammography results, soon to be digital.

For more information, contact KCH Diagnostic Imaging at 814-837-4580 or 1-800-837-8585, extension 4580 or contact your health care provider.

Pictured, with the patient on the table in the new breast biopsy room at KCH are Julie Laughner, R.T. (R), (M); Lisa Redmond, R.T. (R), (M), RDMS, (AB), (BR), RVT; and Jamil Sarfraz, M.D. Radiologist.
(Photo courtesy of Kane Community Hospital)

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 medical expenses. This year’s funds will be used to build Jones a ramp so that he can use his motorized wheelchair at home.

Miller Lite is also a sponsor for this year’s event.

For more information visit special events section or

CARE for Children is a non-profit organization that has provided services to local children of all abilities for 85 years.

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 Fulton Building.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

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. Still, some people are not ready. I want to be clear: there will not be another delay. I urge everyone who is not yet prepared to act today, so you don’t lose important news and emergency information on June 12. And I encourage all Americans who are prepared, to talk to their friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they get ready before it’s too late.

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 LoSchiavo, the center’s executive director, said would have pleased the late Regina Quick. It was a gift from Regina and Leslie C. Quick Jr., parents of 1975 SBU graduate and university trustee Leslie C. Quick III, that launched construction of the center, which opened in 1995.

“This is a very special event for us and it’s great to see so many people in this room,” said LoSchiavo. “The outreach to young people was enormously important to Mrs. Quick and it’s one of the most important things that we do here.”

More than 300 pieces were submitted to three jurors who selected about 100 works for the exhibition. The jurors – Art Mohagen, retired art teacher at Allegany-Limestone Central School; Melissa Meyers, an artist featured in this year’s Cattaraugus County Arts Council’s Southern Tier Biennial exhibition; and Mary Anne Kirkpatrick, a certified decorative artist – said their task was not easy.

“The talent is unbelievable,” said Meyers, who attended Wednesday’s opening. “I did not expect the quality that I saw. I was really blown away by it and it made it very difficult to judge the various pieces. To have been selected is a real honor for these students.”

Heather Lee, a high school art teacher at Allegany-Limestone Central School, said the opportunity to exhibit at The Quick Center excited and inspired her students. “A lot of my students are overwhelmed by how many people are here,” she said at the opening. “I think that when students show their work, especially in a public exhibit like this, it gives them self-confidence and makes them more motivated to create more pieces of artwork.”

Olean Middle School art teacher Dan Brown said the exhibition is important as a means of exposing students to other artists and artwork. “This is a great opportunity for our kids to get over here to the university and not only see what everybody else is doing, but to also get a chance to see what treasures this school has,” he said.

The exhibition includes an assortment of art forms including photography, mixed media, oils and watercolors, pastels, ceramics, charcoal drawings and more.

Each young artist received a letter on Quick Center letterhead congratulating him or her on being included in the exhibition. The letter is a great way for a student interested in art to begin building a portfolio, said Sabina.

“The Quick Center is home to St. Bonaventure’s world-class collection that includes art and historical artifacts dating from the beginnings of Western civilization to the 21st century. Being selected for exhibition here is a significant reflection of the quality of a student’s work,” she said.

Students from middle and high schools in the following communities in New York and Pennsylvania participated in exhibition: Allegany/Limestone, Hinsdale, Fillmore, Friendship, Jamestown, Kane, Olean (including Archbishop Walsh), Otto/Eldred, Port Allegany, Portville, Randolph and Salamanca.

The plan is to make the exhibition an annual event, said Sabina.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University is open year round at no charge. Galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Pictured, Julia Collver, a sophomore at Port Allegany (Pa.) High School, stands in front of her work “Artists’ Eyes” as she greets a visitor at the exhibition opening; Salamanca High School senior Caleb Abrams stands before his painting “In The Hands of Compassion.”

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 Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians.

As of May 29, the Revenue Department had received more than 517,000 rebate applications. About 578,000 older Pennsylvanians and residents with disabilities are expected to benefit from the program this year, compared to 310,000 prior to 2006.

The Department of Revenue will begin distributing rebate checks on July 1.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available at Causer's local offices: 78 Main St., First Floor, in Bradford (814-362-4400) and 2 Allegany Ave. in Coudersport (814-274-9769). They are also available online at People who already applied can also access information about the status of their rebate by visiting the site and clicking on "Where's My Property Tax Refund?"

