The 1490 NewsBlog

powered by NewsRadio 1490 WESB

brought to you, in part, by

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Three Pedestrians Hit By Car

Three people were taken to the hospital after being hit by a car Friday night on Miller Road in the Town of Ripley.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say a vehicle driven by 86-year-old Marjorie Thorp hit a car parked in the road, then three people who were standing next to the car.

One person was taken to Hamot Medical Center in Erie. Another person was taken to Children's Hospital in Buffalo. The third person was treated at Westfield Memorial Hospital then released.

Thorp was also treated and released.

Audrey Hess, the driver of the car that was parked, wasn't hurt, but was tickted for parking on a roadway.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Burglary in Roulette

State police are looking into a burglary that happened early this morning in Roulette.

At around 5 a.m. two people wearing black pants and black hooded sweatshirts entered Drabee's Mini Mart and the New You Styling and Tanning Salon at 9 River Street by "defeating the locking mechanism" on the front door.

Once inside, the people removed two cartons of Marlboro Light cigarettes valued at $50 each from Drabee's and $109 from the cash register in the salon.

The people fled on foot traveling north on River Street.

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

ABC Shows Off New Facility

Dan McCune, president and CEO of Allegheny Bradford Corporation, shows off a tank that will hold purified water for pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company. Merck will use the $600,000 tank during production of Gardasil, a vaccine that helps guard against cervical cancer. Lewis Run Mayor Albert Montecalvo is one of the people looking on during McCune's tour of the plant.

McCune said representatives from Merck spent a week at the Lewis Run plant simulating their manufacturing process using the tank.

Another one of the projects ABC is currently working on is making modules that will be shipped to China to make Hepatitis B vaccine.

During today's open house to show off the new Lincoln Drive facility, McCune said people would be hard pressed to get through a year without taking a medication Allegheny Bradford had a part in manufacturing.

In the top picture, McCune explains how the automated seam welder works. He also pointed out that most jobs in the plant -- even welding -- require computer skills. In the background is the machine that polishes the products. Pictured below is a mixer laying on its side.

Federal Help for Grape Growers

ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties as Ag-disaster areas after an unseasonal frost severely damaged vineyard crops in the Lake Erie Region in May.

In June, Sen. Young met with area grape growers including the operators of Fisk Farm in Dunkirk, who had damage done to 65 acres out of the 150 the farm owns and maintains. She vowed to help and wrote a letter to Governor Paterson asking for the disaster declaration.

“The weather was unexpected and came late in the year. It caused millions of dollars in losses for area grape growers, who had to work through the night to try and salvage any of the crop they could. I applaud the USDA for taking swift action to address some of the huge losses incurred in New York’s grape belt,” Sen. Young said.

From May 16, 2009 through May 26, 2009, temperatures in the Lake Erie Region dropped to between 25 degrees F and 29 degrees F, affecting vineyards ranging from Erie County, PA all the way to Niagara County, NY.

Sen. Young said estimated crop loss to grape growers in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties ranged from 25 to 35 percent. Eighteen other affected counties, including Erie, Niagara and Wyoming, were also named in the USDA declaration.

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are now eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have until April 21, 2010 to apply for loans to help cover part of their losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at:

The location for the Jamestown Service Center is: 3542 Turner Rd., Jamestown, NY 14701-9608. The phone number is (716) 664-2351.

The Cattaraugus County Service Center in Ellicottville is located at 8 Martha St., Ellicottville, NY 14731. The phone number is (716) 699-2326.

New York is the third largest wine producer in the United States and attracts over 4 million tourists annually. The total economic benefit to the state last year from New York grapes, grape juice and wine was $3.4 billion.

Pictured, Senator Young visiting the Fisk Farm in June.
(Photo courtesy of Senator Young's office)

PSP: Pair Was Growing Pot Plants

Two Galeton residents have been arrested for allegedly growing marijuana outside a trailer they were renting.

Police say 24-year-old Colby Pierce and 24-year-old Gina Widnikiewicz were growing two marijuana plants under the front deck of the trailer on Route 6 in Pike Township.

They were both charged with manufacture and unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

They're jailed on $5,000 bail each.

UPB Has Swine Flu Prevention Plan

With the return of students to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford today, the university is putting in place plans for preventing or mitigating a possible outbreak of the H1N1 influenza on campus.

“Whenever large groups of people come together, there’s always an increased possibility of illness,” noted Dr. Livingston Alexander, president. “We have discussed, planned and organized measures to protect students and the faculty and staff in hopes of getting through the fall semester with minimum impact from H1N1.”

College students are at a higher risk than much of the population for two reasons. First, young people appear to be more susceptible to H1N1. The largest numbers of confirmed or probable cases of H1N1 have occurred in people between the ages of 5 and 24, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In addition, students live closely together, giving the virus a chance to spread.

To prevent the spread of H1N1, Pitt-Bradford is educating its students and employees in a variety of ways, from skits at orientation and cleaning demonstrations by resident assistants to distributing laminated cards with tips for staying healthy during influenza season.

In addition, extra precautions are being taken in the area of cleaning and sanitizing. The university’s cleaning contractor will sanitize high-contact surface areas such as handrails, door knobs, door plates and bathroom sinks, and liquid hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the university. In addition, dining services will sanitize tables, counters and chairs after each meal, and hand sanitizing wipes will be placed in the computer labs.

As part of orientation, students are being issued personal keychain-sized bottles of hand sanitizer.

