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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Local Businesses Partnering with Chautauqua Co. for Fair Donations

Mayville, NY -- Growing a strong regional economy, growing strong children, growing our financial assets; all of these initiatives will be highlighted at the 2009 Chautauqua County Government Fair Booth with its theme of "Growing Our Future Together…Chautauqua County and You." The 2009 Chautauqua County Fair runs July 27th through August 2nd.

“Many local businesses have been gracious enough to donate items for giveaways and raffles, including Hollyloft Ski & Bike on Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown which again has donated a brand new bicycle,” said County Executive Gregory J. Edwards. “We will also be handing out small sports bags and coolers, travel mugs and letter openers donated by the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union which has locations in Falconer, Mayville, Dunkirk and Jamestown.

The Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, which is a member-owned resource, helps people grow their financial assets with competitive rates as well as a fully staffed human resource department to assist people with financial counseling.

"Numerous departments will be represented at the fair," said Government Booth Manager and County Clerk Sandy Sopak. "The booth will be staffed each day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide information on many items including Veterans Affairs, Economic Development, Passport and Enhanced Driver License issues and Public Facilities, including parks, airports and highways.

Sopak said staff in the Government Tent will also be available to discuss compliance with Local, State and Federal environmental regulations and the history of Chautauqua County.

The Chautauqua County Fair will be held at the fairgrounds at 1089 Central Avenue in Dunkirk from July 27 – August 2, 2009. For more information, or to make a donation from your business, contact Sandy Sopak at 753-4331 or Cheryl Ruth at 661-8400.

Photo provided by Edwards' office

Bubble Mania at the Library

Doug Rougeux delighted dozens of bubble maniacs -- young and not-so-young -- at the Bradford Area Public Library Saturday morning with his show "Bubble Mania." The performance was the kick-off for this year's Summer Reading Program and annual bookmark contest. For more information on those activities you can go to the library and ask the friendly ladies at the desk.

The show, including bubble juggling (and swing music, because bubbles don't like pop music. Get it?) was sponsored by Friends of the Bradford Area Public Library.

NY Flags at Half-Staff Tuesday

Governor David A. Paterson has directed that flags on New York State government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, in honor of a Fort Drum soldier killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2009.

Sergeant Rodrigo Munguia Rivas, whose home is in Germantown, Maryland, died in a rocket attack on his base at Bagram. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division’s 710th Brigade Support Battalion of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I wish to extend our condolences and sympathy to the family of Sgt. Munguia Rivas, his friends, and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division,” Governor Paterson said. “Though he was not a native New Yorker, we consider all Fort Drum soldiers one of our own and we honor Sgt. Munguia Rivas’s service and will forever remember his sacrifice.”

Governor Paterson has directed the flags on all State buildings to be lowered to half-staff in honor and tribute to the State’s service members who are killed in action.

Rendell Signs Execution Warrants

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell has signed execution warrants for Gregory Powell, 49, who murdered his 6-year-old son in 1997 in Philadelphia; and Michael Pruitt, 45, who raped and strangled to death a 69-year-old Sunday school teacher in 2002 in Reading.

Powell obtained sole custody of his son, Raymond Graves, while the child’s mother was in a drug and alcohol treatment program, and evidence at Powell’s trial indicated that his son had suffered months of physical abuse before Powell killed him. In 2000, a jury convicted Powell of first-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child and sentenced him to death. The state Supreme Court affirmed that judgment in September 2008, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Powell’s appeal in March 2009.

Pruitt confessed to police that while he was high on crack cocaine, he forced his way into Greta Gougler’s home looking for money to buy drugs and killed her. DNA found at the scene also linked Pruitt to the attack. In 2005, a jury found Pruitt guilty of first-degree murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, robbery, and burglary and sentenced him to death. The state Supreme Court affirmed that judgment in July 2008 and denied reargument in September 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Pruitt’s appeal in March 2009.

Powell’s execution by lethal injection is set for Aug. 18, and Pruitt’s is set for Aug. 19. Both are held at the State Correctional Institution at Greene.

Hope for Erie Shriners' Hospital?

Hamot Medical Center may help keep Shriners' Hospital of Erie operating.

A vote will be taken at the Shriners' National Convention the week of July 6 on closing the hospital because it's been losing money.

But Hamot's CEO Jim Fiorenzo issued a statement saying that the two hospitals have had a long-standing relationshiop and it's important that Shriners' has a future in the community.

He says officials with both hospitals are in negotiations, and he's encouraged with the conversations they've had.

Hamot already owns the land Shriners' Hospital is on, and the two hospitals share some programming and medical staff.

Ripley Man Hospitalized

A Ripley man is hospitalized after his vehicle hit a tree Friday night.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 50-year-old Daniel Bryson was on Route 5 in Ripley at about 8:30 when he fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle left the road and hit the tree.

He was taken by Life Star to Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

Library Wants Its Books Back

The Ulysses Library is cracking down on people with overdue books.

41-year-old Margaret Middaugh of Ulysses and 50-year-old Teresa Batterson of Galeton each have books that have been overdue since September. Police say they failed to return the books after receiving letters from the library asking that they be returned.

Adelphoi Village in Harrison Valley has two books that have been overdue since November.

Police say they will be charged with retention of library property after notice to return.

Since Governor Rendell has proposed $7.5 million in additional cuts to public libraries, I bet we'll be seeing a lot more of this.

My Opinion:
Personal Income Tax Increase?
Now I Get It!

