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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three-Vehicle Crash on Route 219

No one was hurt in an accident involving a Mack truck, a pickup truck and a car at 11 o'clock Friday night on Route 219 about 3 miles north of Johnsonburg.

State police say the Mack truck driven by Drew Ferguson of Wilcox was following the car, driven by Dora Morales of Mission, Texas, when the truck hit the car. The truck then went out of control and traveled on the south berm for about 170 feet before going back onto the road and hitting the pickup truck driven by Scott Lowe of Wilcox. The Mack truck then spun around and traveled down an embankment.

Both trucks had to be towed from the scene.

faxed from Ridgway-based state police

Man Hurt in Elk County Crash

A James City man was hurt in an accident early Friday morning on Pennsylvania Avenue, about a quarter of a mile west of Route 66 in Highland Township.

State police say a car driven by 23-year-old Colin Cunningham left the road and hit tree. The car kept going and hit a second tree, then rolled onto its passenger side.

Cunningham was taken to Kane Community Hospital by private vehicle. Police say he'll be charged with careless driving.

faxed from Ridgway-based state police

Sheffield Trio Facing Charges

Three Sheffield residents are facing a number of charges after a traffic stop on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say they stopped 43-year-old John Filiatrault for speeding, and discovered that he had a suspended New York driver's license. They say he also had more than 50 pills that are controlled substances.

One passenger, 35-year-old William Free was found to have active warrants in the City of Jamestown and was also allegedly in possession of a controlled substance.

Another passenger, 20-year-old Kristina Appling allegedly had 30 pills that are controlled substances. She and Filiatrault also allegedly had brass knuckles.

All three were sent to Chautauqua County Jail on $500 cash bail each.

e-mailed from Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rendell Signs Budget

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell signed legislation today to enact a $27.799 billion state General Fund budget for 2009-10 that increases education funding while reducing overall spending. It contains no new broad-based taxes.

State-dollar spending is $1.9 billion lower than in 2008-09. When $2.6 billion in federal stimulus dollars are included, the new budget still spends $524 million less than last year.

"While the budget I have signed today is late, it’s a responsible budget, given the economic condition of the nation and the state," Governor Rendell said. "This budget is a half billion dollars smaller than the budget we enacted last year. In fact, it is only the third budget in the past 50 years that is lower than the previous year’s."

Despite a national recession that caused a dramatic decline in state revenues, Pennsylvania balanced its budget without any broad-based tax increases. During the past year, 11 other states increased their personal income tax or added brackets, 12 states increased their sales tax or broadened the base, and 11 states raised business taxes.

Pennsylvania also invested in its economic future by increasing or maintaining funding for its most critical long-term needs.

"In spite of the cuts and tough decisions, this budget meets my two primary objectives – protecting the programs that provide education and health care, and ensuring that we can balance next year’s budget as well as this one, assuming no further dramatic downturn in the national economy," Governor Rendell said.

Basic education funding will increase by $300 million under the new budget, to $5.5 billion. Other education programs, such as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Head Start Supplemental Assistance, and Accountability Block Grants see funding preserved at 2008-09 levels.

"We know that one of the reasons Pennsylvania has made so much academic progress over the past six years is that we are investing in what works – starting with high-quality early childhood education," Governor Rendell said. "This budget preserves every dollar for those critical programs that will benefit our society and our economy for decades to come.

"We also continue to close the gap in adequate funding among school districts with the $300 million increase for public schools," he added. "I commend the General Assembly for investing in our most essential educational programs, especially while many other states made the opposite choice in this difficult economy– 25 states cut funding for early childhood and K-12 education, and 15 have laid off teachers."

With $1.5 billion in higher education expenditures aided partly by federal stimulus money, Pennsylvania maintains funding for the State System of Higher Education, state-related universities, and community colleges at 2008-09 levels.

With the final budget signed into law, the state can begin to make payments to school districts, social service providers, vendors, and others who have been awaiting state funds since July 1, as the commonwealth lacked authority to disburse money. The Rendell administration has been working with state agencies and the state Treasurer to process and distribute payments expeditiously.

Of the 657 line items in last year’s budget, this plan completely cuts appropriations to 142 line items. Another 360 line items are reduced from last year’s amounts. Administrative spending declines by 9 percent; the Governor’s office is funded at 1997-98 levels, while the General Assembly is at the 2003-04 mark. The budget eliminates legislative initiative grants, commonly known as WAMs.

The Governor also stressed the importance of the funding for health care and economic development programs in the coming year.

Money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, climbs by $10 million over last year, to $97 million. As a result, 203,000 children will receive health care coverage from the state’s Cover All Kids program.

The state will also preserve funding for proven economic development programs.

