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Friday, February 5, 2010

Man Charged in Fredonia Murder

A man has been charged with murdering an elderly woman in the Temple One Apartment Complex in Fredonia.

Police charged 37-year-old Jason P. Wells with murder for stabbing and beating Ruth Fisk, who was in her 80s. They say the murder happened sometime between Wednesday and Friday at around noon, when her body was discovered.

Wells has been arraigned and is being held without bail in Chautauqua County Jail.

District Attorney David Foley says Wells and Fisk knew each other, but declined to elaborate on their relationship.

Murder in Fredonia

Police in Fredonia, New York, are investigating a homicide at a Temple Street nursing home.

A female resident of the home was found dead at around 11 a.m.

An arrest has been made, but no further information is available at this time.

KCH-Hamot Heart Forum Wednesday

On Wednesday, February 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at St. Callistus Church Hall, KCH and Hamot will host their annual Heart Forum.

Everyone is invited to the free forum.

The keynote speaker is Kelly Hayes, MD, PhD. Dr. Hayes is a staff cardiologist specializing in Electrophysiology at Hamot Heart Institute at Hamot Medical Center. She is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.

Dr. Hayes specializes in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, implantation of pacemakers and automated defibrillators, and the computerized analysis of cardiac pacemakers and electrophysiologic studies. She directs Hamot Heart for Women. Her topic on Wednesday will be "Women need Stents too".

Also speaking at the event is Val Jackson, Regional Director of the Hamot Heart Institute. Ms. Jackson will walk participants through a heart disease risk assessment.

Participants are asked to bring recent multiphasic or other blood work results or consider availing themselves to the KCH $22 (at cost) special lipid profile (cholesterol) and diabetes (glucose) work, plus BMI, blood pressure, and history screenings being offered to registered participants prior to the event. It is fasting blood work and can be done as late as the morning of February 10. Your lab results will be provided to you at the event. For more information please call 837-4779.

The goal with the assessment is to help each individual attending the forum to understand their heart health by the numbers using current blood and other screening results for the most accurate understanding of their risk of heart disease. Knowledge of key health numbers is power. The assessment is a powerful tool to guide one's journey to get or stay heart healthy at any age.

Jessica McDivitt, Manager of Cardiac Rehab and Wellness at KCH and Emily Zimmerman, KCH Cardiac Rehab Instructor will also present information on the Cardiac Rehab Program and the many options for fitness available at Kane Community Hospital.

Please call 837-4779 today to register for the forum so organizers know to expect you and can prepare materials and snacks.

Bonnies Game Moved to Sunday

St. Bonaventure's men's basketball game at Saint Joseph's, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to Sunday, February 7 at 1 p.m. at Michael J. Hagan Arena due to the impending snowstorm.

Due to winter storm warnings extending until 7 p.m. on Saturday,
the University has cancelled all activities for Saturday because of safety
and accessibility issues.

Author of 'Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook' to Speak at Pitt-Bradford Next Week

John Schlimm, author of the internationally award-winning “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook,” will speak at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Tuesday.

The program, which will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 9, in the Mukaiyama University Room, is free and open to the public and will cover culinary pursuits, entertaining, beer and writing. The program will include an informal presentation and a question-and-answer period with the author.

The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Hanley Library and the Pitt-Bradford Hospitality Management Club.

With more than 400 food and drink recipes using beer as an ingredient, “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook” is the largest beer cookbook ever published and was awarded both “Best Beer Book in the United States” and “Best Beer Book in the World” by the Gourmand Awards.

A member of one of the oldest brewing families in the United States, beginning with his great-great-grandfather Peter Straub, who founded the Straub Brewery in the 1870s,

Schlimm and his book have been featured on such national media outlets as QVC, NPR, and “Fox and Friends,” as well as regional media outlets across the United States during his cross-country Beer Lover’s Book Tour with representatives from Harrah’s Entertainment.

Also, samples from the recipes in Schlimm’s cookbook will be served, allowing the audience a taste of a few of the dishes. Copies of “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook” and the paperback, “The Beer Lover’s Cookbook,” will be available from The Panther Shop for purchase, and Schlimm will sign them at the event.

“I was thrilled to be asked to do this special event because Pitt-Bradford will always hold a special place in my heart since I was both an instructor there and as a former student,” Schlimm said. “It is always an honor to visit with new friends who are interested in cooking, entertaining, and writing, and especially when supporting the important work done by our public and academic libraries and on-campus clubs.”

Reviews of “The Ultimate Beer Lovers Cookbook” have been positive. Publishers Weekly wrote, “More than a decade in the making, Schlimm’s mammoth culinary valentine to beer is worth the wait… Schlimm has compiled a definitive beer recipe sourcebook that will be appreciated by beer-lovers for years to come.”

During his career, Schlimm has written eight books, including “The Straub Beer Cookbook,” “The Pennsylvania Celebrities Cookbook” and “Corresponding with History.”

Schlimm’s new book, “The Seven Stars Cookbook,” which he is writing in conjunction with Harrah’s Entertainment, the world’s largest chain of casinos, will be released later this year by Chronicle Books. This new book will feature the best recipes from the top chefs at Harrah’s Entertainment properties across the U.S. and Canada.

A resident of St. Marys, Schlimm holds a master’s degree from Harvard University, travels the country speaking about cooking, entertaining, and public relations, and has served as an adjunct professor in the Division of Communication and the Arts at Pitt-Bradford for the past several years.

Pictured, Schlimm cooking with beer in his home kitchen
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Wal-Mart & Lang Surveying’s Hot Streaks Continue in Round 10 of Chess League

In round ten of the chess league at School Street Elementary, the hot streak continued for Wal-Mart in the varsity division as they gained a half point advantage to claim first place. Dexter’s Service Center holds second and the Pharmacy at Union Square is in third just a half point behind Dexter’s. Three remain tied for first: Tamara Ferguson, Mike Jones, and Greg Henry.

In the JV section, Lang Surveying continues to dominate first place. Drs. Rhinehart and Tasta Pizza are only half a point behind in second, with Edmond Chevrolet fast closing the gap. Brent Kennedy (captain for Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair) has taken over top honors while Jessica Yost (6-year old member of Drs. Rhinehart team) and Nate Evan, a member of the Edmond Chevrolet Team, are now tied for second place. Mitchell Forbes, captain for Hamlin Bank, advanced to third.

Results and Standings after round 10:

Varsity Division

The Pharmacy at Union Square triumphed over Bradford Window Co.; Dexter’s Service Center finished even with Smith’s Fine Jewelry, 1-1; Dr. Gonzalez drew their match against Dr. Laroche, 1-1; and Wal-Mart out maneuvered Parkview Super Market by a score of 1.5-0.5.


Dexter’s Service Center

Pharmacy at Union Square

Parkview Super Market

Smith’s Fine Jewelry

Dr. Laroche

Dr. Gonzalez

Bradford Window Co.

Junior Varsity Division

In the junior varsity section, only Tasta Pizza and Edmond Chevrolet finished strong against their opponents.

Lang Surveying

Drs. Rhinehart

Tasta Pizza

Edmond Chevrolet

Smith’s Watch & Clock Repair

Hayden Auto Detailing

Dragonfly Guitar Studio

Hamlin Bank

Northwest Savings Bank

Ed Shults Toyota

Kane Area Relay for Life Gearing Up for
10th Anniversary Event in July

With 140 days and counting until the 10th anniversary event -- July 16-17, 2010 noon to noon-- for the Kane Area Relay for Life, twenty teams are already lining up their fundraising efforts for the year.

On Saturday, February 6, for example, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the First Church of God Fellowship Hall, the Walking by Faith Relay team will have a soup and pie dinner and craft sale. Soup will also be sold by the pint or quart. A wide variety of homemade soups will be available. Pre-orders are welcome by calling 598-0220.

This is just one of hundreds of events planned to help meet goals established for Kane by the McKean County Unit of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and announced at the Kane Area Relay’s monthly meeting held this week.

The goals include increasing the number of participating teams to 25. Currently 20 teams are registered. If you, your employer, club, class, neighborhood, church or family are interested in exploring having a team, call team recruiter Kellie Ely at 837-9338 to learn more about the opportunity.

The total financial goal for the 2010 Kane Area Relay was set at $84,000 by ACS. This is $5,000 higher than the amount raised in 2009.

The sponsorship goal is $5,800. Sponsors are individuals or businesses who donate money in support of the overall event. Contributions range from $50 to $5,000. So far $1,950 in commitments from individuals and businesses have been made. To discuss becoming a sponsor, call Tom VanGiesen at 837-7822.

