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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fun in the Sun

People in the Twin Tiers took advantage of the beautiful Saturday afternoon to get outside and enjoy some of their favorite activities.

These are just some of the people who spent the day checking the yard, garage and porch sales being held for Bradford's Townwide Garage Sale Day.

Don't tell these people Red House Beach is closed!

This little cutie gets her feet wet for the first time in Red House Lake at Allegany State Park.

Even those who weren't enjoying the water, were enjoying the beach.

Plenty of people spent the afternoon fishing at ASP, too.

Back in Bradford, the adorable Misha gets a lesson in miniature golf from Kim at Hallock's Fun Center on South Avenue.

'Easy Rider' Actor Dennis Hopper Dies

(CNN) -- Dennis Hopper, the one-time Hollywood enfant terrible who portrayed such indelible characters as "Easy Rider's" biker Billy, "Blue Velvet's" huffing villain Frank Booth and "Hoosiers' " forlorn Shooter Flatch, died of prostate cancer Saturday morning at his home in Venice, California, his wife said. He was 74.

For more, go to

Is This Supposed to Happen?

Gas prices actually went down before a holiday weekend -- and right here in Bradford, PA. Very unusual.

More Suspicious People in the City

Bradford City Police on Friday looked into reports of a fight on South Center Street, criminal mischief on Euclid Avenue, harassment on Brookline Court and noise on Kiwanis Court.

According to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department, officers also checked on an animal in a Davis Street parking lot, and looked into a parking complaint on Kennedy Street. They also got reports of a suspicious vehicle on High Street and a suspicious person on St. Francis Drive (It wasn’t any of us!).

Police also received several request to speak with an officer, were called to a couple of domestic disputes, and served a subpoena and a protection from abuse order.

Stolen St. Michael Statue Destroyed

The statue stolen from the gravesite of a Marine has been destroyed, according to New York State Police.

People who would like to help the family of Corporal David Woods replace the statue can send donations to:

Corporal Woods St. Michael the Archangel Fund
Care of the Community Bank
P.O. Box 690
201 North Union Street
Olean, NY 14760

23-year-old George Leaf is charged with a felony count of desecrating a cemetery for stealing the statue of St. Michael from St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany. He’s in Cattaraugus County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Shell Buying East Resources

A Pittsburgh-area energy producer, and major player in the Marcellus Shale region, is selling the company for $4.7 billion Europe’s largest oil company.

East Resources Inc. will be sold for cash and subsequently hand over about 650,000 net acres of Marcellus Shale land to Royal Dutch Shell PLC. About 1.05 million acres in total will change hands.

East Resources employs about 300 people, who will continue working for the company. Shell executives say they plan to expand the regional East Resources offices with more workers.

East Resources produces the natural-gas equivalent of nearly 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

The cash will go to East Resources and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity investor helping East Resources fund its Marcellus exploration.,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=9&cntnt01origid=71&cntnt01returnid=112

Friday, May 28, 2010

Progamming Note

State Rep. Kathy Rapp is featured on this week's RadioPA Roundtable talking about comprehensive sex education.

RadioPA Roundtable is on 1490 WESB at 9:15 a.m Saturday (and online at and on 100.1 The HERO at 6 a.m. Saturday.

'Do Not Eat' Fish Order for Tamarack

The departments of Environmental Protection and Health, and the Fish and Boat Commission today issued a “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory for all species of fish taken from Tamarack Lake in Crawford County while officials investigate the cause of a large fish kill in the lake.

A “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory was issued for the neighboring Pymatuning Reservoir yesterday following a series of fish kills there.

Tamarack Lake is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages Pymatuning State Park and has announced that the park is open and there are no fishing, swimming or boating restrictions in place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Water samples are being analyzed at the DEP laboratory in Harrisburg, and fish samples are being tested by the Fish and Boat Commission and at Cornell University.

The “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory will remain in place until investigators complete their analysis of fish tissue samples.

CCMH Receives Achievement Award

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital was awarded a 2010 Achievement Award by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

Among 134 entries, 17 of the state’s most innovative hospital programs were selected, according to HAP. CCMH’s entry, “Community Benefit Advisory Committees: Advancing Community Partnerships,” was one of three chosen in the state in the community outreach and engagement category. The entry outlined the hospital’s creation and expansion of five CBACs within its four county service area. CBAC members represent each of their respective communities and offer feedback to enhance the hospital’s image and most recently aided in the development of the strategic plan and inaugural set of Promises and Commitments to the community.

“We are so grateful to our CBAC members for all they do,” said Patrice Levavasseur, executive director, patient and community relations. “Their valuable input and participation has helped form strong community relationships that are beyond measure. They are an integral element in our pursuit of excellence.”

“These programs are examples of the commitment hospitals and health systems make every day, in good times and bad, to their patients, communities, and employees,” said HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan. “They are among the most innovative and creative in the health care field, and we salute their accomplishments.”

“HAP’s Achievement Awards program began in 1978 as a way to recognize the innovation of Pennsylvania’s health care organizations,” Scanlan said. “Although HAP member hospitals and health systems may look and operate very differently now than they did back then, one thing has not changed: their commitment to quality and continuous improvement as they deliver care in their communities.”

The 2010 Achievement Award entries were evaluated by a 19-judge panel representing the public and private sectors, health care and business organizations, the media, and for-profit and nonprofit entities. Details about the award winning programs are available online at

HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at

Northwest Receives J.D. Power Award

Music played and confetti flew as a vintage 1940 armored car delivered the J.D. Power and Associates trophy to officials of Northwest Savings Bank in downtown Warren on Thursday. A group of more than 700 employees of the local bank met the presentation with cheers.

The ceremony took place on a specially-built stage at the south end of Liberty Street, which was closed to traffic for the event and crowded with Northwest personnel, between the bank's Administration and Corporate Centers. Banners, twenty feet tall, bearing images of the award hung from the enclosed walkway that spans the street above the stage.

Executive Vice President of Banking Services of Northwest Savings Bank Steven Fisher addressed the crowd. He recognized that those gathered represented all aspects of Northwest Savings Bank. Attending were one representative from each of the bank's 171 community offices, all eight Region Presidents, business partners including commercial lenders, wealth management representatives and business service advisors from the five states the banks serves, members of the company's Northwest Consumer Discount Company, Boetger and Associates, and Veracity Benefit Designs; it was the largest gathering of Northwest Savings Bank employees in history.

"We ranked highest in customer satisfaction with retail banking in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study," Mr. Fisher said. "We didn't win this. J.D. Power didn't award it. Our customers endorsed the way we do business. They are the ones who said we should have it. We thank them. We accept this nationally-admired award with pride. We understand the responsibility to our customers that this iconic trophy brings."

J.D. Power and Associates National Director, Client Services, David Wano briefly addressed the crowd. He pointed out that Northwest is one of the five highest rated banks in the nation in customer satisfaction and that it rated first in the survey for preventing and resolving customer problems.

Northwest Savings Bank President and CEO William J. Wagner then thanked the employees for their commitment to customer service and Northwest's customers for their support. He then pointed out that Northwest competes with over 150 banks in its region, which is the most competitive in the nation and challenged the crowd to repeat the results in 2011. The crowd responded again with cheers.

The local bank received the award because it ranked highest in customer satisfaction in retail banking in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study. (SM)

The study, conducted in January, analyzed overall customer satisfaction with their retail banking experience based on six factors: account activities, account information, facility, fees, problem resolution, and product offering. Northwest received the highest customer satisfaction score in the Mid-Atlantic Region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The J.D. Power and Associates ranking caps a momentous period for Northwest. The recognition follows being named one of America's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes Magazine in 2009. The company sold $688 million in stock to become a fully-public company, building its reserves and enabling it to expand its franchise. Northwest Savings Bank saw record growth in deposits and originated over $2.4 billion in loans despite weak economic conditions in the past fiscal year, and the trend continued during the past calendar quarter.

Pictured, front, Linda Fray, Smethport; Row 2 Debbie Karin, Smethort; Linda Karija, Coudersport; Row 3 Sandy Bresslin, Emporium; Deb Waldin, Austin; Row 4 Bill Wagner, President and CEO; Julie Marasco, President, Northwest Region, Bradford; Steve Fisher, EVP, Banking Services; David Wano, J.D. Power and Associates National Director, Client Services
Photo courtesy of Jim Holding, Vice President of Communications, Northwest Savings Bank

NY Senate Approves Parks Measure

The New York State Senate has just approved a measure that would open the parks and historic sites that have be closed since May 17 as a cost-cutting measure.

