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Friday, January 8, 2010

Whitcomb Sworn in as Sheriff

Timothy Whitcomb has been sworn in as Cattaraugus County sheriff.

Judge Larry Himelein administered the oath of office this afternoon.

This is Whitcomb's first full term as sheriff. He replaces Dennis John, who died last summer.

William Nichols has been appointed undersheriff.

Yes to Reed; No to Tasker

Former Bills wide receiver Andre Reed has made the list of 17 finalists for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Final voting will be held Super Bowl weekend.

The bad news is, former Bills special teamer Steve Tasker did not make the final list of candidates.

Joe Biden's Mother Passes Away

Statement from Vice President Joe Biden:

“My mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones. At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves. Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor. Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.”


Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden was born on July 17, 1917, the daughter of the late Ambrose J. Finnegan and the former Geraldine C. Blewitt of Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1941, she married Joseph Robinette Biden. They were married for 61 years before Mr. Biden passed away in 2002.

Mrs. Biden is survived by her eldest son, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., his wife Jill Jacobs Biden and their three children, Joseph R. Biden, III, of Wilmington, Delaware, his wife Hallie Olivere Biden and their children, Natalie Paige Biden and Robert Hunter Biden, II; R. Hunter Biden of Washington, D.C., his wife Kathleen Buhle Biden and their children, Naomi King Biden, Finnegan James Biden and Roberta Mabel Biden; and Ashley Blazer Biden of Wilmington, Delaware; and by her daughter, Valerie Biden Owens of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, her husband John T. Owens and their children Valerie James Owens, Cuffe Biden Owens and Catherine Eugenia Owens; and by her two younger sons, James Brian Biden of Merion Station, Pennsylvania, his wife Sara Jones Biden and their children, James Brian Biden, Jr., Caroline Nicole Biden and Nicholas Coleman Biden; and Francis W. Biden of Florida and his daughter, Alana Jaquet Biden.

Details on services for Mrs. Biden, 92, will be available in the coming days. On behalf of the Biden family, Valerie Biden Owens has requested that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution in memory of Mrs. Biden do so to a hospice, the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, Delaware, or the Naomi Christina Biden Minority Scholarship Fund at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware.

from the Office of the Vice President

Fugitive Arrested at Peace Bridge

BUFFALO– U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations announced the apprehension of a United States citizen wanted in the State of Florida for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

On January 7, CBP officers encountered Ramon Ventura, a 45 year-old United States citizen from Land O’ Lakes, FL, as he applied for admission into the United States as a passenger in a taxi cab at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, NY. Mr. Ventura had applied for entry into Canada on the same day and was being refused admission because of prior criminal convictions in the United States. Record checks by Canadian authorities also revealed the possibility of an active warrant in the United States. Mr. Ventura was escorted by CBP officers to a secondary inspection area for further questioning and inspection.

Additional name and electronic fingerprint queries of Ventura by CBP officers verified that he was in fact the subject of an active nation-wide no bond warrant issued December 30, 2009 by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Land ‘O Lakes, FL. The warrant charges Mr. Ventura with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Mr. Ventura stated to CBP officers that he left Florida on or about December 30th and traveled to New York City, staying with family. He then traveled by bus from New York City to the US-Canadian border to allegedly visit additional family in Toronto. The subject claimed he was not fleeing the United States in an attempt to avoid prosecution, however, CBP officers discovered various personal items not generally carried by tourists, to include bank statements and over $13,000 in US currency, which he failed to report upon his intended departure.

CBP officers verified the validity of the warrant and confirmed extradition. Mr. Ventura was arrested and turned over to the custody of the Buffalo Police Department pending extradition to Florida. As Mr. Ventura’s failure to report the exportation of currency over $10,000 is a violation of U.S. law, CBP officers seized the $13,000.

“The subject was arrested approximately one week after the issuance of the warrant. This arrest demonstrates CBP’s close working relationship with our Canadian counterparts and state and local law enforcement departments throughout the United States” said James T. Engleman, CBP Director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office.

~~ Kevin Corsaro, Chief CBP Officer

Part of Route 219 Closed

Frank Williams, who is on his way to Clearfield for the Owls/Bisons game, tells us that Route 219 is closed from Lantz Corners to Wilcox because of an accident between a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer.