Governor Ed Rendell says his proposed 16 percent increase in the state's personal income tax is fair for everyone. The unemployed, the poor, and senior citizens won't have to pay it. It'll just be average Pennsylvanians who will be helping out their less fortunate neighbors (and helping to pay for the increase in spending he's proposed over last year's budget) during the Commonwealth's financial crisis.

The GOP says this increase – which would only be for three years like the Johnstown Flood Tax – means the average Pennsylvanian will pay $500 more a year in taxes. An ad of theirs talks about what $500 means to the average family in Pennsylvania. One example: They say that's the $500 you were going to use to take your family on vacation.

[Light bulb over my head]

Now I get it, Governor Ed! C'mon you frugal, penny-pinching Republicans. Can't you see the bigger picture here?

Sure that family can't go on vacation, but they have to stop whining and look at the bright side. If they were planning on driving to their vacation destination, now they won't have to pay the gasoline tax. They won't have to pay sales tax on their hotel rooms, at restaurants or for any souvenirs they were planning to buy. Just think of all the money they'll be saving by not paying all those taxes!

I guess it all evens out in the end, and that's what makes it fair for everyone.

Of course gas stations, restaurants and souvenir shops may have to lay off some people or cut their hours because that family won't be spending money on the goods and services that are being taxed. But, actually, that makes those employees/former employees double winners in this scenario. The unemployed and the poor don't have to pay personal income tax, and they won't have to pay as much gasoline tax because they won't be driving to work.

Thriller by the Marching Owls

I thought it was kind of appropriate to re-post this:

PSP Union: Gov. Using Scare Tactics

Bruce Edwards, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, said he understands the rhetoric in Harrisburg at budget time, but asks politicians to leave police out of the fight.

Read the full story and watch the video HERE.


Thompson 'Outraged' By Passage of Cap and Trade in the House

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today voted a resounding “No” on H.R. 2454, the so-called “American Clean Energy and Security Act,” which he calls the “Cap and Tax” bill because of its huge taxes on all carbon-based fuels. The measure passed by a close vote of 219 to 212, with 44 Democrats voting no.

“Make no mistake, the goal of this measure is to make carbon-based fuels –natural gas, oil and coal—so expensive that we won’t be able to use them. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is a worthy goal, but not when we are in an economic downturn and our carbon-based fuels make up 85 percent of what we use to power this country,” said Thompson.

“This bill may be the largest tax increase in American history and it disproportionately punishes rural America and the poor who will not be able to afford the jump in gasoline prices, fuel oil, natural gas and all the items made from those products,” said Thompson. “Fertilizer for example, is produced using natural gas. Costs for agricultural products will rise and jobs will be lost. But don’t just take my words, President Barack Obama, while still a candidate, said that under his cap and trade plan utility rates would `necessarily skyrocket,’ and that those costs would be passed along to consumers.”

Thompson has several times quoted the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission letter that he received that warns: “However, if the Waxman-Markey bill were to pass, Pennsylvania is looking at a bleak scenario by 2020: a net loss of as many as 66,000 jobs, a sizeable hike in the electric bills of residential customers, an increase in natural gas prices, and significant downward pressure on our gross state product.”

“In an admission that jobs will be lost, the bill comes with a funding section to help Americans who lose their jobs when, and if, it becomes law—if that is any comfort to taxpayers,” said Thompson.

Finally, the measure passed the House under the guise of a climate change bill to regulate greenhouse gases and lower the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the U.S. and the world. But even a 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide only would lower global CO2 by less than 4 percent, which, according to experts would have no noticeable effect on worldwide carbon levels or on global warming.

Cap & Trade is the topic of Monday's LiveLine.

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Mosquito Control Scheduled

A third round of mosquito control treatments is scheduled for Eldred Borough as well as Eldred and Keating townships.

DEP and the McKean County West Nile Virus staff will apply the treatments starting Monday evening. They will continue through July 17.

The treatments are follow-ups to mosquito control operations conducted June 18 and Wednesday.

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

Samples in these areas taken by DEP and local officials have shown extremely high nuisance adult mosquito populations.

Pipeline Fire Burns ANF Bridge

A pipeline fire burned a bridge on the Timberline ATV Trail, so part of the trail will be closed while repairs are made.

The pipeline fire early this morning burned a key bridge crossing a stream on the southern portion of the trail on the Allegheny National Forest. The section from the Play Pit on Forest Road 339 to the Buehler Corners Trailhead will be closed until further notice.

US Forest Service officials say repairs will be made as soon as possible. Riders should contact the Marienville Ranger District Office at 814-927-5700 for further updates on the bridge repair.

Bradford Bypass Update

PennDOT is re-opening Tuna Crossroads, and says it will stay opened until beams are set for a Route 219 bridge later this year.

Also next week on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass Project, the work zone will remain in place over the July 4th holiday weekend because the contractor plans to work at Kendall Avenue on both Friday and Monday of the long weekend.

Guilty Plea to Burglary Charge

An Olean man has pleaded guilty to attempted burglary for breaking into the Nafco Quick Stop in Great Valley on March 18.

James Hovey, and his co-defendants are also accused of intentionally damaging property at the store.

Hovey will be sentenced October 26.

Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

An Olean man, already serving time in Cattaraugus County Jail, has been sentenced as a second felony drug offender under two separate indictments.

