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Friday, March 19, 2010

Tioga County Man Named to Federal Post

Erick Coolidge of Wellsboro has been named vice chairman of the newly created Dairy Advisory Commission under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, nominated Coolidge to the Commission back in September 2009, and he won the position in January of this year.

“It speaks highly of his qualifications that the Department has chosen Erick as vice chairman before the 15-member group has its first formal meeting the second week of April,” said Thompson. “The members come from industry, academia, and state agencies involved in dairy.”

“I welcome this position and I am humbled. It’s a privilege,” said Coolidge. “I have called a number of men and women involved in the industry to ask for their suggestions, and they have responded with ideas on dealing with trade imbalances and price volatility.

“I believe we need to have an honest and forthright discussion that leaves no room for posturing and that we need common sense and consensus in the meetings to get something done quickly,” Coolidge said. “It is not about any one of us on the commission, it is about an industry. If we don’t save it, a whole lot of people are not going to be here (on their farms.)”

The USDA has described the commission as meeting to review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability and to provide suggestions and ideas to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on how USDA can best address the issues.

Coolidge is a longtime dairy producer, a fourth generation dairy farmer with nearly 45 years of experience in the industry both on and off the farm. He currently serves as a Tioga County Commissioner

Soup-er Successful Event for UWBA

The United Way of the Bradford Area held its 3rd annual Soup Lunch on Friday, welcoming the warmer weather and serving more than 250 bowls. Staff and volunteers spent time assembling the orders, which were delivered to numeorus individuals and businesses in town. For $5, each order received a bowl of homemade soup, along with a homemade dessert and crackers. The United Way raises and distributes funds for the purpose of community building and enhancing the quality of life in the greater Bradford area.

(Photo courtesy of the United Way of the Bradford Area)

New Building for Bona Business School

St. Bonaventure University has announced plans to build a new $10 million facility to house its acclaimed School of Business.

The proposed 26,000-sq.-ft. Business Center, to be built on vacant campus land between Reilly Center and Plassmann Hall, will ensure that St. Bonaventure remains a popular choice for students seeking a business education shaped by Franciscan ideals.

No opening date for the building has been set, although University officials are hopeful that the doors will open in 2014. The entire project will be paid for through external fundraising and the quiet phase of a campaign is under way.

The building will feature a financial services lab; a corporate boardroom simulator; high-tech, state-of-the-art classrooms; breakaway areas and spaces for student collaboration and team-building; vibrant space for faculty research; and a commitment to sustainability.
Business majors compose 30 percent of the student body at St. Bonaventure. More than 500 alumni own their own businesses, and almost 500 more hold executive positions at regional, national or multinational firms such as Citibank, Delta Airlines, M&T Bank and the New York Stock Exchange.

The business program's mission and strategic focus -- stressing ethical decision-making and a focus on committed citizenship and community involvement -- has been lauded as a national best practice by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

(Photos provided by St. Bonaventure University)

Oil Spill in Lewis Run

Emergency crews are cleaning up another oil spill in McKean County.

At about 8:30 this morning an abandoned well in Lewis Run started spewing oil, according to Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kirk Zandy.

He said they don't know yet why the oil started coming out of the well, but it did flow into a feeeder stream, then down to a main creek and got as far as East Warren Road.

About 800 gallons is estimated to have come out of the well. Officials are still trying to figure out who owns the property.

The Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department, along with a crew from American Refining Group, set up booms near the Browntown Bridge and near East Warren Road.

Besides the fire departments and ARG the DEP, emergency management agency, fish commission, state forest service and several other oil companies were on the scene.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

EPA to Conduct Fracking Study

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will conduct a comprehensive $1.9 million study to investigate "the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing in Marcellus Shale drilling may have on water quality and public health."

"Fracking" is a process that injects millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand into a gas well under great pressure to create horizontal and vertical cracks in the thick black shale.

The fracking process releases the natural gas from the shale, but the EPA said there are concerns the process may degrade surface and ground water and pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Senator Arlen Specter says he's pleased that the EPA will be conducting the study.

“In Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale has the potential to create nearly 200,000 jobs and generate nearly $15 billion in the next decade - but the gas must be extracted in a way that does not endanger our water supply, the most precious natural resource of all," Specter said in a news release. "I look forward to this study's progress and the lessons it will give us for how to best manage this important activity.”

For the complete EPA news release, go here.

For the complete Specter news release, go here.

