Showing posts from July 5, 2009

Bona ROTC Cadet Dies

A member of the ROTC unit at St. Bonaventure University is dead and a US Army investigation is underway to find out why.

The body of 19-year-old Daniel Miller of Gowanda was discovered at about 9:15 a.m. Thursday, about seven hours after he was reported missing.

Miller was participating in the Leader Development and Assessment Course, an annual 29-day program at Fort Lewis, Washington, for cadets who will be seniors. He was attending Houghton University.

Wednesday night, Miller was participating in an exercise in which cadets must find locations at night using a map and hand-held compass.

Wholesaler Pleads Not Guilty

A Seneca Indian accused of lying about smuggling cigarettes in Washington State has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Seattle.

37-year-old Arthur "Sugar" Montour of Perrysburg, NY, says he didn't lie about circumstances surrounding the sales of untaxed and smuggled cigarettes to an Indian-owned smoke shop in Arlington, Washington.

Montour is owner of Native Wholesale Supply, a wholesale tobacco company that imports products from Canada and distributes them throughout the United States. Native Wholesale Supply operates under the laws of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, but is on Seneca Nation property.

Montour pleaded not guilty to the same charges in a federal court in Buffalo last week.

A trial is scheduled to start in September

Birds Stolen in Elk County

A real bird and a fake one were taken from separate locations in Elk County this week.

State police say someone took a Buff Orpington chicken from a pen on Theodore Agens' property on Ridgway-Johnsonburg Road.

The chicken is valued at $5.

Someone also took a plastic decorative owl belonging to 89-year-old Lee Ginther that was outside Fox Manor in Kersey.

The owl is valued at $20.

PA Reps: Pitt, PSU Should Get
ARRA Money Rendell is Denying

Pennsylvania's US Representatives are asking the US Secretary of Education to examine Governor Ed Rendell's plan to not give the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln University federal stimulus money.

A letter sent to Secretary Anne Duncan, signed by 14 of the 19 members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, was in response to the decision by Rendell to exclude these four universities from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARRA, stimulus funding.

The letter states: “We strongly believe that by following the spirit and intent of the ARRA, the Department of Education will reject the application in current form, and compel the Commonwealth to use federal funds to maintain state support for every public institution of higher education in Pennsylvania, including the state-related universities.”

“The Governor has denied almost $42 million to these four universities in their recent application to the Department of Education using the flimsy excuse tha…

BRMC to Start ER Plus

WESB/WBRR News Director

Some people may be in and out of Bradford Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department more quickly than they're accustomed to.

Monday, BRMC is starting ER Plus – a program that provides services for people with problems that can't wait until the doctor's office opens in the morning, and is designed to ease the backlog.

Deborah Price, BRMC's Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services explained that they had been watching traffic and volume in the emergency department and noticed that they that got backlogged between 5 and 9 p.m.

Many of those people, she said, would be people who didn't feel well after they got home from school or work, and it was too late to go to a doctor.

"To respond to our community, we needed to do something during that period when we got so busy to try to step up our volume," Price said.

ER Plus will be operating fro 5 to 9 p.m. daily.

ED Nurse Manager Anne Hardy explained that they've …

Splish, Splash

These kids (and some mommies) enjoy a sunny Friday afternoon at Callahan Park.

USFS Wants Lawsuit Dismissed

The U.S. Forest Service wants to have a lawsuit filed by oil and gas interests and the Warren County Commissioners dismissed.

The suit, filed June 1 by Minard Run Oil Company, the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association, the Allegheny Forest Alliance and the commissioners challenges a settlement in a previous suit brought against the Forest Service by a group of environmental protection groups.

In that suit, the Forest Service agreed to certain demands, including a requirement that the Forest Service mandate oil and gas producers to comply with National Environmental Protection Act analysis before any notice to proceed for drilling operations can be issued.

The new forest service suit says the suit filed by the oil and gas interests only alleges "hypothetical" damages and that no damages have been actually incurred by the industry as a result of the settlement

Westfield Man Dies in Crash

A Westfield man is dead following a motorcycle accident early this morning in the Town of Portland.

Sheriff's deputies say 31—year-old Mark Carlson was operating his bike at a high rate of speed when it went out of control, traveled off the road and hit a utility pole.

Carlson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bomb Scare in Warren County

A bomb scare evacuated the Warren County Courthouse Friday morning.

The threat was called in at just after 9 a.m. After the evacuation, K-9 units from the sheriff's department, state police, Erie International Airport and Erie City Police searched the property.

The bomb-sniffing dogs also checked the parking lot and every car in it.

At noon, authorities declared that the building was clear.

MJ Coalition Has New Member

The Mt. Jewett Charter Coalition held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. One topic of discussion was a letter of resignation by founding Board member Doug Keller. Mr. Keller cited work and personal reasons in recent months that make it difficult for him to devote the attention needed to continue to serve on the Board. He stated that he is still in support of the project and the proposed September opening of a Charter public school in Mt. Jewett. Mr. Keller felt it was unfair to other Board members that he continue to hold a Board position and not be able to give it his full attention.

