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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Daze Saturday


Dorie Meabon, cancer survivor and event co-chair for the 12th Annual Kids & Cancer Motorcycle Dice Run welcomes the hundreds of participants to the Zippo parking Saturday morning. She also introduced little Aiden Davis and his mother Amanda, who talked about Aiden's battle with cancer. Fran Stewart of the American Cancer Society was on hand to thank the participants for the money that was donated for the organization to buy a new van to transport cancer patients to any hospital where they're getting treatment. The rain held off long enough to get the opening ceremonies underway, but did start falling during the bikers' parade down Main Street.
















Also Saturday, the Roseart Lighter Show continued in the St. Bernard's gym. Above left, Kelly Platko of Roseart chats one of the collectors. An art show was also held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Lisa's Hairport patio. Organizer Roger Peters says it was very successful.

Committee Votes on HB 1416

The state Senate Appropriations Committee voted on Saturday morning to report House Bill 1416 – the budget bill – to the full Senate with a "negative recommendation."

Republican leaders opposed the House plan to remove higher education from the general fund budget. The House proposal would either create a $1.3 billion deficit in the budget requiring Pennsylvania to either raise taxes or strip funding from State System of Higher Education (SSHE) universities, as well as Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University and community colleges.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says it's "obviously not a real proposal. It is an arbitrary division of a block of spending that presumably they picked because they thought it had some appeal – and it was unfunded."

The only way to fund it in their scenario, he said, is by raising new taxes.

For those reasons, he characterized it as not helpful, not productive and not something that moves the process forward.

He said the Senate will make amendments to HB 1416, "make it a real document," and send it back to the House. They will also continue negotiations with the other three Legislative Caucuses and the Administration.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman added that it's important to quickly eliminate the notion that higher education won't be funded so students who attend, or will be attending, those universities know where they stand.

The Senate will convene Sunday afternoon.

Pictured, Corman, Pileggi and Senate Majority Whip Jane Orie speak with the media after the appropriations committee voted HB 1416 out of committee.

PennDOT Spending Money on Signs

PennDOT is spending about $60,000 in federal stimulus money to put up road signs with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act logo on them.

Department spokesman Steve Chizmar says the 30 signs will be placed at only the most visible projects around the state to help show the public where the stimulus money is being spent.

PennDOT received $1 billion in ARRA funding.

Spending Plan Hits the Senate

The state senate appropriations committee is meeting in Harrisburg this morning, presumably to consider the House budget proposal.

House Bill 1416 passed early Friday evening. The Senate convened at about 10 a.m., but is currently in recess for caucuses and the committee meeting.

The bill increases spending by more than $1.4 billion dollars over last year – and is even more than Governor Ed Rendell's proposal.

The House spending plan does not include money for the State System of Higher Education, community colleges and student loans or an explanation of how they plan to fund those items.

Senate Republicans, who control the chamber, say they will not vote for a broad-based tax increase. Rendell has proposed a 16 percent increase in the personal income tax.

Causer: Budget Plan is Irresponsible

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) issued the following statement in response to Friday's House passage of an unbalanced, fiscally irresponsible $29.1 billion budget proposal:

"The budget adopted by the state House today is bad for Cameron, McKean and Potter counties, and it's bad for Pennsylvania.

"In the face of a $3.2 billion deficit, it hikes spending by more than $1.4 billion over last year - making it the most expensive budget proposal in the state's history. And while Pennsylvanians everywhere are struggling to make ends meet, this bloated budget will require them to pay higher taxes.

"We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and this budget is disrespectful of the economic struggles our families are facing every day.

"It is absolutely the wrong way to go. We need a budget that cuts spending, funds vital government services and DOES NOT require a tax increase."

House Bill 1416 now goes to the Senate where it will likely be amended.

A Bunny's Breakfast

This bunny enjoys a breakfast buffet in the yard between our stuidos and Chapel Ridge.

Just Curious ...

I know people from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and other areas of the state read this blog, and I'd like their opinions.

When you watch PCN and see/hear Marty Causer, Kathy Rapp and Matt Gabler (lawmakers who represent counties with the highest employment rates in the state) talk about how people in their districts can't afford a tax increase, do you care? Do you feel bad because your representatives don't care? Or, do you just say "Doesn't effect me" and shrug your shoulders?

I mean, I care about other parts of the state -- the juvenile court fiasco in Luzerne County, the murder rate in Philadelphia, cop shootings in Pittsburgh, etc.

So, just curious. Let me know.

Norwich Township Gets $1 Million

Four municipalities in the 25th district have been awarded more than $20 million in grants and low interest loans to complete major wastewater treatment improvement and sewer upgrade projects that will protect local water supplies, according to Senator Joe Scarnati.

Scarnati said the money was awarded through the state’s PENNVEST Program and the federal stimulus program. The following municipalities received funding:

Norwich Township – $1.01 million grant and $2.03 million loan to build a 75,000 foot sanitary sewer collection system and a 60,000 gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant.

Galeton Borough Authority – $2.862 million grant for a sewer separation and rehabilitation project. The project will include the elimination of two combined sewer overflows, the reconstruction of two pump stations and construction or reconstruction of sewer lines.

Brookville Municipal Authority – $10.855 million grant for the construction of a new 1.5 million gallon-per-day membrane microfiltration regional water treatment facility that will serve not only Brookville Borough but the surrounding counties in Jefferson County.

Lawrence Township – $3.855 million loan to replace 25,740 feet of sanitary sewer collection lines and manholes.

Scarnati said the funding is vital to protecting the environment and aiding municipalities in completing projects that provide clean water and encourage local economic development.

“This funding is crucial to protecting our local water supplies and public health and ensuring that our streams are not polluted,” Scarnati said. “It will also help to promote growth in our area, create new jobs and encourage economic development.”

Beer Stolen From Back Porch

A Shinglehouse man is missing a variety of beer that someone took from his porch sometime between 9 o'clock Tuesday night and 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the thief took a beer cooler along with 8 cans of Coor's Light, four bottles of Labbatt, a can of Budweiser and a can of Yuengling.

Anyone with pertinent information on this incident is asked to contact Coudersport-based state police.

3 People Hurt in Separate Crashes

A DuBois man suffered severe injuries in an accident on Route 948 in Fox Township.

Police say a vehicle driven by 41-year-old David Peterson of Ridgway pulled into the path of a motorcycle operated by 60-year-old Mark Singer of DuBois and the vehicles collided.