Snyder to Obama: Veto PACT Act

The Seneca Nation is calling on President Obama to veto the PACT Act when it reaches his desk.

Seneca President Barry Snyder Sr. says the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act is a blatant attack on Native American treaty rights.

If signed into law the PACT Act will bar Native American tobacco businesses from using the U.S. Postal Service for shipment of their products. Snyder says this would result in the loss of about 1,000 jobs in Western New York.

Snyder says this is a sucker punch to federal treaty rights and a direct assault on the Seneca's economy and people.

You can read the entire news release here.

Foster Brook On-, Off-Ramps to Close Next
Week as Bradford Bypass Work Continues

On Monday, the Foster Brook northbound on-ramp of Route 219 will be closed as work on the Bradford Bypass project continues.

On Wednesday, northbound traffic will be moved onto the southbound lane between Mill Street and Kendall Avenue, and will continue to Hillside Drive. Northbound and southbound traffic will be separated by temporary concrete barriers.

Also on Wednesday, the Foster Brook northbound off-ramp will be closed. Northbound motorists who want access to Bolivar Drive will have to exit at Kendall Avenue and follow the posted detour.

Northbound access at Kendall Avenue will remain open.

Also next week, the contractor will be excavating existing road and performing bridge repairs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shults Donates to Hospital Foundation

A “Shults Toyota Cares” fundraiser held in November and December of 2009 has enabled Shults Toyota Inc. at 880 E. Main St. to donate $10,000 to Bradford Hospital Foundation.

In order to assist Bradford Hospital Foundation in its fundraising efforts to support Bradford Regional Medical Center, Shults Toyota initiated a campaign to donate $100 for every vehicle it sold during those two months.

The successful campaign culminated Wednesday with a donation presentation and reception at the dealership.

“We, as a Toyota dealership, even during the difficult economic time decided to support the local hospital to show our support in the community because we care about Bradford and our hope is we grow together and continue to support each other,” said Darren Hills, general sales manager of the Bradford dealership.

“Bradford Hospital Foundation would like to thank David Burns (marketing director for parent company Shults Auto Group), Darren Hills, Steve Hopkins (partner and general manager of Shults Auto Group) and the entire Shults Toyota Group for all of their efforts and support they have given in supporting the mission of Bradford Regional Medical Center. The Foundation staff looks forward to working with the Shults Toyota Group again in the future,” said Foundation officials.

Bradford Hospital Foundation, founded in 1989, raises significant funds to support Bradford Regional Medical Center, whose mission is to provide high-quality, cost-effective care to those entering the hospital. For more information or to make a donation to any appeal, contact Bradford Hospital Foundation at 20 School St. in Bradford or call 814-362-3200.

Pictured (bottom) in the Bradford dealership’s showroom during Wednesday’s donation presentation are (from left) Stephanie Huber, director of special events for Bradford Hospital Foundation; Darren Hills, general sales manager of Shults Toyota Inc.; Sandra McKinley, Foundation chairman; Francie Ambuske, Foundation director; Steve Hopkins, partner and general manager of parent company Shults Auto Group; and Jill Cummiskey, donor relations coordinator for the Foundation.
(This photo courtesy of BRMC)
Also pictured, Hills and Ambuske sharing a hug after the check presentation; Hopkins shaking hands with Jim O'Mara, who has helped with the "Building the Future" campaign.

Man Pleads Guilty for His Part in Canada
to Pittsburgh Marijuana Trafficking

A resident of Ontario, Canada, has pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to his part in a drug trafficking operation that moved millions of dollars worth of marijuana from Canada to Pittsburgh.

50-year-old Nguyen An Thai is one of 15 people indicted in the case. Eight are US citizens. Seven are Canadian.

Prosecutors say that beginning in 2004 and continuing through July 2008, a Canadian drug trafficking group began smuggling 300-pound loads of high-grade, hydroponic marijuana across the border into the United States, hidden within legitimate commercial cargo.

The marijuana was destined for the Pittsburgh area, and at least six cities in other states. It wholesaled for at lease $2,000 per pound , with the street value being several multiples of that.

They say millions of dollars in cash were sent back to Canada from Western Pennsylvania, with several shipments of drug proceeds being intercepted and seized by agents before the money could be smuggled into Canada. Cash seizures included about $225,000 in Pittsburgh in February 2008; $222,000 in Niagara Falls, New York, in June 2008; and $660,000 in Allegheny County in July 2008.

