Showing posts from December 6, 2009

Both Lanes of I-90 Open

After being closed most of Friday because of poor driving conditions related to the weather, Interstate 90 is opened in both directions in New York and Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania lanes reopened Friday afternoon. The New York lanes opened late Friday night.

Authorities say the road is clear and dry.

Men Indicted for Stealing $30

Two Olean men have been indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury on multiple charges relating to the theft of $30.

20-year-old Jamie Crawford and 23-year-old and Joshua Slawson were each charged with robbery, assault and grand larceny.

They are accused of attacking a man November 14 behind a convenience store, then stealing $30 from him.

Delevan Man Dies in Crash

A Delevan man is dead following an accident on Route 16 in the Town of Sardinia Friday evening.

New York State Police say 26-year-old Erik Goodheart was traveling north when his vehicle went out of control and slid into oncoming traffic and hit a US Mail delivery truck.

Police say the force of the accident caused Goodheart's truck to split in two and threw him from the vehicle.

He was taken to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville, where he died.

The driver of the mail truck was not seriously hurt.

Police say weather conditions contributed to the accident.

Gov. Rendell's Hanukkah Message

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell today expressed his gratitude and appreciation in marking the observance of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which will be celebrated starting tonight.

“Americans of all faiths are fortunate to have the freedoms that we enjoy today. First and foremost, I’d like to recognize our military heroes for ensuring that we remain protected,” said Governor Rendell. “I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the emergency personnel, here in Pennsylvania and throughout our great nation, for keeping us safe.”

In Harrisburg, Hanukkah will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13, at the War Veterans memorial Fountain on the Capitol East Wing Plaza. Sponsored by the organization Chabad-Lubavitch, the event will feature live music, dancing, clowns, balloons, Hanukkah gifts, and latkes, a traditional Chanukah delicacy.

Hanukkah, which lasts eight days, commemorates the establishment of Freedom of Religion for Israelites. It contains…

Happy Hanukkah

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting story on menorahs here.

First Breath Ventilator Arrives

By George Nianiatus, senior writer/media manager
Communications and Marketing Department
Upper Allegheny Health System

From a young mind sprang an ambitious goal to help others in true need by raising funds which ultimately led to purchasing a ventilator for Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC).

Two years ago Jenna Gorrell, then a Bradford Area High School junior, developed the idea for “First Breath,” a fundraising walk-a-thon for the ventilator.

Through her idea - and several other subsequent fundraising activities - just over $23,000 was raised to buy a ventilator that will be able to treat and save hundreds of lives at BRMC.

A high school student’s lofty aspiration became reality when an Evita XL ventilator was rolled into the main lobby and presented to Penny Oyler, BRMC’s director of Cardiopulmonary Services.

The Evita XL is designed for patients of all ages and health levels. It’s produced by Drager Medical of Telford, Pa., which is a subsidiary of Drager & Siemens Co.

“I’m ver…

General Surgeon Joins CCMH staff

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has announced the addition of Moheb Mohareb, M.D., to its medical staff.

Dr. Mohareb earned a medical degree at Cairo University and completed a surgical residency at the University of Illinois, Metropolitan Group Hospitals. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is an American College of Surgeons fellow. He most recently served as chief of surgery at Wetzel County Hospital in West Virginia where his practice included gastrointestinal, endoscopic, laparoscopic, colorectal, and breast surgery.

Dr. Mohareb and Dr. Frank Horn will see patients in the hospital’s general surgery suite at the Irwin Medical Arts Center. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 814/274-7474.

Specter Urges Vilsack to Release
Payments to Dairy Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) called on the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to release the $290 million in direct payments to dairy farmers by the year’s end. The funding to increase government purchases of surplus dairy products was approved by Congress on October 8th, but the Department of Agriculture has yet to move on distributing the much-needed aid.

Senator Specter cosponsored the amendment providing financial relief for dairy producers, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which was adopted as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Agriculture Appropriations Act.

“The approximately 7,600 dairy farms in my state of Pennsylvania support over 55,000 non-farm jobs in the hauling, distribution and processing industries,” Senator Specter wrote. “The loss of a dairy farm has repercussions far beyond the individual farm and impacts entire communities. With an unemployment rate of 8.8%, my state cannot accept the loss of more dairy far…

Money for Local Railroad Projects

D & I Silica will be receiving $700,000 in state money to build two new transloading facilities and improve the functionality of two existing facilities for transloading of silica sand from rail cars to trucks for local gas-well production in McKean, Cameron, Tioga and Luzerne counties.

