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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Derby on Dorothy Lane

The 2009 Bradford Mastercraft All-American Soap Box Derby got underway Saturday in a new location -- Dorothy Lane and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Besides Mastercraft, other sponsors for the event are American Refining Group, Dallas-Morris Drilling, Zippo, the Blaisdell Foundation, City of Bradford, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and 100.1 The HERO.

Besides the racers, pictured above are The HERO's Stefan Arlington who served as a PA announcer for the event and Frank Williams who spoke with Dr. David Johe during The HERO's broadcast. Dr. Johe is also the 1965 Soap Box Derby Champion for Charleston, West Virginia.

Congratulations -- and thank you! -- to the local derby board of directors for another great year. They are Dr. David Johe, Christine Mangione, Joe Mangione, Jay Pecora, Mike Shine, Dennis Smith, Bridgette Wells, Dave Williams and director Steve Feldman.

Swine Flu in Cattaraugus County

A case of swine flu has been confirmed in Cattaraugus County.

Because of privacy laws, health department officials can't release the name of the person or information on where the person lives. They did say the person is an adult who did not travel to Mexico or down state. The person has recovered.

Officials are waiting for results of tests on another person suspected of contracting the virus from the first person.

Special Stars Shine at PSU

McKean County Special Olympians captured eight gold medals and a number of other awards at the annual Pennsylvania Special Olympics State Games held last weekend at Penn State. Kim Daniels won gold medals for the long jump and 100-meter run. She also won a silver in the 200-meter run. Matt Main won a gold medal in the long jump. Other track winners were Mike Walter -- silver for the 50-meter walk -- and Justin Conner -- bronze for the long jump and 200-meter run.

Jesse Crum, Joe Sostakowski and George Burton won gold medals in golf. Matt Scott won a gold medal in swimming for the 25-meter freestyle. Morgan Nelson got a silver in the 25-meter backstroke and Susan Parkes won a bronze in the 25-meter backstroke.

In basketball skills, Tina Whitford won a silver and Robert Tubbs won a bronze. In bowling, Stephanie Heffner and Bary Stewart both got bronze medals. In softball skills, Steve McQuone won a gold medal. Shannon Pettit won a silver and Lee Dunmire won a bronze.

More than 2,000 athletes from across the state competed.

Ben Yale on Sports Forum

Frank Williams chatted with dirt bike racer Ben Yale on a recent Sports Forum. For more on what Ben does, and where he races, visit the Western New York Off Road Association

Scarnati: Philly Fraud Case Points to Need for Stronger Illegal Alien Laws

The arrest this week of 18 people in Philadelphia who were ripping off a public assistance program of more than half a million dollars emphasizes the need for legislation that would ensure that illegal aliens living in Pennsylvania do not receive public benefits, according to Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), who has sponsored such a bill.

Scarnati said that the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, pointed to poor administration and a failure of supervision and oversight over the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides grants to help low-income residents meet their heating bills.

"Grants were awarded to people who used invalid Social Security numbers and fake addresses – meaning that tax dollars were stolen by people who were not eligible for benefits," Scarnati said. "Clearly, we need stronger laws and guidelines in place to stop this abuse of tax dollars."

The arrests of twelve Department of Public Welfare (DPW) employees on fraud charges this week was just the latest in a series of embarrassing revelations regarding lax oversight by the department leading to cases of fraud and wasted tax dollars.

A 2007 performance audit conducted by Auditor General Jack Wagner uncovered serious deficiencies in DPW’s administration of the LIHEAP program.

Another audit of DPW’s Medicaid program conducted in January of this year found errors in a shocking 14% of cases studied. In many of those cases DPW failed to even verify the citizenship or identity of the applicant before dispensing benefits to them.

"Clearly, DPW is either unable or unwilling to clean up their act on their own," said Scarnati. "That is why it is imperative that the House of Representatives pass Senate Bill 9 immediately."

Scarnati is sponsor of Senate Bill 9, which would ensure that illegal aliens living in Pennsylvania do not receive public benefits, such as Medicaid, welfare, and in-state college tuition.

The legislation would require anyone receiving public benefits in the Commonwealth to provide identification proving they are legal residents. In addition, individuals would be required to sign an affidavit stating they are a United States citizen, or an alien lawfully residing in this country.

Senate Bill 9 passed the senate with broad bipartisan support on April 1, 2009 by a vote of 41-9. It has been awaiting action in the House State Government Committee since that time.

Any applicant signing the affidavit stating that they are a legal alien would have their status verified by the Federal Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement Programs (SAVE) operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

"These commonsense checks and balances would have prevented much of the fraud and abuse that occurred in Philadelphia and is probably happening throughout Pennsylvania because of lax oversight," Scarnati said. "At a time when hard-working Pennsylvanians are losing their jobs and struggling to make their mortgage payments, we cannot afford to provide benefits to those who entered this country illegally."

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the current local annual costs of illegal immigration amount to about $36 billion nationwide. In Pennsylvania, which has more than 100,000 illegal aliens, the current estimated cost is $285 million. That cost is expected to grow to $812 million by the year 2020.

"Illegal immigration drains public funds, creates unfair competition for jobs with American workers, and imposes unnecessary strains on services designed to provide assistance to hard-working citizens," Scarnati said. "My bill would ensure that Pennsylvania is taking the lead on the growing problem of illegal immigration by making it clear that we will not provide government benefits and services to those who enter this country illegally."

It's Derby Day!

Volunteers make the final preparations early this morning for today's Bradford Mastercraft All-American Soap Box Derby. The racing begins at 9 a.m. on Dorothy Lane between West Corydon Street and Campus Drive. Frank Williams will be broadcasting live on 100.1 The HERO.

New Walkway Brick Campaign

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

Bradford Hospital Foundation officials will offer a first-time opportunity for individuals or groups to be part of the history of Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) by launching the new Walkway Brick Campaign during The Blitz 2009 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday inside Northwest Savings Bank at 33 Main St.

"The Walkway Brick Campaign is a wonderful way to proudly present your business or family name to honor a loved one with their name etched onto a brick," explains Stacy Williams, BRMC’s director of Volunteer Services and Annual Giving. Bricks purchased will be placed in specially designed square patterns in front of the hospital’s new Outpatient Services Center, located off the North Bennett Street access.

"It’s a unique and personalized way to give," Mrs. Williams states. "By purchasing a brick for $100, you would be supporting BRMC along with having your business or individual name etched onto the brick and displayed on our hospital campus walkways. On this brick, you’ll also get three lines with 15 characters on each line to honor someone." In addition to bricks with the words-only option, businesses, clubs and organizations, sports teams and even favorite pets can be depicted via stock artwork or logos.

"For $150, you can add a logo of your choice on a brick," Mrs. Williams notes. Companies can have their logos added or donors can make a stock design selection. Each brick also provides a 15-character line. Officials note that all gifts are tax-deductible. During Tuesday’s Blitz 2009 at Northwest Savings Bank, information and forms will also be available for the Brick Walk Campaign and three other appeals:

-- The Building The Future capital campaign which began in 2005 with a
$6 million goal to financially support BRMC’s campus improvements that
have included the Outpatient Services Center, the expanded and redesigned Emergency Department, and upgrades to Surgical Services;

-- First Breath, a fundraising effort started by a Bradford Area High School student to purchase a ventilator for BRMC. This appeal has reached 50 percent of its goal; and

-- Memorial and Named Funds, which provide various ways to remember
special individuals with a memorial or honorary gift.

"These four appeals support BRMC in so many ways as the hospital continues to expand in meeting the healthcare needs of our community," Mrs. Williams says. "For those who donate to the Building The Future campaign, there will be a dollar-for-dollar match," Mrs. Williams notes. Through the estates of two sisters, Dorothy Reed and Berdena Coit, their gifts totaling nearly $1.5 million dollars will match anyone’s donation to the capital campaign.

