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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reports of Erratic Driver, Phone Scam

Bradford City Police on Friday looked into reports of a suspicious person on Oakwood Avenue, an erratic driver on Davis Street, an abandoned car on Cottage Row and a DUI on Harding Avenue, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

Officers were also asked to check the welfare of several people, and received several requests to speak with an officer. They also received a report about a possible phone scam.

Two Hurt in Route 5 Accident

Two people were hurt in an accident on Route 20 in the Town of Ripley Friday afternoon.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say a vehicle driven by 56-year-old Paul Carey of Clymer was stopped to make a left turn when it was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 29-year-old Heidi Caron of Westfield.

Caron’s vehicle spun around and ended up on the shoulder of the opposite lane of travel. She had to be removed from the vehicle, and was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment. Carey sustained a lower leg injury but refused treatment at the scene.

Caron was cited for following too close.

Cops: Man Had Sawed-Off Shotgun on
Elementary School Property

An 18-year-old year old from Franklinville is jailed without bail for having a weapon on school property.

In an e-mail sent to WESB and The HERO, Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Deputies say Derek Dallas had a sawed-off shotgun at a pond on school property behind the elementary school at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Back in May, Dallas and an Ellicottville man were charged with breaking into The Corner Drug Store in Cattaraugus and stealing several thousand prescription pills.

They're awaiting further court action in that case.

UPB to Name New Residence Hall for
Zippo Co-Owner Sarah Dorn

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will name its new residence hall in honor of Bradford philanthropist Sarah B. Dorn, co-owner of Zippo Manufacturing Co.

The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees approved the naming of Sarah B. Dorn House at its annual meeting Friday in Pittsburgh.

Dorn House will become home to 103 students this fall. Pitt-Bradford broke ground for the $5.42 million residence hall, which is located near Fisher Hall, in November.

“Sarah Dorn is a longstanding and very generous supporter of our campus, and the naming of this new residence hall in her honor is a reflection of our profound and sincere gratitude to her,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president. “Sarah Dorn will forever be remembered as one of the pillars upon which this beautiful campus stands.”

Dorn, who is the daughter of Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell and held various positions in the company, has been an honorary member of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board since 1999. With her son, George Duke, co-owner of Zippo and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., Dorn has provided generous gifts to Pitt-Bradford, including $1.2 million from Zippo and $1.3 million from the Philo and Sarah Blaisdell Foundation, as well as individual gifts.

Dorn’s gifts have supported academic programs, scholarships, international travel funds for students and faculty, technology enhancements, athletic programs, a library memorial fund and the arts.

In 1993, she and her sister, Harriett Wick, were honored with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, the highest honor given by Pitt-Bradford. Prior to that, Dorn and Wick founded the Miriam Barcroft Blaisdell Annual Scholarships, which has helped more than 2,000 students who have attended Pitt-Bradford.

In 2005, the Blaisdell Family, including Dorn, Wick and Duke, was inducted into the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning Society.

Dorn House will bring the on-campus resident capacity to nearly 1,000 students. It is a three-story building with two-, four- and five-person suites. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom, cable hookup, telephone jack and computer port. Students will share a living room, kitchen and storage area.

A formal ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony is planned for Sept. 10.

Dorn is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. Dorn and Wick assumed ownership of Zippo following their father’s death in 1978, and Dorn served as vice president and treasurer of the company.

In 1999, Dorn and her sons, George Duke and Paul C. Duke III, bought the company from Wick and her children.

Dorn and her husband, Richard B. Dorn, live in Bradford.

Photo of Dorn and her son George Duke, in front of a portrait of Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell, provided by Pitt-Bradford

Friday, June 25, 2010

Man Sentenced in Militia Case

A man arrested during an investigation into militia activity in the region has been sentenced on a weapons charge.

51-year-old Marvin Hall of Brookville, pleaded guilty in February to possessing weapons as a convicted felon.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwap sentenced Hall to the 24 months he has already served, followed by three years of supervised release.

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

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

You can see our previous stories here:

Good News for Porn Industry

The Internet porn industry got good news today.

ICANN, the not-for-profit corporation that coordinates the internet's naming system, has approved the .xxx top-level domain.

The decision should soon bring to fruition our six-year effort to create a specific Web address for online adult entertainment, and comes on the heels of an independent review that declared that ICANN’s previous decision to deny .xxx was wrong, according to a news release from ICM Registry.