"The budget includes substantial funding for our core economic development programs – including Opportunity Grants, World Trade PA, Infrastructure & Facilities Improvement Grants, Infrastructure Development and Customized Job Training. While I wish we were able to provide more resources, the budget I am signing provides three times as much funding for these critical programs as SB 850 would have – meaning that we will be able to make competitive offers to companies like Harley Davidson that we are recruiting to come to Pennsylvania or remain here," Governor Rendell said.

Although the budget includes no broad-based tax increases on income or sales, the state will increase taxes on cigarettes by 25 cents per pack and will institute a new tax on small cigars. It postpones a scheduled phase-out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax paid by businesses, and makes several other tax changes. The budget does not include tax increases on arts and cultural events, profits from small games of chance, and natural gas extraction, which were part of several budget proposals in recent weeks.

To raise additional revenue and help balance the budget, Pennsylvania will lease a limited amount of state forest land for natural gas production. The state will use competitive auctions and advanced technology that helps identify areas with the greatest Marcellus Shale gas reserves, generating the most revenue by leasing as few acres as possible. In addition, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will receive a significant share of future lease royalties to help fulfill its conservation mission.

During the protracted debate that resulted in Pennsylvania going more than three months without a fiscal blueprint in place, Governor Rendell frequently emphasized the need to generate sufficient recurring revenue to balance this year’s budget as well as next year’s. The budget enacted today includes nearly one billion dollars in new recurring revenue. In addition to the tobacco levies, legislation is in development to include table games at Pennsylvania’s 14 authorized gaming facilities, which currently offer only slot machines.

"The budget that reached my desk meets the threshold I established for recurring revenue, and does it without increasing broad-based taxes like income or sales tax," the Governor said.

The Rendell administration also laid the groundwork for dealing with fiscal challenges next year by basing the budget on conservative economic forecasts. The budget assumes no growth in existing revenue sources during the current fiscal year.

The state will use approximately $2.4 billion in one-time revenue, but projects a year-end balance of $350 million to cushion against potential economic challenges in 2010-11.

"We are certainly not out of the dark, but the budget that I am signing today will serve Pennsylvania well throughout the remainder of this fiscal year and sets the groundwork for a balanced budget in 2010-11 – while continuing to provide the programs and services that will help working families today and grow our economy to a better tomorrow," the Governor said.

e-mailed from Commonwealth Media Services

Causer: Budget Process Frustrating

HARRISBURG - More than 100 days after the July 1 deadline, a state budget bill is finally on the governor's desk, awaiting his signature, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said today. (note: it has since been signed)

"This year's budget process was, by far, the most frustrating I have experienced in my seven years in the state House," Causer said. "A $3.2 billion deficit, along with a governor bent on increasing people's taxes in a recession, made it very difficult to come to an agreement."

While Causer is pleased to see the budget finally getting done, he ultimately voted against the proposal.

"This budget could have been much worse, but it also could have been much better," Causer said. "There are always good points and bad points in every budget, but a major drawback of this spending plan is that it fails to plan for the future.

"I am deeply concerned that Pennsylvanians will be facing significant tax hikes in the next couple years because this budget fails to adequately control state spending," he said.

Causer acknowledged that the $27.8 billion spending plan does represent a decrease in spending compared to last year and it is more than $1 billion less than what the governor originally proposed last February. He is also pleased that House and Senate Republicans were able to get the governor to take his personal income tax hike proposal off the table earlier this summer.

"Many members of both parties were adamantly opposed to any broad-based tax hike in an economic recession," Causer said.

However, the lawmaker also notes the plan drains most all of the state's reserve accounts, such as the Rainy Day Fund and the Health Care Provider Retention Account (HCPRA), as well as taking a portion of money from the tobacco settlement endowment fund. It also relies heavily on federal stimulus funds, which will run out in two years.

"By relying so heavily on one-time revenue sources, we may well be setting ourselves up for bigger problems next year," Causer said. "If the economy doesn't recover quickly and substantially, next year's budget could be even worse than this one."

e-mailed from House Republican Communications

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Capital Campaign Exceeds Goal



By George Nianiatus, senior writer
Communications Department


With unwavering community support and a well-organized campaign of volunteers and staff, Bradford Hospital Foundation’s “Building The Future” Capital Campaign has exceeded its $6 million goal in less than five years, announced Francie Ambuske, the Foundation’s director.

Just over $6.2 million has been committed to financially support Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and its array of healthcare services in the new Outpatient Services Center.

To highlight the fundraising milestone, a celebration for campaign organizers and volunteers was held Thursday in BRMC’s Same-Day Surgery waiting room.

