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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wilcox Woman Hurt in Crash

A Wilcox woman was hurt in an accident in Ridgway Township.

State police say an SUV driven 70-year-old Donna Hansey was on Water Street Extension, about three-tenths of a mile east of Long Level Road, when it went off the road, back onto the road, off the road again and hit a ditch. The SUV then spun around and rolled over.

Hansey was taken to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of minor injuries and was cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

Faxed from Ridgway-based state police

Tire Collection Set for August 1

PA CleanWays of McKean County have secured a PA DEP Grant to operate a tire recycling program on August 1, 2009, from 8AM to Noon, at the Edmond Chevrolet Car Dealership on South Avenue in Bradford.

There is still room for more tires to be accepted into the program. Residents must pre-register and pre-pay at the Penn State Extension Office in Smethport or by contacting Extension Educator, Jim Clark, at

Emailed from Jim Clark Extension Educator
Penn State Cooperative Extension Office, Cameron-McKean-Potter Unit

Presentation on Oil Field History

A history of the Bradford oil fields and how they have affected the wealth, attitudes and livelihood of the region will be presented at 7 p.m. July 29 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The presentation, which will take place in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons, is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Hanley Library, the McKean County Historical Society and the Old Jail Museum.

A team of researchers and storytellers from the Historical Society will provide an overview of the Bradford area oil fields and share stories and information about the industry’s past and present, booms and busts.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Emailed from Pitt-Bradford

PGC to Webcast Public Drawings

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe has announced that agency is planning to webcast its public drawings for the 2009 elk hunting licenses and the 2009-10 bobcat season permits. To view the drawing, a special icon will be posted online on Sept. 11, the day of the public drawing, for people to click on and watch the drawing.

“Each year, tens of thousands of individuals apply for an elk license or bobcat permit,” Roe said. “Unfortunately, not all of them can make it to the public drawings and we are unable – due to financial limitations – to send everyone who applied a letter to let them know whether they were drawn.

“By webcasting the drawings, we hope to allow more people to view these events without having to travel.”

Roe also noted that those who have submitted applications can check the status of their applications for the elk and bobcat drawings, as well as their antlerless deer license applications, thanks to the new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).

To access the information, go HERE.

“This year, thanks to PALS, we will be able to update the data files for each license buyer shortly after the bobcat and elk public drawings are completed so that license buyers will be able to see for themselves if they were drawn for one of the 1,780 bobcat permits or 59 elk licenses.”

Hunters and trappers seeking to participate in Pennsylvania’s upcoming bobcat seasons have until Sept. 1 to submit an application. Hunters looking to participate in this year’s Pennsylvania elk season have until Aug. 28 to submit an application.

Emailed from Jerry Feaser

Restoration Plan to be Discussed

The Department of Environmental Protection is holding a meeting Tuesday in Erie so people can hear about, and comment on, a restoration plan for the Great Lakes.

A proposed investment of $475 million for Great Lakes restoration projects is in the 2010 federal budget.

“Lake Erie defines the identity and character of the Erie area, as well as being a major contributor to its economic vitality,” said DEP Chief of the Office of the Great Lakes Lori Boughton. “The financial commitment proposed in the 2010 federal budget will help communities solve the many environmental challenges that exist throughout the Great Lakes.”

The $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative proposed by President Obama puts EPA in charge of leading the effort that will target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes basin.

The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Room 112, 301 Peninsula Drive, Erie.

From the PA DEP

Zahorchak: PA Could Lose ARRA Money if It's Not Invested Right

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania must properly use federal recovery funding to continue its targeted investments in student achievement and to avoid local property tax increases, Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said.

How Pennsylvania spends its initial share of federal recovery funds will determine whether the commonwealth will be able to compete for $5 billion in “Race to the Top” funds announced today by President Obama, the secretary added.

Zahorchak cautioned that a budget plan offered and approved by Senate Republicans would squander the opportunity to use stimulus funds to improve Pennsylvania’s schools and result in a $728 million hole in the state’s basic education subsidy when stimulus funds expire in two years. The Senate plan would set the stage for local tax hikes and school program cuts, ultimately putting Pennsylvania $1.2 billion behind the goals established in law last year as part of a six-year school funding formula.

“President Obama and Congress intended for states to use stimulus funding to bolster educational progress, not to allow for the siphoning of education dollars that would slow or halt that progress,” Secretary Zahorchak said.

Zahorchak said the Senate proposal undermines the purpose of federal stimulus funds for education, which are intended to increase educational investments rather than merely shift money to other parts of the state budget.

“Simply put, if we use stimulus funds now in the way Governor Rendell has proposed – and as federal officials intended – we could later reap hundreds of millions more to invest in student achievement,” he said. “But if we use those funds the way some lawmakers have suggested – to merely maintain the status quo instead of further advancing innovative education reforms – we will lose out, and so will our children.”

Governor Rendell’s proposed 2009-10 budget recognizes that education is, at its core, an economic development tool. The governor’s plan contains difficult cuts that will ensure a balanced budget overall, while continuing the commonwealth’s record investments in education as part of a long-term economic recovery strategy.

Governor Rendell’s education budget:

· Properly invests federal stimulus funds to avoid property tax hikes and teacher layoffs and to accelerate our gains in student achievement.

· Fulfills Pennsylvania’s commitment to year two of a landmark school funding formula meant to ensure all schools have the resources needed for student success.

· Builds on Pennsylvania’s momentum in several programs proven to increase student learning, including early childhood education, high school reform and increased instructional time.

“Adequate funding of our schools is always crucial, but perhaps never more so than during difficult economic times like these,” Secretary Zahorchak said. “The path we take in Pennsylvania’s education budget will determine whether we continue to build on our success or we stagnate while other states and nations move ahead.”

From Commonwealth Media Services

Rendell: Summer Youth Program Exceeds Goal; Employs 9,200

HARRISBURG – Governor Ed Rendell has announced that more than 9,200 young people across the state are working this summer in jobs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — exceeding the original goal of 8,600.

“Because of funding from the Recovery Act, this year we have more than four times the 2,205 youth who were able to participate last year,” Governor Rendell said.

“Being able to help more than 9,200 young people secure jobs in the midst of a recession is a prime example of how our economic recovery efforts are working. We are getting the money out, putting people to work and providing them with work experience opportunities they wouldn’t have without this funding.”

Governor Rendell was joined at the announcement by 20 Summer Youth Employment Program participants from the Harrisburg and York areas.

The statewide program, funded by $34.5 million awarded to local workforce investment areas according to a federal formula, will provide job training and education services for unemployed workers and young people between 14 and 24 seeking summer employment. The program focuses on at-risk youth, dropouts, teen parents and other youth with barriers to education and employment.

“Young adults are hit particularly hard by the national recession, which makes it especially important that we prepare them for the workforce,” Governor Rendell said. “The unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year-olds in Pennsylvania is nearly 19 percent and nearly 13 percent for those ages 20 to 24, compared to a 7 percent rate for those ages 25-plus.

“The summer youth program helps us place young people into what – in many cases – is their first exposure to the workplace, and does so in a way that can help develop interest in careers in some of Pennsylvania’s most important industries,” the Governor said.

“As evidenced by the young people here today and those working throughout the state, the summer youth employment program is an ideal way to build vocational skills, earn money and develop a sense of pride in what they are contributing to the labor force and society.”

governor's web site

Burglary in Shinglehouse

Someone stole nearly $500 worth of property from the Oswayo Valley Apartments in Shinglehouse sometime between July 16 and 19.

State police say someone got into the building's bottom floor common area and removed a wooden glider rocker with cushions; two tabletop lamps; and a 5-pound fire extinguisher.

The value of the stolen items is about $475.

Faxed from Coudersport-based state police.

WNY Getting More Stimulus Money

Western New York is getting another $4 million of federal stimulus money for transportation-related projects.

$1.4 million will go toward paving about 2 miles of Wildwood Avenue in Salamanca from Linwood Avenue to the city line.