Singer was taken to Elk Regional Health Center then flow to Altoona Hospital.

~~~~

Two people were hurt in a vehicle crash Friday evening on Route 66, just south of James City.

Police say a pickup truck driven by 51-year-old Joan Allegretto of Wilcox fish tailed, traveled off the road, hit an embankment and spun around. Allegretto's head hit the windshield during the impact and she was thrown from the vehicle when it started spinning.

She was taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of a head injury.

Her passenger, 53-year-old David Williams of Wilcox suffered a cut to his arm and was also treated at the Kane Hospital.

Fire Damages Fox Township House

A Fox Township house was damaged by fire Friday afternoon.

A state police fire marshal said the fire was accidental, and started in a second floor bedroom, then spread throughout the second floor. The first floor was damaged by water and smoke.

Damage to the building and contents is estimated at $100,000.

Ward, Judy and Sharon Wonderling and Linda Himes were not home at the time of the fire.

Summer Daze Draws Crowd






Candy Hoy turns over the reins of the Little Miss Street Dreams Contest to Anita Dolan and Mary Jo Corignani, while reigning Little Miss Street Dreams Danielle Abbott enjoys one of her last events holding the title. Mary Jo introduces this year's contestants.

The food court on Chambers Street was hopping all evening, but won't be open today.

Joyce, Tim and Helen were just three of the singers in the Street Dreams karaoke contest.

Walter Cronkite Dies at 92

Legendary newsman Walter Cronkite died with his family by his side Friday night at his Manhattan home after a long illness.

He was 92.

President Barack Obama issued a statement saying that Cronkite set the standard by which all other news anchors have been judged. "He invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down," Obama said. "This country has lost an icon and a dear friend, and he will be truly missed."

For more, go to CNN.com.

Friday, July 17, 2009

House Passes Budget Bill

The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives has passed HB 1416 -- the Democratic budget bill -- that is more than $1 billion out of balance, and would require a personal income tax increase -- and/or other taxes -- to bring it into balance.

The bill now moves on to the State Senate.

The Senate is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. Saturday.

More Copper Wire Stolen from RR

Nearly $10,000 worth of copper wire has been stolen from the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad.

State police say sometime this month someone stole about 7,800 feet of the 6-guage wire from an area just south of the Campbelltown Road crossing in Sergeant Township.

The estimated value of the wire is $9,787.

House Fire in Olean

Firefighters are still trying to determine what caused a house fire in Olean this morning.

The fire started at just before 3 a.m. in a vacant house at 220 South 16th Street.

Flames were showing on the first floor of the two-story house when firefighters arrived. The fire did spread to the second floor and attic, but firefighters had it under control in about half an hour.

In total, they were on the scene for about three hours.

Damage is estimated at $10,000.

Scarnati to Rendell:
Pay Our State Workers

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati is encouraging Governor Rendell to stop using state workers as pawns in his effort to increase our personal income tax by over 16 percent and pay them for their hard work.

“It is clear that the Governor does not recognize that Pennsylvania families live paycheck to paycheck or he would follow the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and refrain from using payless paydays as a budgetary scare tactic,” Scarnati stated. “Unfortunately, we are dealing with a Governor who just does not care about working families and their desires to meet their financial obligations.”

According to the FLSA and related court cases, the Governor has the duty to pay our state workers, but is unwilling to do so because Senate Republicans are not meeting his budget demand of taking more money out of the pockets of Pennsylvania citizens. Simply, the Governor can and should pay state workers for their work.

Scarnati also went on to mention that he is pleased the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Council 13 et al. v. Commonwealth case (60 MAP 2008). He is now urging the Court to schedule oral argument and resolution of these issues as soon as possible.

“Quite frankly, I am shocked that the Governor would place the livelihoods of over 77,000 state workers and their families in jeopardy to make a case for a massive tax increase,” Scarnati added. “This budget negotiation needs to take place around a table, not on the backs of state employees.”

“With that said, Senate Republicans are confident that the Governor will finally see the wisdom in a budget that does not increase taxes and spends less than it did last year,” Scarnati concluded. “Once he comes to the realization that the public does not want their taxes raised, I am sure we can bring this budget impasse to a successful conclusion. However, until then, he needs to pay our state workers.”

Drug Arrests in Lycoming County

HARRISBURG - Two Williamsport men were charged Wednesday by state narcotics agents and officers from the Lycoming County Drug Task Force for allegedly distributing marijuana in the Williamsport, Lycoming County area.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation, which began in April 2009 focused on marijuana distribution by Carl Parker Jr., 45, 612 Walnut St., Williamsport and Timothy Wier, 22, 612 Walnut St., Williamsport.

Between April and May 2009, agents executed four controlled purchases of marijuana from Parker and Wier at their Walnut Street residence.

As the investigation progressed, agents executed a search at Parker's residence and seized electronic weigh scales, packaging materials, approximately six grams of marijuana, and more than $30,000 in cash.

Corbett said these drug arrests are part of an ongoing effort to target local, street-level drug dealers along with the mid-and upper-level drug suppliers who are selling marijuana in the Lycoming County area.

The Lycoming County Drug Task Force, which receives its funding from the Attorney General's Office, was established to conduct street-level drug investigations. Information gathered from these investigations, including where the drug dealers obtain their drugs, is used to target mid-to upper-level drug dealers by BNI agents and Attorney General drug prosecutors.

Corbett said that over the past year, the Lycoming County Drug Task Force initiated 51 cases, made 41 arrests, purchased more than $24,200 worth of drugs and seized nearly $32,700 worth of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.

"Drug related arrests in the City of Williamsport almost doubled in 2008," Corbett said. "As a result of our aggressive efforts to fight drugs in the city, crimes such as burglary and robbery have decreased."

"These arrests are another example of how cooperative law enforcement is targeting drug dealers and drug related crime throughout the region," Corbett said. "Working together, we can not only arrest local drug dealers, but also identify the people and networks that are bringing drugs into Lycoming County."

Corbett thanked the Williamsport Police Department, Lycoming County District Attorney's Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, United States Marshall's Service, Montoursville Police Department, Jersey Shore Police Department, Old Lycoming Police Department, Montgomery Police Department and the Porter Twp. Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

Parker and Wier were arrested on Wednesday, July 13, 2009 and preliminarily arraigned before Williamsport Magisterial District Justice C. Roger McRae. Parker and Wier are currently being held in the Lycoming County Prison on $15,000 and $7,500 bail.

The defendants in this investigation will be prosecuted by Lycoming County District Attorney Erik Linhardt's Office.

A complete list of the charges against Parker and Meir are below.

Carl Parker Jr., 45, 612 Walnut St., Williamsport, is charged with four counts of delivery of marijuana, three counts of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, three counts of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of paraphernalia.

Timothy Wier, 22 612 Walnut St., Williamsport, is charged with three counts of delivery of marijuana, two counts of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, and one count of criminal use of a communications facility.

Bradford Hospital Charity Classic