David "Poochie" Maull will spend 12 years in prison for selling crack cocaine to a confidential informant on June 15, 2006, in Olean. He was also sentenced to 5 years in prison for attempting to sell crack to a confidential informant on July 14, 2007, in Olean.

The sentences will be served concurrently.

Thompson Opposes Cap & Trade

Cap & Trade will be the topic of Monday's LiveLine.

Pitt-Bradford Interfaith Chapel to be Named for Harriet B. Wick

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will name its planned interfaith chapel in honor of longtime benefactor Harriet B. Wick.

“The University of Pittsburgh board of trustees approved the construction and naming of the $2.5 million, 150-seat Harriet B. Wick Chapel at its meeting Friday morning in Pittsburgh.

“This action by the University Trustees is the desired outcome of many years of planning and fundraising by many colleagues on campus and friends and supporters in the community and elsewhere,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. “We’re deeply grateful to all who have given money to support the chapel project. With this action, we’re now poised to begin construction period.

One very special person who deserves a great deal of credit is Harriett Wick. She’s a principle supporter of the project, and we’re delighted to be able to officially name the chapel in her honor.”

Campus officials plan to break ground on the building next month, and a cornerstone laying ceremony is planned for Sept. 11. The chapel should be completed by late spring 2010.

Photo and drawing provided by Pitt-Bradford

Standoff Continues in Albany

Another day, another extraordinary session in Albany.

Democrats and Republicans again today entered the senate chamber separately, gaveled in, observed a moment of silence for Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, gaveled out and left.

Before the session, leaders met behind closed doors to try to work out a power sharing agreement.

The Senate has been on standstill since June 8 when Democratic senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate voted to put GOP lawmakers back in power. The next day, Monserrate returned to the Democrats, leaving the Senate with a 31-31 split.

Normally the lieutenant governor would break a tie in the senate, but New York hasn't had anyone in the post since David Paterson took over from former Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Rendell Proposes Cuts for Pitt, Libraries

Pennsylvania's state-related universities – including the University of Pittsburgh – would see a total of $82 million in funding cuts according to figures Governor Ed Rendell released late this morning.

Earlier this month Rendell ordered his department heads to cut $500 million from his budget proposal.

Among the cuts they announced today are $7.5 million for public libraries and $45 million for PHEAA grants.

They've also eliminated funding for the Classrooms for the Future program ($22 million) and museums throughout the state.

Rabid Raccoons in Twin Tiers

A raccoon found about three miles north of Youngsville Thursday has tested positive for rabies.

Officials say the raccoon attacked a dog in the backyard of a home during daylight hours. The family's second dog attacked the raccoon.

Rabies vaccinations for both dogs were not current; they will be quarantined at the home for 180 days. Officials believe there was no human exposure.

A kitten and two baby raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Chautauqua County. The tri-colored female kitten was about six weeks old and was wandering around Jamestown near the Ring School.

Earlier this week, two baby raccoons found near Arkwright tested positive for the disease.

Health department officials are reminding people not to approach wild animals or domestic animals they don't know.

Drug Sweep in Salamanca

11 people have been arrested in a drug sweep this morning in and around Salamanca.

The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says the arrests follow a year-and-a-half long investigation into drug sales in the Salamanca area involving cocaine, crack cocaine, hydrocodone and LSD.

The people arrested are Donald Watson Jr., Allan Kettle, Joseph Dowdy, Samantha Miller, Andrew DuPont and Frank Jones, all of Salamanca; Christopher Downey of Kill Buck; Matthew Whipple of Little Valley, Kenneth Wilson of Great Valley; Donna Wulff of West Valley; and Bradley Kyler of Olean.

They've all been charged with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

More than 50 police officers from the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Salamanca Police, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department, New York State Police, Olean and Jamestown Police and DEA Task Force participated in the investigation.

Rep. Causer: Tax Hike Would Be Real Doom and Gloom

HARRISBURG - While Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democrat leaders dig in their heels on increasing Pennsylvanians' income taxes, House Republicans have launched a petition campaign to give people the opportunity to speak out against the proposal, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

The "Stop PA Tax Hike" petition may be signed online by visiting Causer's Web site or by visiting his local offices in Bradford or Coudersport. Those logging on to the Web may also leave comments about the personal budgetary challenges they face and why it's so important to cut state spending.

"The governor has been traveling all over the state trying to make his case for higher taxes, predicting gloom and doom if the legislature dares to balance the budget by cutting spending," Causer said. "But the real gloom and doom comes when people who are already struggling to make ends meet - due to pay cuts, unemployment and a rising cost of living - are asked to hand over more money to state government."

When the current fiscal year ends on June 30, the state will be at least $3.2 billion in the hole. Despite this significant deficit, the governor has proposed a state budget of $29 billion for 2009-2010. That is more than $1 billion over the current year's spending. It's also significantly more than the $25.5 billion in revenues expected in the next fiscal year.

"When faced with a loss of income, families across the state have been tightening their belts to make ends meet. They are living within their means," Causer said. "Government must do the same."

To sign the Web-based petition, visit Rep Otherwise, visit one of his offices in Bradford or Coudersport:

·Bradford Office - 78 Main Street, 1st Floor

·Coudersport Office - 2 Allegany Ave. (through June 29); 107 South Main St., Room 1(effective July 1).

Bills to Protect Service Members

Bills sponsored by state Sen. Mike Stack that would protect active-duty members’ status in college, and allow certain members of the military notary privileges, were approved yesterday by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Senate Bill 825 would allow members of the National Guard returning from active duty to pursue their higher education degree under the requirements in place prior to the their military leave if their graduation requirements have changed while they were deployed.