Sandra McKinley, chairman of the Foundation and its Capital Campaign, said, “We raised this amount in less than 4 ½ years. Understand that I use the term ‘we’ loosely because it really was all of you who accomplished this and I can’t begin to express my deepest gratitude.”

The campaign vice chairmen were Mrs. Ambuske; Edwin O. Pecht, Foundation board member and chairman of BRMC’s Board of Directors; Foundation board members Ann Kessel and William Pantuso; and Daniel McCune of BRMC’s Board of Directors. Also, there was a core group of 35 Capital Campaign team members, 20 Business Blitz members and 24 BRMC employee team members.

“All of our volunteers and staff have the biggest hearts in the world. In addition, I will never be able to find enough words to thank everyone for their efforts,” Mrs. McKinley said.

The campaign for BRMC achieved its strategic plan to build the Outpatient Services Center which opened in January of 2007, said Mr. Pecht. The new facility has enabled BRMC to name five Centers of Excellence: The Cancer Care Center; The Heart Center; Allegheny Vein & Vascular; Bradford Recovery Systems; and Surgical Services.

“The Outpatient Services Center brings a modern-day approach to providing state-of-the-art community health services,” Mr. Pecht said, noting BRMC is steeped in a 120-year tradition that’s rooted in commitment to quality healthcare.

The Capital Campaign was launched in 2005 through BRMC’s comprehensive strategic plan to maintain and further healthcare excellence, and to ensure a correct mix of clinical services are available to meet the community’s needs.
BRMC’s strategic plan involved a $15 million campus improvement project that included building a 65,000-square-foot Outpatient Services Center for expanded clinical services, modernizing and doubling the size of the Emergency Department to 17,600 square feet, upgrading Surgical Services, relocating the Upbeat Wellness/Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and SMART Rehab Services, and creating added parking spaces.

Total project financing for BRMC’s campus improvements was provided through $3 million in state economic development funds, $6 million in bond financing, and a $6 million commitment through the Foundation’s Building The Future campaign.

Mrs. McKinley said there were three separate Capital Campaign phases: an advanced giving phase; hospital family giving; and a community campaign.

Through the estates of two sisters, Dorothy Reed and Berdena Coit, with their gifts totaling $1.5 million, donations by others were matched dollar-for-dollar during the Building The Future campaign.

As part of the campaign’s second phase, Bradford Hospital Auxiliary made a $300,000 pledge over five years, its largest pledge in history. The Auxiliary’s pledge served as a dollar-for-dollar match for BRMC family giving. BRMC employees donated over $200,000 to the campaign.

The Capital Campaign then entered its public fundraising phase in the spring of 2008.

“I’m extremely pleased that during this final period the financial commitments continued to come from the community’s support and the hard work of our excellent capital campaign team,” said Mrs. Ambuske.

The Foundation’s director also took a moment to emphasize the long-term volunteer and leadership support of Mrs. McKinley. “Over the years she has shown extraordinary dedication and a deep-felt commitment for quality healthcare and philanthropy,” said Mrs. Ambuske.

Service to the Foundation has been equally strong by George E. Leonhardt, president and CEO of BRMC and the Foundation. “He has always demonstrated strong leadership and belief in philanthropy and the community,” Mrs. Ambuske said.

The Capital Campaign’s success will bring another noteworthy occasion.

Anticipated for next May, “We will be dedicating our new donor wall area which will incorporate a 60-year tradition of giving dating back to 1950. This will also include our new Building The Future Wall and our Naming Opportunity Wall,” Mrs. McKinley said.

The Foundation’s remaining board members are: Thomas Bromeley, secretary/treasurer; Dean Bauer; John Egbert; Frederick Fesenmyer; Richard McDowell, Ph.D.; and Katherine Still.

“We’re on the threshold of a new opportunity and philanthropy will continue to play a very important role. Also, we look forward to the leadership that the integration of Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital will bring,” said Mrs. Ambuske.

The Foundation was established 20 years ago to raise important funds to meet the mission at BRMC. For more information or to make a donation to any appeal, contact the Foundation at 20 School St., call 362-3200 or go online at www.brmc.com.


Shown at Bradford Hospital Foundation’s “Building The Future” Capital Campaign reception at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) on Thursday are (from left): Edward Konwinski, M.D., chairman of the campaign’s Retired Hospital Family Division; Ann Kessel, Foundation board member and the campaign’s vice chairman; Sandra McKinley, chairman of the Foundation and the campaign; and Edwin O. Pecht, Foundation member and chairman of BRMC's Board of Trustees.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kong Ho's Work in Harrisburg

The work of Kong Ho, associate professor of art at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is on display in the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg.

“Reverberation: An Invitational Exhibit of the Work of Four Artists with Disabilities” is being sponsored by House Speaker Keith R. McCall, D-Carbon.