One injury has been reported.

Traffic is being re-routed.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

At 4:53 p.m. Frank called to say the broadcast crew had just gotten to Ridgway -- an hour and 40 minutes after leaving Bradford.

He said the roads are slippery, adding "When the semis are crawling you know it's bad."


Another Frank update: It took the broadcast crew 2 1/2 hours to get from Bradford to Clearfield -- a little more than half an hour longer than usual. Frank says Interstate 80 was snow-covered and he talked to a truck driver in Clearfield who said he's seen snow on I-80 before "but not like it is now."

And, because Frank, Tom and Mike made it to Clearfield safely, you can hear the game online at starting at 7:20 p.m.

Pitt-Bradford Wins Marketing Award

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has won an award from CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, for an integrated marketing plan that was used to unveil the Crime Scene Investigation House in fall 2008.

The university received a Silver Award in the 2010 CASE District II Accolades Awards Program in the Individual Special Public Relations Projects category, competing with entries from other colleges and universities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Ontario, Canada. District II is the largest of the eight CASE districts.

The award will be presented at the CASE District Conference in Philadelphia on Feb. 7-9.

The goal of the award-winning plan was to introduce the CSI House to the campus community, alumni, residents in the surrounding community and prospective students who may be interested in majoring in criminal justice.

The plan included opening the CSI House to tours for faculty, staff and students, alumni, members of the public, the media, local and regional law enforcement officers, and prospective students; sending CSI House postcards to 3,600 prospective students interested in criminal justice and 60 high school guidance counselors in the region; inviting regional high school students to tour the facility during the annual Law Enforcement Awareness and Familiarization (LEAF) Day; creating specially designed T-shirts distributed to everyone who visits the CSI House; and showcasing the facility in the university’s admissions materials.

Pat Frantz Cercone, Pitt-Bradford’s director of communications and marketing who developed the plan, said, “We are very fortunate to have the CSI House on our campus. It not only provides valuable hands-on experiences for our students and allows them to use investigative tools that some law enforcement agencies don’t have, but it generated and continues to generate a lot of excitement on campus and in the community.”

Cercone added that implementing the marketing plan involved several people, including Dr. Tony Gaskew, assistant professor of criminal justice, who served as host to more than 500 visitors to the CSI House during the 2008-09 academic year.

Since the CSI House opened, the number of freshmen declaring criminal justice as a major nearly doubled in one year – from 15 in Fall 2008 to 29 in Fall 2009. Additionally, the total number of students in the criminal justice program increased nearly 30 percent, from 81 to 105 in that year.

For additional information on the CSI House, visit the facility’s stop on the university’s virtual tour at or contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-872-1787. To schedule a group tour, contact Cercone at or 814-362-7505.

Tops to Buy Penn Traffic Stores

Tops Friendly Markets says it will buy all of bankrupt Penn Traffic's 79 supermarkets for $85 million in cash.

Tops says Penn Traffic has accepted its bid and has recommended it to the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware for approval. The bid includes Tops forgiving about $100 million in unsecured claims against the Syracuse-based company.

A ruling on the offer could come this afternoon or early next week.

Penn Traffic filed for bankruptcy in November and moved to sell most or all of its assets. It operates 79 P&C, Quality Markets and BiLo stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire and employs more than 5,700 people.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Book Bradford:
Randall Brings Mark Twain to Bromeley


This year may not be one that brings Halley’s Comet soaring through the air, but it is one that brings Mark Twain into town.

Well, while it may not be the real Mark Twain, it will be a stellar impersonation by Mike Randall. Randall will grace the stage at Bromeley Theater in Blaisdell Hall at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Saturday for Mark Twain Live! The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Randall’s performance is part of this year’s One Book Bradford season. One Book Bradford is a community-wide reading initiative whose selection for 2010 is “Becky: The Life and Times of Becky Thatcher” by Lenore Hart. Hart herself will be coming to Bradford March 31 to discuss the book.

Given the obvious connection between Twain and Hart, the One Book Bradford committee thought it only seemed right to bring “Twain” to Bradford, if only for a night.