The survivor participation goal is 76, with 48 registered survivors to date. If you are a cancer survivor (a survivor being anyone who has ever heard the words “You have cancer”) you are encouraged to contact Brenda Emer at 837-7840.

The online fundraising goal is $5,100. Thus far team members have raised $415 online. To contribute online to your favorite team, you are invited to go to the Relay website at

Fundraisers can happen as an all-team fundraiser, a single team fundraiser, or a team member fundraiser. The “Cooking for a Cure” 2010 cookbook (already in it’s second printing) and the Kane Music Boosters Cash Bash April 10 (an event that the Kane Area Relay will co-partner this year) are examples of all-team fundraisers. Cookbooks or cash bash tickets can be purchased from any team.

As individual teams or individual team members gear up with fundraisers that are sure to fill the social calendars and gift giving needs of local residents, please remember that 40% of what Kane Area Relay raises goes to critical research for a cure. And the other 60% stays in the area for ACS-offered care and services to cancer patients.

If you or someone you love hears the words "You have cancer" please make sure the person who hears the words calls and registers with the ACS. The number to call is 1-800-ACS-2345. The local ACS number is 368-3646. The reason we Relay is to make certain that 60% of what we raise is used for care and services in support of cancer patients and their families in our community. ACS can't help an individual if they are not registered.

If you would like to know more about the Kane Area Relay for Life, please join us at the next team captain or organizer meetings at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively on March 2 at the St. Callistus Hall or call Marianne Rook at 837-7115 or Shirley Morgan at 837-9696. You'll be glad you did. Together let's "Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back" against cancer in the Kane Area.

Pictured, in the foreground Marianne Rook, Chair of the Relay for Life of the Kane Area doing cartwheels at the announcement that the ninth annual Relay for Life blew past their 2009 goal. In the background organizers are shocked and thrilled.
(Photo courtesy of Ruth Gentilman Peterson)

Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

A Chautauqua County man has pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography charges.

37-year-old Raymond Mason of Frewsberg is accused of possessing pornographic Polaroid photographs of a six-year-old child, and ordering videos of child pornography through the mail.

Mason faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of half a million dollars if convicted.

Autopsy on Musselman Complete

An autopsy has been completed on the Clearfield County man found dead in a horse pasture Wednesday, but authorities are still waiting for the results of toxicology testing.

30-year-old Doyle Musselman was found in the pasture near his New Washington home, and police initially said they thought the death was a result of blunt force trauma.

District Attorney William Shaw Jr. says authorities are exploring several theories concerning Musselman's death.

Health Careers Job Fair at Pitt-Bradford

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Office of Career Services, department of nursing and Student Nurse Organization will hold a Health Careers Job Fair next week on campus.

Representatives of 18 businesses and agencies will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The fair is open to the public. Attendees should bring copies of their resume and dress in business attire.

Participating businesses and agencies are Bradford Ecumenical Home Inc., Bradford Manor, Bradford Regional Medical Center, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, DuBois Regional Medical Center, Elk Regional Health Center, Hamot Medical Center, HomeCare & Hospice, Kane Community Hospital,

Lutheran Home at Kane, Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital, Pediatric Services of America Healthcare, Sena-Kean Manor, Sweden Valley Manor, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Health Care, Warren General Hospital and Warren State Hospital.

For more information, contact Dr. Holly Spittler, associate dean of student affairs and director of career services, at 814-362-7647 or

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or

Drama Club Presenting 'Extremities'

The Alfred State College Drama Club will present the play Extremities, Friday and Saturday, Feb.19 and 20, at 7 p.m. in the Orvis Auditorium on the Alfred campus. The play is open to the public free of charge; no tickets are necessary. The play is rated “R” for strong sexual situations, language, and violence, and is not be suitable for children under 17.

Written by William Mastrosimone, Extremities examines what happens when somebody tries to take back control of his/her own life in one of the most harrowing situations imaginable.

A young woman, Marjorie, is attacked in her home by a would-be rapist, Raul, and manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her fireplace. Her roommates come home to discover the attacker bound with cords, belts and other household items.

Terry and Patricia, the roommates, express different points of view about rape in society. Terry, a rape victim herself as a teenager, believes that Raul will not be convicted since a rape did not actually occur and there is no proof. Patricia believes in the judicial system and insists on calling the police.

The three friends also turn on each other at various points in the play, due to knowledge Raul has gained of each of them by having stalked them previously. For instance, near the play's opening, Raul reveals to Terry that Marjorie had been dating Terry's boyfriend.

This show examines a crucial social justice issue that our society refuses to confront every day, purposely blindfolding itself to the reality that rape is an epidemic in this country that will only be stopped by awareness, not willful ignorance. Starring (in order of appearance) Kelly Beachner, Webster, computer information systems; Justin Stark, Fort Ann, liberal arts and sciences: humanities; Kyrie Kirn, Rochester, forensic science technology; and Ashley Knights, Dansville, court and realtime reporting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Additional ATV Trails Opening

The Allegheny National Forest has announced the opening of additional ATV trails for the winter use season.

Beginning Friday, February 5th, the Marienville Ranger District will open both the Timberline trail and the southern section of the Marienville ATV trail. The northern portion of the Marienville ATV trail will remain closed due to trail conditions.

Due to the northern portion of the Marienville ATV trail remaining closed, however, the southern trail will be two-way traffic. Riders are urged to use caution due to this changed traffic pattern.

According to Marienville District Ranger Rob Fallon, “we appreciate your understanding and patience and we remain committed to providing a safe and enjoyable ATV trail system for our visitors.”

Jamestown Woman on American Idol

161 Wells Plugged in McKean County

Of the 259 abandoned oil and gas wells plugged in Pennsylvania last year, 161 were in McKean County.

The Department of Environmental Protection says many of the 259 wells were leaking oil, acid mine drainage or natural gas.

23 of the plugged wells are in Bradford Township; 39 in Eldred Township, 54 in Keating and Otto townships and 7 in Kane.

The cost was about $977,000, which comes from surcharges on well-drilling permits and from the Growing Greener Program.

DEP says the wells were discovered by department inspectors and local citizens who work collaboratively to locate and map wells in the region.

Other wells were plugged in Warren, Venango, Forest and Tioga counties.

Woman Indicted on Drug Charges

A Little Valley woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that she sold drugs throughout the region.

47-year-old Candy Jimerson is accused of possessing and selling methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

A US Attorney says Jimerson possessed and sold the drugs throughout the southern tier, including the City of Salamanca.

Brookville Woman Dies in Crash

A Brookville woman died in a head-on collision on Route 28 early this morning.

State police say a car driven by 21-year-old Stephanie Mongelli drove into the opposite lane of travel at 12:23 a.m. and into the path of a tractor-trailer driven by 28-year-old Jose Mejia of Oyster Bay, N.Y.

Mongelli was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Mejia was wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. He was taken to Brookville Hospital for treatment.

Route 28 was closed for about three hours.

Hicks Run Bridge Replacement

Work will begin in the next few weeks to replace the Hicks Run bridge on Route 555 in Gibson Township, Cameron County. Area residents and drivers will see activity, as work begins to put a temporary one-lane bridge and temporary signal in place.

The temporary bridge and signal will allow traffic to continue through the area as crews remove the existing bridge and build a new one in the same location. The temporary signal will allow motorists to alternate turns crossing the bridge. PennDOT expects to open the new bridge to traffic in early November of this year.

The work site is located on Route 555 near the Elk and Cameron counties line.

Overall project work includes replacement of the current bridge, approach work and miscellaneous construction. The L.C. Whitford Company, Inc. of Wellsville, New York is the contractor on this $1.1 million job.

PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions before heading out.

Homicide in Clearfield County

Law enforcement officials are investigating a homicide in Clearfield County.

State police say the body of 30-year-old Doyle Eugene Musselman Jr. of New Washington was found in a horse pasture near his home on Wednesday.

Preliminary assessments show that Musselman may have died as a result of injuries associated with blunt force trauma. An autopsy will be performed later today to reveal the cause and manner of death.

Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw is also involved in the investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information on this homicide contact the Punxsutawney barracks or Clearfield County Crime Stoppers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thompson Says Solis Dodged Question

Washington, D.C.— At a hearing today in the House Education and Labor Committee, U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, questioned U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, on President Obama’s Executive Order encouraging Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for federal contracts and asked why the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has imposed them when going to bid.

“Unfortunately, Secretary Solis chose not to directly answer my question regarding a construction project in New Hampshire that DOL identified as high priority, but then mysteriously canceled the job when they found firms were not bidding because it was subject to a PLA. Rather, the Secretary responded that job creation was not the goal. She said, `First and foremost we must keep costs down,’” Thompson explained.