The work of four artists with disabilities is on display this month in the Capitol’s East Wing Rotunda.

The exhibition is being co-sponsored in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month by the Governor’s Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities and the Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

“I am proud to serve as the sponsor of the exhibit of these very talented artists,” McCall said. “I hope many people will be able to see the exhibit and appreciate the gifted and distinguished artists that created these pieces.”

Before moving to the Capitol, “Reverberations” was on display at the Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities conference in State College from Sept. 21 to 24 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Ho said the title of the exhibition was the idea of his wife, Dr. Martie Geiger-Ho, visiting professor of art.

“The exhibition title implies that this exhibition is not only to recognize, but also to highlight the contribution of these selected distinguished artists with disabilities for their artistic achievements and inspirations,” Ho said.

Ho, who walks with leg braces as a result of polio, is director of the interdisciplinary arts program at Pitt-Bradford, where he has taught since 2001.

He has participated in more than 90 international and regional exhibitions including 14 solo exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in venues such as the United Nations headquarters in New York City; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Union Station and World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the Hong Kong Museum of Art; and the Peking Museum of Art in China.

Prior to coming to Pitt-Bradford, Ho taught art and design at several universities and founded the Hong Kong Mural Society, a nonprofit art organization promoting mural art in his native Hong Kong.

He has developed a reputation in mural art after organizing more than 30 granted large-scale public mural projects.

Next year he will travel to the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, to teach mural painting and study fresco and other traditional methods on a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Lecturing Award.

Tops Markets to be Honored by
NY State Education Department

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Tops Friendly Markets, the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania, has been selected to receive an award from the New York State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities for hiring persons with disabilities. This award is being given to Tops in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM.)

Tops Markets was selected as a local employer who has enabled persons with disabilities to become members of the local community workforce. Tops’ East Aurora store, located at 65 Gray Street was specifically selected to accept the award.

“Each of our associates has something unique to contribute to our team, regardless of any special needs one might have,” said Jack Barrett, Tops’ sr. vice president if human resources. “In hiring individuals with special needs we often find that they are hard-working, loyal, and dependable associates with an extremely strong work ethic. We are proud to accept this award on behalf of the 10,000 associates Tops employs.”

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony on Thursday, October 22 at the Verbena Restaurant in Williamsville, NY. Sponsors of the event are the Western New York Employment Consortium, the NYS Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, and the NYS Department of Labor.

e-mail from Tops

Scarnati Praises Passage of
'Fiscally Responsible' Budget Bill

WARREN--The State Senate today passed and sent to the House of Representatives a proposed state budget package that cuts state spending below last year’s levels and maintains funding for core state services and programs, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), who worked to negotiate the final compromise.

Most importantly, Scarnati mentioned, the budget compromise is a win for state taxpayers because it includes no broad-based tax increases that had been proposed earlier by the Administration, and it will be sustainable over the coming year.

“This budget is a win for state taxpayers because it does not include an increase in the personal income tax or higher spending,” Scarnati said. “It will not mortgage our state’s future through higher taxes and spending and it will help us to live within our means – just like working families have to do.”

He added that while spending was reduced over last year, the budget does include increases in education funding, to ensure that schools and students receive the resources they need.

“This process has gone on for far too long and we need to get money flowing to programs and services that have been affected by the impasse,” Scarnati said. “The budget package we approved today is realistic, fiscally responsible and reflects the current economic climate in the Commonwealth. I urge the House to move quickly to put this budget package on the Governor’s desk this week so we can help those day care centers and human services agencies that are in need of state funding.”

Senate Bill 1085 sets general fund spending at $27.834 billion – more than $1 billion less than the Governor’s initial budget request and $432 million less than the approved 2008-09 budget total of $28.267 billion

e-mailed from Senator Scarnati's office

ELF Fund Applications to be Taken
Oct. 20, 21, 22 at Bradford Library

Anyone wishing to received Christmas gifts from the Era’s Less Fortunate Fund this year must apply Oct. 20, 21 and 22 at the Bradford Area Public Library on West Washington Street.

Applications will be taken from noon-4 p.m. each day.

Since the ELF Fund is run completely by volunteers, these three dates are the only application sign-ups for anyone who has received ELF assistance in the past. As always, new applications will be accepted through November.

Two groups of residents are eligible to receive help: Less fortunate senior citizens from age 60 on, and families with children age 15 and under.

All applicants must reside in the Bradford Area School District.

Eligibility is based on income guidelines used for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) government program.

Those applying must bring with them identification for every person in the family for whom assistance is sought, including Social Security numbers.

Also required are positive proof of income for everyone living in the home; and proof of all major and monthly expenses, including rent and utilities.