Thai will be sentenced on July 16, 2010.

DuBois Man Indicted in Child Porn Case

A DuBois man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of possessing child pornography.

38-year-old Richard Prew is accused of possessing pictures and videos in computer graphic files that were produced using minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The computer graphic files were shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Paterson's Press Secretary Resigns

Governor David Paterson's press secretary is resigning, making her the fourth top staffer to resign amid scandals that threaten the administration.

Marissa Shorenstein says she is quitting because her reported role in one of the scandals makes her unable to do her job effectively.

The New York Times had reported that Shorenstein, at Paterson's direction, contacted a woman who had accused a trusted Paterson aide of abuse. The woman dropped her claim soon after.

Paterson's communications director, deputy public safety secretary and state police superintendent have also resigned.

Today, Paterson announced the appointment of Morgan Hook as Director of Communications.

Limestone Man Arrested on Sex Charges

A Limestone man is accused of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl.

Jeremy Little was arrested following an investigation into a March 7 incident in the Town of Carrollton.

He's charged with first-degree sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.

ATA Schedule for Natural Gas Expo

Additional parking for the Natural Gas Expo today and tomorrow at the Gospel Tabernacle in Coudersport will be behind the old Adelphia Operations building in Coudersport (turn by the Caboose & Borough Building).

ATA Bus Schedule from the Operations Building to the Gospel Tabernacle (today):
The first stop is at noon. Other stops will be at the top of the hour, every hour, until 7 p.m.

On Thursday, the first stop will be at 11 a.m. Other stops will be at the top of the hour, every hour, until 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'Affairs of the Art' Opens Friday at UPB

More than 90 works of art created by University of Pittsburgh at Bradford students will be featured beginning Friday, March 19, at the campus.

“Affairs of the Art 2010” will feature pieces made by more than 45 students. The show runs through April 16 in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall.

A reception will take place at noon March 19 in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby. The show, which is free and open to the public, is part of the university’s Spectrum Series.

“This year’s exhibition represents a very broad range of artistic expression, all of which offer the viewer a kind of visual language that transcends words,” said Dr. Martie Geiger-Ho, visiting assistant professor of art at Pitt-Bradford. “Like music, this visual language can move us in ways that we can share as a sort of universal experience.”

Paintings, drawings, digital graphic designs, ceramics and mixed-media works that will be displayed in the exhibition were completed by students enrolled in art courses during the 2009-10 academic year.

Projects include still-life acrylic paintings, landscapes rendered on canvas, two-dimensional painted and three-dimensional sculpted animal figures, studies of the human figure in charcoal and pencil, two-dimensional representations of abstract subjects and various digital images.

“Participating in an event like this art show is important for students because it gives them an opportunity to share their work with others and also to show prospective employers that they can use visual language to communicate,” she said.

The art gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

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

More information about the Spectrum Series is available by contacting Patty Colosimo, assistant director of arts programming, at (814) 362-5155

Pictured, a drawing created by Amber Ostrowski, a biology major from Warren, Pa., using colored pencil and pastel on rice paper.

Walking for Warriors

An Ellicottville man is walking to California to raise money and awareness for veterans charities, and one of his first stops will be in Bradford.

Mark Klodzinski started his journey today, and is expected to be at the Bradford American Legion Post at around noon tomorrow.

One of the charities he's trying to raise money for is the Warrior's Wish Foundation, which is the 1st nonprofit Wish-Granting Organization exclusively serving United States Veterans who are battling terminal illness or facing challenges from service connected injury.

You can learn more about Klodzinski's trip by going Patriot Walk

State House Recognizes
Cameron County’s 150th Anniversary

The state House of Representatives has approved a resolution sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) recognizing Cameron County’s 150th anniversary.

“Cameron County has many ‘claims to fame’ in its 150-year history, but what really makes it a great place to live are the kind, hard-working people that call the county home,” Causer said. “As we mark this 150th anniversary, we should not only celebrate the past but also the present and the future.”

Among those claims to fame is the use of flagstone from the county to build the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Dynamite made in the county was used in the building of the Panama Canal. Cameron County is also home to Tom Mix, the King of the Cowboys in Hollywood’s silent movie era. Additionally, Sylvania Electric Corporation has its roots in Emporium.

The county was created after people migrated from Williamsport to timber the county’s forest land. True to its roots, timber products remain an important industry along with powdered metal manufacturing.