Bradford Regional Medical Center is inviting the public to register for the 15th Annual Bradford Hospital Foundation Golf & Sporting Clays Charity Classic scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21, and Saturday, Aug. 22.

Golfers on Aug. 21 will play 18 holes at Pennhills Club, located off Route 770 East. Meanwhile, shooters will test their skills Aug. 22 with 18 stations of sporting clays at the Bradford Gun Club, located off Route 770 West. The festivities kick off with registration and beverages.

The charity’s leading major sponsors this year are Fifth Third Bank, Sundahl and Co./Davevic, and M.J. Mechanical. Other major sponsors include Kessel Construction Inc., Zippo Manufacturing Co., Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, KTH Architects Inc., Exigence Group, and VALIC. For golfers, this year there will be the addition of a second tee time, said organizers.

An early morning flight registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with tee-off at 7:30 a.m., and the afternoon flight registration begins at noon with tee-off at 1 p.m. The golfing slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each golf round includes 18 holes with a cart, sleeve of balls, favor, over $6,000 in prizes, $10,000 prize with a hole-in-one on Hole No. 6, lunch or dinner, a raffle for a man’s and also a woman’s custom-fitted utility club. There will be a better-ball-of-two format. Prizes will be awarded in each flight based on full field participation.

“To date, this unique charity classic has raised $356,000 for BRMC whose mission is to serve the community’s healthcare needs,” explained Stephanie Huber, the Foundation’s Director of Special Events. “Last year we were thrilled with our results of $31,127.27.” Also, “We are so appreciative of our sponsors, players and volunteers.”

The sporting clays event will open at 8 a.m. for registration. Shooters will receive a round of 18 clay stations, 100 birds, 100 shells, lunch, and late afternoon hors d’oeuvres. There will be a raffle to win a Browning Citori Lightning O/U shotgun.

“The clay shooting event is also designed to accommodate participants who want to attend the 11 a.m. Oil 150 parade in downtown Bradford, the noon vendor fair at Bradford Area High School and the traditional oil-well shoot with closing ceremonies at the high school,” Mrs. Huber added.

Prizes will be awarded to clay shooters in four classes: winners in classes A, B, C and D will get one flat of shells; and runners-up will get a half flat of shells. “A limited number of free RV camping sites will be available to clay shooters at the Bradford Gun Club,” Mrs. Huber noted. Additionally, the gun club will offer the free option of skeet, trap and five-stand to shooters.

“Please join us for an enjoyable and memorable time,” said George E. Leonhardt, president/CEO of BRMC and the Foundation. The cost is $125 per person for a round of golf, $100 for sporting clays, or $200 for both events. Also, the cost for a golfing foursome is $500. For all registrants, $60 of the fee is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.

For more information about the Charity Classic or to register by the Aug. 10 deadline, contact the Foundation by phone at 814-362-3200 or fax at 814-368-9803. Additionally, registration can be done online at www.brmc.com/register.

This year’s Charity Classic Committee includes Mr. Leonhardt, Mrs. Huber, Francie Ambuske, Jill Cummiskey, John Egbert, Jeff Gabel, Virginia Hauser, Sandra McKinley, Michael Schuler and Nellie Wallace.

KCH Charity Golf Tournament

Kane Community Hospital has announced the 14th Annual Charity Golf Tournament (four-person scramble), to be held Sunday, August 16, 2009 at the Kane Country Club.

The KCH Golf Scramble has a $2,000 prize purse plus a “Hole-in-one” contest sponsored again this year by Zook Motors for a 2009 Ford/Mercury Vehicle with an estimated value of $24K.

The tournament has a 36-team maximum. The team fee of $240 includes green fees, carts and buffet dinner. The deadline for team registration is August 7, 2009.

Proceeds from the event will be used again this year toward the purchase of equipment to enhance patient care.

The KCH Golf Scramble has a 1 p.m. shotgun start, cash bar 5:30-6:30 p.m. and a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Sponsorships are also available--for a hole ($150), a team ($240) or four, event levels beginning at bronze sponsorship for $1,000. KCH also welcomes donations of goods or services for tournament prizes.

For more information or to register a team, donate a prize, or sponsor a hole, team or a portion of the event, please contact Mark Papalia at 814-837-4514 or send email to mpapalia@kanehospital.org.

Route 219 Bradford Bypass Update

Changes to the Kendall Avenue traffic pattern will be in effect next week.

Traffic flow will be opposite of what's currently in place as the northbound lane will be closed, and the southbound lane will be opened.

A traffic signal switch at the Kendall Avenue and East Main Street intersection is scheduled for mid-week.

Also, Tuna Crossroads will be closed starting July 28 for bridge beam placement. Motorists are asked to follow the posted detour.

Route 120 Bridge Work to Start

Work will start Monday to repair a bridge on Route 120 near Ridgway.

The bridge is about two miles east of the borough. Monday's work will start with l painting underneath the bridge, and will have little impact on traffic.

Other work includes joint replacement, structural steel repair, and latex deck installation.

A full detour will be in effect in September, as work moves into new phases.

The project will be finished this fall.

More Mosquito Control Treatments

More mosquito control treatments have been scheduled for Eldred as well as Eldred and Keating townships.

The treatments will Wednesday evening and will go through August 21.

The treatments are follow-ups to mosquito control operations conduction earlier this month, and in June.

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

Ripley Woman Taken to Hospital

A Ripley woman was taken to the hospital following an accident this morning on Route 20.

Sheriff's deputies say 60-year-old Emma McBride fell asleep at the wheel at about 10:45, causing her vehicle to cross the road, hit several small trees and a guide rail.

McBride wasn't hurt, but was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Fire Trucks at Friedsam

Friedsam Memorial Library at St Bonaventure University was evacuated at about 10 o'clock Wednesday night because the automatic fire alarm system had been activated.

Following investigation by campus facilities personnel and local fire officials, the cause of the alarm was determined to be a faulty light ballast.

The situation was immediately addressed and there was no damage to the building or its holdings.

President Alexander, Wife Establish Fund for Labor Scholarship

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and his wife, Evelyn, have established a fund to provide scholarships for students who need to work their way through college.

The Alexanders’ $5,000 gift was matched by the Agnes and Lyle Lewis Thomas Scholarship Challenge to endow the Livingston and Evelyn Alexander Presidential Labor Scholarship Fund.

The fund is part of a larger university program to make funds available for students who perform labor on the campus. During the past year, Pitt-Bradford allocated $60,000 to provide scholarships for student work on campus.

The university is also exploring partnerships with area businesses in which students can gain work experience and earn money to cover college costs.

One such partnership will allow students majoring in hospitality management to work at Glendorn with the salary shared between Pitt-Bradford and the luxury resort.

“When students contribute personally to the cost of their college education, they tend to take their studies more seriously and more often persist to graduation,” said Dr. Alexander. “I learned this from personal experience and feel that an appreciation for the value of work and personal responsibility are important attributes to develop in our students. Labor scholarships can not only provide funds for students, but also develop these important attributes.”

The Labor Scholarship Fund will complement the university’s federal work-study program by adding additional student work positions both at the university and in the community.

Recipients of the Labor Scholarship will work between 8 and 10 hours per week during the academic year and up to 20 hours per week during the summer. At the university, they will perform work that benefits Pitt-Bradford and provides students with both income and experience.

“At its most basic definition, work is an exchange of effort for compensation,” Alexander said. “However, through the Labor Scholarship, we intend experiences that are more than transactions but rather interactions leading to growth.”

