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Saturday, September 26, 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

Friday, September 25, 2009

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, does not have a sales tax increase, and it spends less than last year’s budget (something that has not been done in recent history).

“I am in disbelief, but I am confident that the citizens of the 25th Senatorial District will not buy into the misinformation of outside special interest groups,” Scarnati concluded. “Furthermore, I would expect many of the taxpayers to express to these various entities their outrage over being misled.”

From Senator Scarnati's office

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 all equipment and work practices associated with hydraulic fracturing at all well sites in the county within 21 days.

The engineering study must include a detailed evaluation and explanation of the causes of the three spills that occurred in the past week and establish corrective measures Cabot will use to prevent similar releases.

Within 21 days of DEP’s approval of the Pollution Prevention and Contingency Plan, the Control and Disposal Plan, and the engineering study, Cabot must fully implement all of the recommendations and requirements in those documents.

The company also must place the approved Pollution Prevention and Contingency Plan and Control and Disposal Plan in a conspicuous location at each permitted well site and provide a copy to each contractor and subcontractor working at any well site. Contractors and subcontractors cannot begin work at any well site until they receive the two plans.

In a separate enforcement action, DEP issued a notice of violation to Cabot for the third spill at the Heitsman well that occurred Tuesday morning. The violations noted are nearly the same as in DEP’s Sept. 22 notice of violation issued to Cabot for the two spills last week.

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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, businesses, and especially charitable organizations such as fire departments, American Legions and VFWs through a new tax on small games of chance. I cannot support a plan that harms our communities like this."

Gabler expressed support for a budget proposal that avoids tax increases while ensuring state government fulfills its responsibilities to the people.

"I have worked with my colleagues to build support for legislation that solves Pennsylvania's financial needs without increasing existing taxes or creating new ones," commented Gabler.

Gabler stated that while increased taxes and spending are a large concern in the ongoing state budget discussions, local citizens must also remain watchful for further efforts by state government officials to implement tolling on Interstate 80.

"Tolls on Interstate 80 would amount to the largest targeted tax increase on Northern Pennsylvania in our lifetime," Gabler said. "Not only would it increase transportation costs for local commuters, it would also raise the price of the products we need to buy in stores. But the largest concern to me would be the impact on our job market when area employers lose their competitive edge because of the increased cost of doing business locally. Make no mistake about it - tax-and-spend politicians are making a full-court press on taxpayers' wallets, and I'm here to say it needs to stop."

Gabler's remarks come in the wake of recent reports that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission plans to re-submit its I-80 tolling request for federal approval this fall. The federal government turned down the initial request last year.

"The voice of residents in the 75th District is loud and clear," said Gabler. "Tolling I-80 means penalizing the communities adjacent to the interstate by diverting more traffic through them on to their already-stressed roads and increasing costs for employers and residents. New highway tolls would be economically-crippling for areas such as Elk County, whose unemployment rate has doubled to more than 14 percent since last year. It is time government officials apply some common sense and start living within our means rather than shaking down taxpayers."

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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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 with the Family Weekend Mass in the Reilly Center Arena. The Mass will celebrate the Franciscan Jubilees of President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F. (50 years), Fr. Louis McCormick, O.F.M. (50 years), biology professor Fr. Peter Schneible, O.F.M. (25 years), and Fr. Harry Monaco, O.F.M. (newly ordained).

Later Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., a Heavenly Harvest Celebration will be held at Canticle Farm, 3835 S. Nine Mile Road, Allegany. The celebration will feature a fresh salad bar lunch with homemade desserts, drawings, a cooking contest, and entertainment.

Other Francis Week events include:

· “An Evening Away at Mt. Irenaeus,” 4 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30

· Transitus, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, University Chapel, followed by a dessert reception in the Robert R. Jones Trustees Room. Transitus is the celebration of the life and passing of St. Francis.

· Feast of St. Francis Eucharist, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 4, University Chapel.