The Senate vote fell along party lines with Democrats voting for the measure and Republican opposed. The final vote was 32-27.

Republicans voted against the measure because it includes $4 million in new revenues from recycling fees and higher fees for large companies – like Eastman Kodak – that dispose of hazardous waste.

Governor David Paterson is expected to sign the measure as soon as it reaches his desk.

Gary Coleman Dies of Brain Hemorrhage

Gary Coleman, the child actor who starred in the TV show Diff'rent Strokes has died, according to CNN and MSNBC.

He was 42.

For the full story, go to

Report: White House Used Clinton
to Persuade Sestak to Drop Senate Bid

The White House used former President Bill Clinton to offer an unpaid advisory position to Congressman Joe Sestak in hopes of persuading him to drop his Pennsylvania Senate primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter, according to a report issued today by White House Counsel Robert Bauer.

Bauer's two-page report said there was no improper conduct. The report says White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used Clinton as a go-between with Sestak. Clinton agreed to raise the offer of a seat on a presidential advisory board or another executive board if Sestak dropped his bid, "which would avoid a divisive Senate primary," the report says.

The report goes on to say “By virtue of his career in public service, including distinguished military service, Congressman Sestak was viewed to be highly qualified to hold a range of advisory positions in which he could, while holding his House seat, have additional responsibilities of considerable potential interest to him and value to the Executive Branch.”

Sestak declined the offer, and went on to defeat Specter in the May 18 primary. He’s running against Republican Pat Toomey.

You can read the full report here: here PDF

e-mail from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

No Senate Vote on NY State Parks Yet

Early this morning, the New York State Assembly voted on a measure that would re-open state parks as early as today – if the Senate approves the measure, too.

The Senate was scheduled to begin its session at 9 o’clock this morning, but hasn’t started yet.

Governor David Paterson announced on Thursday that the agreement had been reached.

Long Point State Park in Bemus Point and the Quaker swim area at Allegany State Park have been closed since May 17. The rest of Allegany State Park is opened.

'Bats Against Breast Cancer' at PNC Park

Pirates outfielder Lastings Milledge, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Allegheny General Hospital Breast Care Center are teaming up to host the “Bats Against Breast Cancer” Women’s Baseball Clinic on Sunday, June 6 before the Pirates take on the San Francisco Giants at 1:35 p.m.

The event will include a series of events and clinics that take place on the field, in the press conference room and in the Pirates World Series Suites at PNC Park. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Allegheny General Hospital Breast Care Center for cancer research.

All participants in the event, which is scheduled to begin at 7:45 a.m., will:

• Participate in a variety of baseball clinics on the field hosted by Milledge, his teammates and coaches.

• Receive a commemorative “Lastings Ladies” t-shirt and a photo of their clinic team on the field at PNC Park.

• Participate in a question and answer session with Pirates players, coaches and celebrities before the game.

• Receive tickets to watch the game in an exclusive World Series suite where guests will be treated to meet and greets with Pirates alumni, enjoy an exclusive baseball-style lunch and take in the Pirates game.

The cost of the entire clinic, including lunch and seats in the World Series Suite for the Pirates game, is just $99 per person.

Women interested in participating in the “Bats Against Breast Cancer” clinic can contact Charlene Cheroke with the Pirates at (412) 325-4961 or For more information on “Bats Against Breast Cancer”, please visit

Local Emergency Planning Committee
Holding Seminar on Hazardous Materials

An informational seminar presented by Pennsylvania Labor and Industry and United States Environmental Protection Agency Region III will be held next week.

This seminar is will cover multiple aspects of ACT 165 of 1990/SARA title III reporting and Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know ACT (EPCRA) for Hazardous Materials inventory and storage both at the state and federal levels.

This program, in conjunction with the McKean County, Warren County and Forest County EMA/LEPC Departments and North West Central Emergency Response Group, is designed to be an informational seminar about your responsibilities and your protection under ACT 165 and SARA title III reporting.

Location: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Theater
300 Campus Drive, Bradford Pa 16701

Date: June 8, 2010

Time: 10:00 Am

Conclusion: 2:00 Pm

There is no cost for this seminar and lunch will be catered by University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Please RSVP with your reservation by June 1, 2010 to McKean County Emergency Management Agency @ 814-887-5070 Ext 30 or 814-598-7269. You may also email me at

Major Infrastructure Projects Underway

MAYVILLE, NY -- Taking advantage of an early spring, construction work is in full swing across Chautauqua County, and should be finished by the end of the construction season in late November.

Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards said completing the long list of projects being undertaken will help to improve all aspects of the County's highway system.

"The volume of the work on our roads and bridges is an impressive contribution to our economy and underscores our determination to deliver results for Chautauqua County taxpayers," Edwards said.

Millions of dollars in funds from the County, along with Federal and State government funds are being invested this year to repair and improve highways and bridges.

Department of Public Facilities Director George Spanos said the continuation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded projects combined with this year's local funding represent a record investment in the County's transportation system.

Edwards added that because of the federal economic recovery package, 2010 could be, “one of the most active highway construction seasons in recent memory. Our investment in the County's infrastructure creates hundreds of construction jobs that strengthens our economy, improves road safety, and keeps our infrastructure in good condition."

2010 Chautauqua County key construction projects include:

Work on 14 bridge and culvert projects:

• CB 37 on Route 93 in the Town of Hanover will be replaced
• CB 815 on Ramsey Road in the Town of North Harmony will be replaced
• CB 929 on Cemetery Road in the Town of Stockton will be replaced
• CB 67 on County Route 58 in the Town of Chautauqua will be replaced
• CB 154 on County Route 7 in the Town of Mina will be replaced
• CB 1095 on Meadows Road in the Town of Chautauqua will be rehabilitated
• CB 854 on County Route 72 in the Town of Villenova will be replaced
• CB 864 on County Route 35 in the Town of Harmony will be replaced
• CB 1011 on Hanson Road in the Town of Gerry will be replaced
• CB 1101 on Chestnut Street in the Town of Dunkirk will be rehabilitated
• CB 1039 on Risley Street in the Village of Fredonia will be replaced
• CB 986 on Shumla Road in the Town of Pomfret will be replaced
• CB 1079 Utilities relocation on Sprague Street in the City of Jamestown will be initiated in 2010 and continue with bridge replacement in 2011.

Spanos said thirteen additional bridges will be painted under the Federal Preventive Maintenance program.

Highway work will also include many miles of road resurfacing. Spanos said the Road Resurfacing program is a long-term capital improvement plan that is based upon an objective engineering determination.

"It would obviously be impractical and financially prohibitive to resurface every county owned road at the same time," Spanos said. "Therefore, determination of road resurfacing projects is based in large part on an annual evaluation of the road's condition."

Under the Shared Services program, County and Town forces will surface treat over 170 miles of road throughout the County.

The landings for the Bemus-Stow Ferry in the Towns of Ellery and North Harmony will also be improved during the 2010 construction season.

Safety is the DPF's #1 priority, and to that end, they ask everyone to please abide by the posted speed limit in work zones and be cautious whenever entering construction areas.

For more information on the Chautauqua County construction program, please call the DPF office at 661-8400.

Pictured, from left, District Supervisor Mike Borysoff, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Supervisor Laurence Edwards, Department of Public Facilities Director George Spanos.
Photo courtesy of Edwards' office

Assault, Fights, Animal Complaints

Bradford City Police on Thursday investigated a reported assault on South Avenue, according to the compliant report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

Officers also received reports of fights on Bushnell and High streets, an argument on South Center Street and a disturbance on Clarence Street. They responded to a motor vehicle accident and a gas drive off, both on East Main Street.

Police were called to animal complaints from Calvin Court and Hobson Place, and were asked to look into criminal mischief on Amm Street, a bike theft on Walker Avenue and suspicious activity on Chautauqua Place.

Six Juveniles Charged with Arson

Six juveniles have been arrested in connection to the former Fancher Furniture building fire in Salamanca earlier this month.

The four boys and two girls, between the ages of 12 and 15, are all being charged with felony counts of arson, reckless endangerment, and burglary. They are also facing a misdemeanor assault charge.

Four firefighters were injured during the fire. None of the injuries were life threatening, and they were all were treated and released.

Four of the six were interviewed the weekend of the fire and confessed to starting it using aerosol spray paint cans and a lighter.

The District Attorney's Office says the juveniles will be tried in Family Court, which means they won’t be sent to jail. They could be sent to a youth detention facility for up to a year and be subjected to electronic monitoring.

Lewis Run Man Dies in Crash

A Lewis Run man is dead after a crash at just before 9 o’clock Thursday night on Route 646, about a mile north of Route 59 in Keating Township.