The money is part of a $24.5 million state investment from PennDOT’s Rail Freight Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance and Rail Freight Assistance Programs, Governor Ed Rendell announced today.

“Upgrading and expanding our freight rail lines helps maintain service and also opens the door to greater business opportunities,” Rendell said. “These investments will help meet growing demand for freight rail service and also help ease highway congestion by reducing the number of trucks on our roadways.”

The Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad in Elk County will receive $1.7 million to construct a siding and reactivate a bridge over the Clarion River to connect to another railroad.

I-90 Closing Update

From the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department:

I90 both EB & WB are still closed between the Dunkirk Exchange and the PA State line. WB on I90 in PA is open now but EB in PA is still closed per PASP. There is still a winter weather travel advisory on I90 between Dunkirk Exchange and the Buffalo Exchanges.

I-86 Open in Chautauqua Co.

From the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department:

I86 (Rt17) both EB & WB is back open in Chautauqua County. PSP inform us that I86 is open in PA now too. Please drive carefully and expect winter weather driving conditions.

Bradford Airport Getting Money

Bradford Regional Airport will be receiving $900,000 to build a hangar facility within a Keystone Opportunity Zone on airport property.

Eight other airports across the state will also be receiving from PennDOT’s Aviation Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program, Governor Ed Rendell announced today.

The program is funded through state capital bond dollars in the General Fund budget. The grants, which are authorized by the General Assembly, are administered by PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation.

Erie Outing Club President
Wins Award from FAW

Dianne Stanton, president of the Erie Outing Club, recently won an award from the Warren-based non-profit organization Friends of Allegheny Wilderness for choosing a new name for the organization's quarterly newsletter. Her winning entry was "FAWN."

Dianne is pictured holding her award at a recent FAW event at the Warren Public Library along with her husband Gary, who helped her choose the newsletter name. The award is a professionally matted and framed photograph of Nelse Run, taken by FAW executive director Kirk Johnson within the proposed Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest. The photo was framed by Kinzua Country Frameworks in North Warren.

More information about FAW can be found online at

(Photo courtesy of FAW)

Road Closing Update

From the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department:

I-86 (Rt17) both EB and WB from Stow, exit 8, to the PA State line, exit 4, is closed due to detiorating road, driving and weather conditions.

Update on I-90, I-86 Closing

From the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department:

At this time I-90 is still closed from the Dunkirk Thruway Exchange to the PA State line in NYS. Heavier than normal traffic flow on Rt 5 and on Rt20 at this time due to that.

In Pennsylvania I90 is still closed from the State line all the way to Erie, PA. Also I-86 (Rt17) in Pennsylvania is closed from I-90 to exit 3 (Rt89). It is extreme winter weather driving conditions out there in the NW corner of the County at this time.

Fireman Hurt, Cat Dies in Fires at Two Congress Street Homes

One cat died and a firefighter was injured as a result of fires at two Congress Street homes this morning.

Bradford City Fire Department Captain Dave Paul said that, as of 11:15 a.m., one firefighter was being treated for a back injury at BRMC.

Firefighters were called to a duplex at 279 Congress at 6:10 a.m. When they arrived, they found flames coming from the left side of the duplex and saw that the fire had already jumped to the house four feet away at 277 Congress and extended into the attic. They called in a second alarm at 6:15 a.m.

"Both crews had a fairly quick initial knockdown," Paul said. But he added that because of the wood shingles at 279, they had to cut the roof away so the fire didn't burn more of the building.

He said there was heavy fire damage to attic, but minimal damage to the rest of the house. As for 279, there was heavy fire and smoke damage to the left side of the duplex, but it did not extend to the right side.

Firefighters have not been able to lo…

Marker Has Bradford Connection

Titusville has another state historical marker, and this time it has a Bradford connection.

The marker honors Byron Benson, who oversaw the completion of the first long-distance pipeline, which ran 109 miles from the Bradford oil fields to Williamsport.

Benson worked in Pennsylvania's oil region from 1865 through 1888 and was a founder of the Tidewater Pipe Company.

More Sites Agree to Use e-STOP

13 more social networking sites, including those owned by Google, Yahoo! and AOL, have agreed to remove New York sex offenders from their sites.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says that as of Thursday, 15 major social networking companies have agreed to use the state's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act.

Last week, Facebook and MySpace removed more than 3,500 sex offenders from their networks.

No Charges in Fatal Shooting

A bear hunter who shot and killed a man near Punxsutawney won't be charged.

State police say the November 24 shooting of 63-year-old Frank Shaffer was justified.

