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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Young, Giglio Fighting to Keep Park Open

WESB/WBRR News Director

Hundreds of people showed up for a rally in Allegany State Park in an effort to show Governor David Paterson the park shouldn't close.

State Senator Cathy Young said the fact that people from Canada, Buffalo and Pennsylvania attended the rally "shows how widespread the support is."

She also noted that last week she started the Save Allegany State Park Facebook page. At the time of the rally she said 9,140 people had joined. As of this posting, the number is up to 9,247.

Young said volunteers have been going door to door with petitions in favor of keeping the park open and "hundreds and hundreds" of people have signed. Many people at the rally signed a petition that was there.

All of this support really helps us when we go to Albany," Young said, "and we'll let the governor know that closing our parks is not the right thing to do."

Young told WESB and The HERO that she's cautiously optimistic about the park staying open because of the level of support that's been shown.

Paterson has proposed closing and reducing services at dozens of parks and historic sites across the state as a cost-cutting effort. Allegany State park would have sharply reduced recreational programs, including closing of the Quaker Area beach and cabins, and elimination of winter trails in the Quaker section of the park.

Young said she'll be writing to Paterson about some information she discovered while doing research. The state has accepted federal money for both Allegany State Park and Long Point State Park in Chautauqua County, which Paterson has proposed closing entirely.

"If you accepted federal money you have to keep the park open in perpetuity," Young said, drawing applause from the audience, "and if you try to close a park you have to open a new park that's the same size."

"I'm going to let the governor know that we are going to keep our park open, and we're going to continue to fight," she said.

Assemblyman Joe Giglio said he and Young are working hard to "make sure that this jewel stays what it is."

"In these tough economic times these parks become more important than ever because they're a one gas tank vacation away," he said.

Giglio says he has three small children and "this is where we take them to get away from the computer, the video games and to really see nature."

This is "the time to beef up the parks, keep them open and keep people close to home," he said

Every year Allegany State Park attracts 1.8 million visitors who pump money into the local economy, Young said. "This is very important for us."

She said closing the park would mean a savings of $171,000 for the state, which has a budget of $135 billion.

"That is penny wise and pound foolish and we have to stop it," she said.

Young said she talked to many people before the rally who all had a story to tell about the park.

"There are so many memories to treasure," she said. "We have to make sure future generations can treasure those same memories."

Before ending her remarks Young asked if people had seen the sign at the entrance to the park that reads: Revitalizing New York's State Parks & Historic Sites.

"A little bit ironic," she said. "So we're going to hold them to that sign. We're going to hold their feet to the fire and we are going to save our parks in New York state."

Hundreds Attend Rally at Park

Several hundred people, many carrying signs, attended a rally in the Quaker Area of Allegany State Park State afternoon to protest Governor David Paterson's plan to close part of the park and reduce services.

State Senator Cathy Young was the keynote speaker at the rally. Below, she listens to State Assemblyman Joe Giglio.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flood Watch in Effect

The National Weather Service in State College has expanded the flood Watch to include McKean, Cameron, Elk, Potter and Warren counties.

The watch is in effect through through late Saturday night.

News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka called us just a few minutes ago with this update:

Mike Cejka's weather update

United Way To Honor Bob Marasco
With Annual Red Feather Award

Long-time United Way advocate and volunteer, Bob Marasco, will be the recipient of the 2010 Red Feather Award at a dinner scheduled for June 1.

“On behalf of myself, Mandi (Wilton Davis, Assistant Director) and the entire Board of Directors, we are very proud to be able to honor Bob in this capacity,” said Executive Director Kelly Case. “He has been an integral part of many of our operations for a decade, and we’re fortunate to have had his involvement.

“Bob exemplifies volunteerism for the United Way in a multitude of aspects.”

The Red Feather Award was implemented to honor outstanding individuals and groups who have made an impact on the local United Way, and the community as a whole, through their day-to-day selfless attitudes, as well as their commitment to exemplify the organization’s mission of community building and enhancing the quality of life in the Bradford area.

For his part, Marasco said, “It is an honor to be associated with this organization, as well as the past Red Feather honorees.

“Many years ago I found that the United Way was a perfect fit for me; I wanted to do something to give back to my community, and with the impact that this organization makes on the lives of so many in this area, I am proud to be able to give something back.”

Marasco’s involvement with the local United Way began many years ago as a donor and an advocate, but expanded in 2000 when he became a member of the local Board of Directors. During his eight-year tenure, he served as a member of the Special Events committee, as well as President of the Board. He has been of assistance with numerous special events, especially with the annual Pig Roast/Clam Bake as one of the chefs, and most recently with the Soup Lunch. He was also a member of the Board of Directors during the needs assessment and allocation design processes.

Past recipients of the Red Feather award include Jim Sekel, Doug Bell, Craig Hartburg, Kelly Case, Northwest Savings Bank, Betsy Costello, Diana Ferguson, American Refining Group, Stephen and Marmy Hodges, Mary Ann Quinn, Bob and Mary Galey and Tops Friendly Markets.

“Bob has always been eager to do whatever he can for the betterment of the United Way,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “His enthusiasm and passion for this organization are always prevalent.”

Marasco will officially be honored during a dinner scheduled for June 1 at 6:00 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room at Pitt-Bradford. The cost is $15/person.

For more information on this or other happening within the United Way of the Bradford Area, contact the office or visit the organization’s website at

Snyder Speaks Out on PACT Act

Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. is blasting lawmakers who voted in favor of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.

He says if President Obama signs it, and it becomes law, more than 1,000 jobs would be lost in Western New York.

The bill bans the US Postal Service from mailing tobacco products.

Snyder says the PACT Act is being portrayed as a tool to fight cigarette smuggling, but it's really about big tobacco protecting its market share.

He says this is more than just a Seneca issue, it's an economic issue for all of Western New York.

Chris Mackowski Pens New Book

Chris Mackowski, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University, has published a new book on one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War.

“The Dark, Close Wood: The Wilderness, Ellwood, and the Battle that Redefined Both” tells the story of the Battle of the Wilderness, which took place May 5-7, 1864, in central Virginia’s Spotsylvania County. The area was known as The Wilderness because it was sparsely settled and largely untamed.

“The Battle of the Wilderness was particularly important because it was the first engagement between legendary Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the new commander of all Union armies, Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant,” Mackowski explains. “In the Wilderness, the two armies fought each other to a standstill, but instead of retreating as all of his predecessors did, Grant found a way to push forward. He wanted to turn the Civil War into a war of attrition because he knew the South had fewer men and resources.”