Randall, who has been doing his Mark Twain show in Western New York since 1972, first became interested back in high school when a friend was doing a Mark Twain bit for a junior class show. Then, he saw Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain. Holbrook, perhaps the best known Mark Twain impersonator, won a Tony for his portrayal of the famed author. At that point, Randall was hooked.

“I think what first captivated me about Mark Twain was the humor and the fact that he had an opinion on just about everything and he felt free to express it. Lucky for us,” Randall said.

Randall created his Twain character from the ground up based on old folks he knew. He studied material about and by Twain and figured out suitable make-up and costume and learned the words.

“Ultimately, it’s the actor’s job to bring the words to life. Make them real,” Randall said. “How it’s done isn’t all that interesting. It’s a lot of hard work. Having slipped into the Mark Twain character some 2,000 times in the past 39 years, I don’t really think about it anymore.”

Despite the longevity, the show has not gotten old for Randall.

“I suppose if I was doing the show constantly, I might get bored, but with my other commitments – family and job – I can only pull Mark Twain out about 15 to 20 times a year,” he said. “Like any actor in any part, the more times you do it, the more you learn and come away with. As long as people want to laugh and as long as I can muster the energy to do a two-hour show alone on stage, I will.”

Randall continues to ad new bits to the show and will again this year, especially since 2010 is the 175th anniversary of Twain’s birth and 100th anniversary of his death.

“This year, I am working on three never-performed pieces for my show.”

Randall’s “day job” is as a meteorologist and co-host of Good Morning Western New York for WKBW-Channel 7 in Buffalo, N.Y.

He started out as a feature reporter, and then Tom Jolls convinced Randall he might be interested in doing the weekend weather.

“And I have to say, Tom was right,” Randall said. “I do very much enjoy doing the weather.”

And while he wears a couple different hats in his professional life, he does not find it difficult to balance the two worlds.

“Theatre is my advocation and broadcasting is my vocation.”

Randall also does a one-man show of Charles Dickens, a show he took on as a challenge at 50-something to see if he could start from scratch, create a new character and memorize 90 minutes of material. He succeeded.

As far as his Twain show, Randall explained that it is two 50-minute acts “with Mark Twain talking right to the crowd.”

“People who like Mark Twain, me or just like to laugh at some good all-American humor should not miss Mark Twain Live,” Randall said.

And besides, Randall has one of the greatest writers in the world working for him – Twain.

Randall also clarified his take on why the show may not be for those under 14.

“I can tell you that kids don’t always get the jokes,” he said, adding there’s no “blue material” and only mild language.

It’s more of a difference in generations than anything else.

“Some children might be entertained by Mr. Twain, the master storyteller,” Randall said. “But most will find an old guy telling jokes not to their liking.”

Tickets are still available for those who enjoy Twain’s humor.

Tickets are on sale at the Bradford Area Public Library and at the Bradford Area Creative and Performing Arts Center office.

Tickets will also be available Saturday night at the door.

The event is sponsored by American Refining Group and CNB Bank.

Foust Recognized for Research Paper

Dr. Terry Foust of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital's Champion Orthopedics and Sports Medicine was recognized for his research paper on spinal surgery at the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics meeting in Boston.

The paper, "Increasing Visualization and Ease of Decompression During Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery by Varying Angle and Laterality of Approach," earned a third place scientific paper award in general orthopedics among over 500 submissions nationwide.

Dr. Foust, a Coudersport native, joined Champion Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in July 2008 and specializes in spinal surgery.

Snow Daze in Downtown Bradford

Area residents are encouraged to take a ‘snow day’ on Saturday and visit downtown Bradford for the first annual Snow Daze Tour.

The tour will include business open houses, merchant specials, clearance sales, free refreshments and a snow flake scavenger hunt.

“We really do have a lot going on in our historic business district,” said Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan. “If a person has set a goal of getting in shape for the New Year, trying a new hair style, getting organized, or doing some different decorating around the house, then this is the day to visit Downtown Bradford,” Dolan added.

Participants include Roseart Company, Lisa’s Hairport, Main Street Mercantile, Main Street Fitness, Metamorphic Training, Curves, Tin Ceiling Gift Shoppe, Kimberly’s Cool Beans CafĂ©, LaBrozzi Insurance, Grandma’s House Tea and Gifts, and Paper to Pages.