Meanwhile, the First Breath campaign’s goal is to purchase a ventilator for BRMC that will be able to serve 1,200 patients of all ages over a five-year period, she says.

"The Foundation’s Memorial and Named Funds are a variety of funds that help support the many services of BRMC. The supported services include, but are not limited to, The Cancer Care Center at BRMC, The Heart Center at BRMC, The Pavilion at BRMC, and McKean County VNA & Hospice," explains Mrs. Williams. BRMC’s Cancer Care Center is a regional clinical network member of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

The Blitz Team will have materials available on Blitz Day 2009 at Northwest Savings Bank.

"The Blitz will give community members a chance make donations or get more information about these four appeals," Mrs. Williams says. However, the Blitz is not the only time to support these four appeals. For more information or to make a donation to any of these appeals, contact the Foundation at 20 School St., call 362-3200 or go online at

Pictured, David Monroe of Full Circle Complementary Therapy and Stacy Williams, Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC) director of Volunteer Services and Annual Giving, display one of the bricks that can be purchased through the newly launched Walkway Brick Campaign. Companies and individuals who buy the bricks will have them placed outside BRMC’s main entrance.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Man Accused of Hitting Father, Son

A Sheridan, New York, man is in jail after allegedly hitting his son in the back of the head with a guitar, and assaulting his father

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the home of 48-year-old Lee Seybold at about 3 o'clock Friday afternoon and learned that Seybold injured his son with the guitar. He's also accused of pushing his father to the ground multiple times and hitting him in the face. He also allegedly threatened to hit another man with the guitar.

Seybold was remanded to Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

Men Indicted for Bank Fraud

Two men have been indicted on charges they conspired to defraud 11 banks including National City, PNC and Northwest Savings.

54-year-old Richard Raspatello of Kersey and 22-year-old Joshua Atwell of Warren each face a federal felony count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud for alleged incidents that happened from November of 2007 to October of 2008.

Authorities say Raspatello established a checking account at National City Bank under the name of Raspatello Excavating and Trucking. He then wrote checks to Atwell, knowing there were insufficient funds.

Atwell would then open an account at another bank and deposit some of the bad checks from Raspatello. Before those checks could be evaluated, Atwell would bring in other bad checks and cash them.

Authorities said Atwell would keep a portion of the cash and return the rest to Raspatello.

They each face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $1 million or both.

For more information, go HERE.

Kersey Man Facing Charges

A Kersey man is facing several charges after allegedly threatening a man with a loaded 12-guage shotgun Friday night.

Police say 38-year-old Christopher Schatz pointed the gun at a 46-year-old Duncannon man and threatened to shoot him.

They say Schatz will be charged with two firearms violations, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.

Four Hurt in St. Marys Fire

A 56-year-old St. Marys man is being treated for first and second degree burns to his arms that he suffered while trying to remove items from a burning building Friday afternoon.

Three firefighters were also treated for minor injuries they sustained while battling the blaze that did $1 million worth of damage to a three-story wood-frame building at 335 Dusty Hollow Road in St. Marys.

56-year-old Michael McMackin owns the building that was used for a woodworking facility and for storage. Numerous vehicles, machines, tools and building materials were lost in the fire.

Police say their investigation is continuing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

From Camp Taji:
Joint Medical Expo Brings Healthcare to Needy Iraqis

Story & Photos by Capt. Maggie White
TAJI, Iraq — Thanks to the combined efforts of Pennsylvania Guardsmen, the Iraqi army, and concerned citizens, villagers have access to medical care in an area where local clinics are not accessible.

Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team Multi-National Division-Baghdad helped support a medical expo, June 7, at the al-Sadir secondary school in the rural area of Hor al-Bosh to see doctors and nurses, and obtain necessary medications.

Sheik Mohammed Ibrahim donated hundreds of doses of antibiotics, vaccinations, and other medications to provide to the locals who otherwise don't have regular access to medical facilities. He worked with the Soldiers of Co. C and their Iraqi army counterparts to set up the event where families could seek medical treatment in a safe environment.

"Lots of these people have no money," Ibrahim said, "With this mission they are feeling that someone cares about the people; that the coalition forces, along with the Iraqi army, are for their best interests."

Two Iraqi doctors, a nurse, an Army physician's assistant and medic treated 147 people from the area. Many parents brought their children to receive antibiotics, ointments, and receive immunizations. Soldiers handed out makeshift wheelchairs along with donated toys, art supplies, and clothing sent from relatives back in the United States wishing to help out.

"This mission is to show our thanks and support our people," said Dr. Kamin Salah, a general practitioner who donated his time to come help out.

Many families said they did not have the means to see a doctor on a regular basis. They waited in line to receive medication that they might not otherwise be able to receive.

"I'm glad to see children benefit from the medication," said Staff Sgt. Eric Klemm, of Butler, Pa., a senior medic for 1st Bn., 112th inf. Regt., said. "For lots of these kids this is their only chance to see a doctor, and I'm glad we can help facilitate that."

The Iraqi doctors and nurse took the lead in the expo, with the U.S. medics in a mentoring role; only stepping in to ask questions and listen to the advice the doctors gave.

"This medical expo is a good example of the IA and the U.S. military working together towards a common goal," 1st Lt. Joshua Fox, of Harrisburg, Pa., said. "We all want to improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people."

Pictured, Dr. Abdul Abbas examines the throat of a young Iraqi girl at the medical expo, June 7, at Hor al-Bosh, near Taji, Iraq. Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division-Baghdad work with the Iraqi army and local Iraqi medical personnel to give access to doctors and medications to citizens who could not otherwise receive them; and a Soldier from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, pulls a wheelchair donated for the joint medical expo at the al-Sadir secondary school located near Hor al-Bosh, June 7.

Bills Would Keep Parks Open

Harrisburg – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Jo White (R-21), will meet Tuesday to consider four bills.

Senate Bill 235 authorizes the state Department of Environmental Protection to implement flood protection measures using nonstructural alternatives including acquisition of land and structures; demolition, removal, relocation, elevation and floodproofing of structures; and floodplain clearance and restoration. (Senator Wozniak)

Senate Bill 880 authorizes the Secretary of Environmental Protection to enter into redevelopment agreements with developers who remediate brownfield sites. Developers may be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the remediation costs. (Senator Wonderling)

In addition, the committee is expected to take up two bills sponsored by Senator White which would permit the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to utilize funding from its existing grant programs to ensure that no state parks are closed. These bills are expected to be introduced later today.

For more information committee action, visit and click on "Environmental Resources and Energy."

O-E High School Educator Honored

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named Gayle Weaver, a music teacher at Otto-Eldred High School in Duke Center, this year’s Distinguished Secondary Teacher.

Weaver was presented with the award during Pitt-Bradford’s annual Honors Convocation.

The award is presented annually to a teacher who is willing to work with and challenge students both inside and outside of the traditional classroom. Members of the university’s senior class nominated candidates.

Weaver was nominated by Jennifer Snyder, a 2009 graduate in social studies education 7-12 from Rixford.

“Mrs. Weaver taught me what it meant to be disciplined,” Snyder wrote in her nomination. “She has influenced my thoughts of what a teacher should be.

“I remember going to her room during a study hall or other free time. My friends and I would complain about the troubles of our teenage lives. She always encouraged us to keep going, get through it and then you can say that you finished whatever it was that was so difficult.”

Dr. Donna Armstrong, assistant professor of education, said, “Teaching is one of the most rewarding, but also most challenging, careers one can choose. It is always so rewarding to see the teacher realize, through receipt of this award, that he or she has made a difference in the lives of students. I just wish there was a way to let all teachers know how much they are appreciated and what a difference they all make.”