Chairman Stuart Lawley said of the decision: “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited about the fact that .xxx will soon become a reality. This is great news."

ICM Registry will now work with ICANN staff to complete the expedited due diligence on our technical and financial qualifications and to finalize the contract to run .xxx.

Enough Is Enough, a non-profit organization aiming to make the Internet safer for children and families, isn't happy with the decision.

"The creation of a .xxx domain sounds good in theory but is a very bad idea. It will allow Internet pornographers to co-locate their content on both their existing .com domains and the new .xxx domain, thus dramatically increasing pornography's pollution of the Internet. Internet pornography is taking a significant toxic toll on our Nation's children and families; harms are widespread and addictions are skyrocketing-impacting productivity, relational, social and psychological health," Donna Rice Hughes, President of Enough Is Enough, said in a news release e-mailed to WESB and The HERO.

Kellogg has Recelled Several Cereals

Kellogg has issued a voluntarily recall of select packages of Kellogg’s® Corn Pops®, Honey Smacks®, Froot Loops® and Apple Jacks® cereals. Consumers should not eat the recalled products because they do not meet quality standards.

On its webiste Kellogg says, "We have identified a substance in the package liners that can produce an uncharacteristic waxy-like off taste and smell."

A few consumers have experienced temporary symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea, the website says. Consumers with concerns should consult their health care provider.

The products involved in the recall were shipped throughout the U.S.

For specific information on the recalled products, go to

Lots of Traffic-Related Calls for City Police

Bradford City Police spent a lot of time working on traffic and driving-related complaints, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department. They were called to a parking problem on Bushnell Street, “speeders” on Congress Street, a traffic complaint on South Center Street, a motor vehicle accident on East Main Street, a hit and run on Interstate Parkway and a suspicious vehicle on Boylston Street.

Police also received reports of stolen property on West Washington Street, a theft on Congress Street, a dispute and an assault, both on South Avenue, harassment on South Center Street and an intoxicated person at a Main Street business.

Brine Dumpers Sentenced

The two men charged with dumping briny wastewater in the Allegheny National Forest have each been sentenced to three years’ probation. They’ve also been fined, placed on home detention and must do community service.

54-year-old John Morgan of Sheffield and 66-year-old Michael Evans of La Quinta, California, were convicted on violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act for injecting 200,000 gallons of brine produced from an oil drilling operation into two wells in McKean County between April of 2007 and January of 2008.

Evans was a part owner of Kansas-based Swamp Angel Energy at the time, and Morgan was a site supervisor.

Prior to sentencing, Judge Sean McLaughlin said the message to the oil and gas drilling community in Northwest Pennsylvania is clear: "If you fail to comply with the regulatory scheme in the Allegheny National Forest, including the permitting provisions, there will be serious consequences. … You cannot dump with impunity and essentially thumb your nose at the regulatory system."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alumni, Art in Kane This Weekend

While enjoying a get together with family and friends this weekend or participating in the uptown Kane, Alumni, and Art in the Wilds venues, be sure to tour the renovated Kane Depot and explore it's many treasures. Admission is free.

The Depot Preservation Society, ArtWorks at the Depot, and Holgate Toys welcome alumni and other visitors to the Depot this weekend. Come tour the Depot and take a step back in time in the restored 1873 Railroad Depot.

Enjoy the Railroad and Kane area history and artifacts. (You'll find a brand new display about CCC Camps in the baggage room. Also, Chief Robert Carson's family recently brought in a device that may demonstrate how Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane practiced for his famous self surgeries.)

Buy Holgate Toys or purchase Depot preservation items (such as wooden postcards of the area or Kinzua Bridge Rail clocks. (You might even find a clock with your initials carved in the rail, but you won't be the first to do so.)

ArtWorks at the Depot is an artist-run cooperative gallery. ArtWorks is a group of artists and art lovers, inspired by the natural beauty and historic significance of our northern Allegheny region.

The opening show of ArtWorks' fourth season, entitled "ArtWorks Treasure Map", is a celebration of the arts in the upper Alleghenies. The Community Project for this year's show produced a treasure map of the area, inspired by local artists in conjunction with the Kane Chamber of Commerce. The original art submitted for the treasure map and many additional art pieces of area-inspired art are featured in the opening show that runs through July 30.