Cameron County was formed on March 26, 1860, by vote of the General Assembly. The county was made up of portions of Clinton, Elk, McKean and Potter counties. It is named for Simon Cameron, a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania at the time. Cameron later served as Secretary of War to President Abraham Lincoln.

House Resolution 644 passed the House unanimously.

Bradford Parkview is Closing

Parkview Supermarket on West Washington Street in Bradford is closing. Poor sales and decreased traffic are the reasons being given for the store's closing.

Interesting LiveLine Coming Up

I just had an interesting conversation with Chris Lilik of GrassrootsPA fame about booking a LiveLine. He won't be the guest, but it'll be somebody big.

Stay tuned!

Veterans Urged to Apply for Bonus

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is reminding veterans who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf theater in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to apply for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Bonus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offers the Pennsylvania Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Bonus to veterans who served on active duty, including mobilized National Guard and Reserve personnel, between Aug. 2, 1990, and Aug. 31, 1991, with a payment of up to $75 per month for every month of active Gulf War service. Veterans who received a Southwest Asia Service Medal and were legal residents of Pennsylvania at the time of their service are also eligible for the benefit.

An additional bonus of $5,000 is available to surviving families of those killed in action during the same period.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 31, 2015.

For more information on the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Bonus, visit Causer's Web site at and click on "Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Bonus."

Punxsy Policeman Won't Face Charges

A Punxsutawney police officer who was fired after a man died in his police cruiser will not be facing charges.

Brian Andrekovich was fired in November. On August 15, 48-year-old Stephen Obbish was found dead in Andrekovich's squad car about 5 hours after he was picked up for public drunkenness.

A coroner says Obbish died from a combination of his own medications and a blood-alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit.

Murder Trial Postponed

The trial of a Jamestown man accused of killing another Jamestown man and starting a fire to cover up the murder has been postponed.

David Scarpino's trial was scheduled to start to today, but his lawyer asked that it be delayed until September.

Scarpino is accused of killing Bruce Boje in August 2008. Firefighters discovered Boje's body while battling the blaze in his home.

Scarpino had been charged previously for assaulting Boje and an order of protection had been issued for Scarpino to stay away from Boje.

Scarpino has been in the Chautauqua County Jail since he was picked up a short time after the murder on an unrelated charge.

Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Bonaventure Coummunity Mourns
the Passing of Fr. Dan Hurley, OFM

Fr. Dan Hurley, O.F.M., a beloved member of the St. Bonaventure University family, passed away Saturday, March 13, at the age of 90.

Fr. Dan, a friar for 68 years, was a founding member of the friar community at Mt. Irenaeus, St. Bonaventure's Franciscan retreat. He retired from teaching in 1990.

Visiting hours will be 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at University Chapel in Doyle Hall on the St. Bonaventure University campus.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 18, at University Chapel, followed by graveside interment at St. Bonaventure Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the St. Bonaventure Clubhouse Restaurant.

You can read an extended biography of Fr. Dan here.

Two Fires in Emporium

A state police fire marshal investigated two fires in Emporium on Thursday.

The first happened at around 10 a.m. at 317 West Allegany Avenue.

The fire was contained to the stove and kitchen area. The cause remains under investigation.

Damage is estimated at $1,500.

Katrina Wyatt is the resident of the home, which is owned by Robert Horning of Bowie, Maryland.

The second fire happened 2:30 in the afternoon at 114 West Fourth Street. It started in a clothes dryer and was contained to the laundry room area.

Damage is estimated at $3,500.

Kelly McDonald is the resident of the home owned by Gary Pepper of Trinity, Florida.

No one was hurt in either fire.

Man Allegedly Sent Nude Photos to
Thousands of Girls in Warren County

Police say a Jamestown, New York, man sent nude and lewd text messages to teenage girls in Warren County after getting their personal information on Internet social networking sites.

Police don't believe 26-year-old Adam Larson ever met any of the "thousands" of girls he claims to have texted between June 2008 and December 2009.

They say he collected cell phone numbers of 14- to 17-year-old girls from MySpace and Facebook, then sent mass text messages to the them. Police say Larson sent nude photos of himself, requested nude photos from the girls and offered his apartment to those who would run away from home.

Larson is charged with sexual abuse of children, unlawful contact with minors and a number of related offenses.

Teen Charged with Assault

A 13-year-old boy from East Otto, New York, has been charged with assault after allegedly punching another youth in the face, causing a cut on the victim's cheek.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon while the two were getting onto a school bus at Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School.