The Chautauqua County Children's Safety Education Village in North Harmony will receive $1.8 million to build a two-classroom building for traffic and personal safety instruction.

The project will provide hands-on safety education for children from kindergarten through fourth grade.

$200,000 will go toward installing signs for Bike Route 517 in Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.

Governor David Paterson says these, along with several other Western New York projects, are expected to create about 100 jobs.

governor's web site

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quarantine to Restrict Movement of Ash Trees in Two NY Counties

New York State is implementing a quarantine to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that destroys ash trees.

The beetle has been found in Randolph, New York. About 30 trees have been damaged so far.

The quarantine restricts the movement of ash trees, ash products and all firewood in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service will issue a parallel quarantine. Currently, federal EAB quarantine areas restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles are in 12 states, including Pennsylvania.

News release from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation

PA Marine Dies in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Ryan H. Lane, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pa., died July 23 of wounds suffered while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Rendell Spokesman Retiring

From the Harrisburg Patriot-News

"Saying he is emotionally, physically and spiritually spent, Chuck Ardo said he has made the decision to leave his job after seven years at the Capitol."

To read the full story go here: Harrisburg Patriot-News

Macker Officials Extend Deadline

OLEAN, NY -- Entries are still being accepted for the Olean Gus Macker Basketball Tournament. The Olean High School Sports Boosters and the Olean City School District Foundation are calling for visitors, students and community members to sign up for the August 14-16 Gus Macker three-on-three basketball tournament.

Entry deadline for teams interested in this year’s tournament are Friday, July 31 for applications that are submitted by mail AND for internet entries. To register on-line, go to or mail an application to Gus Macker Application, P.O. Box 70, Greenville, Mich. 48838. GOACC will be mailing many completed registration forms by the end of the day, Tuesday, July 28th. Include yours by the deadline with form and payment. No faxed application forms will be accepted. The entry fee must accompany the team application, and can be paid by check or credit card. The entry fee for four player teams is $124. The two groups anticipate having over 300 teams and 10,000 spectators from a 100-mile radius to attend the 3-day event and see this as a great opportunity to showcase Olean.

The tournament will take place on Delaware Avenue and North Barry Streets in Olean, NY. The tournament, based on basketball played in driveways throughout the U.S., will include players who have no experience to those who have played college and semi-professional basketball. Primarily based on their age and level of experience, players will be placed in divisions where they will be most evenly matched. Depending on the number of teams placed in a specific division, players and the teams they’re on will be playing for first- and second- and third trophies. Also teams that finish last in their divisions could receive “Toilet bowl” trophies.

The Charter Founding Members of the Gus Macker Olean are Park Centre Development, Southern Tier Health Care System, CUTCO/Ka-Bar Visitors Center, Old Library Restaurant, and the Village Green. Organizers also are looking for volunteers to keep score, serve as referees, assist with water and food distribution, and help set up and tear down. To volunteer or for more information, please contact John Irving (716) 397-8223, David Carucci at (716) 372-9289, or Meme K. Yanetsko at 372-4433.

Emailed from Meme Krahe Yanetsko

UPB Joins Yellow Ribbon Program

Veterans who have served active duty in the military since Sept. 11, 2001, may be able to attend the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for free or greatly reduced cost thanks to the new Department of Veterans Affairs Post-9/11 GI Bill, which takes effect Aug. 1.

“For those veterans who are eligible, it will allow them to come to Pitt-Bradford and have all their tuition and fees paid for plus a $1,000 book allowance and a generous housing allowance,” said James Baldwin, assistant dean of academic affairs and director of enrollment services. “They will not have to borrow money to finance their education.”

Tim Lawson, for example, is an incoming freshman who served six years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, including two tours in Iraq finding and detonating improvised explosive devices. He can now attend Pitt-Bradford tuition free, working toward a degree in elementary education, using his housing stipend to cover his mortgage and utilities and a $1,000 annual book stipend to pay for his books.

“The GI Bill is going to help out quite a bit,” he said.

Pitt-Bradford will also waive its application fee for veterans and accept some credits from military training and experience.

Unlike previous GI bills, the new version allows Pennsylvania veterans to attend any public college or university for free. Out-of-state veterans will still be able to reap the same benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will fill the gap between the cost of in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition. The cost of the Yellow Ribbon Program will be split between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Pitt-Bradford.

“The government has finally recognized the commitment and investments that our servicemen and women have made and they’re giving them the opportunity to get an education at public institutions with little or no out-of-pocket costs,” Baldwin said.

Like all Pitt-Bradford students, veterans will be eligible for extra academic assistance from the Academic Success Center and disabled veterans can receive additional assistance from the center’s learning development specialist. Some students may also be eligible for TRiO Student Support Services, which helps first-generation, disabled and other qualified students adjust to and succeed in college.

Those who may be eligible for the new GI bill must have served active duty since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Veterans have 15 years to use their education eligibility. Under some circumstances, they may be able to transfer their eligibility to a spouse or child.

For more information or an eligibility consultation, contact Bob Dilks Jr., director of transfer and nontraditional student recruitment, or visit

E-mailed from Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

New Traffic Signals

Earlier this week, new traffic signals were installed at the intersection of East Main Street and Kendall Avenue.

State Troopers Promoted

A state trooper in Ridgway has been promoted to the rank of corporal.

Dennis McFadden of Kersey was one of 47 members of the state police to be promoted to corporal today during ceremonies held at the State Police Academy in Hershey.

McFadden has been with the state police since 1991 and will remain with Troop C in Ridgway.

Also promoted today was Ronald Schupp of Mercer. He has been with the state police since 1990 and had previously been stationed with Troop C in Kane.

Faxed from Pennsylvania State Police

Bridge Work Moved Back

Access to the Irwin Run Canoe Launch will be extremely limited the week of August 3 as work continues on the Irwin Run Bridge, so boaters are encouraged to use alternate launches.

On August 3, the contractor will set the second half of the pre-cast, reinforced concrete bridge. This involves 12 wide loads carrying sections of the bridge traveling from Ridgway to the bridge site. This is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. and will continue until late evening.

Flaggers will control traffic and motorists will be stopped as each section is unloaded. Delays may occur along routes 219, 948 and 3002. Traffic will be stopped on Route 3002 as each section arrives at the bridge site.

All work is weather dependent. PennDOT expects the project to be finished in September.

This work had been set to start on Wednesday, but is being changed because of scheduling conflicts.

From PennDOT

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Man Jailed After Crash

A St. Marys man has been arrested for fleeing from police following an accident in which he was injured this morning.

Police say 28-year-old Donald Cameroni committed traffic violations on the Hospital Curve area of Johnsonburg Road at about 2:15. He then allegedly fled the area on Route 255 when police tried to stop him.

Cameroni's vehicle went out of control while it was traveling at a high rate of speed around a curve, and hit a tree.

Cameroni was taken to Elk Regional Health Center, where he was treated and released.

He was arraigned on charges of fleeing from law enforcement, DUI and summary traffic violations, then sent to jail pending further court action.

Faxed from St. Marys City Police Department

Chautauqua Co. Fair Starts Monday

By Joel Keefer
Executive Assistant to Greg Edwards

Dunkirk, NY: -- The familiar sights and sounds of the Chautauqua County Fair will soon be in the air, and County Executive Gregory J. Edwards is encouraging everyone to come out and take part in the 128th edition of the event.

The Chautauqua County Fair runs July 27 to August 2 at the Dunkirk fairgrounds, and will feature great shows, rides and food.

"I look forward to the County Fair each and every year," Edwards said. "Not only is it a great time to get out and have some fun, but it's also an opportunity for people to learn more about our agricultural community."

Farming is a critical part of the County's economy, and Edwards has always made it a point to take part in the Annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale and visits the 4-H animal barns each year.

In addition to all of the traditional aspects of the Chautauqua County Fair, Edwards said there will also be a strong County Government presence this year. "Growing Our Future Together…Chautauqua County and You" is the theme for the County Government tent.

