Showing posts from September 20, 2009

Rain Doesn't Dampen Competition

Having to use umbrellas didn't deter spectators at the 30th Annual Autumn Classic Tournament of Bands Saturday at Parkway Field.

Otto-Eldred, one of the bands that got the worst of the bad weather, placed third in Class A competition.

Youngsville placed first in Class AA with their show "The Heist."

Elvis (AKA Tynan Shannon) was even in the building with the Bradford High Marching Owls as they performed in exhibition.

PSP: House Fire Was Accidental

A state police fire marshal says the fire that damaged a Cyclone home on Thursday was accidental in nature.

The fire damaged a two-story house owned by Mark Shonts. No one was injured.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

From Ridgway-based state police

Portville Man Hurt in Crash

A Portville man suffered major injuries in an accident at 7 o'clock Saturday morning on Route 446 in Eldred Township.

Police say a car driven 30-year-old Chelsey Bellamy crossed the center line and hit a Peterbilt truck driven by 51-year-old Lewis McDonald of Bliss, NY. The impact pushed Bellamny's pickup truck backwards and onto the west berm.

The truck went over the road, traveled into a ditch and rolled over.

Bellamny was taken to Hamot Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

From Kane-based state police

Fatal Crash in Elk County

Two people are dead following an accident Saturday afternoon at the intersection of routes 66 and 948 in Highland Township.

State police say a car driven by 19-year-old Levi Rowles of Clearfield didn't stop at the intersection and pulled into the path of a Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Mark Peterson of Bradford.

Rowles and his passenger, 38-year-old Carla Rowles of Clearfield, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Peterson was not hurt.

From Ridgway-based state police

Scarnati Responds to Special
Interest Group 'Misinformation'

WARREN — Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) responded today to misinformation being disseminated by various special interest groups, most of them from outside the 25th Senatorial District.

“It disturbs me to no end when groups use misleading, inaccurate, and insulting information in a smear campaign against me,” Scarnati stated. “I have stated time and time again, many of these groups from outside of our area do not want a Senate leader from rural Pennsylvania.”

Scarnati mentioned one particular ad that would lead you to believe he supports giving tax dollars to the much maligned group, ACORN, which is obviously INACCURATE. It goes on to speak about how he supported a budget that increased spending and increased taxes on working families, which is obviously INACCURATE.

“It is outrageous the lengths that these groups will go to highlight their agenda, whatever that may be,” Scarnati added. “In fact, this budget does not have a personal income tax increase, doe…

Metaldyne Calls Workers Back

There's a sign that the economy really is improving.

One company in Elk County is calling workers back.

The county has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, in part because one of its major industries is powdered metal, which is tied to the auto industry.

But one of those companies, Metaldyne, announced this week that it has called back 30 workers.

Bradford Bypass Update

Crews working on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project will be activating the anti-icing system on the Mill Street overpass next week.

Testing will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday, and workers will be near the travel lane.

Also next week, part of Bolivar Drive will remain closed while crews paint both Route 219 bridges. Traffic should follow the posted detours.

Olean Man Charged with Rape

An Olean man is in jail on rape charges for allegedly having sex with someone younger than 17 for about seven years.

53-year-old Clayton Griffis is charged with sodomy, rape, promoting an obscene sexual performance of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Besides having sex with the child, he also allegedly photographed the person engaged in sexually explicit acts.

His bail is set at $50,000

Fund Started for Konopka's Baby

A trust fund has been set up for the one-year-old daughter of murder victim Megan Konopka.

The money will be given to Michelle Hardy when she reaches legal age.

Donations can be made to the Michelle Hardy Donation Account at any Northwest Savings branch.

Konopka was murdered September 13 in a room at the Riddell House in Bradford.

29-year-old Thomas Haggie and 20-year-old Greggory Theobald have been charged with killing Konopka and her unborn son, who was due early next month.

DEP Tells Cabot to Cease Operations

WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation to cease all natural gas well hydro fracking operations in Susquehanna County until the company completes a number of important engineering and safety tasks.

“The department took this action because of our concern about Cabot’s current fracking process and to ensure that the environment in Susquehanna County is properly protected,” DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell said.

Cabot voluntarily shut down fracking operations at the Heitsman well in Dimock Township on Tuesday afternoon following three separate spills there in less than one week. The company is currently drilling seven new wells in the county that will require fracking.

The order requires Cabot to develop within 14 days an updated and accurate Pollution Prevention and Contingency Plan and Control and Disposal Plan for all permitted well pad sites in Susquehanna County.

The company must conduct an engineering study of…

Date Change for 'Scarnati 100'

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) will kick off a three-day, 100-mile bike ride on Friday, October 16 at 10:00 a.m. to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The event is called the “Scarnati 100.”

For more information, see our previous post.

