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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Grand Jury Hands Up Indictments

A Cattaraugus County grand jury has indicted an Erie County woman accused of filing false affidavits in Cattaraugus and Erie counties.

34-year-old Annette Forte of Alden allegedly falsified business records between October 15 2007 and April 9 2008 in Cattaraugus County.

The charges are part of an ongoing investigation by State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has sued 35 law firms and two debt collectors and has moved to have nearly 100,000 default judgments thrown out.

The investigation was launched after Kathy Baughman of Portville complained her bank account had been frozen without her knowledge last year. American Legal Process of Long Island had failed to notify her of the impending court action.

Cuomo said process servers, including Forte, did not serve notifications and left people with no notice of pending court action against them.

Cuomo brought criminal charges against APL in April.


An Irving man has been indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury on charges of burglary and sexual abuse.

31-year-old Randy Hilliker allegedly had sex with a woman without her consent.

That and the alleged burglary happened on August 9, 2008, on Main Street in South Dayton.

Game Lands Escape Infestations; Should be OK for Several Years

Story and Photos by Joe Kosack
Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist
Pennsylvania Game Commission

HARRISBURG – Heading into this past spring, it appeared stands of oaks on many Pennsylvania Game Commission State Game Lands were going to be hit hard by gypsy moth caterpillars. Limited funding for spraying from state agencies and municipalities had Pennsylvania in a bad way.

The state braced for what was forecasted to be another nasty gypsy moth caterpillar raid on oaks, conifers, hickories and other species in 25 mid-state and northeastern counties. But, the emerging caterpillars were hit by a fungus – Entomophaga maimaiga – a natural enemy, although not native to Pennsylvania; a virus – Lymantria dispar Multienveloped Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (NPV) that appeared in America about the same time the gypsy moth did; and a biological insecticide – Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) – sprayed on forestlands by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The caterpillars, thankfully, didn’t have a chance when this triple-threat hit them. That doesn’t mean they’re gone for good; just that they had to return to the starting block in population building.

“This is a blessing for our habitat managers because it assures them greater control over what happens to forests on State Game Lands,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “It’s always our goal to manage State Game Lands on terms favorable to our wildlife. But nature obviously has a big say in what happens. This gypsy moth population collapse will be good for wildlife, good for forests and their managers and good for the folks who utilize forestlands for everything from hunting and trapping, to hiking and birdwatching.

“But as gypsy moths regroup – they always do – they are sure to resurface in the state’s woodlands some time in the next five to 10 years. It is a recurring problem Pennsylvania has endured since they arrived here in the 1930s. Just about every one of our State Game Lands has endured them at one time or another.”

Dave Henry, Southeast Region forester, considers the gypsy moth collapse a great break for the agency, but he notes that this latest outbreak and others that have occurred since the 1970s have had a serious consequences on State Game Lands and the state’s forest system.

“Although the oak resource on State Game Lands will be spared from a great deal of additional tree mortality, and past locations with moderate to severe damage will have a reasonable chance to recover from the stress of losing most of their leaves, oak resource losses from numerous rounds of gypsy moth caterpillar defoliation have been substantial,” Henry said. “I really wonder about how many more times our oaks and other desirable hardwoods can endure the next rise of gypsy moths or oak-leaf rollers, emerald ash borers or other devastating forest pests.”

The state’s forests have had more than they can handle when it comes to forest pests, tree diseases and invasive plants over the past century. At one time, the Commonwealth’s forests were dominated by thriving stands of American chestnut trees. The blight – also not native to North America – that would claim them struck in the early 1900s. But before it would smother our native chestnuts, gypsy moths would surface in Pennsylvania. So oaks, the mighty mast-producing chestnut’s successor, were already in trouble – at least in the Poconos – when the state’s blighted chestnuts died, the canopy cleared and they got their big moment in the sun.

Of course, a point could be made that deer, wild turkeys, cottontails and other wildlife benefit from the canopy consumption of gypsy moth caterpillars. It allows sunlight to reach the forest floor and spurs the growth of many plants that will provide food and cover. However, such analysis should factor in the reduction/loss of fall mast crops and important shade-loving understory plant species, and the immediate competition for open space that will erupt between native plants and incredibly aggressive, invasive non-native species, such as mile-a-minute weed and ailanthus. It most cases, native species don’t have a chance unless the landscape is sprayed with special herbicides.

In 2008, more than 400,000 forested acres were sprayed with Bt in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And still, the gypsy moth expansion was expected to steamroll in 2009. It had momentum, and Pennsylvania’s attention, even if the state didn’t have the resources it needed to respond more aggressively. Then Entomophaga maimaiga, NPV and 300,000-plus gallons of Bt hit the emerging caterpillars. Now at the height of the gypsy moth’s egg-laying period – July and early August – many of Pennsylvania’s once imperiled oaks are pushing acorns, not daisies.

Most kept their leaves. That’s good news for oaks, wildlife and Pennsylvanians, particularly hunters.

Deer hunters who find the acorns in coming months should have a good chance of finding deer, because deer and many other wildlife species seek out acorns – loaded with carbs, fats and protein – in the fall to store energy in preparation for winter. Last fall, deer hunting was different for many Pennsylvanians, because the oak stands they usually hunted were defoliated earlier by caterpillars and consequently devoid of acorns and deer. Hunters found out at the last minute deer weren’t in their usual places and had to work hard to find where they went. Some never did.

“This unexpected reprieve from serious forest defoliation will hopefully make it somewhat easier for hunters to find deer activity centers in the state’s heartland and the northeastern counties,” said Robert C. Boyd, agency Bureau of Wildlife Management assistant director. “These were the areas where gypsy moth caterpillars were poised to do the most damage this year. But this reprieve doesn’t mean it’ll be easier to shoot a deer this fall. Hunting deer is almost always a challenging pursuit.”

This spring, the Game Commission’s gypsy moth suppression efforts in southcentral counties included spraying about 3,000 acres of State Game Lands in Juniata, Perry and Snyder counties. In the Northeast Region, the agency focused on State Game Lands in Luzerne, Monroe and Pike counties. In the Southeast, State Game Lands in Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster and York counties were targeted.

On State Game Lands in the state’s northeastern counties, the previous three years were worse than this spring, according to agency forester Warren Harris.

“The last round of gypsy moth defoliation was not as devastating to State Game Lands in the northeast as some of the previous outbreaks,” Harris explained. “There was a lot of defoliation over the past three years, but many of our State Game Lands were not hit and where caterpillars were found in large numbers we sprayed. Last year, parts of Columbia, Luzerne, Monroe and Pike counties had the largest populations. When the caterpillars emerged this spring, they continued to cause moderate to heavy damage until their population collapse occurred.”