In a fax sent to WESB and The HERO, State Police say an SUV driven by 31-year-old Richard Irwin crossed the center line and traveled in the opposite lane of travel until it went onto the west berm, hit a ditch and then hit a tree.

McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill pronounced Irwin dead at the scene.

Police say Irwin was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Hilltop and Smethport fire departments, Priority Care EMS and PennDOT were on the scene.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taking the Stigma From Mental Illness

Thirty-five years ago, while a young Marine Corps officer, Dr. Frese was diagnosed with schizophrenia and over the next 10 years was in and out of mental hospitals, often on secure wards. Despite his disability, he earned a degree in international business management from the American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Ohio University.

Thursday, he was a guest speaker during both the Mental Health Awareness Fair and Mental Health Gala in Bradford. One of the topics he discussed was the stigma attached to mental illness.

Dr. Frese currently holds psychology faculty appointments in psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and the Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine and Pharmacy, and has held teaching positions at Kent State University, Ohio University and the Ashland Theological Seminary.

He also has published numerous articles and chapters, and serves on the advisory board for Schizophrenia Bulletin and Psychiatric Rehabilitation. He also is a reviewer for Psychiatric Services.

Senate Adjourns; No Vote on State Parks

The New York State Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a bill that would re-open state parks.

Earlier in the day, Governor David Paterson said lawmakers had agreed to a measure that would open the parks for the Memorial Day weekend, and keep them open for the rest of the year.

The Senate will be in session again Friday.

Long Point State Park in Bemus Point and the Quaker Lake swim area at Allegany State Park are among those that are closed.

DEP: Don't Eat Fish from Pymatuning

HARRISBURG -- The departments of Environmental Protection and Health and the Fish and Boat Commission have issued a “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory for all species of fish taken from the Pymatuning Reservoir in Crawford County while officials investigate the cause of a large fish kill that has occurred over the past two weeks.

The advisory was issued after approximately 2,500 dead fish were found in various locations in the reservoir beginning on Saturday, May 15.

Water samples have been collected and are being tested at the DEP laboratory in Harrisburg. Fish samples are being tested by the Fish and Boat Commission and at Cornell University. The Ohio Department of Parks is assisting in the investigation.

The Do Not Eat consumption advisory will remain in place until investigators can determine that there is not a danger to public health and safety.

Route 219 Bradford Bypass Update

A couple of reminders from PennDOT about work on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass Project:

Starting next week, Bolivar Drive will be restricted to eastbound traffic only because the westbound lanes will be closed. Westbound traffic will follow the posted detour.

Work will continue on the southbound Elm Street on-ramp. Expect delays during work hours.

Crews will not be working on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.


PennDOT issues the following travel update for the Route 219/Bradford Bypass project in McKean County. This update is for the week of May 31. All work is weather and schedule dependent. Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College is the contractor on this $28 million job.

· The contractor will not be working on Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day.
· Work on the Route 219 southbound ON-ramp at Elm Street will continue. Traffic is using the existing shoulder. Contractor crew will be working close to the roadway, placing concrete for a new barrier wall. Expect delays during work hours.
· Northbound traffic is sharing a lane with southbound traffic, separated by temporary concrete barrier from Mill Street to north of Hillside Drive.
· Northbound ramps at Foster Brook Interchange are closed. Traffic is to follow the posted detours.
· The Tuna Valley Trail access at Bolivar Drive is closed due to bridgework. Trail access is still available at Crook Farms and Seward Avenue side of Tuna Crossroads.
· Northbound access at Kendall Avenue remains open.
· Access at Hillside Drive is restricted from Route 219 south to Hillside Drive and from Hillside Drive to Route 219 south. Traffic is to follow the posted detours.
· Starting the week of May 31, Bolivar Drive/State Route 346 will be restricted to eastbound traffic only. Route 346 westbound under Route 219 will be closed. Westbound traffic will follow the posted detour.
· The contractor continues to excavate existing roadway, place sub-base, and perform bridge repairs.
· Drivers should use extra caution while entering the construction area from the on-ramp areas. Watch for slow moving and stopped vehicles through the entire work zone and obey posted speed limits.

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

Child Safety Fair Tuesday in Bradford

On Wednesday, June 2nd Safe Kids McKean will host “Ride Safe, Bradford Child Safety Fair’ at the CARE for Children offices on 20 Russell Boulevard from 3pm to 6pm.

There will be car seat safety inspections, bicycle safety and helmet fittings, fire prevention activities, and other summer safety give-aways and information.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Kane Barracks will have certified technicians available to provide on-site child safety seat inspections and education from 3pm to 5pm.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 3 to 6 and 8 to 14. In 2007, 6,532 passenger vehicle occupants 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes.

“It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver out there to make sure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time,” said Corporal Robert J. Clinger of the Pennsylvania State Police Kane Barracks. “We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”

Safe Kids McKean will fit bicycle helmets from 4pm to 5:30pm and also hand out bike and pedestrian safety information.

The Hazard House will be on site along with the Bradford City Fire Department to highlight fire prevention and home safety. Information on Safe Kids McKean free Smoke Detector Program will also be available.

The MOMS Club of Bradford will be providing refreshments for Safe Kids!

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event please call CARE for Children or visit

Special Athletes to Compete at Penn State

Twenty-two special athletes from McKean County have been selected to compete at the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games at Penn State University, June 10-12. The McKean athletes will join more than 2,000 Special Olympians from across the state for three days of competition.

Qualifying to compete in bowling are Danyelle Trumbull, Tina Whitford and Jean Zumstein.

Track and field athletes include Charlie Barr, Kim Daniels, Justin Conner, Bailey Kinner, Ashley Peterson and David Bryan.

The swim team will consist of Andrew Wilson, Gary Stewart, Rebecca Buccolini and Stephanie Heffner.

Playing golf for McKean County will be Joe Sostakowski, George Burton and Jesse Crum.

Competing in softball individual skills will be Steve McQuone, Sharon Petitt, Robert Tubbs and T.A. Larson. Competing in basketball individual skills will be Glenn Lee and Robert McAlpine.

Selections for State Games are based on performance in training and in local and regional competitions prior to the state event. Over 360 special athletes are involved in the local program.

McKean County Special Olympics is a year-round program of sports training and competition for intellectually and physically challenged athletes.

Arrest Made in Cemetery Statue Theft

Police have arrested the man they believe stole a statue from a Marine’s grave site at St. Bonaventure Cemetery.

23-year-old George Leaf is charged with a felony count of desecrating a cemetery. He’s in Cattaraugus County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Leaf is accused of taking a statue of St. Michael from the grave site of David Woods, who was a corporal in the Marine Corps.

The statue has not been recovered.

Students Accused of Making $20 Bills

Two Ellicottville Central School students are accused of making counterfeit $20 bills and using them to pay for their school lunches.

Troy Studd and Matt Tagliarino, both of West Valley, are also accused of passing the bills at a number of area businesses.

An investigation by state police and the Secret Service found that the boys made the $20 bills at Studd's home using computer equipment.

Studd and Tagliarino were arraigned in the Town of Lyndon Court and released to their parents pending later court dates.

Paterson: Parks Agreement Reached

New York Governor David Paterson says an agreement has been reached to keep all 178 state parks open for the Memorial Day weekend.

Paterson said negotiations that ended early this morning would provide $11 million for full operations this year, offset by money from the Environmental Protection Fund, which would be cut by about $74 million.

Even Lawmakers, who wanted smaller cuts to the fund and didn’t vote for Paterson's proposal earlier in the week, are expected to vote on the plan later today.

Long Point State Park in Bemus Point and the swim area at Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park are among those that have been closed since May 17.

Interbranch Panel Headed by Cleland
Issues Report and Recommendations

HARRISBURG —The Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice today adopted its final Report on failures in the juvenile justice system of Luzerne County and made a broad series of recommendations for strengthening and improving the justice system statewide.

The commission's recommendations include strengthening the disciplinary systems for judges and lawyers, improving services to victims of juvenile crimes, improving training for lawyers and judges who work in juvenile courts and establishing statewide ethical standards for juvenile probation officers. The Report and a summary of all recommendations are available on the Web site of Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System.

"The Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice was created last August 2009 with a mandate to investigate the juvenile justice scandal in Luzerne County and to develop appropriate recommendations for reform," said Commission Chairman John M. Cleland, a senior judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

"It is our hope that, based on our understanding of how the juvenile justice system was undermined in one county, we have developed recommendations that will avoid it from happening in any other county."