'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 are in tough economic times, and this is challenging us to be more creative and flexible with our planning of First Night. One positive is that we have more money raised at an earlier point in the year than we ever have had. This helps us tremendously in planning our entertainment schedule.”

Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan said, “First Night Bradford is a wonderful community event that people look forward to every year. Tough economic times can bring communities together and that is what we would like to see happen. This year’s event can be among one of the most significant events in our community this year.”

Petry added that, “By coming together as a community to make this event happen, it will be more rewarding and celebratory than ever – a small victory for the whole community.” Individuals or businesses interested in donating to the event can contact the Main Street Manager’s office located in Old City Hall.

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.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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 we did so with the intent on having him remain part of our core of homegrown talent. But the quality and quantity of talent we are receiving in this trade moves us closer to our goal of building that sustainable championship caliber club and compelled us to move a very good player and an outstanding young man.”

Gorkys Hernandez hit .316 (67-for-212) with 11 doubles, 19 RBI, 10 stolen bases and 33 runs scored with Double-A Mississippi this year at the time of the trade. The 21-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder entered the season ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Braves organization by Baseball America. Hernandez, who was originally signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 out of Venezuela, has been a two-time All-Star Futures Game representative (2007 and 2008) in his five years of professional baseball. Entering today’s action, he ranked 10th in the Southern League in hitting, third in hits and tied for eighth in stolen bases. In 2007, he took home Midwest League mid-season and post-season All-Star accolades while also being named the league’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .293 with a league-leading 54 stolen bases.

“Gorkys Hernandez is a dynamic player who has the potential to become an above average major league outfielder,” said Huntington. “He is a quality athlete with plus speed and plays above average defense. He has bat speed and the upside to develop into a productive table setter.”

Charlie Morton went 7-2 with a 2.51 ERA (64.2ip/18er) and 55 strikeouts in 10 starts this year for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves of the International League. At the time of the trade, he was tied for first in the International League in wins, and was ranked eighth in ERA and third in innings pitched. In his last outing on May 29 at Syracuse, he struck out seven batters while tossing a seven-hit shutout while winning his fifth consecutive start. The 25-year-old Morton made his Major League debut with Atlanta in 2008 and went 4-8 with a 6.15 ERA (74.2ip/51er) and 48 strikeouts in 16 games (15 starts).

“Charlie Morton is a power right-handed starting pitcher who is excelling at Triple-A,” said Huntington. “He is close to being ready for the big leagues and has the upside to become a quality Major League starting pitcher.”

Jeff Locke allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his 10 starts this year for Single-A Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League. The 21-year-old southpaw, who entered the season ranked as the seventh-best prospect in the Braves organization by Baseball America, was originally selected by Atlanta in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft from A. Crosby Kennett High School in New Hampshire. During his second professional season in 2007, Locke finished tied for second in the Appalachian League with seven wins and 74 strikeouts and third in strikeouts per 9.0ip (11.17).

“Jeff Locke is an intriguing young left handed starter with the frame, athleticism and stuff to become a quality major league starting pitcher,” said Huntington.

Andrew McCutchen was hitting .303 (61-for-201) with 10 doubles, eight triples, four home runs, 20 RBI, 10 stolen bases, 41 runs scored, a .361 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage with Triple-A Indianapolis at the time of his promotion to Pittsburgh. The 22-year-old McCutchen, who was Pittsburgh’s first-round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, was leading the International League in runs scored and triples heading into today’s action. McCutchen, who entered the season as Pittsburgh’s second-best prospect according to Baseball America, was Pittsburgh’s Minor League Player-of-the-Year in 2006, a 2008 International League All-Star and All-Star Futures Game representative at Yankee Stadium. He also entered the 2009 campaign rated as the “Best Athlete” and as the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in Pittsburgh’s minor league system according to Baseball America.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Charlie Morton the Pirates have transferred pitcher Craig Hansen from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

This team is looking more and more like "Major League" -- without the washed up players who are going to rally the youngsters and win the penant. Makes me glad I'm not a fan.

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, "will have a significant impact economically."

"I've spent the last 12 years building this refinery to a sustainable business when it was going to be shut down and torn down," he said, adding that there may have been people in the auditorium who wished the refinery had closed.