Wherever gypsy moth caterpillars have caused damage on State Game Lands there still is considerable potential for habitat to rebound as it has in some northeastern counties. Many of the defoliated trees can recover. The same applies to understory that suddenly found itself in direct sunlight. But whenever habitat changes, there are always winners and losers among the area’s flora and fauna. Such is life; and death.

“It’s important to remember our State Game Lands have been through this before, and our losses this time weren’t as great as they could have been,” explained Bill Capouillez, agency Wildlife Habitat Management Bureau director. “Where gypsy moths have hit us hard the past couple years, we have salvage cut and started new forested areas. Where caterpillar damage was only moderate, we hope the trees will recover and forest interior species can make do.”

Southeast Regional Forester Henry noted that hard mast trees have a propensity to respond vigorously after gypsy moth population crashes.

“Trees stressed by gypsy moth caterpillars will attempt to produce more mast while attempting to survive,” Henry said. “The response of oak trees will depend on the level of stress the trees experienced. Trees subjected to lower levels of impacts, along with less drought stress, will respond more quickly and potentially produce more acorns.”

If you decide to keep score in afflicted areas, please note that red, black, pin and scarlet oaks produce acorns that mature only every two years. White and chestnut oak acorns mature annually. Consequently it could be one to three years until you see an average or better acorn crop in the area(s) you’re watching.

Southcentral Region Forester Tom Lewis pointed out that salvage operations were conducted Bedford and Fulton counties to harvest stands of trees that were dead or dying from gypsy moth defoliation. Additional oak mortality salvage cuts will be made in Blair, Franklin and Perry counties.

“Some of these areas are already stocked with sufficient levels of regeneration, which will eventually develop into quality sources of food and cover for wildlife,” Lewis said. “However, a few areas either lack sufficient desirable regeneration or contain a high proportion of less-desirable plant species and may require remedial silvicultural treatments to enhance the establishment and development of beneficial trees and shrubs for wildlife. Either way, the forest we want will grow, one just requires a little more of our attention.”

Sometimes, removing trees isn’t an option. But that’s not always such a bad thing either, according to Harris, the Northeast Region forester.

“Dead trees that are left standing provide an abundance of snags that are used by insects and nesting songbirds,” Harris said. “I have worked areas where my ears were ringing at the end of the day after listening to the constant calling of juvenile birds in cavities that had mistaken the sound of my footsteps for their mother returning to their nest with food.”

Trees are important to wildlife. In fact, the overwhelming majority of wild birds and mammals that inhabit or pass through this state on migratory routes depend on or use trees, their fruits or the shady places they create at one point or another in their lifecycle. Trees matter. So does forest composition. That’s why the agency’s foresters work so hard to manage the hundreds of thousands of forested acres found on State Game Lands. It also explains why gypsy moths can wreak so much havoc in forestland by killing/severely stressing trees, giving sunlight access to the forest floor, and promoting unwanted changes in forest composition.

Corn for a Cause

Mary from Tops (top photo) serves up a couple of lunch specials to a couple of the people who attended Saturday's Outdoor Corn Sale Event. Proceeds from the lunch sales went to the United Way of the Bradford Area. Below, United Way Executive Director Kelly Case chats with Greg Ulyan of Chapel Ridge and WESB/WBRR Sales Director Peggy Austin, who is also looking through a United Way cookbook.

Sparky the Fire Dog, and other members of the Bradford City Fire Department were also on hand at the event, signing people up for smoke detectors, handing out fire safety information and collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Rich Zmuda demonstrates the Hazard House for Mike Walter and Stefan Arlington

Women Hurt in Route 219 Crash

Two women suffered moderate injuries in a crash at 6:30 Saturday morning on Route 219 just north of Joy Gardens Road in Jones Township.

Police say 36-year-old Renee Catalone of Kersey was attempting to adjust the heater in her car when the vehicle went out of control and crossed into the opposite lane.

62-year-old Kathleen Salvamoser noticed the other car and attempted to avoid a collion but the vehicles collided and Catalone's car ended und on top of a guiderail. She had to be extricated by members of the Wilcox Fire Department.

Both women were taken by ambulance to Elk Regional Health Center.

Police say the collision was the result of careless driving and failure to drive within a single lane.

Pheasants Forever Receives Grant

Story and photo by Jane Bryndel
Pheasants Forever Chapter 630

Aaron Bleggi, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager of National City, a part of PNC, presents a grant for $5000 to Pheasant Forever North Central PA Chapter 630. Pictured above are Jim Degler (treasurer), Dick Bodenhorn (president), Aaron Bleggi (National City / PNC), Leon Blashock (secretary) and Andy Werneth (vice president.

Aaron Bleggi took it on his own shoulders to represent the best interest of the local Pheasants Forever Chapter. As a member, Aaron understands what can be done when a few dollars are mixed in with some motivated sports men and women with a commitment to making a difference. National City, now a part of PNC, presented a check for $5000 recently to PF officer. All the money collected by Chapter 630 stay in the north central region of Pennsylvania. Safe hunting, conservation and habitat are all major goals for our chapter. These funds will be used for local habitat development and local youth activities. The new local state game lands in Fox Township and the PF Mentored Youth Hunt will both benefit from this grant.

Thank you Aaron and all the folks at PNC for your continued support and for making this grant possible!

To learn more about your local Pheasant Forever activities, visit There is a local Pheasants Forever Chapter 630 meeting on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 7:00 PM in the Ridgway Capital City fire hall on Front Street. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

It is never too early to start planning for our fall banquet to be held on September 12, 2009. We are looking for donated items for our auctions and prizes. Please contact Jeff Yeager at (814) 772-8624.

Quick Center Announces Lineup

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University has announced its exhibition and performance lineup for the 2009-10 season.

Art enthusiasts who visit the Quick Center’s galleries this September will be greeted by the opening of a special exhibition of works by the late Hildreth Meière (1892-1961), the acclaimed muralist and mosaicist who worked in a variety of mediums.

This first major exhibition of Meière’s work brings together sketches, studies in gouache, full-scale cartoons and models of her work at such major institutions as the Nebraska State Capitol, the National Academy of Sciences, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, and New York’s St. Bartholomew’s Church and Radio City Music Hall.

“Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière” opens to the public on Sept. 4 in The Quick Center’s Beltz Gallery and Kenney Gallery A. The exhibition runs through June 15, 2010.

Also opening Sept. 4, in the center’s first-floor West Gallery, is the reinstallation of the university’s Asian art collection. The new installation unites the university’s collection of porcelains, ivories, jades and bronzes from the estate of Col. Michael Friedsam (1858-1931) with six important items of Chinese and Korean antiquity on long-term loan from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, and with a selection of 20th century prints from the collection of F. Donald Kenney.

Ongoing exhibitions include “European and American Paintings,” from the university’s Permanent Collection, which encompasses a broad spectrum of art history from the beginning of Western civilization into the 21st century; and “Land And Spirit: The Native American Collection,” featuring the university’s collections of Southwestern pottery, jewelry, rugs and Kachina dolls complemented by a rotating selection of photographs of Native Americans taken between 1907 and 1927 by Edward S. Curtis.