The 11-member commission, whose members were appointed by the leaders of the three branches of Pennsylvania government, was given a statutory deadline of May 31, 2010, to complete its investigation and deliver a final report to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Supreme Court. The 66-page final Report was delivered today.

The Report chronicles a judicial corruption scandal in which two former Luzerne County president judges, Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr., were charged with receiving $2.8 million in payoffs from the builder and owner of two juvenile detention centers. Ciavarella, the long-time judge of juvenile court, placed large numbers of juvenile defendants in the detention facilities and has been found to have violated the rights of more than 1,800 juveniles by failing to properly advise them of the right to counsel.

Interbranch Panel Issues Report and Recommendations In what the Report describes as a "Dickensian" judicial practice, Ciavarella periodically ordered juvenile defendants as young as 11 into detention for failure to pay fines - effectively using the county detention center as a debtor's prison for children. The practice was discontinued only when a county fiscal officer pointed out to the judge that incarcerating juveniles at county expense for $200 a day was not a cost-effective method of collecting small fines.

The Report also examines the failure of the state Judicial Conduct Board to investigate a 2006 anonymous complaint against Conahan that made detailed allegations of unethical conduct and possible criminal conduct. The Report describes an internal breakdown within the Judicial Conduct Board that resulted in the failure to investigate, including an acknowledgement by the conduct board's chief counsel that the Conahan complaint "had fallen through the cracks."

In the overview, the Report of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice concludes that, while the most obvious blame for the failures of the juvenile justice system are attributable to Ciavarella and Conahan, the causes of the breakdown are more far-reaching.

"The Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice found a far more complex and nuanced picture in which many individuals may be seen to have shared the responsibility," the Report says. "Silence, inaction, inexperience, ignorance, fear of retaliation. Greed, ambition, carelessness. All these factors played a part in the failure of the system."

The commission held 11 days of hearings and heard from more than 60 witnesses during its investigation. It also received written statements and documents from many individuals who did not appear at public hearings.

A copy of the commission's final Report, a summary of its recommendations, transcripts of its hearings and related information and documents are posted on the Web site of Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System at:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

City's Financial Outlook Not Rosy, But Not Bleak

WESB/WBRR News Director

While the City of Bradford’s financial picture isn’t bright, budget figures are right where they’re expected to be through April.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, city clerk John Peterson said that, as of the end of April, “Revenues are tracking on pace and our expenditures may actually be a little under what is budgeted currently for most line items.”

“It’s a little early to process right now,” Peterson said, “but we haven’t had anything alarming show up in wage tax figures or anything else that would make us say ‘Oh my God, it’s the end of the world.’ We got the big shock last year with timber, and we adjusted the budget accordingly this year based on the best projected revenue we could.”

On June 16 of last year, during a mid-year budget review city council work session department heads learned that timber revenues would be anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 less than projections.

Also last year, about 800 people were out of work, meaning wage tax revenue was going to be lower than expected.

Peterson said that this year a relatively mild winter has helped keep expenses down in the public works department. Mayor Tom Riel added that all departments are trying to hold the line on spending and not wait until the end of the year to address a budget shortfall.

He specifically mentioned the police department, where Chief Chris Lucco said they haven’t had any regular shift overtime in two weeks.

Riel said council, as a group, hasn’t addressed next year’s budget yet but, having talking to “the folks down in Harrisburg,” he’s not expecting a lot of help from the state.

The state is looking at a deficit of about $1.3 billion by the end of the fiscal year next month.

“Things haven’t turned around,” Riel said. “Things probably aren’t going to be a lot better.”

“In the short run, we’re relatively well off,” said Councilman Rick Benton, adding that they worked hard last year to present a balanced budget, which is “holding true.”

“In the long run, conditions are no better,” he said, adding that health care and pension costs will be going up and “it does not appear that revenues are going to go up commensurately, so there’s going to be a huge adjustment we’re going to have to make in the city.”

Councilman Jim Evans brought up the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Early Intervention Program.

The Early Intervention Program was established in the 2004-2005 fiscal year to help local governments in Pennsylvania address financial management and fiscal difficulties in order to avert a fiscal crisis.

“I really believe we need to move ahead with the Early Intervention Program to bring in an outside consultant to take a look at the entire operations of the city, every single department,” Evans said.

He said a consultant could advise them on “what can we do in order to right-size our expenses with the projected revenue which, we know, in the long term is not going to be good.”

“We need to explore (early intervention) and explore it soon,” Evans said.

Riel added “The city could only benefit from having an outside consultant come in and give us advice on what to do long-term.”

ANF Ready for Summer Season

WARREN – Recreation facilities on the Allegheny National Forest (NF) will be opened and fully operational Friday, May 28th, for the summer recreation season.

Fees: Fees for campgrounds range from $10 to $28. Each campground has sites that are first-come, first-served, and many have sites that can be reserved. Group camping areas require reservations, except at Hearts Content, and fees range from $45 to $75 per night. Six rustic cabins are available at Willow Bay Campground for a fee of $45 per night. Please check our website at or call 814-362-4613 for fee information.

Double Sites: In response to many requests for adjacent family campsites, some double sites that can accommodate up to 14 people per night have been identified at Buckaloons and Twin Lakes Campgrounds. The double sites are listed with the National Recreation Reservation Service.

Reservations: All reservations are handled through the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or through their website at Reservations may be made 240 days in advance and must be made at least 4 days in advance of the scheduled arrival date. Reservations may be made all year, but sites are reservable only from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Annual, Senior and Access Passes: These passports are available at the Supervisor’s Office in Warren and at the Bradford and Marienville Ranger District Offices. The Senior and Access passports entitle the holder to a 50% discount on single-family campsites (utilities not included) at Allegheny NF campgrounds and boat launches. The Annual Pass is not accepted at any site on the Allegheny NF.

Summer hours beginning Friday, May 28th through Labor Day: The Marienville Ranger District will be open seven days a week (Mon. through Thurs. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fridays 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.); the Bradford Ranger District is open six days a week (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon. through Sat.); the Supervisor’s Office in Warren is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Marienville Office will also be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, July 4th and 5th, and Labor Day; the Supervisor’s Office and Bradford Ranger District will be closed on those Holidays. The Kinzua Point Information Center (KPIC) will also be open this season on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and offers newly renovated restroom facilities. KPIC offers visitor information services only and does not sell permits of any kind.

Protecting Bald Eagles and Osprey: The Allegheny NF is home to the bald eagle, nesting on both the Allegheny and Clarion Rivers as well as the Allegheny Reservoir. Fishing line, discarded along the shoreline of Allegheny National Forest waterways, is a potential hazard to foraging bald eagles. Anglers can help ensure bald eagle safety by not discarding unwanted fishing line or lures on the shoreline. Anglers can take an additional step and pick up lines and lures left behind by anglers using the area before them. Anglers are urged to dispose of unwanted line and lures in proper receptacles to keep the shores and waterways safe and clean for both people and wildlife. To avoid disturbing young nestlings, boaters and canoeists should not approach too closely to eagle nests. If an eagle flies off the nest or is vocalizing (screaming), you are too close. Ospreys also nest on the Allegheny Reservoir. To avoid nest abandonment, boaters should not approach these nesting birds.

Zebra Mussels: Inspect your boat for “hitchhiker” zebra mussels prior to launching into the Allegheny Reservoir or River. If you are moving your watercraft from one waterway to another, always drain the water, remove any plants caught on equipment including the trailer, and dispose of unwanted bait on land. Wash your watercraft and equipment with high-pressure hot water (a car wash works well), or rinse your watercraft and equipment with hot water (hotter than 110 degrees). In the absence of hot water, cold pressured water will dislodge mussels or air drying of watercraft for at least five days will kill the mussels.

Firewood: Please do not move firewood into the Allegheny NF because of the danger of bringing in a tree-killing insect! Non-native invasive insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle, live inside the wood until they become adults, and then exit the wood and fly away to start their life cycle anew. The Allegheny NF has a closure order restricting the use of firewood from outside the four counties of Elk, Forest, McKean, and Warren. The movement of firewood by campers is the number one reason insects are moved to new areas. Buy your firewood near your campsite or pick it up from the ground near your campsite. BURN all firewood before you leave your campsite. The campfire ashes should be cold to the touch of your hand before it is considered safe to leave your campsite.

Space Still Available for Science Camp

Spaces are still available at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Science Camp to be held June 7-11 for children who have completed grades 1 through 6.

The camp is being operated by Pitt-Bradford’s Office of Outreach Services but will be similar to the popular camps that had been run by the Science In Motion program.

The camp will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day in Swarts Hall on campus. There is a $75 fee for one child and a $50 fee for each additional child who attends. Registrations will be accepted only until Friday, May 28.