"But I can tell you, there are 325 families that are dependent upon this refinery for their livelihood," he said.

"We are an economic force within the region. We pump over half a million dollars a day into the economy by purchases of crude. The effects of what you're planning here could be devastating," Golubock said.

He did say that the people in the industry understand the environmental impacts of drilling on the forest, but they take every step they can to mitigate any environmental problems.

"We're really on the same side," Golubock told Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten, "but you're making it like we're on different sides. We want to comply. We want to do what's right, but you're making it almost impossible for us to do that in a friendly manner."

Earlier in the meeting, Golubock pointed out that drilling takes up only 3 percent of the land in the forest.

Also during the meeting, Marten and district rangers Tony Scardina and Rob Fallon explained the process involved in completing the forest service supplemental environmental impact statement and transition environmental impact statement.

They expect the draft SEIS to be published the week of July 10, at which time the 90-day public comment period begins. Public meetings will be held in mid-July to explain the DSEIS.

Kane resident Chris Stovic asked why maps that will be included with the statements won't include the exact locations of the 588 wells that were given OKs after the settlement was reached between the forest service and several environmental groups.

The settlement stipulates that any further notices to proceed are subject to regulations in the National Environmental Policy Act.

Marten, Scardina and Fallon explained that because the subsurface rights are owned by private individuals – not the forest service – the government doesn't have the right to release that information if the company doesn't want them to.

Bradford resident Joe Martin asked why old power houses, tanks and other equipment is still on the forest years after the companies stopped their operations, and wondered if the current companies will have to clean up after themselves.

Fallon explained that some of the old equipment – specifically near Sugar Bay – has "significant historic value."

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 young people. In my meeting yesterday with the leading State Department official responsible for the oversight of educational exchange programs, he acknowledged a ‘systemic failure’ on the part of the Aspect Foundation and the need for the Department to establish more safeguards in the process to monitor personnel responsible for the safety and welfare of students.

When a family sends their son or daughter to the United States to experience a glimpse of American culture and values, they should not have to worry that their child will go without food or live in dangerous conditions without any supervision. I look forward to working with the State Department to immediately correct the flaws in the existing process and ensure that future exchange students visiting the United States will only be placed with responsible families that have been fully vetted.”

Last week, Senator Casey sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to investigate the Department of State’s oversight of U.S. youth exchange programs following reports of abuse and mistreatment of the foreign exchange students in Pennsylvania.

Nine foreign exchange students between the ages of 15 and 18 have been placed in the care of Lackawanna County’s Department of Human Services. According to officials, some children were in need of medical attention due to malnutrition and dehydration while others were living in unsanitary conditions and in homes that were recently condemned. Only after their teachers voiced concerns did their neglect come to light. Currently, foreign exchange students are eligible to attend approximately 430 high schools, colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania.

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. Forest Service. Thompson said he saw an obvious shift in priorities by Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell, which focus on climate change, water issues, and encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors. He said the words “climate change” were repeated 15 times on the home page of the website but that there was no mention of timber harvesting and asked Jensen’s opinion of that.

Jensen responded, “I will turn back to the Forest Service mission statement that we are to sustain the health, resilience, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. There is a place for timber and a place for oil and gas development but we must focus on what is being left behind.”

Finally, Thompson told Jensen of a meeting he had with Kimbell in which he asked why the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was being applied to oil and gas leases in the ANF when it wasn’t in the past. These leases are privately owned and historically have fallen under state environmental regulations. Thompson asked Kimbell what studies had been done to justify NEPA, to which she replied that there were none—that they relied on photos of environmental damage.

Jensen responded, “I don’t know enough about the details, but I will look into it.”

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 years will yield a $10,000 gift to endow a scholarship or add to a scholarship fund.

Harvey Golubock, president and chief operating officer of American Refining Group was one of a group of industry representatives who approached the university to encourage resumption of the petroleum technology curriculum. At the same time, a study by the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association and North Central Workforce Investment Board validated a regional need to educate industry employees. An Energy Industry Partnership was then formed to lead efforts toward resolving the situation. That group donated $16,000 to Pitt-Bradford’s reinstated petroleum technology program in 2007.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, says Pitt-Bradford is committed to aligning curriculum with workforce needs. “We will expand both credit- and noncredit-based instruction and recruit qualified professors to ensure that students enrolled in our petroleum technology program and other coursework are well served. Our regional economy depends heavily on a strong and stable oil and gas industry. To continue to thrive, this industry must have a steady influx of well-trained and qualified workers,” he said.