The inspirations speak to our community, our heritage, our natural resources and our life out-of-doors. The map unfolds treasures of local architecture, landmarks, area vistas, flora, fauna and attractions and releases their memories.

As ArtWorks Director Merry Ryding reminds us, “Some treasures, like our national forest and our parks, are obvious. Some are hidden away and visited only by a few knowing residents. We value our hospital, churches, schools, our Community Center and Senior Center. Some local businesses like Bell’s Market, Kane Lumber, Kane Hardwood/Collins Company, Texas Hot, and Zook Motors have a long family legacy in our area. Some treasures have been discovered by those who travel to our area for Holgate Toys, to sample wine at the Flickerwood Winery and to enjoy the “Art in the Wilds” fine art show.”

Be sure to pick up a copy of this year's show program, the "treasure map" designed by Ryding from the inspirations of many artists. It is a tribute to the passion and energy invested in our community by members of the Kane Area Chamber of Commerce, artist and art lover members of ArtWorks at the Depot, and members of the Depot Preservation Society who have been preserving our treasures for years.

ArtWorks is located at the Depot at 1 South Fraley, at the light in Kane. It is a pleasure to share both old treasures (railroad and historic memorabilia) and new treasures in works of art with our visitors.

ArtWorks Gallery and store, Holgate Factory Store, and Museum are open every Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the end of May through December. For more information and calendar of events go to

Photos and info provided by Ruth Gentilman Peterson

Cats Removed from St. Marys Shelter

About 400 cats are being removed from a no-kill animal shelter in St. Marys.

The ASPCA says a search warrant was executed today at the Animal Friends of Elk and Cameron Counties.

Investigators say the cats were crowded into the first floor of the sanctuary's building, and many of them appear to have upper respiratory problems.

The cats are being tested for feline leukemia.

The ASPCA declined to identify the people who run the facility.

Bradford Bypass Work Update

Short version: No changes

Long version:

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

· Work on the Route 219 southbound ON-ramp at Elm Street continues. 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.
· Contractor will continue to truck materials for sub-base and paving operations and will be pulling into the closed “dead lane” from the northbound “live lane”. Traffic may be slow moving on Route 219 as this work takes place.
· 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.
· Work will continue on Bolivar Drive/State Route 346, with flaggers present from 6am to 7:30pm. Drivers should expect alternating traffic pattern and travel-time delays.
· The contractor continues to fine grade, 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.

Brown Bag Pharmacy Day Will be Held at
The Pavilion at BRMC on Tuesday

The Pavilion at BRMC, located off the Pleasant Street access in Bradford, will have a free Brown Bag Pharmacy Day on Tuesday, June 29, from noon to 2 p.m., in its main entrance so community members can have their prescriptions reviewed by a pharmacist, said officials.

Community members just have to put their prescriptions in a bag and bring them to The Pavilion. Prescriptions will be reviewed by two pharmacists from Pharmacy Management Group.

The pharmacists will check brand-name and generic prescriptions, bio-equivalencies, costs, indications, expected outcomes, contraindications, discuss precautions, adverse effects, drug-to-drug and drug-to-food interactions, dosing regiment strategies, routes and methods of administration, and proper storage conditions.

Also during the review, free blood pressure screenings will be offered.

The Pavilion, adjacent to Bradford Regional Medical Center, is a 95-bed facility which provides long-term care to residents and also short-term restorative care to post-surgical patients. For more information, call 362-8293 or go online at

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

Open Line LiveLine

Scott, Dan and I will be talking about code enforcement and the earthquake on today's LiveLine at 12:35 p.m. -- and we'll be taking your calls, too. The number is 814-368-9372. You can listen online at

Wastewater Dumpers to be Sentenced

Two men from a Kansas-based oil company will be sentenced this morning for dumping briny wastewater in the Allegheny National Forest.

John Morgan and Michael Evans of Swamp Angel Energy pleaded guilty in February for ordering workers to secretly dump more than 200,000 gallons of briny wastewater into two oil wells in McKean County between April 2007 and January 2008.

The charge is a violation of the Safe Water Drinking Act and carries a maximum possible sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grabbin' Groceries

Inaugural UWBA/Tops
Grocery Grab
Jessie Skillman, Brenda Laird and Brian Abers get an introduction to the United Way of the Bradford Area “Grocery Grab” from Michelle Gangloff, manager of Tops Market. She then took them on a tour of the store and showed them areas that were off limits for the contest.