The remaining Board members regretfully voted to accept Mr. Keller's resignation and expressed their heartfelt appreciation for his effort. It was noted that Mr. Keller was one of the catalysts that started the Coalition movement over 2 1/2 years ago. For several months after its inception, the Board held weekly meetings in the Keller home in Mt. Jewett before establishi…

DEP to US Engery: Stop Drilling

The Department of Environmental Protection has issued a cease and desist order to U.S. Energy for persistent and repeated violations of environmental laws and regulations.

The order prohibits the company from conducting all earth disturbance, drilling and hydro-fracturing operations throughout Pennsylvania.

Some of the U.S. Energy well sites that were cited are on the Allegheny National Forest and property owned by Bradford Water Authority.

The violations include failure to implement measures to prevent accelerated erosion, unpermitted discharges, failure to restore well sites, encroachments into streams and wetlands without obtaining required permits, and failure to plug abandoned wells.

This order stops U.S. Energy from building new sites and gives the company 30 days to fix those sites that already have been built.

More HERE.

Causer: House GOP Budget Plan Fair, Responsible and Affordable

balanced budget proposal unveiled Friday by House Republicans is just what the people of Pennsylvania need during these challenging economic times, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said today.

"Governor Ed Rendell has been saying we can't do a no-tax budget. House Democrats have been threatening Armageddon if we balance the budget by cutting spending," Causer said. "All along, House Republicans have been saying we can craft a budget that funds essential government services without increasing taxes.

"The budget unveiled today proves it can be done."

The $27.27 billion plan increases funding for school districts statewide by. It provides essential funding for public safety needs and ensures vulnerable residents receive the support they need. It also funds state parks, hospitals and universities.

"This budget recognizes the economic realities we face. It forces government to live within its means, just like Pennsylvania families must," Causer sai…

Accident in Smethport

Emergency crews have been called to the scene of an accident where a tractor-trailer and a car collided at the intersection of West Water Street and Route 6 in Smethport.

Someone is reportedly trapped inside a vehicle.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

I'm Confused

When talking about the property tax/rent rebate program Governor Rendell said some people would be getting "significant property tax relief."

Now, when he's talking about raising the personal income tax he says it "will cost the average Pennsylvania family less than $5 a week." -- Ya know, like it's chump change.

Here's where I'm confused:
A household that makes $35,000 a year gets a rebate of $250.
A household that makes $35,000 a year would pay an additional PIT of $260 a year.

I'll admit I'm not very good at math, but isn't that a net loss of $10 a year?

Power Out Downtown -- UPDATE

You should all have power now


About 1,000 Penelec customers in the downtown Bradford area are being affected by a power outage at this hour, but the power should be restored soon.

Penelec spokeswoman Linda Routzahn says an equipment problem at a power substation caused the outage.

Crews are on the scene and expect to have power restored by early afternoon.

9-Year-Old Dies After Crash

The 9-year-old daughter of a man who died in a crash in Tioga County Monday night has also died.

Morgan Kurtz of Sabinsville was a passenger in a truck driven by her mother Laura Kio that went off the road and hit a parked flatbed truck. Morgan was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, where she died Wednesday.

Her father William Kurtz died at the scene from severe head trauma.

Strike Talks Resume Today

A federal mediator is meeting for the first time today with representatives of about 500 striking Penelec workers.

The workers went on strike May 21 saying they're being forced to work too much overtime to respond to service problems and other issues. The company has offered the workers raises or different scheduling rules, but not both.

The sides last met July 1, but a mediator couldn't make it because of a scheduling conflict.

Crash Closes Route 46

Route 46 in Keating Township was closed for about two hours yesterday after a truck crashed into two utility poles.

Police say the driver of a Freightliner, whose name they didn't release, fell asleep at the wheel, causing the truck to veer off the road and hit a mailbox, the utility poles and a tree.

Penelec and Verizon responded to the scene to repair utility services.

The road was closed because the utility wires were on the ground.

Birthday Party Turns Ugly

A birthday party in Lewis Run turned ugly.

Police say Paul Conner Jr. of Lewis Run was having a party for 20-year-old Brandon Conner of Gifford and 18-year-old Anthony Kremer of Bradford when a fight broke out and several of the partygoers allegedly assaulted each other. Brandon Conner also allegedly caused $135 worth of damage to a car owned by 20-year-old Nazareth Kremer of Bradford.

Nazareth Kremer, a juvenile and both Conners were charged with harassment. Brandon Conner was also charged with criminal mischief.

Back to Work in Albany

The power struggle in the New York State Senate seems to be over.

Since June 8, the senate has been unable to pass bills or even officially meet because a Republican-led coup tied the Republican and Democrat conferences at 31 votes apiece.

Thursday, Pedro Espada, a dissident Democrat who had sided with the Republicans, rejoined his party and returned control of the senate to Democrats.

Statement from Senator Cathy Young:

My priority remains -- to finally reform the Senate and change Albany so that our State has a bright future.

New York has been on a collision course with disaster, and my vote for reform on June 8th was about saving the State, especially Upstate.