Businesses will be offering membership specials, discounted services and after holiday clearance sales. Refreshments will be available at many of the locations.

Additionally, customers can participant in the Snowflake Scavenger Hunt. They can pick up a ‘snowflake’ coupon at any participating business, get it stamped at each location, and enter it into a drawing for a gift basket containing lots of Main Street goodies. The gift basket can be seen at Main Street Fitness located at 80 Main Street.

The event is sponsored by the Bradford Main Street Program/DBBDA and participating businesses.

Change in Transfer Station Hours

Mayville, NY -- In an effort to improve efficiencies in Chautauqua County and manage County expenses more effectively, Executive Gregory J. Edwards has announced that the days of operation at the County's four Transfer Stations have changed.

"As we have done in the past, we reviewed our operations to identify areas where we can become more efficient and spend less. One area we analyzed was the County owned landfill."

Edwards said that one point of concern was the expenses the County was incurring for overtime. To combat that, Edwards said the decision was made to close the South County Transfer Station in Falconer on Wednesdays. The South County Transfer Station will remain open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"We made this change to reduce the overtime expense that we were incurring within the division, and Wednesday was the lowest volume day," Edwards explained.

Edwards also noted that the North County Transfer Station, which was once available for residential use on Wednesdays, is now only available for commercial haulers that day.

The following days of operation are now in place:
North County Transfer Station (Sheridan) will be open:
· Monday through Friday for commercial haulers;
· Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for residential
South County Transfer Station (Falconer) will be open:
· Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for commercial haulers;
· Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for residential
Landfill Transfer Station will be open:
· Monday through Friday for commercial haulers;
· Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for residential.
West County Transfer Station (Sherman) will be open;
· Tuesday for commercial haulers;
· Tuesday and Saturday for residential.

"The County Landfill is an important asset that continues to run as efficiently as possible for County individuals and businesses that use the landfill on a daily basis," Edwards said. "This is further proof that we are doing all that we can to make our County landfill operate at its best to benefit County businesses and residents."

Coolidge Named to Advisory Board

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today has learned that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has appointed Thompson’s nominee, Erick Coolidge of Wellsboro, to the Dairy Advisory Committee created this year within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA.

Thompson was joined by five other Pennsylvania Congressmen in making the nomination: Jim Gerlach, R-Chester Springs, Joe Pitts, R-Kennett Square, Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, Todd Platts, R-York County, and Charles Dent, R-Allentown.

“This is truly great news that Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers will have a seat at the table when suggestions and ideas are presented to the Secretary of Agriculture on dairy issues,” said Thompson. “Dairy farmers are still not earning the profit they deserve and many small farms across the country are still struggling to stay in business.”

“Erick Coolidge is a longtime dairy producer –a fourth generation dairy farmer with nearly 45 years of experience in the industry both on and off the farm. He currently is a Tioga County Commissioner. He has served in various capacities in many agriculture and dairy organizations in Pennsylvania and he will be a valuable asset to the Advisory Committee,” said Thompson.

According to the USDA, the purpose of the new committee is to review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability and to provide suggestions and ideas to Secretary Vilsack on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry’s needs.

Coolidge will serve a 2-year term as part of the 15-member group representing industry, producers and their organizations, consumers, academia, retailers and state agencies involved in dairy.

Causer Holding Office Hours

State Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) or one of his representatives will hold office hours on Thursday, January 7th, 2010, at the following locations:

● Emporium Borough Office – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

● Port Allegany Borough Office – 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Services available include assisting constituents with state-related issues or concerns, assistance with driver license and vehicle registration applications, and help in filling out applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE prescription drug assistance programs.

People who cannot make the satellite sessions may call Causer’s offices in Bradford (1-866-437-8181) or Coudersport (814-274-9769) for assistance.

Young on 'State of the State'

“It is heartening that Governor Paterson focused on ethics, fiscal responsibility and jobs.

I was pleased to hear the Governor speak of a spending cap to get out-of-control spending in line. Albany has to rein in irresponsible behavior, and a spending cap is a good first step. My conference passed a spending cap before New York City took control of the Senate last year, and currently, I have a petition drive to contain reckless spending. We need to push the Assembly to pass it too, to finally help our hardworking, overburdened taxpayers.