In addition to the exhibitions in its art galleries, The Quick Center offers an extensive concert schedule in association with Friends of Good Music of Olean. Performances are held in the center’s Rigas Family Theater.

The season gets under way at 7:30 p.m. Fri, Sept. 25, with “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” a concert featuring bass-baritone Michel Bell, an award-winning star of Broadway and international stages. Bell will perform American songs from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, accompanied on the piano by Catherine Matejka.

Other performances include:

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, “Take the ‘A’ Train,” featuring the Harlem Quartet. Since its 2006 Carnegie Hall debut, this dynamic young string quartet has established itself as one of the leading ensembles in America.

· 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, Ethos Percussion Group. This group’s critically acclaimed performances regularly feature traditional rhythms from India, West Africa and the Middle East as well as landmark works by American composers John Cage, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich and Frank Zappa.

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, Holiday Concert with The Chatham Baroque Ensemble. This Pittsburgh-based group excites audiences with their dazzling technique and artful interpretations performed on period instruments. Soprano Marguerite Krull joins the ensemble for a holiday program including works by Biber, Buxtehude, Fux, Merula, Scarlatti and French Noëls by Charpentier.

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, recital by Turkish cellist Efe Baltacigil. Selected by the European Concert Hall Association as its “Rising Star” in 2007, Baltacigil has performed in major venues in Europe and the United States, and performs extensively with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, “A Night at the Operetta,” with soprano Jessica Rose Cambio and baritone Michael Weyandt, winners of The Quick Center for the Arts Performance Prize at the 2009 Liederkranz Competition. Accompanied by pianist Elizabeth Hastings, the pair will sing highlights from Viennese, French, Spanish and American operettas.

· 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 12, 2010, “American Impressions” with Brass Roots Trio. Pianist Rosetta Senkus Bacon, trumpeter Travis Heath and French horn player Douglas Lundeen have performed around the world. This performance captures vignettes of the many cultures of America with music ranging from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” to Billy Joel’s “Root Beer Rag.”

· 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 26, 2010, a flute recital by Claire Chase, winner of the 2008 Concert Artists Guild Competition. A passionate performer, leader and innovator, Chase creatively links traditional, contemporary and experimental music with program choices that range from Bach and Brahms to Boulez and Saariaho and beyond.

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, 2010, a season-closing performance by Syracuse Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Andrew Sewell and featuring Ilya Yakushev, first prize winner and gold medalist of the 2005 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati.

Tickets for concert performances are $20 at full price, $16 for subscribers, university staff and senior citizens, and $5 for students. For information and ticket sales call (716) 375-2494.

The Quick Center galleries are free and open to the public year round. Museum and gift shop hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Holiday hours may vary.

Visit the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the Web at

Pictured, the Ethos Percussion Group

Emailed from St. Bonaventure University

Lil Miss Streets Dreams Contest

The Lil’ Miss Street Dreams competition has announced the following locations as collection sites for its annual fundraiser.

Pyper Cross, Kelly’s on Main Street; Regan Dolan, Ott & McHenry Pharmacy; Hannah Hogand, Togi’s Restaurant; Kelsey Jordan, Sport’s Café; Gabriella Nelson, Fratelli’s; Alexis Roberts, The New Broaster; Sydney Sheridan, Bella Capelli; Olivia Steck, Bradford Texas Hots and Kylie Stiles, Tasta Pizza.

The fundraising event runs from now until the Autumn Daze car show which will be held on Sunday, September 13. Proceeds will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation and the Bradford Main Street Program.

The Lil’ Miss Street Dreams candidates will also participate in the Big 30 parade and the Oil 150 parade.

Consumers Urged to Sign Petition

ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C – Olean) has launched a statewide petition drive to pressure Governor Paterson and New York City controlled legislators to eliminate the utility tax hike they included in this year’s state budget.

“Upstate New Yorkers have just received the unwelcome news in the mail about a new utility tax to be used to off-set the state’s bloated spending spree this year,” said Sen. Young. “The cost of our gas, electric, and telephone bills already were bad enough - this assessment has made it even worse. We have a golden opportunity on Thursday to undo some of the damage before another bill comes next month.”

During budget negotiations this year, Sen. Young, offered a legislative amendment to reject the new tax and later joined every one of her Senate Republican colleagues to vote against the budget’s enactment. Sen. Young and other Republican lawmakers were particularly opposed to the new utility tax, which was part of a massive $8-billion package of tax-and-fee hikes contained in the budget – the largest tax increase in state history.

“I strongly opposed and voted against this tax, which is one of more than a hundred new taxes being used to cover the deficit created by a record spending increase of $13 billion,” said Sen. Young. “Upstate businesses, homeowners and seniors cannot afford another tax. They already are struggling to make ends meet.”

Sen. Young said utility customers statewide have been receiving notice of the higher utility tax in their July utility bills. The new tax took effect on July 1st and raised the utility tax from .33% to 2%.

“Historically, this .33% tax has been used to pay for agencies that oversee the utilities,” said Sen. Young. “Now, about $90 million from this tax will be used to pay for those agencies and about $542 million will go directly to the General Fund to pay for this year’s out-of-control spending.”

“New Yorkers already pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation, now the new utility tax will cost the average resident hundreds of dollars a year,” said Sen. Young. “A small manufacturer with a $10,000 electrical bill will see this assessment go from $333 to $2,000 a year. This will likely lead to more businesses closing their doors and leaving New York for other states.”

Sen. Young is encouraging anyone who is frustrated by the new utility assessment to sign her petition drive at

The petition will also be accessible through Sen. Young’s Facebook page, or by visiting her website at You can also request a hardcopy of this petition by calling her office toll free at 1-800-707-0058.

Emailed from Dan Toomey, Director of Communications, Senator Cathy Young

Zitnik Joins Bowman Health Center

Frank Zitnik, PA-C, has rejoined the staff at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, working with David Kulling, MD, at the Bowman Health Center in Smethport. Appointments can be made by calling 814/887-5395.

Zitnik previously worked at the Bowman Health Center with Dr. Douglas Bowman for eight years. His health care career spans more than 30 years, having served in numerous capacities, including a charge nurse at CCMH, visiting nurse, and public health director for McKean and Warren counties. During his tenure at CCMH, he also worked with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bradley Giannotti, at occupational health, and at the Shinglehouse Health Center. For the past three years, he has worked at Bradford Regional Medical Center’s occupational and employee health department.

Zitnik earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at West Virginia University and graduated from the physician assistant program at St. Francis College. He is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

“We are extremely pleased to have Frank back in the Charles Cole family. His experience and previous history with the Smethport practice will be welcomed by the communities he will serve,” said Ed Hardesty, executive director, medical staff relations and clinic operations at CCMH.