Pictured, from left, Dr. Donna Armstrong, director of teacher education at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford; Gayle Weaver, a music teacher at Otto-Eldred High School and this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award; and Jennifer Snyder, a 2009 Pitt-Bradford graduate who nominated Weaver for the honor.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

‘Personal Choice Dining’ at BRMC

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

A personal touch can mean a lot to patients, even if it involves ordering meals.

With that in mind, Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) has launched “Personal Choice Dining” so staff hosts can personally take meal orders from patients and also deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner to them.

Before, patients made meal selections a day in advance on paper menus. Along with being somewhat impersonal, this method made it hard to gauge patients’ appetites and preferences, said BRMC officials. Personal Choice Dining is a Sodexo Services program which was modified by Kelli Anderson, clinical nutrition manager for BRMC’s Food & Nutrition Services, and Mark Krynock, interim director of Food & Nutrition Services. Sodexo manages Food & Nutrition Services and also Environmental Services at BRMC.

“It’s just a more personable way of handling the entire process of taking meal orders and delivering them,” Mrs. Anderson explained. “Now, a host will come to each patient’s bedside and take their orders just before mealtime for that day,” she said. “The hosts will also serve the meals to patients.”

With the previous method of patients ordering a day in advance, “It was hard for them to know how they would feel the next day or what their appetite would be like,” added Mr. Krynock. “This new program will definitely help patients’ satisfaction with
their meals,” Mr. Krynock said.

Additionally, Personal Choice Dining will eliminate the need of patients re-ordering meals. They will now have a better idea of what they would like at mealtime. Patients have already reacted favorably to the new program.

“It’s going great with patients. Also, we get more direct contact with patients to determine what they want,” noted Adam Priest, supervisor/host. “It’s nice to have more personal contact with the patients and they seem to like it, too.”

Mary Porter, who benefited from the new service as a patient this week, said she felt it brought the dining experience closer to her. "You don't just feel like a number, you're actually a person in that bed," she said.

Ms. Porter, RN, CNOR, who is also Nurse Manager of Surgical Services at BRMC, said the staff at bedside also explained various food choices with her regarding dietary restrictions and "were there as another friendly face in your day." For more information about BRMC and its healthcare services, go online at

Pictured, Bradford Regional Medical Center patient Mary Porter (left) gets her food order taken in person by staff from Food & Nutrition Services’ Amanda Glover, dietary aide/hostess, and Adam Priest, supervisor/host. The hospital has started the new program that brings staff to the patient’s bedside for a more "customer-friendly" approach to the dining experience.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

SIM, Conservation District Team Up

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Science In Motion program is working with the McKean County Conservation District to increase awareness about the importance of drinking water safety.

Students from the Eldred, Kane, and Port Allegany school districts participated in the project. The Conservation District provided water test kits for Science in Motion to distribute throughout the schools.

High school students in those districts tested water taken from municipal water supply, household wells, streams and springs. If any microbial or chemical contaminants were found, the homeowner could contact the Conservation District for further instructions on how to proceed with identifying potential problems with their water supply. Students found no significant problems with the water supply.

“The students were excited to do this since they were helping to collect information that would not be just used in a classroom but would actually be used in evaluation for a ‘real lab,’” said Melanie Acker, SIM assistant director and mobile educator.

“ They especially enjoyed figuring out where to find the most remote regions where they could collect water. Otto-Eldred biology teacher Boyd Fitzsimmons did a wonderful job having students venture to as many sites as possible to check water sources.”

Heather McKean, watershed specialist with the Conservation District, worked with Acker on the project.

“Everyone should be aware of where their water comes from and also be conscious of potential threats to water resources. The Conservation District and Science In Motion felt that together we would be able to reach more people and have a greater impact on our water resources.”

Acker said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to partner with the Conservation District in the water testing project. It not only provided the Conservation District with an easy route into the schools through SIM, but also helped inform the teachers of how much educational information and supplies that the Conservation District has to offer.

“Since this particular lab was part of a larger project that several schools could take part in to help the Conservation District, I think the students found it exciting that they were a part of that team.”

A grant the Conservation District was awarded from PA Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education Grant Program funded this project.

Time for Outdoor Fun

By Abigail R. Kimbell
Chief, U.S. Forest Service

Remember playing outside when you were a kid? Venturing into nearby woods or field — maybe to look for a grasshopper, build a dam, have a snowball fight, or try to catch a fish—maybe just to explore.

When was the last time your kid did those kinds of things?

For most kids, life is different these days. Parents seem more afraid of letting their kids out of sight, except for things like sports—structured, supervised events. Kids seem to have more demands placed on their time, and when they do have time they often prefer to “play” in front of a TV or computer screen. They don’t get outdoors as much.

Health professionals are concerned. They point out all the benefits kids get from playing outside on their own, letting their imaginations run wild, challenging their bodies in new ways, developing social skills impossible to learn indoors in front of a TV. Kids have always needed that as part of growing up, and now they are not getting it enough.

Opportunities are fewer these days. As America has become more urban and less rural, people have fewer open spaces where they can roam and play—except on public lands.

Most Americans have a local park within easy reach. Some live within driving distance of a national forest or national park, where they can truly experience the outdoors. Whether in a remote wilderness area or in a spot of nature in the heart of the city, they can explore the woods, see wild animals, maybe catch a fish, maybe even pitch a tent and build a fire. They can touch and smell trees, see and hear wildlife, ponder the mystery of rivers, learn about America’s outdoor treasures and the need to conserve them.

President Obama has issued a proclamation for the month of June as Great Outdoors Month. On June 13, the U.S. Forest Service is joining together with the American Recreation Coalition and other partners to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day. We are hosting events at more than 50 locations across America to get kids outdoors for some fun—for some hiking, biking, fishing, and more. To find out more, we invite you to visit

Remember that sense of awe and wonder you felt as a kid in the woods, up close and personal with nature? There is no substitute for touching a pinecone, watching what ants do, listening to the cascade of a river, or smelling a forest after it has rained. There is no substitute for assessing the risks of climbing a tree or crossing a creek and maybe skinning a knee and getting dirty.

Kids need these things. Isn’t it time for some outdoor fun?

BRMC, UPB Farmer's Market

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
BRMC Communications Department

Two of the region's health leaders are partnering in a first-of-a-kind project to enhance community wellness by offering a new weekly Farmer's Market on campus at Bradford's medical center.

Starting Tuesday, June 16, community residents will be able to feed their families farm-fresh, naturally grown produce from Canticle Farm of Allegany, N.Y., by going to Bradford Regional Medical Center's (BRMC’s) North Bennett Street entrance near The Pavilion at BRMC from 1 to 4 p.m.

BRMC and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's Center for Rural Health Practice are partnering in this unique project. The Farmer's Market will be held rain or shine under covered roofing every Tuesday for 18 weeks through Oct. 13.
"Since one of the keys to wellness and healthy lifestyles is the food we eat, we wanted to create an opportunity for people to directly benefit from some of the locally grown produce available during the upcoming season," explains Mariann Kahle, BRMC's worksite wellness coordinator.

Organizers hope to attract residents looking to buy chemical-free, seasonal produce that's competitively priced. "Residents will be able to buy the freshest and healthiest produce that's possibly available," says Mrs. Kahle.

Pitt-Bradford officials echo that commitment to community and rural health, noting their interest in the project from its initial stages. "I wanted the Center for Rural Health Practice to be involved with the Farmer's Market," says Rebecca Confer, administrative assistant of Pitt-Bradford's Center for Rural Health Practice. "It sounded like such a great idea."

Throughout the course of the season, upwards of 40 different varieties of produce will be available at the Farmer's Market at BRMC. As the growing season progresses, garden items will include lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, Asian greens, radishes, potatoes, carrots, salad turnips, scallions, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower and more. The produce is typically picked within a day or two, say organizers, an added enhancement to freshness.