“The camp is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience science in ways they may not otherwise be able to,” said Brenda Brandon, who helped with the camp when it was part of the Science In Motion program and is directing this year’s camp. “I wanted to see the camp continue despite Science In Motion losing funding. With Pitt-Bradford providing this opportunity, the camp can continue, and we may inspire future scientists.”

Children attending the camp will participate in labs and many different areas of science and learn about plants, birds, stream life, water quality, chemistry, physical science and more. There will also be a guest speaker each day.

For more information or to register, contact Outreach Services at (814)362-5078 or

BRMC's VNA Earns Best Practices Award

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

Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC’s) McKean County Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) & Hospice has been named by the Pennsylvania Homecare Association as the winner of its first-ever 2010 Best Practices in Homecare and Hospice Award.

A committee of state officials and healthcare experts selected McKean County VNA & Hospice for its initiatives to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. The VNA received the distinction during an awards ceremony attended by more than 200 peers and state officials at the PHA annual conference in Harrisburg on May 13, 2010. The McKean County VNA is the home health organization operated by BRMC. The Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) represents home health, hospice and personal care providers across the state.

“This Best Practice award for the McKean County VNA is very significant because it represents collaborative efforts among 10 departments at BRMC to develop an evidence-based standard of care for heart failure patients,” said Kathy Pascarella, Director of the VNA. “It demonstrates our commitment to quality patient care and successful outcomes across BRMC’s continuum of care.”

The VNA and BRMC developed and distributed a Healthy Heart patient education booklet and calendar with treatment guidelines and measures to avoid unnecessary readmissions. As a result, the number of VNA patients who had to be readmitted to the hospital fell from 28 percent to 19 percent. This outcome is only achieved by the top 20 percent of home health agencies nationwide.

“The Best Practices award program promotes the exchange of ideas and presents in-home care providers with a unique opportunity to learn from each other,” said Vicki Hoak, Executive Director of PHA. “Sharing insights and creative solutions to all agencies promotes improvements to quality care for 750,000 people who receive in-home care in Pennsylvania each year,” she said.

“A Healthy Heart Book and calendar is now utilized to establish healthy heart behaviors and promote patient self-management,” said Mrs. Pascarella. “For VNA home care patients, telehealth monitoring is also utilized in addition to the healthy heart tools so early identification of negative vital signs that require intervention can occur.”

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is the provision of healthcare, health information, and health education across a distance, using telecommunications technology and specially adapted equipment. It allows nurses and healthcare specialists to assess, diagnose and treat patients without requiring both individuals to be physically in the same location.

For ambulatory patients, “There also is a telehealth unit in each senior center in McKean County that can be utilized to monitor key vital signs,” Mrs. Pascarella said, noting, “All of these measures will enable patients to implement healthy heart behaviors that can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and avoidable emergency room visits.”

“Receiving this first-ever award from the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association demonstrates the wonderful quality and comprehensive care our VNA program provides to in-home patients in our region,” said David Kobis, BRMC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“Our goal to continually deliver the best in-home care possible is reinforced by receiving this prestigious state award. We’re also proud of our staff for the initiative they’ve taken to reduce patients’ rehospitalizations, show measurable improvement with newly adopted procedures and prove the ability to sustain long-term results,” said Deborah Price, BRMC’s Vice President of Patient Care Services.

The VNA at 20 School St. in Bradford is McKean County’s longest operating home health agency, first established in 1912. The VNA offers specialized nursing care, therapy services, medical support and technological assistance services to patients. Additionally, the agency provides cancer and diabetic care, infusion therapies, maternal/child health care, medical and surgical follow-up, medication management, nutritional care, ostomy care, pain management, telemedicine monitoring, wound care and hospice services.

For more information about VNA, call 362-7466 or go online at

Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital are members of Upper Allegheny Health System.

Pictured at the awards presentation in Harrisburg are (from left): Christine Kocjancic, Quality Improvement Coordinator for Bradford Regional Medical Center’s McKean County VNA & Hospice; Ann Newcombe, the hospital’s Coordinator of Patient Safety/Nursing Quality; Stacy Mitchell, Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance in the Pennsylvania Department of Health; and Ashley Wenner, a secretary at the VNA.
Photo courtesy of BRMC

Red Cross to hold WSI Class

The McKean-Potter Counties American Red Cross will be holding a Water Safety Instructor class starting June 7th, 2010.

The class will run for two weeks from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day during the two week period. Anyone interested in registering for the class should contact the Red Cross office.

Participants must be 16 years old or turn 16 by the last day of the class to be eligible to participate.

Willoughby to Share Weight Loss Story Saturday

As spring rolls into summer, many people start to consider how they can shed some pounds to attain their “beach body”. There is one local man who has been shedding more than a few pounds for years.

In the past 7 years, Bradford’s Justin Willoughby has lost 570 lbs. At age sixteen, Justin weighed a remarkable 800 lbs. Now, at 23, he’s weighing in around 230 lbs.

This Saturday night, Justin will be sharing his weight-loss story during a live-taping session at 8:00 PM at Open Arms Community Church. Justin will share two versions of his story- one suited for a school audience and one geared towards a church setting. The messages will be recorded and become part of a press kit, to help Justin book speaking engagements across the U.S., which is part of his dream.

“I would really like to go around inspiring and challenging people to overcome their issues, especially in the area of weight loss,” Willoughby says, “And becoming healthy overall.”

Justin has spoken throughout the region in Bradford, Olean, Salamanca, Wellsville, Houghton, Dubois and Brookville.

“I haven’t yet had the opportunity to speak at many sites nationally,” Justin comments. “But I’d love to inspire more people in different states and even different countries.”

Josh Hatcher, who has aided Justin with his website, as well as other video and media resources seconds the reasoning behind the event. "Justin has been working so hard to develop his speaking talents, and he's already spoken at quite a few events across the region. What we really want to do is help him break in to the national arena, so that he can inspire more people, and achieve his dream of making this a full time career."

"With an article due to come out in Guideposts Magazine this summer, it sets Justin up for a lot of exposure. We're hoping this could set him up to get in churches, schools, and other speaking venues across the country, so that he can do what he's always wanted to do-- inspire people to get healthy, and to reach for their dreams."

As far as Saturday’s taping, Justin says that the audience “can expect to hear my story, to hear where I've been and how I was able to overcome it. They can expect to be challenged and inspired, share my life with me for an evening and have the opportunity to hear what I'm going to do next.”

There is no charge for the event on Saturday. Anyone interested in more information can contact Josh Hatcher, Larry Petry, or Justin Willoughby. There is also a Facebook event page, “Justin Willoughby- Live Taping”.

Temporary Road, Signal in Effect Next Week

A bridge replacement project on Route 555 in Cameron County will require a temporary one-lane roadway and temporary traffic signal, starting Tuesday, June 1.

The signal will enforce an alternating traffic pattern on the one-lane, temporary road, as crews begin work to replace the Hicks Run Bridge on Route 555 in Gibson Township. The bridge is located on Route 555 about 7 and a half miles west of the village of Driftwood in Cameron County.

L.C. Whitford of Wellsville, New York is the contractor on this $1.1 million job. PennDOT expects the new bridge to be open to traffic in early November. All work on the project is weather dependent.

Kinzua Beach/Information Center to Open

WARREN – Kinzua Beach and Kinzua Point Information Center (KPIC) will be open to the public again in 2010 as free recreation sites. Both facilities will be open for the summer season beginning Friday, May 28th.

In addition to the amenities added last season (new pavilion, sand volleyball courts, and horseshoe play area), Kinzua Beach now offers newly renovated restrooms with flush toilets. The Beach is a day-use area open from sunrise to sunset with no charge for admission or parking.

KPIC, on the Allegheny Reservoir, will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. KPIC offers visitor information services and newly renovated restrooms, but does not sell permits of any kind. The view of the Allegheny Reservoir from KPIC is exceptional and provides some amazing photo opportunities, as well as a place to stop, walk around and relax.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Bradford Ranger District at (814) 362-4613.

Fugitive Picked Up in Bradford

Bradford City Police picked up a fugitive from justice out of New York State this afternoon.

In a fax sent to WESB and The HERO, Bradford Police Chief Chris Lucco says on Friday his department was notified by New York State Police that 25-year-old Michael Osby was possibly in Bradford staying at a Euclid Avenue residence. Officers were able to gather information on the residence in question.

At 4 o’clock this afternoon, officers spotted Osby at the Kwik Fill on East Main Street operating a vehicle owned by one of the residents of the Euclid Avenue home. Osby was taken into custody on the warrant.