Golubock also credits his affiliation with Pitt-Bradford as an advisory board member during the past decade for giving him a deeper appreciation of Pitt-Bradford’s mission.

“My own higher education was through public colleges,” he said. “I was a first-generation college student in our family, not at all unlike the demographics of many of our Pitt-Bradford students. My advisory board experience as well as the endowment of the new petroleum technology curriculum by ARG has provided me a way to give back so others may benefit from an education at a world-class institution of higher learning.”

Myron Turfitt, president of United Refining Co., says his firm employs a number of Pitt-Bradford graduates.

“We have a long history of employing regional talent. Pitt-Bradford has been a great source for educating students in the oil and natural gas field. As we participate in the 150th anniversary of the oil industry in Pennsylvania this year, we are proud to support the university’s initiative to provide regional opportunities for students interested in our industry.”

The Penn York Oil & Gas Affiliates of Desk and Derrick Clubs is comprised of members whose employment is in the oil or gas industries of Pennsylvania or New York. The local club is one of 61 clubs in the United States and Canada and is celebrating its 58th year. Members meet monthly and sponsor nine educational meetings or field trips a year utilizing local industry personnel. Jennifer Smith, PYOGA president, said Desk and Derrick members share a common goal of wanting to improve the petroleum industry. The group specified first preference for its scholarship be given to current members of the organization or their immediate family, second preference to current employees or immediate family of a company that sponsors the organization, as well as preference to students living in McKean, Elk, Forest, Potter and Warren counties or Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties in New York state.

“The club wants to keep the scholarships close to home by first making them available to its members, families and industry-related employees,” Smith said. “Our motto is ‘Greater Knowledge-Greater Service.’ Our scholarship is funded by donations from local oil, gas and service-related industry and fundraising events such as seminars. Memorials for members and families will be donated to this fund as well.”

Kay Soble chairs the group’s scholarship committee and agrees that the local connection is vital to provide for the industry’s future. “These students are the future of our industry,” she said. “The local oil and gas industry recognizes that, and we are truly appreciative of their support for this endowed scholarship. We plan to enhance the endowment with a campaign.”

For more information on the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge, contact Karen Niemic Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement at Pitt-Bradford, at (814)362-5091 or

Pictured, Alexander, Golubock, Smith, and are talking about a display of oil industry memorabilia on display at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as part of the Oil150 Celebration marking 150 years since oil was struck in Titusville, Pa.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

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 health issues. Allegheny County has been recognized for the problem solving courts they have established, including the recent creation of a veterans' court.

Previously this year Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery addressed the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Senate Bill 383 and is a strong supporter of problem-solving courts.

Senate Bill 383 will statutorily authorize the implementation of problem solving courts in the Commonwealth," Orie said. "This is not mandatory, but rather necessary to ensure that our state obtains financial assistance in creating these courts."

"This concept is a win-win proposition for our criminal justice system and for those individuals who need assistance," Orie said. "They will make our communities safer, and they will save tax dollars."

Orie said the average cost of building a new prison in Pennsylvania is $200 million and the cost of housing a prisoner can run as much as $30,000 a year. According to the Department of Justice -- approximately 20 percent of the Pennsylvania prison population suffers from mental illness.

"So in many cases, we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to incarcerate mentally ill patients or those with addictions who would benefit far more from treatment, medication and counseling," Orie said. "That's why this legislation is so critical. As research has shown, problem solving courts that can specialize in these areas can ensure that offenders receive the most appropriate sentencing, supervision, rehabilitation and treatment."

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 input from states, Congress, labor, industry, rail experts from countries with working high-speed rail networks, and other key stakeholders. Today’s roundtable follows Secretary LaHood’s recent fact-finding trip to several European countries where he met with transportation officials and rail operators and witnessed first-hand the operations of working high-speed rail systems. Other senior U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials recently hosted a series of seven regional workshops around the country.

“Everyone knows I’m a big believer in our nation’s rail system – I’ve devoted a big part of my career doing what I can to support it – and I’m proud that this Administration is about to transform that system fundamentally,” said Vice President Biden. “Thanks to an $8 billion investment from the Recovery Act, we’re going to start building a high-speed rail system that will loosen the congestion suffocating our highways and skyways, and make travel in this country leaner, meaner and a whole lot cleaner.”