There are damaging bills that I’m still fighting to block including a farm worker bill that would put our farms out of business for good, and legislation that could let the government dictate how many miles you can drive your personal vehicle. Those are just two examples of many New York City-driven bills that…

Hospital Stays Open -- With Changes

Erie Shriners Hospital will stay open, but will start billing patients' insurance companies for treatment. The hospital is also in talks with Hamot Medical Center, and other health care providers to lease space in its building.

This week, Shriners International voted to allow the Erie hospital and five others to remain open.

They had considered closing the hospitals because of financial problems. The endowment fund used to cover the hospitals' cost has shrunk from $8.5 billion to $5 billion since early 2008.

Unusual Burglary in Turtlepoint

It sounds a little bit like Goldilocks and the three bears, but it's actually a police investigation.

State Troopers say in the early morning hours of the 4th of July two girls and two boys entered a Turtlepoint home and ate the Elizabeth Smith's food. The two boys also drank an alcoholic beverage.

They slept inside the house and left at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Switching Teams?

No, no, no. No need to worry. Scott Douglas isn't going anywhere. But after Kane's Relay for Life parade, he checked out the new ride of our old friend Barry Morgan.

Relay Parade in Kane

Miss McKean County Ally Carpenter and Miss Bradford Tate Slaven were just two of the participants in Thursday's evening's Relay for Life Parade in Kane.

Cross-Dressing for Cancer

These are just a few of the contestants in Kane's "Miss Relay" contest. Kane's Relay for Life starts at noon today at Kane Area High School. You can see these, and the rest of contestants at the relay, and vote for "lady" you think should win.

Thanks for the Warning!

Anyone driving too fast on East Main Street near the Farm Family Restaurant might see this and think -- considering all the bears that have been wandering into town lateley -- that it's a warning from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Actually, the three-part message reads "ARG deliveries -- Bear Right Ahead -- At Euclid Avenue." I would assume it was put up to avoid any further mishaps at the Kendall Avenue/East Main Street intersection.

US Rep. Thompson: Time to Apply for Military Academies

Washington, D.C.—“Deep in the middle of the summer vacation, it is difficult for soon-to-be high school seniors to think of October and the new school year ahead,” said U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard. “But October 1st is the deadline to apply for nomination through my Bellefonte District Office for acceptance into one of the four military academies for the year 2010. If you are interested, it is time to circle that date on your calendar and start putting together the required materials.”

Thompson’s website has all the information on the application process under the title of “services,” including an on-line application.

The basic requirements for applying for a nomination are: the candidate must be at least 17 years old but not have passed his or her 23rd birthday; must be a U.S. citizen; must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents; must reside within the boundaries of the 5th Congre…

Changes on Kendall Avenue July 20

A Kendall Avenue traffic switch will take place the week of July 20, and a new detour will be in effect.

PennDOT says Kendall Avenue northbound will be closed, and southbound will be opened making traffic flow just the opposite of what it is now.

After that happens, the contractor will work on the northbound shoulder between Owens Way and Kendall Avenue, placing fiber optic cable.

New PA Senate Bill Would Ban
Texting While Driving

Pennsylvania motorists would be prohibited from texting while driving under legislation sponsored by Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks). Senate Bill 143 was approved by the State Senate today.

Tomlinson's bill is intended to address an increasingly common and dangerous practice that has resulted in accidents and fatalities across the nation.

"Drivers should be doing only one thing when they are behind the wheel of an automobile, and that is paying attention to the road and other drivers," Tomlinson said. "Text-distraction doesn't just jeopardize the lives of those texting, but also puts the lives of everyone on the road with them at risk.

Senate Bill 143 would make texting while driving a secondary offense if a motorist has been cited for another violation and would carry a fine of $100.

Pennsylvania would join 10 other states that have prohibited texting while driving for all classes of drivers. Eight more states prohibit texting by novice drivers or certain sp…

Arrest on Drug, Weapons Charges

An 18-year-old was arrested this morning following a three-month investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Fredonia Police Department and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department.

The task force says the SWAT team executed a search warrant at Andrew Pesicek's home, arrested him as he was leaving the house and charged him with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance. After police found an electronic stun gun and sawed-off shotgun, they also charged him with criminal possession of a weapon.

Besides the weapons, task force members seized marijuana and cocaine from the house.

The investigation is continuing and the task force expects to make additional arrests.

Boil Water Advisory Still in Effect

About 11,000 residents in Fredonia are under a boil water advisory at least until Friday.

The advisory is in effect because of a water main break Wednesday night.

Some residents are reporting low water pressure and others are reporting no water at all in their homes.

Joey Lynn's Family Ups Reward

The family of Joey Lynn Offutt has increased the reward being offered for information leading to her whereabouts to $20,000. She has been missing from Sykesville, PA, since a fire destroyed her home on July 12, 2007.

In the early morning of July 12, 2007, authorities responded to a fire at Joey's
After the fire was put out, extinguished, the remains of Joey's 6-week-old son were discovered. Joey and her car, a red Saturn with Virginia license plates, were missing. Police found Joey's car four days later in State College parked at the Nittany Gardens apartment complex, where Joey had previously lived.

Joey's other two children, who were not at home at the time of the fire, are safe living with family.