Students working on campus may work as tutors in the Academic Success Center, as assistants for the Crime Scene Investigation House or the Energy Institute, assistants for the petroleum technology or chemistry programs, staff in the Sport and Fitness Center, Seneca Building or The Book Center or as assistants in other offices.

“At a time when students are finding it difficult to secure loans at reasonable rates, the Labor Scholarship Program becomes an important alternative to cover college expenses,” Alexander said.

To contribute to the Presidential Labor Scholarship Fund, contact Karen Niemic Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement, at (814)362-5091 or kpb@pitt.edu.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Arrests Made in Burglary, Gun Theft

Four people have been arrested for stealing more than a dozen handguns from a Warren County home on Monday.

18-year-old Chandler Clark, 19-year-old Aaron Adams and 18-year-old Samuel Prenatt, all of Titusville are all charged with burglary and are in Warren County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A 16-year-old boy from Titusville as also been charged, but will be processed through the juvenile system.

Police say they broke into a house on Tidioutte-Enterprise Road, stole 14 guns, a 32-inch flat screen TV and a jewelry box containing gold and silver necklaces and a watch.

Police served two search warrants late last night and found numerous firearms along with information that they say will lead to further arrests and charges relating to other felonies that have occurred within the past month in Warren, Crawford and Venango counties.

Rapp, White Team Up To Get WGH Land Use Legislation Signed

HARRISBURG -Complementary amendments sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) and Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Warren/Butler/Clarion/Erie/Forest/Venango) 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 were signed into law on Tuesday as part of Act 16 of 2009.

"It was my privilege to once again work together with Senator Mary Jo White to facilitate final passage of this legislation for the citizens we represent," said Rapp.

Originally introduced as House Bill 720, Rapp's legislation releases the Project 70 land use restrictions on the two parcels of land owned by the City of Warren to allow Warren General Hospital to move forward with its planned expansion of the current cancer treatment facility, additional physician office suites, and extra parking areas for patients, visitors and staff.

"I was pleased to assist Representative Rapp in expeditiously moving the legislation so the hospital project can advance," said White.

Both Rapp's and White's amendments also specified 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.

Taking effect immediately, Rapp's and White's amendments were necessary due to Section 20 of the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act which 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.

Prior to both amendments, Act 16, as originally drafted, was solely intended to lift Project 70 land use restrictions for the City of Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County.

Young: Progress on Reform Issues

STATEMENT FROM SENATOR CATHY YOUNG

Reforming Albany has been a very difficult challenge, but we have made significant progress with the rules changes that finally were passed.

Our region is located as far away as you can get from the power centers of Albany and New York City, and it is easy for them to ignore us. Our communities need and deserve economic investment to create jobs and spur growth.

These reforms will make sure that every corner of the state receives attention and has a voice.

People are fed up with secretive, back room deals in Albany, especially like the ones we unfortunately witnessed in this year’s tax and spend budget. Our reforms will open up the process, allowing for more transparency and accountability.

I am more committed than ever to rolling back the destructive New York City-driven tax hikes that have hurt our families and destroyed jobs. My fight will continue for job creation and to restore property tax relief - especially the STAR rebate checks that families and seniors have come to rely on.

We have taken the first steps with these groundbreaking reforms and I strongly believe we will have a brighter future if we can change the state's direction by making sound economic decisions and breaking New York City’s control over the entire state.

Causer Decries Democrats' Rejection of No-Tax Budget Plan

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) expressed frustration and disappointment over the Democrat-led state House rejection of a balanced, no-tax-hike budget proposal Thursday.

"In Cameron, McKean and Potter counties, we are facing double-digit unemployment rates," Causer said during debate on the House floor. "People are struggling back home. They can't afford any tax increases."

The $27.27 billion, no-tax budget proposal was offered by House Republican Appropriations Committee Chairman Mario Civera as an amendment to the Democrats' $29.1 billion spending plan. After several hours of debate, it was defeated in a mostly party-line vote, 95-103.

"The Civera amendment funds essential government services but cuts overall spending and forces state government to live within its means," Causer said. "And while the administration and some education advocates claim the plan cuts money for public education, it actually increases funding for each and every school district across the Commonwealth over last year."

The Civera plan also continues funding for higher education, public safety, services for seniors and people with disabilities, hospitals, state parks and more.

"It does all of these things without increasing taxes and with an eye toward preventing tax increases in the future," Causer said. "It is just the kind of budget we need during these challenging economic times."

Instead, lawmakers are left with an unbalanced, irresponsible budget proposal that provides ZERO funding for higher education and, if enacted, all but guarantees Pennsylvanians would face higher taxes in the near future.

"The Democrat-sponsored House Bill 1416 is the most expensive budget proposal in our history and increases spending by $1.4 billion over last year," Causer said. "While people across the Commonwealth are cutting back and making do with what they have, House Democrats want to spend more and tax more.

"That is clearly the wrong direction for Pennsylvania."

For more on the state budget, visit www.RepCauser.com.

Planning for the Oil 150 Celebration

Jim Colestro of Northwest Savings Bank and Kristina Luzzi of American Refining Group discuss where various vendors will be stationed at Bradford's Oil 150 premier event set for Aug. 22. The day will include a parade down Main Street and a vendor fair in Callahan Park. The day will be topped with an oil shoot that will take place behind the Bradford Area High School. Colestro and Luzzi are part of the Bradford Oil 150 committee.
(Photo by Sandra Rhodes)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sykesville Woman Dies in Crash

A Sykesville woman is dead after a car she was a passenger in went off the road and hit large boulder.

Police say a car driven by 21-year-old Emily Kerr of Brookville rolled over a number of times after hitting the boulder, then hit a tree.

During the rollover, 23-year-old Kari Young of Sykesville was thrown from the car and died at the scene.

Kerr and another passenger, 23-year-old Allison Knouse of DuBois were taken to UPMC for treatment of their injuries.

Police say speed was a factor in the crash.

Yeager, Altman Want Judge to Overturn Murder Convictions

Two murderers in Warren County want their convictions to be overturned.

Brother and sister Cory Altman and Susan Yeager were convicted of first-degree murder in May for killing Yeager's estranged husband Shawn Yeager. They were both sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Their lawyers say there wasn't enough evidence presented at the trial to convict them. Altman's lawyer further says that the confession his client offered is not enough to convict him.

Yeager's attorney says a presentation of pictures of the victim with his children was attempting to get the jury to convict out of sympathy.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 24.

Lawsuit Against DA Dismissed

A federal lawsuit filed by a former Congressional candidate against the Clearfield County District Attorney has been dismissed.

Derek Walker of Bigler had accused William Shaw Jr. of violating his civil rights when he filed criminal charges 5 days before last year's Republican primary election for the 5th District congressional seat.

A judge cited prosecutorial immunity in dismissing the case.