Igor chats with the United Way's Mandi Wilton Davis and the contestants during his live broadcast from the event on 100.1 The HERO.

Brenda takes her cart on a practice spin. Later, during the three minutes they had to fill their carts, Jessie loads up on coffee and Brian tries to maneuver his cart around a corner.

Michelle rings up everything Brenda gathered while Tyler Clark and Heather Behan do the same for Jessie and Brian.

The United Way's Kelly Case (with Mandi and Igor) announces the winner ...
Brian Abers!

Brian won a $350 Tops grocery card, $75 Tops gas card; Brenda won a $150 Tops grocery card, $25 Tops gas card; Jessie won a $75 Tops grocery card, $25 Tops gas card. And the United Way won because all the proceeds from tickets purchased for a chance to participate in the Grocery Grab went to the agency.

Gregg Leaving UPB After 20 Years

Campus Police Officer Pierre Gregg has left the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford after 20 years of service due to health reasons.

“I can’t express enough how sorry I am to see Pierre leave the department,” said Campus Police Chief Dan Songer. “He has been a great asset to me and the Campus Police, and I depended on him a lot. I will miss his loyalty to the department and to me. I want to wish him all the best in the future.”

Gregg said, “I enjoyed working with the students and tried to help the people at Pitt-Bradford – the students, the faculty members and the staff members. I was very happy at Pitt-Bradford, and I would have worked longer if my health had not been the problem.”

Gregg and his wife, Jacqueline, have lived in Marshburg since 1973. They have two grown sons, Brian and Bradley.

Jacqueline Gregg, Brian Gregg and Brian’s wife, Amy, are University of Pittsburgh graduates. All of them support the University of Pittsburgh system.

Blood Shortage Lingers

The blood supply has been lingering at below safe levels for several weeks now, drifting up and down, and concerns are growing that the shortage will worsen as summer progresses. The excellent weather forecast for this coming weekend could also be a factor.

The Community Blood Bank is open Thursday at Union Square from 3:30 to 7:30pm and Saturday 9-1pm. No appointment is needed to save a life.

“Summer is always tough and we are expecting things to get worse,” Says Dan Desrochers Director of Marketing at the Community Blood Bank. “We are hoping to be ready but there’s a real cause for concern for local patients.”

The Community Blood Bank is the EXCLUSIVE supplier of blood products to all the hospitals in Erie, McKean, Warren, Elk and Potter Counties. And now supplies Tioga County at over 50%. The CBB supplies 98% of all blood used in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, & Allegany Counties in WNY. Only blood donated with the Community Blood Bank will alleviate the shortage in these counties and will help patients at local hospitals.

More Earthquake Info

If you felt the Earth move at just after 1:30 this afternoon you’re not alone.

Countless people called the McKean Count 911 Center and WESB to report a tremor or shaking.

An earthquake hit near the Ontario/Quebec border in Canada and tremors were felt in Bradford, and even farther south. Originally the US Geological Survey said the quake’s magnitude was 5.5 Now they say it was 5.0.

The quake hit at 1:41 this afternoon about 38 miles north of Ottawa.

People in the Main, East Main and West Washington street and Jackson Avenue areas reported feeling the quake. It was also felt in Port Allegany, Warren, Olean, Allegany, Portville, Kill Buck, Randolph. In Jamestown, some buildings were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

There were no reports of injuries or damage, but several buildings in the Toronto and Ottawa areas were evacuated. In Bradford, people reported items in their homes and offices moving.

Some people reported feeling dizzy or light-headed, and realized later it was because of the earthquake.

The quake lasted for about 30 seconds.

Besides Canada, New York and Pennsylvania, the quake was also felt in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Vermont, according to the US Geological Survey.

Knapp Creek Bridge to Close

On Monday, June 28, PennDOT will close the Knapp Creek Bridge on Route 346 in the village of Prentisvale. A detour will be in place through the 2010 construction season. The detour will direct drivers to use State Route 1017 (R.L. Sweitzer Drive) and State Route 246.

Project work also includes approach and roadway paving, drainage items, guide rail installation, pavement markings and miscellaneous construction.

A.L. Blades of Hornell, New York is the contractor on this $2.3 million job. The Knapp Creek Bridge is located on Route 346 in Prentisvale, Otto Township, McKean County. PennDOT expects to open the new bridge to traffic by late fall.

More Information on the Earthquake

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit near the Ontario/Quebec border in Canada and tremors were felt in Bradford, and even farther south.