As an added bonus, Farmer's Market customers will be able to get a free 80-page cookbook that will offer several tasty recipes for each garden item, Mrs. Kahle notes. The time-tested recipes were previously assembled by Canticle Farm through a grant. "There are three or four recipes for every garden item," she says. However, if people don't want to take the cookbook home, they can still access the recipes by going to Canticle Farm's Web site at

The idea for a Farmer's Market at BRMC took root after Mrs. Kahle was conducting research on the job last summer for information about wellness initiatives that other medical centers offer. "I found out the Cleveland Clinic had a similar-type Farmer's Market but I didn't know of any rural hospitals that offered one," says Mrs. Kahle. "And that got me thinking."

Earlier this year, Canticle Farm board member Betsy Costello of Bradford contacted Mrs. Kahle, who was just named BRMC's first worksite wellness coordinator. The notion of a rural hospital like BRMC offering a weekly Farmer's Market sounded intriguing.

One concern, though, was having enough volunteers to operate the Farmer's Market produce tables for a few hours and also help with setup. Word spread of the planned project. Then two months ago Mrs. Kahle got a call from Mrs. Confer, who had heard of the project, to see if any assistance could be offered to BRMC in making this idea become a reality. What resulted was an agreement in which BRMC and Pitt-Bradford would each provide volunteers on alternate weeks to run the Farmer's Market.

"It's a great partnership and example for two leading community and regional organizations to work collaboratively in this type of initiative," Mrs. Confer explains. The Center for Rural Health Practice's interim director, Margaret Potter, immediately liked the idea of a partnership with BRMC to create the Farmer's Market, says Mrs. Confer.

Ultimately, a partnership proposal submitted by the Center for Rural Health Practice was forwarded to Pitt-Bradford President Livingston Alexander and it was swiftly approved. Mrs. Confer says, "BRMC is doing the bulk of the work but we're pitching in with funds and providing volunteers to work the Farmer's
Market on alternate weeks."

Canticle Farm is a community-supported agriculture farm located at 3835 S. Nine Mile Road in Allegany, N.Y. It's certified as using natural growing practices to provide safe, healthy food without the use of chemicals or pollutants.

Canticle Farm began in 1991 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany as a mission to operate an Earth-friendly farm. "Canticle Farm's mission is to operate an Earth-friendly farm and to involve people throughout the community," explains Sister Joyce Ramage, Canticle Farm's president. "We're always looking for ways to spread our mission. We're happy to share our food with others. Now, the Bradford area can be an extended part of our Canticle Farm family."

As a community-supported agriculture farm, Canticle Farm members buy shares of its harvest in advance. Canticle Farm offers shares for the spring, summer and fall harvests. BRMC purchased nine summer season shares to supply the Farmer's Market at the hospital, says Mrs. Kahle. "Our intent is not for the Farmer's Market to make a profit. We just want to provide the best quality food to those in the community who want to take advantage of it," she adds.

Mark Printz, Canticle Farm's manager, says, "The produce people purchase is picked within 24 or 48 hours. You can't get much fresher than that." Furthermore, "We're certified for using naturally grown practices. There are no chemicals of any kind used to grow our produce. And people can also come out to the farm to see how we actually raise our produce."

With about nine acres under cultivation, Canticle Farm isn't looking to expand its land holdings. "We're just looking to be more efficient with our yields," he says. "We've shown over the years that produce can be naturally grown," Mr. Printz notes. "It's a farming method over the past few years that is beginning to take hold across the country."

For information about the Farmer's Market at BRMC, contact Mrs. Kahle at 362-8383.

Pictured: Showing some of the early season produce that will be available at Bradford Regional Medical Center's (BRMC's) upcoming Farmer's Market are Mariann Kahle (kneeling at left), BRMC's worksite wellness coordinator, and Rebecca Confer (kneeling at right), administrative assistant for the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. With them at Canticle Farm in
Allegany, N.Y., are Mark Printz, farm manager, and Sister Joyce Ramage, Canticle Farm's president.

(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

New Scholarship Announced

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has announced the Dilks Family Scholarship, which has been established to support students graduating from either the Warren Area High School or Oil City Area High School.

The gift will be matched by the Agnes and Lyle Lewis Thomas Scholarship fund, essentially doubling its potential to aid eligible students. In the event that there are no graduates of Warren or Oil City high schools eligible for the scholarship, the award will be made to a student from Warren or Venango counties.

The Dilks Family Scholarship Fund was established by Bob Dilks, Jr., Director of Transfer and Non-Traditional Student Recruitment at Pitt-Bradford, and his family.

“Having been with Pitt-Bradford for nearly 20 years, I know first-hand how much scholarships can positively influence students and help ease the financial burden of attending college,” explained Dilks. “It’s much better when you can focus on your studies and not how you’re going to pay for it all,” he added.

The scholarship reflects a commitment on the part of the Dilks family to both Pitt and the Warren area. “I have been thinking about the possibility of this scholarship for over a year. The matching funds opportunity prompted me to take action. When I approached my dad and brother, there was no hesitation on their parts to pitch in to make it happen,” reported Dilks.

Robert Dilks, Sr., a retired public relations professional and published author who lived for many years in Warren, served Pitt-Bradford in the 1980s as an adjunct instructor of public relations. Jason (Jay) Dilks, brother to Dilks, Jr., graduated from Pitt-Oakland. Jay Dilks’ wife, Allison, is a physician at UPMC in Oil City, and her father is also a Pitt grad.

Also supportive of scholarship opportunities are Dilks’ wife, Jen, who is a teacher in the Warren School District, and his father’s wife, Sue, who is also a published author and a Warren native.

“We have a big Pitt family going here,” noted Dilks.

Agnes L. Thomas, a resident of Bradford for more than 50 years, provided in her will a one million dollar bequest to the university that will be used to fund the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge.

For as long as the funds last, the challenge will allow donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $50,000 to new or existing scholarships. The gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible. For more information about establishing a scholarship, contact Karen Niemic Buchheit, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, at 814-362-5091.

Students who would like more information about donor scholarships and how to apply for them should contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Financial Aid at 814-362-7550.

Pictured, from left, Bob Dilks Sr., Bob Dilks Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, Allison Dilks, Sue Dilks and Jason Dilks

Judge Wants NY Senate to Resolve Power Struggle Themselves

A New York State Supreme Court judge told Democrats and Republicans this morning to try to settle their Senate power struggle among themselves over the weekend.

Judge Thomas McNamara, however, did indicate that he's ready to sign an order to dismiss the Democrats' case seeking to restore their control of the Senate. He did say he'd rather have the matter resolved in the senate rather than in court.

Democrats are trying to undo Monday's coup that brought Republicans back into power with the help of two dissident Democrats.

Having Fun With Science

Kalee Gross watches and holds a test tube as Alex Safran pours liquid from a beaker during a lesson on the fluorescence of chlorophyll at Science in Motion Camp at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The girls mashed spinach leaves and mixed it with acetone to make the green liquor, which glowed red when the students shone a flashlight on it in the dark.

David Niegowski, 6, of Bradford presses water from a piece of paper he made as part of a lesson about plant fibers, biodiversity and how people use plants at Science In Motion Camp this week at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Science In Motion is a partnership between Pitt-Bradford, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and area high schools and middle schools. In summer, however, elementary-school-age children come to campus for a week of science exploration. Camp for children who have completed grades 4, 5 and 6 will be held the week of June 22-26. This week, camp is for children who have completed grades 1, 2 and 3.
(Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Project Pride Community Garden Receives Honorable Mention

Johnstown, Pa. – The City of Bradford’s Elm Street program was presented with an Honorable Mention award in the category of Community Greening for its Project Pride Community Garden at Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s (PDC) annual statewide Townie Awards gala. The Townie Awards are a festive and venerable tradition designed to recognize the commonwealth’s core communities and individuals for creation and implementation of programming and events that exemplify the goals of PDC’s community revitalization mission. All of Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s 270 member organizations are eligible to win, making the Townies a competitive award process each year.