Upon returning from their leave of absence, the service members’ educational status would be restored to what they had attained prior to being ordered to military duty, without the loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants.

“Many of our National Guardsmen and women are serving actively overseas for long durations. They are giving up their time and, in many cases, their education,” Stack said. “They should not be educationally penalized for their services. This bill would ensure that they can graduate on time and without any penalties or setbacks to their educational career.”

Senate Bill 891 would allow all military judge advocates and paralegal noncommissioned officers to perform notarial acts when they are on duty or at training.

“This legislation would help the National Guard and other military services process documents for deploying soldiers,” Stack said. “It will make the deployment and other administrative processes more convenient for the military and our servicemen and women who need their paperwork notarized.”

Both bills are going to the Senate floor for consideration.

Farmers Market in Veterans Square

The Bradford Farmer’s Market will begin its season this Saturday, June 27 and run through September 26th. The event is sponsored by Coleen Christy/GMAC Real Estate.

The Farmer’s Market will be held each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Veterans’ Square in Downtown Bradford. Parking is available on Main Street and in the Seneca Building parking lot.

There will be a variety of vendors with items such as fresh baked breads, canned goods, jams, pies, fudge, sugar-free pies, cheesecakes and honey products. There will also be a variety of craft items and Avon products.

New vendors are invited to join the group and the market is specifically looking for produce vendors to begin in July when the produce season begins. Vendor set up will be from 8 – 8:45 a.m. Reservations are not required. For more information contact the Main Street Manager at 598-3865.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson has died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home. He arrived at the hospital in a deep coma. Jackson was 50 years old.

Rustick Expansion Approved

The Department of Environmental Protection has approved two permit applications submitted by Rustick LLC that will allow the expansion of McKean County Landfill.

DEP approved a permit modification to expand the existing disposal area by an additional 204 acres, and to increase the overall permit area from 128 acres to 336 acres. The new disposal area will be across the road from the current disposal area and landfill office.

The permit modification also increases the average daily volume limit to 6,000 tons per day, while the previous rate was 1,500 tons per day. The amount of waste arriving daily at the landfill by truck would continue to be limited to 1,000 tons.

The additional waste volume would arrive by rail, because DEP also approved Rustick’s application for a railroad transfer station to receive municipal waste coming to the facility on rail cars. That waste will be transported in stretch-wrap covered bales or in sealed or enclosed containers.

Oil 150 Open History Contest

Dallas-Morris Drilling, on behalf of the Bradford Oil 150 Committee, is sponsoring an Open History Writing Contest.

Everyone expect members of the Oil 150 Committee and employees of Dallas-Morris and their immediate families may enter the contest.

The topics must relate to the Bradford Oil Field, either in Pennsylvania or New York. The essay can be on a person, family, company, lease, well or on a general topic like drilling, shooting a well, production figures or on a specific time period from 1871 to today.

Prizes are 1st Place: $200; 2nd Place: $100; 2 Honorable Mention Awards: $50. Judges are Rick Benton, Larry Stillman and Joe Connklin. All are current or former instructors in state & local history at Bradford Area High School.

Contest rules and entry forms are available at the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Landmark Society, Main Street Merchantile and Bradford Area Public Library.

Michael Jackson Hospitalized

Pop singer Michael Jackson has suffered cardiac arrest, CNN affiliate KTLA reports.

No Parking on Elk Creek Bridge

Before noon on Friday PennDOT will post “No Parking” signs on the Route 219/Elk Creek Bridge in Ridgway.

The bridge is along Route 219, near the Pennsy Restaurant.

PennDOT says restricting parking on the bridge adheres to the motor vehicle code, provides a higher level of safety to drivers and pedestrians and helps to preserve the integrity of the bridge.

The Elk Creek Bridge was built in 1912 and carries an average of 6,481 vehicles per day.

Warren Land Deal Approved

An amendment introduced by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) to enable Warren General Hospital to purchase approximately 0.74 acres of land owned by the City of Warren for the fair market value of $81,500 was unanimously enacted by the Pennsylvania House yesterday as part of House Bill 1312 on second consideration.

"It is my privilege to facilitate final passage of this legislation for the citizens I represent," said Rapp.

Originally introduced as House Bill 720, Rapp's amendment would release the Project 70 land use restrictions on the two parcels of land owned by the City of Warren to allow the land sale to move forward. Rapp's legislation also specifies that proceeds from the sale of this land to Warren General Hospital will be deposited into a special account for use by the City of Warren, upon approval by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to develop park land that must include a ball field, a parking lot and an access road. Funds not used in five years will be deposited into the Project 70 Land Acquisition Sinking Fund.

Rapp's legislation is necessary because Section 20 of the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act requires the General Assembly to approve all other proposed uses of Project 70 land that do not involve the purchase of park lands or public recreational use. The amendment will take effect immediately upon House Bill 1312 being signed into law.

Now scheduled for final consideration on the House floor as early as Monday June 29, House Bill 1312 as originally drafted was solely intended to lift Project 70 land use restrictions for the City of Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County.

AG: Mom Changed Daughter's Grades to Boost Class Ranking

A secretary at Huntingdon Area High School is accused of changing grades in a school computer system to improve her daughter's class standing.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says 39-year-old Caroline Maria McNeal used co-workers' passwords without their knowledge to access the computer system.