In previous battles, the two armies usually fought in open fields, which allowed large bodies of men room to maneuver.

“The Wilderness was a dense, scrubby, second-growth forest, which made it nearly impossible for soldiers to even see each other let alone move around,” Mackowski said. “They’d never seen anything like it before. One soldier said, ‘A worse battlefield could not be imagined’—and he wasn’t the only person to think so.”

Mackowski also created five maps for the book, and he took a number of the modern-day photos featured in it. The book also includes dozens of wartime photos.

“The Dark, Close Wood” is available from Thomas Publications, a leading publisher of Civil War books. It is the second in a series commissioned by the National Park Service for the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP).

“We’re getting ready to unveil a new interpretive center for the Wilderness Battlefield that will help visitors better understand the experience of the soldiers and civilians affected by this battle,” said John Hennessy, chief historian at FSNMP and editor of the series. “‘The Dark, Close Wood’ is an important part of those new interpretive efforts. It’ll give visitors a thorough, readable overview of what happened.”

At 128 pages, the book is intended as something that a typical visitor can pick up and read in a few hours, Hennessy said. “There’s a real focus on good storytelling,” he added.

Mackowski also co-authored the first book in the series, “The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson,” with historian Kris White, published last summer. Mackowski has a third book, “Chancellorsville: The Battle and the Battlefield,” that will be published as part of the series later this year.

Mackowski has taught at St. Bonaventure since the fall of 2000. He has published extensively on Civil War-related topics, and he has also published two books on public relations for non-profit arts groups. His commentaries appear regularly in local newspapers, on public radio, and on the blog Scholars & Rogues (

Edwards Attends Maple Promotion Day

Panama, NY -- Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards traveled to Panama today for the 5th Annual Chautauqua Maple Promotion Day event. Held this year at Rock Hill Maple, the promotion day serves as a symbolic kick-off for the local maple season.

"I was pleased to again be invited to attend this annual event," Edwards said, "and get the chance to see sap being collected and processed into maple syrup.

Visitors to Rock Hill Maple were able to sample several items made from maple syrup, including maple candy.

Rock Hill Maple is owned and operated by John Goldberg and Roger Roush, and is located at 7256 Clymer Center Road in Panama.

"This operation is a blend of old and new, between the long history they've had here in the maple syrup industry, and the new technologies that are being brought to it," Edwards said.

Following the kick-off event, those in attendance were invited to the Rowdy Rooster restaurant in Panama for a pancake breakfast.

An educational event, the second purpose of Chautauqua Maple Promotion Day is to spread the word of the state-wide Maple Weekend events which will be held later this month. Now in its 15th year, Maple Weekend will be held over the course of two weekends: March 20 and 21, and March 27 and 28.

"I encourage everyone to visit one of our many maple producers in Chautauqua County on these upcoming weekends," Edwards added.

Maple Weekend is a collaborative marketing event in which producers from across New York State open their doors to the public in order to increase awareness of the maple industry in NYS.

For more information on the 2010 Maple Weekend, please visit

Pictured, John Goldberg, County Executive Greg Edwards, Roger Roush
(Photo and information provided by Joel Keefer)

Bradford Bypass Update

Work will continue on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project next week.

Access at Hillside Drive in New York is restricted from Route 219 north to Hillsdie Drive, and from Hillside to Route 219 south. Traffic will follow the posted detours.

The contractor will be placing pavement at crossovers, installing guiderails and temporary concrete median barriers on teh southbound lanes.

Forest Trails to Close Due to Conditions

The Allegheny National Forest announced today the closure of the Rocky Gap ATV Trail effective immediately due to deteriorating trail conditions.

The Timberline and Marienville ATV trails will remain open for the weekend, but will also close effective Monday, March 15th.

Forest personnel will continue to monitor trail conditions to determine if they can be re-opened without risking trail and resource damage prior to the regularly-scheduled end of the winter season on April 1st. All ATV trails are scheduled to re-open for the summer season on May 28th.

To obtain the most current trail information, riders are encouraged to call ahead to either the Supervisor’s Office (814-723-5150), the Marienville Ranger District (814-927-5700), or the Bradford Ranger District (814-363-6000), or visit the Forest website at

Oil Spill Cleanup Continues

WESB/WBRR News Director

The state Department of Environmental Protection isn't sure yet exactly how much damage was done by Thursday's oil spill on Hedgehog Lane, but they do know the cleanup will take days.

DEP spokeswoman Freda Tarbell tells WESB and The HERO they are monitoring the cleanup effort that will take "a number of days before it's completed."

She said today cleanup crews are doing some pumping as well as changing out booms and pads to absorb the crude that was spilled.

About 1,400 gallons of crude spilled from an open valve on a tank owned by Schreiner Oil & Gas Company of Massillon, Ohio. At this point, officials are saying it was an accident, but they are still investigating.

As for the impact on the environment and how much of the oil was contained, Tarbell said they "don't have a firm handle on that yet."

She did say some of the oil did flow to an unnamed tributary and into Marilla Brook.

Tarbell said she hasn't heard any reports of a fish kill "but that's still an open question at this point."

This is not the first time DEP has dealt with Schreiner.

Late last month DEP ordered Schreiner to provide a permanent solution to water supply issues at two homes the company’s drilling activity impacted near Hedgehog Lane. DEP previously determined that the company was liable for affecting the water supplies of homes in that area of Bradford Township. Water supplies at seven homes have been restored, but the problem remains unresolved at two other residences.

DEP took samples at both homes over several months to confirm its findings. Among the contaminants identified were total dissolved solids, chlorides, manganese, iron, dissolved methane and ethane gas.

Schreiner has been actively drilling combination oil and gas wells in the area since 2008 and DEP says they did not establish background water quality in the area prior to drilling.

The order, which was issued Feb. 23, also directs the company to continue maintaining the other seven water supplies and to improve cement casing at three of its drilled oil/gas wells to prevent groundwater contamination.

Until the gas migration issue is resolved fully, Schreiner cannot drill any new wells.

Tri-Town Gets Federal Grant Money

U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today announced a $53,913 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to the Tri-Town volunteer Fire Company. The grant comes under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Tri-Town Fire Captain Mike Healy said, “We will use the money for personal protective equipment, like turnout gear, for 25 firefighters who are the most active and take part in interior fire attacks.”

