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Showing posts from August 23, 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.

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

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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…

Federal Help for Grape Growers

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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…

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 educatin…

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 Pennsy…

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 i…

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.

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…

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 w…

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 an…

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 …

Suspected Coke Dealers Arrested

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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 d…

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 lac…

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 w…

PGC Addresses Wildlife Problems

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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 wa…

Statements on Sen. Ted Kennedy

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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 …

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.

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

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
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 pl…

Rep. Thompson Visits Bradford

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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

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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 busi…

Women's Health Kiosk at BRMC

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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 D…

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.

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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.

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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

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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.