Showing posts from June 14, 2009

Cross-Dressing for Cancer

The Miss Relay contestants get ready to strut their stuff for a very enthusiastic crowd.

"Sandy" passes out kisses to Kiwanis Kutie Fred Pysher, Master of Ceremonies Jerry Johnson Jr. and cancer survivor Tony Danias during the Miss Relay Contest at the 15th Annual Bradford Relay for Life.

Donnie "Donatella" Johnson -- the blushing bride from The Pitt Crew -- won the contest, taking in more than $300. All together, these fun-loving, and courageous, guys raised nearly $1,900.

Kudos to my buddy Mike Walter, who was supposed to be in the contest but couldn't be because his mother passed away on Wednesday and he was at the funeral home. But, he tells me he went to the relay and walked two laps in honor of his mom, Jo Ann. That should tell you how much the relay means to people.

Remember, Fight Back, Celebrate

Patti Neidich talks about caregivers as her sisters Joette Johnson and Robin Pavone, along with a tentful of cancer survivors, family and friends look on.

Dozens of cancer survivors take a victory lap during the relay at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Family & Friends

Fran Stewart of the cancer society and Robin Pavone, a team captain, share a light moment. (Might I add that Robin's team was selling some very tasty rigatoni & meatballs.)

Fed Money for Grape Industry?

Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) today sent a letter to Governor David Paterson urging him to request a Federal disaster declaration for areas affected by an unseasonal frost that severely damaged vineyard crops in the Lake Erie Region. Sen. Young said the estimated crop loss to grape growers in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties ranges from 25 to 35 percent.

“This is a devastating blow to an industry that relies so heavily on Mother’ Nature’s cooperation,” said Senator Young. “The economic impact of this disaster extends well beyond the direct impact to farmers. Tourism, suppliers and local communities will feel the hit as well. The grape and wine industry has been a growing and powerful economic engine in this region and I urge Governor Paterson to call for this needed relief.”

On the morning of May 18, 2009, temperatures in the Lake Erie Region dropped to between 25 degrees F and 29 degrees F affecting vineyards ranging from Erie County, PA all the way to …

Funds for Communication System

U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today announced he requested the $500,000 for the Clarion Northwest Central Regional Interoperability Strategic Telecommunications Plan that has been included in a House funding bill. The Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations measure for fiscal year 2010, which passed the House of Representatives last night, included the project.

“I’m very gratified to have the support of the House for an important new communication system in my district,” said Thompson. “The funds are provided under the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS. This program helps law enforcement agencies across the country meet a range of community policing challenges. Having spent years as a volunteer emergency medical technician, I can attest first-hand to the importance of adequate communications systems for first responders.”

The $500,000 will create a joint communication system, located in Clarion, which will promote seamless intero…

3 More Alleged Predators Arrested

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett announced that over the past week agents from the Child Predator Unit have made arrests in Northumberland, Berks and Montgomery counties involving men accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what they believed were 13 or 14-year old girls.

Corbett said that two of the suspects are accused of sending nude or sexually graphic webcam videos to what they believed were children, while another allegedly traveled from Maryland to Pennsylvania in order to have sex with a teenage girl. In all three cases, the men were actually communicating with undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit, who were using the online profiles of children.

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

Former WGR-TV Sportscaster Dies

Former WGR-TV sportscaster Gary Papa died today after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 54.

For more on this story, go to the Philadelphia Inquirer or CBS 3.

Note: Papa worked at the station in the 1970s before it became WGRZ-TV.

Commonwealth Foundation:
Gov. to Suspend Laws of Economics

Commonwealth Foundation President and CEO Matthew J. Brouillette issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rendell’s critique of the Commonwealth Foundation’s economical modeling projections that Pennsylvania would have nearly 24,000 fewer jobs as a result of his proposed 16 percent hike in the state personal income tax:

“Gov. Rendell’s critique of the Commonwealth Foundation’s projections of job losses under his proposed tax increase as ‘ludicrous’ is historically and economically ignorant.

The Governor’s campaign to raise taxes on working Pennsylvanians and small businesses ignores the basic laws of economics. By denying that citizens and businesses would respond to higher taxes, the Governor ignores the fact that people will have less money to spend, and small business owners will have fewer resources to invest in their enterprises.

What is truly ludicrous is that Gov. Rendell ignores the historical e…

Costello Bridge Work Starts

Preliminary work has begun on a bridge project along Route 872 in the village of Costello, Potter County. Start-up activity included clearing and grubbing.

Crews will now work to build a temporary roadway and bridge, before demolishing the current bridge. The temporary bridge will be controlled by a temporary signal, with traffic taking turns crossing the bridge.