Those unable to provide these documents at the time of application will be required to produce them prior to being considered for any Christmas aid.

Families should be prepared to list toy and clothing request for children, along with pants and shirt sizes for each child.

The ELF Fund has stressed that these three dates are the only times when these renewal application will be taken, and it is the responsibility of parents who received ELF help last year to complete their application in order to secure their child’s Christmas.

These written applications are confidential. No determination of eligibility is made at the time of application but those qualified are notified by mail.

e-mail from Marty Wilder

PGC, DCNR Exchange Land

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a land exchange with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) that is designed to enable the two agencies to better meet their respective public missions. The exchange, which now must go through a series of public meetings hosted by DCNR and receive approval from the state Legislature and Governor Edward G. Rendell before taking effect, has been in the development stages for over a year.

“For years, the Game Commission and DCNR – two of the largest landowners in the Commonwealth – have acquired lands for public use, but have differing primary objectives and uses for these lands,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “As land has been acquired, situations have arisen in which contrasting land use policies and regulations have caused confusion for the general public and a decreased ability for each agency to meet its management and public recreational goals.

“In response to this situation, the two agencies have prepared a series of exchanges aimed at easing conflicts, while enhancing the two separate agencies’ abilities to meet their independent objectives.”

Roe noted that, in fact, since 1947, the two agencies have been working collaboratively through a cooperative agreement on management of a large portion of the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area, in which portions are designated as State Game Land (SGL) 214 in Crawford County and other portions are within the borders of Pymatuning State Park. Likewise, the two agencies recently have been working collaboratively on the management of DCNR’s surface ownership of SGL 283 in Clarion County, where the Game Commission has easement ownership rights.

“This is truly a win-win situation for our state forest and park visitors and the sportsmen of Pennsylvania,” said DCNR Acting Secretary John Quigley. “We take pride in managing our state forest and parks system for many values and uses. Whether it’s horseback riding or increased waterway access, this acquisition now permits DCNR to offer so much to so many when they visit the Clear Creek State Forest and Cook Forest State Park along the Clarion River Corridor.

“Meanwhile, the tradition and rich heritage of waterfowl hunting and management that surrounds Pymatuning State Park and has been overseen by the Game Commission for many years can only be enhanced by this agreement.”

Roe and Quigley noted that statutory requirements governing exchanges and transfers for both agencies stipulate that such arrangements must be for “equal or greater value.” In this case, it is only reasonable to ensure that the total exchange is viewed as “equal.”

Roe noted that the “equal” exchange requirement might appear to rule out the exchange package which, in total, results in the Game Commission transferring 4,816 acres to the DCNR, while the DCNR is transferring 4,250 acres to the Game Commission. However, as part of the exchange, DCNR is transferring 1,863 surface acres of water, and the Game Commission is transferring its 1,698-acre ownership of easement on State Game Land 283 in Clarion County.

“In reality, the Game Commission’s gaining ownership of the 1,863 surface acres of water from DCNR is critical to the Game Commission’s mission of managing waterfowl in the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area,” Roe said. “The lack of Game Commission-ownership of this area is one of the challenges the agency faces in making necessary adjustments to water levels in Pymatuning Lake that are designed to enhance waterfowl habitat.

“Although DCNR maintains control of water level due to its retaining ownership of the water level control devices, the Game Commission’s ownership of the 1,863 water surface acres will enhance the agency’s ability to manage the area for waterfowl habitat and influence the potential use of water level as a management tool. By agreement, water levels will be changed only when deemed appropriate by the Game Commission, DCNR and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.”

Similarly, Quigley emphasized that DCNR’s gaining ownership of the 1,689-acre easement from the Game Commission on SGL 283 is important to support an increased interest by many stakeholders in the area to provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities along the Clarion River Corridor. While the Game Commission is transferring ownership of its easement and portions of land it owns, the agreement includes a guarantee of a perpetual right for the public to hunt and trap on this land.

In addition to the two major exchanges involving portions of Pymatuning State Park and SGL 283, the two agencies are taking time to address other less significant exchanges that also will enhance other the ability of each agency to address recreational infrastructure needs, which also will benefit the general public’s use of these lands. A breakdown of each exchange is as follows:

1) DCNR will convey to the Game Commission a 4,248-tract of land which is a portion of the Pymatuning State Park, in North Shenango, Sadsbury and Pine townships, Crawford County, adjacent to SGL 214, with the condition to allow for a potential trail use agreement on the abandoned railroad grade to the north of the property, and a two-acre tract of land adjacent to SGL 54 in Heath Township, Jefferson County. DCNR will retain ownership of the areas, and the interior holdings retained by DCNR will generally include current DCNR infrastructure such as the septic sand mounds, the house, the garage, the DCNR Spillway, the “bowl” area, the sluice gates, the water well and the picnic area. The two agencies agree to a shared use of the existing water well, septic sand mound and related infrastructure with each agency retaining a protective right for future use in the event that either agency abandons their respective future use; and

2) DCNR will retain ownership of the area containing the lands currently leased to the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to include the Linesville State Fish Hatchery and its affiliated infrastructure, as well as the land 100 feet perpendicular from the shore into the sanctuary water commencing at and including Linesville Creek.