The quake hit at 1:41 this afternoon about 38 miles north of Ottawa.

The McKean County 911 Center and WESB got dozens of calls from people reporting the tremors and shaking. People in the Main, East Main and West Washington street areas reported feeling the quake. It was also felt in Port Allegany, Olean and Portville.

There were no reports of injuries or damage, but several buildings in the Toronto and Ottawa areas were evacuated. In Bradford, people reported items in their homes and offices moving.

Besides Canada, New York and Pennsylvania, the quake was also felt in Michigan and Vermont, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake lasted for about 30 seconds.

Yes, It Was an Earthquake

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit near the Ontario/Quebec border in Canada and tremors were felt as far south as Main Street in Bradford.

The quake hit at 1:40 this afternoon about 38 miles north of Ottawa.

The McKean County 911 Center and WESB and The HERO got dozens of calls from people reporting the tremors and shaking.

We’ll have more information later this afternoon.

PA State Police Blitz Focuses on
Trucks Hauling Drilling Waste Water

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania State Police placed 250 commercial vehicles out of service during a three-day enforcement effort last week that focused on trucks hauling waste water from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations across the state, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced today.

Pawlowski said state troopers worked in partnership with personnel from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as part of Operation FracNET. In total, 1,137 trucks were inspected from June 14-16.

“Pennsylvania has experienced significant increases in heavy truck traffic in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place, particularly in Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga and Washington counties,” Pawlowski said. “The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away.”

He said the enforcement effort centered on identifying commercial vehicle safety deficiencies that could lead to crashes.

Pawlowski said 131 of the 250 vehicles placed out of service were trucks hauling waste water. He said 669 traffic citations and 818 written warnings were issued as the result of waste water truck inspections. In addition, 23 of the 45 drivers placed out of service during the operation were waste water vehicle operators.

“As activities at natural gas sites continue to increase, it is important that everyone involved, including the waste transportation industry, understands Pennsylvania’s environmental and traffic safety laws and complies with them,” said DEP Secretary John Hanger.

The enforcement effort was conducted in areas covered by Pennsylvania State Police troops B, C, F, P and R.

For more information, visit or call 717-783-5556.

The following is a breakdown, by state police troop area, of the number of inspections conducted, number of vehicles placed out of service, and number of citations issued during Operation FracNET:

• Troop B (Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties), 227 inspections; 57 vehicles placed out of service; 241 citations issued;
• Troop C (Clarion, Clearfield, Forest, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties), 260 inspections; 29 vehicles placed out of service; 111 citations issued;
• Troop F (Cameron, Clinton, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Union and Tioga counties), 239 vehicles inspected; 33 vehicles placed out of service; 205 citations issued;
• Troop P (Bradford, Sullivan, Wyoming and part of Luzerne counties), 166 inspections; 66 vehicles placed out of service; 358 citations issued;
• Troop R (Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne counties), 142 inspections; 25 vehicles placed out of service; 141 citations

Kralik Hearing Continued

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of killing a St. Marys man on June 12 has been continued until August.

67-year-old Edward Kralik Jr., also of St. Marys, is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault for the stabbing death of 50-year-old Clayton Lecker.

During his arraignment last week, Kralik said the incident was an accident and he’ll prove it. Kralik and Lecker were in a fight when Lecker was stabbed. Kralik was treated for his injuries at Hamot Medical Center.

Kralik is in jail without bail.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Councilmen: Code Enforcement is
Number One Priority of Bradford Citizens

WESB/WBRR News Director

Bradford’s newest councilmen agree that code enforcement is the number one priority of city residents.

Almost all public comment council has received in the last six months has been about code enforcement, blighted properties and the historic district, said Councilman Fred Proper during Tuesday's council meeting.

“The quality of life in our community is being affected by the property in the community – deteriorating property,” he said.

As a council, “You got it across to us that it’s probably the number one priority in this community right now. We need to work together to handle that.”

“I’ve got the message that it is the number one priority, aside from maybe some financial problems that we’re going to have to face,” he said.

“This is the number one issue – blighted properties, code enforcement,” Councilman Jim Evans said. “The only reason it surpasses financial is we’re not building a budget right now.”

“That message has come through loud and clear from the citizens,” Evans said. “And this council will keep that as a top priority. We’re not sure what changes will have to be made, but there may have to be some changes.”