Project Labor Agreements, when they are made part of the bidding process, require that companies that bid on a contract with the federal government must have union workers, pay union scale and include union collective bargaining agreements. The Obama Administration contends PLAs control cost factors, and the President put forth an Executive Order encouraging PLAs, however in areas like New Hampshire this removes about 90% of the eligible firms from bidding.

Thompson reminded the Committee that a project for the Rockview State Correctional Institution in Benner Township in his district, had a PLA imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. “It kept a number of firms in the region from bidding on the project and those that did bid were so high that General Services was forced to remove the PLA. This job is now on hold too.”

Thompson described the New Hampshire ordeal in further detail, “Last September, DOL issued a solicitation for construction of a Job Corps Center in New Hampshire that the Department declared was `urgently needed.’ Without explanation, the Department attempted to impose a Project Labor Agreement. After a local small business filed a protest against the PLA, the Department cancelled the solicitation, and has not re-issued it.

Thompson asked Solis, “Why did the Department cancel the entire solicitation of an `urgently needed’ project in the face of the bid protest instead of simply removing the PLA?”

Solis answered that in many instances PLAs have actually helped to reduce costs and that it is appropriate that the Department look for ways to keep costs down. She did not answer the question about New Hampshire.

Committee Chairman George Miller, D-CA, asked that Solis answer Thompson’s question in writing at a later date.

“This is not an ‘us vs. them’ scenario, this is about American jobs. Contract decisions for the federal government should not be based on politics,” said Thompson. “True competition will provide the lowest cost, union or not. In this economic crisis, we need to maximize the job creation in this country. And while I commend the Secretary for acknowledging the need to mitigate costs, the Secretary of Labor should be making sure jobs are maximized, rather than catering to unions.”

Another Guilty Plea in Militia Case

A Brookville man, who federal prosecutors once described as a survivalist and potential militia member, has pleaded guilty to violating federal firearms laws.

51-year-old Marvin Hall was convicted of violating federal firearms law back in 1999, so he is not allowed to own guns. He was arrested by a terrorism task force in 2008 for having a shotgun and an assault rifle.

Hall will be sentenced June 25.

Three other men were arrested in connection with the investigation into the Brookville Tigers Militia. 64-year-old Morgan Jones of Lucinda and 62-year-old Perry Landis of DuBois have also pleaded guilty.

61-year-old Bradley Kahle of Clearfield County is scheduled for trial in Johnstown this spring. He allegedly told undercover agents that he hoped if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama were elected president, they would be killed.

No One Hurt in School Bus Crash

No one was hurt when a Falconer Central School bus was forced off the road at 8:50 this morning.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 50-year-old Daryl Dye was driving the bus on Waterman Road in the Town of Ellington. The bus was traveling down a steep grade when Dye had to move to the right to avoid hitting a white pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction, but partially in Dye's lane. The bus went off the road and into a deep culvert, coming to rest partially on its side.

10 students, ages 5 through 8, were on the bus at the time. They were taken to school by way of alternate transportation.

The pickup didn't stop.

Globetrotters Coming to Buffalo

One of the world’s most entertaining family events is coming to Buffalo on Friday, Feb. 5.

Event: Harlem Globetrotters 2010 “Magical Memories” World Tour

Date: Friday, Feb. 5
Place: Alumni Arena

Tickets: Tickets start at $20.00 and are available online at or

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are primed to showcase their eye-popping 2010 “Magical Memories” World Tour with the wholesome family entertainment known worldwide for thrilling fans young and old and making cherished family memories.

Now in their 84th consecutive season of touring the world, the Globetrotters’ high-flying show features some of the most extraordinary athletes and entertainers on the planet.

Photo of Ant Atkinson courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters

One Deer Hit By Two Vehicles

A Brookville man was hurt in a two-vehicle accident at around 6:30 this morning on Route 219 in Horton Township, just east of Apollo Drive.

State police say a car driven by 39-year-old George Schroeder of Brookville was traveling north on Route 219 when a deer entered the road. Schroeder's car hit the deer, but the animal continued across the road, where it was hit by a vehicle driven by 43-year-old Suzanne Wortman of St. Marys.

Police described Schroeder's injuries as minor. Wortman wasn't hurt.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Truck Hits Tree, Catches on Fire

A Port Allegany man suffered minor injuries in an accident at just after 2 a.m. today on Route 6 in Liberty Township.

State police say 41-year-old Scott Moyer fell asleep at the wheel of his Mack truck, which left the road and hit a tree. The truck went back onto the road and caught on fire.

Police say Moyer got out of the vehicle before it caught on fire. He was taken by ambulance to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport for treatment of his injuries. Moyer will be cited for traffic violations.

Police were assisted at the scene by the Star Hose Company, PennDOT and Portville Trucking.

Thanks to the person who submitted the photo!

Causer Holding Office Hours

State Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) or one of his representatives will hold office hours on Thursday, February 4th, 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.

Zippo Announces Ronson Acquisition

Zippo Manufacturing Company announced today that the company has completed the purchase of substantially all of the assets of Ronson Consumer Products Corporation, Woodbridge, NJ, and Ronson Corporation of Canada Ltd.; and certain related assets of Ronson Corporation.

Zippo is one of the world’s most widely recognized brands, best known for its iconic refillable windproof lighter. The Zippo product line also includes lighter accessories, butane candle lighters, lifestyle products for men, and an outdoor line of products and accessories introduced earlier this year.

Ronson markets a range of lighter fuels and accessories, as well as an assortment of refillable butane pocket lighters, utility lighters and torches. The Ronson product line will continue to be marketed and sold under the Ronson name through its established sales and distribution channels.

According to Zippo President and CEO Greg Booth, “Adding the venerable Ronson trademark to our family of brands provides an opportunity to expand our business, particularly leveraging Ronson’s competitive position in the lighter and fuels markets. We are very excited about the growth opportunities for both brands.”

The Zippo purchase does not include the Ronson Aviation subsidiary of Trenton, NJ. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed by Zippo.

UPB Forced to Close Science In Motion

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has closed down its popular Science In Motion program after funding for the program was cut from the Pennsylvania state budget, which some educators think will adversely affect their schools’ science programs.

Friday was the last day of operation for the mobile science lending library, which provided high-tech science equipment and expertise to 35 rural schools plus home-schooled children in an area the size of Connecticut.

“I am saddened that this program, which had so much potential to support science, technology, engineering and math education, has been cut from the state budget,” said James Baldwin, assistant dean of academic affairs and director of Science In Motion at Pitt-Bradford. “I hope that other existing programs are capable of filling the void that our termination will create.”

Funded by the state with the help of private donations, the Pitt-Bradford program was one of 11 such programs in Pennsylvania. All of the programs were cut in the 2009-10 budget.

In a region where the average high school science teacher is given $900 each year with which to buy or repair equipment and purchase supplies, the program was understandably popular.

Gary Elder, principal of Oswayo Valley Middle School/High School, which has about 300 students, said, “It’s the small rural school that’s getting hurt by this. This cut is at the top of my list for hurting kids’ learning. We believe that Science In Motion was a boon to all rural areas, and it’s not just our school that’s going to feel the pinch.”

Bruce Kemp, a biology teacher at Oswayo Valley, said he used Science In Motion resources to provide about 50 labs a year to his 150 science students. By getting the equipment from Science In Motion, the district not only didn’t have to buy expensive equipment, it also didn’t have to buy costly chemicals that need to be replaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

Kemp, who also teaches college-credit courses at Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College, was planning to use the equipment to start a program at Oswayo Valley that would let high school students there earn college credits for advanced biology courses. Without the lab support from Science In Motion, however, that’s now impossible, he said.

“Science In Motion was a state program where the commonwealth had hit a home run,” Kemp said. “Now they’ve called the batter out.”

It’s not just the students who will be suffering, said Kemp, who admitted the ability to do more advanced and sophisticated labs kept him excited as a teacher and inspired him to push his students. Without Science In Motion, he will be forced to go back to doing fewer labs.

Elder said, “That flies in the face of what we’re supposed to be doing in 21st century instruction.”

Since its inception at Pitt-Bradford in 2001, the Science In Motion program had made more than 182,000 student contacts. One student taking part in one lab is a student contact. The value of the labs provided to schools saved districts in the region more than $4 million.

Kerri Detsch, a biology and physics teacher at Kane Area High School and Science In Motion volunteer, said in 2008 that she believed Science In Motion helped prepare her students to study science at top colleges and kept her fresh as a teacher.