"We wanted to focus on all the positive partnerships that government and our residents have established to enhance the quality of life here in Chautauqua County," Edwards said. "We will be staffing the tent with representatives of numerous county departments from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. all seven days of the fair to maximize interaction with the public," Edwards concluded.

"We have ordered a larger tent which will be located closer to the main parking area," said government tent chairperson and County Clerk Sandy Sopak. "This will improve access to the displays which will include information and many giveaways donated by local businesses and county government."

The County Government tent will be situated near the new, covered entrance to the fairgrounds located off of the rear parking lot.

Advance sale ticket outlets, sponsors, exhibitor entry books and event schedules are available at the Chautauqua County Fair's Web site:

Pictured, County Clerk Sandy Sopak, County Executive Gregory J. Edwards, Cheryl Ruth, Department of Public Facilities, Joel Keefer, Executive Assistant to Greg Ewards.
(Photo provided by Greg Edwards' office)

AC/DC Brings Black Ice to Buffalo

AC/DC is bringing it's "Black Ice" world tour to Buffalo on October 28.

Tickets for the concert at HSBC Arena go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday at the HSBC arena box office and at all outlets. All tickets are $92.


Calling All Quilters

Do you have a quilt that you have made or holds special meaning to you and your family?

A quilt show is being planned for the Gale Fest in Galeton September 4 & 5. Last year’s show was a great success and we are hoping to make it bigger and better this year. We are looking to form a planning committee.

If you are interested in being on this committee or would like to display a quilt, please call Deanna Sherman at the Potter County Education Council’s Galeton Office at 814-435-9490. We are looking forward to seeing a wonderful array of hand made quilts.

From: Deanna Sherman
Potter County Education Council

Cabinet Members Publish Energy Op-Eds in Regional Papers

WASHINGTON – On the heels of their testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, four members of President Obama’s Cabinet have published op-ed columns in regional newspapers throughout the country. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack each draw on their respective areas of expertise to make the case for a comprehensive energy plan that will free America from the grip of foreign oil while creating millions of jobs and reducing harmful pollution.

Excerpts from and links to the op-eds are below:

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Cleaning Up: Energy and Climate Bill Will Boost the Economy” (7/22)

Over the next few months, Congress will decide on historic energy legislation that would create a generation of clean-energy jobs here in America, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and prevent the worst effects of climate change. I believe passing a strong energy and climate bill is the single most important step we could take to secure our economic prosperity and leave a healthier planet for future generations…

President Obama is committed to signing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will position America where the puck is going to be. The government can't solve this problem alone, but it can provide the right incentives for America's entrepreneurs, industries, and innovators to transform how we produce and use energy…

We have talked for decades about the energy problem; it is time to solve it. By passing a comprehensive energy bill that spurs a revolution in clean technologies, the United States can position itself to lead this new industrial revolution. This is our opportunity to shape our energy destiny, and we must seize it.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Agreeing on energy choices” (7/23)

Our nation's clean-energy future has been one of the most debated issues in Washington in recent months. As Congress works to pass a landmark energy and climate bill, the conversation has often fallen into a familiar pattern of right against left, and Democrats against Republicans - partisan divides that threaten to hold back necessary change.

But when I travel beyond the environs of Washington, I hear a different discussion.

People across the nation ask me about clean-energy jobs in their communities. They want to know how we can cut pollution. They are concerned that the changing climate means they won't be able to vacation on the same beaches in the years ahead, and they are eager to know if the factories in their cities can be saved by manufacturing wind turbines or solar panels. I meet Democrats and Republicans who agree that our dependence on foreign oil jeopardizes our economy and security…

Clean energy needs strong incentives and support if we are to lead the new global economy, and that's what the clean-energy bill before Congress provides. It's up to Democrats and Republicans across the nation to let lawmakers know that we need to confront economic, environmental, and security issues that affect us all. When it comes to clean energy, the American people need to show they aren't concerned about whether we follow Democrats or Republicans, as long as we lead the world.

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
Denver Post

“The way to a new energy future” (7/19)

… The choice is clear, and the economic opportunities too great to miss. Will we rise to the challenge?

It is time that Washington step up to the plate, just as states like Colorado and local governments are already doing. Congress must pass strong and effective legislation that will steer our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates new jobs and improves our energy security…

American business is responding to these new opportunities. Companies are investing in wind farms off the Atlantic seacoast, solar facilities in the Southwest, and geothermal energy projects throughout the West.

We need comprehensive legislation that will create new jobs, promote investment in a new generation of energy technology, break our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Let us rise to the energy challenges of our time.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Des Moines Register

“Addressing climate change could revitalize rural America” (7/21)

…This issue is too important for agriculture and forestry to sit on the sidelines. The opportunities it offers farmers and ranchers through a carbon market and a new energy economy are too promising to delay. Because, when we address climate change, we will not only fend off a looming climate crisis, but we will revitalize rural America.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed and the Senate is considering legislation to create a viable carbon-offsets market - one that rewards farmers, ranchers and forest landowners for stewardship activities. An offsets market represents a significant economic opportunity for farm communities. Addressing climate change also has the potential to play a very important role in helping our country wean itself from foreign oil. Landowners can play an important role in providing low-carbon renewable energy…

Office of the Press Secretary

Bush Congratulates Obama

Statement from Former President George H.W. Bush on the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act:

“I congratulate President Obama for taking some time today to remember the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is no place in our society for prejudice of any kind, yet it was not that long ago when Americans with disabilities were often not given equal rights and opportunities. Whether the cause was ignorance or indifference, it was not acceptable. We can all take pride in how much the ADA has accomplished, which is evident every time you attend a sporting event, ride the subway, or go to work. Yet, there is always more to be done, which is why it’s good not only to celebrate our successes, but to look forward at what still must be done. As long as we never forget that every life is a miracle and each person has something to contribute, we will finish the job.”

Office of the Press Secretary

NY Flags at Half-Staff on Monday

Governor David A. Paterson has directed that flags on New York State government buildings be flown at half-staff on Monday, July 27, 2009, in honor of four Fort Drum soldiers who were killed in an ambush in Warduk Province, Afghanistan, on July 20, 2009.

Sergeant Gregory Owens, of Garland, Texas; Specialist Anthony Lightfoot, of Riverdale, Georgia; Specialist Andrew J. Roughton, of Houston, Texas; and Private 1st Class Dennis J. Pratt, of Duncan, Oklahoma, died of wounds received when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device, followed by an attack with small arms and rocket propelled grenades. The four men were all members of the 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, which is part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division.

"It is with deep regret that we lower the flags on our State buildings to commemorate the passing of these four fine soldiers," Governor Paterson said. "While none of these men came from New York originally, they were stationed at Fort Drum and called New York home for a time, we consider them our own. On behalf of the citizens of New York, I extend the fullest sympathy to their families, friends and fellow soldiers. Their sacrifice for our nation will not be forgotten."

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

governor's web site

State Police Celebrate 100 Years of Service in Cameron County

Earlier this week, Emporium-based state police celebrated their 100th anniversary of providing state police service in Cameron County.

People who attended the celebration included Troop F commanding officer Captain Donald Peters, current PSP personnel, Trooper Rex Johnson with his restored 1938 Pennsylvania Motor Police Vehicle, several retired Emporium-based troopers and various law enforcement dignitaries from Cameron County.

Sgt. Eric Wolfang says about 50 people attended a short ceremony, and were then treated to a wide variety of state police memorabilia.

News release sent by Sgt. Eric Wolfgang

Corbett: Drug Treatment Worker Was Mid-Level Heroin Dealer

An employee of an alcohol and drug treatment center has been arrested for dealing heroin.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says 46-year-old Louann Uber of Indiana was a mid-level dealer capable of moving multiple-brick quantities of heroin. A brick of heroin contains 50 bags and one bag has a street value of about $25.

Corbett says that in a series of controlled buys, his agents bought heroin that had a street value of more than $8,600.

She was sent to jail in lieu of $60,000.

PA Soldier Dies in Afghanistan

A soldier from western Pennsylvania has been killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department says 24-year-old Sgt. Joshua Rimer of New Sewickley Township was killed Wednesday in the blast near his vehicle in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to the 4th Engineer Battalion at Fort Carson, Colo.