“Bradford Elm Street’s Project Pride Community Garden should be applauded at many levels, but most especially for sparking involvement by the young people of Bradford in the community revitalization effort,” said Bill Fontana, PDC’s executive director. “With this project we were able to engage so many individuals and groups that had never been involved with the program before. This effort is not only a sustainable initiative in the context of produce and plants, but sustainable in the relationships that were built as part of the overall effort,” said Lisa Campogiani, Elm Street Manager for Project Pride.

The Townie Awards are a part of PDC’s annual statewide conference, which is held in a different commonwealth community each year in order to highlight the respective city or town’s accomplishments in community and neighborhood revitalization. This year’s conference, held in Johnstown, was attended by more than 200 individuals, including borough and municipal officials, experts in community planning and landscape architecture, and dozens of Main Street and Elm Street managers. Highlights of the conference included nationally-recognized speakers, more than two dozen educational sessions, a community night at Point Stadium and mobile workshops to the neighboring town of Bedford, a Main Street community.

For information about the City of Bradford’s Elm Street program, contact Lisa Campogiani at (814) 598-7098 or For information pertaining to Pennsylvania Downtown Center, contact Norah Griffiths Johnson at (717) 233-4675 or

Real Reform Comes To Albany

By Senator Cathy Young

It’s a new day in the New York State Senate.

Historic and sweeping rules reforms were voted into place this past week by a bi-partisan coalition that is delivering on greater transparency and true accountability in state government.

Our changes will empower individual legislators, give attention to every corner of the state, strengthen the committee process, allow greater debate and shine sunlight on what’s happening in Albany.

All of these laudable and desperately-needed goals for state government had been promised to the 19 million people of New York State in January of this year by Senator Malcolm Smith when he took over control of the Senate.

Tragically, the polar opposite became the reality.

Three men in a room, all from New York City -- Governor David Paterson, then Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- hatched the state budget in secret. When budget bills hit the Senate floor, Senate Republicans, including me, strenuously debated them. What immediately became pitifully apparent was that the Democrats, then in the Majority, didn’t have a clue about the budget’s contents, yet they unanimously voted it through.

The result? Not only a terrible process, but a horrific product.

Out-of-control spending hit a record $13 billion increase -- during a recession.

Huge tax hikes to the tune of $8.5 billion were piled on when New York already was the heaviest taxed state in the country. Homeowners, choking from property taxes, lost their STAR rebate checks. Families and senior citizens, struggling to pay their monthly bills, will be forced to pay higher telephone, electricity and natural gas because of an onerous tax placed on utilities. Taxes on health insurance premiums drove up costs for policy holders and put health insurance further out of reach for many.

Empire Zones, our best economic development tool, were stripped; and small business were slammed. Business owners were chased out of the state. Job losses continue to mount. People are leaving in droves.

We urgently needed to change the state’s direction.

The first step was to reform the dysfunctional dynamics that have ruled in Albany for far too long. We need both parties to work together to implement solutions.

Our bi-partisan Senate coalition has precedent. Five other states, including New Mexico, Texas, Alaska, Tennessee and Louisiana have proven and effective coalition governments.

I urge the State Assembly to follow our lead and make reform a reality in their House.

Through reform, we can revive our economy, grow more jobs, establish career opportunities for our young people so they don’t have to leave, alleviate the tax burden, and control spending.

We have taken the first steps with these groundbreaking reforms. Now we can truly make a difference on behalf of the people of New York State.

KCH Dedicates Chainsaw Carving

The large maple tree at the Route 6 entrance to Kane Community Hospital (KCH) that for decades produced beautiful bright red leaves in fall had slowly died over the years until it was no longer producing leaves.

Leadership recommended that the tree stump be preserved for a special carving during KCH's 80th anniversary year, when it was determined that the trunk was still viable for carving.

It was decided to dedicate the carving -- a Kane Wolf --to the community that the Hospital has had the pleasure to serve and grow with for eight decades. As the maple gave so much to the landscape for decades, so too has the Kane area supported their Hospital and allowed it grow and develop to meet the changing needs of residents and guests of our area and expanding communities.

During National Hospital Week Rick Boni -- Co-founder of Appalachian Arts Studio and the Ridgway, PA Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous -- carved the standing log to reveal the Kane wolf, our school, sport and community mascot. It was a two-day carving process. Later the carving was stained to protect it.

Throughout the carving process, staff enjoyed watching the work of art being created. Many people slowed down as they passed, watching the progress from their vehicles.

Rick attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Columbus College of Art & Design. Early in his career, he was a pottery and art instructor in Florida. In the years that followed he pursued a graphic arts career. Then he became involved with chainsaw carving where he began to explore and experiment with the design and techniques of this new and exciting art form.

Boni has been a chainsaw carver for 20 years. In the mid 90s he began accepting performance contracts through Masters of the Chainsaw, an elite carving team comprised of National Champions. Through Masters, he traveled much of the east coast demonstrating chainsaw art at events such as NASCAR, fairs, and festivals.

He was asked to teach Chainsaw Carving in Japan and to serve as judge at International Chainsaw Carving Competitions. He now judges competitions through the country and around the world.

His work is displayed in places such as The American University, Washington, DC, Hershey Gardens, New Jersey, Ohio, Scotland, England and Japan and now also at Kane Community Hospital on Scenic Route 6 W in Kane.

Rick Boni Boni standing with the completed, stained carving outside Kane Community Hospital on Route 6 W; on scaffold during Hospital Week carving a wolf the Hospital has dedicated to the community of Kane on the occasion of the Hospital's 80th Anniversary.
(Photos courtesy of Kane Community Hospital)

Which Way Do They Go?

Kristina Luzzi and Jennifer Taylor of American Refining Group sent along this picture of a "peculiar" traffic situation. After they spoke with the crew from Glenn O. Hawbaker -- they're working on Kendall Avenue for the Route 219 Bradford Bypass Project -- the situation was cleared up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meeting Draws Confused Crowd

Despite the fact that the Bradford Regional Strategy has been in the works for about three years a public meeting on the plan got a bit heated last night.

People seemed to be confused about what the plan is, how facets of it will be funded and why it's necessary.

OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews summed it up.

"These are the type of projects we're trying to do to improve the quality of life here. Just because it's not like the old days should we all just give up and close the door and walk away? If that's the attitude ..."

But she continued, "If you don't have a plan, how can you look forward? How can you look forward to the future if you don't have a plan to improve your community?"

She also stressed that everything in the plan is just a proposal at this point and nothing is set in stone.

Also before Tuesday's city council council, Roberta Sarraf of the master plan team explained the new zoning ordiance that, during the meeting, council approved on first reading.

During the regular council meeting, members authorized the city fire department to submit a grant application for federal stimulus money that would toward building a new fire station.

If the application is approved, the station could be built at the site of the former Third Ward School.

Fire Chief Boo Coder explained that they looked at a number of properties for the new station but the site at the top of Mechanic Street is the only own the city owns that's ready to go, and the grant application has to be in by July 10.

"Our back's against the wall," he said. "This is one chance in all our lifetimes that someone's ever going to say 'Here's a couple million dollars. Build a fire station.'"

Also Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Bob Onuffer read a proclamation honoring the Bradford YMCA Flames Gynmastics Team for their successful season, post season and for sending several girls to nationals.

In case you haven't seen it in our list of links for over a year:
Bradford Regional Strategy

Previous stories about the master plan can be found HERE.

O'Brien Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

A retired state police trooper has been found guilty of driving drunk in a crash that killed a Bradford woman last April.

A Cattaraugus County jury deliberated for about an hour and a half Tuesday before finding 69-year-old David O'Brien of Allegany guilty of vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and drunk driving.

The crash killed 38-year-old Wendy Karnes as she was driving on Route 219. O'Brien was driving the wrong way on the highway and crashed head-on into Karnes' car.