Steelers Ownership Deal is Done

The Pittsburgh Steelers' restructuring of their ownership is a done deal.
Ten new owners have joined a group headed by team president Art Rooney II and his father, club chairman emeritus Dan Rooney. Also retaining some ownership are members of the McGinley family, including club director emeritus, Rita McGinley. Among the new owners is the Varischetti family of Brockway. The Varischettis are involved in several businesses in the region and own some property in Bradford.

Gabler: No Taxes, No Tolls

HARRISBURG - State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) is emphasizing his "No Taxes, No Tolls" pledge to constituents amid recent reports of a budget deal reached by the state Senate and House Democrats, as well as renewed efforts to place tolls on Interstate 80.

"In this case, desperate times do not call for desperate measures," Gabler said. "In the haste to craft a spending plan in a difficult economy, some in Harrisburg are trying to balance the budget by increasing the burden on hard-working, already taxed-to-the-limit taxpayers. I know there is a better way."

Gabler addressed the framework budget deal that was announced by the state Senate and House Democrats late last week.

"Their proposal still leaves many questions unanswered because they haven't released many details," added Gabler. "I am very concerned because we do know it still spends more money than the state has, and it includes discussion of increased taxes on consumers, bu…

Peterson Endorses Gerlach;
Ridge Endorses Corbett

Former Governor Tom Ridge endorsed Republican Tom Corbett’s campaign for governor.


Retired US Congressman John Peterson has endorsed Jim Gerlach for governor.

Peterson says Gerlach "shares our rural values" and has experience in creating jobs and capping state spending.

Read more at Gerlach's Web site.

The Democratic side is more crowded and includes state Auditor General Jack Wagner, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox, former Congressman Joe Hoeffel and Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty.

Voice of the Owls

Our own Frank Williams is featured in's Golden Voices this week. For people who don't know, you can listen to Frank and Stefan live on as the Bradford Owls battle the Warren Dragons Friday night. Pre-game starts at 6:40 p.m. on the 'net as well as 1490 WESB and 100.1 The HERO with Jeff Puglio's coach's show.

Also, thanks to WOWL-TV for congratulating Frank and Stefan on their Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters award.

Father Monti to Speak During
SBU's Francis Week Activities

Fr. Dominic V. Monti, O.F.M., former president of St. Bonaventure University, will be the featured speaker during Francis Week activities Sept. 27 through Oct. 4.

Fr. Dominic will engage the question, “What Does Theology Have to Do with Anything? The Queen of the Sciences in a Liberal Education,” at the Fr. Jerome Kelly Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. Oct. 1 in the University Chapel.

The talk, like all Francis Week activities, is free and open to the public.

Fr. Dominic will also speak about his new book, “Francis & His Brothers: A Popular History of the Franciscan Friars,” at a 10 a.m. talk Oct. 1 in the Walsh Auditorium; and about “Mendicants in the Marketplace” from 12:30-1:20 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Friday Forum (for faculty and staff only) in the Doyle Dining Room.

A longtime professor of church history, Fr. Dominic was president of St. Bonaventure from 2003 to 2004 and is now vicar provincial of the Holy Name Province of Friars Minor.

Francis Week activities begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday …

Pavilion Adds Hospice Room

By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department

Diane Merry Mitchell of Bradford has turned her bereavement on the loss of a sister into a community-minded gift by creating the Mitchell/Tertinek/Phillips Hospice Room at The Pavilion at BRMC.

This specially designed hospice room was made possible through a unique donor effort led by Mrs. Mitchell.

Developing the fourth-floor hospice room became a clear goal of Mrs. Mitchell after caring for her sister, Brenda Merry Tertinek of Columbus Ind., for several months before she was transferred to a facility’s family-friendly hospice. Her sister died nearly two years ago.

After returning home, Mrs. Mitchell says she realized, “There should be a hospice room dedicated for that type of care in Bradford.”

She contacted Francie Ambuske, director of the Bradford Hospital Foundation, about raising funds to make the hospice room a reality.

“We agreed that we can give hospice a home with a specially designed and equipped room at The Pavilion,” M…

Comedy Introduces New Faces to
Bradford Little Theatre Audiences

Four of the five actresses cast in the upcoming comedy "The Dixie Swim Club" are new to Bradford Little Theatre -- and three are new to the stage itself.

Taking the boards October 16-18 will be newcomers Karen Jackson of Bradford as Sheree: Kim Parana of Port Allegany as Lexie; Cheryl Bazzoui of Bradford as Dinah; and Julie Murrell of Bradford as Vernadette. Veteran BLT actress and board member Cindy Graham of Bradford will portray Jeri Neal. Only Parana and Graham have acted before, Graham in various BLT shows and Parana as director/performer with Elk County Footlighters for many years.

Director Dick Marcott announced the cast and crew for the two-act show to be performed in the Bromeley Studio Theater at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Writers are Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, who spent many seasons as writer/producer of the classic TV series The Golden Girls .