Earlier in the meeting, School Street resident Dick McDowell said the code enforcement program has to change. One of the examples McDowell used is that there’s been a tarp on a Summer Street property that’s been there so long that the tarp is deteriorating.

McDowell said the failure of the system is not the fault of code enforcement officers George Corignani and Merle Silvis

“It’s not the people. It’s the system. How long is it going to take council to understand that the system here of code enforcement has been broken? It’s been broken for years. There’s has not been any attempt to change it,” McDowell said.

“Until … we take it out of the fire department, you’re not going to have any improvement,” he said. “Can you change it? Let’s be serious about this.”

Fire Chief Boo Coder said, “We feel that we’re moving ahead. We do feel like we’re making a change. … It isn’t like our eyes are closed.”

Mayor Tom Riel, who has said several times that he thinks code enforcement should be moved to the Office of Economic and Community Development, reiterated his position.

He said he believes it would be fiscally prudent to move code enforcement to OECD “because you could do a lot more for less money.”

“Regardless of who does code enforcement George and Merle are, number one, firemen,” said Councilman Ross Neidich, who oversees the fire department and code enforcement. “You can take code enforcement out of the fire department but you’ve still got George and Merle and you’re paying for them.”

If you hire three people to work for code enforcement in OECD for $30,000 each, you’re spending an extra $90,000 that you’re not spending now, Neidich said.

“We’ve laid off policemen. We’ve laid off garbage men. We’ve laid off streets guys,” Riel said. “At the end of the year, I hate to say this, but maybe we’d have to look at manning issues there (in the fire department). We’re going to have to look at this across the board.”

“You are threatening the fire department to lay the code enforcement off and then lay two firemen off? Is that what you’re saying?” Coder asked. “We made a deal with the city if you remember, Mr. Mayor.”

Riel explained that last year when council was working on the budget, they went to all the city departments and asked them to make concessions to help them save money. The departments that helped were immune from lay offs this year.

(Listen to Riel, Neidich and Coder here.)

Also earlier in the meeting, Coder said he doesn’t believe code enforcement is behind in its work.

“If you think we’re behind, Tom,” he said to Riel, “tell me what it is. If you don’t think we’re doing the job tell us what it is you don’t think we’re doing.”

Riel said it’s not that Corignani and Silvis aren’t working, it’s that “there’s a whole area in the middle” that’s not being addressed because they don’t have the time. He was referring to properties that he thinks should be cited for minor infractions before they become major.

“It’s real easy for you to sit there and say that,” Coder said. “But they’re out there all the time with their eyes open. I mean it isn’t like they’re going down the street blindfolded.”

“A lot of the things that you think aren’t getting taking care of may already be in the works – may already be in the legal system,” he said. “The wheels of justice turn awful slow. And even when we get them to a magistrate doesn’t mean we’re going to get a result or we’re going to come to any kind of finality at all.”

Chestnut Street resident Fran Bottone asked if it’s possible to attach outstanding code enforcement fines to a person’s taxes.

“Pennsylvania is not a real friendly state in terms of debt collection,” said City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck.

Outside of child support, landlord/tenant issues and back federal or state taxes “you have a tough time,” he said.

In a work session prior to the council meeting, code enforcement issues within the historic district were discussed.

Council learned that no one has been cited for a violation in the district since 2004.

Commercial building inspector Mark Grassi was not at the meeting to answer questions. City clerk John Peterson plans to set up a meeting between himself, Grassi, Riel, HARB Chairman Sam Sylvester and Main Street Manager Anita Dolan to make sure Grassi knows what’s expected of him.

Prior to 2004, Corignani and Silvis handled both residential and commercial building inspections and code violations.

Pictured, School Street resident Dick McDowell makes his point about changing the city's code enforcement program. Listening are (from left) Brad Mangel, Jim Belardia, Jeremy Callinan, John Kohler, (Sam Sylvester, blocked by McDowell) Harold Beck, Anita Dolan, Bob Baker, Helen Burfield, Chris Distrola.

Because of popular demand for an encore, I present the following for your listening pleasure:

All the Firemen Have Been There

Majestic Trails to be Featured on TV

When the Workshop Trailblazers ATV Club won a contest to ride with ATV enthusiast Brian Fisher at their favorite location, they had just one spot in mind – Majestic Kamp & Lost Trails in Coleville, just outside of Rew.