He will be held at the McKean County Jail while awaiting extradition to New York.

Lucco says while officers were securing the vehicle, they saw a small amount of suspected marijuana. The vehicle was impounded and officers got a search warrant issued by District Judge Dom Cercone. Charges in reference to the illegal drugs are pending, Lucco says.

Attack of the Caterpillars

WESB/WBRR News Director

We’re under attack by caterpillars. Well, at least some of our trees are.

Master Gardner Bob Harris says the infestation is due to the late frost, which weakened the trees and forced them to make more leaves.

“We’re getting attacked by the forest tent caterpillar and Eastern tent caterpillar,” Harris said. “They’re going to chew on a lot of leaves.”

“A lot of (the trees) can’t afford to have the caterpillars eat up the second set of leaves,” Harris said. “That will do them in.”

He said just about every ornamental tree will be affected as will crab apple, cherry, beech and oak trees. Some trees it won’t touch are the horse chestnut and red maple, although they do like sugar maple.

Harris said there are several things people can do to protect their trees. The first is putting a belt of grease around the trunk.

“That’s very, very helpful because these caterpillars go up and down the tree every day,” Harris said. “They like to go up in the evening when it’s safe and the birds aren’t going to attack them. They hide in the grass during the day.”

“If you have the ring of grease around the trunk, they can’t get across that,” Harris said.

He said Vaseline works well, and there are products specifically made to keep caterpillars out of trees.

Harris said if the caterpillars are already in the tree, and it’s a small tree, you can pick them out by hand. If it’s a larger tree, you may want to use a systemic insecticide.

A systemic is not like a spray insecticide that has to be re-applied, he explained. You apply the systemic once, the tree will absorb it and will have it in its system for 12 months.

He said you mix it up in a watering can, and “water” around the tree, but not too close to the trunk. You want to get close to the feeder roots, so “water” in an area halfway from the base of the trunk to the end of the branches.

“It’s not going to work overnight, so the earlier you apply it the better off you are,” Harris said, adding that it’s “well worth doing, especially if you have trees you really want to protect.”

But, Harris cautioned, make sure you have an infestation before you start doing anything.

“Don’t jump the gun and just start protecting every tree,” he said.

He said if there’s a problem, you will definitely see the caterpillars and the leaves they’re chewing.

“Half a dozen leaves chewed up is not a problem,” he said. “A dozen caterpillars is nothing to worry about. We have that every year.”

You can listen to Around the Home with Bob Harris at 8:30 Saturday mornings on 1490 WESB.

Fugitive Turns Himself In

A Portville man convicted of having sex with a minor in Florida turned himself into authorities in Cattaraugus County.

Sheriff’s deputies say 37-year-old Terrence Harris turned himself in at the county court offices.

Harris was charged as a fugitive from justice based on a warrant filed by the probation department in Brevard County, Florida. He’s accused of violating the terms of his probation.

Harris is in Cattaraugus County Jail without bail awaiting extradition to Florida.

No Foul Play in Toddler Death

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department says foul play was not involved in the death of an Allegany toddler.

The 1 ½-year-old boy died at around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon in a trailer park on Nine Mile Road.

His mother and grandfather performed CPR after calling 911, but it didn’t work.

Child protective services took two other children out of the home shortly afterward, but officials say that’s considered routine.

Welcome to Trail Central

Jerry Clark of Sign DeSign of Westline puts the finishing touches on a new sign welcoming motorists to McKean County while traveling south on U.S. Route 219 just north of Bradford. The sign, which was installed Wednesday, was funded through a state grant awarded for $3,000 to the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Community and Economic Development. The grant was administered through the Pennsylvania Wilds Signage Program. The project was a collaborative effort between the ANFVB, Pennsylvania Wilds, McKean County commissioners, Pennsylvania Lumber Heritage Region and the Foster Township supervisors. Clark said he made the sign from hemlock forested locally.
Photo by Sandra Rhodes

St. Marys Businessman Testifies in DC

Washington, D.C.—John Dippold, President of Innovative Sintered Metals in St. Marys today told the Committee on Small Business of the U. S. House of Representatives that “in crisis, there is opportunity.”

Dippold testified at the invitation of U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, during a hearing entitled, “Heroes of Small Business.” Dippold asked, “Why didn’t we collapse when the auto industry tanked? The answer has a lot to do with our size, the way we positioned ourselves in the marketplace, and our steady growth.”

“The powdered metals industry involves the production of a hard solid metal starting from powder,” Thompson explained to the Committee. “A much wider range of products can be obtained from powder processes than from direct alloying of fused materials.

“Mr. Dippold and his company sintered Metals are a true testament to the resourcefulness that is so prevalent in the Fifth Congressional District,” added Thompson.

Dippold’s success is evidenced by the fact that the company’s sales projections for 2010 are $4.5 million, an increase of nearly 100 percent over last year. Since 2004 they have doubled the workforce and corporate earnings are up 1,100 percent. But Dippold said it did not start out that way.

“In 2004, the company did little work for the auto industry, had 10 employees and was in the red financially,” said Dippold. He further explained, “Rather than scale, our competitive advantage is service. My partner is an engineer who spends countless hours working with clients on a personal basis. There is no administrative staff or phone tree standing between our customers and our key decision makers.”

Dippold explained that companies must change with the demands of the marketplace and in his case they went to smaller markets.

“Gone are the days when a young man out of high school would train on a machine and work it for 40 years. Our employees are constantly retraining, mastering new processes and production software to accommodate our ever changing lines of business. The company they work at today is different than the one they worked at a year or even six months ago.”

Thompson has been a strong advocate for retooling and transforming the American workforce, in order to compete in a 21st century global market, through his work on the House Small Business and House Education & Labor Committees.

“Many people in Washington believe manufacturing in America is dead. That is simply not true; I am reminded of that every day I travel throughout the 5th District.”

Pictured, John Dippold, at right, President of Innovative Sintered Metals, testifies as one of the Heroes of Small Business before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Thompson's office

Young Calls for Resignation of Official in Wake of Taxpayer-Funded Orgy

ALBANY - State Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C-Olean) today called for the immediate resignation of New York State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion for sanctioning a state taxpayer-funded orgy that took place during a dance at a youth facility that houses killers and other violent criminals. At least one underage girl and a suspected prostitute were brought into the juvenile prison and performed a lap dance and possibly, other sexual acts.

Senator Young also announced that she will be conducting a hearing in Albany to further investigate the incident, as well as reports of violent youths being released prematurely into less secure settings where they have murdered and viciously assaulted community members, and of numerous attacks by youths against OCFS staffers who work at state-run facilities.

"It is shocking and outrageous that teenage girls are being escorted at the taxpayers' expense into youth prisons. These are gang members and hardened criminals convicted as adults for violent crimes such as rape, murder and armed robbery. They are being rewarded by having girls brought to them for their personal entertainment, including sex acts," Senator Young said.

"We have an unprecedented fiscal crisis in our state, and our overburdened taxpayers are paying for this type of garbage? It's deplorable," Senator Young said.

Currently, there are three state agency investigations into the incident, which is six months old.

"We need action. Under Commissioner Carrion's direction, the entire juvenile justice system is spinning out of control. As a direct result of her radical policies, many innocent people are being hurt, or worse," Senator Young said.

The New York Post today reported on the outlandish "social" that took place at Goshen Secure Center in Orange County on December 12, 2009. Girls as young as 15 were transported into the prison to attend the dance with convicted killers and other dangerous criminals. A lap dance was videotaped by a surveillance camera and other sexual acts possibly were committed.

One prison employee, Tony Collado, said that he was ordered to drive two women invited to the dance in a state car from a street corner in Albany to Goshen and back -- a distance of 230 miles round trip.

“My complaints to the higher-ups about what happened at this dance were ignored. Things are spinning out of control at Goshen and I know other facilities are having similar problems. I've been hit with phone receivers, punched in the face on numerous occasions and some of my fellow workers have been on the opposite end of much worse. What happened at this dance was the last straw and I felt that coming forward was the right thing to do. Both the staff and residents should not be exposed to this type of stuff” said Mr. Collado.

Last summer, Senator Young paid an unannounced visit to a "social" at the Brookwood Secure Center for youths in Columbia County and said she was shocked to learn that the inmates were allowed to invite young women into the facility for a dance.

Senator Young is the Chair of the Special Legislative Task Force on Reform of the New York State Juvenile Justice System. The Task Force was formed to address a growing concern by community members, youth facility staff, and law enforcement officials who cited the closure of 14 youth facilities and reporting centers throughout the state, along with newly-implemented policies set forth by OCFS, as the reason for a spike in youth violence.