They say Shaffer confronted five hunters on property he owns in Summerville and ordered them off his land. The hunters left, but a short time later, Shaffer confronted three of them again in another area and shot 23-year-old Paul Plyler, of Summerville, in the hand.

Shaffer shot three more times, striking Plyler in the back. Plyler then fired back, hitting Shaffer once.

Bruno Quits Consulting Job

Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has quit his consulting job following his conviction on two corruption counts in federal court.

The 80 year-old former lawmaker plans to appeal the fraud convictions under the "honest services"' statute.

Bruno was acquitted on five counts with the jury divided on a sixth.

One Hurt in Route 66 Crash

A Kane man suffered minor injuries in an accident at about 12:15 today on Route 66, about half a mile south of Laurel Avenue in Wetmore Township.

Police say a pickup truck driven by 18-year-old Nathaniel Koza went out of control on the snow- and slush-covered road, traveled off the road and rolled onto its roof.

The truck had to be towed from the scene.

Roswell Park Receives ACS Grant
to Support Young Scientific Talent

BUFFALO, NY – Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) announced an Institutional Research Grant (IRG) for $180,000 from the American Cancer Society to provide pilot funding for junior-level investigators. Andrei Gudkov, PhD, Senior Vice President Basic Science and Garman Family Chair in Cell Stress Biology is the principal investigator.

The IRG funding stimulates a mini-internal grant program within RPCI. These grants allow young investigators an opportunity to seek mentorship, develop pilot data and gain confidence in submitting grant applications for peer-reviewed funding mechanisms. The focus on cancer research allows the scientists to take their first step in a career to advance cancer treatments and diagnostic tools. The scientists are given an opportunity to test their ideas and translate the ideas into meaningful results.

“By providing seed-funding to the young investigators, we are encouraging the exploration of new ideas which can potentially lead to new therapies or prevention te…

ANF Prepares for Snowmobilers

Warren, Pa. – The Allegheny National Forest announced today that final preparations for the opening of the Allegheny Snowmobile Loop (ASL) for the winter snowmobile season are nearing completion.

According to Bradford District Ranger Tony Scardina, “We are pleased to announce that all trail access issues have been resolved and the entire length of the ASL will be open when the season officially begins on December 20th.”

The ASL is a 159-mile system of snowmobile trails in portions of Warren, Forest, Elk and McKean Counties. Including connector trails and the Rocky Gap and Timberline ATV trails (dual use snowmobile/ATV trails), the entire ASL system covers over 350 miles.

The trail could open as early as December 20th if weather conditions remain favorable. Snowmobile riders interested in trail conditions can contact either the Supervisor’s Office at (814) 723-5150 or the Marienville Ranger District at (814) 927-6628. Trail conditions are also updated regularly throughout the season on t…

Thompson to Ray LaHood:
Reject I-80 Tolling Plan

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today reiterated his opposition to tolling Interstate 80 in a letter to Ray LaHood, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. He strongly protested Pennsylvania’s application to implement tolls on Interstate 80, and urged the Secretary to reject the application.

Thompson reminded the Secretary: “Tolling existing Interstate capacity will do nothing more than cripple an already ailing economy. This is why I was so pleased to learn that during your Senate Confirmation hearing on January 21st, 2009, you expressed similar reservations to tolling existing interstate capacity.”

Thompson explains in the letter that the law governing the Interstate Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Pilot Program (ISRRPP) stipulates that tolling can only be used as a last resort for a state.

“However, between 2004 and 2007, $412 million in federal funding was diverted to mass transit and other accounts for use outside of building an…

Attempt to Advance Funding for
State-Related Universities Thwarted

HARRISBURG - In an effort to secure the academic future of thousands of college students across Pennsylvania, state Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks/144th) called for the release of nearly $700 million in state funding for Pennsylvania's four state-related universities. Legislative use of the House Rules was subverted late Wednesday night by the House Democrat Leader, who called on his membership to oppose doing the right thing by college students and their families.

On Wednesday evening, Watson invoked House Rule No. 17 to call special orders of business to consider the legislation that provides funding for Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln - as well as the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. Funding for these four universities, termed non-preferreds, was included as part of the General Fund state budget, but each is voted on separately.

On Thursday, after a promise to consider the funding right after table games legislation was voted, House Democrat Leade…

Media Shield Bill Clears Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the media shield bill cleared an important hurdle in passing a key Senate Committee. The Free Flow of Information Act, sponsored U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 14 to 5. The revised version of the bill, unveiled October 30th, has received backing from the White House and over 70 media organizations. The bill includes provisions to protect national security interests while providing legal protection for journalists guarding the anonymity of their sources.