“Through Science In Motion, I’m always learning something new,” she said.

In addition to the loss to students, teachers and school districts, two full-time positions were eliminated by the closure, Baldwin said.

Pictured, Science In Motion camp held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford this past summer. Top, Heidi Johnson making paper with Dr. Mary Mulcahy, associate professor biology, who taught children at Science In Motion camp about different uses for plant fibers. The second photo shows a girl doing a culture of a doorknob in an academic building on the first day of camp. The students crew the cultures during the week, then examined what they grew.Science In Motion Camp was a one-week science camp held each summer at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to give children who had finished grades 1 through 6 a taste of hands-on science.
(Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Thompson Asks Corbett to Investigate
Ex-Turnpike Financial Manager’s Lawsuit

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, wrote to Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett to ask him to investigate claims in Ralph M. Bailets’ suit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), in which he alleges corruption and waste.

Bailets was Assistant Secretary of Treasury and Manager of Financial Reporting and Systems at the Turnpike Commission from February 1998 to July 2008 when he was moved to another job. Then in November 2008 he was laid off by the PTC for what he claims was a wrongful termination for bringing potential fraud to the attention of his superiors.

“While this is an ongoing civil suit, there are criminal elements in the complaint that are very serious and need to be looked at further,” said Thompson.

Thompson wrote to Corbett: “Prior to his dismissal for alleged budgetary reasons, the complaint reads that Bailets had previously discovered and reported a discounting scheme being engaged in by the largest commercial EZPass Customers. Bailets claims organizations would act as suppliers of transponders to service smaller organizations not privy to the 20% volume discount on toll charges.”

The Bailets complaint states “that despite the loss of potentially millions of dollars in toll revenue (which could have relieved budgetary pressure), no action was taken to further investigate or correct this situation.”

Bailets also claims that billable hours were duplicated for a Turnpike contractor. The contract involved more than $82 million, yet Bailets was told to “not make waves.”

Thompson’s letter concluded, “As the Commonwealth continues to face fiscal pressures, particularly when it comes to highway and infrastructure funding, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and motorists using the Pennsylvania Turnpike deserve to know that their toll dollars are not being squandered on political patronage and personal gain.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

McKean County Stream Restored

HARRISBURG -- Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger today welcomed a new federal report that shows Pennsylvania is now second nationally in the number of waterways that have been restored to health because of the aggressive cleanup efforts by the state and its partners.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, four Pennsylvania streams that stretch a total of 41.7 miles were added to the list of restored water bodies in 2009: Babb Creek in Tioga County, Gumboot Run in McKean County, Lloydville Run in Blair County, and Sterling Run in Centre County.

“Through the cooperation and hard work of watershed groups, farmers, conservation districts and state government, we are making dramatic improvements to our most polluted waterways, restoring life to once-dead streams, and improving recreational and economic opportunities for our residents,” said Hanger.

The EPA maintains a list of “success stories” on its Web site for formerly polluted streams that have been restored to health. The number of bodies on the list increased from 97 to 172 during 2009. Eighteen of those streams are in Pennsylvania and stretch more than 69 miles throughout the state, which puts the commonwealth second only to Tennessee, which has 19 streams on the list.

The four Pennsylvania streams added this year were once unable to support aquatic life or were severely degraded due to high acidity caused by mine drainage, high concentrations of metals, and silt from coal mines and coal waste piles that were abandoned prior to passage of modern mining laws in 1977.

DEP worked with federal agencies, local volunteer organizations, conservation districts and environmental groups to construct mine drainage treatment plants, reclaim and vegetate abandoned mine lands, and stabilize stream banks to eliminate sources of pollution into these waterways.

Other waterway improvement methods include instituting agricultural best management practices to keep livestock out of streams and reduce sediment and nutrient runoff from fields, planting riparian buffers, building urban stormwater control projects, plugging abandoned oil wells, and making stream channel improvements.

Funding for many of these projects is provided to local watershed groups and conservation districts through the commonwealth.

DEP is responsible for monitoring and protecting water quality in 86,000 miles of rivers and streams in Pennsylvania for recreational, industrial and drinking water uses. The EPA lists more than 16,000 miles of the state’s waterways as impaired.

For more information on DEP’s efforts to improve water quality, visit, keyword: Watershed Management.
To read more about the EPA’s list of success stories, visit

Inmate Charged with Harassment

An inmate in the Jefferson County Jail is facing an additional harassment charge for apparently knocking another inmate off a chair for no apparent reason.

Punxsutawney-based state police say the 19-year-old victim "was sitting at a table minding his own business" when 26-year-old Jesse Kerner went up to him and hit him in the side of the head, knocking him off the chair onto the floor.

The incident was caught on surveillance tape.

A summary harassment charge has been filed.

PA Marine Dies in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Michael L. Freeman Jr., 21, of Fayetteville, Pa., was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Freeman was a 2008 graduate of Chambersburg High School.

Seneca Gaming Income Increases

The Seneca Gaming Corporation's income for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 22 percent.

Seneca Gaming reported net income rose to $14.08 million from $11.47 million during the period that ended on December 31.

This includes the casinos in Salamanca, Niagara Falls and Buffalo. The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is expected to add more than 200 new slot machines by spring as part of its $9 million expansion project.

Seneca Gaming CEO Catherine Walker credits the turnaround to internal belt tightening.

Man Who Knocked Out Cop is Sentenced

A Salamanca man will spend a year in jail for knocking a police officer unconscious last March.

27-year-old Carl Kettle was spotted by a police officer urinating against the side of a building, and when the officer tried to arrest him he ran away. After police caught up with him, they took him to the police station.

After they took off his handcuffs for processing, Kettle kicked Officer Joe Frenz in the head, sending the officer backward into the bars of a jail cell and knocking him out.

Frenz was treated at Olean General Hospital, then released.

Also Monday in Cattaraugus County Court, an Olean woman has pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Healther Blade sold crack cocaine on August 4 in Olean. On March 19, in Olean, she possessed one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug.

She will be sentenced April 26.

A Perry, New York, man has pleaded guilty to falsely reported an incident.

Between August 6 and September 24 of 2008, Ricky Kish told sheriff's deputies his mobile home was damaged by fire. He and his wife attempted to make an insurance claim of more than $50,000 when the home had been sold.

Kish was sentenced to a conditional discharge for one year.

Salamanca Man Faces Life in Prison

A Salamanca man could spend the rest of his life in jail for creating child pornography in his home.

38-year-old Shawn Snyder pleaded guilty today in federal court in Buffalo to five felony counts of production of child pornography.

He admitted to taking pornographic pictures of five girls ranging in age from 4 to 11 then downloading the images onto his computer.

Snyder, who has two children, also faces state charges of sexually assaulting a child.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 9.

The FBI and Salamanca Police investigated.

Coudersport Wellness Center Classes

The Coudersport Wellness Center will offer a variety of classes in February.

Silver Sneakers is a beginner’s class featuring cardio, weights, exercise rope, small ball and stretching and meets from 2 to 3 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays or 9 to 10 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Boot Camp features a variety of step, kickboxing, koga, circuit, weights, strength training, walk, run, abs, exercise ball, and bands and meets from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Kickboxing/Koga is a new workout technique combining yoga and kickboxing to strengthen, tone, and stretch. Classes will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Yogalates combines yoga and pilates and meets from 12 to 1 p.m. on Mondays.

The Combo Class offers step, double step, circuits, cardio, kickboxing, run, walk, yoga flex, upper and lower body/abs. Classes meet from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Yoga and Pilates Workshop features the benefits of mind, body exercise including increased flexibility, improved posture, balance and relaxation, and reduced tension. Classes will be held from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Saturday morning classes, which meet from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., include a combo class with Traci Budd February 6; step and/or pilates with Cindy Capatch, February 13; yoga and/or pilates with Crystal Morales, February 20; and koga or kickboxing with Donna Thomas, February 27.

Punch cards of 10, which can be used for any class and combination, cost $68. For more information, or to register, call the wellness center at 274-5353.

Young's Job Initiative Gets Backing

ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young’s major new jobs initiative designed to improve New York's business climate, reduce taxes, and create thousands of new jobs for workers across the State has received the backing from the State’s leading business advocacy organizations.

The plan's centerpiece would reward businesses with a three-year tax credit, averaging between $2,500 and $5,000 for every new job created. It would also eliminate taxes for small businesses and manufacturers that pay the state’s corporate franchise tax and roll back the income tax surcharge placed on them last year in the budget by New York City-controlled legislators. It also places a moratorium on new taxes, fees and regulations that are killing private sector job-creation efforts in the state.