Emailed from Charles Cole Memorial Hospital

Bike Raffle Winners Selected

Mayville, NY -- Under a beautiful summer sky, Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards was joined by Chautauqua County Clerk Sandy Sopak to pick the names of the winners of a trio of bicycles raffled off at the 2009 Chautauqua County Fair.

The Chautauqua County Youth Bureau sponsored the raffle as part of the County's theme for the fair; "Growing Our Future Together…Chautauqua County and You".

Edwards was pleased with the three bikes and the helmets that went along with them.

"Encouraging our children to ride safely for the exercise and life long benefits is something that I am happy to support," Edwards said. "Riding a bike is also a great way for kids to get exercise and grow, which was the theme of our county tent this year."
From approximately 1,000 entries, Edwards and Sopak selected the three winners; Tristan, Charlotte and Terrance. The winners will be contacted over the next several days.

The bikes were provided by three great Chautauqua County businesses; Hollyloft Ski & Bike, located at 600 Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown, Spoke Folk, located at 5th Street and Central Avenue in Dunkirk and Fredonia Bicycle Company, located at 21 Water Street # B in Fredonia.

Established in 1978, Hollyloft is a highly specialized and unique shopping experience in Western New York. They offer only the best in equipment, clothing, and accessories for winter and summer weather.

Hollyloft's website can be found at

“Spoke Folk” is the vision of Richard Goodman of Dunkirk. Goodman and about 50 volunteers work away in the basement of a church on the corner of 5th Street and Central Avenue in Dunkirk, repairing old bikes for re-use.

The organization accepts donations of bikes and bike parts as well as monetary donations to support the purchase of parts.

For more information about bikes, riding, safety lessons or volunteers, go to the Spoke Folk Web site at
Fredonia Bicycle Company, located in downtown Fredonia, was welcomed into the community nearly a year ago. Owner Brian Bigelow offers riders in that region an opportunity to purchase several brands of bicycles and accessories.

Edwards will be working with the owners of Spoke Folk, Hollyloft and Fredonia Bicycle Company to present the bikes to the winners. A presentation of the prizes will be held in the near future.

Emailed from Joel Keefer, executive assistant to Greg Edwards

Leader Named Patient Safety Fellow

Lucy Lajcsak, patient safety and compliance officer at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, has been selected as a 2009-10 American Hospital Association patient safety fellow.

Lajcsak is one of 12 participants in this year’s class which includes members from across the U.S. and Canada.

“Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has a long history of being a leader for rural health care,” said Ed Pitchford, CCMH president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to being a modern, relevant organization for the benefit of our patients. Lucy’s commitment to patient safety and her participation in this very prestigious program are examples of the high standards that we, as leaders, embrace. I am proud of Lucy and our organization for supporting her in this program.”

The fellowship is a year-long leadership development program that provides leaders of hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations with skills necessary to shepherd patient safety change initiatives within their organizations. Now in its eighth year, the fellowship has supported approximately 250 leaders across the United States and Canada.

“Effective leadership is a crucial and foundational element of the patient safety work; one of several critical competencies needed to achieve safe patient care,” said Diane C. Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, a cosponsor of the fellowship program. “This program is designed to provide upcoming health care leaders with a deep understanding of the scientific and organizational tenets of patient safety and the key role that leadership plays in influencing organizational culture, the critical context for the work. The patient safety movement has changed the face of process improvement in the health care industry and the lessons learned from this work are particularly relevant to the broader health care reform work, making this program of particular relevance in today’s environment.”

In the course of one year, fellows participate in three leadership retreats, complete self study modules, and engage in monthly conference calls. Fellows also carry out action learning projects focused on safety and quality improvements in their home institutions, in which they apply skills and knowledge acquired through the fellowship program.

Lajcsak plans to focus her project on enhancing a training and development curriculum for middle managers and their role of delivering safe, reliable health care. “I hope my training will help the community and common good for patient safety,” Lajcsak said. “It’s very enlightening to learn from my peers and respected experts within the patient safety world.”

“Lucy has always been one of the most professional individuals I have ever worked with. Her drive has always been to make Charles Cole Hospital the most efficient and effective it could be. I believe she certainly deserves this selection as a patient safety fellow by the American Hospital Association,” the Rev. Randall Headley, a CCMH board and patient safety committee member, said.

Amy Pierotti, a former CCMH board member, served with Lajcsak on the hospital’s patient safety committee. “Lucy has been extraordinary in shaping the patient safety culture at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital. Her proactive approach and formation of an effective patient safety committee have led to measurable improvements at our hospital. She is very deserving of this award and will be an asset to the AHA fellowship program,” she said.

The Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship is sponsored by the American Hospital Association and the National Patient Safety Foundation, in partnership with the Health Research & Educational Trust, Health Forum, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Emailed from Charles Cole Memorial Hospital

Housing Task Force Formed

Mayville, NY -- After months of due diligence, Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards signed a resolution earlier this week to appoint members to the Chautauqua County Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force. The resolution was signed Monday, August 3rd and forwarded to the Legislature Office.

Edwards stressed that the process of selecting people to serve on the task force needed to follow a strict protocol in order to find the most qualified candidates.

"I have worked hard over the past several months to recruit the people that would be the most effective in these roles, including the leaders of Chautauqua County's three major, not-for-profit housing organizations," Edwards said. "I am pleased that the leaders of these groups have agreed to serve. They will bring a certain skill set to the task force that will be crucial in moving it forward."

Pending legislative approval, the Chautauqua County Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force will include: John Murphy with the Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC), Roberta Keller with Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. (COI), Donald Bloomquist with Citizens Opportunity for Development & Equality (CODE), Stephen Sorg, Julie Ortendahl, George Holt, Don Harrington, Rick Johnson and Harold Whitford.

The legislature's previous attempt to create a similar group did not meet with Edwards' approval because it was not designated how the money would be raised or how it would be loaned out.

Edwards applauded the current group for showing the interest in investing themselves in this task force, and said that they all bring unique and impressive skills.

"Stephen Sorg, Julie Ortendahl and George Holt all bring an expertise from the world of realty to the group. They understand that having quality homes available for purchase positively impacts the market," Edwards said. "Harold Whitford, who is a property manager, deals directly with hundreds of people who own or rent homes locally, and architect Don Harrington understands what goes into building a quality home."

Rick Johnson, the ninth member of the group, is a Certified Public Accountant. Edwards said Johnson's key contribution will be the ability to analyze the economics and financing aspects that will apply to the people who will be looking to benefit from some of the resources available.

"This is a group that I will be pleased to work with to attempt to raise $750,000 to match the $250,000 that I pledged from the county to fund the loan program that this group will administer," Edwards said.

No politicians were selected to serve on this committee, Edwards said, because he felt that would be counterproductive.