McNeal allegedly increased her daughter Brittany's grades and test scores, while reducing scores for two of her classmates.

School officials said they corrected the alleged alterations before the students graduated.

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

United Way Moving Down the Street

The United Way of the Bradford Area (UWBA) is preparing for a move to its new location of 161 Main Street, with business to begin there effective June 29, 2009.

Kelly Case, Executive Director, says the new space will offer additional exposure for the organization. “With the traffic at the intersections of Davis and Main Streets, and the highway, we’re expecting the increased visibility will only benefit us, especially during the pivotal months of our campaign”.

The office is housed in a building owned by Craig and Nancy Hartburg, who are long-time supporters of the United Way. Craig is a past Red Feather recipient, board member and Campaign Chairperson.

“Nancy and I are very excited about the United Way of Bradford opening the office at 161 Main,” says Hartburg. “We consider the location a gateway building for Bradford, and having the United Way as a first floor occupant will certainly speak well of Bradford to our many visitors.

“We wish the United Way continued success in their new space”.

The phone and fax numbers, as well as the post office box number , will remain the same. Currently the United Way staff and Board of Directors include: Kelly Case and Mandi Davis; Dan Manion (Board President), John Peterson (Vice President), Vonda Reese (Treasurer), Stephanie Vettenburg Shaffer (Secretary), Marcia Avey, Mary Boser, Dr. Jim Evans, Michele Gangloff, Sam Johnson, Mike Mascho, Mary Ann Quinn, Mary Ann Roney, Bridgette Wells and Jim Wiseman.

Preparations are being made for the 2009 campaign, which will be themed “Back to Basics”. The official start of the solicitation process is August 15th with the annual kick-off event, Pig Roast, slated for September 10th.

For more information on the United Way of the Bradford Area, please visit the website at

ANF, Science Lab Share Funding

Warren, Pa. – Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten and Forestry Sciences Lab Project Leader Susan Stout said the Allegheny National Forest (NF) and the Forestry Sciences Lab received $3.3 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for roads maintenance and decommissioning and associated watershed restoration that were first announced by U. S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on June 2, 2009. The 106 projects, funded at more than $228 million, are located on Forest Service land in 31 states.

In his announcement earlier this month, Vilsack stated, “These road maintenance projects will provide for public health and safety, resource protection, and access to lands in the National Forests.” Vilsack added, “The rehabilitation of roads will improve water quality by reducing sediment in nearby streams and help to restore natural resources and habitat for fish in areas impacted by deterioration and erosion of road surfaces.”

The Allegheny NF was approved for two roads-related ARRA projects. The first project is $250,000 for signing of forest roads. The second project is $2.7 million for road maintenance in the counties of Elk, Forest, McKean, and Warren, and the Timberline ATV Trailhead. This road maintenance will create high-paying, private sector positions in four economically-depressed counties in Pennsylvania. Water quality will be improved and safety of travel will be increased.

The Forestry Sciences Lab was approved for two ARRA projects totaling $400,000; one is roads and the second is roads-related watershed and ecosystem restoration. The first project will repair road damage from the 2003 storm and complete deferred maintenance such as gravel, grading, brushing, and resurfacing. As a companion to the KEF road maintenance project, the second project of road related ecosystem enhancements will include revegetation, replacement of culverts, and creation of site drainages to improve water quality.

“I appreciate that four counties in my District with high unemployment will benefit from this funding,” said U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson. “Improving roads in the Allegheny NF is an appropriate use of the money as it improves access to the land for multiple uses like recreation and development.”

The Forest Service manages almost 370,000 miles of roads and 143,000 miles of trails on the 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands across the country. Forest Service roads provide Americans access to these public lands for their livelihoods, daily activities, and enjoyment. A safe and well-managed roads system protects water quality and allows citizens to participate in hiking, touring, wildlife viewing, skiing, fishing, camping, hunting, boating, and many other outdoor activities. The Forest Service’s transportation system is critical to local and regional economies because it is a key infrastructure element that supports businesses and activities that occur within or adjacent to national forests and grasslands.

A diverse set of road maintenance activities will be undertaken through ARRA-funded projects. Road maintenance projects are identified through extensive analysis of resource conditions and public needs. Stabilizing or relocating roads too close to lakes and streams will prevent erosion and protect water quality. Decommissioning roads and restoring native vegetation helps snow and rainfall to be quickly absorbed into the land and reduces erosion and flooding. Individuals hired under ARRA will complete this labor-intensive work through a number of approaches, depending on the specific project area and needs: installing physical barriers at road entrances; replanting road beds; limiting erosion; removing fills and culverts; reestablishing drainage-ways; stabilizing road shoulders; and totally obliterating roads and reshaping roadbeds to match the surrounding area.

Bradford Airport Gets Grant Money

Bradford Regional Airport is receiving nearly $182,000 in federal grant money to rehabilitate the taxiway lighting and remove obstructions on two runways.

In announcing the grant, Congressman Glenn Thompson said the money will help the airport update its electrical systems and remove some obstructions that often get hit by snowplows.

Airport Manager Tom Frungillo says they asked for the money to address safety issues.

Scarnati Blasts DCNR's Quigley

A confirmation hearing was held today for Acting Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley, and Senate President Pro Tempore took that opportunity to address the Rendell Administration's use of hyperbole in an effort to get support for a tax increase.