“It is absolutely crucial that firefighters have the right protective gear,” said Thompson, who is a qualified volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. “This grant will make that a reality for Tri-Town.”

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Senate Passes PACT Act

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that could kill the Seneca Nation's mail-order cigarette business.

The Senate's passage of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act mean the US Postal Service will be banned from mailing tobacco products.

The House passed its version of the bill 397-11 last May.

The unanimous vote obviously means that New York senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted for it.

The Seneca Nation, which has said the bill could threaten as many as 1,000 jobs in Western New York, haven't commented yet on the passage of the bill.

Rocky Gap ATV Trail Closed

From the Allegheny National Forest:

Due to thawing, the Rocky Gap ATV Trail has CLOSED as of 03-12-10.

Marienville and Timberline ATV trails will remain open for the weekend. They will also close on Monday March 15th.

One Book Bradford:
'Becky' Author Holding Seminar

Local writers and potential writers will have the opportunity to share their ideas with a published author later this month.

Lenore Hart, the author who wrote this year’s One Book Bradford selection Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher, will hold a seminar called “Ten Things Your English Teacher Never Told You About Writing” at 10:30 a.m. March 31 at the Bradford Area Public Library.

Hart will speak with those interested in the writing process and give people the opportunity to share ideas.

This free seminar is one of the many events sponsored this season by One Book Bradford, a community-wide reading initiative. The culminating event will be a talk given by Hart 7:30 that evening at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Those interested in the “Writer to Writer” seminar can call the BAPL to register. Registration by March 18 is mandatory to attend the seminar

Accident Causes Power Outage

Penelec responded to a power outage this morning which affected parts of Bradford, Bradford Township, Gifford and Cyclone.

Crews say a bread truck hit a utility pole on Route 219 in Degolier, just south of the city line.

Power was out from 5 a.m. until 7:30 this morning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Havers Loses in OT

Mark Havers lost today in the opening round of the PIAA wrestling championships in Hershey. Chichester's Bobby Scheivert scored an overtime takedown over Havers to win 8-6.

Spill Now Believed to be Accidental

Although emergency crews first thought the oil spill on Hedgehog Lane this morning was malicious, police now believe a valve was accidentally opened, according to Bradford Township Supervisor Gayle Bauer. She said the investigation is continuing.

Bauer tells WESB and The HERO that up to 1,400 gallons of oil spilled from a Schreiner Oil & Gas Company tank near 158 Hedgehog Lane. The incident was reported at 10:52 a.m.

The operation is run by Aiello Brothers.

Bauer said three vacuum trucks are still on the scene working on containment, and that another environmental cleanup company is coming in to help.

Just over two weeks ago Schreiner was ordered by DEP to provide a permanent solution to water supply issues at two homes the company’s drilling activity impacted near Hedgehog Lane.

DEP had previously determined that Schreiner was responsible for affecting water supplies at other homes in the area.

Big Lottery Winner from Port Allegany

Nobody won last night's Powerball lottery jackpot, but somebody who bought a ticket in McKean County got a pretty decent runner up prize.

A ticket purchased in a Sheetz store in Port Allegany was worth $500,000 for matching the first five numbers - 14, 16, 18, 19 and 29 - while having the Megaplier option. Since that multiplier was 2, it doubled the regular $250,000 second-tier prize.

The player missed only the Mega Ball, which was 16.

Cuomo Hands Over Investigations

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has turned the investigations into some the governor's actions over to another person.

Judge Judith Kaye will head investigations into whether Governor David Paterson illegally accepted World Series tickets or if he had anything to do with trying to keep a domestic violence accusation against one of his top aides from going public.

Cuomo made the announcement during a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

In a prepared statement he said because he's the state's chief law enforcement officer he's required to defend other state employees, including the governor, in numerous litigation so, in the best interests of the state, he's appointed Kaye to take over the investigations.

Burned House Being Demolished

The Sherman Street house that was destroyed by fire Wednesday is being demolished today.

The house has been vacant for about 5 years and is currently in the county tax repository.

The fire is being considered suspicious.

Mother Can't See Daughter Until 2019

A former Bradford woman has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for trying to smother her baby daughter while the infant was in the hospital.

29-year-old Marcia Mitchell, who had been living in Batavia, pleaded guilty last month to attempted first degree assault. She tried to suffocoate the 7-month-old baby at Buffalo's Women and Children's Hospital in May of 2008.

Judge Penny Wolfgang also issued an order of protection that prohibits Mitchell from seeing her daughter until 2019 unless mental health experts and the courts determine that she's stable.

About 1,500 Gallons of Oil Spilled

Crews are still on the scene of an oil spill on Hedgehog Lane.

About 1,500 gallons of crude oil spilled out of a tank that police, at first, believed was opened maliciously. Police haven't confirmed that yet, McKean County Control tells WESB and The HERO.

Weavertown Cleanup is heading the clearnup operation. ARG also has a vacuum truck and other equipment on the scene.

Bradford Township police and fire departments, Corydon Township and Derrick City fire dpeartments, emergency management officials, the McKean County Sheriff's department, Bradford Township Supervisor Gayle Bauer, State Representative Marty Causer, DEP and the Red Cross have been on the scene.

Additional fire department crews were called to the scene at 3:24 p.m.

Chip-In Fore Charity Event Coming Up

Bradford Hospital Auxiliary’s upcoming "Chip-In 'Fore' Charity" will give attendees a chance to hone their strokes at a putt-putt tournament featuring specially built greens, have some fun with family and friends, and maybe win a grand-prize trip to Mexico.

The annual fundraiser, slated for Saturday, March 20, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will be held at Grace Lutheran Community Life Center, 79 Mechanic St., in Bradford.

Individual tickets cost $35 to attend. The event also includes an hors d’oeuvres buffet by Kennedy Street CafĂ©, a cash bar and a free three-minute golf swing analysis by Kirk Stauffer, the golf pro at Pine Acres Country Club. For added fun, attendees can try their hand at Nintendo’s Wii golf.

“This fun-filled event was devised to be interactive and give people a chance to sharpen their putting skills as the golf season approaches,” said Virginia Hauser, the Auxiliary’s executive director.

The nine-hole putt-putt tournament has greens built by local craftsmen, she said.

“Some holes will be replicas of those at local golf courses,” Mrs. Hauser said.