That ride will be aired on Fisher’s ATV World on the Outdoor Channel on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 12:30 a.m. It will also air in September.

Brenda Fitch, owner of Majestic Trails, located on Route 46, explained that Fisher’s ATV World is a show that promotes new ATVs, equipment and riding areas.

The Workshop Trailblazers, out of York, won a “Ride with Brian” by coming in first place in the Club Contest for having the most club members present at the 2009 Fisher’s ATV Reunion in Patton, Pa.

“They toured our place here and did a lot of interviews,” Fitch said of the television crew. “We were very pleased and excited that a club from York chose Majestic Trails here in Rew as their favorite riding park.”

The crew was on site May 6-May 8.

Fitch said the Fisher interviewed her and her husband, Tom, then did a ride highlighting a few of the new ATVs and their accessories.

On May 8, the Workshop Trailblazers rode with Fisher and were interviewed.

For the most part, the weather cooperated with the filming. However, late Saturday afternoon, the rain hit.

“Then, they had a great time riding in the mud,” Fitch said. “It was a little cold, but they all still had a great time.”

Fisher echoed those comments on his Twitter postings.

“Hitting the trails at Majestic. Off to find the big mud holes and put the new Grizz (a type of ATV) to the test,” he wrote, adding later, “Big storm rolling in at Majestic trails. Fifty mph winds, rain & hail.”

Regardless of the weather, the filming was an exciting event at Majestic Trails.

“We are excited to see Fisher’s segment of Majestic trails this coming Monday on the Outdoor Channel,” Fitch said.

The ATV trail system is located on more than 940 acres of privately owned property.

Fisher’s ATV World is an award-winning television series that has been airing nationally for the past 10 years with travel to four different countries and 29 of the 50 states within the U.S.

Fisher added those with Direct TV can purchase the channel separately.

For more information on Majestic Kamp & Lost Trails, contact the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at

Photos courtesy of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau

Gabler Searches for Korean War Veterans

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) is looking to honor veterans of the Korean War.

"I would like to recognize men and women living in the 75th Legislative District who served our great nation during the Korean War," said Gabler. "It is a chance to say 'We have not forgotten' to those who served in a war that took the lives of nearly 34,000 members of the United States Armed Forces and profoundly changed the lives of countless others."

A ceremony is being planned for later this year. Anyone wishing to nominate a Korean War veteran to be honored should contact Gabler's office before Monday, August 9. Be prepared to include the following information on the veteran: name, home address, phone number, branch of service, rank and time of service. Contact information is needed in order to send out invitations.

You may register your veteran's name by calling Gabler's DuBois office at (814) 375-4688 or his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301, or by logging on to his website,

The 75th District includes all of Elk County, as well as, in Clearfield County, the City of DuBois, the borough of Troutville and the townships of Brady, Huston, Sandy and Union.

Plenty of Places to Stake Down in PA

The hot days and warm nights of summer are the perfect time to stake down a tent or pack up the RV and pull out the backpack to enjoy some family fun in the Allegheny National Forest region in Pennsylvania.

Temperatures in the higher altitude of the Allegheny Plateau provide cool breezes on those hot summer nights and the pristine shore line of the Allegheny Reservoir provides plenty of opportunities for water adventures.

The lush green forest lands of the Allegheny National Forest region draws thousands of visitors each year to experience life in the Pennsylvania Wilds whether you want to camp in the woods or stay in one of the many cozy cabins available in the region.

Allegheny Site Management handles all the camping within the Allegheny National Forest, including Willow Bay, which has access to the Allegheny Reservoir. At Willow Bay, there are six primitive cabins with a porch swing, electric, nearby water and showers, parking and a fire ring. Cabins along the shoreline provide beautiful vistas of the Allegheny Reservoir. Boat and kayak rentals are available, along with a variety of nature hikes and programs.

There’s lakefront camping with 101 tent and RV sites. There are modern showers, electric hook-ups and paved roads. Pets are allowed on a leash and the fishing is great. There’s also easy boat launching from this campground and convenient parking for cars and trailers. Reservations and Information can be obtained through and reservations can be booked online at via

Some of the most conveniently located campgrounds near the Allegheny National Forest and the Kinzua Bridge State Park include the Foote Rest Campground, Woodhaven Campground and Cabins, and Bettum’s Idlewood Family Campground.