All Francis Week activities are sponsored by a generous gift from John, class of 1958, and Kay Meisch of Canandaigua, N.Y.

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,” Mrs. Ambuske says.

The donor effort raised nearly $35,000 from friends and supporters of Mrs. Mitchell’s project.

Ultimately, the hospice room was named in honor of the two sisters and a friend of Mrs. Mitchell’s, Betty Phillips of Bradford who was involved early on with the donor effort but passed away a few months ago.

The donor effort, including the Reed-Coit match, will be recognized at a $70,000 Naming Opportunity, says Mrs. Ambuske. This match was made possible through the estates of two sisters, Dorothy Reed and Berdena Coit, where their combined gift of $1.5 million will match a donor’s gift to the Foundation’s “Building The Future” Capital Campaign.

“Over 64 people came together to support this hospice room project,” says Mrs. Ambuske, noting, “I just want to thank all these wonderful donors for the most unique gift possible.”

Of the hospice room donors, eight of Betty Phillips’ high school friends, known as the D.D.’s, made contributions.

To highlight the completion of the hospice room, a reception at The Pavilion at BRMC was held Wednesday so donors, Pavilion staff and the hospice team could tour it. A public open house is planned in the near future.

The Pavilion at BRMC now has a hospice room to give needed privacy and home-like comfort to those spending their last days with supportive family and friends.

“This hospice room is a very peaceful, private place in a professional setting to accommodate individuals who can no longer be taken care of at home or elsewhere during their final days,” says Bonnie Himes, The Pavilion’s administrator.

“Our hospice room is large enough to comfortably accommodate family members or friends,” Mrs. Himes notes.

“We made sure there’s an extra-wide bed because sometimes people want to be comforted by having someone lay down with them,” Mrs. Himes explains.

The room’s other key features include variable lighting, a plasma television with Direct TV, a sound system, DVD player, refrigerator, coffee maker, a chair and full-length couch, end tables, carpeting and wood-look flooring, plus a new call bell system to contact Pavilion staff if necessary. The room is decorated in soft tones of green, beige and floral.

Additionally, the remodeled bathroom is fully tiled with slip-resistant flooring.

“A lot of research was done before putting this room together,” Mrs. Himes says.

“It’s been my dream for a long time for this facility to have a hospice room,” Mrs. Himes says.

“There are times when a family has delivered 24-hour care or palliative care and now it’s time for them to rest, have some coffee and just be with each other in the final days. This new hospice room makes all of this possible,” Mrs. Ambuske says. “This is why people so willingly gave to this unique donor effort.”

The bulk of construction work was done by Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC’s) Plant Services staff, Mrs. Himes says.

Assisting Mrs. Himes in selecting color schemes, furniture and furnishings for the hospice room were Bonnie Frisina, Revenue Management analyst, Penny Oyler, Cardiopulmonary Services director, and Jeff Gabel, Plant Services director.

Discussion on raising funds for a second hospice room are currently under way, says Mrs. Ambuske.

Although the hospice room has been completed, donations are still being sought for future naming purposes, adds Mrs. Ambuske.

The local hospice program was developed by BRMC’s then-named McKean County VNA in 1983. It was Pennsylvania’s second certified hospice program, say BRMC officials.

The Pavilion is a 95-bed facility which provides long-term care to residents and also short-term restorative care to post-surgical patients. For more information, call The Pavilion at 362-8293 or go online at

The Foundation, founded in 1989, raises significant funds to support BRMC. For more information or to make a donation to any appeal, contact the Foundation at 20 School St. or call 362-3200.