It was great that the Governor spoke about revitalizing the economy, with a focus on small businesses and manufacturing. The only way to solve the state budget deficit and help families is to grow more jobs so that we have more economic opportunities and our young people don’t have to leave.

It’s going to be a tough year, and I will continue to stand up against tax hikes and bad fiscal policies that hurt Upstate. I hope that the state Legislature and the Governor work together on behalf of the people in New York State so we can have brighter future.”

BRMC Statement on Job Cuts

Bradford Regional Medical Center today announced staff reductions of 59 employees to deal with the effects of a challenging healthcare environment and the financial condition of the hospital.

According to Hospital President and CEO Timothy Finan, “The staff reductions are necessary to ensure improved financial stability of the hospital. Current patient volumes and activity levels cannot support existing hospital staffing levels. This is a very painful, but necessary, decision that will ensure that we retain the ability to provide care to the community we serve. To do otherwise would potentially prompt additional job losses and place the hospital’s mission in jeopardy.”

Finan made it clear that the staff reductions will in no way impact patient care or safety. The staff reductions were made as a result of a comprehensive assessment of the hospital’s financial performance and is part of an overall hospital financial improvement plan.

Bradford Regional Medical Center has lost approximately $17 million from operations over the past four years. The losses are a function of declining volumes and decreased levels of reimbursement from health insurers and the government.

According to Finan, “The ongoing operating losses experienced by the hospital need to end. We find little comfort in the fact that Bradford Regional Medical Center’s financial situation mimics those of many other hospitals throughout Western Pennsylvania and Western New York who have also had to reduce staff. Business as usual no longer works. As challenging as our healthcare environment is, I am confident that the hospital’s financial situation can and will improve significantly as a result of this and other initiatives we intend to pursue.”

“I understand that this reduction in force will be a source of very real sadness and disappointment for our employees. Healthcare workers are family and the bonds between co-workers are very strong. Each of our displaced employees is being treated with respect and dignity and the hospital is committed to assisting them in every possible way regarding potential job placements in other organizations,” said Finan.

Finan noted that the reduction in force is in no way related to Bradford Regional Medical Center’s recent integration with Olean General Hospital as part of the Upper Allegheny Health System. “The integration was formalized just two months ago. The hospital’s financial situation did not just occur. It has been a concern for a significant period of time. To ignore it any longer would be irresponsible.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stabbing Victim's Name Released

Bradford City Police have released more information about the stabbing Tuesday morning on Rochester Street.

They say Stephen Summers was attacked by Grant Lewis while Summers was asleep in an upstairs bedroom at 56 Rochester Street. Police say Summers was on the porch and bleeding heavily when they arrived.

Lewis allegedly stabbed Summers in the chest and arm. Lewis then left the scene and was picked by Olean City Police.

A Bradford police officer went to Olean to interview Lewis and collect evidence.

Lewis was charged with aggravated assault, arraigned by District Judge Dom Cercone and sent to McKean County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.

BRMC Workers Lose Jobs

A number of people at Bradford Regional Medical Center have reportedly lost their jobs.

A source tells WESB 69 people have been let go, but that number has not been confirmed yet.

Calls to BRMC about the situation have not been returned yet.

John Douglas

SHELBURNE, Vt. -- John Andrew Douglas, 49, was called home to be with the Lord on Tuesday (Jan. 5, 2010) in the Vermont Respite House, following a valiant battle with ALS.

Mr. Douglas was born Dec. 21, 1960, in Bradford, Pa., a son of John A. and Joan Higie Douglas.

For the complete obituary go to Ready

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Op-Ed: Senator Joe Scarnati

While I believe that much has been accomplished over the past couple of years, there was an issue of great concern that needed to be corrected. Quite frankly, and more specifically, this issue needed resolved. Happily, and justifiably so, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered a decision that I have been requesting for some time. This past week they ruled that the state constitution does not forbid a governor from employing and paying our state employees during a budget impasse.