ATA in Line to Get Money

The Area Transportation Authority of North Central Pennsylvania is in line to receive $360,000 to buy four transit vehicles.

The money has been included in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010.

Congressman Glenn Thompson says the appropriations bill passed last night in the House, but must also pass in the U.S. Senate before it can be signed into law and the money can be made available.

The ATA service area includes McKean, Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and Potter counties. Headquarters for the authority is in Johnsonburg.

From Congressman Glenn Thompson's office

Two Fires Early Friday Morning

Area fire departments were busy this morning with two house fires.

The first was called in at 12:34 a.m. at Carpenter Creek Road in Eldred Township.

Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dave Crowe tells WESB and The HERO that the building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived, and the roof had already caved in.

The owner of the seasonal residence is from Lancaster, Pa., and he is on his way to the area to speak with Crowe about the fire.

Crowe says the building was a total loss. A state police fire marshal was on the scene at 6 a.m. He hasn't determined a cause yet, but is still investigating.

No one was hurt.

A dispatcher at the McKean County 911 Center tells WESB and The HERO that the second fire was at 422 Chase Street in Kane. It was called in at 4:25 a.m..

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Oil 150 1st Day Cover to be Released

The Oil Region Alliance and Oil 150 will offer a “First Day Cover” featuring a specially designed combination of the Oil 150 logo and “Celebrating the Story- Progress from Petroleum” slogan in full color. The design will be produced on a high quality # 10 white linen (70 #) envelope with a vanity stamp depicting Colonel Edwin Drake at the first commercial oil well and the August 27, 1859 date.

The cancellation will be a special USPS cancellation featuring the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad Post Office which is affiliated with the Oil City Post office. The cancellation features a line drawing of a Densmore tank car and the August 27, 2009 date. Anyone wishing to have other mail cancelled with the postmark may do that by following regular USPS procedures only at the Main Oil City Post Office, 302 East Second Street, Oil City, PA. The cancellation will not be available for other mail at the Perry Street Railway Post Office.

Randy Seitz, CEO of the ORA said: “This First Day Cover” will make an excellent keepsake of the celebration of 150 years of the petroleum industry, which started right here in the Oil Creek Valley.”

The first day cover will become available for sale on Thursday August 27, 2009 at the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad’s Perry Street Station at Titusville, PA. The cost of the first day cover is $5.00 (shipping additional). Advance orders will be accepted via the online store at and by telephone at 814 677-3152 ext 104. A limited edition of 3,000 covers is being produced. The cover will also be available for sale at the Drake Well Museum Store and at the Oil 150 Store, 111 South Franklin Street, Titusville, PA.

The vanity stamp will also be available for sale in full sheets from the Oil Region Alliance, 217 Elm Street, Oil City, PA 16301.

Information provided by William Wingo
Oil 150 Director

It's Time for the Dam Show!

Thanks to Solomon's Words for reminding me about The Dam Show! He also tells me last year's show was "super!"

Here's the schedule:
FRIDAY, July 24th

5:00 P.M. Red Headed Stepchild
5:30 P.M. Vinegar Creek Constituency
6:15 P.M. Hickory Project
7:00 P.M. Skiffle Minstrels
8:00 P.M. Moira Smiley and Voco
9:30 P.M. Hickory Project
10:00 P.M. Lumpy Gravy
11:00 P.M. Campfire Music with Free Grass Union

SATURDAY, July 25th

7:00 A.M. Sunrise Yoga with Brenna Francis
10:00 A.M. Yoga Workshop with Brenna Francis
12:30 P.M. Buddhahood Drumming Workshop
12:30 P.M. Square Dance Workshop & Old Time Music with Natalie Phelps & Free Grass Union (Natalie is an artist in the PA Council on the Arts folk arts roster)
2:00 P.M. Tom Martin
2:30 P.M. Free Grass Union
3:00 P.M. Buddhahood
4:15 P.M. Red Headed Stepchild
5:00 P.M. Vinegar Creek Constituency
5:45 P.M. Glass Onion (featuring Larry Herbstritt's Students)
6:15 P.M. Jesse Alexander Band
6:45 P.M. Freakish Owl Boy/Jakob's Hollow
8:00 P.M. Larry Keel and Natural Bridge
9:30 P.M. Slant
10:15 P.M. The Dam Jam

Other Activities Include:
Spectacular Groovin'Lumens Lights on the dam after dark.
A Stream Study for Kids (of all ages)
6:00 p.m. Friday & 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday Courtesy of Kylle Maland of The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Painting, Beading, Sand Art (Jennifer Stambaugh & Pete Wyatt)
Beautiful trails & wandering streams, Lots of great food

From Coudersport, PA 16915:
The Dam Show is located 10 miles south of Route 6 on Route 872

For more information, go here: The Dam Show.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just in Case You're Wondering ...

if I really do have a garden (because I talk about it on Saturday mornings) ... I do.

And, as evidenced by the yellow blossom (and several more that I didn't photograph), I'll have tomatoes soon.

If you have questions about your tomaotes, or anything else you're growing, call Master Gardner Bob Harris during "Around the Home" at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on 1490 WESB. Or, you can send us an instant message (from and I'll ask him for you.

Pictures from Baghdad:

Thanks so much to Capt. Cory Angell!

Members of Co. C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, patrol a main road in the town of Zorba, Iraq, before returning to their Joint Security Station in Hor Al Bosh.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Bleem, Bradford Pa., takes a knee to pull security during a vehicle stop while on patrol in the farming town of Zorba, Iraq, with Co. C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Steven Jones, Bradford Pa., leads a patrol in the Taji Market with Co. C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

Sgt. Mike Gallo, Pittsburgh, talks with the Soldiers mounted in the Stryker vehicles by radio as they conduct a patrol in Taji Market. The Soldiers are members of Co. C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Steven Jones, Bradford Pa., takes time to kick back a soccer ball that an Iraqi boy had kicked to him while on patrol in Taji Market with Co. C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

(U.S. Army photos by Capt. Cory Angell, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team PAO)

PGC has New Draft Strategic Plan

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe has announced that the agency has posted its Draft Strategic Plan for 2009-2014 on its website for a 30-day public comment period. To view the document, go to the Game Commission's Web site.

“Once finalized, this draft strategic plan will be use it to guide the agency and its operations for the next five years,” Roe said. “We developed this plan to clearly define the agency’s priorities; how that work will be carried out; and how we intend to monitor our progress.

“This plan also will enable us to develop our annual budgets to reflect the priorities established to manage Pennsylvania’s wild birds, wild mammals, and their habitats for current and future generations.”

Roe noted that this draft strategic plan will replace the one developed to cover 2003-2008.

“In past reviews by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, focused on the agency’s compliance with its strategic plan, it was made clear to the General Assembly that the agency’s ability to fully implement the goals and objectives of the strategic plan is severely limited by its current funding structure,” Roe said. “It is not a matter of will, but rather a matter of funding that limits the agency from achieving many of the important objectives that enhance wildlife, wildlife habitats and provide more opportunity for our hunters and trappers.”

The draft strategic plan is divided into seven goals, which are then expanded on through strategic and operational objectives and a set of strategic outcome and output measurements. The seven goals are:

GOAL 1: Conserve, protect and restore wildlife populations for their many public values.

GOAL 2: Improve the public’s appreciation of wildlife, and their awareness and understanding of wildlife resource management.

GOAL 3: Promote and perpetuate our hunting and trapping heritage.

GOAL 4: Manage and protect a network of public and private lands and waters to provide habitat for wildlife.

GOAL 5: Enhance the public’s understanding of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s mission and its responsibilities.

GOAL 6: Develop sustainable funding sources that support the agency’s mission and identity.

GOAL 7: Promote a diverse, professional and efficient organization.

Roe noted that after the agency gathers and reviews public comments received on the draft plan, a final version will be posted on the agency’s website.