Shown in the fourth-floor Mitchell/Tertinek/Phillips Hospice Room at The Pavilion at BRMC are (from left): Diane Merry Mitchell, the motivating force behind the donor effort to create the room; Francie Ambuske, Bradford Hospital Foundation’s director; Jill Cummiskey, the Foundation’s donor relations coordinator; and Larry Phillips, whose wife Betty was initially involved with the effort and was among three people honored with the room naming.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

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, Don't Dress for Dinner and God's Favorite. He has also performed with BLT, Kiwanis Kapers, Olean Community Theatre,Sept. 23, 2009 , among many others, and won a Theater Association of New York award for his comedic role as Stefano in The Tempest.

The play follows five Southern women whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team and who set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other's lives. The play focuses on four of these weekends and spans a period of 33 years.

Spunky team captain Sheree desperately tries to maintain her organized and "perfect" life, and continues to be the group leader. Dinah, the wisecracking overachiever, is a career dynamo whose victories in the courtroom contrast starkly to the frustrations of her personal life. Pampered and outspoken Lexie is determined to hold onto her looks and youth as long as possible; she enjoys being married over and over again. Self-deprecating and acerbic Vernadette, acutely aware of the dark cloud hovering over her life, has decided to just give in and embrace the chaos. Sweet, eager-to-please Jeri Neal rounds out the group.

Over the years, the women increasingly rely on each other to handle the challenges life flings at them, including men, sex, marriage, divorce, parenting and aging. When one of them faces a crisis later in life, the others rally around her, taking the play in a touching direction.

"This play depicts the type of lasting friendship that only women seem to have," said Marcott. "It is both hilarious and poignant."

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and 17, and 2 p.m. Oct. 18. For more information, people may visit the BLT Web site at

Stage manager will be Cindy Matteson with Carol Marcott as her assistant. On board as well will be Shane Oschman, lighting design; Nanci K. Garris, set dresser; Dave Downs, master carpenter; Marlene Kijowski, costume design; Ron Johnson, sound design; Pam Gaffney, props; Erin Leet, make-up; Kim Graham hair consultant; and Paul Nelson, make-up consultant. Also making up the crew will be Sidra Bange, Kathy Bryant, Dan Zinsner, Sandy Fox, Rheda Freeman and Emily Zinsner.

Pictured, The Dixie Swim Club cast poses during rehearsal for the two-act comedy which opens Bradford Little Theatre's season Oct. 16-18 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's Bromeley Studio Theatre. From left are Kim Parana of Port Allegany and Bradford residents Cindy Graham, Karen Jackson, Julie Murrell and Cheryl

(Photo courtesy of BLT)

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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

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 than it did last year, and it is sustainable. Those were our goals going into these negotiations and they were met."

"With the worst economic crises since the Great Depression, Senate Republicans felt that people could not afford to have more money taken out of their paychecks and could not afford to spend more in sales tax," Scarnati said. "With that said, we worked closely with most of the other caucuses and the Governor to negotiate a final budget where the taxpayers of Pennsylvania were protected."

The only caucus not represented in final discussions was the House Republicans, who declined involvement due to various disagreements. The other caucuses and the Administration met in a bi-partisan, civil manner throughout the final days and came up with an agreement.

"It is unfortunate that they chose not to be involved, but when you are dealing with a Democrat-controlled House and a Democrat Governor, there has to be a certain amount of cooperation involved," Scarnati stated. "Given those dynamics, and that the only real difference in opinion is that we chose to fund our rural schools at a higher level to offset property tax increases, many members of the House Republicans will see the merit in this budget. They too should see that this is a taxpayer-friendly budget and vote accordingly."

"I fully expect final passage of the current budget agreement and we can move forward in making Pennsylvania a better place to live and work," Scarnati concluded. "My only regret is that it was not completed on time, but I believe we got it right."

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 wants a further explanation as to what we do and how we do it,” says Case.

Davis echoed those remarks, adding “We want to take any opportunity possible to address anyone’s concerns or to clear up any misconceptions, but we also are looking to promote the agencies being funded.”

The United Way Board of Directors is currently in the process of determining which agencies and programs will receive funding during the 2010 calendar year. The requests for proposals (RFP’s) were due September 1, and the committees comprised of the board members will be meeting numerous times to make their recommendations, which will be voted on in October.