Task force members have pointed to a number of incidents around the state as examples of disturbing emerging trends in relation to violent youths and residential services. Last June, 24-year-old Renee Greco, an employee at a community youth home in Lockport, New York, was brutally beaten to death by two teenage residents who had been prematurely released from more secure state facilities.

In February 2009, 23-year-old Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio was shot in the head by a juvenile who was AWOL from a private residential community placement.

A worker at the state-operated Tryon Residential Center in Johnstown, New York suffered a stroke and died a month after he was struck in the head with a wooden club by a youth. Months after the incident, several employees sought and obtained orders of protection so they could come to work.

“In my over 17 years at the District Attorney’s Office, I have watched well intentioned policies evolve to protect residents from excessive use of force by staff members, and these models may appear good on paper,” Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said. “While I am not an expert in child psychology, I am ever mindful of the fact that these youths are in placement for violent offenses, and the execution of the models currently in place has resulted in a marked increase in violence on staff.”

Senator Young submitted a Freedom of Information Law request to OCFS last November regarding increased gang membership of residents, violent incidents in facilities by residents and staff assaults, but has been stonewalled by agency officials. Assembly Member Rory Lancman recently released a report that found OCFS workplace injury rates among the highest of any state agency, and that workers' compensation incident rates at state-operated youth residential facilities have increased by 33 percent in the past year. The report further concluded that Commissioner Carrion and the OCFS administration have neglected workplace safety as part of the agency's policy changes which has increasingly put staff at risk.

CSEA President Danny Donohue, “Under Commissioner Gladys Carrion’s tenure we have seen an aggressive lip service for reform while action has consisted of undermining services and employees by failing to provide adequate training, resources and other help – she has failed the youth, she has failed the staff and she has failed the taxpayers.”

“This latest report of an administration-facilitated sex party is outrageous and offensive in every way and demonstrates her reform philosophy is also totally misguided,” Donohue said. “Coupled with last week’s Assembly report detailing the increasing risk to staff in OCFS facilities, it is clear the Commissioner must go.”
Kenneth Brynien, President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), said “Rest assured, Commissioner Carrion will once again point the finger at members of her own staff rather than take responsibility for her actions. It was Carrion who showed extraordinarily bad judgment by promoting a party for juveniles who have been confined for criminal offenses.

“This is another example of the failed policies of Commissioner Carrion which have also led to increased violent situations for youths and staff at facilities across the state,” Brynien added. “PEF has been documenting injuries to our members at OCFS facilities and has repeatedly reached out to the commissioner and governor for policy changes. Clearly the sex party is the last straw and Carrion must be held accountable.”

Members of the Task Force include Senators Joseph Robach, George Maziarz, Hugh Farley, William Larkin, Michael Nozzolio, John Bonacic and Marty Golden.

Senator Bill Larkin (R,C- Cornwall-on-Hudson) said, "The allegations raised in today's New York Post article are some of the most shocking I've heard in a long time. It is unconscionable that an event like this was allowed to take place in a state facility, much less at the taxpayers' expense. The Office of Children and Family Services must be held accountable for their actions and I look forward to their attendance at our Task Force hearing to explain how things deteriorated to this level," said Larkin.

Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C – Schenectady) said, “Policy changes, and a lack of leadership, have endangered both the staff and the residents at OCFS facilities. Many hard-working staff feel abandoned and betrayed by the leadership at OCFS. Also, I remain alarmed by the proposed downsizing of facilities and the unrealistic policy shift toward less secure community residences. These residences will not provide the services and oversight that are needed, and they raise troubling concerns for the communities that will be affected.”

Senator Marty Golden (R,C,I – Brooklyn) said, “The Office of Children and Family Services is like the Wild West. There are no guidelines, rules, or respect for the Law. Only by having Commissioner resign right now, can we restore integrity to an agency who is responsible for the supervision of some of New York State’s most hardened juvenile criminals. We can only “clean up Dodge,” by bringing in a new sheriff – a new commissioner,” said Senator Marty Golden.

State Senator John Bonacic (R,I,C - Mt. Hope) said "The repeated, shocking, and sometimes tragic incidents occurring at OCFS facilities demonstrate a culture of incompetence by the agency administration. Rank and file employees at these facilities often work in the fear of either physical or other job related threat. We need to overhaul OCFS starting at the top."

State Senator Mike Nozzolio (R,C – Fayette) said, “During these difficult economic times, while our hardworking taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet, it is simply unconscionable that taxpayer dollars are being wasted on outrageous and illegal entertainment for violent felons. The ineffective new policies that have been implemented at OCFS are clearly more concerned with the luxuries of convicted criminals than protecting staff and taxpayers. Because of these irresponsible policy changes, crime rates will undoubtedly increase and the safety of our communities will be jeopardized. We must correct this dangerous mistake before even more tragedy occurs.”

Senator Dale M. Volker (R,C,I – Depew) said, "It is crystal clear that this is a state agency that is spiraling out -of-control and placing its residents and state personnel in danger," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "There is a systematic failure going on at these state youth detention facilities and drastic action is needed immediately. If nothing is done, more murders, more sex offenses, and more illegal behavior will take place. The taxpayers are paying for this dysfunction within our secure youth detention facilities, and we must demand accountability right away. The job of rehabilitating these young people is so very important. If we fail them now, we fail them later in life as they may again be in contact with the criminal justice system down the road."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Harassment, Suspicious People in Bradford

Bradford City Police are probably wishing people could just get along. Monday and Tuesday, officers received reports of harassment on Jackson Avenue, Chautauqua Place, Kendall Avenue and Congress Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

They also got a bike complaint from Pearl Street, a motorcycle complaint from Lincoln Avenue, and parking complaints from Jackson and Cole avenues. They received an animal complaint from Bushnell Street, a report of criminal mischief on Welch Avenue, a report of a stolen bike on Willard Avenue and a retail theft on West Washington Street.

Officers also got reports of suspicious people on Interstate Parkway, South Avenue and Pleasant Street, and noise on Williams Street.

Trying to Get What the 'Enforcement'
Means in 'Code Enforcement'

WESB/WBRR News Director

Bradford Mayor Tom Riel thinks, although the city’s landlord ordinance is only 18 months old, it could still use more teeth, and he also thinks the code enforcement department needs to give more attention to individual property owners.

Bradford businessman John Kohler started the discussion during Tuesday’s City Council meeting by saying, “I’m just trying to get what the 'enforcement' means in 'code enforcement.'”

Kohler wanted to know how much money had been collected in fines from landlords. Councilman Ross Neidich said he couldn’t provide those numbers, but will be meeting with code enforcement Wednesday and will have the numbers then.

Kohler also said it’s not just bad landlords who are contributing to blight in the city.

“There are a lot of blighted individual properties,” he said.

“In our community, we have a lot of aging houses to begin with,” Neidich said. “We have people that sometimes don’t seem to care about what their properties look like or how they let them deteriorate. We go after them the best way we can, and not always successfully.”

He added that they don’t always get the conclusion they want – cleaning up or taking better care of the property. Furthermore, he said, there’s “only so much money in the coffers for demolitions.” Neidich said they are years behind in demolitions of properties that were targeted years ago.

“We have a good number of good landlords who keep up their properties, and it does seem when we talk about code enforcement in general, that people that are doing their job get lumped in (with those who aren’t),” Neidich said.

As for individual property owners, Neidich said there are “always people who slip through the cracks,” adding that “it’s a never-ending battle.”

City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck said the landlord ordinance is still being tested, but “it’s a lot tougher than it used to be.”

He noted that after a property owner goes before the Board of Health, the fine is $10,000.

“One thing that’s undeniable,” Hollenbeck said, is that they’ve had “a number of cases where the property owner has torn down the property at his own expense.”

He said that probably wouldn’t have been the case with the old ordinance.

Kohler asked why they’re not collecting the fines they should be collecting.

“The ordinance has a lot of teeth,” Hollenbeck said, “but the old adage that you can’t get blood out of stone is sometimes true. You have bankrupt corporations on the West Coast and things like that.”

Neidich added, “We’ve had a number of situations where we think we have the upper hand and then it gets into the court system and it drags on and on and on and on and on …”

“I was going to bite my tongue, but I’m not very good at that,” said Mayor Tom Riel.

The ordinance “should have a lot more teeth, “he said. “The current landlord ordinance isn’t good enough."

He said if a landlord has a pending fine or violation at one property he or she owns, that landlord should not be able to operate any other properties in the city.

Turning to individual property owners, Riel said, “We need to focus on the properties when the first porch pillar falls off, not the second or the third. We’re years behind on that, too."