“This plan will get people back to work and will help turn around the economy,” said Sen. Young. "We need to think creatively and act swiftly, and I believe this plan will accelerate our recovery and give businesses the confidence they need to create jobs.”

“Last year, New York lost 269,000 jobs statewide while this year, Governor Paterson’s budget projects that another 40,000 jobs will be lost. During the worst economic downturn in recent history, Governor Paterson and downstate-controlled majorities in both houses, forced through record tax and spending hikes. The tax burden on businesses rose by $3.6 billion,” said Sen. Young.

“We need to grow our way out of this economic downturn, but Albany has made it impossible for manufacturers and small business to create and retain jobs. Businesses continue to leave New York State because the government spends too much and taxes too much. We need to go in a different direction so that we have a brighter future,” said Sen. Young.

The newly announced jobs plan backed by Senator Young, would provide a refundable tax credit averaging $2,500 up to a maximum of $5,000 to businesses, manufacturers and other private sector employers for every new job they create. The tax credit would be recurring for three years and would only be provided for new jobs that expand total payroll, equal to the amount of tax withholding for each new job.

For example, a new job paying $30,000 would provide an employer with a tax credit of about $1,150. A job paying $50,000 would provide a $2,500 tax credit. The proposal is cost-neutral to the state because it applies only to new jobs and employees that don’t currently provide New York with any payroll revenue.

That credit could grow by as much as an additional $3,000 per job if new hires are taken from the ranks of the unemployed who are collecting unemployment insurance from the State. Such an incentive would help reduce unemployment and the costs borne by taxpayers.

“We can and must encourage employers to start hiring and capitalize on new opportunities. I can’t think of a better way to create and build jobs than to give businesses the tools and incentives they need to grow,” added Sen. Young.

The plan also places a moratorium on any new business taxes and fees and eliminates the corporate franchise tax for hundreds of small businesses and manufacturers with 50 or fewer employees and less than $2 million in net income. It also accelerates the phase-out of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase on small businesses that is scheduled to expire at the end of next year.

The jobs initiative would also prohibit the State from enacting any new regulations on New York companies, and create a new Berger-style commission that would have the power to eliminate regulations which currently are hindering businesses.

Sen. Young said passage of a State spending cap is also key to the State’s efforts to create jobs, arguing that putting the brakes on wasteful spending is critical to ensure the resources necessary to invest in important job creation and tax cutting efforts in the future.

“We need to keep Albany from enacting massive unsustainable spending that is killing job growth. A spending cap is absolutely the right thing to do for the future well being of this State,” said Sen. Young.

“In his budget, Governor Paterson cuts in half funding currently targeted for job creation. He also calls for new tax credits for creating jobs. However, the requirements on businesses are highly restrictive, and he caps the program. As a result, the Governor’s own Budget Division estimates that fewer than 50 companies might benefit each year. That’s not enough,” she said.

According to the latest statistics, the bulk of the state’s job losses have been outside of New York City in regions such as Central and Western New York, the North Country, Hudson Valley and Long Island. In the Southern Tier, there was nearly an 11% drop in private sector employment from 2008 to 2009.

If enacted, the Sen. Young’s plan would provide a much-needed, shot-in-the-arm for New York's stagnant economy.

Sen. Young has started a petition drive to give her constituents an opportunity to show their support for the plan. The petition can be accessed by visiting her website at, or by calling her district office, toll-free, at 1-800-707-0058.

Business groups were quick to weigh in with praise for the Senate Republican plan.

“Private sector job creation needs to be New York’s highest priority. This plan addresses this vital need by removing barriers to job growth and giving our citizens hope and opportunity. The tax credit for job creation and the moratorium on new regulations and taxes on small business are effective tools to create jobs. New York has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs because the state spends too much and taxes too much. The spending cap in this plan is an important fiscal reform that must be enacted,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

"Small business is the engine that drives most job creation in our economy--and that will grow us out of this economic mess. Lowering New York's second worst in the nation business tax climate and cost of doing business is really what small business needs to survive and grow, and that's exactly what this job creation plan will do. The proposal put forth today by the Senate Republican Conference is the right recipe for expanding our economy and deserves bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature," said Mike Elmendorf, New York State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), New York's leading small business advocacy association.

Culinary Arts Students Celebrate Mardi Gras with Dinner, More in Wellsville

WELLSVILLE, NY, -- Students enrolled in the culinary arts programs at Alfred State College will prepare a Mardi Gras celebration, featuring a New Orleans-style menu, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m., in the student cafeteria of the Culinary Arts Building on the Wellsville campus.

Masked wait staff will serve patrons at tables decked out in bright colors designed to evoke a Mardi Gras atmosphere; musical jazz selections will provide additional ambience. Guests will receive complimentary Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors of green, gold, and purple.

Cost of the event is $15 for adults; $7 for children 10 and under. Proceeds from the event, which is sponsored by the Top Hat Club (the culinary honor society), will benefit the Club’s Activity Fund.

Culinary seniors Kristylee Hill, Moravia, is the general manager, and Jessica Griffiths, Martville, is the host of the event.

The event is open to the public; no reservations will be accepted.

For additional information, please call the Culinary Arts Department at (585) 593-6270, ext. 3170, or (607) 587-3170.

Underground Railroad Workshop,
Activities Planned by Arts Council

February is Black History month and the Cattaraugus County Arts Council is honoring this important recognition of the history and contributions of African American people with an informative, educational, and artistic workshop.

Local African American cultural educator Sara Heslin Woods presents “Follow the Drinking Gourd: The Underground Railroad Project” on Thursdays, February 11, 18, 25 from 6-8 pm at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College.

Sara expertly blends culture, history, and artistic expression in a way that makes this a highly-educational and engaging workshop. Sara will use compelling storytelling techniques and character representations to relay the plight of the slaves on their northward travels as well as the stories of the local people who helped to conduct a route of escape. Learn about the local Underground Railroad landmarks and what it meant for a slave to “follow the drinking gourd.”

All participants will create their own drinking gourd that will be individually embellished with paint and other decorative treatments. Come prepared to learn, to create, to be engaged, to be inspired.

The workshop is appropriate for ages 12 and up and is held in room 220 in the College Center building located on North Union Street. Please contact CCAC to register by calling 716-372-7455 or email A $5 donation is suggested to cover the cost of the materials. This workshop is presented in collaboration with the Cattaraugus County Arts Council and the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College and is supported with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and from Cattaraugus County.

More New York Sex Offenders
Removed from Social Networking Sites

13 additional social networking sites have removed more than 4,300 registered sex offenders from their rolls after checking names against New York state's registry.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today that the offenders had more than 11,700 profiles linked to them on sites like Flickr and Friendster. The sites had agreed in December to check their memberships against the list. MySpace and Facebook had already removed sex offenders.

New York's law requires sex offenders to register their e-mail accounts, screen names and any other Internet identifiers with the state.

Cuomo called for Web sites that cater to children, like Webkinz , to add to their security measures already in place by also agreeing to check with the state list.

Among the registered sex offenders purged from all 15 sites were 33 from Cattaraugus County, 61 from Chautauqua County and 31 from Allegany County.

'A Night at the Operetta' at Quick Center

Soprano Virginia Herrera and baritone Michael Weyandt will perform duets and love songs from Viennese, French, Spanish and American operettas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, in the sixth concert of the Friends of Good Music season at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Weyandt won the Quick Center for the Arts Performance Prize at the 2009 Liederkranz Competition in New York City.

Accompaniment will be provided by pianist Elizabeth Hastings and the concert will be narrated by Joseph A. LoSchiavo, executive director of the Quick Center.

Operetta is a genre of light opera – light in terms of music and subject matter – and characteristically has a romantic plot interspersed with songs and spoken dialogue. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in France, where Jacques Offenbach was the most successful practitioner of the genre, and came to its height in Vienna with the immensely popular works by Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar. At the same time, it found similar popularity in Spain where it was known as Zarzuela and became a very sought after form of entertainment.

The operetta traditions of Austria, France and Spain began to wane in the early 20th century but found new life in the United States in the works of Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg, eventually making the transition from operetta to musical comedy.

LoSchiavo will guide the audience through the evening, explaining the settings of the works being performed and providing background information about the composers and the different performance styles. A noted opera stage director, LoSchiavo has directed productions for the New York City Opera National Company, the Kentucky Opera, the Arizona Opera, Wolf Trap Festival in Washington, D.C., and many others.