This decision validates something that I have stated time and time again during the budget process. Unfortunately, for the past two years this governor has used these types of threats and tactics to garner additional pressure from state employees. While I am not satisfied with the timing of the completion of the final 2009-2010 budget, there was no need to jeopardize the livelihood of Pennsylvania families during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It was simply a failure of the Governor’s recognition that the working families of Pennsylvania live paycheck to paycheck, and should not be pawns in his attempt to leverage support for any of his initiatives.

Although disappointed with the timing of the budget, I am pleased that the Governor finally came around to seeing the merit in allowing the citizens of the Commonwealth to keep more of the money they earn. From the beginning, Senate Republicans would not budge in our core mission of completing a budget with no broad-based tax increase, a budget that spent less than last year, and one that is sustainable in the future. The goals were accomplished, but not without the Governor allowing his emotion to interfere with sound judgment. As we were protecting the taxpayer, regrettably, the Governor continued to use state employees as hostages during the budget standoff. It was unnecessary and certainly clear that it was done at the discretion of the Governor, not required by the constitution.

With that said, not only am I, but the state employees of the Commonwealth, are encouraged by the recent decision of the Supreme Court. I am hopeful that threats and rhetoric will not be a part of the next budget cycle; however, given the history and lack of compassion from the Governor, I am not confident.

United Way Reaches 97 Percent of Goal

23 Percent of Donors Were New

The United Way of the Bradford Area has made great strides in recent weeks, announcing today that more than $317,000 has been raised for the local community.

“We are so proud, and appreciative, to be able to say that our community has pledged such a great amount,” says Executive Director Kelly Case. “I don’t know how to properly express our gratitude.”

“So much hard work and diligence has gone into every aspect of Campaign 2009,” says Mandi Wilton Davis, Assistant Director, “there have been so many ‘goals within the goal’ that have been achieved this year, especially the new contributors.”

23% of the donor base was considered a new donor to campaign 2009.

“We often say ‘once you get them, you can keep them’”, says Davis, “so we’re ecstatic with this figure!”

Other hopeful aspects of the appeal that were achieved included the resurrection of the Speaker’s Bureau, Business Blitz, and successful special events.

“So much should be said about how resourceful the Speaker’s Bureau has been for us,” says Case. “That, I think, has become our greatest asset when it comes to our employee presentations because you can’t get a clearer message than from those who live it daily.”

The agencies and programs that have applied for and been granted funding from campaign 2009 will benefit greatly from the local community’s generosity.

“It’s amazing how many needs and necessities are able to be met with the funding that the agencies will receive in 2010, says Davis. “That’s the reason for it all.”

Case concluded by saying, “We have a high respect for all involved, and look forward to applying these learned principles as work begins on Campaign 2010.”

Kessels Establish UPB Scholarship

When Ann Kessel of Bradford wanted to get her husband, Dick, an extra special birthday gift, it didn’t take long for her to come up with a solution – a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

“We’re very interested in education and want to help students pay for a quality education,” Ann Kessel said. It turned out to be the perfect present. When Dick Kessel needed a present for his wife’s birthday, he added her name to the scholarship.

The Kessels gift was matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge.
This fall, the first Ann and Dick Kessel Scholarship was awarded to Grace Chuhinka, a sophomore nursing major from Marysville.

Preference for the scholarship goes to students enrolled in the business management, sports medicine, nursing and pre-medicine programs.

Ann Kessel said those programs reflect the family’s interests. The Kessels are the owners of Kessel Construction Inc., a respected Bradford Design/Build construction firm specializing in construction of commercial and industrial buildings.

In the early 1960s, the couple took the business over from Dick Kessel’s father, who had started it by building powerhouses in the Bradford oil fields.

Their interest in the medical fields comes from their daughter, Kristin Kessel Asinger, a visiting instructor in sports medicine at Pitt-Bradford.

The Kessels’ scholarship is just their latest contribution to their longtime support of Pitt-Bradford.

“The University is vitally important to Bradford,” said Ann Kessel, who sees the couple’s contributions to Pitt-Bradford as one way to repay the community that’s helped them and their company succeed.

She admits that philanthropy is also fun for the couple.

“Aren’t you rewarded when you give things away?” she asks. “The community has been so good to us. You have to give things back.”