Bonnie McMillen, director of health services, is urging students to be vigilant about hand washing, covering coughs and not sharing personal items, such as cell phones.

In the event that students do contract the H1N1 virus, they will be asked to self-isolate. Student health services will be able to have sick trays delivered to residence halls and/or arrange for transportation to local doctors with whom the campus has an agreement.

“We’re a school where the buddy system works pretty well,” said Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs, explaining that resident assistants have been trained to recognize flu symptoms.

If possible, students will be asked to return home to recuperate.

“The vast majority of our students live within easy driving distance,” Evans said.

As vaccine for the virus becomes available, Pitt-Bradford plans to hold a vaccine clinic.

Pitt-Bradford has also developed a pandemic plan to guide the campus through an outbreak of H1N1 or other diseases.

Alexander said the college will monitor not only how H1N1 is spreading in Pennsylvania, but also in Western New York, a few miles north of campus.

Road Closing on Monday

School Street will be closed on Monday between Pearl and North Center streets from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The closing is necessary so excavation work can be done within the road.

Man Jailed on Drug Charges

A Fredonia man has been arrested for allegedly selling prescription drugs to the agents of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

22-year-old Corey Grant was taken into custody today on a warrant from Village of Fredonia Court charging him with criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Grant was arraigned then sent to Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Authorities say the investigation into narcotics trafficking in the Fredonia area is ongoing.

Violations at Transfer Station

Department of Environmental Protection staff found 6 operational and safety violations on five trucks during a transfer station inspection Wednesday at the Potter County Transfer Station in Ulysses Township.

“We made this inspection a priority to help improve compliance with DEP’s environmental regulations and state traffic safety laws,” DEP Regional Director Robert Yowell said. “We have conducted thousands of trash truck inspections over the past several years because we want to get unsafe trash trucks off the highways.”

DEP staff inspected 20 trucks and discovered five trucks that had six violations. DEP inspectors found two violations for not having proper signs, two violations for no daily operational log, one violation for no fire extinguisher, and one violation for a leaking load. All of the violations were against haulers, not the transfer station.

Trash haulers must obtain authorization from DEP through Act 90—the state’s Waste Transportation Safety Act—to haul trash in Pennsylvania. DEP inspectors look at compliance history and may revoke authorization to transport waste if outstanding violations exist or there is an inability to comply with Act 90 regulations.

In addition to checking the Act 90 authorization, DEP inspectors look for fire extinguisher and sign violations, drivers not properly managing waste during transport, leaking loads, improper covers over the waste, trucks that are overweight or otherwise overloaded, and log book or record-keeping violations.

Dennis Wolff Resigns

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that he will nominate Russell Redding of Adams County as the new Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture secretary following the resignation of Dennis Wolff, which is effective Sept. 12.

“Denny Wolff has worked hard over the last six and a half years to ensure Pennsylvania’s farmers have the resources they need to expand their business and ensure the state’s number one industry continues growing,” said Governor Rendell. “He’s worked effectively to implement my plan to ensure more farmers have ready access to affordable financing and the resources and guidance they need to expand, diversify or transition their operation. He’s also played a pivotal role in strengthening our food safety system and opening new markets to Pennsylvania’s producers.”

At Governor Rendell’s direction, Wolff worked to launch a number of important initiatives such as the PA Preferred program, and the centers of beef and dairy excellence, which help farmers in those industries improve profitability. He also led efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s food safety oversight and enact the Agricultural Communities and Rural Environments initiative, or ACRE, that helps protect farmers against illegal and burdensome local ordinances.

“I thank him for his service to the commonwealth and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” the Governor added.

Redding has served the department since April 1995, when he served as a deputy secretary. In 2003, he was named executive deputy secretary and assumed the day-to-day operational and administrative oversight responsibilities for the entire department.

His nomination as secretary is subject to Senate confirmation.

“Russell is one of the most respected individuals in Pennsylvania agriculture today,” said the Governor. “From his days growing up in Gettysburg, he has been actively engaged in the agricultural community. In his professional career, he has proven himself to be incredibly knowledgeable and capable on all matters of agricultural policy at the state and federal levels.

“Under my administration, he has been an invaluable asset as his insight and counsel is highly regarded. There are a number of challenges facing our agricultural industry today and there are important issues before the department. From helping our producers navigate and survive a difficult economic climate, to improving our state’s food safety system, enacting Pennsylvania’s greatly improved Dog Law, and strengthening our conservation and stewardship practices, I am confident that Russell is the right person for this position.”

Prior to joining the department, Redding served as an agricultural policy advisor and executive assistant to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford.

Redding serves on the Pennsylvania Rural Leadership Program’s advisory board, on the Gettysburg Hospital board of directors, and is a member of the Penn State University’s Agri-Food Advisory Committee. He was recently recognized by the Pennsylvania FFA for more than 30 years of service to the agricultural education organization.

Redding, his wife Nina, and sons Garrison and Elliot are also active in the Upper Adams 4-H Club.

Man Sentenced on Fraud Charges

An Erie man has been sentenced to 71 months in prison for defrauding St. Marys residents out of about $750,000.

39-year-old Eric Long induced numerous people to invest money in his company, Shepherd Networks, with false promises of huge returns.

The US Attorney's office says Long also repeatedly lied to investors about the company's business ventures and prospects for success.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Sean McLaughlin said this was an extremely serious crime, the callousness of which is hard to fathom, which resulted in a fundamental breach of trust involving friends and family.