The charges against Walker stemmed from an August 25, 2007, incident when he went to his ex-girlfriend's apartment and took videos of her while she was with another man.

Walker pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, invasion of privacy, harassment and simple trespass. Charges of burglary, criminal trespass and stalking were dropped. He was sentenced to one year of probation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Marijuana Plants in Cameron Co.

State police are investigating the discovery of 24 suspected marijuana plants along the railroad tracks just east of Memorial Springs along Route 120 in Lumber Township, Cameron County.

State police eradicated the plants after they were found at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Anyone with pertinent information is asked to contact Emporium-based state police.

Trail Expansion Project Cancelled

The US Forest Service has decided to cancel the Willow Creek ATV Trail Expansion Project.

The project would have added between 24 and 43 miles of new trail at a cost of about $40,000 per mile.

Bradford District Ranger Tony Scardina recommended the cancellation saying, “It is important to focus on the maintenance and improvement of the recreation facilities and trails that we currently have."

Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten added that expanding the trail at this time would not be responsible use of public funds.

Charles Cole CEO Speaks at Capitol

Ed Pitchford, president and chief executive officer at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, traveled to Harrisburg Tuesday to speak on behalf of small rural hospitals during a Hospital and Healthysystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) media event on the steps of the state capitol.

HAP hand delivered a 13,000 signature petition to the governor and state legislative leaders urging the restoration of hospital funding in the 2009-10 state budget. Of those online signatures, over 400 came from those supporting CCMH.

During his remarks, Pitchford spoke about the critical services that CCMH provides to its rural communities in Potter, McKean, Cameron, and Tioga counties. Without proper funding for small rural hospitals, vital hospital services would be in jeopardy across the state, he said.

House Republicans and Democrats have submitted budgets that restore, to varying degrees, funding for small rural hospitals and obstetrics programs, Pitchford said. “We are making progress and our voice is being heard,” he said. “We still have work to do to convince policymakers to continue supporting small rural hospitals through the end of this budget negotiation but we are pleased that the House has taken the lead to restore this funding in the proposed state budget. I thank everyone who signed the petition and provided their support for Charles Cole and small rural hospitals across Pennsylvania.”

There are current proposals which call for cutting hospital funding by up to $280 million, by eliminating support for trauma centers, burn centers, obstetrical and neonatal services, medical and health professional education, small and rural hospitals, and hospital services for uninsured adults.

“Last week, we estimated that the proposed budget cuts could result in potential job losses for thousands of individuals who are either directly employed by hospitals or through jobs in communities that are related to hospitals,” said HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan.

The economic recession is having a significant negative financial impact on Pennsylvania hospitals - from job layoffs to service cutbacks. Further hospital Medicaid payment cuts will be devastating. At the same time, more Pennsylvanians are losing jobs and health care insurance, but still need health care. Restoration of the hospital cuts is essential to preserve the hospital safety net for Pennsylvanians with health care needs.

“Hospitals have already taken significant steps in response to the ongoing recession,” Scanlan said. “Before the state budget cuts were proposed, half of all Pennsylvania hospitals were already facing challenges in meeting their day-to-day financial obligations; more than 8 out of 10 hospitals had, or were considering, reducing staff; and 9 out of 10 hospitals had reduced capital spending for building improvements, renovations, or new medical equipment.”

“Pennsylvania’s hospitals have made every effort to reduce expenses during the recession,” Scanlan said. “If any of the $280 million in proposed cuts is enacted, access to timely hospital care will be jeopardized and thousands of Pennsylvanians could lose their jobs.

“They also are major economic contributors. In 55 of 67 Pennsylvania counties where there are hospitals, hospitals are among the top employers, providing jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits. Hospitals annually contribute $84 billion and 625,000 jobs to the state’s economy.”

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital is a member of HAP, a statewide membership services organization that advocated for nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at www.haponline.org.

(Photo provided by Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)

Causer: Funding is Fair, Reasonable

HARRISBURG - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today refuted claims by the Rendell administration that the House Republican budget proposal cuts funding for schools.

"Every lawmaker in Harrisburg recognizes that educating our students is absolutely a top priority. We owe it to the kids, and it is vital to our Commonwealth's future success," Causer said. "Our plan does NOT cut funding for schools, and I am deeply disappointed by the misinformation being spread by this administration and some in the education community."

Causer acknowledged that Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed a greater amount of school funding in his plan but pointed out that it requires an income tax increase of at least 16 percent. Also, his use of the federal stimulus funds in addition to increased state funding will undoubtedly lead to a huge hole in the state budget when stimulus funds expire in 2011-12.

"I've heard from many people locally who are opposed to higher taxes, and thousands of Pennsylvanians have voiced their opposition to the plan at StopPATaxHike.com," Causer said. "We have developed a plan that uses a mix of state funds and federal stimulus dollars to fund our schools in a fair and reasonable way without further burdening the taxpayer.

Following is a breakdown of funding by district under the GOP plan. Please note these percentage increases are higher than the districts received in last year's budget. The top figure is the amount of proposed funding. The bottom number is the percentage increase over last year.

Austin Area
$1.4 million
7.9 percent

Bradford Area
$15 million
7.6 percent

Cameron County
$6.1 million
5.4 percent

Coudersport Area
$4.8 million
4.7 percent

Galeton Area
$2.4 million
6.6 percent

Keystone Central
$23.8 million
7.5 percent

Northern Potter
$4.9 million
7.3 percent

Oswayo Valley
$4 million
6.1 percent

Otto-Eldred
$6.2 million
5.5 percent

Port Allegany
$8 million
5.4 percent

Smethport Area
$7 million
3.9 percent

"Funding public education is a priority, but school districts have to live within their means just like everyone else does," Causer said. "I wholeheartedly support our schools and the good work they do to educate our students, but in a year when we are proposing to cut almost every other budget line item, I consider our plan to be more than fair."

Missing Woman Found in SD

A missing Vermont woman who was seen last month at a motel in DuBois has been found.

21-year-old Amanda Gale was located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

On June 13, she was seen in DuBois. Police say blood was found in her motel room, which led her family to believe foul play was involved in her disappearance.

Gale is reportedly in good health and expected to return to Vermont.

SBU's Carney in Top 100

St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., has been named a leading figure in education by Irish Voice newspaper. Sr. Margaret is part of the weekly newspaper’s Irish Education 100 publication, a list of leading educators in North America.

“The Irish Education 100 is our inaugural effort to recognize the central role of educators in our history,” said Niall O’Dowd, founding publisher of Irish Voice. “More than a reflection of the past, we endeavor to build a creative communication network that will strengthen Irish identity in the 21st Century with new collaborations, partnerships and friendships. We view educators as the central link with Ireland in our globalized world.”