O'Brien will be sentenced September 9 and faces up to seven years in prison.

Casey Introduces Fracking Bill

WASHINGTON, DC– U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Jared Polis (D-CO) today to introduce companion Senate and House bills, the FRAC Act -- Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, amending the Safe Drinking Water Act. The legislation would repeal a Bush administration exemption provided for the oil and gas industry and would require them to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes. Currently, the oil and gas industry is the only industry granted an exemption from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale across much of Pennsylvania is part of our future,” said Senator Casey. “I believe that we have an obligation to develop that natural gas responsibly to safeguard the drinking water wells used by 3 million Pennsylvanians. We already have private wells contaminated by gas and fluids used in hydraulic fracturing. We need to make sure that this doesn’t become a state-wide problem over the next few decades as we extract natural gas.”

Hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking”, which is used in almost all oil and gas wells, is a process whereby fluids are injected at high pressure into underground rock formations to blast them open and increase the flow of fossil fuels. Fracking is used in areas of Pennsylvania where natural gas is being drilled from Marcellus Shale.

This injection of unknown and potentially toxic chemicals often occurs near drinking water wells. Three million Pennsylvanians are dependent on private wells for water. Troubling incidents have occurred around the country where people became ill after fracking operations began in their communities. Some chemicals that are known to have been used in fracking include diesel fuel, benzene, industrial solvents and other carcinogens and endocrine disrupters.

Regulating hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act as done with the FRAC Act has been endorsed by 14 environmental organizations in Pennsylvania including: PennFuture; the Mountain Watershed Association and the Pennsylvania Forest Coaltion.

“When it comes to protecting the public’s health, it’s not unreasonable to require these companies to disclose the chemicals they are using in our communities – especially near our water sources,” said U.S. Rep. DeGette, Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. “Our bill simply closes an unconscionable Bush-Cheney loophole by requiring the oil and gas industry to follow the same rules as everyone else.”

“It's time to fix an unfortunate chapter in the Bush administration's energy policy and close the 'Halliburton loophole' that has enabled energy companies to pump enormous amounts of toxins, such as benzene and toluene, into the ground that then jeopardize the quality of our drinking water,” U.S. Rep. Hinchey, Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment and Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said. “Our legislation says everyone deserves to have safe drinking water by ensuring that hydraulic fracturing is subject to the protections afforded by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill also lifts the veil of secrecy currently shrouding this industry practice.”

“Families, communities, and local governments are upset that the safety of their water has been compromised by a special interest exemption, and we join them in that frustration,” said U.S. Rep. Polis. “It is irresponsible to stand by while innocent people are getting sick because of an industry exemption that Dick Cheney snuck in to our nation’s energy policy. Many new sources of energy, including natural gas, will play an important role in our nation’s transition to cleaner fuels, but we must make sure this isn’t at the expense of public health. The problem is not natural gas or even hydraulic fracturing itself. The problem is that dangerous chemicals are being injected into the earth, polluting our water sources, without any oversight whatsoever.”

Perfect Day at the Park

These were actually taken Saturday at Callahan Park but I needed help from my tech guy (AKA Scott Douglas) to get them up.

From Camp Taji:
PA Reps Visits Stryker Brigade

Story & Photo by Sgt. Doug Roles
Marc Ferraro, commander of 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, updated four U.S. representatives from Pennsylvania on the work of "Independence" brigade Soldiers during the congressional delegation's visit here, June 7.

U.S. Reps. Tim Holden (D-17th District), Bill Shuster (R-9th District), Charlie Dent (R-15th District) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-3rd District) visit comes at the midpoint of the brigade's deployment in Iraq.

"We conduct full-spectrum operations," Ferraro told the delegation. "Everything we do is through a partnership with the Iraqi army."

Ferraro reported the brigade has conducted over 3,000 patrols, with Soldiers finding 79 weapon caches. Additionally, 827 arrest warrants have been issued through cooperation with Iraqi security forces. Ferraro said that number is the highest within Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

The 56th's 1st Battalion, 108th Field Artillery has fired more rounds than any other division unit, Ferraro told the delegation. He reported that the brigade's engineers have conducted over 220 route clearance missions, covering 15,000 kilometers. He said the brigade has seen the completion of $4.3 million of projects to open schools and medical clinics and to provide micro grants to local business owners. He said $11 million of future projects has been approved.

Ferraro explained to the delegation that missions for brigade units range from combat operations to civil affairs missions. The mission of the brigade is to improve civil capacity and to improve security through teamwork with Iraqi leaders. He pointed out that the brigade partners with a 22-person embedded provincial reconstruction team, which plays a lead role in working with Iraqi civilian leaders.

Ferraro said the brigade has begun a Law Enforcement Assistance Program in which battalion leaders identified Soldiers in their ranks who have law enforcement skills. Many of those Soldiers have been tasked with imparting their know-how to Iraqi security forces.

"We're using the civilian skill set of our Soldiers to assist the Iraqi police," Ferraro said.

Ferraro explained that the June 30 effective date of the Security Agreement will not change the brigade's footprint, since the unit operates in a mostly rural area north of Baghdad. The Security Agreement calls for U.S. forces to withdraw from cities. "Independence" Soldiers serve at Camp Taji and from nine joint security stations in the surrounding area.

"Before we leave though, we will be closing four [Joint Security Stations]," Ferraro said.

Ferraro explained that his Stryker Soldiers are staying mission focused even as the level of violence in Iraq subsides.

"We have an offensive mindset," he said. "We're not here to play defense. We play offense."

Holden offered sympathies on behalf of the delegation for two 56th SBCT Soldiers killed in action since the brigade began operating in Iraq in late January.

"We also want to tell you how proud of you we are," Holden said. "We are very proud of you."

Dent echoed Holden's statement, saying: "We're extraordinarily proud of your service and your sacrifice."

Holden told the group of Soldiers that the Pennsylvania National Guard is the most-deployed Guard force because it's "the best."

The representatives said they have been told by corps level leaders about the good work the brigade has done. Members of the delegation also recognized the sacrifice made by those on the home front.

"As tough as it is on you being here, I know how tough it is on the families at home too," Shuster said.

"That's something we're all concerned about, your families," Dahlkemper said.

Ferraro said mobilization of Pennsylvania's Stryker brigade – the only Stryker force in the Guard or Army Reserves – pulled Soldiers from Pennsylvania Army National Guard units outside of the 56th. Nearly 4,400 Soldiers serve with the brigade.

"We have touched every corner of Pennsylvania and probably taken Soldiers from every county in the commonwealth," Ferraro said.

The 56th SBCT mobilized in September and trained at Camp Shelby, Miss. and Fort Polk, La. A delegation, including Holden, Dent and Shuster, met with Soldiers at those installations last fall. The brigade will be in Iraq through late summer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Committee Votes No on SB 850

The House Appropriations Committee voted on party lines Monday against the $27.3 billion proposal that passed the Senate last month. Democrats who control the House all voted no.

In the Republican-controlled Senate, last month's vote also was on party lines.
Before the vote, minority appropriations committee chairman Mario Civera urged chairman Dwight Evans to stop dragging his feet and get a budget bill to the House floor because the committee and the public are frustrated.

Opponents of the senate plan say they're worried about the impact of proposed cuts on seniors, students and state parks.

Supporters say it balances the budget without raising state taxes.

Lawmakers are looking at a budget deficit of more than $3 billion and a June 30 deadline to agree on a spending plan.

Power Shift in NY Senate?

Republicans appear to have taken control of New York's Senate after two Democrats jumped the aisle in a parliamentary coup.

The flip of senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate gives Republicans a 32-30 edge in the chamber.

Within an hour of the overthrow, Republicans named Espada temporary president of the Senate and Dean Skelos vice president and majority leader.