The FBI and St. Marys Police Department investigated.

Bradford Firemen Attend Funerals

An estimated 10,000 firefighters from around the world, including Bradford, are attending the funerals of two Buffalo firemen who died earlier this week while trying to find someone they believed was trapped inside a burning building.

The funeral for Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy started this morning, while Firefighter Jonathan Croom's service is scheduled for this afternoon.

Governor David Paterson is in Buffalo for the funerals.

The President of the International Association of Firefighters is in Buffalo as well to present medals of honor to the families of both men.

Help for NY Dairy Farmers

State Senator Cathy Young has unveiled new legislation that she hopes will help struggling dairy farmers in New York.

The “2009 Dairy Investment Act” is designed to provide $60 million in immediate assistance to dairy farmers.

The act would provide a one-time direct support payment to New York’s dairy producers using $60 million of stimulus funds from New York’s share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Young says milk prices have steadily declined since last summer and are almost 50 percent lower than they were last year, but feed, fuel and fertilizer prices continue to go up.

She says this affects not only farmers, but agribusinesses, processors, banks, veterinarians and others who make up the rural economy.

Heroin Bust in Jamestown

Police found 120 bags of heroin Thursday night while searching a suspected drug dealer's home in Jamestown.

30-year-old Javier Carrasquillo was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance after police found the $1,200 worth of heroin and about $1,000 in cash.

Officers with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, Jamestown Police Department and Dunkirk Police Department participated in the search.

Police say the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into heroin trafficking in the Jamestown area.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NCRPDC May Have to Cut Programs

If the state budget impasse continues into next month, the North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission will have to drastically cut back and possibly end all services associated with some community development programs.

North Central has been able to continue its services with the help of its federal money and other funding, but that money is expected to run out in mid-September

That means more than 300 businesses and 200 communities would lose access to programs

North Central serves McKean, Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and Potter counties.

DEP Fines Shinglehouse Company

The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Gas Field Specialist Inc. of Shinglehouse, Potter County, $3,000 for operating an unpermitted residual wastewater transfer station in Dunnstable Township, Clinton County.
“DEP’s investigation in May determined that Gas Field Specialist was transporting waste ‘fracking’ water from a natural gas well in West Burlington Township, Bradford County, to three tank trailers at the Clinton County site,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “The fracking water was being stored there for later transport to the Jersey Shore sewage treatment plant.”

Fracking involves injecting water and chemicals deep underground to release natural gas that is locked in difficult to reach areas.

Gas Field Specialist officials told DEP the wastewater was being transported to the Clinton County site for temporary storage because the drilling site where the wastewater was generated did not have ample storage area and the Jersey Shore sewage treatment plant was unable to accept the wastewater.

The company’s operation was a violation of the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act because it did not have a DEP transfer station permit as required by law.

“DEP has since learned of several other similar operations being conducted in northcentral Pennsylvania and we will be taking appropriate enforcement action against those companies, as well,” Yowell said.

The fine was paid to the Solid Waste Abatement Fund that pays for cleanups across the state.

Senator Renews Call to Resume Pitt-Penn State Football Rivalry

State Sen. John N. Wozniak today renewed his annual call to help mediate an agreement for Pitt and Penn State to resume their century old football rivalry.

“I think the time has come for both school’s administrators and athletic directors to spare us the excuses and get this game back on the schedule,” Wozniak said. “Again this year, I will offer to facilitate discussions leading to resuming this once-great football rivalry.”

He said the Pitt-Penn State game was once one of the greatest college football rivalries in the nation, generating sell-out crowds, national television coverage and intense, good-natured interest from alumni and football fans statewide.

He said Penn State officials claim they don’t have room for Pitt on the school’s 12-game schedule, but Penn State will open its season with Akron, and later play Eastern Illinois and former eastern foe Syracuse.

“If you ask most Penn State students and fans, they will tell you they would rather see Pitt on Penn State’s schedule than these teams and nearly all of the Lions’ Big 10 opponents.

Wozniak said Pitt’s non-conference football schedule is equally lacking with teams such as Youngstown State and Buffalo generating only tepid interest.

“While Pitt is mixing it up with Buffalo and Penn State is doing battle with Illinois State, other states will be treated to rivalry games such as Miami-Florida State, Georgia Tech-Georgia, West Virginia-Marshall, Iowa-Iowa State, Clemson-South Carolina, Purdue-Notre Dame and Kentucky-Louisville,” Wozniak said.

The Cambria County lawmaker said many people have urged him to recommend that the state legislature step in and mandate that the schools resume their annual game. He said fans point to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin who called in athletic directors from Marshall and West Virginia into his office for a full day in 2005 to hammer out details of the football rivalry between those two schools. But Wozniak said he believes that other than encouraging the schools to work their differences out, Pennsylvania’s legislature and governor have more important things to do.

“Pennsylvania’s budget is nearly eight weeks late and this impasse threatens to devastate important government services statewide,” Wozniak said. “I am in no way saying that this football rivalry issue deserves to be a government priority or become a legislative issue.

“But that doesn’t excuse Penn State and Pitt from refusing to give Pennsylvania its football rivalry back,” Wozniak said.

The schools first met in 1893. They last played in 2000.