“Today has been a long time coming. The bill creates a fair standard to protect the public interest, journalists, the news media, bloggers, prosecutors and litigants,” Specter said. “This marks a major improvement over current procedures where journalists have been threatened, fined and jailed for appropriately protecting sources. White House negotiators for President Obama played a decisive role in working out this compr…

Pitchford Named NRHA Fellow

Ed Pitchford, president and chief executive officer at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, has been selected as a 2010 National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow.

Seven fellows were chosen based on their educational background, commitment to rural health care issues, and geographic and professional diversity. The year long program is designed to develop, educate, and inspire rural health leaders across the country. The new class of fellows will meet in person and via conference calls throughout the year to discuss leadership, advocacy, regulatory, policy, strategic planning, and legislative issues.

“We are very pleased to announce this new class of fellows as this program enters its fourth year. Once again, this class represents various levels of rural health care expertise,” said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. “With the successes achieved by the previous three classes, we look forward to continuing the tradition of building rural health care leaders through this valuable program.”


Three-Way Tie in Chess League

After the fourth round of play at School Street Elementary, there is a three-way tie for first place among the varsity teams: The Pharmacy at Union Square, Wal-Mart, and Dexter’s Service Center. Five out of the eight team captains in the varsity remain with perfect scores.

In the JV section, Brent Kennedy (captain for Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair) lost to Justin Wedge (captain for Northwest Savings Bank) to be bumped from first place. Jessica Yost (member of Drs. Rhinehart team) has now taken the lead followed by Nate Evan, a member of the Edmond Chevrolet Team, and Brent Kennedy who are tied for second. The top JV team at the end of round 4 is Lang Surveying followed closely by Hayden Auto Detailing.

Matches will continue on Wednesday, December 16. For additional information about the league, email or visit

Results and Standings after round 4:

Varsity Division
Dr. Gonzalez defeated Bradford Window Company by ½ a point; Smith’s Fine Jewel…

Kindergartners Visit Santa at BRMC

George G. Blaisdell Elementary School kindergartners in Bradford had a chance to visit with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus (left) and a very animated Elf at Bradford Regional Medical Center on Wednesday. In return, the young children filled the hallways with Christmas carols.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

UWBA 'Wrap-Up' Event Friday

The United Way of the Bradford Area is holding a "wrap-up" event from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Downtown Bradford's Old Fashioned Christmas festivities.

People are invited to drop off their purchases at the United Way office at the corner of Main and Davis streets, and the United Way crew will wrap everything.

The cost is $1 to $5 depending on the gift and all wrapping materials are provided.

The United Way is also encouraging people to use their parking lot Friday during Old Fashioned Christmas.

Holiday Valley Opening Thursday

Holiday Valley will be opening three quad lifts and up to 10 slopes on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., General Manager Dennis Eshbaugh announced today in a news release.

He says conditions have been excellent for snowmaking since last Friday, and they've been making snow 24 hours a day since then.

Ski School West, Mardi Gras, Yodeler, Candy Cane, Laurel, Punchbowl, and Sugar Plum will be open. Independence, Lower Crystal, and Edelweiss will be added in a day or two.

58 Students to be Honored at Graduation Reception Sunday

Fifty-eight students expected to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford this month will be recognized with a reception on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Students will be honored during an informal event beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president; Dr. Steve Hardin, dean of academic affairs; and Dr. K. James Evans, dean of student affairs, will speak. Refreshments will be served afterward.

The reception is held for students graduating at the end of the fall term who may not be able to return for the April commencement.

Those expected to graduate with an associate’s degree are Cindy M. Cavallero, a liberal studies major from Bradford; petroleum technology majors Kelley Moyer of Warren, Pamela J. Eschrich of Mount Jewett and Nathan Carmichael of Rimersburg; and information systems majors Richard P. Blackman of Duke Center and Kurt Covert of Smethport.

Those from Bradford expe…

Crash Leads to Altercation

No one was hurt in an accident on Bordell Road about a mile west of Route 446 in Keating Township this afternoon.

State police say a pickup truck driven 19-year-old Nathaniel Okerlund of Smethport crossed into the path of a car driven by 47-year-old David Shaw of Smethport and the vehicles collided.

The drivers then got into a fight and Shaw allegedly hit Okerlund. Neither man was hurt in the crash, but police say Okerlund has a minor visible injury from the altercation.

Police say Okerlund will be cited as a result of the crash. Shaw will be cited for harassment as a result of the physical altercation.

Richman Resigns State Post to be
HUD Chief Operating Officer

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced the resignation of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle B. Richman, effective Dec. 31. Richman has served as secretary since the beginning of Governor Rendell’s administration in 2003.