Once the temporary bridge is in place and the old bridge demolished, crews will begin work to build a new, two-span, 125-foot spread concrete box beam bridge. The bridge will span Sinnemahoning Creek and should be complete in spring of 2010.

Bob Cummins Construction Company of Bradford is the contractor on this $1.95 million project. All work on the job is weather dependent.

Relay Underway

The GP team puts the finishing touches on its "Yankee Doodle Dandy" tent for the 15th Annual Bradford Relay for Life at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. This year's theme is Relay on Broadway and among the other shows represented are "Into the Woods," "Wicked," "The Lion King" and "Annie."

If you haven't made dinner plans yet, here's an idea: The Relay for Life Food Court. Whether you're thinking about dinner (chicken barbecue) or something lighter (hot dogs) or just a snack (soft pretzels) or even something sweet (cinnamon rolls) -- there's something there for you. And all proceeds benefit the relay!

These giant bags will be part of ceremonies this evening at the relay. The opening ceremony starts at 6; the survivor ceremony, 7; luminara, 9. And the Miss Relay pageant will be held after the survivor ceremony. You don't want to miss that!

Oil/Gas Driller's Skull Crushed

An Ohio man is dead after his head got caught in drilling equipment while working in a field in Crawford County.

37-year-old Kenneth Georg II of Brinkhaven was working with a crew drilling exploratory holes for gas and oil wells when his head got caught between a control box and the drilling rig.

Crawford County Coroner Patrick McHenry says Georg's skull was crushed and his neck was broken.

State Police and OSHA are investigating the accident.

NY Senators Come to Agreement --
About Getting Paid

New York State Senators have come to an agreement – about their paychecks.

The Senate President Pro Tempore normally signs the senators' paychecks but, since they can't decide who is officially the president pro tem, they've reached a power sharing agreement that includes only the signing of paychecks.

Governor David Paterson released a statement saying that if senate leadership can agree on a way to keep getting paid, they can reach an agreement to get back to work for the people of New York.

There has been no legislative session since June 8 – the day Republicans staged a coup that shifted power. Monday is the last scheduled legislative session.

Causer's Coudersport Office Moving

COUDERSPORT - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is moving his local office to 107 South Main Street, Room 1, effective Wednesday, July 1. The office will be closed on Tuesday, June 30, during the move.

"The Main Street location is more visible and easily accessible to the public," Causer said. "The office is the community's direct link to state government, and I want to make sure people who need assistance with any state-related matters can easily find the office and take advantage of the services offered."

Those services include driver license and vehicle registration applications; higher education assistance grant information; help in filling out applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE prescription drug assistance programs; and more.

The contact information for the Coudersport office will remain the same. The telephone number is 814-274-9769 and the fax number is 814-274-8159. The office is open M…

BLT Holds Annual Meeting

Dick Marcott was re-elected president and Kathy Bryant was named to the board during the annual meeting of Bradford Little Theatre board of directors on Wednesday at the group's Main Street office.

Re-elected to the board for two-year terms were Charles Church, Anne Holliday and Nanci Garris. Also elected to a two-year term was past president Diane Kerner Arnett.

In the one-year officer posts, Cindy Matteson was named secretary, succeeding Garris. Holliday and Marcia Morrison were re-elected vice president and treasurer, respectively.

Continuing on the board is Cindy Graham. Pam Gaffney stepped down at the end of her term.

One Book Bradford:
Becky: The Life and Loves of
Becky Thatcher

If you ever wondered what happened to Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher long after Mark Twain put his pen down, the next installment of One Book Bradford is for you.

The One Book Bradford committee has picked “Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher,” written by Lenore Hart, as this year’s installment of the annual project.

The book is written from Becky’s point of view and clarifies some things Twain left out of his stories. It also reveals what happens to the beloved characters once they became adults.

One of the book’s draws is a strong female title character, something Hart set out to create.

Hart was in the fifth grade when she first checked out “Tom Sawyer.” While she enjoyed the story, she was disappointed in the lack of storyline for the female character.

“She was weepy and romantic and very silly, I thought. No real girls I knew acted that way.”

But it wasn’t until a question was asked by her husband after a brief stay in Hannibal, Missouri, that Hart brought he…

Scenes from the Fight Back Parade


Miss Relay for Life

Here are some of the contestants for the Miss Relay contest. If you didn't get a chance to vote them yesterday, you can vote today at Pitt-Bradford during the 15th Bradford Relay for Life.

Galeton Woman Picked Up in NY

A Galeton woman who had a warrant out for her arrest was picked up in Steuben County, New York, while police were serving a warrant to another person.