The boy is scheduled to appear in Cattaraugus County Family Court March 24.

Cops: Woman Living in Squalor with Kids

An East Otto, New York woman is facing charges after sheriff's deputies found human and dog feces, a non-working toilet and bags of garbage in the house she shares with her four children.

27-year-old Kimberly Bertino is charged with 4 counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Deputies say they found large amounts of dog feces at the front entrance of the house, about 20 bags of household garbage that had been thrown out the back door, and a non-working toilet in the house that contained human feces and urine.

Bertino was sent to jail in lieu of $1,200 cash bail. The children are now in the custody of their father.

This Week's Big 30 Selections:


Brandon Fox, Youngsville High School

6’ 200lbs. Center / Linebacker

Brandon is planning to join the military in the near future. Brandon was asked why he would like to play in the Big 30 Game and he said, “I have attended the Big 30 games for many years and always wanted to play in the game.” Brandon’s biggest thrill came by turning Youngsville football program around for 0-10 in 2008 to a 5 and 5 record in 2009. During his time off from football Brandon enjoys hunting, fishing, and weightlifting.

Drew Coscia, Otto-Eldred High School

5’8” 165lbs. Running back / Corner Back

Drew will be attending Slippery Rock University in the fall to major in Health and Physical Education. Drew will all compete on the track team specializing in the pole vault. Drew’s awards include: Dick Schollard Captains Award in football, Most valuable Running back, and has made the Honor Roll since the 7th grade. Drew said, “I want to play in this game because I have worked so hard to get where I am and it would give me a great feeling of pride and accomplishment.

Justin Bird, Otto-Eldred High School

5’9” 160lbs. Split End / Corner Back

Justin will be joining the United States Air Force after the Big 30 game. Justin was named Homecoming Offensive Most Valuable player this past season. Justin’s biggest thrill while playing football came by making a huge hit or scoring a touchdown. Justin’s favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers and his favorite player is Hines Ward.

New York

Jon Krueger, Pioneer Central School

5’11” 185lbs. Offensive Guard / Linebacker

Jon wants to attend college and major in Business Management and someday own his own business. Jon would also like to continue playing football. Jon’s awards include; Defensive MVP and Player of the Year and was included in the 100 tackles for a career Club. Jon said “ I want to play in this because it would be a great honor and I would be the first one to play in the game from my family.” Jon is a big Steelers fan and his favorite player is Troy Polamalu.

Simon Brooks, Ellicottville Central School

6’3” 253lbs. Offensive Guard / Defensive Tackle

Simon is going to join the union and work for Amstar and paint bridges after school. During Simon’s football career he was selected as the Most Valuable Lineman. Simon told us “it’s an honor to play in the game because his father and cousin also played in this game.” Simon’s biggest thrill while playing is when everyone does their part and the play goes as planned.

Steve Buchanan, Portville Central School

6’3” 185lbs. Halfback / Linebacker

Steve plans to attend the University of Buffalo to major in Architecture. Steve’s honors include; High Honor Roll, Army Strong Athlete of the Week, Portville High School Athlete of the Week for football and basketball. Steve was asked why he would like to play in the game and he said “Both of my brothers, Mike and Chris played in the Big 30 game and they both said that it was a great experience so I would like to experience it too.

The 37th annual “Big 30 Don Raabe charities Classic” will be played Saturday August 7, 2010 at Parkway Field, and on 1490 WESB, 100.1 The HERO and online at

Police Chief Close to Retire

Bradford City Police Chief Mike Close is retiring Wednesday after being accused of assaulting a woman early Sunday morning.

State police say Close hit 36-year-old Amy Baker, causing minor injuries to her lower lip. Close then left the scene, but later turned himself in at District Judge Rich Luther's office, where he was arraigned on charges of simple assault and harassment. He's free on $5,000 bail.

Mayor Tom Riel told WESB and The HERO this morning that he's in no hurry to name a new chief, and it could be weeks if not months before a new chief is in place.

Close has been with the city police department for 20 years and has been chief since January 7, 2008.

Under his leadership, the department set up the Emergency Response Team, Street Crimes Unit and an anonymous tip line. He also helped the department get grant money for equipment including tasers, cameras, a polygraph machine, Segways and breathalyzers.

Close was also instrumental in making Bradford's National Night Out city-wide instead of a neighborhood event.