"Secretary Richman served during one of the most challenging periods in modern Pennsylvania history for human services, and she met that challenge in a way few others could have done," Governor Rendell said. "The recession increased demands on social services just as public money became scarce, yet she improved the quality of DPW programs while still managing the department with heightened efficiency.

"Since 2003, Secretary Richman has been a champion for vulnerable children and their families in every corner of Pennsylvania," the Governor added. "Low-income families are stronger, healthier and on the road to self-sufficiency because of her passion for their well-being. We are delighted that Estelle will now focus that same…

Inmate at McKean County Jail Dies

State police are investigating the death of an inmate at the McKean County Jail.

20-year-old Robert Hearst V died sometime between 1:20 and 5:08 this morning. A corrections officer discovered him while making rounds.

Police say their initial investigation revealed no signs of foul play, but an autopsy is scheduled.

Police were assisted by McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill, the McKean County Sheriff's Department and Priority Care EMS.

Young Cancer Patients Join
Rendells to Light Christmas Tree

Ten-year-old Becky Boucher, of Hatboro, Montgomery Co., joins Governor Edward G. Rendell as guest of honor in the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree in Harrisburg. She and her mother, Wendy Boucher, were joined via satellite by First Lady Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to lead the countdown to light the tree. Becky is a fifth-grade student at Upper Moreland Intermediate School. In 2007, Becky was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a common type of bone cancer. She is currently an outpatient in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

"The First Lady and I always look forward to this special time of year when we all come together to celebrate the magic of the season," Governor Rendell said. "While it is a time of much joy and celebration, it can be a difficult time for many families. I ask all Pennsylvanians to take a moment to remember the true meaning of Christmas and keep in mind those less fortunate tha…

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
McKean County in north central Pennsylvania...
southeastern Warren County in north central Pennsylvania...
Elk County in north central Pennsylvania...

* until 230 PM EST

* at 125 PM EST National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a line of severe thunderstorms capable of producing penny size hail... and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. These severe storms extended from Chapman State Park to Summerville... and were moving northeast at 45 mph.

* Severe thunderstorms will be near...
Sheffield around 140 PM...
Ludlow around 145 PM...
Portland Mills around 150 PM...
James City and Brockport around 155 PM...
Marshburg and Ridgway around 200 PM...
Wilcox and Johnsonburg around 205 PM...

This will impact the following major roads... Route 6... Route 219...
State Road 46... State Road 59... State Road 66... State Road 120...
State Road 255... State Road 446.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

This line of severe thunderstorms has a history of producin…

Causer, Rapp Argue Against
Wood-Fired Boiler Restrictions

Reps. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) and Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) were among several Republican members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee who signed a letter sent to Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Hanger today to officially register their opposition to recently proposed regulations that would place significant restrictions on the use of outdoor wood-fired boilers in Pennsylvania.

“At a time when almost all Pennsylvanians are struggling with higher energy bills and the harmful effects of the international economic recession, I have heard from far too many of my constituents that these new regulations have little to do with environmental protection and will amount to nothing more than kicking hard-working people while they’re down,” said Rapp.

“In terms of economic recovery and achieving Pennsylvania’s energy independence from non-renewable foreign imports, by making it more expensive and difficult to use outdoor wood-fired bo…

Red Cross Looking for Holiday Help

The American Red Cross is looking for people willing to share their Christmas dinners with Meals on Wheels recipients in the Bradford area who will not be able to join their families for dinner.

Anyone who's interested would pick up containers at the chapterhouse on Congress Street before December 23; place a portion of their Christmas dinner in the containers; then deliver the meal to the Meals on Wheels client.

Anyone interested in sharing a meal, or who wants more information, may contact the McKean-Potter Counties American Red Cross at 368-6197

Boy Facing Charges for Sexting

A 17-year-old Mayville boy is facing charges for allegedly sexting with 12-year-old girl.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say the boy, whose name they didn't release, sent pictures and text messages of an explicit nature to the girl.

He's charged with endangering the welfare of a child and will appear in court at a later date.

City Residents to See Tax Increase

WESB/WBRR News Director

Taxes are going up in the City of Bradford, but not as much as city officials originally thought they would.

The millage rate has gone up by 8/10 of a mil, which means a person with a home assessed at $25,000 would see a tax increase of $20. Someone with a $50,000 home would see an increase of $40.

"That's a far cry from what we were looking at a few months ago," said Mayor Tom Riel.

He said several months ago the city was looking at a millage increase of close to 4.5.