After two years, and two airings on the TV show "America's Most Wanted", investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police still have had no substantial and credible leads in the case. The family requests the public's help by coming forward with information t…

CNN Radio's Ed McCarthy Dies

From the CNN Radio Affiliates Web site:

CNN Radio’s Ed McCarthy passed away July 9th at Emory Hospital in Snellville, Georgia. Services are pending.

Ed joined CNN Radio in 1986 working as a news and business anchor. He most recently served as a National Correspondent based in Atlanta. Ed traveled the country covering all kinds of stories for CNN from wildfires and celebrity trials, to tornadoes and hurricanes. One of Ed’s biggest joys was covering The Masters in Augusta Georgia.

Before joining CNN Radio, Ed was news director and co-host of a morning show at WIRA/WOVV Radio in Fort Pierce, Fla. From 1985-1986, McCarthy served as a weather anchor at WTVX-TV in Fort Pierce. From 1982-1985, McCarthy was news director at WSTU/WHLG Radio in Stuart, Fla. He has also served as news director at WIRK Radio in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Ed was more than a co-worker, but a friend who always had a smile and a story to offer. He will be missed.

Man Waives Hearing in Case of
Todder Who Killed Himself

A Beaver Falls man charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy who shot and killed himself last summer has waived his preliminary hearing.

28-year-old Michael Cashdollar owned the gun that killed Trey Rosenberger in the living room of an Elk County camp.

Cashdollar, Trey's mother and other adults were in the kitchen and dining room making breakfast when the boy apparently climbed onto a chair where the .44 Magnum had been laid, picked up the gun and pulled the trigger.

Cashdollar was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment for leaving the loaded gun where the toddler could reach it.

Spiders and Snakes

I don't like spiders and snakes, but I think spider webs are pretty. As pretty as this one is, though, it will be gone before I have to get in the Twin Tiers Action van using that door when Scott Douglas and I go to Kane's Relay for Life Parade (which starts at 6 p.m. on Fraley Street).

Despite the title, snakes have nothing to do with this post. The title is just for me and the other '70s kids who remember the song. If you have no idea what I'm talkin' about, here ya go:

NY Working on Master Plan for ASP

The New York State Parks System is working on its plan for Allegany State Park, and officials got input from the public during a meeting at Salamanca High School last night.

Tom Alworth of the New York State Parks Department says having a master plan makes sense from a financial standpoint because good planning means once they make a decision, they stick with it and don't have to spend money to alter it.

The master plan is expected to call for more recreational and educational opportunities at Allegany State Park, while also protecting the character of the park's natural resources.

Rural Health Consortia Gets Money

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, has announced the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $525,170 to Keystone Rural Health Consortia for renovation of the Cameron County Health Care Center.

“I welcome this bricks and mortar project coming to the 5th Congressional District,” said Thompson. “I understand most of the contracting will be done right in Emporium, which will be great for employment in the area. This facility hasn’t been renovated in more than 30 years and the changes will be a significant improvement.”

Ron Hammersley, chief executive officer of Keystone, explained they will be renovating the front half of the 7,000 square foot Cameron County Health Center. It will include a new heating and air conditioning system, modernized rooms, a new state-of-the-art X-Ray room and system, and vinyl siding on the outside of the structure.

“Some $300,000 of the funds will go to construction and the remainder will be used to set up electroni…

Final Shriners Decision Today

The Shriners are wrapping up their annual meeting in San Antonio and are expected to announce changes to their children's hospitals sometime today.

In preliminary votes, the Shriners refused to close six hospitals – including the one in Erie – but agreed to seek payment from insurance providers. Thursday.

For 87 years, the Shriners have provided free care to children without billing insurance providers. But the recession has dropped the Shriners endowment below $5 billion, forcing them to look at other options.

Burglary in Kane

State police are investigating a burglary Wednesday in Kane.

They say sometime between 5:15 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. someone entered Kimberly Young's home through a basement window that was covered with a secure piece of wood.

Once inside, the burglar stole a safe that contained an undisclosed amount of money.

The burglar then fled the scene, possibly through the back door.

Adelphoi Village Staffers Hurt

Five staff members at Adelphoi Village were injured whilte trying to restrain a 15-year-old client.

State police say the girl was acting out so much that the staff decided to use restraining holds. While the staff members were trying to restrain her, the girl hit them with various parts of her body.

The victims are Jessica Chaffee of Elkland, Amy Gerhart of Coudersport, Katie Lynn Keene of Knoxville and Carol Ann Bell and Lisa May McCall, both of Westfield.

The 15-year-old has been charged with harassment.

Boil Water in Fredonia

The Chautauqua County Health Department has issued the following alert for the Village of Fredonia:

Due to water main break, boil water for drinking & food preparation -until further notice!

Lovely Day for Lunch in the Square

Toucan Jam (above) performs in the Veterans Square gazebo during Lunch in the Sqaure Wednesday. At left, Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Diane Sheeley chats with Terri and Bill Leven. Diane also chatted with me on LiveLine, which Scott Douglas and I (and intern Kevin Clark) did from Veterans Square. Becky Plummer from the Chamber, Main Street Manager Anita Dolan and Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani also stopped by to chat. All the cool people were there!