From Jerry Feaser

Tuna Crossroads to Close Monday

Tuna Crossroads will be closed starting Monday for bridge beam placement.

PennDOT is asking motorists to follow the posted detour.

Also next week on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project, Kendall Avenue northbound will remain closed for reconstruction. Kendall Avenue is restricted to one lane for southbound traffic only. Southbound traffic is to follow the posted detour.

Crews will be removing curbs and sidewalks and doing drainage work.

From PennDOT.

SBU Joins Yellow Ribbon Program

St. Bonaventure University has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help post-9/11 veterans attend SBU tuition free through the new Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program.

St. Bonaventure is among a sizeable number of private colleges and universities in New York state participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, designed to help students pay for education programs not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit.

The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act, for veterans who were considered active duty during or after Sept. 11, 2001, caps educational benefits at the highest public in-state college or university undergraduate tuition rate. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, the difference between that in-state rate and the tuition cost at a private college or university is split between the school and the VA.

If, for instance, the tuition bill at a participating university is $20,000 and the Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay only $15,000, the university and the VA will split the $5,000 difference.

Jim DiRisio, director of Admissions at St. Bonaventure, lauded the new program and the opportunity it affords post-9/11 veterans.

“As a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, I am proud that my university is among the colleges whose leaders have recognized the value that veterans provide to any organization. I am excited that veterans are now able to choose St. Bonaventure without regard to cost, and I am certain their experiences in our classrooms, and among our community, will be valuable,” said DiRisio.

Nearly 750 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the U.S. have signed Yellow Ribbon participation agreements with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 10 percent of the schools are from New York’s independent sector, where there is “a long history of service to veterans and non-traditional students,” said Laura L. Anglin, president of the Albany-based Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

“I applaud our congressional leaders for developing the Yellow Ribbon program, an idea that will ensure our returning veterans have necessary resources and choice in higher education today,” said Anglin.

Jim McDonough, director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, commended the private institutions of higher learning in New York that are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. “By providing our nation’s returning veterans with an enhanced opportunity to attend some of the best institutions in the country, these schools are rewarding service to our nation with a greater educational opportunity,” he said.

From Tom Missel
SBU Director of Media Relations/Marketing

Woman Jailed on Arson Charge

A former Kersey woman has been charged with arson in connection with a house fire nearly two years ago.

26-year-old Diane McCracken of Big Run has been charged with criminal solicitation to commit arson, insurance fraud and corruption of minors following a fire that was set at Donald McCracken's house on July 30, 2007.

The house was originally damaged by fire on April 30, 2007, by Gerald McCracken. He was convicted of arson and is serving a state prison sentence of 7 to 19 years.

Police say Diane McCracken set the second fire in an attempt to mislead investigators. She's also accused of involving a child from Meadville in the commission of the alleged crime.

She's in Elk County Prison in lieu of $25,000 cash bond.

Faxed from Ridgway-based State Police

Road Improvement Project at Chadwick Bay Industrial Park

Mayville, NY -- Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards announced today the receipt of a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to fund a major road improvement project in northern Chautauqua County.

"This money will allow the county to complete a critical road improvement project. Progress Drive serves major employers in the Chadwick Bay Industrial Park including Nestle Purina, Lorenzo International Inc., Captive Plastics/Grafco Industries, Allegany-Erie, Inc., Stericycle and Cliffstar Corporation," said Edwards. "This public investment will leverage additional private investment monies of $48 million and is expected to create 146 jobs as well as retain 1,981 existing jobs among these employers."

According to Chautauqua County Public Facilities Director George Spanos, the road project involves the reconstruction of 1.2 miles of Progress Drive between Middle Road and Werle Road, and safety improvements on the intersection of Progress Drive and Middle Road.

Edwards thanked County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency Director Bill Daly and Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board Director Don Rychnowski and their staffs for their commitment to this project.

"I especially want to thank Tom Barnes at Southern Tier West for his persistence in securing these funds," Edwards said.

From Joel Keefer with
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards' Office

Ben Says He Didn't Assault Woman

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he did not assault a woman while he was attending a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

This is part of his statement:

“I did not sexually assault Andrea McNulty. ... The allegations against me are reckless and false ..."

You can read the rest at Pittsburgh

'A Long Day's Dying'

An interview with Eric Reeves, author of "A Long Day's Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide":

WESB's LiveLine 7/22/09.

No Parking in St. Marys Diamond Area During Road Work

A detour will be in place for traffic on Route 255 South and exiting to Route 120 East to Emporium while work is done on the railroad crossing on the Route 120 East ramp in St. Marys.

PennDOT says motorists should watch for the appropriate roadway signing to direct traffic onto Washington Avenue. The detour will be in place July 28-30.

Crews will remove the existing rubberized crossing and replace it with a bituminous rail seal crossing. Some work will also be done on the road to create a smooth transition through the crossing.

During both phases on this project, Route 255 will be restricted to one lane. The City of St. Marys will be closing parking along St. Marys Street in the Diamond Area and the parking lot near the work area to allow for proper traffic control.

From PennDOT.

Pirates Sign Two Draft Picks

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Trent Stevenson, the clubs seventh round selection in the 2009 First Year Player Draft.

Stevenson went 7-2 with a 3.91 ERA this past season for Brophy Jesuit Prep School in Phoenix, Arizona. He pitched two complete games – one was a shutout – and had 59 strikeouts.

The Pirates also signed left-handed pitcher Zac Fuesser, the 34th selection in the 2009 draft.

Fuesser went 5-2 with four saves and a 4.35 ERA in 19 games as a freshman at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee. He also recorded 60 strikeouts and limited opposing hitters to a .222 batting average.

The Pirates have signed 17 of their 51 selections from this year's draft.

Pictured, Trent Stevenson signing his contact. Trent’s father Jim Stevenson is also pictured.
(Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates)

Caucus Supports Rep. Thompson

Washington, D.C.— This week, in an effort led by Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05), members of the Congressional Western Caucus called on U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to address their concerns regarding the manner in which a settlement was reached on the lawsuit filed by the Allegheny Defense Project of Portland, Oregon, the Sierra Club, and the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics in November, 2008, against the Forest Service and the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association.

Specifically, the lawsuit demanded that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) be applied to the permitting process for privately owned subsurface rights despite the fact that permitting is already regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

"The Forest Service decision to ignore the state permitting process for privately owned subsurface rights is a dangerous precedent for public lands and private property rights countrywide,” said Congressman Thompson. “I applaud the Western Caucus for their support on this issue that means thousands of jobs in my district.”

The settlement between the Forest Service and out-of-state environmental organizations allows some pending permits to move forward under existing conditions. However, there are concerns that applying new NEPA regulations to all subsequent permitting will impede if not curtail oil and natural gas production in the ANF. Additionally, there is significant evidence that these new regulations will devastate the regional economic engine that has been in place for 150 years. As stated in the letter signed by 22 House Members:

“The outcome of this lawsuit is extremely troubling. Unfortunately, circumstances like those facing the ANF already hit too close to home for families across the country who have already experienced job loss as a result of the Obama Administration and their job killing policies,” said Western Caucus Chairman Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01). “Congressman Thompson has been a persistent and aggressive leader fighting for the rights of his constituents. It is my hope that Secretary Vilsack will take a different route that will save the jobs and economy of the Allegheny National Forest and its surrounding communities.”

Congressman Thompson and members of the Western Caucus noted that there is additional concern for the future implications of the precedent set by settlement, and the impact it will have on subsequent private property rights.

Pennsylvania law grants its citizens `reasonable access’ to private mineral rights and does not grant either the state or federal government surface or subsurface ownership rights superior to those of a private citizen. A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision [J-52-2008; Belden & Blake Corporation v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources] has clearly reinforced this point. However, the Forest Service’s settlement appears to convey the opposite: that federal ownership of surface rights somehow trumps those of privately held subsurface mineral rights.

With the hope of saving hundreds of jobs that will likely be lost due to the new restrictions, members of the Congressional Western Caucus as well as other Republican supporters called on Secretary Vilsack to swiftly address their concerns.