For example, “No. 18 at Pennhills Country Club will be among those featured,” she added.

Residents from around the region are encouraged to attend the fundraiser.

“This event supports the Auxiliary’s endeavors,” Mrs. Hauser said, noting that not long ago the Auxiliary replaced all the patient televisions in Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Event proceeds benefit the Auxiliary, whose goal since 1932 has been to support Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) financially and through its 200-plus volunteers.

Several prizes will be won. The tournament’s grand prize is five days’ accommodations in Mexico with a $500 airfare voucher. The second-place prize is two roundtrip airfare tickets from Bradford to Cleveland.

There also will be a best-dressed golfer prize and raffles for Adirondack chairs designed and built by Ken Baldwin.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Mick Marshall.

Event tickets are available at Northwest Savings Bank offices, BRMC’s HeartStrings Gift Shop or by calling 814-362-8582.

Pictured, Jim Curcio of Kessel Construction Inc. lines up a practice shot on a putting green resembling Bradford Regional Medical Center’s main entrance portico at the Outpatient Services Center. This putting green was built by J.A. Luciano & Sons of Bradford. The green is one of nine custom-built greens by local craftsmen that will be featured in the upcoming “Chip-In Fore Charity” to benefit Bradford Hospital Auxiliary. Watching Mr. Curcio prepare his putt is Virginia Hauser, the Auxiliary’s executive director.
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

Wrestling Update

Couderport's Dirk Cowburn pinned Cody Breiner of Fleetwood in the First Round of the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships in Hershey.

Bradford's Mark Havers wrestles this afternoon. Stay turned for an update.

Oil Spill Update:

Bradford Township Supervisor Gayle Bauer tells WESB and The HERO that because of the oil spill Hedgehog Lane is closed from West Washington Street to the top of the hill until further notice.

Bauer is asking people to stay away from the area.

She says crews are on the scene trying to control the spill that was reported at just before 11 o'clock this morning.

The Red Cross is assisting at the scene

Thousands Want to Save State Park

More than 8,000 Facebook users are supporting Senator Catharine Young’s (R,C,I – Olean) efforts to keep the Quaker Lake area of the Allegany State park open, and many supporters are expected to attend a rally there on Saturday, she said.

Sen. Young said Governor Paterson has issued plans to close or restrict services at 55 parks and historic sites across the state. Allegany State Park would have sharply reduced recreational programs, including closing of the beach area and cabins, and elimination of winter trails in the Quaker section of the park.

The Facebook group, “Save Allegany State Park”, has attracted over 8,000 followers since it was created a week ago and is being used to discuss the rally and petitions and share news about the budget cuts, which could also impact Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake.

Sen. Young, who will host the rally scheduled at noon on Saturday, said that while the proposed closure would do little to help the state’s budget deficit, it would have a negative impact on the region’s economy.

“We all recognize that we are confronted by challenging fiscal realities, but our parks provide a diverse and quantifiable range of benefits that immeasurably improve our quality of life and our economy. Closing or cutting services at these parks is the wrong strategy at the wrong time,” said Sen. Young.

The Governor’s proposed park closings would save an estimated $6.3 million, which would amount to “a fraction of 1 percent of the state’s $9 billion budget deficit,” according to Sen. Young. Officials from New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation are projecting budget savings of only $171,000 in Allegany State Park and $43,000 by closing Long Point State park.

According to a 2009 study conducted by the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, the New York state park system generates nearly $1.9 billion every year in benefits for state and local economies, and that for every $1 the state spends on the park system, $5 in economic activity is produced.

“The plan to close parks could not come at a worse time, especially when you consider that every dollar spent on these parks goes right back into the economy multiple times,” said Sen. Young. “In this economy every penny counts and right now we need to invest in things like our park system that will help to get people back to work and encourage economic growth.”

Sen. Young also has started an online petition to give park supporters another opportunity to urge Governor Paterson to reconsider his plans. Over 3,500 people have signed the petition so far by logging onto Sen. Young’s Facebook page or by visiting her website at: Those without internet access can register their opinion by calling toll-free at 1-800-707-0058.

Hundreds are expected to attend this Saturday’s rally scheduled for noon in the Quaker section of the park. Rain is forecasted and Sen. Young is encouraging those in attendance to dress accordingly and to bring umbrellas.

“Rain or shine, we are going to tell Albany that our parks are too important to lose,” Sen. Young added.

Sally Marsh, who has performed her “Hootenanny” in the park for 39 years, will also be performing. Portable bathrooms, coffee and water will also be available.

Oil Spill on Hedgehog Lane

Emergency crews are on the scene of a crude oil spill in the area of 158 Hedgehog Lane.

Bradford Township Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse says the spill was caused by an open valve on a tank. They're not sure yet how much oil came out of the tank.

The spill was reported at just before 11 o'clock.

Crews from American Refining Group will be assisting with the cleanup.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Empty Bowls & Baskets Dinner Next Week

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will host the fifth annual Empty Bowls and Baskets Dinner of homemade soup and bread to raise awareness of the fight against hunger and to raise money for the Friendship Table.

The dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 18, in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Diners are invited to take home a handcrafted ceramic bowl, basket or hand-sewn cloth napkins as a reminder that someone else’s bowl might be empty.

According to Dr. Holly J. Spittler, associate dean of student affairs and chairwoman of the event, “The premise behind the dinner is to offer a simple meal of homemade soups and breads and a place at the table for all as a way to increase our awareness of the fight against hunger.” In the past five years, this popular Women’s History Month event has raised more than $5,000 for the Friendship Table.

“We would not have been able to do this without the help of our students, faculty and staff, and the many community volunteers who make soup, cookies or donated items,” she said. “They are all dedicated to making sure no one in our community goes hungry.”

The event is a community-wide effort. Pitt-Bradford students, faculty and staff, Bradford Manor residents, and volunteers wove baskets or painted ceramic bowls. The American Association of University Women spent a Saturday morning sewing the fabric napkins. Third-grade students from School Street Elementary and St. Bernard Elementary School, as well as third- and fourth-graders from the Learning Center and the Bradford Area Christian Academy, decorated placemats as part of a lesson about hunger. Campus and community volunteers made the soups and cookies.