"This task force will be a key component in the future rehabilitation and development of our housing stock in Chautauqua County, so politics has no place within the group," Edwards said.

Edwards concluded by saying that the nine task force members will be spending a great deal of time using their capacities and abilities towards obtaining the 3-1 match that was part of the legislation which created the Chautauqua County Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force.

Emailed from Joel Keefer, executive assistant to Greg Edwards

Licenses & Registrations to Increase

ALBANY – New York’s latest fee on license plates is “another blatant money grab by Albany,” according to Senator Catharine Young (R, I, C –Olean).

The new state mandate will force all registered car owners to obtain new license plates next April - and the cost of the plates will be increased by 66 percent.

“Drivers will be forced to buy a new license plate from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, whether they need a new one or not, costing $25 per plate,” said Sen. Young. “The outrageous gimmicks that were passed in Gov. Paterson’s bloated state budget continue to soak families who can’t afford the heavy tax burden.”

The new plates will cost $25 instead of the current $15 and, if car owners want to keep their same license plate number, they will have to pay an additional $20 fee. Sen. Young said the fee hikes are expected to collect $130 million from car owners to help fund the state’s spending spree, when spending increased by $13 billion, despite budget shortfalls.

“To add insult to injury, vehicle registrations and license renewal fees also will rise,” she said.

Sen. Young said beginning Sept. 1, it also will cost 25 percent more to register a vehicle or renew a license, creating an additional cost to New York drivers projected to total almost $152 million over the next two years. The average registration fee will increase to $55 from $44, and the standard eight-year license renewal will cost $62.50, up from $50.

“For Upstate, the use of a car is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Sen. Young. “People depend on their cars to get to work, school, the store, or just to get around.”

“Every month brings a new round of taxes and fees that New York City politicians have forced on the backs of Upstate families, business and seniors,” said Sen. Young. “Last month it was an increase in our utility bills, now its motor vehicle fees, next it will be hunting and fishing licenses. The biggest hit will come this fall when homeowners don’t get their STAR rebates checks to help pay their property taxes.”

Sen. Young said a typical Upstate family of four will have to pay about $2,400 more a year in higher state taxes and fees as a result of this year’s budget. The latest motor vehicles increases and license plate mandate will cost the average Upstate family $200 each year.

“Taxpayers in my district have had enough,” said Sen. Young. “This is why I strongly opposed and voted against these new wave of taxes, which are lumped in with more than a hundred new taxes.”

Sen. Young said Governor Paterson plans to call the Legislature back next month to deal with a $2.1 billion budget shortfall and she has urged legislative leaders not to include new taxes to deal with the budget gaps.

“Based on their track records, Governor Paterson and downstate leaders could likely pile on new taxes to close this latest budget gap, even though it was created by their irresponsible and unprecedented spending habits,” said Sen. Young. “If we are going to help struggling families make ends meet and help businesses retain and create jobs, we cannot be thinking about more new taxes.

“Every tax hike makes New York less competitive and puts us further behind other states for economic recovery,” said Sen. Young. “We need to roll back all these destructive taxes and put our energies into providing incentives for families and business to stay in New York.”

On September 1, 2009, the following motor vehicle registration fees will be increased:

> Passenger vehicle registration fees increase from $44 to $55 (two year average depending on vehicle);
> Commercial vehicle registration fees increase from $1.21 (per 500 lbs of vehicle weight) up to $1.51 at the low end of the range and increase from $11.50 to $14.38 (per 500 lbs) at the high end;
> Trailer registration fees will increase from an average of $34 to $42.50;
> Taxi registration fees, on average, will increase from $48 to $60;
> Average bus registration fees will increase from $73 to $91.25;
> Motorcycle registration increases from $14 to $17.50;
> All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) registration increase from $10 to $12.50; and
> Average motorboat registrations will rise from $40 to $50;

Emailed from Dan Toomey, Director of Communications, Senator Cathy Young

Program Helps Cancer Patients

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center and the American Cancer Society have joined forces to offer transportation for cancer patients.

Road to Recovery, new to CCMH, is an American Cancer Society service program that strives to improve the quality of life for patients undergoing cancer care by providing transportation to treatments and medical appointments. “Despite remarkable progress in the fight against cancer, there are many patients whose greatest challenge isn’t lack of treatment, it’s lack of transportation,” said Lora Cope, ACS cancer control specialist. “The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program helps overcome the transportation challenges many local residents face.”

Volunteer drivers donate their time so patients can receive the treatments they need, Cope said. In many cases, a patient is driven to a hospital or clinic by relatives or friends but even these patients must occasionally seek alternative transportation. That’s where Road to Recovery comes in, she said.

The van was purchased by the hospital’s Heart of Cole community connections and projects committees, which are supported by employee donations, and donated to the ACS for the Road to Recovery program.

“It’s a pleasure to partner again with the American Cancer Society to offer the Road to Recovery program for our patients,” said Ed Hardesty, executive director, medical staff affairs and clinic operations at Charles Cole. “We are grateful to the American Cancer Society and Heart of Cole for making this a reality in our community.”

To arrange transportation, call the ACS Patient Service Center at 800/417-9391.

Pictured, Kay Hefner volunteers her time to transport cancer patients for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program. Pictured, from left, are Lora Cope, American Cancer Society; Hefner; Tammy Huey, CRNP, and Teresa Robinson, RN, Patterson Cancer Care Center; and Patty Wilson, projects committee, and Anna Fair, community connections committee, Heart of Cole at CCMH.
(Photo courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)

Public Hearing in Olean

Olean Common Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at the municipal building to discuss the plan to remove the undeveloped portion of Alder Street from the city map.

The street would be closed from Prospect Avenue to Grandview Avenue.

Cleland May Chair Commission

Superior Court Judge John Cleland will most likely be the chairman of a special commission established to study the juvenile-justice corruption scandal at the Luzerene County Courthouse.

Governor Ed Rendell signed legislation that created the 11-member Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice. It has until May to try to determine how the Luzerne County problems arose and recommend ways to prevent them from recurring.

Two former county judges pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud and tax evasion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to improperly force juvenile defendants into privately run detention centers in exchange for kickbacks of $2.6 million.

HOTA Fest Underway at UPB

Henry Keister of Gifford (above), Geoff Howard of Russell and Linda Huber of Hanover perform in the “jam tent” Friday afternoon as the Heart of the Alleghenies music festival got underway at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The festival offers concerts, dances, jams and workshops. Admission for spectators is free. For more information and schedules, go to

Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

Rural PA Hit Hardest by Unemployment

The following analysis is provided to Pennsylvania reporters as part of the Keystone Research Center’s ongoing tracking of the health of the Pennsylvania economy. The Keystone Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that promotes a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania economy. For ongoing analysis of the PA economy:

HARRISBURG – The federal government reported Friday morning that the national economy shed 247,000 jobs in July and that the unemployment rate was 9.4%.