BLT president, Marcott has previously directed Seniors at Large, Waiting for MacArthur, D…

Assault Charges Bound to Court

Charges against a Kane man accused of slamming a Bradford man's head on the ground until he was unconscious have been bound to court.

Robert Hearst appeared in front of District Judge Dom Cercone today on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment, robbery and theft by unlawful taking in connection with an incident on September 11 at Country Fair that started as a dispute over $160.

Court records indicate that Hearst shoved Cody Fowler to the ground and repeatedly punched him in the face, causing injuries. He then slammed Fowler's head on the concrete until Fowler lost consciousness.

Fowler is still hospitalized. Hearst is free on unsecured bail.

Another Overnight Fire in Warren

A state police fire marshal is looking into the second overnight fire in Warren this week.

At about 3:15 this morning firefighters responded to a blaze at a vacant two-story building on Buchanan Street. The fire started in the back of the building and spread to the roof and attic.

The building is considered a total loss.

Early Monday morning, firefighters battled a blaze at 128 Crescent Park.

Authorities haven't determined yet if the two fires are related.

Reported Assault at FCI-McKean

An assault has been reported at FCI-McKean.

At just before 3:30 this afternoon three ambulances were sent to the prison in Lafayette Township.

There are reportedly three victims.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Inmate Back in Custody

An inmate who escaped from the Clearfield County Jail yesterday is back in custody.

32-year-old Michael Rodriguez of Buffalo, NY, was captured after a vehicle chase in the Shawville area.

Rodriguez escaped during recreational time Tuesday afternoon.

He's in jail for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in DuBois, as well as burglary, terroristic threats and trespass charges.

Accident on East Main Street

Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close and Lts. Carl Milks and Rich Harsen (not shown) investigate an accident near the intersection of East Main Street and St. Francis Drive that happened at about 12:20 Wednesday afternoon. An occupant of the pickup truck was taken away by ambulance. Bradford City firefighters were on hand to take care of the fuel leaking from the truck. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Man Escapes from Jail

Authorities are looking for a Buffalo man who escaped from the Clearfield County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

32-year-old Michael Rodriguez Jr. escaped by climbing under a fence, then fleeing on foot.

Rodriguez is as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, has dark hair and a tattoo on his neck. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants.

He was in jail for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in DuBois, as well as burglary, terroristic threats and trespass charges.

'Unstoppable' Star at the Station

Lew Temple, one of the stars of the movie "Unstoppable," chats with Scott Douglas and Frank Williams Wednesday morning at the station. In case you missed Scott and Lew on the air, tune in to 1490 WESB's LiveLine at 12:40 this afternoon.

Lew's Bio.

19-Year-Old Facing Charges

A 19-year-old is facing charges for having alcohol at Randolph Central School during a football game.

Police say they found Stephanie Dilallo in the school parking lot Friday night drinking a mixed drink. She also had a full case of Bud Light and an empty bottle of vodka in her car.

She's scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

Olean Man Hurt in I-86 Crash

An Olean man was taken to ECMC with leg injuries after a motorcycle accident Monday day in Allegany.

Sheriff's deputies say 55-year-old Daniel Jordan was on Interstate 86 in Allegany when a deer jumped in the road.

When the bike hit the deer, Jordan was thrown from the motorcycle, which then hit a guard rail.

Man Jailed for Assault

A Bemus Point man is in Cattaraugus County Jail after allegedly stabbing a man Monday night.

Sheriff's deputies say 20-year-old Kevin Klemens was arguing with a woman on Oak Street in South Dayton at around 10 o'clock Monday night. Joseph Westling got concerned and went outside to see what was happening.

Deputies' say when confronted by Westling, Klemens stabbed him with a knife. Westling was able to restrain Klemens until deputies arrived.

McCandless Pleads Guilty

The former chairman of the Cattaraugus County Democratic Committee has pleaded guilty to election law fraud.

Daniel McCandless of Franklinville deliberately included forged signatures on nominating petitions for candidates, including District Attorney Ed Sharkey.

McCandless resigned from his political party post before pleading guilty. He had been chairman for about 10 years.

McCandless faces a jail term of up to three years when he's sentenced on November 24.

Neither Sharkey nor the voters whose names were forged onto the nominating petitions or other candidates for town board and judicial delegate posts covered by the petitions were aware of what McCandless had done.

Scarnati: Taxpayers Protected in
'Sound, Solid' Budget Agreement

As details of the budget progress, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati continues to be pleased with the overall general budget agreement.

"At the end of the day, it came down to taxpayers being protected, and the final agreement represents a budget that will not raise your personal income tax or the sales tax," Scarnati stated. "Given the economic downturn that faces, not only this Commonwealth, but the country as well, I believe this is a sound, solid budget."