Rendell Signs Two Bills

Governor Ed Rendell has signed the following bills into law:

Senate Bill 366 makes changes to the Judicial Code bringing it in line with the state Constitution for situations when bail can be denied. Under this bill, judges can deny bail for offenses when the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or when only imprisonment will guarantee public safety.

Senate Bill 574 extends the Fish Fund restricted account funded by Lake Erie fishing permits until December 2014 and requires the purchase of a Lake Erie fishing permit when fishing on waters that flow into the tributaries of Lake Erie and Presque Isle. This bill also expands the range of projects that can be funded through the restricted account to include those that protect or improve fish habitat on or at Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, their tributaries, and waters that flow into those tributaries.

Smethport Dam to be Removed

Pittsburgh, PA – The Smethport Dam, located on Blacksmith Run west of Smethport, Pennsylvania, will be removed next week to improve public safety and fish passage and to restore a tributary of the Wild and Scenic Allegheny River.

American Rivers began work on this project in 2005 and provided $20,000. Multiple other partners have also contributed to this project including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to make this removal a reality. Additional funding was also generously supplied by the Mellon Foundation.

Blacksmith Run, a tributary to the Wild and Scenic Allegheny River, is a cold water fishery that supports a population of wild brook trout. This project will restore nearly two miles of free-flowing stream, making important upstream breeding grounds more accessible. The Wild and Scenic Allegheny River flows through forested valleys and rural landscapes rich with history and culture. The river is popular for canoeing and other recreation.

The 375 foot long dam was originally built in 1881 for water supply but is no longer needed. The dam has been labeled a high-hazard structure, meaning that it would result in loss of life and significant property damage if it failed.

“By removing this obsolete dam we are removing a community liability and creating a community asset—a healthy, thriving river,” said Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy of American Rivers. “When a river is returned to health, it can benefit a community by supplying clean water, fish, flood protection, and new recreation and economic opportunities.”

“Many of the functional values of rivers and streams are directly associated with the characteristics of free flowing water. Rivers and streams also act as important highways for many aquatic organisms, allowing them to efficiently access various instream habitats that are critical to their health and well being,” said Larry Miller with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mid-Atlantic Fishery Resources Office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Removal of the Smethport Dam will restore many functional values of this reach of the Blacksmith Run, and once again provide an open highway for aquatic life. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to be a part of this cooperative effort to restore the free flowing stream values to this reach of Blacksmith Run.”

Pennsylvania leads the nation in dam removal projects and six dams have already been removed in Pennsylvania this year. American Rivers works across the country to remove outdated dams and other stream barriers. The organization’s expertise and advocacy have contributed to the removal of more than 200 dams nationwide. Removing an obsolete, harmful dam can help a community by improving public safety, reducing flood damage, saving money, increasing economic opportunities, restoring overall river health, improving water quality, and boosting community resiliency to climate change.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Man Charged for Allegedly Pointing Gun, Threatening to Kill People

A Media, PA, man has been charged with simple assault and harassment for allegedly pointing a loaded shotgun at two people, then threatening to kill four other people at a camp in the Village of Costello.

Police say on August 15, 43-year-old Patrick Brown pointed a loaded shotgun at the chest of 55-year-old Leon McClellan and at the throat of 46-year-old Nancy Shutt. Later that night, he allegedly threatened to shoot a 65-year-old woman and three teen-age boys, and pointed the gun at them at various points during the night.

Police didn't release the names of the other four victims.

The woman and the three boys fled the camp and contacted police, who set up a perimeter around the camp and engaged Brown in conversation on the front porch of the camp. During the conversation, Brown threatened suicide.

Troopers were eventually able to use a Taser on Brown and take him into custody. He was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric exam then returned to police.

He's in Potter County Jail in lieu of $30,000 cash bail.

Suspected Coke Dealers Arrested

HARRISBURG -- Two suspected drug dealers were charged today on charges of trafficking cocaine in the in the State College area.

Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendants as Gregory Palazzari, 53, 2243 Bristol Ave., State College and Mario Rincon, 27, 621 Elmwood St., State College. Palazzari is the owner of Greg's Sunoco, 605 University Drive, State College.

The investigation, which began in June 2009 focused on the sale of multiple ounce quantities of cocaine throughout the State College area, including at Greg's Sunoco.

Corbett said that Rincon sold between four and eight ounces of cocaine on a bi-weekly basis.

According to the criminal complaint, Palazzari purchased approximately one ounce of cocaine every couple of days from Rincon and redistributed it in smaller quantities.

"We believe Rincon and Palazzari had an established drug business in the State College area and operated for many years," Corbett said. "Both men are allegedly responsible for distributing approximately $50,000 worth of cocaine per month in State College."

Rincon is charged with 12 counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, six counts of possession of cocaine, four counts of conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine and three counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

Palazzari is charged with 14 counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, six counts of conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, three counts of possession of cocaine and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

Elk Deaths Caused by Illegal Feeding

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials recently reported that there have been four cases involving elk that have died or rumen acidosis, which is directly related to artificial feeding that causes an abrupt change in an elk’s diet that wreaks havoc with its digestive system. Feeding elk is illegal, as it causes problems by habituating elk to find food around homes and can be dangerous to those who attempt to feed elk by hand.

“So far, we have been able to document four cases of such deaths,” said Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. “There have been other deaths that we believed may have been caused by such feeding, but, in those cases the animal was either decomposed or other circumstances prevented it from obtaining the carcass in time for laboratory analysis to take place.”