The Empty Bowls Dinner was initiated in 1990 when a Michigan high school art teacher and his students sponsored the first dinner served in handmade bowls to benefit the cause. By the following year, the originators had developed the concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. Since then, Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger. For more information on the originators of the event, go to:

Other groups who contributed to the event are the Ray Austin of Austin Pattern Works, Diana’s Ceramic Heaven, Martie Geiger-Ho, Hog-Shed Pottery Studio, Elliott Hutten, Mary Jones, Metz and Associates, Miss Maggies, Betsy Matz, Parkview Supermarket, Pitt-Bradford’s Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Center for Leadership and Service, Division of Communication and the Arts, Empty Bowls and Baskets Steering Committee, Division of Management and Education, Pitt-Bradford Staff Association, Pitt-Bradford Student Affairs, TRiO Student Support Services Program at Pitt-Bradford, Denise Tarasovitch, Tops Friendly Markets, Walmart, WESB-1490 AM and the Women’s History Celebration committee.

Bill Would Give AG Stronger Tools to
Prosecute Child Sex Abuse Cases

HARRISBURG - Legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker would give the Attorney General stronger tools to prosecute child sexual abuse cases that may cross county or state lines. The state Senate approved Senate Bill 260 today by a vote of 49-0.

Baker said there is a hole in the law that has made it more difficult to prosecute sexual offenders who use the Internet to contact minors for sexual purposes.

Baker's legislation would give the Attorney General concurrent jurisdiction with county district attorneys to investigate and institute criminal proceedings for the sexual abuse of children when involving more than one county or a county and another state.

"When cases of sexual abuse of children cross county lines, it is much more effective to have the Attorney General prosecute those cases. Children will be better protected if the Attorney General has full powers to prosecute offenders for photographing, disseminating or possessing child pornography," Baker said.

The Lodge at Glendorn to Host BACC
Business After Hours Event on Monday

The Lodge at Glendorn will host a Business After Hours event from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, March 15, 2010, at 1000 Glendorn Drive to kick off the 2010 Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours series.

Business After Hours events are open to all area businesses and organizations. In order to prepare accordingly, The Lodge at Glendorn requests that those planning to attend please RSVP to 814-362-6511 or

Business After Hours gives the business and professional community an opportunity to come together in a relaxed, social setting for networking. A business card drawing will be held for a door prize. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided; there is no charge to attend.

Ravitch Proposes Fiscal Changes

New York Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch is proposing some changes that he hopes will pull the state out of its fiscal crisis.

Ravitch is proposing the state move back its fiscal year to July 1, establish a financial review board and add new borrowing.

The plan would require the state to establish generally accepted accounting principles to control budget deficits and prohibit the state from carrying deficits from one year to the next.

He said if steps aren't taken now, the state will have only one option -- to raise taxes.

Ravitch is a well-respected businessman who helped New York City out of its fiscal problems in the mid-1970s.

Nix Accused of Providing Pot to Prisoner

A Rochester, New York, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for providing contraband to an inmate at FCI-McKean.

21-year-old Shanna V. Nix is accused of providing marijuana to inmate in August of last year.

Officers at FCI-McKean conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

Another Inmate Found with Weapon

An inmate at FCI-McKean has been indicted by a federal grand jury for possessing a weapon in prison.

According to the indictment, on January 11 37-year-old Reginald Carter had an eight-inch piece of wood sharpened to a point.

Officers at FCI-McKean conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

This was the second time in less than a month an inmate was found with a weapon.

30-year-old Rodney Saunders allegedly had a five-inch piece of plastic sharpened to a point with a white cloth wrapped around the opposite end for a handle. . That alleged incident happened on Christmas Day.

Man Indicted for Exploiting Children

A Bradford man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

33-year-old Michael Begin was arrested in February.

The FBI said a search conducted in connection with the arrest revealed that Begin possessed a knife, handcuffs and a condom. He told authorities he planned to take the girl to his residence in a Bradford hotel and engage in sexual activity.

Authorities say the girl's mother found sexually explicit messages from Begin on her daughter's MySpace page, saved them and reported it to Bradford City Police.

The FBI and the City of Bradford Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mike Close, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

Car Hits Tree on Lindholm Road

A Mount Jewett man escaped injury in an accident Tuesday afternoon on Lindholm Road, 98 feet north of Route 6 in Hamlin Township.

State Police tell WESB and The HERO that 67-year-old John Minehart was traveling north on Lindholm when he experienced "vehicle failure."

His car left the road and traveled along the east side of the road, where it hit a tree.

Editor's Note: The car was not a Toyota

Fire Being Considered 'Suspicious'

A vacant house at 57 Sherman Street was destroyed by fire this morning, and the blaze is being considered suspicious.

When city firefighters were called by a neighbor at 1 a.m., the house was fully involved in flame. They tell WESB and The HERO it was totally gutted and will probably have to be demolished.

Because the fire is being considered suspicious, a fire dog was brought in from State College at 4 a.m. to help a state police fire marshal in the investigation.

16 firefighters were on the scene for more than 2 hours. Bradford Township was on standby at the city station.

Firefighters say there's a question as to who owns the building, and they're trying to figure that out now.

One of the "Coreys" Has Died

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Corey Haim, who appeared in a number of movies during the 1980s, died early Wednesday of a possible drug overdose after being taken to a hospital, Los Angeles police said.

Haim, 38, was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Burkbank, California, where he was pronounced dead at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday (6:30 a.m. ET), police Sgt. Frank Albarran told CNN. The death appears to be accidental, possibly an overdose, Albarran said.

Haim's most famous role was in the 1987 movie "The Lost Boys," in which he appeared with his frequent co-star, Corey Feldman.

For more on this developing story, go to

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blight, Code Enforcement Discussed

WESB/WBRR News Director

A couple of Bradford residents told City Council Tuesday night that they think the code enforcement officers are working hard, but also think more could be done.

Vista Circle resident Brad Mangel said in the last 11 years they "did quite a bit" and that any problems with the officers don't need to be confrontational.

He did say, however, that the program "obviously does need to be fixed."

He added that he wholeheartedly agrees with Mayor Tom Riel's position that something needs to be done about blight.

Mangel said he's also concerned about fines and enforcement, especially concerning landlords, nothing that they're getting an income from the tenants that should be put back into the buildings.

But, he said, they know how to play the system and are aware of what they can get away with.

Cole Avenue resident Jeff Bartholomew is also concerned about blight, and wondered what's being done to go after landlords who let their property go.

"If a landlord's out there and he's telling you he's not making money, he's got no business in the game," Batholomew said. "They're bleeding the city and they're taking advantage of the whole damn system."