"Through the diligent efforts of the department heads, employees and city council members and (City Clerk) John Peterson who labored tirelessly on this we were able to reduce that by hundreds of thousands of dollars," Riel said.

The millage ordinance still has to be read a second time, on December 22, before it's final. It can and may change, Riel said, adding that if it does change it could go either up or down.

That millage increase is far less than most peo…

Dispatch Moving to Smethport

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, dispatch duties for the Bradford City Police Department will be assumed by the McKean County 911 Center after all.

During Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting, council voted unanimously to transfer the dispatch duties to Smethport.

On November 10, council voted 3-2 to keep the Bradford station manned 24/7.

At that time, Mayor Tom Riel and Councilman Rick Benton voted to move the dispatch duties to Smethport. Councilmen Ross Neidich, Bob Onuffer and Bob Tingley voted to keep it the way it is.

The duties are expected are to switch next month.

BACC Extending Holiday Hours

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Bradford Gift certificate program, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce is extending holiday office hours. The office at 121 Main Street will be open from 10 am to 4:30pm Monday thru Friday and 10am - 2pm on Christmas Eve, and resume regular office hours Monday, December 28.

Tables will also be manned at local, downtown banks for sale of Gift Certificates on Thursday, December 17 from 11:30am - 1:30pm.

The Bradford Gift Certificate Program is in conjunction with over 325 BACC members and can be used at over 115 area locations. Call the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce for more information 814.368.7115.

Gabler Joins Call to Abolish
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

HARRISBURG - State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) stood with House Republican colleagues Tuesday at a news conference calling for the abolishment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The event was held to introduce legislation authored by Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery).

"In our search for funding sources to support Pennsylvania's transportation needs, my opinion from day one has been to explore and exhaust all possibilities for streamlining and saving as opposed to automatically tapping taxpayers, as tolling Interstate 80 does," Gabler said. "The dissolution of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission not only falls in line with my pursuit of more accountable and efficient state government, but does away with an agency that has been shrouded in controversy and a drag on the public trust."

Gabler cited the recent FBI investigation as another reason to do away with the turnpike commission.

"Even before taking office, I had heard of the Turnpike Commissi…

Thompson Questions FCC Chairman Genachowski on Broadband Plan

Washington, D.C. — Co-Vice Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus, U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today had an opportunity to meet with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on the National Broadband Plan and how it can benefit rural communities.

The Congressional Rural Caucus requested the meeting with the FCC Chairman because of the expressed concerns in a June 26th letter to the FCC regarding the creation of a National Broadband Plan. The commission had been tasked with creating the plan through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by February 17, 2010. The plan is to propose how to ensure every American has access to broadband.

“Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional district is the most rural in the Commonwealth and just larger than the state of New Jersey,” Thompson told the Chairman. “There is much of my district where connectivity is limited—to say the least. The lack of broadband access for private and public…

Christmas Cantata at
First Baptist Church on Dec. 15

On Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. Faith Baptist Church of Bradford will be hosting the choir and drama group from Five Mile Baptist Church in Allegany, NY.

The group will be presenting the Christmas musical, Goodwill to Men. This musical was written by Ron and Shelly Hamilton and the drama was written by David Burke.

The setting for the musical and drama takes place on Christmas Eve at the Goodwill Store in a rural town in South Georgia. The drama explains that at Christmas time, there are basically two kinds of people: “those who need to love more, and those who need more love.”

Pastor Bill Raymond stated that this musical if for all ages and families are invited to attend. Following the service there will be a time for snacks and fellowship. The church is located at 498 Seaward Avenue.

First Night Buttons on Sale 12/18

First Night Bradford event buttons will be available for purchase beginning Friday, December 18th.

The First Night Bradford event, which is in its 12th year, will again host favorite ‘First’ activities such as the first movie, first trail hike, first bowling, first swim and first ice skating, along with an art show, musical entertainment, Brad’s Bounce-a-lot, First Night’s Got Talent and a country music performance by Nashville recording artist Robert Allen.

Button sale locations include: Top’s Friendly Markets, The Grocery Stretcher, Parkview Supermarket, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and Tina’s Hallmark.
For a complete schedule of events visit

Nolder's CDE Status Renewed

Stacia Nolder, RN, CDE, CPT, the program coordinator of the Center for Diabetes. & Nutrition Education at Bradford Regional Medical Center, has renewed her certified diabetes educator (CDE) status by successfully completing the continuing education process with the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.