A lifelong educator, Sr. Margaret came to Sr. Bonaventure University in 1997 to serve as a faculty member of its world-renowned Franciscan Institute. Within two years she was named dean and director. In 2004, she was named the 20th president of the university.

She was the leader in establishing the Father Mychal Judge Center for Irish Exchange and Understanding, a unique venture that will offer St. Bonaventure students, faculty, and cultural exchanges with the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States, including academic study, service learning, co-curricular seminars, and research.

Proud of her Irish heritage, Sr. Margaret’s maternal and paternal grandparents were born in Ireland and Sr. Margaret’s sister, Sr. Sheila Carney, is an internationally-known expert on the life of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy whose headquarters is in Dublin.

Last summer, Sr. Margaret led a pilgrimage to Wexford to the ancestral lands and parish of the Devereux family. Nicholas Devereux, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1806, was the founding benefactor of the university. His family is well known in Wexford and beyond for its generosity to Catholic causes and religious orders.

Sr. Margaret is also well known in Franciscan circles and has lectured in Ireland and at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.

Sr. Margaret was the first woman to earn a doctorate from the Franciscan University of Rome. She studied in Europe after completing master’s degrees in theology at Duquesne University and Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University.

A leader with a strong impulse for collaborative models, Sr. Margaret is working with Trustees and the university community to develop a 21st century plan for educational excellence in a student-centered learning environment.

Sr. Margaret holds five honorary doctorates and is the recipient of a number of other honors. She holds leadership roles with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities.

Joining Sr. Margaret on the Irish Education 100 list is St. Bonaventure alumnus and trustee Daniel F. Collins of Corning, vice president of corporate communications at Corning Inc.

Fire Damages School Street House

Three people were treated for smoke inhalation as a fire heavily damaged a School Street house this morning.

City firefighters got the call at 9:26 a.m. and when they arrived at 45 School Street found a working structure fire with heavy smoke and fire coming from the first floor and heavy smoke coming from the second floor and attic.

The building is owned by Todd Hennard and occupied by Jackie Laird, and Jason and Kyle Clark. The Clarks and Kenny Graves, who was visiting, were taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Firefighters say damage to the inside of the building is heavy, but the structure is still sound. The fire also broke through a window melted some siding at 43 School Street.

They haven't determined a cause yet. A state police fire marshal is expected to be on the scene tomorrow morning.

17 firefighters were on the scene for an hour and 45 minutes.

More Swine Flu in McKean County

Two more cases of swine flu have been reported in McKean County and four new cases have been reported in Warren County.

That brings the total in McKean County to three.

The state department of health can't release any details about exactly where the cases were reported because of privacy laws.

Besides those seven cases, three have been reported in Potter County. Elk and Forest counties haven't had any reported cases.

Feds to Rendell: Include Pitt, PSU in Application for Stimulus Money

Governor Ed Rendell cannot exclude the University of Pittsburgh and three other state-related universities from an application for $42 million in federal stimulus money.

That's according to the US Department of Education.

Congressman Glenn Thompson says Rendell must reapply for the money and include Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln.

Rendell's original application includes only the 14 state colleges.

“The bottom line is that the governor can’t make up new rules as he goes along and arbitrarily declare these institutions as not public because they `are not under the absolute control of the Commonwealth,’” said Thompson.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thompson: Farmers are Struggling

U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, today told a House hearing on the dairy industry, “Our dairy farmers are struggling to stay open for business and I believe that Congress should be doing more to try and stabilize milk prices. This hearing was long overdue, and I am pleased that the Committee is beginning to consider action on this important issue.”

The hearing was held by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Dairy, Poultry and Livestock. The purpose of the hearing was to review the economic conditions of the U.S. dairy industry. Thompson is a Member of the Agriculture Committee but not of the Subcommittee.

For a variety of reasons - including decreased demand, decreased exports, increasing feed costs and unstable energy prices - the price of milk has dropped substantially in the past year. For example, milk prices remained relatively stable at $18.41 per hundredweight (cwt) throughout 2008, yet for most of this year it has remained under $12 cwt.

“I was pleased to see Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack enact the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP), and I would also support a temporary increase in MILC (Milk Income Loss Contract) payments to our dairy farmers,” Thompson said. “However, that does not go far enough, because I believe that some basic adjustments need to be made on the way milk is priced. I was happy to take part in this critical hearing, and am anxious to work with my colleagues to find smart, practical solutions to stabilize these unsustainable milk prices.”

In addition to two Members of Congress and four industry representatives, Under Secretary of Agriculture, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James Miller, testified. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., told the Subcommittee this would be the first of several hearings that the Committee would hold on the issue in the coming weeks.

Blue Tarps Out, Hotel In --
If Everything Goes Right

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Say good-bye to blue tarps and hello to a Holiday Inn Express – if everything goes according to plans.

Bradford City Council on Tuesday heard from Code Enforcement Officer George Corignani concerning the tarps and other code enforcement matters, and from the developer who plans on building a 72-room hotel at the former Micale Construction site.

Corignani said the people who have blue tarps on their roofs have been given until the end of the month to have the buildings re-roofed and have the tarps taken off, or they will be cited.

Mayor Tom Riel specifically asked about the blue-tarped property on East Main Street. Corignani said he would be surprised if the owner didn't have a building permit this week.

Office of Economic and Community Development Executive Director Sara Andrews said she believes the new landlord ordinance has made it easier for code enforcement to do its job because the ordinance "teeth in it" concerning fines for violations.

Corignani said four landlords have been cited for not registering with the city and have been fine $500 each. One of those landlords is appealing the fine, so the case will go to the McKean County Court of Common Pleas.

As for the hotel, John Stranburg of Tarport Properties LLC said he hopes to have the footers placed by September for the four-story Holiday Inn Express.

Stranburg and Jim Hannon of Hannon Engineering were at the meeting to ask council to approve the submission of an application to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to alter the part of Forman Street at the railroad crossing.

Hannon said the alteration is necessary to improve the entrance to the property so they'll have a 24-foot width street with curb and gutter as well as a "decent truck-turn radius" to enter onto Forman Street.

After the resolution passed, Councilman Ross Neidich asked if that gives the project the go-ahead.

"It helps," Stranburg said.

"Big time," Hannon added.

"Without it we're dead in the water," Stranburg said.

"We want to do anything we can to accommodate you," Riel said. "We're here to help you."

"We're very close," Hannon said, adding that a PUC representative still has to make a visit to the site.

Stranburg said they hope to have the footers in by September.

In other matters, council entered into a loan agreement with Joseph Godding of Quick Way Auto Sales and Quick Way Car Wash.

Andrews said the $5,000 loan is to help with the purchase of equipment for Godding to expand his business.