Laura Cardy was being interviewed in connection with a burglary investigation when troopers determined she was wanted in Pennsylvania. They didn't give details about her alleged crime.

They did say she resisted arrest. She's being held in the Steuben County Jail on numerous charges and is awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Senate Standoff Continues

The standoff in the New York State Senate continues.

Today Senator Jeff Klein, the deputy majority leader, said the Republican coalition has ignored the Democrats' proposal for a solution.

The Democrats want to replace President Pro Tempore Senator Pedro Espada, who they say in not interested in putting partisanship aside.

Earlier this week, a state Supreme Court judge said he wouldn't make a decision in the matter because he didn't think it was proper for the judiciary branch to interfere with the inner workings of the legislative branch.

The current Legislative session is scheduled to end on Monday.

Emerald Ash Borer in Catt County

The emerald ash borer has been found in Cattaraugus County.

The destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species has been found Randolph.

The infestation was first reported on June 15 after US Department of Agriculture employees recognized damage on trees just off Exit 16 of Interstate 86.

About 30 trees have been affected.

The purple boxes people see hanging from trees in the region are emerald ash borer traps.

Two Charged in Warren Death

Two people have been charged with killing a Warren man earlier this year.

46-year-old Daniel Winwood was found dead in a home on West Fifth Street on March 2. Police say he died of a drug overdose.

42-year-old Randall Zaner and 25-year-old Jennifer Babic, both of Warren, have been charged with preparing and administering a pain medication that resulted in Winwood's death.

Police say the two tried to cover up the crime by destroying evidence and providing false information to police.

Zaner and Babic were captured in Painesville, Ohio, and are awaiting extradition to Warren.

They were both charged with drug delivery resulting in death.

Save Our State Park

Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau Executive Director Linda Devlin was my guest on Thursday's LiveLine:

Governor Ed Rendell: (717) 787-2500

DCNR Acting Secretary John Quigley: (717) 772-9084

That Crazy Bird

This is the bird you've been hearing about on the air. Yeah, the one who's, uh, making a mess of our vehicles. I hope he realizes soon that the bird he's playing hide-n-seek with in the mirrors and windows is himself.

Flood Control Authority Awarded

The Bradford Regional Flood Control Authority has received an award from teh US Army Corps of Engineers for "Outstanding Flood Reduction Project." The award is in recognition of the authority's commitment and dedication to the community's flood protection program in 2008, and the effort and pride taken in the operation and maintenance of the Bradford Flood Reduction Project.

Pictured are, from left, Chuck Benninger and Don Fredeen of the flood control authority, Rick Oleniacz of the Corps of Engineers, and authority chairman Bruce Foote.

Rep. Causer: Rendell is Wrong

HARRISBURG - Gov. Ed Rendell is wrong to ask Pennsylvanians to pay more in state income taxes to fund his proposed budget of more than $29 billion, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said today.

"Pennsylvanians everywhere are cutting their family budgets to make ends meet - the last thing state government should be doing is making it tougher for them," Causer said. "Increasing taxes by $1.5 billion will do nothing to help the economy recover. In fact, it will have the opposite effect, leaving Pennsylvania families with less money to spend and many small businesses, which are also subject to the tax, with fewer resources to pay their employees and expand their operations."

Causer noted that rather than cutting the state budget, Rendell is actually proposing to increase spending by at least $700 million over the current year.

"Only this governor would propose a significant increase in spending in the face of a $3.2 billion deficit," he said. "It comple…

Man Sentenced for Bank Robberies

A Jamestown man will spend the next 10 years in jail for a string of bank robberies in 2007.

31-year-old Rashawn Smith admitted to robbing banks in Jamestown, Pittsburgh and Erie between April and July of that year. He carried a knife during one of the robberies and a pellet gun during another.

He took a total of nearly $40,000 in the seven robberies.

Rendell Orders Cabinet to Cut Another $500 Million

HARRISBURG – Responding to a deepening budget crisis and a constitutional requirement to balance a $3.2 billion revenue shortfall, Governor Edward G. Rendell today convened a rare emergency cabinet meeting and gave each cabinet member specific targets for cutting an additional $500 million from next year’s state budget.

Governor Rendell said he recognizes his proposal for $2 billion in spending cuts is severe and will undoubtedly raise objections from those who will be impacted. But unlike the Republican plan to reduce the budget by $1.7 billion, the Governor’s $2 billion in spending reductions are spread carefully across the board to avoid the deep and extreme cuts to education and economic development initiatives.