Democrats tried to leave the chamber, even turning off the lights briefly. They are expected to challenge today's action in court.

In a news release, Democrat Malcolm Smith insists he's still the president and majoriety leader and that today's action was "an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate."

Water Skier Dies in Town of Wirt

A nationally ranked water skier died at Olean General Hospital Sunday after an accident on a private lake in the Town of Wirt.

Police say 54-year-old John O'Neill of Livonia was practicing a slalom course at the lake. They didn't give details of the accident.

Three people on the boat were able to get O'Neill to shore, where they called 9-1-1.

He was taken by ambulance to Olean General, where he was pronouced dead.

Police are waitng for autuopsy results before releasing the cause of death.

Man Charged for Olean Stabbing

A man who had to be hospitalized after stabbing another man last September in Olean will spend the next six months in jail on a charge of attempted assault.

38-year-old Dana Rickey of Portville stabbed 26-year-old Matt Zawatski twice in the chest and twice in the groin area at about 2:15 a.m. on September 5 in Olean.

Following the incident, Rickey suffered an apparent heart attack at Olean General Hospital and was sent to ECMC.

Pierce Sentenced for Maybee Death

The woman involved in the death of 3-year-old Ianna Maybee has been sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison.

Stephanie Shenandoah Pierce was the girlfriend of Ianna's father, Guy Maybee, when the girl died in March of 2008. Maybee was sentenced last week to 20 years in prison for his guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter

Pierce was charged with criminally negligent homicide because she didn't call for help when Ianna was hurt.

Ianna suffered broken bones, internal injuries and bleeding in her brain before she died.

Students Hatch Pheasant Chicks

Story & Photos by Jane Bryndel
Pheasant Forever

There were kids everywhere! Each and every one was excited to visit the St. Marys’ Middle School Outdoor Club classroom on May 28, 2009. Over 100 students were there to learn how other classes succeeding in hatching their pheasant chicks from eggs. Craig Barr from the Fox Township Sportsmen Club is the volunteer coordinator of the event that included 7 area schools; Fox Township, St. Mary’s Middle School, South St. Marys School, Queen of the World, St. Marys Catholic Middle School, St. Boniface, and Ridgway Middle School. Wayne Fordosti, the retiring science teacher of the St. Marys Middle School was the host of the event and enjoyed showing the kids the hard work of his 7 year old Outdoor Club. What started as a project to study hatching fish has grown in to a small tree farm, greenhouse, hatching chicks and even studying solar and wind power. Mr. Fordosti hopes to continue as a volunteer at the school for year to come but will leave big shoes to fill.

The inter-school context was to encourage the students to not only produce a good pheasant hatch rate but also research the birds they were raising.

The Fox Township teachers did an amazing job incorporating the project into reading, writing, math and science classes. Teacher Patricia Hamblin uses the A B C D method to teach science in her classroom. Accurate – Big – Colorful and Detail. The students took on a mentoring role when they shared some of what they learned from the project with the younger kids at the school who came to visit the chicks when they hatched. This class even researched recipes for cooking the harvested birds. For their extra effort, Craig Barr rewarded them with an ice cream cake.

South St. Mary's Erin Hanslovan’s class made a colorful, large paper quilt detail many pheasant facts.

Dorian Tamburlin, a 4th grader from Fox Township took turns turning the eggs during the incubation period. ‘The hatching was the coolest!’ She first saw a wild male pheasant when she was in first grade on a walk with her grandmother who then took her home and showed her a picture in a book.

Patrick Schlimm is from the South St. Marys School. He helped look up a fact a day on pheasants with his classmates, mostly using the internet.

While the emphasis was on more then counting the birds that hatched, the hypothesis is that the eggs that were turned by hand had a better hatch rate then those that used an automatic turner. Maybe the eggs just received more attention. Of the 200 eggs distributed to the schools, 88 were fertile and viable, 52 hatched with 31 chicks making it to the pens where they will spend the summer.

All of the kids were made aware that the hatched chicks will be raised by Craig Barr and Randy Gradizzi of the Fox Township Sportsmen Club. The chicks can fly in about 15 days. Pheasants reach maturity in 12 weeks with an average weight of 2 pounds. These birds will be added with the 700 other pheasants used to stock the Youth Hunting area nearby this fall. Kids 12-16 years old use this site with an adult for bird hunting. All birds harvested over the fall season should be used and not wasted. This will bring the story of the birds in a full circle.

ArtWorks at the Depot Open

Story & Photos by Ruth Gentilman PetersonA reception for the artists participating in the opening Close to Home Show at ArtWorks at the Depot was held in the newly floored front room at the Depot and the ArtWorks Gallery (middle room). The front room flooring was cut to match original flooring and donated by Kane Hardwood.

Twenty eight individuals from the area participated in the Close to Home Opening Show and their work and that of Artworks cooperative artists is now available for viewing. Participating in the show are: Jody Aiello, Bernice (Buz) Anderson, Katie Cecchetti, Emily Cleland, John M. Cleland, Mary Coudriet, Carolyn (Peg) Coulter, Debra Dore', Dennis Driscoll, Joe Feikls, Wintis K. Gibson, Jr., Robert Hart, Olivia "Missy" Hartman, Margie Holland, Karianne James, Amelia Kepler, John Knapp, Doug Kunicki, Regina Malacarne, Steve Miller, Jack Northrop, Shay Payne, Nancy Petruney, Patricia Prechtl, Mary Lou Rich, AnnaLisa Ryding, Merriam Ryding, and Cat Sirianni.

There are paintings, pencil drawings, pastels, sculptures, photography, woodwork including intarsia, turning, woodburning; ceramics (pottery), collage, poetry, and mixed media.

ArtWorks Director Merry Ryding noted "The Close to Home project highlights many different styles and perspectives. Participants were asked to take a fresh look at their home. For some this meant working in a new medium. For some it was putting their work out to be seen by the public for the first time. For some it meant looking deeper at their subject and instilling new insight into their work."

A Close to Home program book containing many of the show's entries and the inspirations behind them is available for purchase at the ArtWorks Gallery and Store.

The program book includes quotes from the Journal of Elizabeth Kane, written in 1868. Her works, describing the very early days when the town of Kane was just being imagined, provide a grounding source of the history of the community," Ryding notes. "Kane writes about the struggles, anxiety, triumphs, and joys, of reaching her new homeplace after traveling through miles of wilderness and of building the new town on a wild, forested hilltop. Our shared history grounds us, gives us the soil to grow, and roots our inspirations."

ArtWorks at the Depot is organized under the Kane Depot Preservation Society, a non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible. The ArtWorks gallery is located in the restored railroad depot building, located at the junction of Routes 6 & 66 (1 South Fraley Street) in Kane, Pennsylvania.

The Close to Home project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The ArtWorks Gallery and Store is open weekends -- Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Additional events such as First Friday's and workshops will feature artists and art instruction later in the 2009 season which runs through December 20, 2009.

Jazzabilly at Lunch in the Square

Lunch in the Square will be held on Wednesday, June 10 at Veterans’ Square from 11:30 until 1:30 pm. Entertainment will be provided by the local favorites “Jazzabilly.”

Participating restaurants include Chu Lee Gardens, The Grocery Stretcher, The New Broaster, Fratelli’s Restaurant, The Lighter Side, Parkview Supermarkets, and Cin Cin Biscotti, Dairy Queen and the BRMC Wellness program. “We have something for everyone - Chinese, BBQ pork sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, subs, croissants, fruit smoothies, and of course, desserts,” said Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan. “We are really excited about Lunch in the Square this year. Area restaurants have been very supportive of this program and it is a great opportunity for people to meet with friends, relax, enjoy great food and listen to great entertainment!”

Frank Williams and Anne Holliday will be broadcasting live from Lunch in the Square on 1490 WESB.

The ‘Lunch in the Square’ program is sponsored by The Downtown Bradford Business District Authority.