"The scare tactics that this administration has put out on state parks, on sex offenders being let loose on our streets, people in wheelchairs being abandoned in parks is shameless," Scarnati said. "The Pennsylvania taxpayer needs to know this is a scare tactic that isn't going to work."

"I would suggest that you and others," he told Quigley, "look at opportunities to do a job that keeps Pennsylvania services at a level they need to be, and not use scare tactics."

Besides the closing of state parks, Governor Ed Rendell has said that 800 state troopers would lose their jobs making it impossible to keep tabs on Megan's Law offenders; veterans homes would close; thousands of children wouldn't be eligible for health insurance; and spraying for West Nile Virus couldn't be done.

Scarnati went on to say that in 2003 Rendell cut $10 million from DCNR's budget and no news releases were issued saying state parks were going to close, garbage wasn't going to be hauled away and services were going to be cut.

"Never heard a whisper," he said. "Not a word."

This year, he said, Rendell cut DCNR's budget by 4.5 percent and, still, no news releases. But when the senate "cut a little more, all of a sudden the nuclear winter was going to come."

DCNR has said that as many as 50 state parks – including Kinzua Bridge State Park – would have close under the Senate Republicans' budget proposal.

"I think that is irreparable harm to the tourism industry in Pennsylvania, to those in Pennsylvania who have an income and make a living off the tourism coming in with the state parks," Scarnati said.

Quigley did promise Scarnati that he would look for every possible solution to avoid impacting state parks.

As for the confirmation hearing, Quigley's nomination was moved to the Senate floor for consideration.

Farrah Fawcett Passes Away

Farrah Fawcett has died after a long battle with cancer. She was 62. Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. The two-hour documentary "Farrah's Story," which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15. Nearly 9 million people watched the first broadcast of the show that chronicled her battle with cancer. Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'Scholastic Scrimmage' Cancelled

"Scholastic Scrimmage" has been cancelled.

Officials with WPSU-TV said Wednesday they're eliminating 8 staff positions and canceling "Scholastic Scrimmage" and "Common Ground Lobby Talks."

Station officials say they're making the moves because Governor Ed Rendell's proposed budget would cut $850,000 worth of their funding. Rendell's plan eliminates funding for all eight of the state's public television stations.

"Scholastic Scrimmage" was a quiz show for high school students that recently completed its 6th season. Students from across the region, including Bradford Area High School, competed on the show.

Rally for Elm, Main Street Programs

During a rally at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Elm Street and Main Street managers from across the state talked about the importance of the two programs, and why funding for them should not be cut.

"We've breathed new life into these communities. They're coming back," said State Representative Robert Freeman, chairman of the House local government committee. "The commercial districts are looking more vital than they have in many decades. The Elm Street designated neighborhoods are, for the first time in many, many years, realizing stable environments in which people can live, raise their family and work."

Freeman said cutting the funding streams to the Elm Street and Main Street programs would be an injustice because they are investments that have shown good dividends.

Elk County Teen Dies in Crash

A teenage boy from Elk County is dead after being thrown from his car in a crash at about 2:30 this morning in Jay Township.

Police didn't release the name of the 17-year-old. They say his car left the road and the undercarriage hit the entrance of a private driveway. The car then hit a tree, rolled over, hit a utility pole, rolled again, went airborne, hit a guiderail and caught on fire.

The boy was thrown from the car and landed in the middle of the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say excessive speed was a factor in the crash.

Cops: Man Punched His Mother

An Olean man is facing charges after allegedly punching his mother and brother.

Police say 23-year-old Joshua Lewis dragged, punched and kicked his 41-year-old mother during an argument Tuesday night. Karen Lewis was treated at Olean General Hospital for scrapes and bruises.

Lewis also allegedly punched his 19-year-old brother in the face several times.
He's been charged with assault and harassment.

Council Addresses Budget Issues

Bradford City Council on Tuesday passed two resolutions to address the city's budgetary problems.

First, the city is submitting a Fleet Credit Card Application to buy E-85 Flex Fuel for all city vehicles that can use it.

Wednesday afternoon, E-85 was 50 cents cheaper than regular gasoline.

Also, any purchase expected to be more than $50 has to have prior approval from the city clerk or deputy city clerk.

Because of a decrease in timber revenues, the city is looking at a budget shortfall of between $300,000 and $500,000.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, council awarded a contract to I.A. Construction for paving Kennedy and Boylston streets. The $109.5 million project is being funded with 2008 Community Development Block Grant money.

In other matters, City Clerk John Peterson wanted to remind contractors that the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act goes into effect on July 1, and they must be registered with the state.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says that the law is intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors, provide new protection for consumers who hire home improvement contractors and authorize criminal penalties for home improvement fraud.

The registration is valid for two years and costs $50. Contractors who haven't registered yet can go to the attorney general's web site – Attorney -- or call 1-800-441-2555.

Also Tuesday, council approved on first reading the new zoning ordinance for the city, and adopted the Bradford Regional Strategy.

1.I have a voice recorder at the meetings, so my quotes and figures are correct.
2.Tim Hortons hazelnut iced cappuccinio rules!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Residents Voice Opposition to Location of New Fire Station

WESB/WBRR News Director

Residents of Pleasant and School streets and Jackson Avenue packed city council chambers Tuesday night to say putting a new fire station at the head of Mechanic Street is a bad idea, and it's not welcome there.

But if all goes well – assuming the city gets the federal grant in the first place – the building wouldn't go there anyway.