Armed Robbery in St. Marys

People armed with a gun and a baseball bat robbed a St. Marys convenience store early this morning.

Police say two people walked into the St. Marys Minimart on Washington Road at about 4:45. One of them had a handgun and the other had the bat. They demanded money from the store employee.

The employee gave them an undetermined amount of money and the two people fled the scene.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact St. Marys City Police.

PSP: Cigarette Butts Caused Fire

Discarded cigarette butts caused the fire that destroyed a Duke Center house Tuesday afternoon.

State Police Fire Marshal Thomas Josephson says the fire at Jeff and Cindy Gardner's house started on the back porch when cigarette butts ignited the plastic bucket they were discarded in. The fire spread to other items on the porch, then traveled into the house through a rear first floor window and then to the rest of the house.

Damage is estimated at $140,000.

ACS Needs Summer Hats, Scarves

The American Cancer Society is currently in need of summer hats, turbans, and head scarves for distribution to people currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

Thanks to the generosity of many area crafters, ACS currently has an abundance of heavier winter hats to share. If you or someone you know likes to sew, please contact the American Cancer Society at 1-888-227-5445 and select option 3 to request a pattern.

Donations of inexpensive baseball caps and scarves are also appreciated.

KCH, Hamot Making Progress

Hamot Medical Center and Kane Community Hospital (KCH) announced that significant progress has been made in affiliation discussions between the two organizations.

“Over the past few months Hamot and KCH Boards of Directors, administrators, and physicians have been working to identify common programs and services that can provide enhanced access to clinical care, improve quality and efficiency, and help reduce healthcare costs. We expect that by late summer formal affiliation agreements will be executed enabling Hamot and KCH to better serve the residents of the Kane area,” said Kane Community Hospital CEO, J. Gary Rhodes.

The long-standing and cooperative relationship between KCH and Hamot was formed in 2000 with Hamot extending its cardiology services to patients in the Kane area. Through a vision for achieving excellence in patient care, the cooperative relationship between Hamot and KCH continued to evolve over the years to include education and staffing, medical staff grand r…

DA's Office Gets Grant Money

One of our agency's central missions is to educate Pennsylvanians about the dangers of alcohol misuse," said Patrick J. "P.J." Stapleton III, chairman of the Liquor Control Board. "These grants will help communities across the state use proven methods to prevent underage drinking and support law enforcement efforts to investigate and reduce this critical problem."

The Liquor Control Board grants will fund a range of community and school-based programs, including law-enforcement training, campus environmental-management strategies and other underage-drinking prevention programs, according to Stapleton and fellow Board members Thomas F. Goldsmith and Robert S. Marcus. Since 1999, the Liquor Control Board program has awarded more than $4 million in grants to more than 240 entities.

"This year the Liquor Control Board's Bureau of Alcohol Education received the highest number of grant applications in our program's history, indicating that more Pennsy…

Council to Hold Hearing on Goat

Olean Common Council has scheduled a public hearing on whether a family can keep a dairy goat in its backyard.

Some of Jenna Wagner's neighbors say they don't have a problem with the goat, while others do, and say allowing Wagner to keep her goat may open up the door for other animals to be kept in the city, too.

Wagner and her mother, who gave her the goat, said they weren't aware that goats are prohibited in the city. The goat is tethered on a 25-foot lead line, and shares the backyard with a flock of 12 chickens

Mansfield Soldier Wounded

A Mansfield, PA, soldier is back in United States after being wounded in Afghanistan over the weekend.

35-year-old Bobby Weiskopff was shot twice during a battle Saturday near the Pakistan border.

Weiskopff was initially flown to a base in Germany for treatment, and arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington yesterday for rehabilitation.

Weiskopff graduated from Mansfield High School in 1993 and Mansfield University in 1997. His brother Mike is currently serving in Iraq.

No Pay for NY Senators

Today is the first day New York State senators won't be getting paychecks – after a month of doing, pretty much, nothing in Albany.

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli last week ordered the biweekly paychecks of all 62 senators held until the Senate wraps up its power-sharing struggle that started June 8.

Payroll for 62 senators amounts to about $190,000 every two weeks.

DiNapoli is moving ahead even though a court hasn't decided whether he's allowed to withhold the senators' pay.

Meanwhile, senators on both sides of the aisle say an agreement may be reached by the end of the week.

FAW Highlighted in New Book

WARREN --­ In The Way of the Woods: Journeys Through American Forests, Linda Underhill explores some of America¹s most extraordinary forests, from proposed wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), to the old-growth groves of Cook Forest State Park, to the ancient rainforests of Washington¹s Olympic Peninsula.

Pittsburgh native Underhill, a resident of Wellsville, New York and currently a visiting professor of English at Gettysburg College, spent several years visiting important forest areas from coast to coast in preparation for writing The Way of the Woods, recently published by Oregon State University Press.

For her chapter on the ANF, titled "Going Wild," Underhill augmented her research with a hiking trip with Kirk Johnson, executive director for Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) into the proposed addition to the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area in southern Warren County. FAW is a Warren-based non-profit organization seeking permanent protection for select porti…

Truck Traffic Concerns FT Resident

WESB/WBRR News Director

Truck traffic on Interstate Parkway is horrible, according to one area resident.