Herrera is a strong proponent of Zarzuela and has performed many roles in this genre with Teatro Nuevo Mexico in Santa Fe and in her native Mexico. She has appeared on many opera stages around the United States and starred in the concert “The Best of German Opera and Operetta” at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. Herrera’s voice is featured in the soundtrack of the Mexican short film “Under the Rubble,” which was nominated for best short film at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Weyandt was described by the Boston Globe as a voice “bright and clean” for his recent performances as Masetto in the Tanglewood Music Center’s production of “Don Giovanni,” under the baton of James Levine. He has previously sung the role of Guglielmo in “Cosi fan tutte” at Tanglewood, again with Maestro Levine, in addition to numerous baritone roles at Indiana University, where he received his master’s degree.

Pianist Hastings returns to the Quick Center for her fifth appearance after conducting the very successful performances of the opera double bill “The Three Hermits” and “Hester Prynne at Death” by Stephen Paulus in 2008. She is the music director of the Liederkranz Foundation and Opera Theatre and has guest conducted at many opera companies. She is also a sought after coach and accompanist in New York City.

Ludwig Brunner, director of programming at the Quick Center, said the concert is a great lead in to Valentine’s Day, which is just two days later. “Since most of these operettas are about love, the pursuit of love, or unrequited love and feature songs such as ‘Ich bin verliebt’ (‘I’m So In Love’) by Lehar or the popular duet ‘Wanting You’ by Romberg, this will be the perfect occasion to bring your spouse, partner, or a date and revel in the romance of the music,” said Brunner.

This performance is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Tickets are $20 at full cost, $16 for St. Bonaventure staff and senior citizens, and $5 for students. For tickets and information, call the Quick Center box office at (716) 375-2494.

For each Friends of Good Music performance, The Quick Center will open its galleries one hour before the performance and keep them open throughout the intermission. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Museum admission is free and open to the public year round. For more information, visit

Another Arrest by AG's Child Predator Unit

An East Aurora, New York, man has been arrested by Pennsylvania's Child Predator Unit for allegedly setting up a meeting for sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

43-year-old Jeffrey Kimmel is accused of using an Internet chat room on January 13 to set up the meeting in New Castle. He was actually chatting with an agent from the attorney general's office.

According to the criminal complaint, Kimmel used his cell phone camera to send a nude photo of himself during their first online chat and expressed a desire to engage in sexual activity with the girl. Kimmel also allegedly offered to bring the girl gifts, promising to bring her a sexual device in her favorite color (pink) and wine coolers if she agreed to meet - telling her that he would teach her about sex and "show her everything."

Kimmel was arrested on January 22nd, when he arrived at a predetermined meeting location in Lawrence County, driving a vehicle that matched a description provided during online chats.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said that agents executed a search warrant on Kimmel's vehicle, seizing a pink sexual device and wine coolers.

Kimmel is in the Lawrence County prison in lieu of $250,000 cash bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing on February 9.

To read about two more arrests by the Child Predator Unit, go to the attorney general's Web site.

Drug Task Force Arrests Three People

Three people were arrrested late last night by the McKean County Drug Task Force.

Several officers of the drug task force conducted a series of controlled purchases of crack cocaine and Oxycontin in the Bradford area. As a result of that, Keith Murphy of Buffalo, Janine Heitzinger of Olean and Andrew Cauley of Bradford were arrested and charged with felony and misdemeanor drug-related charges.

They were all arraigned by District Judge Rich Luther and sent to McKean County Jail on $5,000 bail each.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for February 10.

The task force was assisted by the City of Bradford Police Department.

PGC Selling Bluebird Nesting Boxes

HARRISBURG – If you are interested in helping wildlife in your own backyard, the Pennsylvania Game Commission now is selling bluebird nesting boxes at its Harrisburg headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Avenue. The boxes sell for $7, and customers can select from assembled boxes or kits that can be assembled as a wood-working project.

“Bluebirds are early nesters, so now is the time put up new nest boxes, as well as to clean and repair existing boxes,” said Dan Brauning, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity chief. “These bluebird boxes enable Pennsylvanians to help wildlife in a natural way.

“Also, building nesting boxes is a great project for individuals, families or civic organizations interested in wildlife. These box designs are proven to attract bluebirds and other species, including tree swallows and house wrens.”

Bluebirds live in open country, and are a beautiful songbird native to Pennsylvania. Bluebirds are cavity nesters and have become less common due to a lack of suitable nest sites. Many nest sites have been lost through changing land-use practices, as well as to urban and suburban sprawl. But the introductions of house sparrows and starlings in 1851 and 1890 have been the primary reasons for the bluebirds’ decline.

The bluebird boxes offered by the Game Commission include an opening that is the prescribed one-and-one-half inches in diameter. This precludes starlings from being able to enter. However, house sparrows still will enter the boxes, particularly those placed in close proximity to houses. If this occurs, the house sparrow nests should be removed immediately. If it happens repeatedly, consider moving the next box to another, and preferably more open, location.

Boxes should be erected on a free-standing pole three to five feet above the ground – facing south, if possible – and facing a nearby tree or fence where young birds can safely land on their initial flights from the box. To reduce predation and competition from other species, no perch should be placed on the box; bluebirds do not need one. Boxes placed in pairs, about 20 feet apart, may help reduce competition from swallows.

The Game Commission’s Howard Nursery has been manufacturing bluebird nest boxes and box kits for more than a quarter century. Each year, about 9,000 boxes are manufactured there and sold or provided to Pennsylvanians to help bluebirds. That annual influx of new nest boxes helps ensure Pennsylvania remains a “keystone state” in bluebird conservation.

Sales will continue while supplies last, and office hours are Monday-Friday from 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Game Commission’s headquarters is at 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81 in Harrisburg. To order by phone, call the Game Commission’s Harrisburg office at 1-888-888-3459. If ordering by phone, shipping and handling costs will apply depending on how many boxes are ordered.

PGC photo

Monday, February 1, 2010

VFDs: An Endangered Species

WESB/WBRR News Director

Volunteer fire departments are "officially" on the endangered species list.

That's according to Foster Township Supervisor Jim Connelly Jr., who took time during Monday's supervisors meeting to address the dwindling membership of the Derrick City and Rew volunteer fire departments.

"I'm going to put our Foster Township fire departments on the endangered species list," Connelly said. "We need help. It's got to be addressed."

He reiterated what supervisors have been saying for months -- people don't have to fight fires to be a member of the department. Plenty of other jobs, such as maintenance and bingo, are available.

Connelly acknowledged that the problem isn't unique to Foster Township.

"It's a serious issue all over the United States of America," he said. "Our volunteers are falling by the wayside. Having a volunteer fire department is a luxury."

"When we pick up that phone, we dial 9-1-1 we assume someone's going to come," Connelly said. What happens when they don't? What happens?"

He and the other supervisors noted that, along with the safety issue, having a volunteer fire department keeps homeowners insurance down.

Connelly added that he would like to see at least 10 new members each in the Derrick City and Rew departments.

Besides the call for new volunteers, Connelly organized a recognition ceremony for the members already serving in the departments.

Pastor Mike McAvoy of Open Arms Community Church also spoke and said volunteer firefighters do the most work and "get the least amount of recognition, the least amount of reward."

In a prayer he offered, he added that they "don't serve out of their wallet; they serve out of their heart."

Also during Monday's meeting, supervisors agreed to look into First Energy's Standard Lighting Incentives for Business Program, that gives monetary incentives for converting to energy efficient lighting.

Supervisors said if they switched lighting, the township would save about 30 percent.

Also Monday, Wright Street resident Bob Baker asked about former supervisor Cary Kaber applying for unemployment compensation for the work, other than supervisor, he did for the township.

Baker said the "taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill" after voting Caber out of office.

Township secretary Jennifer Gorrell said they're not sure yet if the township's insurance rates will go up if Caber does receive unemployment compensation.

In other matters, by a 2 to 1 vote supervisors appointed Dan Hartle to be the new township solicitor. He replaces Richard Mutzabaugh, who is ill.

Supervisor chairman Bob Slike noted that Mutzabaugh has represented the township since the mid-60s and he would "hate not to appoint his firm." He added that Mutzabaugh's partner, Robert Saunders, was willing to be the township's solicitor.

Supervisor Chris Wolcott said Mutzabaugh has "represented us well over the years (but) it's time for a change."

Supervisors also appointed Dale Yohe to a position on the planning commission. His term expires December 31, 2013.