City Clerk John Peterson said money collected from property owners for fines and penalties does go back into the code enforcement department. He added that, with changes in the landlord ordinance, more people have been tearing down their properties that have been deemed a health or public safety hazard.

Riel said that he's not saying code enforcement isn't doing anything, but that maybe more restructuring has to be done to make the program more effective.

He said the city has decent landlords who do take care of their properties. But there are landlords out there who let their properties go until they're uninhabitable and they just sit there until the city has to tear them down and foot the bill and, all the while, they're renting out other properties, making money and not paying the city back.

"Those are the ones I'm talking about," he said, "people who are almost laughing at the city and owe all this money to the city."

Fire Chief Boo Coder said code enforcement has taken a more active role and has done "hundreds and hundreds more inspections this past year than we have ever before."

"Code enforcement has stepped it up," Coder said. "Every household in the city that's rented will be inspected by code enforcement."

Coder said he takes care of a lot of the nuisance complaints (tall grass, abandoned vehicles, etc.) himself to free up George Corignani and Merle Silvis to do inspections.

"We're catching up," Coder said, adding that maybe council and code enforcement should sit down and address the concerns.

He again invited Riel and the rest of city council to go to the code enforcement office to see what they're dealing with.

"I'd like to go out in some of these neighborhoods with the guys and see what's going on," Riel said.

Also Tuesday night, council approved several resolutions related to the replacement of the Kennedy Street Bridge.

One authorizes the city to execute a license agreement to occupy state land under the Tunungwant Creek. Two other resolutions concerned rights-of-way. Another authorized Riel and Peterson to increase the contract amount for E&M Engineers from $307,098 to $314, 960, which adds design services for the replacement of the waterline attached to the existing bridge.

Council also approved payments to companies that provided equipment to the police department. The equipment includes rechargeable flashlights; a camera, lenses and other supplies; and portable breathalyzers and mouthpieces.

The money comes from the Byrne Memorial Justice Grant program.

Council also agreed to pay the Bradford Special Police $750 for the services they provide. This is the city's 2010 allocation.

Also Tuesday, council granted a waiver for Stinkfest so alcohol can be consumed outside in plastic containers. No alcoholic beverages will be permitted in "Kiddyland," however.

Stinkfest is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered

A vehicle that had been stolen from Bells Camp Road in Foster Township Monday was recovered on Oxford Street Tuesday morning by Bradford City Police.

Police have no suspects at this time.

City Police are also investigating thefts from motor vehicles.

One theft was reported at 8:05 Tuesday morning at 24 Main Street. Several tools and equipment were stolen from an Atlantic Broadband truck.

Other thefts were reported on Delaware Avenue and West Corydon Street.

Bonnies Beat Duquesne

The Bonnies beat Duquesne 83-71 at the Reilly Center in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Bonnies are now 15-15.

They play Temple Friday in Atlantic City.


Senior Chris Matthews equaled a career-high with a 28 points and sophomore Andrew Nicholson turned in his third straight 20-point outing to lead St. Bonaventure to a 83-71 win over Duquesne Tuesday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Reilly Center.

The win is the fifth in six games for the Bonnies, who improve to 15-15 on the season. The Brown and White’s A-10 postseason win is their first since 2002, when they also defeated Duquesne in the first round.

“I’m really proud of our team especially Chris and Jonathan (Hall), because we wanted to get to Atlantic City for them and our guys did it for them,” said head coach Mark Schmidt. “We didn’t play that great on the defensive end but Andrew was terrific inside and Chris is playing really well right now from the perimeter.”

For the full story, go to Go

Bona's Bona's Bona's

Border Protection Officers
Discover Man Hiding in a Hockey Bag

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations announced the arrest of two United States citizens and a Haitian national in the smuggling attempt.

On March 7, CBP officers at the Alexandria Bay, N.Y. port of entry encountered 37-year-old Vernetta Sullivan and her sister, 39-year-old Conay Robinson, both United States citizens from Virginia, as they applied for admission into the United States. The subjects advised CBP officers that they were returning to United States after visiting friends in Montreal, Quebec. A cursory inspection of the rear cargo area of the sport utility vehicle being driven by Ms. Sullivan revealed several pieces of luggage and a large hockey bag. Upon closer inspection of the hockey bag, CBP officers discovered a male subject hiding inside the bag. The male subject was removed from the hockey bag and all three individuals were escorted to the CBP secure facility for further processing.

During the course of the interview, CBP officers determined the identity of the male subject to be that of Benedict Pierre, a 38-year-old Haitian national who had illegally entered the United States in 2003 by means of fraud. Mr. Pierre was ordered deported from the country in 2006, but fled to Canada prior to being removed, where he was seeking asylum.

Ms. Sullivan admitted to CBP that she and Pierre have been dating for approximately four years and she was attempting to further his unlawful entry into the United States with the intending of getting married. Ms. Robinson also admitted knowledge of the smuggling attempt.

Both Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson were arrested by CBP on alien smuggling charges, and Pierre was arrested for attempting to illegally enter the United States. All three subjects are being detained pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“This case demonstrates the extreme lengths and unique methods individuals will utilize to attempt to illegal enter our country.” said Randy Howe, CBP Assistant Director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office.

(Information and photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Bradford Finishes Fifth in State Primary
Chess Championships

Bradford finished fifth place out of nearly 40 different schools that competed in the Pennsylvania State Scholastic Primary Championships. Other schools earning top honors at the championships included the Philadelphia School in first, Friends Select School in second, Rudolph Blankenburg Elementary School in third position, and Providence Heights Alpha School in fourth.

Garnering top awards for Bradford were Danny Fedak and Jessica Yost. Rounding out the team were Jacob Yost and Caleb Garges. Participating in the K-6 section of the championships was Rayelle Nelling, who lost only one game.

Top individuals in the primary section of the championships included Akshita Gorti, second grader Torin Kuelhnle, and third grader Kevin Zhou with a peak rating of 1539.

The annual Pennsylvania State Scholastic Championships were held from March 5-7 at the Hotel Carlisle & Embers Convention Center in Carlisle, PA.

Pictured, from left, Jacob Yost, Danny Fedak, Jessica Yost, and Caleb Garges
(Photo and information courtesy of Dr. Bob Ferguson)

Judge Denies Forest Service Motions

Drilling Can Continue on ANF

A federal judge has denied the motions for reconsideration by the US Forest on a decision that allowed drilling to continue on the Allegheny National Forest.