In exchange for the lands to be transferred from DCNR, the Game Commission will convey to DCNR five tracts or parcels of land or surface easement rights constituting 4,573 acres of SGL 283 in Farmington, Highland and Mill Creek townships, Clarion County, excepting a right-of-way 50 feet in width to the Game Commission; and a 181-acre part of SGL 54 in Heath Township, Jefferson County; a 10-acre part of SGL 62 in Hamlin Township, McKean County, excepting a right-of-way access to the Game Commission , onto SGL 62 through Kinzua Bridge State Park; and a 52-acre portion of SGL 44 in Spring Creek Township, Elk County.

Roe stressed that the lands being transferred to DCNR will remain open to public hunting and trapping.

With today’s approval by the Board of Game Commissioners, future action will include two public open-house sessions, sponsored by DCNR, to gather input on the land transactions. Details of the two open-house sessions are as follows:

- The Pymatuning (Linesville) open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Linesville High School Cafeteria, 302 W. School Drive, Linesville. For details, call 814-683-5551; and

- The Cook Forest State Park (Kittanning State Forest District) open house will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Clarion Holiday Inn, 45 Holiday Inn Rd., Clarion. For details, call 814-226-8850.

e-mailed from the Pennsylvania Game Commission

Contest Deadline Approaching

Just a reminder that entries for the Bradford Oil 150 Committee Open Writing Contest are due by November 2.

Entry forms are still available at the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Landmark Society, Bradford Area Public Library and the Main Street Mercantile.

Mail completed entries to Rick Benton, Director of Community Affiars, Dallas-Morris Drilling Inc., 29 MOrris Lane, Bradford, PA, 16701; or drop them off at the chamber office at 125 Main Street.

For more information on the contest, please see our previous entry HERE.

United Way Tailgate Party



Scott Douglas will be broadcasting LIVE on 100.1 The HERO from noon to 2:30 p.m.

For tickets, contact The United Way or Byllye Lanes.

Landfill Generates $1.8 Million

Mayville, NY -- County Executive Gregory J. Edwards announced that his administration has used the methane gas at the County landfill to generate another $1.8 Million for Chautauqua County.

"I am proud to let the 130,000 residents of Chautauqua County know as part of the landfill gas project at the County landfill, and the hard work of my financial team, an additional $1.8 Million is now going to be received by our County," Edwards proclaimed.

A variety of new financial markets have emerged to address CO2 and other pollutants in recent years. This offers businesses key incentives — aside from taxes and other punitive measures — to slow down overall emissions growth and, ideally, global warming itself.

A key feature of these markets is emissions trading, which allow companies to buy or sell “credits” that collectively bind all participating companies to an overall emissions limit.

"We used this business technique, applied it to County operations, and generated $1.8 Million of non-tax dollars. This amount is in addition to the $2 Million of net revenue we will earn next year producing electricity with methane gas from the landfill," Edwards said.

"I will be coming before County legislators next week during their 2010 Budget deliberations to discuss the allocation of this $1.8 Million in the 2009 and 2010 budget years," Edwards continued. "$500,000 in revenue was previously budgeted from this project for 2009, and $685,170 was already allocated in the 2010 tentative budget. That leaves $614,830 in unallocated revenue from the carbon credits for 2010."

Edwards said that he will recommend legislators utilize $30,000 of the unallocated revenue to fully fund the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission's 2010 budget request. He will propose that the remaining $584,830 be split equally between an additional property tax cut of $292,415 with the balance placed in a tax stabilization reserve fund to offset future property taxes resulting from New York State's financial crisis.

e-mailed from Greg Edwards' office

Programming note: Greg Edwards will be one of Grizzly Gary's guests on Grizzly Gary's Hunting and Fishing from 7 to 9 Sunday morning on 100.1 The HERO.