“We want to let the agencies know in November as to what the will be receiving (based on the campaign revenues), so as to give them adequate time to prepare their calendars for the coming year,” says Case.

“I can honestly say that I don’t know where my agency would stand without the financial support we receive from the United Way,” says Judy LeRoy, an employee of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services and the corporate division chair of the current campaign. “We greatly appreciate the hard-earned dollars that this community chooses to contribute.”

The local staff has also been busy summarizing the annual kick-off event, Pig Roast/Clam Bake, which was held September 10th.

“We know we had another successful evening,” says Davis. “Our gratitude goes out to all of our volunteers who put forth so much time and effort into that day. It literally could not be done so smoothly without the crew that we have.”
Plans are currently being finalized for the next special event, Tailgate Party, scheduled for October 18th at Byllye Lanes. More information on that event will be publicized soon.

If anyone has any questions regarding campaign 2009, “Back To Basics”, contact the office.

Monday, September 21, 2009

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 Weidler United Methodist Church in Frewsburg, NY, later Jamestown Free Methodist Church. He currently was in his 23rd year as pastor for the Lafayette Evangelical Christian Church and Kushequa Union Church. He was a member of the Hilltop Ecumenical Ministries and for many years provided evangelical services for area churches.

In addition to his wife Freda of 53 years he is survived by two daughters, Trudy Butts Oldham of Crouse, NC and Marla Jean Pytcher Roth of Keller TX, a son, Arnold Newton Pytcher of Euless, TX, a daughter in law, Sadyann Pytcher of Bedford, TX, two sisters, Mary Lou (Michael) Ross of Lewis Run, and Jean Pinci of Shippenburg, a brother, David (Irene) Pytcher of Ithaca, NY, 8 grandchildren, Daniel R. Butts, Joshua M. Butts, David N. Butts Joseph Pytcher, George Pytcher, Rachel Pytcher, Louis Andre Roth, and Lauren Roth, one great granddaughter Nicole Lynn Butts, and several neices and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son Clark Pytcher who died July 4, 1989, and one sister Leola Mae Chapman.

Family will be receiving friends on Thursday, September 24, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9PM in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. South Ave. and then again on Friday, September 25th, at the Lafayette Evangical Christian Church from 10:00 to 11:00AM at which time funeral services will be held with Rev. Freda Pytcher pastor, and wife as well as his son Arnold Newton Pytcher co-officiating.

Military Honors will be accorded with committal in Lafayette Evangelical Church Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Lafayette Evangelical Christian Church or Kushaqua Union Church.

Online condolences may be made at

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 the toy box and wooden toys.

A set of seven one-of-a-kind Pitt-Bradford lighters, donated by Zippo Manufacturing Co., sold for $1,000.

And a framed art print of American Refining Group’s Bradford refinery at night along with a lighter bearing the same image sold for $950.

Many items cost far less, however, McDonough said.

“The silent auction items ranged from $50 or $60 to a couple hundred dollars. There were items for everybody.”

Pictured, John Levey, assistant professor of music, at the piano during the Pitt-Bradford Auction for the Arts held Saturday night. Levey played piano for the gala event, which raised about $22,000 for the university’s arts programming.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

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 possible,” Scarnati added. “I am hopeful that we can raise significant dollars to aid this wonderful health care facility and assist them in continuing their standard of excellence in pediatric care.”

If anyone would like to make a contribution to the Scarnati 100, please send donations to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, Scarnati 100, 1251 Waterfront Place, 5th floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4209. Corporate checks are welcome and all checks should include Scarnati 100.

There are three levels of sponsorship: Gold sponsor ($5,000)…Silver sponsor ($2,500)…Bronze sponsor ($1,000). In addition, those not riding or sponsoring may make a contribution in any amount to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, Scarnati 100.