In Pennsylvania, months of layoffs have resulted in the loss of 182,000 jobs since the start of the recession. The labor market in the Commonwealth is weaker today than it has been at any point since the early 1980s. The Pennsylvania unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2009 was 8.1%, up from 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“The hardship of rising unemployment has not been equally shared,” said Mark Price, Ph.D., Labor Economist for the Keystone Research Center. “Our estimates show that the unemployment rate among African-Americans in Pennsylvania was 12.9% in the second quarter compared to 7.2% for whites. As a result, the gap between African-American and white unemployment rates has doubled over the course of the recession.”

This recession also has disproportionately impacted rural Pennsylvania, which has seen the largest increases in unemployment rates during this downturn. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the unemployment rate in rural portions of the Commonwealth was 4.9%, compared to 4.4% in urban areas. By the second quarter of 2009, the overall unemployment rate in rural portions of Pennsylvania, at 8.9 percent, was a full percentage point higher than the urban rate.In the second quarter of this year, the following rural counties were home to the highest unemployment rates in the state: Cameron (17.8%), Elk (14.4%), Fulton (13.7%), Mercer (11.6%), Potter (11.4%), Bedford (11.2%), Huntingdon (11.2%), McKean (10.6%), Clearfield (10.5%) and Carbon (10.3%).

Following the 1981 recession, unemployment in rural Pennsylvania reached a staggering 17% compared to 12% in urban Pennsylvania, explained Stephen Herzenberg, Ph.D., Economist and Executive Director of the Keystone Research Center.

“It is quite troubling to see rural unemployment rates begin to pull away from urban unemployment rates,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “Like the rising unemployment rate for African-Americans, the disparate impact of this recession on people in rural areas points toward the need for more investment in education and workforce development.”

For African-Americans in Pennsylvania, the rise in unemployment during this recession is now as great as the increase in unemployment experienced during the severe 1981 recession.

“This recession has hit African-Americans just as hard as the brutal recession of 1981, which illustrates that the Commonwealth has tremendous work left to do in ensuring equal opportunity for African-Americans,” Dr. Price said. “Perhaps the greatest challenge we face in this regard is achieving more equity in school funding.”

Federal Stimulus Spurs Economic Improvement

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently reported that gross domestic product (GDP) contracted at a 1% annual rate in the second quarter of 2009, a substantial improvement over the 6.4% decline in the previous quarter. This improvement was likely due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which added more than 2% to GDP in the second quarter through increases in direct government spending, the extension of unemployment benefits, increases in food stamp benefits, and one-time payments to Social Security beneficiaries.

“This is precisely what the public sector should be doing in a severe downturn, temporarily boosting spending to stabilize the economy,” said Dr. Price. “We are concerned, however, that the remaining stimulus spending will not be large enough to offset the negative impact of budget cuts being made by state and local governments across the country. Anything that further prolongs this 20-month-old recession is bound to hit hardest those who can least afford it. This is the worst possible time for state and local governments to be cutting spending.”

County-level unemployment rates are available now for June and can be seen in an online map at

Friday, August 7, 2009

Causer Hosts Annual Senior Expo

These are just some of the hundreds of people who attended, and participated in, State Representative Marty Causer's annual senior expo at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Causer tells me many of his constituents stopped by to tell him they are opposed to the proposed personal income tax increase.

The following photos are coutesy of Pitt-Bradford:

Lauren McKee a student at the Bradford Regional Medical Center’s School of Radiography gives a bone density test to Jean Bennett of Rixford at the expo.
Helen Arick, left, took a minute to chat with representatives from SMART Rehab Services who are helping her recover from breaking both legs. Representing SMART are Lynn Kinney, left, and Lynn Neeson.

Causer chats with one of hundreds of constituents who attended the exop.

Bradford Police Report Car Jacking

Bradford City Police are investigating a reported car jacking at 11:15 last night in a Barbour Street parking lot.

They say a man and a woman approached the operator of a 2002 Landrover, who had just parked the vehicle. The couple brandished a knife and demanded the vehicle.

The victim handed over the keys and the suspects drove the vehicle west on Barbour Street.

The stolen vehicle is a 2002 black Landrover Freelander with New York registration EDV 9996.

The suspects are a white man with dirty blond hair weighing about 140 pounds. The woman is heavy set and was wearing a gray or blue hoodie.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Bradford City Police Department.

Fire Still Under Investigation

State police are still investigating the cause of a fire that burned the Eldred Township Fire Department sub station on Route 446 Thursday morning.

Trooper Greg Agosti says damage is estimated at $400,000.

The building was owned by Ethan Allen. A 1988 fire truck that the building housed was destroyed.

Fire Chief Dave Crowe tells us they won't know what they're going to do about a new truck until after they receive a report from an insurance adjuster. The department does have another truck.

For more photos, you can go to the Eldred Borough Fire Department web site.

Teens Not Indicted Again

A Cattaraugus County grand jury has decided not to indict two teenagers on rape charges.

18-year-old Joshua Kinder of East Otto and 18-year-old Shane Gogel of Salamanca had previously been indicted in connection with an incident December 9 in Salamanca.

In June, Judge Larry Himelein dismissed the indictment, saying it was obtained illegally, but did grant the district attorney's office the opportunity to present the case before the grand jury again.

Kinder and Gogel admit to having sex with a 17-year-old Salamanca girl, but they say it was consensual.

Man Facing Charges After Crash

A Kane man is facing charges following a crash early this morning on Highland Road in Wetmore Township.

Police say an SUV driven by 23-year-old Christopher Carlson went off the road and rolled onto its roof.

Carlson was not hurt, but was determined to be driving under the influence.

Director John Hughes Dies

John Hughes, the producer, writer and director whose 1980s films such as "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club" and "Some Kind of Wonderful" offered a sharp-eyed look at teenagers and their social habits, has died, according to a statement from his representative. He was 59.

Hughes died of a heart attack while taking a morning walk in Manhattan, according to the statement.

More from

Filling the Window with Food

Dan Green of the Bradford YWCA; Marlee Spangler, Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce intern; and Captain Debbie Weigner of The Salvation Army show off some of the food collected during the first-ever "Fill the Window Food Drive" Thursday. The goal of the event was to fill the window of the chamber's Main Street office with food that was donated to the YW and Salavation Army food pantries. Besides the food in the window, bags and boxes of food were inside the chamber office.

Rockin' for a Cure

The No Name Trio started the Rockin' for a Cure concert Thursday night at The News Willows. For $20, people enjoyed a chicken barbecue, six bands and the company of some great people -- and all the proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Pictured below are some scenes from the event and the "Lottery Plant" which was one of many prizes raffled off during the night. Organizer Jim Copeland says this will be an annual event.