“America is ready to embrace a new level of passenger rail service that offers a safe, convenient, and sustainable way to travel from city to city, and region to region,” said Secretary LaHood. “President Obama has handed us an extraordinary opportunity – and now it is up to all of us to seize the moment. With creative input and contributions from governors across the country, I believe we’ll be able to do just that.”

President Obama’s vision for high-speed rail mirrors that of President Eisenhower, the father of the U.S. Interstate highway system, which revolutionized the way Americans traveled. Now, high-speed rail has the potential to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, lower harmful carbon emissions, foster new economic development and give travelers more choices when it comes to moving around the country.

In attendance for today’s roundtable: Governors Pat Quinn, Illinois; Sonny Perdue, Georgia; Deval Patrick, Massachusetts; Jennifer Granholm, Michigan; Jay Nixon, Missouri; Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania; Tim Kaine, Virginia; and Jim Doyle, Wisconsin. In addition, state transportation officials from California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Rhode Island and West Virginia also attended the roundtable.

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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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 headquarters building, May 30. The headquarters was established in what had been one of the complex's many badly-deteriorated 1940s-era warehouses.

Fucik said the depot is nearing self sufficiency with IA Soldiers taking the reins of the day-to-day operation.

"We're buying a lot of equipment for them. We've invested a lot. It's basically finished now," Fucik said. "We're here to help bring processes and procedures."

Fucik said opening the new Depot Distribution Center is probably the biggest accomplishment of his unit's year-long tour. He added that the unit has also developed a five-year plan for more efficient warehousing.

The mission of the depot is to pre-stage supplies that are to be picked up by IA units. Soldiers working at the depot have inventoried supplies and streamlined the offloading of materials arriving by convoy. 1st Sgt. Robert Griffith, of Luray, Va., is the unit's heavy material and vehicle adviser to the IA. He said the receiving process of heavy materials has progressed to the point where he now answers questions from his IA counterparts by saying, "How would you do it?", encouraging Iraqis to further take control.

Griffith said when a convoy of new vehicles rolls into the depot, the IA Soldiers are ready for them and work until all the vehicles have been offloaded and staged. JHAATT Soldiers said other than dealing with the language barrier, the biggest challenge has been to make it clear to IA Soldiers that they won't learn a new method of doing logistics overnight.

"It took the Army 234 years to get where we're at," said Staff Sgt. Robert Reinhart, of Butler County, Pa. "They're in year four."

Still, Reinhart agreed that the depot's IA Soldiers have gotten their program in place to the point where, "Now they're doing most of it and we're just advising them," he said.

Reinhart's first mission when he arrived at the depot in August was to set up a Central Receiving and Shipping Point yard. Reinhart, normally with the 412th Engineering Command, based in Kittanning, Pa., said that the three-week CRSP task was the precursor to other supply work as all supplies come through the CRSP yard.

Sgt. Oscar Anderson, a reservist from Corpus Christi, Texas, agreed that the IA Soldiers running warehouses at the depot are "more on the same page now." Anderson, the non-commissioned officer in charge of weapon supplies, said the IA colonel in charge of his section loves the way things are going and doesn't want the current American unit to leave. But Anderson said the IA Soldiers involved are ready to stand on their own.

"If we were to pull out today, [the weapon supply section] would be ready to go," Anderson said.

Perhaps none of the JHAATT Soldiers appreciates the critical role the Taji depot will play in the Iraqi Army's future more than Lt. Col. Willy Turner. Turner, of Atlanta, Ga., is General Depot Command's deputy senior adviser and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the depot. Turner reported nearly $50 million has been spent renovating warehouses and improving the depot facility.

"We're setting them up for the future," Turner said. "We're actually rebuilding the structures from the ground up. They'll be used to store various classes of supplies."

Turner explained that the depot is one of the first stops for new IA units. After units complete their basic training and advanced individual training, those Soldiers come to the depot to receive the equipment related to their mission.

"When a unit completes its training we then marry them up with their equipment in a unit set fielding," Turner said.

Turner said 3,000 vehicles have come through the CRSP yard with another 5,000 on the way. Those vehicles include tow trucks and transport trucks as well as ambulances.To put the depot's size into perspective, Turner noted that the facility includes 35 warehouses just for tools.