Received in e-mail from:
Tina Kreisher
Communications Director
US Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson

Hand Takes Helm of ANFVB Board

Mary Jane Hand, center, takes over as president of the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau’s board of directors Thursday. Hand replaces Tom Frungillo, left. Also pictured is Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau. The slate of officers is Hand as president, Stacey Ackley, vice president; Wayne Pearson, associate vice president; Kevin Kost, secretary; and Steve Cottillion, treasurer. The bureau is the official tourist promotion agency of McKean County.

(Photo courtesy of Sandra Rhodes, ANFVB)

House Approves Poaching Bill

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today praised the House of Representatives, including House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Edward G. Staback (D-Lackawanna), for the near unanimous approval of House Bill 1859, which would increase penalties and fines for poaching. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Staback, and is similar to House Bill 97, passed the House on July 21 by a vote of 196-3.

“Increasing penalties for serious violations is one of the operational objectives within the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Strategic Plan, and we welcome the House’s approval of this measure,” Roe said. “This bill recognizes poaching for the crime that it is; the stealing of natural resources from all Pennsylvanians.

“There is widespread public support for this legislation as indicated by surveys that showed 96 percent of Pennsylvania’s citizens feel that wildlife protection is a vitally important function.”

Roe said that the causes of poaching vary, but the myth that most poachers are committing their offenses to provide food for their families is, in reality, almost never the case.

“Most often, poaching today is committed by criminals driving $30,000 vehicles, using expensive night-vision technology, illegal silencers and firearms,” Roe said. “They poach wildlife for greed, notoriety, money and out of an obsessive behavior to collect antlers at any cost. A disturbing and increasingly common cause is killing simply for thrill with no intention of making use of any part of the animal.

“Enactment of this bill will mark the first comprehensive piece of legislation to increase Game and Wildlife Code Penalties since 1987, and we believe it will significantly enhance wildlife protection in the Commonwealth.”

Roe noted that the bill now goes to the Senate for consideration before being sent to Gov. Edward G. Rendell for his action.

Received from Jerry Feaser
PA Game Commission Spokesman

Money for Water, Sewage Projects

Harrisburg – State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) today announced the approval of $12.5 million in grants for water and sewer system improvement projects in Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties.

The funds are made available through Act 63 of 2008 -- H2O PA -- legislation co-sponsored by Senator Scarnati to fund water and sewer projects, as well as storm water projects, flood control projects, and high-hazard dam repairs. H20 PA is funded through an $800 million bond financed by five percent of gaming revenue deposited in the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund.

“Proper sewage treatment and access to drinking water are fundamental necessities for healthy communities, but it can be very expensive, especially for small, rural communities trying to meet the various state requirements,” said Scarnati. “This is why we enacted the H2O PA program, to help communities like those across the 25th Senatorial District. I am pleased that these worthy projects were awarded funding.”

The Commonwealth Financing Authority received 728 applications totaling $2.6 billion in funding requests, and the board approved $500 million in projects. Among the projects included were the following from the 25th District:

CLEARFIELD COUNTY -- $3.5 million to assist Clearfield Borough with its Sanitary and Storm Sewer Replacement Project, which includes replacement of existing piping with new storm sewer piping and a new storm sewer system to alleviate flooding problems.

CLEARFIELD COUNTY-- $1.3 million for the West Sandy Water System Extension Project in Sandy Township. The water system extension consists of a 250,000 gallon storage tank, a pump station, and approximately 44,500 feet of water distribution pipelines.

CLEARFIELD COUNTY-- $496,400 for the Orange Alley/Parkway Drive Sanitary Sewer in the City of DuBois. The project is addressing a 2002 DEP Consent Order and will consist of the installation of 4,353 feet of 36-inch sewer pipe.

ELK COUNTY -- $62,712 for the Brockway Area Sewage Authority to replace leaking collection chambers and make lateral pipe upgrades; upgrade controls, alarm system, field monitoring and sensing equipment in wastewater treatment system; and install screening drive on pumping equipment in Horton Township.

JEFFERSON COUNTY -- $1.2 million for Winslow Township to install a wastewater collection system in the Village of Soldier, with treatment at the Borough of Sykesville’s existing wastewater treatment facility. The project will extend sewer service to an area of the township experiencing a 48 percent malfunctioning on-lot rate.

JEFFERSON COUNTY -- $1.19 million for Winslow Township to replace polluted wells and springs with potable water, and construct a storage tank, pump station and 24,000 feet of distribution lines in the Village of Soldier.

JEFFERSON COUNTY -- $783,000 for the Brookville Municipal Authority to perform the necessary activities to construct a new membrane water treatment facility to provide the necessary filtration and treatment of the authority’s North Fork Red Bank Creek source. In order for the authority to comply with the current and future drinking water regulations, construction of this new facility and decommissioning of their existing 100-year-old water treatment plant is inevitable. The facility provides potable water to the 5,450 customers within the service area encompassing Brookville Borough, and Corsica, Rose and Union townships.

MCKEAN COUNTY -- $1.5 million to assist Norwich Township in constructing a wastewater collection and treatment system. This project will eliminate over 200 malfunctioning on-lot systems.

MCKEAN COUNTY -- $1 million for the Bradford Wastewater Improvement Project in Foster Township. The plan involves the expansion of the current treatment plant to remain in line with current DEP discharge limits.

MCKEAN COUNTY -- $760,000 to assist with the construction of a wastewater collection system in Eldred Township. The project consists of constructing 29,000 linear feet of pressure sewer lines, 88 grinder pumps, and one booster station.

MCKEAN COUNTY -- $500,000 to assist Port Allegany Borough with the Sanitary Sewer line Improvements Project to reduce and eliminate inflow and infiltration and reduce wet weather discharge of raw sewage into the Allegheny River. The project consists of replacing 5,000 linear feet of aging clay pipe sanitary sewer lines with PVC pipes, 16 manholes and associated customer connections.

H20 PA funding is awarded based on a competitive scoring system with priority given to projects subject to a court order, agency order, or consent decree necessitating improved environmental protections. Priority is also given to projects involving consolidation and other regional projects.

To be eligible for funding, a project must be owned by a municipality or authority, and must include local matching funds. The Commonwealth Financing Authority will evaluate applications, with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority providing technical review and assistance.

From Joe Scarnati's office.

Ravitch is In Again -- For Now

Richard Ravitch is New York's Lieutenant Governor again – for now.

An appeals court judge has stopped a restraining order issued by another judge who ruled that Governor David Paterson's appointment of Ravitch was illegal.

Paterson's office issued a statement saying they are confident that the courts will ultimately confirm that the appointment was valid and legally correct.

The case is expected to go all the way to the state court of appeals.

Paterson appointed Ravitch during the month-long senate power struggle in hopes of breaking 31-31 tie votes in the chamber.

NY Governor's Web Site.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Soiree is a Smashing Success!

Guests at the 2nd Annual Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce enjoy themselves on the front deck at Heritage Suites on Minard Run Road Wednesday evening.
Heritage Suites co-owner Gino Auteri mugs for the camera in the kitchenette of one of the rooms while giving a tour.

An anxious crowd waits to hear who's won the prizes ...
... as Heritage Suites manager Danielle DeLong pulls numbers from the hopper. BACC Intern Marley, BACC Events Coordinate Maria King and BACC President Shane Oschman help Danielle with the number calling.
Jazzabilly -- always a crowd-pleaser -- entertained as people ate delectable food catered by Mascioni Catering, drank ice cold beverages from City Beers and relaxed under tents provided by Bisett Building Center/Just Ask Rental.
WESB/WBRR Sales Director Peggy Austin and Heritage Suites co-owner Joe Auteri take a moment to smile for the camera as Shane Oschman thanks everyone for making the event a huge success.

Students Attend Summer Academy

Story & Photo by Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

Forty-two high school students from McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter counties are getting a taste of college this week at the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 Summer Academy at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Now in its 24th year, Summer Academy is co-sponsored by the IU and Pitt-Bradford and is free for students.