Marie Costello tells us the event raised $3,700.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sale of Oil150 Prints to Benefit UPB Desk and Derrick Scholarship

The Penn York Oil and Gas Affiliates of Desk and Derrick Club is planning to put proceeds from the sale of a new art print toward its new petroleum technology scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The print was created by Colin Kimball, PennzSuppress product manager for American Refining Group Inc. based in McKinney, Texas, and depicts the Bradford refinery’s crude unit at night.

Kimball began his creation by taking a photo from the top of the ARG hydrotreater while it was under construction in December 2007. He then digitally painted an impressionistic-style painting of the photograph in a process that took about a week to complete.

The 8-by-14-inch prints will be on sale for $50 each as part of Bradford’s Oil150 celebration marking 150 years since the discovery of oil in the Pennsylvania oil field. The club plans to sell 150 signed, limited-edition prints to raise $7,500 for its scholarship. The money could then be matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge at Pitt-Bradford.

The Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas and allows donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $50,000 to new or existing scholarships, as long as funds last. Gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible.

“I am honored by the opportunity to share this work with my fellow employees during this historic occasion,” Kimball said, “and I am grateful for the opportunity to help new students within the earth science/petroleum-related field pursue their education with the proceeds generated by the sale of the limited-edition prints.”

“To share my passion for photography in a manner that provides scholarships for the future leaders of our vital industry is profoundly gratifying.”

Kimball is an U.S. Air Force veteran who has been fascinated with rocks and photography since he was 8 years old. He attained a graduate degree in geology and worked part time as a portrait photographer to pay his tuition.

“The passion for photography is ongoing, and my collection of cameras and lenses has now outpaced my rock collection,” he said.

The Desk and Derrick Club established its scholarship through the Thomas Scholarship Challenge.

The group specified first preference for its scholarship be given to current members of the organization or their immediate family members, second preference to current employees or immediate family of a company that sponsors the organization, as well as preference to students living in McKean, Elk, Forest, Potter and Warren counties or Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties in New York state.

Unframed prints are available at Roseart Co., 119 Main St., Bradford, or by contacting Kay Soble at or (814)368-1412. They will also be on sale during the Oil150 Celebration Aug. 22 in Callahan Park in Bradford.

In addition, Cavallaro Paint & Decorating at 10-12 Kennedy St., Bradford, will donate 10 percent of proceeds from matting and framing the print to the scholarship fund.

For more information on the scholarship challenge, contact Karen Niemic Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement at Pitt-Bradford, at (814)362-5091 or

Fire Station, Truck Destroyed

The Eldred Township Fire Department sub station on Route 446, and the truck it housed, were destroyed during a fire that started at about 1:15 this morning.

Fire Chief Dave Crowe tells WESB and The HERO a state police fire marshal is on the scene (as of 1:45 p.m.) to determine the cause of the blaze.

Crowe says during the investigation, the fire marshal will be checking to see if this fire is related to others in the township and borough.

Eldred Township firefighters were on the scene until 1:45 this afternoon boarding up the building and securing the scene.

Other fire departments that helped them battle the blaze were Eldred Borough, Star Hose Company of Port Allegany and Otto Township. Portville, New York, firefighters were on standby at the Eldred Borough station.

Crowe says an insurance adjuster will be on the scene soon and they'll "go from there" as far as getting another truck.

The department has an engine tanker so they're "still pretty good," Crowe says.

Mosquito Spraying in Warren Co.

The Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Warren County Conservation District West Nile virus program, will apply adult mosquito control treatment Monday evening in Pittsfield and Pine Grove townships.

Samples in these areas taken by DEP and local officials have shown extremely high nuisance adult mosquito populations. Treatments will be conducted in an ongoing effort to bring adult mosquito populations under control.

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

Lady Panthers Win Academic Award

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women’s volleyball team is among 77 Division III women’s volleyball teams in the nation to earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Award for the 2008-09 season.

“This is a testament to the team’s hard work,” said head women’s volleyball coach Tina Phillips. “They are always looking to excel on and off the court, and I am very proud of each of their efforts and our program. It’s a great award.”

The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that display excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.3 cumulative team grade-point average.

Nationwide, only 22 percent of Division III women’s volleyball teams earned the award. Pitt-Bradford was one of 20 Division III schools named to the list for the first time.

Students on the 2008-09 team were Ashley Wenger, a freshman from Lancaster; Jackie Podrasky, a sophomore from Medina, Ohio; Tabitha Ryan, a junior from Albion; Alisha Wisel, a sophomore from Troy; Michelle Sink, a sophomore from Kane; Laura Long, a freshman from Pittsfield; Jen Cole, a senior from Cyclone; Amanda Groth, a junior from Macedonia; Audrey Wenger, a freshman from Lancaster; Sarah Dwyer, a junior from Warren; and Cari Olewinski, a freshman from Wilcox.

Meetings Set on ANF Draft SEIS

Warren, Pa. - The Allegheny National Forest (NF) published a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register on Friday, July 31, 2009, for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the 2007 Allegheny NF Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).

The Draft SEIS documents the analysis and effects on the application of design criteria to reserved and outstanding private oil and gas development (OGD) in section 2800 of the 2007 Allegheny NF Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and on air quality related to private OGD.

Public meetings regarding the Draft SEIS are scheduled at the following locations:
Monday, August 10 Warren Warren Holiday Inn
Tuesday, August 11 Bradford University of Pittsburgh (Rice Auditorium)
Wednesday, August 12 Clarion Clarion University (Still Hall)
All meetings start at 7 p.m.

For more information about the public meetings visit the ANF website at

A 90 day comment period begins the day the NOA for the Draft SEIS is published in the Federal Register. The publication date in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. Regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Submit written comments to Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten, Allegheny National Forest, 4 Farm Colony Drive, Warren, PA 16365 or by facsimile (814) 726-1465. For those submitting hand-delivered comments, the Supervisor’s office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Submit electronic comments to in one of the following formats: e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Word (.doc) or any software supported by Microsoft applications. Comments sent via email should use the subject line “Reserved and Outstanding Oil and Gas Design Criteria SEIS.” If no identifiable name is attached to an electronic message, a verification of identity will be required for appeal eligibility. A scanned signature is one way to provide verification. An email address is not sufficient.

Electronic copies of the Draft SEIS can be downloaded directly from the Allegheny NF website at A printed copy can be requested by calling (814) 723-5150 or writing to Allegheny National Forest, 4 Farm Colony Drive, Warren, PA 16365.

Rockin' A Cure

Mick & Chuck performed live from Studio D on The Morning Buzz to get everyone in the mood for tonight's Rockin' A Cure event at The New Willows from 6 to 11 p.m.