Turner said his Soldiers were fortunate to work at JHAAT during this exciting phase of the rebuilding and noted that several of those Soldiers have extended their tours to complete projects. Turner said the goal is to set up the IA, as well as the next American unit, for success. Turner said he's met many "very motivated" IA Soldiers.

"They want to see this country succeed," he said.

Pictured, U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Robert Griffith of Luray, Va., gives a driver the hand signal for stop during offloading of new trucks, May 30, at the Taji National Supply Depot. The depot is the Iraqi army's national level logistics and supply center.

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 in the regular and bowhunter education forums.

“Geary has made great strides, and I believe that this is because she has been so tenacious about teaching, and has had a great deal of personal hunting success in recent years, including a trophy bull moose from provincial Canada and several nice deer trophies here in Pennsylvania,” Frederick said. “Another noteworthy matter is that I’ve seen her relate some of her experience to other women who take the courses during breaks.

“She is a great role model. Her stories and adventures provide insight and confidence to the new women of the sport.”

Geary is the retired head floral designer for Acme Markets Inc., which included stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. A graduate of Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh, Geary attended various floral design schools and then trained other people in arrangements/management of floral shops in both retail and wholesale markets.

Geary and her husband, Edward, have lived in the Glenmoore area for 18 years, and have a daughter, Kathryn J. Lamothe, who lives in Douglasville with her husband, Michael, and their son, Ian Michael.

Geary has been an active hunter for the past 25 years, hunting mostly in Pennsylvania, but also traveling to Colorado, Virginia, Arkansas and Canada.

Pictured, Chester County resident Kathryn ‘Cass’ Geary, second from right, was honored by the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners as the 2008 Hunter-Trapper Education Instructor of the year. Participating in the presentation were (from left to right): Cheryl Trewella, Southeast Region Information and Education Supervisor; Chester County WCO Scott Frederick, who nominated Geary; Carl G. Roe, Executive Director; Greg J. Isabella, Board of Game Commissioners president; Geary; and Keith A. Snyder, Hunter-Trapper Education Division Chief.
(Game Commission Photo by Hal Korber)

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 Hall, followed by golf, a 5K Fun Run and a number of talks and presentations hosted by university faculty and staff. Among the presenters is Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., university president, who will help close the book on the university’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration and share her vision for the university over the next 150 years.

There will also be an Athletic Department Yard Sale from 9-11 a.m. Saturday outside the Reilly Center featuring game-worn jerseys, warm-ups, blankets, glasses, mugs, and more.

Following a picnic lunch hosted by the campus Franciscans, there will be additional presentations as well as self-guided tours of academic buildings and open houses hosted by a number of schools and departments.

The induction of Baron into the Athletics Hall of Fame will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday on Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center Arena. Baron, now head basketball coach at Rhode Island, was a senior co-captain and starting point guard when he led the Bonnies to the NIT Championship in 1977. He coached the Bonnies for nine seasons starting in 1992, a span during which the team made three NIT appearances and earned its first NCAA Tournament berth in 22 years.

Saturday evening activities begin at 4:30 p.m. with the Alumni Memorial Mass at the University Chapel. Alumni will then gather for a reception prior to boarding shuttle buses that will transport them to the Premier Banquet Center for the annual reunion dinner and program.

A highlight of the evening will be announcement of the William “Stax” McCarthy Alumnus/a of the Year Award.

Alumni weekend will conclude Sunday morning with a farewell breakfast and Mass.

For more information, contact Alumni Services at (716) 375-2302, e-mail, or go online to

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 point out specific problems should be met with caution. If they arrive in an unmarked truck or van and refuse to provide proof of insurance or references it is safe to say they are not reputable contractors.

Frequently, these scams begin with a claim to have just finished a job, and then offer a great deal on leftover material. They also employ high-pressure sales tactics like limited-time offers.

When hiring a contractor, homeowners should obtain a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day right-to-cancel notice. Penalty clauses for late completion have also proven helpful in ensuring timely projects. Individuals should never sign a blank contract or hire a contractor that does not have a business card or local phone number and address. Also, final payments should be withheld until work is finished and homeowners are completely satisfied.

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 office at (814) 375-4688 or log on to his Web site,

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.