Dr. Cottrell explained that elk, as well as white-tailed deer, adapt to a winter diet of primarily woody vegetation and they will die of acidosis caused by a build up of lactic acid in the rumen, chambers of its four-part stomach that is responsible for fermentation of food. If they consume too much high-fermentable grain, such as corn, which is the most common artificial feed put out by local residents, the pH level falls quickly and a shock-like syndrome can occur.

Local residents have been issued citations for the illegal feeding. In one case, an elk was found lying dead on a pile of corn. In another case, a resident dragged the carcass of a dead elk into the woods in an attempt to conceal the situation.

“We need to have local residents and district justices understand that the well-intentioned individuals are actually killing elk,” Dr. Cottrell said. “For those who truly enjoy seeing elk it is best for them to stop artificially feeding elk and other wildlife. It would be far more beneficial if they were to implement some form of habitat improvement producing cover to reduce weather-related stress or food in the form of digestible native plants on their property.”

Lewis Run Sailor Promoted

Navy Seaman Apprentice Preston A. Elmore, son of Kelly A. and Michael R. Elmore of Lewis Run, Pa., was recently promoted to his current rank upon graduation from recruit training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

Elmore received the early promotion for outstanding performance during all phases of the training cycle. Training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations". This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.

Elmore is a 2009 graduate of Bradford Area High School of Bradford, Pa.

PGC Addresses Wildlife Problems

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers have been encountering more problems involving trash and wildlife, and are encouraging Pennsylvanians to be more thoughtful about disposing of their trash properly.

“Each year, wildlife rehabilitators are presented with wildlife, especially water birds, entangled in discarded fishing line, or skunks or raccoons with plastic containers stuck on their heads,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Such refuse can prove problematic or deadly for wildlife, and we are encouraging all Pennsylvanians and visitors to Pennsylvania to make sure they ‘trash their trash.’”

Earlier this year, a young male, white-tailed deer in Cumberland County was found dead with a clear, plastic jug over its head that once likely held pretzels or pickles. A resident that reported finding the dead deer on his property noted that it appeared that the animal had suffered from dehydration and malnutrition, but was able to breathe.

“No one was able to capture the deer or get close enough to it to help it, as it was able to see through the plastic jug and would run off whenever it was approached by people,” the resident told agency officials. “However, I found the deer on my property once it died from a lack of food and water.”

It appeared that the young deer, which had just begun to grow antlers, had put its head in the jar to get at the salt or brine that remained in the jug. However, once it got its head in the jug, it was unable to pull it back out as the antler had lodged against the inside of the jar.

More recently, in late July, Game Commission WCOs were made aware of a black bear in Wayne County that also had a jug stuck on its head.
“The bear was first seen around Camp Wayne for Girls in Preston Park on July 25,” said WCO Jim McCarthy. “Many people thought it would just free itself, but they saw it again on July 27, and it still had the jug on its head. I received a call for help that day from staff at the camp.

Due to the nature of the call, WCO McCarthy requested a bear trap to take to camp. It was reported that the bear had been wandering around the camp and was making loud noises as it tried to breathe, and temperatures were in the 80’s.

“When I arrived at the camp, I was taken to the dumpsters, where the bear reportedly was still coming in to even though it couldn’t eat,” WCO McCarthy said. “I set the trap next to a dumpster and returned the following morning at 5 a.m. to sit and wait with a dart gun in case the bear came back to the dumpster area and did not go into the trap.

“When I got there, a bear was in the trap, but it was the wrong bear. I waited until 8:30 a.m., but the bear with the jug on its head didn’t show. I processed the captured bear, and reset the trap.”

A little later that day, around 2:30 p.m., the bear with the jug was captured in the trap.

“When I arrived, the bear was making very loud gasping sounds that could be heard before we reached the trap,” WCO McCarthy said. “I looked in a hole in the trap and there was a bear with a pretzel bucket stuck on its head. I quickly injected it with a tranquilizer dart, which took effect in about three minutes.

“Once the bear was removed from the trap, I tried to pull off the bucket, but was unable to. I got my tin snips out of the truck and had to cut through the rim of the pretzel bucket to get it off. Almost immediately you could hear an improvement in the bears breathing, it was almost like it let out a big sigh. I poured water over the bear to cool it down.”

The bear turned out to be a 90-pound female cub. It had a noticeable ring around her neck where the bucket was.

“Once I administered the reversal drug, she woke up, but was apparently exhausted, and took about an hour to gain enough strength to run off into the woods,” WCO McCarthy said. “The bucket was on the bear for at least four days that we know of. The bucket had two small punctures in the end, and that was all. I don’t know how she found the trap, let alone went into the trap with that bucket on its head, but we certainly are glad she did.”

Pictured, WCO McCarthy uses tin snips to remove a pretzel jug that became stuck on the head of a 90-pound female bear in Wayne County.
(PGC Photo)

Statements on Sen. Ted Kennedy

President Barack Obama:

I wanted to say a few words this morning about the passing of an extraordinary leader, Senator Edward Kennedy.

Over the past several years, I've had the honor to call Teddy a colleague, a counselor, and a friend. And even though we have known this day was coming for some time now, we awaited it with no small amount of dread.

Since Teddy's diagnosis last year, we've seen the courage with which he battled his illness. And while these months have no doubt been difficult for him, they've also let him hear from people in every corner of our nation and from around the world just how much he meant to all of us. His fight has given us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you -- and goodbye.