Judge Sean McLaughlin today reconfirmed his decision of December 15, 2009, to lift the ban on drilling permits.

Craig Mayer, chairman of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association ANF Committee, said, “This decision means the December 15th order remains fully in effect. In addition, the judge clarified that in the event the Forest Service and the drillers can’t come to an agreement regarding a requirement for an accommodation from the Forest Service, it will be incumbent on the Forest Service to seek injunctive relief by going to Federal Court.”

“The Judge recognized the firm legal basis under which producers have been exercising their right to access their subsurface property for more than 85 years," said Congressman Glenn Thompson. “The local producers have been monitored diligently by the State Department of Environmental Protection. There was never any need to change the basics of the law and require a National Environmental Policy Act study as a precondition to drilling."

Pirates Announce New Exclusive Club on
Suite Level at PNC Park

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the creation of Club Cambria, a new all-inclusive club on the private suite level of PNC Park. Club Cambria will be located just beyond the infield on the third base side of the ballpark and will provide a spectacular view for Pirates games, concerts, and other events, with tremendous sight lines of the field with the picturesque Downtown Pittsburgh skyline in the background.

The Pirates partnered with Cambria, the only American maker of quartz countertops that has recently expanded in the Pittsburgh market, to open the new club in conjunction with the Pirates' home opener on April 5 at 1:35 p.m. against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The new club, which is the size of four PNC Park suites, features an open floor plan with a private full-service bar, nine flat-screen televisions, private restrooms and a private suite attendant. A full-season ticket package in the new Club includes a seat for all Pittsburgh Pirates home games, exclusive concierge service, nightly chef's stations, desserts, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages - all included in the price of membership.

"The creation of Club Cambria provides an additional outstanding option for fans who want a luxury experience for entertaining clients, customers and friends on the suite level at PNC Park but who prefer to entertain in smaller groups of two, four or six," said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. "Based on the success of our Lexus Club on the field-level of PNC Park, we realized there is demand for a similar Club on the suite level. Transforming four standard suites into one large club gives members the option to entertain clients, family and friends in an upscale setting with all of the amenities of a private club, all while enjoying Pirates baseball and a breathtaking view of the Pittsburgh skyline."

The new Club will showcase Cambria natural quartz countertops, bar tops, tabletops, wall cladding and tile throughout the space. "We are thrilled to partner with the Pittsburgh Pirates to feature Cambria stone in an exceptional venue like PNC Park," said Peter Martin, Cambria's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Fans who purchase tickets for Club Cambria will be guaranteed the same seat within the Club for all Pirates home games. Members will also have the opportunity to purchase their seats for other PNC Park events, including concerts such as The Dave Matthews Band, which will perform on Saturday, July 10.

Club Cambria will open one and one-half hours prior to game time and will remain open until one-half hour after the game concludes. The buffet begins upon the opening of the club and will continue throughout the entirety of the game. The space is also available to host private events, including weddings, private parties, meetings and more.

(Information and photo provided by the Pittsburgh Pirates)

Ziaukas' Mr. Yuk Article Published

Tim Ziaukas, associate professor of public relations in the Department of Communications and the Arts at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, published the lead essay in the current issue of Western Pennsylvania History.

The essay, titled “Still Scary After All These Years: Mr. Yuk Nears 40,” was co-authored with Christopher McCarrick, associate professor of English at Clarion University.

“The piece is a look at the public relations and marketing campaign that the Pittsburgh Poison Center developed in the early 1970s to replace the skull-and-crossbones, the traditional symbol for poison,” Ziaukas said.

The Jolly Roger was confusing Pittsburgh kids who associated the image with the city’s ball team, The Pittsburgh Pirates. Thus, the medical and marketing professionals developed Mr. Yuk, a variation of the ubiquitous ’70s icon, the Smiley Face.

“The article is a biography of a national icon,” Ziaukas said. “As Chris and I found out, Mr. Yuk is still working and still saving kids’ lives.”

Western Pennsylvania History is published quarterly by the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

Scarnati Hosting Career Fair

Area residents and students who are interested in information about college, the armed forces or other career opportunities can learn more by attending a free College and Career Fair hosted by State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

“Because of our economic situation, many folks are worried about being laid off or having their work hours cut back,” Scarnati said. “This fair will give them a chance to look at new career opportunities and will also provide information for students who are either entering the job market or pursuing higher education.”

The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Ridgway High School on Hill Street in Ridgway.

From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (a repeat of the first session) there will be a Higher Education 101 informational presentation, with guest speakers, in the school auditorium. Speakers will discuss student financial aid, how to select a college and how to apply for scholarships.

The school gymnasium will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature more than 40 exhibits presented by representatives of colleges and universities, financial institutions, career institutes and the armed forces.

“This is a great ‘one-stop resource’ for students who are deciding what to do after graduation and folks who may want to make a career change,” Scarnati said. “Experts will be on hand to answer questions, provide guidance to those attending and talk about the resources that are out there.”

For more information on the event, including an agenda for Higher Education 101 and registration information, go to

Save Our Parks

State Senator Cathy Young speaks to a group of people Saturday during a rally in support of Long Point State Park, which the state of New York has proposed closing. This Saturday (March 13), Young will be at rally in the Quaker Area of Allegany State Park. It starts at noon at the bathhouses near the beach.

For more information, go here.

Baily's Beads Seeks Submission

The 2011 edition of Baily’s Beads, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s award-winning literary magazine, will feature a special section of poetry by local K-12 students.

Editors Mike Reeder, Sarah Dorben and Steve Abplanalp are looking for writing that focuses on sensory images.

“Rather than focusing on rhyming and big topics, concentrate on finding new ways to describe scenes and feelings,” Abplanalp suggested.

“We’d like to see honest emotion and original imagery rather than abstractions,” Dorben said.

Submissions from K-12 students should include written permission from a parent or guardian for the work to be published if accepted.

Baily’s Beads also seeks submissions from Pitt-Bradford students and community members. Poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, memoir, travel writing, personal essays, plays and translations are accepted year round, but the magazine staff will only consider work for the 2011 issue until March 31.

Work should have a cover sheet with the author’s name and contact information, but the author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript.

Poetry should be single spaced, while prose should be double spaced. Writers may submit up to 20 pages. Submissions should be dropped off at 103 Blaisdell Hall or mailed to Baily’s Beads, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford PA, 16701.