Pictured, top, Cliff Hastings, who has been with the Rew Volunteer Fire Department for 58 years, shakes hands with Supervisor Chairman Bob Slike. Also pictured is George Corignani of the Bradford City Fire Department. And, in the second photo, Tina Yohe and Will McDonald, who have served with the Derrick City Volunteer Fire Department for 30 years, receive thanks from Derrick City Fire Chief Jim Kelley, Derrick City Fire Department President Bill Fargo, Rew Fire Department Chief Todd Burkhouse, Rew Fire Department President Scott Gibbs.

New Bill Outlines Job Creation Tax Credit

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today was joined by original cosponsors Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Mark Begich (D-AK) in introducing legislation to create a job creation tax credit.

“Over the last couple years the U.S. economy has steadily shed jobs and wages have largely been stagnant,” said Senator Casey. “We have made progress responding to the economic crisis, but more needs to be done to get people back to work. Times are still tough across the board and margins are slim. That is why I am introducing this job creation tax credit to help employers hire workers, put money back into local economies and spur economic growth.”

“While some sectors of the economy are doing better, middle class families and small businesses across New York are struggling in this economic crisis,” Senator Gillibrand said. “We need to take aggressive action to help businesses create good-paying jobs and get New Yorkers back to work. The job creation tax cut would encourage businesses to begin hiring now instead of waiting for the economy to stabilize months or years down the road. It could create millions of new jobs at a time when unemployment is continuing to rise and nearly 850,000 New Yorkers are out work. Giving small businesses an incentive to create jobs is the right strategy to continue our economic recovery and create jobs for the thousands of New Yorkers who are ready to work.”

“Michigan has been among the hardest hit in the nation by unemployment, and so I am eager to join with my colleagues to propose this job creation tax credit,” Levin said. “It is a sensible way to get businesses hiring again and keep our economy on the road to recovery.”

Senator Begich said, “I am pleased to join Sen. Casey, as well as my other colleagues, in supporting legislation to put Americans back to work. In my home state of Alaska, unemployment has reached a record 8.8 percent. I will continue to work on finding ways to help businesses hire workers and keep Alaskans employed.”

Senator Casey’s proposal builds upon the jobs tax credit enacted in 1977 and was responsible for the creation of 700,000 jobs. Employers who increase their payroll by hiring new employees will be eligible to receive a tax credit.

According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last month: “Providing tax credits for increases in payrolls would increase both output and employment.”

Employers would only receive the credit if they increase payroll. This would address potential fraud where employees are let go and then rehired in order to obtain the tax credit.

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and are the real jobs engines of our economy. In recognition of this and to have the maximum impact on job creation, small businesses would receive a larger credit than large employers. The proposal would provide a tax credit of 20% for small employers and 15% for large employers – those with more than 100 full-time employees.

The credit would only apply to an employee’s wages up to the Social Security wage base of $106,800.

The employer would be eligible to receive the tax credit for one year.

September 11 Trial in Pennsylvania?

With growing objections to holding the trial of September 11 terrorism suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, it's possible the trial could be held in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Justice set guidelines that the trial must be held in one of the three locations where a September 11 crime occurred. Although Shanksville in Someset County is where one of the highjacked airplanes crashed, the trial could be held in federal court in Johnstown, Pittsburgh or Erie.

Speaking on the Fred Thompson Show this afternnon, Governor Ed Rendell said he isn't sold on the idea of having the trial in the Commonwealth.

"Right now in Pennsylvania, like every state in the union, we're facing huge budget challenges and I'd have to be assured that all of the costs would be paid for (by the federal government)," Rendell said.

The Obama administration is setting aside $200 million to help the US city where the trial is held.

Rendell said security is another issue that concerns him.

"You don't want to put your own citizens at risk for a high profile case like this," Rendell said on the show.

PA Game Lands Workday Planned

Many hands make for light work. Last spring, many sportsmen and some scouts showed up for the work day on new state game lands building habitat for all animals on lands that everyone can enjoy. Brush piles are necessary habitat, food and nesting sites for many small animals in the wild, including rabbits and pheasants. They are easily built and will be immediately available for animals.

This year we will meet at 8:00 AM on Saturday, March 27, 2010. Groups will form and work 9AM-noon and 1PM until 4PM or until the work is done. We will park at the dedication sign going into the Shawmut tract of PA State Game Lands #44. Signs will be placed along route 219 south of Ridgway.

We will need as many people as possible to bring chain saws, chaps, helmets, pruning poles and other safety gear and brush cutting tools. Pheasants Forever will once again provide a lunch for the volunteers. We will be working outdoors cutting brush and building habitat so dress for the weather with good boots.

This is a great way for scouts and kids to earn community service hours. Everyone must complete an Agreement for Voluntary Service form. If you are bringing anyone under 18 years of age, please use the contact information below so that their parents or guardians can sign a waiver a head of time.

Can you commit to 3 hours of good outdoor exercise? Please reserve this date on your calendar.

The following members were elected to hold official positions for Chapter 630 of Pheasants Forever at the January 21, 2010 meeting. President – Dick Bodenhorn; Vice-President-Andy Werneth; Secretary – Leon Blashock. The Treasurer position is open at this time. We are looking for a capable volunteer that will be rewarded with gratidude. We are very excited for these officers who accepted the challenges of the new year although all our members are indispensible. We also would like to acknowledge the work of past officers for helping to make this chapter one of the most successful in the country.

Isn’t it about time you got involved? Our next meeting is, Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Capital City fire hall on Front Street in Ridgway, PA. Visit our recently updated web site at For more information, call Jane at 814-772-4604.

(Photo provided by Pheasants Forever)

Free Cancer Screenings at CCMH

Dr. David Moylan and Dr. Hans Baerwald will provide free skin, colorectal and prostate cancer screenings from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., February 20 at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center.

A light breakfast will be served. Patients should specify which screening(s) they would like when registering. Call 877/274-8200 for an appointment.

PA Hospitals to Care for Haitians

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania is ready to provide medical and humanitarian care for some critically injured Haitian earthquake victims, Governor Ed Rendell announced today after sending a letter to the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security.

“Pennsylvania is keenly aware of the dire situation faced by so many Haitians who were critically injured during the January 12 earthquake and its aftershocks,” Governor Rendell said during a news conference. “We recognize the need to act fast, as more Haitians continue to suffer. The commonwealth is ready to support the federal government in this life-saving operation.”

The Governor was joined at the news conference by Department of Health Secretary Everette James and Carolyn F. Scanlan, president and CEO of The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

The state departments of Health, Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are coordinating planning efforts to receive Haitian patients in response to the federal government’s request.

The Department of Health is working to identify hospitals willing to accept earthquake victims. Pennsylvania hospitals have already been participating in both outbound and inbound medical humanitarian missions. Eleven hospitals, from Philadelphia to Erie, have already agreed to accept Haitian patients

Prior to their arrival in the commonwealth, the Department of Health will receive information about the patients, including the type and degree of injuries, so they can be matched to the appropriate medical facility, such as trauma or burn centers.

The department is prepared to coordinate medical assessments at the airports, work with regional EMS councils to provide transport to the hospitals, and communicate with the hospitals regarding available beds.

All patients will be assessed for medical needs and assigned a patient tracking number upon arrival in the commonwealth. Patient escorts will also be assessed for basic health needs. Patients and escorts will be reunited before being transported to the hospital.

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has identified housing resources that are immediately able to shelter patient escorts. And, local government and social service agencies are ready to assist with mental health, translation and food and clothing needs.

SBU's VITA in Olean Center Mall

The Bonaventure Accounting Association and Students In Free Enterprise are teaming up again to offer free tax services this season for those who qualify.

The St. Bonaventure University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program officially opened its tax preparation site at the Olean Center Mall today. The office is located near Subway and JCPenney, and will remain open until the end of March. The St. Bonaventure VITA site is an innovative, high-volume program that operates on an appointment basis, and has the capacity to prepare over 100 tax returns per week during “tax season” 2010.

Operating hours are Monday through Friday at the Olean Center Mall, with morning, afternoon, and evening appointment times available.

On Saturdays in February, volunteers will be at the Franklinville Elementary School on Feb. 6; at the Little Valley office of the Business Development Corporation on Feb. 13; and at the Randolph Free Library on Feb. 20. The Saturday hours of operation are 1-3 p.m., and interested persons are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or (716) 373-0123 to see if they qualify.

To qualify for free tax return preparation and electronic filing, Cattaraugus County workers must have a family income of $49,000 or less. Candidates will go through an entrance interview to see whether they qualify for free assistance. Those who qualify must bring a valid picture I.D., Social Security cards, all W-2 forms, and Forms 1099 to their tax preparation appointment.