The outpouring of love, gratitude, and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity, in families that know new opportunity, in children who know education's promise, and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just -- including myself.

The Kennedy name is synonymous with the Democratic Party. And at times, Ted was the target of partisan campaign attacks. But in the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth, and good cheer. He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintain warm friendships across party lines.

And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

His extraordinary life on this earth has come to an end. And the extraordinary good that he did lives on. For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was the defender of a dream.

I spoke earlier this morning to Senator Kennedy's beloved wife, Vicki, who was to the end such a wonderful source of encouragement and strength. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, his children Kara, Edward, and Patrick; his stepchildren Curran and Caroline; the entire Kennedy family; decades' worth of his staff; the people of Massachusetts; and all Americans who, like us, loved Ted Kennedy.

PA Governor Ed Rendell:

Governor Edward G. Rendell today issued the following statement on the passing of Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts:

“I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, one of the true giants of American public life. It marks the end of an era in our nation’s politics, and indeed in our nation’s history.

“During almost five decades in the United States Senate, Ted Kennedy led the fight for the most vulnerable and least fortunate among us. He valued every person, no matter their station in life, and he worked tirelessly until the very end to make sure that all Americans could live in dignity and peace.

“He knew that the strength of a nation lies in the strength of its people, so he dedicated himself to fighting for all children to receive a good education, for everyone to have access to high-quality health care, and for everyone to have the opportunity for economic progress – in short, that everyone had the chance to share in the American dream.

“The United States has lost one of its greatest statesmen of all time. I will miss him as a friend, and the nation will miss him for the leadership, the guidance and the love that he gave to all of us.”

NY Governor David Paterson:

“It is with profound grief that I learned the news of Senator Edward Kennedy’s passing late last night.

“Senator Kennedy took his seat in the United States Senate in 1962, and from the moment he was sworn in, he fought for the progressive principles and ideas that he held so close to his heart. Over the course of 47 years in the Senate, he was an unstoppable force for peace, civil rights, expanding access to health care, improving education, reforming our immigration system and encouraging national and community service. It is fair to say that Senator Kennedy influenced every important issue that affected our nation for the past half century, and on every issue, he stood for justice and compassion.

“Senator Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate and one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century. He was intimately familiar with the Senate’s levers of power, and knew how and in what order to pull them. His mastery of the legislative process is unparalleled in our time, and he stands on par with giants like Webster and Clay. Still, first and foremost, he was a friend to regular Americans. He was a fighter for our needs. He was a true American hero.

“And so today, Americans mourn the loss of our great champion, but we also rejoice in what he lived for. As Senator Kennedy said of his brother Robert, so can be said of him: ‘He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty and sharing in time of happiness.’

“Senator Kennedy may be gone, but the impression he left on this nation and its people remains. The values he spent his life fighting for stand eternal. His dream for a better future lives. On behalf of my family and all of the people of the State of New York, I offer the Kennedy family my condolences on this great loss. I hope that they, and all of the Senator’s friends, colleagues and supporters, can take comfort from the knowledge that America is a safer, freer and more just nation thanks to Ted Kennedy.”

National Security Advisor General James L. Jones:

As a young Senate Liaison officer during the early 1980’s, I had the opportunity to get to know Senator Edward Kennedy who was then a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Kennedy and his staff were among some of the best supporters the Marine Corps ever had on Capitol Hill. Despite his many responsibilities, he always made time for me on issues of importance to Marines and their families. Always gracious and well informed, the Senator was instrumental in the passage of the landmark legislation known as Goldwater-Nichols and military pay reforms, which ushered in the most comprehensive reforms of our military and defense establishment since the end of World War II.

Senator Kennedy, among the many things he will be remembered for, deserves to be honored for his genuine care and compassion for our men and women in uniform – his tireless work and his voting record clearly supports this distinction. While he never shied from challenging our senior military leadership during hundreds of committee hearings, he could always be counted on to be fair and open-minded in letting witnesses like me make our case to the committee and to the American people. He contributed a great deal to my “Washington education”, and I’m sure he is most proud of the contributions many of his former staff members continue to make to our nation today.

Senator Arlen Specter:

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy:

“Senator Kennedy made historic contributions on civil rights, health care, education, the Judiciary, labor law, immigration, and virtually all facets of life in America. Working with him on the big issues of our era was a real privilege.”

Senator Bob Casey:

After returning from his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan, U.S. Senator Bob Casey released the following statement on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy:

“The United States of America and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have lost one of the most dedicated, effective and compassionate Senators in U.S. history. The poor, the powerless and the forgotten lost their protector and ever-faithful advocate. The Kennedy family lost a beloved father, uncle, brother and mentor who endured many dark days of tragedy, pain and loss. It has been my great honor to serve with Senator Kennedy for the last two and a half years. Terese and I will keep Senator Kennedy, his wife Vicki and the entire Kennedy family in our prayers.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

"Senator Kennedy's dedication for over four decades to help millions of our nation's children, seniors and families is an inspiration to me, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve with him in the United States Senate.

"While we have lost an American treasure today, Senator Kennedy's rich legacy, historic legislative record and deep commitment to positive change for all Americans will continue to be felt for generations to come.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family as they grieve over their loss."

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney:

It is with sorrow that I report on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Senator Kennedy was not only a great American statesman, but a good friend of mine and of Ireland and its people.