Councilman Ross Neidich, who oversees the fire department said, "We have a good lead, I think, on something that would make everybody happy including us. Let's just hope that comes to fruition."

After the meeting, Neidich and Fire Chief Boo Coder said because they are still in negotiations with the property owners they didn't want to publicly talk about the site.

During the meeting, Jackson Avenue resident Dave Lamborn said one of the reasons he's against having a fire station at the former Third Ward School site is that it would take away the possibility of the property ever getting back on the tax rolls.

You keeping losing money, he told council, "and now you people have got your rear end up against the wall with a $500,000 deficit and you don't know where to come up with it. Putting a fire station there is a bad idea."

School Street resident Dick McDowell told council that, considering all effort and money that's been put into the area through the Elm Street program, putting a fire station in that neighborhood doesn't make sense.

"We've put millions of dollars to beautify and improve that neighborhood … You put a fire department in there, all it's going to do is tear it down," McDowell said. "It doesn't make any sense to put that in a residential neighborhood."

Bradford City Police Officer Steve Caskey also voiced his opposition.

"As a police officer in the city for almost 20 years, I understand how much the sirens run and how much noise is created," he said. "I just don't want that with my kids in the neighborhood."

Only one resident, Helen Burfield, spoke in favor putting the fire station at that location.

"Right now, this is the only piece of property the city owns that we could put a building on.," Coder said. "The city has no money to purchase a piece of property."

Coder and School Street resident Ruth McDowell argued about whether a new station is even necessary.

"If this city's going to go anywhere," Coder said, "If there are grants out there just for buildng new fire stations -- Free money. Here. Take it. Build your station. – You say we shouldn't take that?"

"Yes, I do say that," McDowell said.

"That's backward thinking that got us in the situation we're in today," Coder said.

"No," McDowell said. "That's logical thinking."

Coder said renovating the current fire station is not an option.

"That station is 106 years old. It was built for horses. It wasn't built for fire trucks," he said. "We've renovated to the point where we can't go any farther. Now when we buy a fire truck or a piece of fire equipment, we have to buy a vehicle that fits in the building – not a piece of a equipment we need, but one that we can get in the building."

Coder said they only have 17 days to finish the grant application and a property has to be named in the application.

But, he told the residents, "If they donate this property to us, we're outta your hair."

Inmate Facing More Charges

A Kane man who's an inmate in the McKean County Jail is facing more charges after allegedly breaking a window at the jail.

36-year-old Cliff Causer was in an isolated cell when he allegedly broke the 1 ¼ inch glass window to the cell door at just before 10 o'clock Friday night.

He will be charged with institutional vandalism, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

He's currently serving a sentence on theft charges.

Port Allegany Bridge Work Goes On

Work is continuing on the Route 155 bridge in Port Allegany just beyond the US Route 6 intersection.

Work includes deck repair, guiderail updates, back wall repair, painting, new expansion dams and erosion/sedimentation measures.

The repair work is being done during daylight hours, with flaggers in place at each end of the bridge to alternate traffic. Both lanes will be open at the end of each workday.

The $1.3 million project will be finished by October.

Galeton Couple Hurt in Crash

Two Galeton residents suffered minor injuries when their pickup truck went down an embankment off Interstate 86 Monday night in the Town of Mina.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 70-year-old Larry Foltz was adjusting his radio when the truck went out of control, hit a drainage ditch and a tree, then crashed into the median and rolled onto its side.

Foltz and his 68-year-old wife Beverly were taken to Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of their injuries.

Rep. Rapp: Stop PA Tax Hike

In response to Governor Ed Rednell's efforts to rally support for increased taxes and spending during an economic crunch, a group of lawmakers are calling on taxpayers to contact their legislators and express their opposition to the governor’s tax plan.

Rep. Kathy Rapp said she is asking citizens to contact their representatives and senators and let them know that taxpayers cannot absorb another increase. She's directing people to a new Web site -- Stop PA Tax Hike, where they can express their opinions and read comments from other taxpayers.

Money, Pop Stolen in Burglary

Someone broke into the Taylor & Armstrong building on South Main Street in Eldred and stole money and soda pop.

State police say someone removed a screen, threw a rock through the rear window, then climbed through the window.

Once inside the building, the burglar took about $100 in cash and 8 soda pops. The person left through the front door.

Anyone with information on this, or any of the recent burglaries in Eldred is asked to contact the Otto-Eldred Regional Police Department or state police.

Study: New Businesses Emerging

PHILADELPHIA, June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Turns out there's an upside to this downturn, according to a new study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: more entrepreneurial activity.

"We're certainly still seeing individuals interested in starting businesses, and I can't say we're surprised," said Christian Conroy, State Director of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), a network of 18 university- and college-based centers which provides assistance to new and existing businesses across the Commonwealth.

Greg Buckner of Bradford, Pa. began seeking financing to start his business last fall, at the height of the financial collapse. He worked with the Clarion University SBDC to develop a business plan and conduct market and competitive analysis, which supported financial projections presented to the bank and area partners. Buckner secured total funding of $119,000 and began his crematory service in late October.

The business is already above the projections, and Buckner has since hired a part-time employee. "I would recommend the SBDC to anyone starting a business," he said.

Kelly Shick pursued her own business after being laid off from Osram-Sylvania. The Gannon University SBDC helped Schick take over a former sports bar in downtown Warren, Pa., after navigating her through the loan process. "I might have given up without the assistance and encouragement from the SBDC," Schick said, who is now proud owner of Kelly's Pub.