Deb Piganelli told Foster Township Supervisors during their meeting Monday night that the drivers don't seem to care about the other drivers on the road, or people walking along the road.

She said people walk along the road "all the time" and, now that summer's here, more children are out and people are driving to Allegany State Park by way of Interstate Parkway.

"This isn't just one incident," she said. "This is non-stop day and night. Two and 3 o'clock in the morning they are flying up there – six, eight trucks at a time."

Piganelli said she and her husband walk every night and "there are some nights we actually have to jump off into the side of the road, way into the grass, just to let them get by. And they don't seem to want to slow down whether you're walking or not. They don't even try to slow down.&quo…

'I Can Cope' at CCMH

The American Cancer Society and Patterson Cancer Care Center will co-sponsor a program for people with cancer and their family and friends. The program Nutrition and Cancer will be offered on Tuesday, July 14th from 11-1 PM at the Patterson Cancer Care Center located on the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital campus. Program Facilitator will be Jill Connelly, RD, LDN, Regional Dietitian - PA, Sweden Valley Manor, HCF Management, Inc.

The “I Can Cope” program offers people who are facing cancer, including patients, families and friends, an opportunity to interact with others having similar experiences and learn ways to cope with the challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis in a supportive and caring environment.

The American Cancer Society I Can Cope program is a component of the American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Network – a free, comprehensive resource to help patients and their caregivers manage the impact of cancer on their lives through up-to-date cancer information.

For …

Prayer, Worship Services

A prayer and worship service is being held at 8 p.m. Monday through the summer at the mini-park on Fourth and Chestnut streets in Emporium.

The session includes prayers for Cameron County, local, state and national governments, as well as several social justice issues. Other requests are welcome.

More Money to Fight EAB in NY

The US Department of Agriculture has doubled the amount of funding it will provide to New York State to battle the spread of the emerald ash borer.

Senator Chuck Schumer says the funding has been boosted to $200,000.

The destructive beetle was found last month in Randolph, New York, and has already destroyed dozens of trees.

With the extra money, New York's Department of Environmental Conservation will be able to survey the state to determine the extent of the infestation, and create and enact a plan to fight the spread of the beetle.

Fireman Died of Natural Causes

A 28-year-old volunteer firefighter in Clarion County who collapsed and died at the scene of a fire early Monday morning apparently died of natural causes, and the fire is being considered suspicious.

Ryan Wingard of Strattanville collapsed at the scene of a rubbish fire and other firefighters' attempts at CPR were unsuccessful.

Strattanville fire chief Bill Stroup sasy Wingard complained to another firefighter of a headache right before he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Clarion Hospital.

Clarion County District Attorney Mark T. Aaron says the fire is suspicious.

Sabinsville Man Dies in Crash

A Sabinsville man is dead following a crash in Tioga County Monday night.

Police say 31-year-old William Kurtz was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by 28-year-old Laura Kio, also of Sabinsville.

Two girls, ages 6 and 9, were also in the car.

Troopers say Kio's vehicle went off the road and hit a parked flatbed truck.

They say Kurtz suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kio and the 6-year-old passenger are being treated for moderate injuries, and the 9-year-old is being treated for major injuries. Kio is being treated at Robert Packer Hospital and the children are being treated at Geisinger Medical Center.

Mickelson's Mom Has Cancer, Too

Six weeks after Phil Mickelson announced his wife had breast cancer, his mother was diagnosed with the disease and is scheduled for surgery Friday.

His wife, Amy, had surgery last Wednesday.

After the US Open, Mickelson said it was "highly unlikely" he would play the British Open, and said his schedule the rest of the year depended on his wife's battle with cancer.

Kane Relay for Life on Friday

The Kane Relay for Life gets underway at noon Friday at Kane Area High School.

The survivor ceremony is at 7 p.m. The luminaria ceremony, sponsored by Zook Motors, is at 9 p.m.

The annual parade kicks off Relay Weekend at 6 p.m. Thursday on Fraley Street. Be sure to look for Scott Douglas and me in the Twin Tiers Action Van!

Futures Receives Highest Rating

Futures Rehabilitation Center’s vocational and activity programs have once again received the highest possible rating in a review by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW.)

Inspectors from the DPW’s western office spent two days reviewing the operation of the Center’s programs and found them to be in 100% compliance with various regulations, including provision of service, fire and safety practices and staffing.

The inspectors praised the dedication and professionalism of staff, the quality and variety of programs, satisfaction of participants and recent building improvements.

Futures’ president/CEO Bill Leven said, “Credit for such an outstanding licensing review belongs with the staff of Futures for their commitment and dedication to our mission and goals."

Futures programs undergo state licensing reviews each year. Compliance with regulations is required to qualify for funding through DPW.

Futures provides services to over 170 adults and students with disabilities. …

Shriners Hospital Open for Now

The Erie Shriners Hospital and 5 others across the country will stay open for now.

Delegates at the national Shriners convention voted to keep all 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children open, but no decision on the hospitals' future is final until the convention ends Thursday.