Senator Kennedy was a true advocate of health care, especially for children. He was committed to the idea that everyone should have access to health care.

He was a giant in furthering legislative resolutions for people in need, among not only his own constituents, but also among the people of Ireland.

Since his early days in the Senate, Ted Kennedy was active in the Northern Ireland peace process. He introduced resolutions condemning all violence in Northern Ireland, expressing support for the Good Friday agreement in 1998 and the blueprint for lasting peace.

Senator Kennedy was an instrumental supporter of Barack Obama's candidacy for the office of President of the United States. He continued that support after President Obama was elected.

My deepest sympathies go out to Senator Kennedy's wife, Victoria, and the entire Kennedy family. He will be sincerely missed for his active role in legislation and for his concern for the needy.

NY Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolom Smith:

Last night, America lost a true patriot and dedicated public servant. Throughout his storied career in the U.S. Senate, which spanned nearly half a century, Ted Kennedy epitomized the courage, unwavering resolve and commitment to justice that is the hallmark of our nation.

“As an early champion of healthcare reform, it was Senator Kennedy’s work and perseverance that brought us to where we are today- on the verge of sweeping reforms that will expand access to affordable healthcare coverage for everyone. From fighting for an increase to the federal minimum wage law to authoring the federal COBRA healthcare law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Ted Kennedy’s legacy will live on through the millions whose lives he touched.

“More than his legacy as a great legislator, Ted Kennedy represented the greater ideals of fairness that have made our country a beacon of hope the world over. In arguably his most famous speech, Ted Kennedy said, ‘For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.’ That is how Ted Kennedy will be remembered; as a person who lived to make other people’s tomorrow better than today.”

ATV Accident on ANF

A Newfane, New York, man was injured when his ATV rolled on top of him during an accident Sunday on the Allegheny National Forest in Elk County.

Forest Service law enforcement says 20-year-old Timony Tomaino was on the Timberline ATV Trail's D Loop going down a steep hill when the front brakes of his four-wheeler locked, causing the rear of the ATV to come off the ground, flip over and land on him.

Tomaino was flown to Altoona General Hospital for treatment of head and chest injuries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fire in Ridgway

State police are investigating a fire that damaged a house in Ridgway Tuesday morning.

Trooper Greg Agosti says the fire in the two-story house at 112 Sherman Avenue did about $25,000 worth of damage.

Howard White owns the house.

There were no injuries.

Council Addresses Pensions

WESB/WBRR News Director

Anyone who's been paying attention to the state budget impasse has probably heard lawmakers talking about a bigger problem looming in the next couple of years – municipal pension plans.

City Clerk John Peterson explained during Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting that where a major issue may occur is in 2011 when contributions to pension plans will be based on market figures from the early part of this year when the market was "disastrous."

"It could be a budgetary crisis for all municipalities in Pennsylvania," Peterson said.

Lawmakers in Harrisburg have been addressing the pension issue.

The state senate finance committee on Monday approved an amendment to House Bill 1828 (a pension relief measure to help Philadelphia) that would include all municipalities based on their level of funding for their individual programs.

The amendment defines municipalities as being in minimal, moderate or severe distress and outlines plans for recovery.

Those in minimal distress would see a reduction in contribution limits for two y ears. Those in moderate distress would see a reduction for four years and be required to submit an administrative improvement plan. Those in severe distress would be required to enter a Municipal Pension Recovery Program and be administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Board.

"We're not in bad in shape," Peterson said during the council meeting, adding later that council is comfortable with where they are now.

Also Tuesday, Mayor Tom Riel read an anonymous letter from a concerned citizen who said one of the solutions to the bear problem in the city would be to ban bird feeders.

The letter-writer also said trash collectors should work from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. so garbage won't be out for long periods of time.

"This is a human problem," the person wrote. "They have taken away the woods and food sources from the bears with logging and drilling. Where do you think the bears should go?"

Riel said that last Friday the state game commission did set two traps, adding that he had nothing to do with the location of the traps, one of which is in his yard. The other is off East Main Street.

Several bears have been caught off East Main Street, but Riel said there hasn't been one caught in the one in his yard because "a raccoon keeps stealing the bait."

Also Tuesday, council appointed Mike Campogiani as a temporary firefighter for 90 days or as long as a full time firefighter is absent due to illness or injury.

Fire Chief Boo Coder explained that one firefighter is off for an extended period of time and, according to the union contract, a replacement can be hired.

Riel said he was questioning the appointment because the police department is also short-handed.

Riel voted against hiring Campogiani.

In other matters, Councilman Rick Benton, who is also on the Oil 150 Committee, commented on Saturday's celebration.

"The only way this was pulled off was from the help of pretty much every department in the city," he said. "We thank you all."

Listen to the meeting HERE.

Rep. Thompson Visits Bradford

US Congressman Glenn Thompson addresses a group of Kiwanis Club members and guests at Kelly's on Main Street in Bradford Tuesday afternoon. Among the topics he covered were healthcare and drilling on the Allegheny National Forest.

Zippo is Semi-Finalist for Award

Zippo Manufacturing Company owner George Duke accepts a certificate from Robert Pierce, head auditor of the Governor's Award for Safety Selection Committee Tuesday morning. Zippo is one of 15 companies across the state being considered for the Governor's Award for Safety Excellence. Also pictured are Bruce Gallagher, VP of Human Resources; Greg Booth, Zippo President & CEO; Jim Minich, Employee Relations Manger; Ed Hayden, Environmental Health and Safety Manager; Michelle Kafkals, Governor's Award program coordinator; and Tim VanHorn, Director of Manufacturing.