Hollenbeck noted that the criminal section of the landlord ordinance has not been tested yet, but will be.

“If that is upheld and implemented – that means a lot more to a lot of people than a fine that they don't have money to pay,” he said. “That was purposely put in there as an option.”

Changes Coming to Downtown Bradford

WESB/WBRR News Director

Some changes are coming to downtown Bradford, as several business owners make improvements to existing buildings.

Dianne Thompson, pending owner of the former Nusbaum Grocery building on East Washington Street, will be making a number of changes.

Bradford City Council on Tuesday agreed to issue the building inspector permission to issue a building permit to Thompson for installation of new windows, siding and reconstruction of the entryway of the building, making an arched entry.

The interior of the building will be totally renovated, adding living space on the first floor, and upgrades to the electrical, pluming and heating systems. The outside of the building will be painted green and cream, the same colors as The Corner Bar next door.

“Good luck with that, Dianne,” said Mayor Tom Riel. “I think Al (Nusbaum) would be smiling if he knew you were doing this.”

“I do, too,” Thompson said. “Thank you.”

Thompson’s downtown neighbor Joe Fromach, owner of John Williams European Pastry Shop, will continue to make improvements to his building.

Council authorized a $100,000 Economic Development Loan to Frombach.

“I hope, with this, he can keep that $2.99 special,” Riel quipped.

OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews explained that the loan will go toward continuation of the “major renovations” he’s been doing, and he just needed “a little bit more money.”

She said he’s remodeling the kitchen area, adding seating, looking at an outdoor seating area, and possibly an outdoor weekend market, She said he’s also thinking about siding and other improvements to outside of the building.

Riel noted that several years ago, Frombach rejuvenated the garages behind the building and made them part of the pastry shop.

“What he did to those (garages) was amazing,” Riel said.

Also Tuesday, council agreed to allow a new sign for Grandma’s House Tea & Gifts on Congress Street. The sign will be cream, burgundy and green, and will be illuminated with gooseneck lighting. Dwayne Zimmerman owns the building.

Council also agreed to allow Lori Neilly, owner of 53 Main Street, to paint the trim on the front of the building black with white accents.

Also, council accepted a proposal from EG & G Inc. for design of the Downtown Gateway and Streetscape Improvement Project at the Route 219 Elm Street exit. This is the same company that did the design for the Boylston Street Streetscape.

The project will include signage, landscaping and, possibly, improvements to the island where the railroad crossing is, if there’s enough money, Andrews said.PennDOT has already started working on the retaining wall, she said.

The purpose of the project is to "improve the appearance as people are coming into our community," Andrews said.

The cost of $32,595 will be paid from the city’s CDBG program.

The long range plan, money permitting, is to go down Davis Street and connect to Forman Street. One of the major recommendations of the Bradford Master Plan was to improve the gateways into the city.

Statue Stolen from Marine's Grave Site

Someone stole a statue of St. Michael the Archangel from the grave site of Marine Corporal David Woods at St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany over the weekend.

Woods' family members pooled their resources to honor him with the statue of St. Michael, who is the patron saint of the military.

Anyone with pertinent information is asked to call state police in Olean at 716-373-2550.

Deputies Help Disabled Vessel

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a disabled vessel off Cedar Beach in Dunkirk at 3:40 this afternoon.

Navigation division deputies responded and assisted the disabled vessel back to the Dunkirk city pier.

51-year-old James Deland of Brocton owns the boat.

New Marcellus Shale Webinars
Share Industry Experience

This summer, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Office of Outreach Services will hold a series of six 90-minute web-based sessions in the popular “Your Business and Marcellus Shale” series, beginning June 2.

This is the third set of webinars being sponsored by Outreach Services and the Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development. It will focus on “Building Business Connections.”

Sessions take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21 and Aug. 4 and 18 in Room 162 of Swarts Hall on the Pitt-Bradford campus. There is a cost of $15 per webinar, which includes continental breakfast. Attend all six for $80.

The series will help entrepreneurs and established small- and medium-sized businesses understand and reply to Marcellus Shale-related business opportunities. After a 60-minute webinar, there will be a 30-minute question-and-answer session.

Individual session topics are: June 2, “Working with Industry – Experience in the Southwest”; June 16, “Working With Industry – Experience in the Northern Tier”; July 7, “Safety Training and Doing Business With Industry”; July 21, “Business Owners’ Experiences With Industry – Natural gas Employee-related Service Companies”; Aug. 4, “Business Owners’ Experiences With Industry – Industry-related Service Companies”; and Aug. 18, “Barnett and Haynesville Business Owners’ Experiences.”

Ann Robinson, director of the Business Resource Center at Pitt-Bradford, said that this series is different from the two offered in the fall and winter “because it is focusing on businesses that have already worked closely with the natural gas companies and who have real-world experience to share.”

For more information or reservations, contact Outreach Services at 814-362-5078 or

Congress Street Fire Ruled Arson

The fire that damaged a Congress Street house Monday night has been ruled arson.

In a fax sent to WESB and The HERO, State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti says damage to the building at 277 Congress Street is estimated at $50,000.

Anyone with pertinent information is asked to contact the Bradford City Police Department at 368-6133 or the PA State Police Fire Marshal in Ridgway at 776-6136.

Man Acquitted of Murder Charged Again

A man who was acquitted on state charges in a 1994 murder in Cattaraugus County is now facing federal charges in connection with a murder-for- hire plot with his alleged victim’s wife.

56-year-old Randall Knight of Akron, Ohio, faces up to life in prison for the death of 32-year-old Andie Gasper, who was found stabbed in his pickup truck on July 3, 1994, behind Ames Plaza on Route 16 in Yorkshire.

Last week Gasper’s wife, Cheryl Jenkins Gasper, was charged in state court with second-degree murder in connection with her husband’s death.

The US Attorney’s office says Knight and Cheryl Gasper had a five-year extramarital affair before the murder and had planned to cash a $100,000 life insurance policy to buy a “dream house” and be together.

Westfield, NY, Schools Locked Down While
Deputies Search for Man on the Run

Westfield, New York, schools were locked down and a helicopter and K-9 Unit were called in to help sheriff’s deputies find a man who ran from them while they were conducting a warrant search.

In an e-mail sent to WESB and The HERO, Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say at 9:45 this morning they found 30-year-old Ellis Renfroe of Portland, New York, working at a job site on Grove Street in Westfield. When they approached him, Renfroe ran from them.

Deputies and Westfield Police set up a perimeter around the area and began searching the neighborhood. Deputy Bryan Burmaster and his K-9 partner Falo began searching the area as well. Falo tracked Renfroe behind a home off Cottage Street and targeted a canoe behind the house. Renfroe was hiding under the canoe, but took off again.

Deputies then called a StarFlight helicopter to help them search. They found Renfroe behind Westfield Memorial Hospital and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Renfroe was wanted on felony criminal mischief warrants out of Town of Portland Court. After today’s incident, he’s also charged with resisting arrest. He’s is Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

Two Hurt Battling Suspicious Blaze


The fire that damaged a Congress Street house Monday night has been ruled arson.

In a fax sent to WESB and The HERO, State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti says damage to the building at 277 Congress Street is estimated at $50,000.

Anyone with pertinent information is asked to contact the Bradford City Police Department at 368-6133 or the PA State Police Fire Marshal in Ridgway at 776-6136.

Two Bradford firefighters were hurt while fighting a fire Monday night that’s being considered suspicious.

Lieutenant J.D. Tehle suffered a dislocated thumb and was treated at Bradford Regional Medical Center. Lieutenant Mike Scrivo suffered a cut to his hand and was treated at the scene.

Bradford City Fire Department Lieutenant Matt Rettger tells WESB and The HERO that the fire is being considered suspicious because all the utilities had been shut off. A state police fire marshal is investigating.

Rettger says that at just before 10:30 p.m. a neighbor called to report a fire in the area of 268 Congress Street. Bradford City Police arrived on the scene first and confirmed there was a fire at 277 Congress.

When firefighters arrived a couple of minutes later, there was heavy smoke and fire showing from the back of the house and they called in a second alarm to bring in all off-duty firefighters and put Bradford Township on standby at the downtown station.

Rettger says the fire appears to have started in the basement and spread all the way up to the attic through the pipes. He says they had to “cut multiple holes and open things up to get it extinguished.”

Rettger says the house was damaged by fire back on December 11 during at fire at 279 Congress. He said they believe the owner is John VonBergen of the Pittsburgh area, who owned and lived in the house in December, but has since relocated.

Sixteen firefighters were on the scene for about three hours with Tower 1, two engines and two ambulances.