Preserving History

Book inventorying and shelving have started to take place at the Cameron County History Center on Greenwoood Street in Emporium. Cameron County Genealogy Club leader Wendy Davis, second from left, and Dorothy Lewis, Mariah Reid and Marti Lewis sort and catalog materials during a meeting on Saturday, June 6.
(Photo courtesy of Alex Davis)

'Save Our Park'

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

BRADFORD, Pa. — Kinzua Bridge State Park, the only state park in McKean County, is on the short list for possible park closings. This is a designation the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau wants to reverse.

The Kinzua Bridge State Park is the home of the Kinzua Viaduct, which was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003. The park, along with Elk State Park, is a satellite park of Bendigo State Park. All three are listed under the initial evaluation of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as potential candidates for closing due to the changes in the proposed state budget.

“We are devastated at the mere mention that this most historic park, which has already survived one natural disaster, might fall victim to a man-made disaster and be closed,” said Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau.

Devlin explained extreme effort has been put forth, first before the tornado, to have funds spent to repair and revitalize the structure, and then following the tornado to rebuild the bridge. All of these years of effort have recently started to produce results.

A new vision for this National Engineering Landmark was developed the included revitalizing the existing viaduct structure into a “Kinzua Skywalk” with construction expected to start this summer.

In addition, a plan was developed for McKean County to market as “Trail Central” with a new focus on the 329-acre Kinzua State Bridge Park as the trail hub where all the existing trails and proposed trails would converge. Local volunteers, not-for-profits and the trail associations of the Tuna Valley Trail Association, the Kinzua Valley Trail Group, the Potato Creek Trail Association and the Seneca Highlands Snowmobile Club, have all been working diligently on this goal for the past two years.

“If we lose the hub, the entire wheel breaks down and we’re left with random spokes,” Devlin said.

The centerpiece of the new park would be the revitalized historic viaduct that would be open to foot traffic and would also include the addition of the planned visitor/interpretation center for Kinzua which would allow the Kinzua Gorge to become a year-round destination by providing education displays, classrooms, a small theater and other elements that would be open during all four seasons.

The addition of a center for visitor services and education expands the park’s attraction, Devlin said. Built structures are an important consideration in the county that receives the highest recorded amount of snowfall and the coldest temperatures annual within Pennsylvania.

The visitor/interpretive center is in the design stages. The interpretive themes for the park are engineering, energy and the environment. Displays under discussion include an energy display that showcases the power of wind, which ultimately lead to the downfall of the viaduct. There’s also a long-term plan for a trail among the viaducts fallen towers.

What better way to interpret a natural energy force than a first-hand, up-close walk among the fallen towers, Devlin asked.

The estimated annual visitation will increase 300,000 visitors per year with these improvements.

The economic and culture impact of closing the only state park in McKean County, during a time when McKean County is already experiencing double-digit unemployment is difficult to comprehend, Devlin said.

With an average daily expenditure of $72.75 spend by state park visitors, an annual visitation of 300,000 could mean an additional books to the local economy of more than $21.8 million annually, according to figures gleaned from a study by Charles H. Strauss and Bruce E. Lord titled “Tourism in Northcentral Pennsylvania: Visitor Characteristics and Economic Impacts.”

The development at the park is viewed by local residents and small business owners as one of the few positive bright points in our local economy, Devlin said.
The new developments that are in the plan for Kinzua provide new business opportunities for guide services, small business development, and motor coach tours. Increased visitation to the park will also help support local restaurants, campgrounds and hotels.

The Kinzua Bridge State Park has not reached its full potential in bringing visitors or the value of their tourism dollars to the county. By inclusion on the “short list” everything in the planning states is in jeopardy.

“None of the closings are certain,” DCNR spokeswoman Christina Novak said. “This is to help people understand the possible impacts of the Senate budget cuts.

Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, said he views the announcement of the closings as a “scare tactic” by DCNR. The 25th Senatorial District, Scarnati’s district, includes the Kinzua Bridge State Park.

The news is hitting close to home. Within the Pennsylvania Wilds, 12 possible park closings are listed. The DCNR estimates that 3 million park visitors would be affected by the closings. Visitor spending in the local communities statewide would be reduced by $58 million. A total of 50 parks are on the “hit list.”

One question that lings is what would happen to the money already set aside for the park if it closes. It could go to some other park out of the area. Money earmarked for recreational use, such as parks, will stay within the park system.

“The funding for restoration and development for the Kinzua project has been long time in coming,” Devlin said. “We need to make sure the project stays on schedule and that the funding already in place stays designated for the park.”

The Vacation Bureau is launching a campaign to Save Our Park and is urging all registered voters to contact Gov. Rendell’s office; John Quigley, acting secretary of the DCNR; and all elected state senators and representatives requesting that the Kinzua Bridge State Park be immediately removed from the “short list.”

Should the DCNR close any parks, there would still be access to natural features and associated recreation like hiking. However, such features as campgrounds, swimming, facilities, restrooms, roads and parking lots would not be available. There would also be no maintenance of the facilities, resource management, environmental education or law enforcement at those parks.

It’s also been Pennsylvania’s goal to have a state park within 25 miles of every state resident. This would not be the case for many rural residents, such as those in McKean County, if the Kinzua Bridge State Park closes.

The viaduct was originally built from iron in 1882 and was billed the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” In 1900, the viaduct was rebuilt out of steel to accommodate heavier trains.

The chief engineer of the original construction was Octave Chanute, the same man who whose glider research would later inspire the Wright brothers.

Bradford Teen Missing -- UPDATE

He's been found


McKean County Children and Youth Services is looking for a 13-year-old boy who hasn't been seen since Wednesday.

Shane McCracken was last seen at Fretz Middle School.

He's 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds.

Anyone who has seen Shane McCracken is asked to call Children & Youth Services at 887-3350 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 887-4911 after hours, or the police.

Escaped Convicts Back in Arkansas

The two convicted killers who escaped from an Arkansas prison and were captured in Hornell last week are back in Arkansas.

Calvin Adams and Jeffery Grinder were turned over to Arkansas authorities at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. Sheriff's deputies had their guns out during the transfer.

Adams and Grinder escaped from the Arkansas prison on May 29 dressed as guards. A New York State Trooper attempted to stop them for speeding last Tuesday. They took police on a high-speed chase, crashed the car and attempted to flee on foot.
Police caught them in a residential neighborhood in Hornell.

BASD Offering Summer Lunches

The Bradford Area School District is offering a Summer Lunch Program that provides free lunches to any child 18 or younger.

The program starts next Monday and runs five days a week until August 21. It will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at School Street Elementary School.

There is no paperwork, enrollment or income qualification to take advantage of the program.

Lunches include a sandwich or salad, fruit, vegetable and milk.

The program is sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture.

BWI Crash at Bemus Point

A Jamestown man has been charged with boating while intoxicated after crashing his boat into the Chautauqua Lake Ferry Station in Bemus Point Sunday night.

52-year-old Donald Thompson was able to make it to shore after the crash at 10:30 p.m., but his passenger, Steve McKone, had to be rescued by Bemus Point firefighters.

Sheriff's Deputies say both men were taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown and were in stable condition.

Lally-Green Retiring from Bench

Superior Court Judge Maureen Lally-Green is retiring from the bench effective July 31 to take a job as director of the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Office of Church Relations.

According to a news release, Lally-Green will represent the Diocese to civic, charitable, service and community organizations.

She was sworn in as judge of the Superior Court in June 1998 following her appointment by then-Governor Tom Ridge and confirmation by the Senate in 1999. She was elected to a full ten-year term the following year. Lally-Green was a full professor of law at Duquesne for 15 years.

Lally-Green lives in Butler County with her husband. They are the parents of three grown children.

Bishop David A. Zubik is expected to officially announce the appointment this afternoon.