BACC Call-In Auction -- Part 1

The first of two Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Call-in Auctions is from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday on The Morning Buzz. Here are the packages that are up for grabs:

Package 1 - Total Value: $475
20 ft. Stainless Steel Flag Pole - Allegheny Bradford Corporation ($450)
Standard American Flag - Representative Martin Causer ($25)

Package 2 -Total Value $190
Weekday Green Fees for Two - Holiday Valley Resort ($80)
Shuttle King Golf Club Travel Cover – Anonymous Donor ($100)
2 Sleeves Golf Balls – Bradford Regional Medical Center ($10)

Package 3 – Total Value: Unknown
Sit on the bench January 22nd at 6pm plus 2 tickets - University of Pittsburgh Bradford Women’s Basketball vs. Hilbert College
University of Pittsburgh Bradford T-shirt
Basketball signed by University of Pittsburgh Bradford Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams

Package 4 - Total Value $ 232
Two certificates for continuing education courses- Bradford Area School District ($95)
Use of W. Washington Street Library Sign for one week - Bradford Public Library ($100)
1 One Year Subscription to Bradford Journal and Miner - Bradford Journal and Miner ($37)

Package 5- Total Value $ 149
4 Tickets to Kiwanis Kapers – Kiwanis Club of Bradford ($20)
Overnight Stay – Heritage Suites ($89)
Beefeaters – Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Home ($40)

Railroad Work in Johnsonburg

Drivers will encounter a street closure and a detour next week as crews from the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad work in Johnsonburg.

West Center Street will be closed from October 12 through 19 as crews work to remove the existing Center Street crossing and build two, new adjacent railroad crossings. Work will also include paving of the approaches and new signals.

Traffic will be detoured around West Center Street and will use Main Street. Work is expected to finish Friday, October 19 but all work is weather dependent.

The new Johnsonburg crossings will create a connection between the Allegheny Eastern Railroad and the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad.

e-mailed from PennDOT


FInd out how you could a $100 gift card from Tops Friendly Market in Bradford -- just by having a party!

Go to WBRRFM.com for all the details.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Owls Get Honorable Mention

Bradford Area High School has received an honorable mention in The Harrisburg Patriot-News high school football rankings for this week.

Thomas Jefferson is the top-ranked AAA School.

Cameron County received an honorable mention in Class A.

Man Hurt in Bells Run Road Crash

A Cattaraugus, New York, man was hurt in an accident Saturday night on Bells Run Road in Ceres Township.

Police say a car driven by 23-year-old Kyle Shultz left the road, hit an embankment, crossed the centerline, left the road again, hit a fence, entered a field and flipped onto its roof.

Shultz was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC in Buffalo for treatment of unspecified injuries.

Police say he'll be charged with DUI.

Scarnati: School Funding Should
Offset Need for Tax Increases

WARREN — While this budget impasse has gone on for far too long, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) is pleased that they will be able to get it right, and property owners will end up being the big winners.

“The amount of state and federal dollars that school districts could receive under the 2009/2010 budget proposal currently in front of the legislature is tremendous and should offset the need for any property tax increases in the foreseeable future,” Scarnati stated. “This budget will not only be a win for our children and schools, but a huge win for property owners.”

According to Scarnati, schools in the 25th Senatorial District will receive anywhere from a 6% to a 15.5% increase in their overall subsidies. Pennsylvania has increased funding to our school districts by approximately 31% over the past seven years.

“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has shown significant support for education while, at the same time, not taking more money out of taxpayers’ paychecks,” Scarnati added. “I am confident that school districts will also be able to strike the same balance with funding educational priorities without raising property taxes.”

Scarnati also mentioned that the significant increase in education funding is the main difference in this proposal from the House Republican proposal. House Republicans have chosen not to be involved in the budget process mainly due to the difference in education funding.

“Of course, given the windfall of support for education in this year’s budget proposal, there should be no need to see anyone’s property taxes escalate,” Scarnati said. “I have stated all along that this budget had to meet the parameters of no broad based tax increases, a budget that spends less than last year, and one that is sustainable. Those objectives were met and, at the same time, we were able to take care of our children.”

“It was a difficult process where many wonderful programs suffered some pain; however, school districts did very well,” Scarnati concluded. “One of the reasons for this increase was to ensure that school districts would not need to raise taxes on our property owners.”

e-mailed from Senator Scarnati's office

Alleged Cemetery Vandals Caught

Two Ridgway teenagers are accused of vandalizing the Maxwell Run Cemetery in Spring Creek Township in June and July.

Police say as a result of an investigation into continuing vandalism at the cemetery 18-year-old Brandon Ecklund and 19-year-old Timothy Bender were charged with a felony count of institutional vandalism, along with desecration of venerated objects and criminal mischief.

Police say their investigation is continuing.


faxed by Ridgway-based state police

Teen Charged with Burglary

An Allegany teenager is facing charges for allegedly breaking into a country club and stealing liquor in July.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's deputies say 19-year-old Ryan Whitney broke into the Birch Run Country Club on Birch Run Road and stole six bottles of liquor.