The couple also established the Jeffrey Brian Kessel Memorial Scholarship in memory of Dick Kessel’s cousin, a Pitt-Bradford alumnus and community leader who worked for Kessel Construction. They continued to support the scholarship through an annual golf outing.

Kessel Construction was also the general contractor for Pitt-Bradford’s facilities management building and made major in-kind gifts toward its construction.

Ann Kessel also gives her time to the university, serving as a member of Pitt-Bradford’s Advisory Board, of which Dick Kessel is an honorary member.

The Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas and allows donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $50,000 to new or existing scholarships, as long as funds last. Gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible.

For more information, contact the Pitt-Bradford office of Institutional Advancement at (814)362-5091 or Joelle Warner, manager of donor relations, at

Scarnati Re-elected to Top Post

State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) was sworn in to serve his fourth year as Senate President Pro Tempore during ceremonies held today at the State Capitol. Scarnati was unanimously elected to the post by his Senate colleagues and sworn in by Commonwealth Court Judge Johnny J. Butler.

As President Pro Tempore, Scarnati will be responsible for appointing the chairpersons and members of the standing committees of the Senate. Scarnati will preside over the Senate during session as well as play a significant role in negotiations with the Administration and House of Representatives.

Scarnati will also continue to serve as Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor. He will fill out the remainder of the late Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll's term, which ends January 18, 2011. Pennsylvania's Constitution requires him to hold both, Lieutenant Governor and President Pro Tempore, positions simultaneously.

"Looking forward, we have many challenges and issues ahead of us in 2010," Scarnati said. "But if we continue to work in the bipartisan manner, I believe we can look at the end of 2010 and be proud of the results."

(Photo provided by Senate Republican Communications)

Whitcomb to Take Oath Friday

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. Friday in Little Valley.

After being sworn in, Whitcomb is expected to appoint William Nichols as undersheriff.

Whitcomb has been acting sheriff since the death of Dennis John last summer, and was elected to the post in November.

Olean Man Pleads to Child Sex Charge

An Olean man has pleaded guilty to attempting to have sex with a child.

Clayton Griffis is charged with attempted course of sexual conduct against a child.

Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman says between November 20, 2004, and December 30, 2008, in Olean, Griffis attempted to have sex with a child younger than 13.

He will be sentenced on March 29.

Man Sentenced for Attempted Burglary

An Olean man has been sentenced to one to three years in prison on an attempted burglary charge.

On March 18, 2009, James Hovey attempted to enter the Nafco Quick Stop in the Town of Great Valley with intent to commit a crime.

Hovey and his co-defendants also intentionally damaged Nafco property.

Bradford Man Sentenced in Catt County

One of the Bradford men involved in the October 9, 2008, attempted robbery of Domino's Pizza in Allegany has been sentenced to a year in Cattaraugus County Jail.

Douglas Carnahan was charged with conspiracy for his part in the crime.

Cops: Man Snowmobiling While Intoxicated

A Mayville, New York, man has been charged with snowmobiling while intoxicated following an accident early Saturday morning on a snowmobile trail in Chautauqua.

Sheriff’s deputies say 55-year-old Robert Kent lost control of the snowmobile at around 4:30 a.m. and crashed into a tree. Later that morning, a trail groomer found Kent at the site.

He was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown for treatment. Deputies say further charges are pending the results of a blood test.

Info Released on Monday Crash

Police have released the names of the people involved in a car vs. tractor-trailer accident Monday afternoon on Route 219 in Lafayette Township.

They say a car driven by 21-year-old Brittany Vandervoort of Kane went out of control on the icy road, crossed the centerline and hit the front of the rig driven by 52-year-old Brian Spencer of Falls Creek. The car spun and hit the trailer, then spun again before coming to rest on the east berm. The truck came to rest blocking the southbound lane of the road.

Police say Vandervoort was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered moderate injuries.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Computer Problems

I'm having problems with "my" computer in the newsroom ... so please bear with me as posts will probably be infrequent until the problems are resolved.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Book Talk:
Nakoa's Woman

This week's show is with Gayle Rogers, author of Nakoa's Woman, which was orginally published as The Second Kiss in 1972.

Listen here.

For more information, go here.