Zippo Manufacturing Company is one of 15 companies in the semi-final round of selection for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence.

Of the thousands of businesses in the Commonwealth, only 75 applied for the award. Of those 75, only 15 were chosen to move into the semi-finals. Zippo was one of them.

The Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence is a highly competitive award aimed to recognize businesses that possess best practice safety programs and go “above and beyond” in every aspect of safety.

Initial review of all nominations is conducted by the Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence Semi-Finalist Review Committee. If approved by Labor and Industry Department officials, the semi-finalists are contacted for an on-site visit. Zippo’s on site visit was conducted on August 25.

Michelle Kafkalas, Program Coordinator and Robert Pierce, Head Auditor from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor / Safety Selection Committee, presented Zippo Owner and Chairman of the Board George Duke with a semi-finalist award as Zippo moves into stage two of the selection process which includes a tour of Zippo facilities.

“It is wonderful to receive this award on behalf of Zippo. It is the people of Zippo that made this happen,” said Duke, accepting the award. “We are more focused on safety now than the company has ever been.”

Members of the Department’s safety team conduct site visits, review the nominees’ comprehensive safety programs, and submit written reports to the Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence Review Committee for the determination of finalists. Recommendations are then forwarded to the Secretary of Labor and Industry, who makes the final selection. The annual Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference in Hershey, PA, slated for October 19 and 20, is the stage for winner recognition and awards presentation.

Ed Hayden, Zippo Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, attributes Zippo’s successful safety program to several factors. “The commitment to safety by everyone from production employees to managers and executive staff, to the president and owner of the company plays a critical role. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure our employees are not in danger, and we schedule audits and inspections on a regular basis to make certain all processes are conducted safely.”

Stay tuned for more on this story.

Women's Health Kiosk at BRMC

Shown at the newly installed Women’s Wellness Guide inside Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC’s) main lobby are (from left): Valerie Del Grosso, director of business development for St. Andrew Development Inc.; Deborah Price, BRMC’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services; Dr. Youmasu Siewe, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s director of the Center for Rural Health Practice; and Sherie Wallace, rural preparedness project coordinator for the Center for Rural Health Practice.Women can spend a few minutes at the Women’s Wellness Guide to learn about heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, asthma, diet and exercise, weight management, smoking, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and insurance options. This self-service, interactive kiosk also provides information and education related to prevention and appropriate lifestyle behaviors. The Women’s Wellness Guide is made possible by the generosity of the Highmark Foundation and the Department of Public Welfare, and the vision of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women and Leslie Stiles, the commission’s executive director, and also St. Andrew Development Inc.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Protesting Drilling in State Park

Environmental advocates and concerned citizens held a demonstration in Buffalo today to protest potential oil and gas drilling in Allegany State Park.

The protest was held outside a hearing on New York State's 2009 Draft Energy Plan, which would give the go-ahead for drilling.

US Energy of Getzville, NY, says it would like to drill on 3,000 acres where the company owns the mineral rights.

In July, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered US Energy to stop drilling in the Commonwealth citing numerous violations of the Oil and Gas Act, the Clean Streams Law, and the Solid Waste Management Act.

DEP and US Energy have since come to an agreement in which the company can drill, but under a more structured format.

Judge Upholds Bruno Indictment

A federal judge has upheld a criminal indictment accusing former New York Senator Majority Leader Joe Bruno of corruption while he was in office.

Among other accusations, the indictment alleges that Bruno used his position to steer contracts and grants toward businesses that paid him at least $3-million from 1993 through 2006.

Bruno retired from the Legislature in July 2008.

His trial is scheduled to start November 2. He maintains his innocence.

Guilty Pleas in Catt County Court

An Elma, New York, woman has pleaded guilty to burglary charges in Cattaraugus County Court.

Samantha Andress broke into two homes in the Town of Freedom with another person and attempted to steal property by displaying a firearm.

She'll be sentenced October 26.


Two Olean women have pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Heather Blade sold crack cocaine on September 17, 2008, in Olean.

She'll be sentenced November 9.

Tara Gayton sold crack cocaine on September 5 in Olean.

She'll be sentenced October 26.


A Kennedy, New York, man has pleaded guilty to burglary charges.

Between June 7 and October 23 of 2008 Louis Mosher Jr. broke into various buildings in Randolph and Napoli and stole property.

He'll be sentenced November 23.

Fire Under Investigation

A state police fire marshal is investigating a fire that damaged a two-story house at 31 Regal Road in Wetmore Township.

Trooper Greg Agosti says about $100,000 worth of damage was done to the house owned by Susan Reed of Kane and Northwest Savings Bank.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

Road Resurfacing in Bradford

This city crew gets ready to work on road resurfacing on Boylston and Kennedy streets. Work is also being done on East Main Street between Main Street and East Aveneue. Flaggers will be directing traffic.

Teen Dies in Accidental Shooting

A Sugar Grove teenager is dead after an accidental shooting Saturday night.

16-year-old Travis Barnett died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to Warren County Coroner Jeremiah Borden.

Police say the shooting happened at about 7:40 Saturday night at a home on Orchard Street in Warren. They say another 16-year-old, whose name has not been released because of his age, picked up the gun and fired it, not realizing it was loaded.

Police are continuing their investigation.