Several Plead Not Guilty to Drug Charges

Several people pleaded not guilty to drug charges in Cattaraugus County Court.

Claudia Cleveland of Randolph, Jason Dille of Great Valley, Shauna Lewis of Perrysburg, Garrett Wadsworth of Dayton and Timothy Reese of Gowanda are all accused of selling cocaine at various locations in Cattaraugus County

Dolores Redeye of Salamanca is is accused of selling methadone in Salamanca.

Brian Williams of Ishua and Dwayne Smith are accused of selling Tylenol with codeine.

Duane Dearmyer of Ashford is accused of selling Heroin in Ashford.

All the matters have been adjourned for motions.

Olean Man Sentenced

An Olean man, who is already in prison on drug charges, will spend another two to four years in prison on a conspiracy charge.

Elliott "Pig" James was sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court for having his "agent" buy crack cocaine in Buffalo and take it to Olean to sell. Some of the proceeds were deposited into James' commissary account at the Cattaraugus County Jail.

The incidents happened between March and September of 2008.

Monday, March 8, 2010

BASD Trying to Save Energy, Money

WESB/WBRR News Director

The Bradford Area School District is taking steps to mitigate the anticipated increase in electricity costs when the rate caps that have been in place since 1997 come off in December.

During Monday's school board meeting, business manager Kathy Kelly recommended that the district enter into an agreement with OnDemand, an energy solutions company, that will buy electricity for the district.

She explained that when buying transportation fuel, the district can get it at cheap rates and store it. However, since electricity can't be stored, that's a different story.

"They (OnDemand) actually find large amounts of electricity at different rates and at different times," Kelly said.

Superintendent Sandra Romanowski added that school districts in Allegheny County, where deregulation has already occurred, are using a co-op system and it's been "very successful."

Kelly said she's increased next year's budget for energy costs by 20 percent.

She said going with OnDemand, along with the Clear Choice program and the district's Go Green Committee, should help to keep costs under control.

"I'm hoping we won't need that 20 percent increase," she said, "but worst case scenario, we've got it in there."

Last month, the school board voted to enter into an agreement with Clear Choice Energy for a conservation program, in which electricity consumers get paid to reduce their electric usage during emergencies on the electric grid in order to prevent a blackout in the area.

The first year payment to the district is expected to be $17,578.

As for going green, students from three schools gave presentations on what they're doing to reduce energy costs.

Among the initiatives is the "Green Police," who hand out "citations" for violations such as teachers keeping lights on in their rooms when they leave, or keeping a computer monitor turned on when it's not in use.

The GGB students also noted that many classrooms have enough sunlight that lights don't even have to be turned on.

The schools are also saving cooking oil to use as biodiesel fuel.

"As you can see, these students are really a power to be reckoned with," Romanowski said.

Also during Monday's meeting, the board approved a trip to Disney World for students in the music department to watch and evaluate a variety of musical performances. There will be no cost to the district.

The board also learned that the district-wide science fair is scheduled for May 7 at Fretz Middle School and that 50 students will be going to the Natural Gas Expo next week in Coudersport.

Also Monday, student representatives of GGB, School Street and Fretz were presented with Keystone Awards for making "adequate yearly progress" two years in a row.

"Fretz spent a lot of time turning it around," Romanowski said. "Their teachers are particularly excited to see their Keystone coming to their building. Fretz, you did it."

Five Students Expelled

The Bradford Area School Board voted Monday to expel five students.

One student is being expelled because of weapons and controlled substance violations, as well as using tobacco on school property.

The others violated the district's anti-bullying policy in an incident on February 16.

The names of the students, and the grades they're in, weren't released.

Police Investigating Burglaries, Fight

Bradford City police are investigating burglaries at ADW Auto Detailing on Chestnut Street and at the Car Factory on High Street.

The ADW incident was reported at 2:47 a.m. today. The Car Factory burglary was reported at 7:49 am.

Police say it doesn't appear as if anything was taken from either place.

Anyone with information on either burglary is asked to contact the City of Bradford Police Department.

Police also received a report of a theft from a motor vehicle that happened between 2 a.m. 10:45 a.m. on Jackson Avenue. A Sirius radio, camera and wallet were taken.

Police are also investigating the theft of a motor vehicle that was taken from Burnside Avenue overnight.

The vehicle was recovered on Bells Camp Road.

Police also received reports of suspicious people. One was on Cole Avenue at 8:14 Sunday night. The other was on Russell Boulevard at 6:41 Monday evening.

Also Monday, police responded to disturbances on Congress Street and at the Riddell House, and to a person who was repeatedly calling 911 without cause and hanging up.

They were also called to a fight between a large group of females in Veterans Square. One female juvenile was found at the police station.

The incident is under investigation.

PSP Still Investigating Shooting

State police say they're still investigating an armed standoff in which a trooper fatally shot the suspect in Harrison Valley Sunday afternoon.

State police say a trooper they are not identifying shot 30-year-old Joshua Wheeler, at his home.

Police say they went to Wheeler's residence after reports of an armed man about 9:45 a.m. Sunday.

They say Wheeler threatened the troopers and fired at least six shots at them from inside the house during the nearly six-hour standoff.

The trooper fatally shot Wheeler at about 3:30 p.m.

Riel, Other Mayors in Harrisburg

Mayor Tom Riel joined mayors from across the state today in Harrisburg in an effort to get lawmakers to take action on bills that would help them generate more revenue, and keep them from falling into financial crisis.

One of the bills the mayors are asking lawmakers to consider would allow municipalities to impose an essential services fee on non-profit organizations.

Last week, Riel told WESB and The HERO that, with more than 30 percent of the properties in Bradford listed as tax-exempt, the fee would help a great deal.

The mayors say they aren't looking for a bailout from the state, but need the tools to help themselves.

More than two dozen mayors were at the Capitol today.

Route 219 Work Starts Up Again

Construction season on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project has started.

Crews have been setting traffic control signs for the project and, by mid-week, southbound and northbound lanes from Elm Street to Hillside Drive in New York will be restricted to one lane.

The passing lanes will be closed for crossover construction, but access on or off Route 219 will not be affected at this time.

Glenn O. Hawbaker is the contractor on this $28 million project.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Book Talk:

This week's guest is Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, who is also a novelist. We're talking about her newest book, "Hush," and much more.

Listen here.

For more information, go here.