Since 2004, the University’s VITA program has brought federal and state income tax benefits to people with low and moderate incomes by providing free income tax preparation and e-filing. The program focuses on workers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit available to low- and moderate-income workers with earned income.

VITA students set a new record in 2009, preparing 500 tax returns with $750,000 in tax refunds for local taxpayers, an almost 25 percent increase from 2008. Since 2004, VITA has helped Cattaraugus County residents earn $2.35 million in tax refunds, and prepared 1,500 tax returns.

Accounting majors and alumni from St. Bonaventure University volunteer to make the program possible under the leadership of Dr. Susan Anders, professor of accounting and adviser for the VITA program. Volunteer tax preparers engage in many hours of training and must pass rigorous IRS certification tests. For 2010, 75 percent of the volunteer tax preparers are certified at the advanced level.

The St. Bonaventure VITA program operates in partnership with the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services and the United Way of Cattaraugus County, which provide resources for the activity.

The Bonaventure Accounting Association provides around 40 volunteer student tax preparers each year, along with experienced alumni and friends of the university. SIFE students handle the marketing and promotions for VITA, as well as client screening and booking appointments.

For more information, contact SBU’s VITA program at 2-1-1 or (716) 373-0123, or visit

Psychic Readings Weekend in Salamanca

The Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to explore and experience the many opportunities to expand your knowledge and intuition through enlightenment at our Psychic Readings Weekend, Mar. 5-7. Choose to see one of our many Lily Dale, or Lily Dale trained, mediums and spiritualists for your personal half-hour reading.

We are pleased to have Salamanca’s own Michael Cricks, an Aura Reader and Spiritualist, participating in this great event. Cricks has been providing public readings for over twenty-seven years. We are also honored to have another phenomenal Spiritualist, Reverend George Kincaid, from Lily Dale. Kincaid believes, as the basis of his religion, in the continuity of life and in individual responsibility. Most spiritualists endeavor to find the truth in all things and to live their lives in accordance therewith.

Other local favorites are Michele Harvey-Heusinger, Pam Sekula, and Devonia “Dee” Smith. Heusinger is a Psychic, Medium and Palm Reader. In addition to her palmistry, she is a licensed holistic therapist and will be offering chair massages to those who sign up. Sekula is a Psychic and Tarot Master, who has thirty years of experience, great intuitive powers and a plain talking delivery which makes her your go-to gal for clarity and encouragement. Smith’s specialty is Master Tarot Reader. You do not want to miss seeing any one of these ladies as they use their palmistry and tarot cards in a way that has been practiced all over the world as inspiration or divination for centuries.

Dolores Sedler, a Spiritual Writer, will also be joining us. Automatic writers, such as Sedler, have learned to wait quietly and patiently and then give in to the slightest impulse to move the pen or pencil. Find out what your relatives have to say to you as she uses her skills to write the messages being sent your way from your loved ones.

Another of our guests is Sandy Caswell, Psychic and Life Coach. Caswell has been featured on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines. She has several published articles and is a regular contributor to the Psychic Observer. For over thirty years, she has provided support to individuals regarding issues, glimpses of the future and immediately applicable advice by integrating psychic impressions with traditional counseling skills and a great sense of humor.

The Psychic Readings Weekend will be held at the Historic Dudley Hotel, located at 132 Main Street, Salamanca, Mar. 5-7. The hours for readings are Friday 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. To make an appointment for your favorite medium or spiritualist, contact the Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce at 716/945-2034 or 716/353-2592. Walk-ins will be welcomed if appointment times are available. Come and hear all about your future!

Students Featured in Art Showcase

Seniors at Oswayo Valley High School have a variety of artwork on display at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Irwin Medical Arts Center as part of the hospital’s Community Art Showcase.

The students, Jody Osburn, Elizabeth Coyle, Megan Mesler and Jenna Maxson, who heard of the hospital’s Community Art Showcase through their art teacher, Jesse Hyde, were excited to share their work with the public.

“This is a good time of year because they’ve had the majority of school year to work on it,” Hyde said. There’s a chance that some of the artwork on display could be submitted to a state-wide art competition in March, he said.

The students have enjoyed being able to express their own creativity in Hyde’s art class, which provides “a release” and the ability to look at things differently in the world.

The Community Art Showcase features artists for about six to eight weeks. The project has featured artists Jessie Vaughn of Ulysses, Maxine Shear of Coudersport, Karen Wolf of Sweden Township, Pat Bosworth of Port Allegany, Alyson Leach, Leslie Kelley, and Suzan Richar of Galeton, Naomi Keller, Heather Chilson, and Lindsey Francis of Coudersport, and Mercedes Schwartz of Smethport, according to chairperson Betty Wei.

“It’s a way for area residents to enjoy the talent and creativity of local artists and the hospital family is thrilled to make this opportunity possible,” she said.

For more information on the Community Art Showcase, contact Wei at 274-7910.

Pictured, from left, are Jody Osburn, Elizabeth Coyle, Megan Mesler, and Jenna Maxson.

(Photo courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)

DEP Fines Fortuna Energy

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Fortuna Energy Inc. of Horseheads, N.Y., $3,500 for violations discovered last year at three of the company’s natural gas wells in Troy Township, Bradford County.

“During routine inspections, DEP staff found minor reporting deficiencies, but also more serious violations that were quickly addressed by the company,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell.

An inspection in February 2009 at the Cease 1H well discovered that the proper ownership information, including the well permit number, operator’s name, address and telephone number, had not been publicly posted by Fortuna as required by Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act.

During a follow up inspection in June at three natural gas wells drilled on the same pad in Troy Township, flow-back fluids—or the fluids that are used to break up underground rock and then return to the surface—were found discharging into a drainage ditch, an adjacent sediment basin, and eventually through a vegetated area into an unnamed tributary of the south branch of Sugar Creek. These discharges violated Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law, Solid Waste Management Act, and DEP’s oil and gas regulations.

The company promptly placed a pump into the sediment basin to pump the fluids back into tanks and hired a consultant to conduct appropriate sampling.

The discharge did not cause a fish kill in the unnamed tributary and DEP samples taken in June found the conductivity, pH, salinity and total dissolved solid levels in that waterway to be within acceptable levels.

Changes to Bridge Weight Limits

Clearfield - As the result of recent inspections, PennDOT has lowered posted weight limit restrictions for two bridges in Potter County.

The Kettle Creek Bridge (State Route 2001) in Abbott Township is now posted for a 12-ton weight limit for single vehicles and an 18-ton weight limit for combination vehicles. The previous postings were for 13 and 18 ton. The bridge is located 5 miles from Germania along Rauch Road, which is a township road. Vehicles exceeding the weight limit postings will need to use an alternate route.
The postings will remain in place until repairs can be made to the bridge.

PennDOT has also posted weight restrictions on the Teed Hollow Bridge (over Jamison Run) on State Route 1021 in Hector Township. The bridge is located south of the Route 49 intersection and the village of Elmer. The Teed Hollow bridge is now posted for a 17-ton weight limit for single vehicles and a 31-ton weight limit for combination vehicles. The previous posting was for 28 and 40 tons. Vehicles exceeding the weight limit postings will need to use an alternate route. The postings will remain in place until repairs can be made to the bridge.

The Kettle Creek Bridge was originally built in 1914; is 38 feet long and carries an average of 65 vehicles per day. The Teed Hollow Bridge was built in 1938; is 18 feet long and carries an average of 30 vehicles per day.

PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions before heading out.

Donations Made to Cancer Care Center

Linda Wismer, seated, of Westfield shows off her new quilt at the Patterson Cancer Care Center. The quilts, afghans and hats are donated regularly for patients at the cancer center by individuals and groups such as Women Study and Serve Society, First Baptist Church of Hebron, Startwell Creek Union Church, Lorena Howard, and Leanna Carpenter. Also pictured with Wismer are, from left, Marcia Austin, RN, BSN, OCN, volunteer Lorraine Hemphill, and Theresa Robinson, RN, BA, OCN.

The Catholic Rural Ministry of McKean and Potter counties also recently donated a spruce tree to the center that was started from a seedling; it can be seen in the center’s main lobby.

(Photos courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)

Dailey Makes Quilts in Daughter's Memory

Pam Dailey, right, presents Mindy Bickford of Smethport with handmade baby quilts. Dailey makes the quilts in memory of her daughter who passed away in 2004 and gives them to a baby girl born closest to her daughter’s birthday, January 16, at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital. This is the first year that a baby girl has been born on that day. When Dailey found out the baby girl, Shya, had a twin brother, David, she made a second blanket and was able to present them in person.

(Photo courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)