Whitney was charged Monday with burglary and petit larceny. He's scheduled to appear in Allegany Town Court on October 19.

faxed by Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department

Shinglehouse Man Jailed

A Shinglehouse man is in jail for allegedly breaking into a camp in Pleasant Valley Township and stealing a rifle and a number of other items valued at more than $900.

Police say 23-year-old Nicholas Brown broke a window on a door of a camp owned by Kevin Arnold of Richfield, PA, then went inside and stole several items.

Besides the rifle, he allegedly stole ammunition for the rifle, a compound bow, arrows, arrowheads, hunting boots and paper towels.

Brown was arraigned today by District Judge Barbara Easton, who set bail at $15,000.

faxed by Coudersport-based state police

Delays on Route 219 in Ridgway

Motorists traveling through Ridgway Wednesday, and possibly Thursday, will encounter delays as crews work on the Elk Creek Bridge.

The bridge is on Route 219 near the Pennsy Restaurant.

Crews will be placing temporary shoring on the bridge in preparation for beam delivery to the Johnsonburg Bypass Project. Flaggers and an alternating traffic pattern will be in place.

Beam delivery to the Johnsonburg project will begin on Friday and will also cause delays, some of which may be lengthy.

from PennDOT

Police: Man Threatened to Kill Employees at Downtown Store

A Bradford man is in jail for allegedly threatening to kill employees at a store who wouldn't sell him cigarettes.

Bradford City police say Donald Lindemuth walked into the police station at 1:35 a.m. today and said he was angry with employees at a nearby store because they wouldn't sell him cigarettes when he couldn't show them identification.

Police say Lindemuth told the officer manning the desk that he planned to go home, get a gun and some friends and go back to the store and kill the employees.

The officer detained Lindemuth and was assisted by other officers when Lindemuth resisted arrest.

He was charged with terroristic threats, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, along with resisting arrest.

Remains are Not Lori Bova

The human remains found on the Allegheny Reservoir on September 26 are not those of Lori Bova.

In a news release issued today, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's deputies say forensic examinations performed by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office and forensic anthropology at Mercyhurst College have ruled out Bova.

Bova was last seen in Lakewood, New York, in 1997.

Last week, authorities ruled out Corrie Anderson, a Jamestown-area woman who has been missing for nearly a year.

Deputies say the remains are that of a female between the ages of 25 to 45 with a stature of 5' 1" to 5' 8". Race has not been determined yet.

Although not mentioned in the news release, this also rules out Warren resident Damien Sharp, who has been missing since Memorial Day weekend of 2002.

Although police have not released names of any other missing persons being considered in the investigation, other notable missing person cases include Josephine Cottone-Despard, who was last seen at the Olean Center Mall in February of 1994; and Joey Lynn Offutt of Sykesville, who has been missing since July of 2007.

from a news release faxed by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department, along with previous reports

Proposed Legislation Would Dock
Lawmakers', Governor's Pay

HARRISBURG — State Sen. Mike Stack will soon introduce legislation that would dock pay from state legislators, the governor and cabinet secretaries if a state budget is not resolved by the annual June 30 deadline.

“If the General Assembly was a private business, employees would be expected to do their job in a timely manner and would be reprimanded if they missed a deadline. It should be no different at the Capitol,” said Stack, who is the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We are expected to do our jobs efficiently. When we don’t, it’s only fair that we pay for our inaction on the budget.”

As of today, the 2009-10 Pennsylvania budget is 96 days late.

Although Pennsylvania is faced with the difficult task of filling a $3.2 billion deficit during a historic worldwide economic downturn, legislators have been at odds over details over cutting programs and generating revenue.

“Democrats and Republicans often have different views on how to spend money in Pennsylvania, but this impasse is ridiculous,” Stack said. “There must be consequences for our inaction. I understand that it won’t be a popular bill among some colleagues, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Stack’s legislation would require that state legislators, the governor and cabinet secretaries forfeit a proportional amount of their pay for every day the budget is late.

“This means that when a budget is passed after June 30 we would not receive back pay. Instead, the pay would be forfeited and returned to the general fund,” Stack said. “So, for example, if the budget is late by two weeks, pay for legislators will be reduced from $78,312 to $75,049.”

from Senator Stack's Web site via Facebook

Obituary:
Mike Sweeney

Michael A. Sweeney, 51, of Bradford, died Friday (Oct. 2, 2009) at Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

For the complete obituary go to Mascho Funeral Home.

RIP Mike. You'll be missed!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Weigh-Off Winner

A Bradford man won the 27th annual world Pumpkin Confederation competition at the Clarence Fall Festival Saturday.

Mike Matto's pumpkin weighed in at 1,040 ½ pounds, beating it closest competitor by 75 pounds.

Matto and his pumpkin won $1,000.