For the full story, go HERE.

Swine Flu in Potter County

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

The patient was tested at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and has recovered at home.

Potter County Emergency Management Agency Department Coordinator John Hetrick is encouraging people to remain calm and take time to learn about the virus.

Anyone visiting the hospital should immediately tell a staff member if they have flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and coughing. While there is currently no vaccine available, the swine flu can be treated with certain antiviral drugs. Call your medical provider if you think you have the flu.

Steps people can take to avoid spreading the flu include:

stay home if you are sick
cough/sneeze into the arm/elbow or a tissue and rewash hands
wash hands frequently with warm soap/water or use an antibacterial gel
wash hands before touching eyes, nose, mouth
drink plenty of fluids
eat a balanced diet
get plenty of rest and exercise

CCMH has established a Swine Flu informational hotline. The prerecorded message can be heard by calling 814/260-5279 or toll free at 877/364-7904. As the status of this situation changes, the message will be updated as needed.

No Foul Play in Grand Canyon Death

Officials say a Tioga County woman died of hypothermia and drowning, and foul play was not involved.

51-year-old Kathleen Davis was found Sunday afternoon near the Frying Pan Trail Head area of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Wellsboro.

Police didn't say who found Davis.

Worker Falls From Roof, Dies

An Akron, New York, man has died of head injuries after falling from a roof in Titusville on June 12.

69-year-old Millard Young was helping demolish a former hardware store when he fell.

He died Sunday at Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

OSHA is investigating.

Guilty Plea to Larceny, Fraud

An Olean man has pleaded guilty to grand larceny and fraud charges for incidents that happened when he was working as a contractor.

Jeffrey Wachwitz is accused of taking money from a number of people and promising to do home construction, which he never did.

He also pleaded guilty to burglary in connection with an incident in January of 2008 in Salamanca.

Wachwitz will be sentenced October 26.

Man Faces Drug Charges in Court

A Salamanca man has been sentenced to year in prison on one drug charge, and has pleaded not guilty to another.

Frank Jones was convicted of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance for possessing cocaine on April 18, 2008, in Salamanca. He was also sentenced to a year in prison for violating terms of his probation on a previous drug conviction.

After sentencing, he pleaded not guilty to selling cocaine on May 4, 2004, in Salamanca. That matter has been adjourned for motions.

Straub Beer Comes in Cans Now

While many companies in Pennsylvania are canning their employees, Straub Brewing company is doing something it hasn't done in its 137-year history: canning its beer.

The St. Marys company began putting its beer in 12-ounce cans for the first time on Monday. The beer is actually being canned at the High Falls Brewery in Rochester, New York. In St. Marys, they're still bottling the beer and putting it in kegs.

Company officials say they've seen their sales increase lately, and by packaging the beer in 24-can packages, people can take it with them to more places.

Ed McMahon Passes Away

Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's sidekick on The Tonight Show where his booming announcement "Heeere's Johnny!" became his trademark, died this morning. He was 86. He also hosted several shows including Star Search and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. He started his career in Philadelphia. You can read more at the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Monday, June 22, 2009

More West Nile Spraying

The state Department of Environmental Protection and West Nile virus staff in McKean County will apply treatments Wednesday evening in Eldred Borough as well as Eldred and Keating townships to control adult mosquito populations.

This is a follow-up to a mosquito control operation conducted last week in the same neighborhoods.

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

The spraying will only be done weather permitting.

High Speed Chase from BT to J'burg

A Gilbertsville man took police on a high-speed chase from Bradford Township to Johnsonburg this morning.

State police attempted to stop a motorcycle driven by 19-year-old Paul DeVito on Route 219 at 10:17. The motorcycle didn't stop and traveled along Route 219, passing vehicles at speeds greater than 100 miles an hour.

Police say DeVito continued speeding in a construction zone and almost hit a construction worker.

The chase ended when the motorcycle crashed. DeVito wasn't hurt. He's charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, recklessly endangering another person and 108 summary traffic violations.

Crash Landing in Chautauqua

A pilot from Erie suffered minor injuries when his biplane crash landed at 4:14 p.m. Saturday just north of Dart Airport in the Town of Chautauqua.

64-year-old Dennis Williams was treated at the scene.

Williams told sheriff's deputies he had mechanical problems shortly after taking off from the airfield.

Swimmers Rescued Near Pier

Three swimmers had to be rescued from water near the Barcelona Pier in Chautauqua County Sunday afternoon.

The people told sheriff's deputies they were jumping off the breakwall into the water for fun. Because of the waves and strong current, they were not able to swim to shore and had to be pulled out with a rope.

Two of the people had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of exhaustion.

Deputies didn't release the names of the people. They say no charges are pending.

Horton Pleads to Federal Charge

Christopher Horton has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of causing an oil spill in the Allegheny National Forest, but won't spend any more time in prison besides his three- to six-year state sentence.

Horton pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pittsburgh this morning.

Horton and his father Andrew were drinking last August before they damaged storage tanks to get back at their former employer, Snyder Brothers of Kittanning. They spilled more than 42,000 gallons of oil onto the forest killing thousands of fish and other aquatic life, along with several mammals.

Christopher Horton's one-year federal prison sentence runs concurrent to his state sentence. He was also fined $50,000 in federal court, on top of $524,000 in state-imposed fines and cleanup costs.

Andrew Horton is scheduled for sentencing on July 1.