Individuals must meet rigorous requirements to be eligible for certification, said certification board officials. Achieving the CDE credential demonstrates a specialized knowledge to promote quality care for people with diabetes. Currently, there are approximately 16,600 diabetes educators who hold this certification.
The Center for Diabetes provides diabetes self-management training, insulin pump education, medication training and medical nutrition therapy. The program is staffed with nurses and dietitians. For more information, call the Center for Diabetes at 814-362-8717 or go online at The program is accredited by the American Diabetes Association.


No Table Games Vote

The state House is finished with its voting session for the day, and did not vote on Senate Bill 711 -- the table games bill.

The bill would provide funding for the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln as well as some hospitals and museums.

Car Hits Building in Dunkirk

A Fredonia woman suffered a facial injury when her car hit a building this afternoon in Dunkirk.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 86-year-old Barbara Szocki was in Aldi's parking lot on Vineyard Drive when she accelerated the vehicle by mistake and hit an outside wall of the store..

She was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment. No charges were filed.

Drugs Stolen from Pharmacy

A large quantity of narcotic drugs has been stolen from a pharmacy in Sherman, New York.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say the burglary happened in the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday when the Sherman Pharmacy on Main Street was closed.

Authorities didn't specify what the drugs were because it might hinder the ongoing investigation.

Deer Jackers Targeted in New York

More than 100 people have been charged with more than 250 offenses related to illegal deer hunting in New York.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today that Operation Jackhammer focused on the illegal taking of deer by using artificial light -- a practice commonly known as "deer jacking."

"Taking of Deer with the Aid of an Artificial Light" is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 to $2,000 and/or up to a year in jail.

You can read the full story here.

Table Games Vote Could Come Soon

A bill that would finally give the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State the funding they've been waiting for is getting closer to a vote in the state House.

A vote on the bill to legalize table games could happen today. If that happens the final vote in the House would likely be tomorrow. The bill would still need Senate approval before becoming law. The Senate is scheduled to be back in session December 15.

The gambling expansion was part of a final budget agreement in October to provide than $300 million in tax revenue to the state in the next two years.

Ohio Man Executed

The man who killed and dismembered a woman and scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania has been executed through the first U.S. lethal injection using just one drug, not the conventional three drugs.

The execution of Kenneth Biros originally scheduled for 10 a.m., was delayed about an hour while he waited for word from the U.S. Supreme Court on a last emergency appeal. The court turned down the appeal just before 10 a.m.

Biros had argued the state's new method would be painful.

In 1991, Biros killed 22-year-old Tami Engstrom near Warren, Ohio, after offering to drive her home from a bar. After dismembering her, he scattered her body parts in Ohio as well as Butler and Venango counties in Pennsylvania.

Storm Watch Now a Warning

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a Winter Storm Warning for significant snow then ice accumulation... which is in effect from 7 PM this evening to 11 am EST Wednesday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

Developing low pressure over the Southern Plains will track northeast into the Great Lakes tonight and Wednesday. This system will spread snow into the area this evening... and the snow will fall heavy at times for several hours. A changeover to sleet and freezing rain will occur late tonight.

3 to 6 inches of snow and sleet will fall... and be topped by a layer of freezing rain around one quarter of an inch thick.

The precipitation will taper to periods of light rain... or freezing drizzle by late Wednesday morning.

Hunter Who Got Largest Bear
in PA to be Charged with Poaching

from the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

HARRISBURG – When is the largest bear killed in Pennsylvania’s bear season not the largest bear harvested? When it is the largest bear killed over bait, which equals poaching. That’s what happened when Charles W. Olsen Jr., of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, decided that it’d be easier to kill a bear over a pile of pastries, rather than the method used by ethical hunters.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Cory Bentzoni became suspicious when he saw a truck loaded with pastries from a local store driving along Route 309 in Dallas, Luzerne County.

“As we were about one week away from the opening of the statewide bear season, I thought that something illegal might be underway,” WCO Bentzoni said. “Being that we were so close to bear season, seeing that person drive by with an unusual amount of pastries was like watching an individual go down a row of parked vehicles testing each handle to see if it were open. Somethin…

Man Pleads Guilty to Indecent
Contact with Autistic Teenager

The Port Allegany man originally charged with rape, involuntarily sexual intercourse and sexual intercourse with an animal has pleaded guilty to having inappropriate contact with a minor.

42-year-old Eddie Graham admitted in McKean County Court to having indecent contact with a 16-year-old autistic boy without his consent.

The other charges -- including committing sex acts on miniature horses -- were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Graham is scheduled for sentencing in January.

Error in The Era

Several of the Bradford City Department heads 2009 salaries which are listed in today’s Bradford Era are incorrect; they are actually their 2008 salaries.