Students were able to choose one of three tracks: drama and communications, entrepreneurial science and technology or -- new this year -- criminal justice and forensics.

Students in drama and communications are taught by Dr. Kevin Ewert, associate professor of theater, and Jeff Guterman, associate professor of communications. Students study drama and the basics of radio and television production, creating commercials and newscasts. They will also take a field trip to visit WNED public broadcasting and Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Those in entrepreneurial science and technology are working with Diana Maguire, associate project director of the Pitt-Bradford entrepreneurship program, and Greg Miller, coordinator of residential networking services. Students are also taking a field trip to Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative Inc. and Dresser-Rand in Olean, N.Y.

Debuting as an area of study this year is criminal justice and forensics, taught by Dr. Tony Gaskew, assistant professor of criminal justice. In addition to classroom studies, students will be using Pitt-Bradford’s state-of-the-art Crime Scene Investigation House (including a nighttime crime scene) and taking a field trip to the United Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville.

The criminal justice track was very popular in its first year, said James Hoffman of the IU9, with more applications for that track than there were spaces. Students, he said, were accepted into either their first or second choices of tracks.

When not in class, all of the Summer Academy students played games, sang in a choir, learned about the history of the Kinzua Bridge, swam, had a talent show, learned from Pitt-Bradford’s Science in Motion mobile educators, watched movies and had a dance.

Funding for the academy comes from a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, private funding and tuition paid by participating school districts.

Students who took part in the drama and communications track were Amanda Evan, Mahita Gajanan, Isabella Gleason, Heather Kloss, Jennifer Leposa and Angela Steel, all of Bradford; Zach Chandler, Kelsey McElwee and Kerri McVinney, all of Eldred; Courtney Gorrell and Daniel Robinson, both of Gifford; Kyle Lightner of Smethport; Tori Menendez of Cyclone; Mary Reinsburrow of Johnsonburg; Emily Zapel of Duke Center; and Carly Stuart of Emporium.

Those who took part in entrepreneurial science and technology were Rachel Avey, Kyle Crumrine, Kaylee Hollister, Kathryn Kornacki, Samantha McCormick and Jeffrey Warner, all of Bradford; Trevor Clark and Victoria Foutz, both of Emporium; Caleb Cooper and Jonathan Markert, both of Smethport; Nicole Bailey of Custer City; Brook Budinger of Eldred; and Amanda Straight of Duke Center.

Those taking part in criminal justice were Kaitlin Barton, Lauren Bauschard, Tahlisa Brougham, Andrew Eliason, Hope Laroche, Ryan Mackey, Stephanie O’Neil, Sara Peterson and Michelle Ransom, all of Bradford; Chelsea Plant, Emily Purdy and Adriana Ramadhan, all of Austin; and Matt Melott of Emporium.

Pictured, students performing movement exercises with Dr. Kevin Ewert, associate professor of theater, at Seneca Highlands Summer Academy. Among those pictured are, front row, closest to camera, Emily Zapel of Duke Center and Zach Chandler of Eldred.

Back to Basics:
Campaign Chairs Get Ready

Representatives from United Way-funded agencies gained insight into their new roles as chairs of the 2009 campaign during a training session held Tuesday.

Executive Director Kelly Case and Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis provided information regarding responsibilities and time lines for the coming appeal, noting that the effort will be one that is supported heavily by the United Way staff and Board of Directors.

“Although we’re expecting something different from these individuals as our campaign chairs,” says Case, “we’re still aware that they have to continue operations at their respective agencies.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to work with them to ensure success.”

For their part, the agency personnel, representing the Community Building- and Community Essential-funded organizations, are looking forward to the task at hand.

“We’re honored to serve the United Way and the Bradford community in this capacity,” says John Sheehan, Executive Branch Manager for the local Olean-Bradford YMCA.

During the session, the individuals received a packet of information detailing the job descriptions for each campaign division, as one of their tasks will be to organize the solicitation efforts of a particular section.

“We divide our campaign donors into nine sub-categories, or divisions,” says Davis. “It just so happens we have nine individuals in the group, so it worked out well that each person will be assigned to one division.”

“United Way support is vital to the services we provide to the local community,” says YWCA Executive Director Amy Pierce, “so I’m very eager and willing to provide support in any way.

“In these economic times, need is on the rise,” Pierce continues, ‘not just from our agency, but across the board. We’re asking the community to continue with its generosity and consider your gift to this year’s United Way campaign.”

The solicitation process officially begins August 15, and plans are underway for the annual kick-off event, Pig Roast/Clam Bake, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 10.

“We’re encouraging people to learn about the United Way, and the agencies which are able to be financially supported through this campaign,” says Davis. “Visit our office, check out our website. Always feel free to ask us questions.”

Case echoed those remarks, adding, “We want the donors, who willingly give their hard-earned dollars, to feel comfortable knowing that they really are making an impact in their local community.”

To learn more about the United Way, visit the website at

Pictured, Kelly Case showing the group of representatives a "Back To Basics" block which will be on display throughout the community during campaign.
(Photo courtesy of the UWBA)

Eldred Gets Loaner Ambulance

From The Eldred Borough Fire Department:


Our friends in Emporium, Cameron County, PA, for loaning Eldred an ambulance to service our community and townships.

And THANK YOU all the fire departments and ambulance services for offering help in our time of need.

The Officiers and Members
Eldred Boro Fire Department"

The Eldred FD site has pictures of the Sunday's fire that destroyed their ambulances and building.

I meant to get this posted earlier today, but I haven't quite figured out yet how to fit an hour-and-a-half's worth of work into an hour, so I've been behind all day.

Pirates Trade Adam LaRoche

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that they have acquired shortstop Argenis Diaz and right-handed pitcher Hunter Strickland from the Boston Red Sox organization in exchange for first baseman Adam LaRoche. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

Argenis Diaz, who has attended spring training as a member of the 40-man roster in each of the last two years, hit .253 (70-for-277) with 14 doubles, 24 RBI and 21 runs scored with Double-A Portland this year. The 22-year-old shortstop entered the season rated by Baseball America as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Red Sox minor league system.

Diaz was originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent on July 22, 2003. He has been rated as the organization’s “Best Defensive Infielder” by Baseball America since 2006 when he joined the Gulf Coast League Red Sox after playing in the Venezuelan Summer League the previous two years. Last year the native of Guatire, Venezuela raised his batting average and slugging percentage for a third consecutive season after hitting a combined .284 with 52 RBI in 110 games between Single-A Lancaster and Double-A Portland.

“Diaz is an intriguing shortstop prospect who projects to play above-average defense with soft hands, good first step quickness and an above average throwing arm,” said Huntington. “He is developing on the offensive side of the baseball, but Argenis quickly becomes the best defensive shortstop prospect in our system.”

Hunter Strickland went 5-4 with one save and a 3.35 ERA (83.1ip/31er) in 18 appearances (12 starts) this year for the Single-A Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League. The 20-year-old Strickland entered the season with a career record of 5-5 and 3.94 ERA (96.0ip/42er) in 24 games (16 starts) since being selected by the Red Sox in the 18th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Last year with Single-A Lowell of the New York-Penn League, Strickland posted a 3.18 ERA (70.2ip/25er) in 15 games (10 starts), which ranked fifth among all Red Sox minor leaguers. Strickland finished the season by posting a 0.43 ERA (20.2ip/1er) in his last four starts.

“Strickland is a young developing right-handed starting pitching prospect with a good frame, solid delivery, clean arm action and an interesting pitch arsenal,” said Huntington. “He is a quality strike thrower with a fastball that has averaged as high as 93 miles per hour, with the potential for a major league caliber breaking ball and changeup to complement his fastball.”

Received in e-mail from:
Dan Hart
Pirates media relations department

WESB, the home of the Pirates in McKean County

Jackson's Docter's Office Searched

Breaking News From CNN:

Police search the office of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, for evidence of manslaughter, Murray's lawyer said.

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Man Charged for Having Needles

A Bradford man is in Cattaraugus County Jail for allegedly having hypodermic needles in his vehicle.