Secret deliberations are conducted by the fraternal order and members are allowed to take up new proposals between now and the end of the convention. Delegates will now consider proposals to save the hospital system without closing facilities.

Shriners hospitals have offered free care since the first facility opened 87 years ago. Shriners say their endowment has fallen below $5 billion.

The operating budget for Erie Shriners' is about $14 million.

Bear in Ken-Mar Acres

A bear and her 5 babies made their way to Ken-Mar Acres Sunday night, and the mama bear injured a dog who got in between her and one of her cubs.

Foster Township Police Chief Jeff Wwolbert says the bears were in a dog kennel -- probably looking for food -- when the dog got too close to one of the cubs. He says the mother bear swiped at, and cut, the dog, who was taken to a veterinarian to be checked out.

He says the bears apparently made their way back to the woods.

Five Hurt, Horse Dies in Crash

Five members of an Amish family were hurt and their horse died when a suspected drunk driver hit their buggy last night near Knox.

An SUV driven by 20-year-old Brandon Breghenti hit the buggy as it was turning into a driveway. Three children – ages 2, 3 and 4 – and their parents were thrown from the buggy.

Police say Breghenti stopped at the scene and briefly stepped out of the SUV before getting back in and driving away.

He's in Clarion County Jail on $75,000 bail.

41-year-old Ruth Burkholder and the 2-year-old were seriously injured. 42-year-old Mark Burkholder and the other children suffered minor injuries.

Clarion Co. Fireman Collapses, Dies

A Clarion County firefighter is dead after collapsing while battling a small fire in Stattanville early this morning.

A pile of rubbish had been burning outside a house at around 4 a.m.

Fire Chief Bill Stroup says the 28-year-old volunteer firefighter was among a small crew that had been dispatched to put out the fire.

Stroup says the firefighter, who had been with the department for 8 months, said he wasn't feeling well, then he collapsed.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

Blood Supply Critically Low

The Fourth of July weekend is usually one of the three worst weekends of the year for blood usage, and this year that was certainly true with extremely heavy blood usage by local patients in the last 3 days. The blood supply is just about depleted with type O Positive being extremely critically low. The situation is critical for local patients needing blood.

Community Blood Bank lab staff was called back from vacation early to test the last few units of blood that came in Thursday night, so there would be something to send to the hospitals.

"It will be tough to recover from," Says Dan Desrochers Director of Marketing at the Community Blood Bank, "It will take those donors who haven't been in since last summer's blood shortage to end this one."

Everyone is encouraged to attend the blood drive at ERHC in Saint Marys on Tuesday July 7th from 10-4p.m. behind the hospital in the Rehab center. No appointment is needed to save a life.

The Community Blood Bank is op…

Lunch in the Square

Lunch in the Square will be held on Wednesday, July 8 at Veterans’ Square, Downtown Bradford from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm. Entertainment will be provided by the favorites “Toucan Jam.”

Participating restaurants include Chu Lee Gardens, The Grocery Stretcher, John Williams European Pastry Shop, The New Broaster, The Lighter Side, Cin Cin Biscotti, Dairy Queen and Dawgonit.

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

Scott Douglas and I will be there live, too. Stop by and say "hello!"

SPCA Lemon-Aid Update

From Kimberly Weinberg:

Thanks to everyone who supported the Lemon-Aid for the SPCA fundraiser by my daughter, Maddy (7 – in the middle), son, Preston (9 ½) and neighbor, Alex Safran (6 ½).

The children raised an amazing $728 to benefit the SPCA. And while the SPCA animals were visiting the stand, one of them was adopted!

The kids had a great time and are looking forward to delivering their money to the shelter.

Good job everyone!

Robert McNamara Dies at 93

Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, architect of U.S. war in Vietnam, has died at 93, according to his family, CNN reports. He was the eighth United States Secretary of Defense. McNamara served as Defense Secretary for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1968.

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PACT Act Concerns Senecas

Seneca Nation officials are concerned about a bill making its way through Congress that they say would affect private cigarette retailers from mailing orders of cigarettes.

The PACT – or Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking – Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, is now in the Judicial Committee of the Senate, and is expected to pass this summer.

Richard Nephew, chairman the Seneca Tribal Council, says if it passes it could affect hundreds of employees, both Seneca and non-Seneca, if businesses lose sales that are currently handled by mail.

Numerous privately owned Seneca businesses take cigarette orders on the phone and Internet and mail them to customers.

More on the State Budget Battle

I couldn't resist showing you this quote from a story about the state budget that appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "My 8-year-old son will be relieved that his allowance is safe," said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson), who compared Rendell to a snake-oil salesman.

For the full story, go HERE.

Michael Scarnati is the animal-petter at Scarnati's 2007 Kid Fest at Pitt-Bradford.

NY Senate Meets Briefly

The New York State Senate met Sunday – for three minutes.

The Senate has been at a standstill since June 8 when Republicans and two Democrats staged a coup against the Democratic conference. After one of the Democrats went back to his conference, the sides were split at 31 and can't decide who's in charge.

Governor David Paterson has said he will call the senators into session every day until they work out a power-sharing agreement.