Council also granted a three-month extension to E&M Engineers to complete preliminary engineering for the Kennedy Street Bridge replacement project.

The engineering was originally supposed to be finished by July 30, but will now be finished by October 30.

Also Tuesday, council granted free parking in downtown Bradford on Friday for Summer Daze, and authorized a special events waiver for Bradford's Festa Italiana.

The waiver allows alcoholic beverages in plastic containers to be consumed on Festival Way on August 13, 14 and 15.

Fumo Sentenced to 55 Months

Former state Senator Vincent Fumo has been sentenced to 55 months in prison for his federal corruption conviction.

Following a 5-month trial, a jury of 10 women and two men found Fumo guilty of defrauding the state Senate and two nonprofits, tax violations and obstructing the FBI investigation.

The 66-year-old Democrat from Philadelphia was also fined $411,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $1 to the Senate and $676,000 to Citizens Alliance.

He reports to jail August 31.

Court Will Decide if New York State Has Lieutenant Governor

A court will ultimately decide whether New York has a lieutenant governor.

Last week, Governor David Paterson appointed Richard Ravitch to the post to help end the month-long stalemate in the senate power struggle.

Paterson has hired a team of private attorneys to defend him in a lawsuit by Senate Republicans that challenges the appointment.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who ruled the appointment would be illegal, has declined to handle the case.

The lawsuit will be heard Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Long Island.

New York hasn't had a lieutenant governor since Paterson took over for ex-governor Eliot Spitzer in March of 2008.

Woman Jailed After Demanding 'Bucky' Be Released from Prison

A Rochester woman is in jail after disrupting a courtroom and demanding that Ralph "Bucky" Phillips be released from prison.

34-year-old Dauren Parker was arrested after she tried to approach the bench of Chemung County Judge Peter Buckley, saying she wanted to sprinkle the judge so he would release Phillips.

She was carrying an unidentified liquid substance, which she didn't get a chance to sprinkle on the judge.

Parker was charged with contempt of court and sent to jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail.

Phillips is serving life in prison in the Clinton County Correctional Facility for killing one state trooper and wounding two others during the largest manhunt in state history back in 2006.

Edwards Fishes with Students

Story and Photo by Joel Keefer

Mayville, NY: -- Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards headed out onto the waters of Chautauqua Lake under sun filled skies today to take two, deserving students on a fishing trip as part of the 2009 Sports Fishery Advisory Board Essay Contest.

The 17th Annual Spring Fishing Essay Contest was for Chautauqua County elementary and middle school students in grades 3 through 6. Sports Fishery Advisory Board Chairman Zen Olow said they received an incredible 700 plus entries for the 2009 essay contest.

Lydia Lanski, who is a student at Fredonia Elementary, and Travis Culver, a student at Harvey C Fenner Elementary School in Falconer, had the opportunity to go fishing with Edwards after their essays were selected from a group of over 700 well written, and thoughtful entries.

The group headed out on a boat from the docks at Long Point State Park, outside of Bemus Point, with Craig Robbins, promotion director for the Chautauqua County Sports, Fishing and Hunting Authority, who volunteered his professional guide service for the excursion.

In the end, everyone aboard the boat was able to catch a number of fish, including sunfish and yellow perch.

Edwards said, "Fishing has been a sport that my family has enjoyed for years. It is an important recreational activity within our region that draws people from around the nation to Chautauqua County. I am excited to see the program still going strong, and growing, after 17 years."

The topic of this year's contest was "Fishing sounds like fun, who would I like to take fishing with me and why?"

Kane Man Arrested

A Kane man has been charged with endangering the welfare of children and other offenses following an alleged incident in his home.

51-year-old Anthony Chirillo was allegedly drunk while he was threatening and throwing items at another person throughout the day. Four children were in the home during the incidents.

Chirillo was sent to McKean County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

FBI Investigating 'Hate Crime'

The FBI has been brought in to investigate what's believed to be a hate crime in Frewsburg.

Over the weekend someone spray-painted derogatory comments on the home of an interracial couple. The words "leave or die" were also painted on the house and KKK was written on the driveway. Along with that, a noose was hung from a tree on the side of the house.

Under New York state law even criminal mischief that has race as an underlying motivation carries a 7-year jail term if a person is convicted.

Guns Stolen in Warren County

Someone stole 12 handguns and other items from a Warren County home sometime between 7 o'clock Sunday night and 5 o'clock Monday afternoon.

Police say along with the guns, someone took a 32-inch flat-screen TV and two gold chains from the home on Tidioute-Enterprise Road.

Police didn't have an estimated value of the items.

Senecas Getting Stimulus Money

The Seneca Nation is getting federal stimulus money to make improvements to drinking water and waste water systems.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is providing $1.3 million for the Senecas to replace the Thomas Indian Wastewater Treatment Plant and connect 127 homes to it.

The Senecas also are getting $349,000 to upgrade their drinking water distribution system.

Madoff, Rigas in Same Prison

Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff has been transferred to a federal prison in Butner, N.C., where the 71-year-old will serve his 150-year sentence.

Inmates at Butner include Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas and his son Timothy, both found guilty in 2004 of securities fraud.

84-year-old John Rigas is scheduled to be released in 2018, and 53-year-old Timothy Rigas in 2022.

My Brain Hurts

I'm going to have to stop listening to Governor Rendell.

During a news conference yesterday he said he and other non-union state employees had "taken a 6 percent pay cut" because he froze the 3 percent increases for last year and this year.

That, he said, is "exactly the same as a 6 percent pay cut."

OK. In 2007 the governor's salary was $164,396. In 2009 it's $174,435.

Could somebody please cut my salary like that?

If I'm not mistaken a "freeze" is keeping a salary the same; a cut would be, well, cutting a salary -- making it less, decreasing it, slashing it,

The governor also said he doesn't know how much he makes in a month because he uses direct deposit. (That would be more than $14,000, just in case he's curious.)

I betcha the people who would have to pay that measly, insignificant 5 bucks extra a month in personal income tax know how much they make a month – direct deposit or not.

Listen for yourself HERE.

Sights on Pennsylvania blog.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hate Crime Reported in Fredonia

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department is investigating a hate crime in the village of Fredonia.

They say sometime between 8 o'clock last night and 8 o'clock this morning someone sprayed derogatory comments on a house.

They didn't release any further information.

Man Hurt in Cameron Co. Crash

A Mill Hall man was hurt in a motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon on Route 120 in Grove Township in Cameron County.

Police say the bike operated by 65-year-old James Eldred went out of control while rounding a curve and traveled into the opposite lane of travel. When Eldred noticed a vehicle coming toward him he swerved, causing the motorcycle to travel off the road.

Eldred laid the bike down on its right side and it skidded across the road before coming to rest.

Eldred was taken to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of moderate injuries.

Copper Wire Stolen From RR

More than 11,000 feet of copper wire was taken from the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad Company sometime between 3 o'clock Friday afternoon and 8 o'clock this morning.

State police say the thieves cut the wire from poles along the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad line in Jones Township.

The estimated value of the wire is more than $17,000.

Coast Guard Rescues Boater