Bradford City Clerk John Peterson tells us that all department heads salaries are being frozen for 2010 except Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close, whose salary rises due to state law, because his officer’s salaries are increasing.

The 2010 salaries for Director of Public Works Gary Alcock and Parks Director Chip Comilla have been frozen at their 2009 salaries.

Several Pets Die in Fire

Bradford City Firefighters responded to a house fire Monday evening at 177 Davis Street in Bradford. They say when they arrived there was heavy smoke billowing from the house. The home, owned by Christa Lightner, was moderately damaged. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Several cats and a dog died in the fire.

Kids Treated to 'A Christmas Carol'

More than 500 students from Bradford, Otto-Eldred, Port Allegany, Smethport and Johnsonburg school districts attended the Kaleidoscope children’s matinee of " Christmas Carol" on Monday.

The Nebraska Caravan Theatre performed the musical version of the Dickens’ classic, complete with snow, smoke and ghostly apparitions. The photos here show Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past as well as scenes from Scrooge’s past Christmases.

(Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Winter Storm Watch in Effect

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a Winter Storm Watch for McKean County from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.

Up to several inches of snow is possible... followed by the potential for significant ice accumulation in excess of one quarter of an inch of freezing rain.

The wintry mix of precipitation will diminish to drizzle or freezing drizzle later Wednesday morning.

A storm watch means there is the potential for significant accumulation.

Bruno Found Guilty on 2 Counts

Former New York State Senate leader Joseph Bruno was found guilty today on two of eight counts of corruption for using his powerful position for personal gain.

Bruno was accused by federal prosecutors of bringing in more than $3 million through his consulting firm that worked with companies and unions with business before the state.

Sentencing is set for March 31, and Bruno faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bruno says he'll appeal.

Part of I-86 Closed

UPDATE: Cleanup between Seneca Junction and Allegany is expected to take about 4 hours (10 p.m.).

Interstate 86 is closed down at Exit 24 because of a multi-vehicle accident that happened at around 4 p.m. between Seneca Junction and the rest area. Traffic is also being re-routed at Exit 21 eastbound for another accident.

Several minor accidents have also been reported.

Motorists are being advised to use caution on the slippery roads.

Ohio Man Facing Execution

An Ohio man who killed a woman then scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania is scheduled to be executed tomorrow.

51-year-old Kenneth Biros will be the first person executed in Ohio since the state switched from using three drugs to one.

In 1991, Biros killed 22-year-old Tami Engstrom near Warren, Ohio, after offering to drive her home from a bar. After dismembering her, he scattered her body parts in Ohio as well as Butler and Venango counties in Pennsylvania.

The execution is schedule for 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Biros has ordered as his last meal a cheese pizza with extra cheese, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers; deep-fried onion rings and mushrooms with ketchup; Doritos with French onion dip; cherry pie; blueberry ice cream; and Dr. Pepper.

Man Sentenced in Catt County

A former Bradford man who was originally charged with abusing a 7-year-old girl on Halloween in 2008 has been sentenced to a year in Cattaraugus County Jail.

25-year-old Jeffrey Lee Campbell Jr. was sentenced Monday on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

The incident happened in the Town of Carrollton.

Kane Women Hurt When Car Collides with FedEx Tractor-Trailer

Two Kane women are in Hamot Medical Center in Erie after their car slid under the rear axle of a FedEx tractor-trailer near Clarendon at about 11:45 this morning.

State Police say 73-year-old Judy Renzi was driving her car on Route 6 when it went out of control on the icy road, began to fishtail and eventually hit the truck.

The trailer slid sideways across the road and hit an embankment.

Renzi and her passenger, 43-year-old Kellee Fergus, suffered what police described as serious injuries.

The driver of the FedEx truck, Timothy Skelton of Edinboro, was not hurt.

PA Flags at Half-Staff Monday

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell ordered U.S. and state flags at commonwealth facilities to be flown at half-staff on Monday, Dec. 7, in honor of all who died on Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day, as well as all the military heroes who have given their lives to ensure the protection and safety of our nation and its citizens.

“On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, we pay tribute to our fallen service members who fought so courageously during the attack of Pearl Harbor and we thank them with our deepest gratitude,” Governor Rendell said. “We also take this time to honor all of our military heroes, throughout the history of our great nation, for their ultimate sacrifice to ensure that our nation remains safe. We are forever indebted to them.”

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans and led the United States to enter World War II. The U.S.S. Pennsylvania, in drydock at Pearl Harbor, was among the first ships to return fire on Japanese warplanes.