“While I agree that we must make dramatic cuts to balance our budget, I am taking a vastly different approach. The Senate Republican plan is full of harsh and debilitating cuts to education and economic development initiatives that will cause local property taxes to soar a…

Our Heartfelt Condolences ...

go to Mike and Tim Walter on the passing of their mother.

KEEP Screening at Pitt-Bradford

During Tuesday’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (K.E.E.P.)screening at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Mary Dynda (left)of Bradford has her blood sugar checked by Belinda Plowman, RN, of DaVita Inc. of Bradford. Ninety-seven individuals pre-registered for the free K.E.E.P. screening intended to test those with suspected kidney disease or high-risk factors. The K.E.E.P. screenings were conducted by the National Kidney Foundation, the Center for Diabetes and Nutrition Education at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC), DaVita Inc., the McKean County Diabetes Task Force, the Pennsylvania Health Department,and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems. The event was sponsored by the McKean County Diabetes Task Force, which is comprised of BRMC’s Center for Diabetes, Pennsylvania Health Department, Beacon Light Behavioral Systems, Community Nurses Inc., and the McKean County Collaborative Board.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Scarnati: No Tax Increase

WARREN--Governor Ed Rendell’s proposal to hike the state’s personal income tax by almost 17 percent is the worst thing to do for Pennsylvania at the worst time according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati who said such a move would be job-crushing and fiscally irresponsible.

“At a time when we are facing an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression, the last thing we can afford to do is raise taxes on working people and job creators who are already struggling to make ends meet,” Scarnati said. “There is no support in the Republican Senate for this type of broad-based tax increase, and it will certainly not sit well with Pennsylvania families who have to make tough financial choices right now and control their own spending.”

The governor has proposed hiking the Personal Income Tax to 3.57 percent from the current 3.07 percent for three years to raise approximately $1.5 billion per year in new revenue. This increase is approximately 17 %. He also proposed stopping the …

Crash Victims Identified

Police have released the names of the people seriously injured in an accident around 8 o'clock last night on West Corydon Street.

Kurt Toothman was flown to ECMC in Buffalo. Erica Pascarella, Tyler Lucco and Rebekah Combs were all flown to Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

Bradford Township police say the accident happened when the vehicle Toothman was driving went out of control, left the road and hit a wooden fence and posts. The vehicle continued sideways and hit a utility trailer parked in the yard just west of 1052 West Corydon, then continued across the driveway and hit an SUV. The impact knocked the SUV into the yard, where it rolled onto its roof. Police say their investigation is continuing.

City Looking at Revenue Shortfall

WESB/WBRR News Director

The City of Bradford is looking at a budget deficit that could be as much as half a million dollars.

During a mid-year budget review city council work session Tuesday, department heads learned that timber revenues could be anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 less than projections.

"There's a huge dark cloud on the horizon," said City Clerk John Peterson, "and that dark cloud, unfortunately, is the timber revenue."

"It's one thing to be hopeful, but it's another thing to be realistic," said Mayor Tom Riel. "Chances are extremely great that we're going to be short hundreds of thousands of dollars."

"The timber has been, pretty much, dead in the water all year," he said. "It doesn't seem feasible that it could rebound enough by the end of the year to make up for the shortfall that we're going to experience."

Add to the decrease in timber revenue increased health insurance…

Crash Victim ID'd

Authorities have released the name of the Jamestown man who died in a one-vehicle accident last night.

53-year-old Steven Thayer was driving south on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret when his pickup truck veered into the northbound lane, where it hit a driveway drainage pipe, flipped and then rolled over three times.

Thayer was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Committee Approves Parks Bills

Harrisburg – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Jo White (R-21), unanimously approved legislation today that would ensure funding for services at state parks is not reduced as a result of budget constraints.

The measures would permit the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to utilize funding from the Environmental Stewardship/Growing Greener Fund (Senate Bill 962) and Key '93 realty transfer tax revenue (Senate Bill 963) for the operation and maintenance of Pennsylvania's 117state parks.

"The money in the Key '93 and Environmental Stewardship funds belongs to the taxpayers," White said. "Over the past several weeks, citizens have expressed their strong support in ensuring that services at state parks are not reduced. While this legislation does not require any transfer of funding to state parks, it gives the Governor and the Secretary of DCNR added flexibility to ensure that our state park system r…

Guilty Plea to Jamestown Murder

A Buffalo man has pleaded guilty to killing a Jamestown woman and has been sentenced to 17 years to life in prison.

29-year-old David Clemons killed 24-year-old Dana Cowart on September 27 of last year.

Her body was found two days later in a vacant apartment that had been damaged by a fire.

Life in Prison for Yeager, Altman

Susan Yeager and Cory Altman will spend the rest of their lives in prison for killing Yeager's estranged husband late last year.