The US Coast Guard rescued a woman from her disabled boat this morning in Barcelona, New York.

They say the boat was about 500 yards offshore at just after midnight when it hit a rock, causing a spark in the engine.

The Coast Guard didn't release the woman's name, but said she wasn't hurt. Her boat was towed to Safe Harbor Marina.

Man Arrested for Bomb Threat

A Corry man is accused of making the bomb threat that closed the Warren County Courthouse Friday morning.

33-year-old George Evans is charged with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Police say Evans called the courthouse and said someone put a bomb in the building.

The building was evacuated for three hours while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the building and the parking lot.

Rapp Working To Ensure Workers Receive Uninterrupted Paychecks

Due to her legislative commitments in Harrisburg, State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) issued the following statement today to all state workers who are planning to protest outside of her district office this coming Wednesday regarding the 2009-10 state budget impasse:

"My goal was, is and will continue to be for state workers to receive uninterrupted paychecks for the rest of the 2009-10 fiscal year with no additional tax increases," said Rapp. "Just as I did with my successful efforts to save 50 Warren State Hospital jobs from the Department of Public Welfare's privatization auction block throughout the 2007-08 legislative session, I am committed to delivering a fiscally responsible budget to ensure that essential government services will continue to operate, public libraries remain open, state parks won't close, and every school district receives increased and equitable funding.

"Let me also bring to your attention that it is House Democrat Majority leadership that continues to use every legislative maneuver available to keep any budget proposal from seeing the light of day that does not increase the economic burden on Pennsylvania's employers and employees, including cancelling three previously scheduled session days last week and literally not showing up for work to conduct the people's business.

"Any state worker who does come to my district office to protest their missed paychecks will be coming to the wrong place, and unfortunately may have bought into both the governor's and House Democrats' unfounded scare tactics that the only way to balance the $3.2 billion Rendell budget deficit is by increasing taxes.

"Governor Rendell, House Democrat Majority Leader Todd Eachus and House Democrat Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans are the lawmakers who refuse to hear the message from hard-working Pennsylvania taxpayers that an economic recession is definitely the wrong time to take any more money out of our pockets. Since they are not getting what they want in the form of even more out-of-control spending, they are shamefully using state workers as pawns and holding your paychecks hostage to round up support to enact a broad-based tax increase that does not exist on either side of the aisle.

"In conclusion, let me reassure all District 65 state workers that I fully understand and share your concerns about not receiving a paycheck for an indefinite period time. However, I also understand that it is possible to enact a state budget without any tax increases, without closing any state parks, and especially, without the massive state worker layoffs the governor has misleadingly claimed will become necessary if his excessive demands for increased revenue are not met.

"Just as I have done with my past four state budget votes, it is my job as your State Representative to support only those budget proposals that adequately fund the Commonwealth's fiscal obligations without raising taxes on state workers and all other hard-working Pennsylvania citizens."

Casey Named Agriculture
Subcommittee Chairman

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was today named Chair of the Production, Income Protection and Price Support Subcommittee of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. This is Senator Casey’s second subcommittee gavel.

“I am honored to chair a subcommittee that has so much importance to Pennsylvania family farmers and our agriculture economy,” said Senator Casey. “One of my top priorities is to hold a hearing on the crisis currently facing dairy farmers who are being driven out of business by the lowest milk prices in decades.”

The Production, Income Protection and Price Support Subcommittee has jurisdiction over legislation and oversight involving production of agricultural crops, commodities and products; farm and ranch income protection and assistance; commodity price support programs; insurance and risk protection; fresh water food production.

Senator Casey is also the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Casey played a key role in passing provisions vital for Pennsylvania agriculture, conservation and nutrition programs. He also supported reforms to save money and close loopholes while maintaining a real safety net for farmers when they need one.

In addition to his strong support for food stamps and other nutritional program in the Farm Bill, Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for increased assistance for food banks that have suffered shortages after being hit with rising food prices and increased demand during this economic downturn.

Festivities for Feast of St. Bonaventure Start Wednesday

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., July 13, 2009 — Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., St. Bonaventure University president, and Fr. Michael F. Cusato, O.F.M., director of the Franciscan Institute and dean of the School of Franciscan Studies, invite the public to attend a series of public events highlighting the Feast of St. Bonaventure, beginning Wednesday, July 15.

The celebration will begin Wednesday at 5 p.m. with the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Feast of St. Bonaventure in the University Chapel, Doyle Hall. The celebrant and homilist will be Fr. Rick Martignetti, O.F.M., associate director of the Pre-Theologate program at Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. A dessert reception will follow in Café LaVerna.

On Saturday, July 18, an evening prayer service will begin at 5 p.m. in the University Chapel followed by the Academic Convocation in the Robert R. Jones Board of Trustees Room, Doyle Hall, from 5:45 to 7 p.m. Dr. Guy Geltner of Oxford University and Dr. Andrew Traver of Southeastern Louisiana University will deliver major papers at the symposium on the theme of “William of St-Amour and the Friars at the University of Paris, 1252-1272.”

Geltner is a lecturer in medieval history at University College, Oxford. His latest book is “The Medieval Prison: A Social History,” published by Princeton University Press. Taver, whose fields of study include ancient and medieval history, is an associate professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Their papers will be responded to Fr. Robert J. Karris, O.F.M., who is on the research faculty at the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure.

Relay Exceeds Goal -- Big Time!


Kane Area Relay for Life surpasses all goals -- Final amount raised $79,590.89 (gross)

20 teams produced a 300-person Relay Army raising money for cancer research and local cancer patient services, to sail past their $65K goal for the 2009 Kane Area Relay for Life

First Place team was Kane Community Hospital (KCH) Kaleidoscopers raising just over $12K with co-team captains Amy Peterson (cancer survivor) and Luanne Larson (in front center with gray hoodies) with Fran Stewart (blue t-shirt) of the American Cancer Society and key members of the KCH team.

Second place team was Doug's Desperados raising well over $11K. Fran Stewart of the American Cancer Society with Shirley Milliron, team captain, and Shirley's grandson Doug Vandeman, a cancer survivor for whom the team is named.

LOVE spelled out on the Kane Area High School bleachers as luminaries light the track below.

Kane Volunteer Fire Department members walk a memory lap in full gear remembering Art Brechtel, family and friends.

2009 Honorary cancer survivor Hillary Morgan (center) flanked by her parents Shirley Morgan, co-chair of the Kane Area Relay and Barry Morgan, who spoke at the survivor ceremony on his daughter's courage and the important role caregivers play in the fight and the journey of a family member -- moving from fear into a position of support and care for their daughter and the many learnings and gifts the family received.

Group picture of cancer survivors attending the survivor ceremony Friday evening immediately following the presentation and release of butterflies.

(Photos courtesy of Ruth Gentilman Peterson)

Congratulations! You all rock!