Salamanca Police say they stopped 25-year-old Patrick Carpenter for a traffic violation at about 3:50 Tuesday afternoon, and found 10 hypodermic needles.

He was charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Possible Oil Drilling in ASP

US Energy is thinking about drilling exploratory oil wells in Allegany State Park.

The company has presented its plan to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

US Energy says it would drill dozens of wells on 3,000 acres in the southeast corner of the park if enough oil is found. Us Energy owns the mineral rights on those acres.

Park officials say they will look at the plan very closely.

Rep. Thompson: ANF Decision a `Dangerous Precedent’

Washington, D.C.—Frustrated over the Forest Service decision on the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, which was signed by 21 of his House colleagues from 14 different states. The letter recounted a settlement that was, “agreed to behind closed doors, with no industry representation at the table, and appears to have been agreed to in advance.”

Thompson refers to the lawsuit filed by the Allegheny Defense Project of Portland, Oregon, the Sierra Club of San Francisco, California, and the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics of Eugene, Oregon, in November, 2008, against the Forest Service and the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association. The lawsuit demanded the 1970 NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) be applied to the permitting process for production of privately owned oil and natural gas in the ANF—even though it had not been used previously, and permitting is already regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

In his letter Thompson wrote, “The settlement between the Forest Service and out-of-state environmental organizations allows some pending permits to move forward under existing conditions, but applies NEPA regulations to all subsequent permitting. This requirement will destroy the production of oil and natural gas in the ANF and devastate the regional economic engine that has been in place for 150 years.”

Thompson made this argument in the letter: “We are especially concerned over the precedent this unwarranted action has set with regard to private property rights. Pennsylvania law grants its citizens `reasonable access’ to private mineral rights and does not grant either the state or federal government superior surface or subsurface ownership rights to those of a private citizen. A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision [J-52-2008; Belden & Blake Corporation v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources] has clearly reinforced this point. However, the Forest Service’s settlement appears to convey the opposite: that federal ownership of surface rights somehow trumps those of privately held subsurface mineral rights.”

The letter concludes: “We believe the Department’s decision regarding the ANF has grave national implications and could very well set a dangerous precedent for public lands and private property rights countrywide. Therefore we respectfully request your close attention to this matter and look forward to working with the Administration to determine a swift and equitable resolution.”

In addition, Thompson joined the Congressional Western Caucus in speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives today on the loss of jobs related to Democratic and administration policies and proposals. He and the chairman of the Western Caucus, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, discussed the manner in which the Forest Service made the ANF decision and how the policy will kill jobs at a time when we have spent more than a trillion dollars in the stimulus package to create them.

Bicylist Hit in Warren County

A person riding a bicycle was hit by a car this afternoon at the Mohawk Avenue interchange of US Route 6 in Warren.

A Lifestar helicopter has been called to the scene.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

T.O.'s Hits Tops' Shelves

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – You can share your breakfast with a football star this summer with limited edition T.O.’s honey nut frosted oat cereal, now on store shelves exclusively at Tops Friendly Markets . The cereal is a partnership between Tops, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens and PLB Sports.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Terrell and PLB Sports to have T.O.’s on store shelves exclusively at Tops Friendly Markets,” said Frank Curci, CEO of Tops. “Terrell’s signing with the Buffalo Bills has been a wildly popular move locally and we expect fans in Western New York, Central New York and Northwest Pennsylvania will be eager to have a box of T.O.’s on their breakfast table.”

The cereal is now available for a limited time only at all 76 Tops locations. Tops Friendly Markets is the official grocery sponsor of the Buffalo Bills and the proud sponsor of the Bills 50th anniversary season celebration.

PLB Sports has worked with previous Bills stars Jim Kelly and Doug Flutie on cereal products.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Man Charged with Inducing Panic at Cedar Point Amusement Park

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with leaving a fake bomb under his car at Cedar Point.

Kelly Albrecht of Cranberry Township was arrested when he returned to his car after visiting the amusement park.

The device turned out to be harmless, but police blocked off the parking lot and a bomb squad destroyed the device.

Albrecht is scheduled to appear in court next week to answer a charge of inducing panic.

Heisman Honored by US House

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, was gratified today as his House Resolution, recognizing the historical and national significance of the many contributions of John William Heisman to the sport of football, passed in the House of Representatives with a unanimous vote.

“Coach Heisman grew up in a little town called Titusville in the oil fields of Northwest Pennsylvania,” said Thompson. “But Heisman grew up to change how football was played and was an innovator. With the approaching Oil 150 anniversary, it is a great time to illustrate all the unique history of the people and places that make Northwest Pennsylvania a great place to live and work. It was my honor to submit this resolution and see it approved by the Members of the House of Representatives.”

The measure honoring Heisman passed the House under a procedure called suspension of the rules. It honors Heisman’s career as well as his contributions to the game. And it honors the legacy that carries his name in the form of the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the most outstanding college football player in the nation and to the college or university he represents.

Heisman coached at Auburn, Clemson, Rice, Georgia Tech, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others. It was at Georgia Tech that he amazed fans with 33 straight wins for the Golden Tornado.

Heisman played a form of club football at Brown University then graduated with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1892.

Among his inventions for the game were the 4-quarters, the “hike”, the center snap and the forward pass. In addition he created many innovative plays that led to some of the basic formations used in today’s games.

Bridge Work Will Limit Access to Boat Launch, Cause Traffic Tie Ups

Access to the Irwin Run Canoe Launch will be extremely limited next week as work continues on the Irwin Run Bridge, so boaters are encouraged to use alternate launches.

Next Wednesday, the contractor will set the second half of the pre-cast, reinforced concrete bridge. This involves 12 wide loads carrying sections of the bridge traveling from Ridgway to the bridge site. This is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. and will continue until late evening.

Flaggers will control traffic and motorists will be stopped as each section is unloaded. Delays may occur along routes 219, 948 and 3002. Traffic will be stopped on Route 3002 as each section arrives at the bridge site.

All work is weather dependent. PennDOT expects the project to be finished in September.

Sen. Pileggi Statement on HB 1416

"The action taken by the House of Representatives today will result in the appointment of a conference committee. When the full Senate reconvenes on Monday, we will insist on the Senate amendments to House Bill 1416. At that time, the formal conference committee process will begin.

"This is the appropriate process for resolving the differences between the Senate and the House. This process should have started in May after passage of Senate Bill 850.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi issued the following comments after the House of Representatives voted to non-concur in Senate amendments to House Bill 1416:

"We will not, however, wait for the conference committee to be formed to continue negotiations on the state budget. Senate Republican leaders are, and have been, available to meet with other legislative leaders and the Rendell administration around the clock.

"A series of meetings and discussions have taken place this week, and those conversations will continue in an attempt to reach a final budget that conforms to the principles we have consistently advocated: a sustainable budget with no broad-based tax increases, which spends less in fiscal year 2009-10 than in fiscal year 2008-09.

"When conferees are named, the Sunshine Law applies to the conference committee, and we will ensure that the Sunshine Law is followed. We are committed to an open and transparent budget process."

New Yorkers Not Happy with Senate

More than three-quarters of the New York voters polled by the Siena College Research Institute says they're angry that the Senate wasted a month and accomplished nothing.

62 percent say they will remember the senate standstill during next year's election.

The senate fight did, however, help Governor David Paterson in the poll numbers. He went from a favorable rating of 31 percent in June to 36 percent so far this month. His highest rating ever was in November of 2008 at 64 percent.

Paterson still trails potential gubernatorial primary challenger, and current Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, by a margin of 65 to 23 percent.

Norwich Township Gets Money for Wastewater Treatment Plant

As we told you Saturday, Norwich Township is receiving a $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.

We now have more details on the project.

The wastewater treatment plant will eliminate the use of wildcat sewers and malfunctioning on-lot septic systems.

Currently, the systems are discharging untreated sewage into Potato Creek, which is a designated trout fishery.

The money will also go toward building toward four pump stations.

The money is part of PENNVEST’s second allocation from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.