Warren County Judge William Morgan sentenced the brother and sister today to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Altman shot Shawn Yeager in the back on the porch of Yeager's home in December, but Susan Yeager hatched the plot because she said she wasn't able to spend as much time as she wanted with her sons.

Her sons found their dead father when they got home from school.

Ex-Principal Guilty on Porn Charges

A former Olean elementary school principal has been convicted on child pornography charges in Florida.

62-year-old John Stelmack was principal at East View Elementary for about three years before leaving to take a job in the Buffalo area.

According to court records in Polk County, Florida, Stelmack was suspended as principal of an elementary school there while authorities investigated reports that he had inappropriate contact with students.

During the investigation, authorities found pornographic images of children in a briefcase in a locked closet in Stelmack's office.

He's scheduled for sentencing on July 10.

Missing Woman Last Seen in DuBois

Vermont police say a 21-year-old woman who was last seen in DuBois may be the victim of foul play.

Amanda Gale checked into a DuBois motel on Friday and was last heard from on Saturday. Police say they found blood in Gale's motel room.

They say she has a criminal record that includes drugs and theft.

Gale is described as 5-feet 4-inches tall and 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair cut above the shoulder with blonde highlights.

Rendell Proposes PIT Increase

He's been tiptoeing around the issue for weeks, but today Governor Ed Rendell has officially proposed a temporary increase in the state's personal income tax.

He says the tax increase would bring in $1.5 billion a year for the next three years, and is one of the steps necessary to close a $3.2 billion revenue shortfall.

Rendell says he's also still in favor of new taxes on tobacco and natural gas extraction.

Most Republicans in the state Legislature say they prefer more budget cuts to a tax increase.

Jamestown Man Dies in Crash

A 53-year-old Jamestown man is dead after his pickup truck rolled multiple times last night on Route 60.

Sheriff's deputies say the truck was traveling south on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret when it veered into the northbound lane and hit a driveway drainage pipe. The truck flipped once then rolled three times.

The man was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. His name is being withheld until his family is notified.

West Nile Spraying on Thursday

Eldred and Keating townships, along with Eldred Borough, will be sprayed to prevent West Nile virus on Thursday, weather permitting.

Samples taken by local officials and DEP in these areas have shown adult mosquito populations that can carry the West Nile virus.

DEP says the treatments will be administered with truck- and ATV-mounted equipment to spray ultra low volume applications in residential and recreational areas.

Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.

'Suspicious' Fire on Main Street

Police are investigating a suspicious fire that damaged three vehicles this morning in a Main Street parking lot.

City firefighters responded to a parking area near Allegany Arsenal at 181 Main Street at about 4 a.m. They say one vehicle caught on fire and it spread to the other two vehicles.

Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

Senecas Want In on Lawsuit

The Seneca Nation of Indians wants to be added as a defendant in a lawsuit that's seeking to shut down its Buffalo casino.

Because of its sovereign status, the nation is not currently named in the suit filed by Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County, but Seneca leaders say they should be allowed to intervene to safeguard their interests.

They filed the motion today in US District Court in Buffalo.

The Senecas operate a temporary casino on the Buffalo site and plan to build a larger permanent facility when the economy turns around.

Yeager, Altman to be Sentenced

The sister and brother accused of killing a Warren County man in December will be sentenced tomorrow.

Susan Yeager and Cory Altman were convicted of first-degree murder last month for the death of Shawn Yeager.

Altman shot Yeager on the back porch of his home. His sons found him when they got home from school.

Susan Yeager, Shawn Yeager's estranged wife, arranged the murder because she said she wasn't getting enough time with the boys.

Charter School Hearing Tomorrow

The state Charter Appeals Board is expected to hear the appeal of the Mount Jewett Charter School Coalition tomorrow.

After the hearing, the board has up to 60 days to decide whether to accept the charter school application.

The coalition has been working toward opening a charter school since the Kane Area School Board decided to close the Mount Jewett Elementary School at the end of the 2007 school year.

The school board has denied the application twice.

NY Senator Switching Back

One of the New York State Senate Democrats who sided with Republicans last week to switch power to the GOP is going back to his caucus. That would tie the Democrats and the group that overthrew them at 31.

Senator Hiram Monserrate says he'll return to the Democratic caucus, if they replace Senator Malcolm Smith as majority leader.

A week ago Monserrate and Democratic Senator Pedro Espada joined 30 Republicans to try to replace the Democratic leadership they said was ineffective.

A State Supreme Court judge says if the senate can't elect a leader by 3 o'clock this afternoon, he'll make a ruling in the matter.