Man's Death Ruled Homicide

The death of a 79-year-old Union Township man has been ruled homicide.

Raymond Goodwill Jr. was found dead on a couch Saturday morning. Erie County Deputy Coroner Korac Timon says Goodwill was hit in the head with a blunt instrument of some sort.

Investigators haven't determined what he was hit with, but Timon says a number of tools were scattered around the house and property and police removed some of them for processing.

He said there were no signs of forced entry into the home.

Shriners' Decision This Week

This is the week the Shriners decide whether they're going to close several hospitals, including the one in Erie.

The 135th Imperial Council Session began Sunday. The Shriners say they're forced to make a decision on closing the Erie hospital and five others because of increasing costs and a drop in donations.

A decision is expected to be announced Thursday.

Dawn P. Campbell

Dawn P. Campbell, 84, formerly of 1253 East Main St., died Friday, July 3, 2009, in the Bradford Ecumenical Home.

Born August 14, 1924, in Bradford, she was a daughter of Able and Helen Jones Myers. On March 3, 1944, in Bradford, she married Jack Campbell, who died on May 27, 1991.

Mrs. Campbell and her husband owned and operated Capitol Meat Market on Mechanic Street for many years and, later, the Butcher Block in South Bradford.

She is survived by three sons Jack (Martha) Campbell of Houston, Texas, Bruce (Marcia) Campbell of Palm Bay, Florida, and Richard (Judy) Campbell of Lewis Run; seven grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Family will be receiving friends today (July 6) in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc., South Avenue, from 5 to 7 p.m., at which time a prayer will be offered by the Rev. Leo Gallina, pastor of St. Bernard Church.

Burial will be in Willow Dale Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the McKean County SPCA, PO Box 11…

Man Facing More Charges

A Salamanca man arrested last week on drug charges is now facing weapons and child endangerment charges.

27-year-old Donald Watson is accused of smashing two television, a fish tank and other items in the house of a person police did not identify.

Police say Watson also sent pictures of a 7-year-old child displaying a firearm.

They say when Watson was arrested Wednesday they found an airline ticket he bought for a flight that was scheduled to depart Thursday morning.

He's jailed on $10,000 bail.

More Wildlife at the Station

With all the wildlife we see around here (or barely see through the fog) you'd think we're way out in the country or something. I wish I could have gotten closer to this bunny, but I didn't want to scare him off. Rabbits usually aren't as cooperative as ducks when posing for pictures.

Man's Death Considered Suspicious

The death of a Corry-area man is being considered suspicious.

Police say an acquaintance found 79-year-old Raymond Goodwill Jr. dead in his Union Township home Saturday morning.

Police didn't release the cause of death, but did say an autopsy will be done today.

Erie County Deputy Coroner Korac Timon says the death is highly suspicious.

Senators Still in Albany

New York State senators are spending this Independence Day weekend in Albany – still unable to reach a power sharing agreement following a shakeup in the chamber nearly a month ago.

They were in session yesterday, but didn't accomplish anything. They will also be in sesion today.

Governor David Paterson is ordering Senators continue to meet even if nothing gets done.

State compltroller Tom DiNapoli will be headed to court Tuesday to ask permission to stop the senators' pay.

Unruly Patient at CCMH

An unruly patient at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has been charged with disorderly conduct.

Police say 45-year-old Richard Allen of Shinglehouse was not satisfied with the emergency room and started yelling and making unreasonable noise.

A summary citation was filed in district court.

2 ATV Crashes in Chautauqua Co.

An 11-year-old had to be flown to Children's Hospital in Buffalo following an ATV accident at 11:30 Saturday night in Cherry Creek.

Sheriff's deputies say 27-year-old Shaun Laughlin of Tonawanda lost control of the ATV and hit a guardrail. The girl was thrown from the vehicle and suffered a possible broken leg.

Laughlin was treated at Lakeshore hospital for a severe cut on his leg.

Deputies say charges are pending against Laughlin.


A Jamestown teenager suffered head and arm injuries during an ATV accident Saturday in the Town of Ellington.

Sheriff's deputies say 16-year-old Cody Taylor was operating the ATV on private property when it went out of control and hit a large tree.

He was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown for treatment of his injuries.

Children Rescued from Lake Erie

Five children – ages 6 to 12 – had to be rescued from the Sunset Bay area of Lake Erie Saturday afternoon.

The crew of a sheriff's department Lake Erie Patrol Boat heard people calling from the water at about 4:30, then saw the children clinging to an overturned windsurfer about 200 yards offshore.

The crew of the patrol boat plucked the children out of the water and took all but one of them to shore. The fifth child was taken to shore by a person on a Jet-ski.

Ambulances were waiting on shore, but none of the children was hurt.

Sheriff's deputies say they were all wearing properly fitted personal floatation devices.

Steve "Air" McNair Shot and Killed

Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair is dead after being shot multiple times, including once in the head, in a Nashville, Tennessee, condominium.

Police say they found McNair and a woman identified as Sahel Kazemi shot to death after receiving a phone call about an injured person. Police say a pistol was found near Kazemi's body.

Autopsies are scheduled for today.