Other artists performing tonight will be the No Name Trio from 6 to 6:30; Joe Wagner from 6:45 to 7:15: Ray & Holly from 7:30 to 8; (Mick & Chuck from 8:15 to 8:45); Entropy's End from 9 to 9:30; Roadies from 9:45 to 10:15; and Stragglers & Company -- an open jam -- from 10:15 to 11 p.m.

$20 also gets you a chicken barbecue and buffet, a chance to enter raffles and door prizes.

All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

Chapman Park Has New Manager

Chapman State Park has a new manager.

James McCorkle has taken over the reins of the 805-acre park that recently underwent a facelift.

He's taking over after Ryan Borcz left Chapman to be assistant manager at Pymatuning State Park in Crawford County.

McCorkle is 26-years-old and is a native of Butler County. He's been with the DCNR Bureau of State Parks since October of 2007.

Woman Injured When Car Swerves to Avoid Hitting Rabbit in the Road

A Warren woman was injured after she swerved her car to avoid hitting a rabbit on Yankee Bush Road in Conewango Township.

Police say Lindsey Markey's vehicle went off the road, hit a culvert, brushed a utility pole and then crossed the road, hit an embankment and rolled onto its roof.

Markey was taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.

The Starbrick Fire Department was on the scene to take care of gasoline that had leaked from Markey's vehicle.

Chimney Collapses at Olean Legion

A chimney at the Olean American Legion fell on gas lines and filled the building with gas Wednesday.

East State Street was closed for several hours while the building was ventilated and repairs were made to the gas lines.

No one was injured. The Olean City Fire Department is investigating.

Salamanca Man Accused of Molesting Friends of His Children

A Salamanca man is in jail for allegedly molesting children ranging in age from 2 to 9 who are friends of his own children.

37-year-old Shawn Snyder is charged with predator sexual assault against a 5-year-old and for sexually abusing two other children. Salamanca Police are still investigating other cases.

The FBI is also conducting an investigation into Snyder's alleged production of child pornography.

Man Indicted on Murder Charge

A grand jury has indicted a man on murder charges nearly a year after a Jamestown man was found dead in his home during a fire.

48-year-old David Scarpino pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. He's in Chautauqua County Jail on $350,000 cash bail or $700,000 property bond.

Last August 22, firefighters quickly put out a fire at the home of Bruce Boje, but searched the house and found Boje's body on the couch.

District Attorney David Foley says the house immediately became a crime scene after the body was found.

Scarpino had been charged previously for assaulting Boje and an order of protection had been issued for Scarpino to stay away from Boje.

Two Rescued from Boat on Lake

The Sheriff's Navigation team rescued two people from a boat that was on fire in Chautauqua Lake Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies say they saw smoke coming from the boat at about 3:40 p.m. near Ashville. They pulled 60-year-old Jim Morehouse and his 16-year-old passenger onto the sheriff's boat and took them to shore. Neither of them was hurt.

The Ashville and Bemus Point fire departments assisted.

Fire at Eldred Township Fire Station

The Eldred Township Fire Station on Route 446 caught on fire early this morning.

At around 1:15 the fire hall was fully engulfed in flames.

The Eldred Borough, Port Allegany and Otto Township fire departments are battling the blaze.

A dispatcher at the McKean County 911 Center tells WESB and the HERO that firefighters are still on the scene (as of 5:55 a.m.).

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rendell Signs 'Bridge' Measure

Governor Ed Rendell has signed legislation that provides a mechanism for state employees to be paid, but does not provide a complete and final budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

“What I am signing today is not a budget,” Rendell said. “I am signing legislation that will simply allow us to pay state employees who provide for immediate critical public health and safety services, and that will send negotiators back to the table to communicate, compromise and get real about delivering a true budget agreement for Pennsylvania.”

Rendell signed Senate Bill 850 after he vetoed all program funding line items except those pertaining to payroll and essential public protection. The measure is an incomplete budget of roughly $11 billion.

For more information, go to the governor's web site.

Ex-Corrections Officer Sentenced

A former Elk County Prison corrections officer charged with indecent assault has been sentenced to two years' probation.

30-year-old Amanda Eckl pleaded no contest to indecent assault for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a male inmate at the prison.

As a condition of her probation Eckl is to have no contact with the victim and must continue mental health treatments.

Woman Charged With DUI After Car Crashes into Allegheny River

A Warren woman who crashed her car into the Allegheny River has been charged with driving under the influence.

22-year-old Lindsay Head was driving on Hemlock Road near the Eagles Club when the vehicle rolled over twice and ended up in the river about 5 feet from the riverbank.

Police say Head suffered a broken finger in the crash.

Man Sentenced on Porn Charges

An Erie man has been sentenced in federal court for having movies showing young children being sexually exploited.

33-year-old Jason Scalise will spend the next 168 months in jail and will be on probation for 10 years after that.

The US Attorney's office says Scalise received and possessed computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Specifically, Scalise saved hundreds of movies depicting children as young as five being sexually exploited.

From the US Attorney's Office

Gunman's Online Diary Found

Radio PA has pointed us toward the online diary of George Sodini, a man police say opened fire on a roomful of women at a suburban Pittsburgh health club.

The diary serves as a pipeline for hostility toward women, Sodini's brother and mother as well as minorities.

Sodini writes that he planned to carry out his attack last January but, in his words, "chickened out." The diary was published on a website in Sodini's own name. You can read the diary HERE, but be advised that the content may not be suitable for all readers.

Signs, Billboard Damaged

Someone spray painted graffiti on PennDOT signs and a billboard along Dingman Run Road in Eulalia Township.

Police say the incidents happened between 5 o'clock Thursday evening and 10 o'clock Friday night.

A damage estimate wasn't available. Police are continuing their investigation.

Faxed from Coudersport-based state police

Boys Charged for Egging Police Car

This probably wasn't the brightest idea these boys ever had.

State police say a 16-year-old and 17-year-old threw an egg at a vehicle and hit it on Route 872 in Potter County. The vehicle was a state police patrol vehicle.

The boys have been charged with summary counts of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

Faxed from Coudersport-based state police

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rain Holds Off, Crowds Turn Out for Downtown Activities

Bradford City Police Officers Chris Lucco and Steve Green show some of their gear to people during National Night Out activities Tuesday.
Emily Marshall entertained the crowd in Veterans Square, which included the delightful Hatcher family (minus Josh).
These kids enjoy the giant slide at the Kids Carnival sponsored by the First United Methodist Church and the YMCA.
Elm Street Manager Lisa Campogiani took time to pose with daughter Gabby and doggie before the pet parade.

Ginny Hauser had her hands full with her (and husband Chris's) dogs so she got help from "aunt" Mary Anne Polucci-Sherman.
Jay Monti and Blou were grand marshals for the parade. Heidi Mackowski and Tony Danias of the McKean County SPCA also participated, as did many other dogs.

Linda Newman made sure her husband Dave got something to eat from Taste of Bradford in Veterans Square before he headed off to the pet parade.