Scarnati mentioned that specific line-items in the budget are still being determined, but he expects the final package to be ready in the coming days. Senators are due back in session on Wednesday to examine the final budget information.

"When each legislator takes a look at the budget they will recognize that everyone did not get what they wanted, but that it does meet our core principles in this budget process," Scarnati added. "There are no broad-based taxes, the budget spends less…

UWBA Thermometer Starts to Move

The United Way of the Bradford Area has made its first thermometer posting of Campaign 2009, announcing that the organization is currently at 5% of the $325,000 goal.

“We’re proud to be able to make this announcement, especially given that we haven’t gotten into the campaign as heavily as we will be in the coming weeks,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “We will be working with the campaign chairs and visiting the local community quite a bit between now and the end of the solicitation process in December.”

“If this is any indication of how this appeal will take place, we are very confident that we will be successful in reaching not only our monetary goal, but also that of funding so many deserving agencies and programs,” says Executive Director Kelly Case.

Efforts will continue over the next three months to not only solicit the local community for monetary support, but to also educate it on the purpose of the United Way.

“We greatly appreciate it when someone asks questions, or…

Rev. Richard E. Pytcher

Rev. Richard E. Pytcher, 78, of Lafayette, passed away Monday, September 21st, 2009 at his residence.

Born January 28, 1931, in Gifford, he was a son of the late David A and Ethelyn Leola (Newton) Pytcher.

On December 24, 1955 in Sugar Grove, he married Freda M. (Craker) Pytcher who survives.

Rev. Pytcher was a 1949 graduate of Bradford High School where he was an accomplished athlete. He pitched in the Penn York Pony Baseball league for the New York Giants Farm Team. He enlisted in the US Army and served in Korea from 1952 to 1954. While in the service he pitched for the Army Baseball Team and threw a no hitter. He returned home and worked as a salesman for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in the Bradford Area and later at Carnahan's Mens Clothing Store in Jamestown, NY.

He attended the American University in Washington DC and later ordained as a minister at Houghton College by Bishop Joe Yeakel. He first pastored in the Obi Community Church near Portville, then served at the Weid…

Pitt-Bradford Auction for the Arts
Raises More Than Twice its Goal

Organizers of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s first Auction for the Arts have declared the event, which raised about $22,000 for the university’s arts endowment, a success.

The total more than surpassed the committee’s goal of $10,000.

“It was a wonderful venue to bring together generous members of our community to support the arts at Pitt-Bradford,” said Gail McDonough, chairwoman of the auction fundraiser committee. “It’s overwhelming and heart-warming. That’s really what touched me the most.”

Proceeds from the event will help offset the cost of arts programming such as the Prism, Spectrum and children’s Kaleidoscope series.

The top-selling item of the evening was a hand-crafted cherry toy box with walnut and maple inlay stuffed with toys, including a porcelain Irish doll, which auctioneer Hilton L. “Woody” Woodruff sold for $1,050. The toy box was made by inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean, which donated th…

Johnsonburg Bypass Update

PennDOT has issued an update for the Route 219 Johnsonburg Bypass project.

Starting next Monday crews will be placing reinforced concrete beams on the substructures of the new bridge at the north end of the project near West Center Street.

The project is expected to continue for about three weeks.

7-Year-Old Hit by Car

A 7-year-old Sheffield girl had to be taken to a Pittsburgh hospital after she was hit by a car on Route 6.

State police say the girl was riding her bike on Deerlick Street when she entered the intersection of Route 6 without stopping. She was hit by a car driven by Darlen Minich of Bradford.

Police say the girl was not wearing a helmet. She was taken to Warren General Hospital, then to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Fatal Crash in Allegany

An Olean man has died from severe injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in Allegany late Sunday night.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Deputies say 23-year-old Aaron Thropp lost control of his bike on Valley View Drive while trying to negoiate a curve.

Deputies report that Thropp died a short time after the accident at Olean General Hospital.

'Scarnati 100' to Benefit Hospital

WARREN — Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) will kick off a three-day, 100-mile bike ride on Saturday, October 3 at 10:00 a.m. to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The event is called the “Scarnati 100.”

“The Children’s Hospital has been a wonderful asset to many children not only across Pennsylvania, but across the country as well,” Scarnati said. “The Hospital has touched the lives of my children and me, and this event is a way in which we can give a little back.”

Scarnati said that the bike ride will start in Punxsutawney and end in Pittsburgh on October 5 at the Children’s Hospital, where proceeds raised will be delivered to hospital officials. Riders will arrive at the facility at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The schedule will be as follows:

Punxsutawney to Blairsville - 48 miles
Blairsville to Murrysville - 44 miles
Murrysville to Pittsburgh - 17 miles

“To really make a difference, it is vital that we get as many sponsors and riders as p…