Located along Route 59, in the midst of the Allegheny National Forest, just east of Kinzua Beach, is the Woodhaven Campground & Cabins. Kinzua Beach, located along the Allegheny Reservoir, offers free swimming. The cabins, located on forested sites, are perfect for family getaways. At the campground, there is a diner with a full menu for those who don’t want to do all their cooking over a open fire.

A convenience store is on site for last minute supplies and the on-site gift shop features items crafted by local artisans. There is also a playground for children, storage and a heated bath house. Firewood is available. For more information on Woodhaven, please go to

The Foote Rest Campground, located at the intersection of scenic Route 6 and Route 219, can accommodate camper units of any size with 50 pull-through sites. The camper even has a choice whether to bask in the sun or chill out in the shade. There are also more than 160 water/electric sites available – some even include cable. Cabins are also available for rent.

The campground also hosts a variety of events throughout the summer, including a vendor and craft weekend on Aug. 7. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., vendors will sell handmade products such as baked goods and wood products. For more information, log onto

The Bettum’s Idlewood Family Campground, located along Route 219 in Lewis Run, allows you to camp in a tent or in a cabin. Fishing is available nearby. The campground also allows pets, has a swimming pool, pavilion, picnic tables, a basketball court plus Bingo and game room. The owners have recently updated the bathrooms and laundry mat. There’s also a general store and propane filling station. Campground events include the Sixth Annual Tag Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the campground. To find out more about Bettum’s campground, go to

Along Route 6, traveling east from the Allegheny National Forest, the Allegheny River Campground offers RV and tent camping along the Allegheny River in Roulette. This campground can be your home away from home with electric, water and sewer hookups. There are also a recreation hall, cabins, planned activities, modern restroom, laundry facilities, picnic tables and fire rings and a playground. And don’t forget the stocked river fishing. You will be hooked. There are also kayak and tube rentals for more adventures in the Allegheny River. For more information, go to

For additional information on all the campgrounds, cabins and lodging and a complete list of events, contact the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 or A free travel guide and map are available. The travel guide can also be be viewed at

Pictured, the store located at Woodhaven Acres, along Route 59;Kinzua Beach, located along the Allegheny Reservoir
Photos courtesy of ANFVB

Wagner: Megan's Law Site Has Improved, But Still Has Problems

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 22, 2010 – Auditor General Jack Wagner said today that the state’s Megan’s Law website has improved in recent years but it still has significant problems with accuracy and usefulness.

In a special report released today, Wagner gave the state’s Megan’s Law website an overall grade of C-, with marks of C- for offender photographs, B for information provided, D for search functions, and D- for features and tools. The advocacy group Parents for Megan’s Law gave Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law a grade of D four years ago when it issued report cards for every state.

“Our conclusion is that the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law website does not make the grade in providing the public with useful, accurate and easily accessible information,” Wagner said. “The website must be improved.”

The special report follows up on a special performance audit of Megan’s Law that Wagner conducted in 2006. That audit faulted the website for failing to provide the public such basic information as up-to-date photographs and street addresses of registered sex offenders.

Charges Pending for Friday Fire

Charges are pending against the person who set a Hamlin Township building on fire Friday afternoon.

In a fax sent to WESB and The HERO, State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti says he and the state Department of Environmental Protection conducted an investigation into the fire at 61 Old Bradford Road at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. “A known actor” ignited the remains of the building, owned by 55-year-old Courtney Ahlberg of Kane, with the intent of disposing of it.

A passing motorist and neighbors reported the fire. Mount Jewett, Hamlin Township and Smethport fire departments responded. No one was hurt, but a nearby building also owned by Ahlberg had minor heat damage.

Agosti says the investigation is continuing and charges are pending.

He and DEP are also reminding people that the Solid Waste Management Act of Pennsylvania (Act 97) states that burning of any solid waste without a permit from DEP constitutes unlawful conduct. DEP does not give permits for burning waste, other than in incinerators. Burning the remains of an entire structure as a substitute for disposal is a violation of Act 97.

National Guardsman Pleads Guilty

An Army National Guard soldier from Erie has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally bringing guns into the United States.

42-year-old James Bindeman is charged with of entry of goods into the United States by means of false statements.

Prosecutors say Bindeman built a crate with a false bottom and hid 11 guns in it when he returned from duty in Iraq. He said the crate had power tools and golf clubs in it. The guns were discovered when the crate was unpacked at a guard readiness center in Cambridge Springs.

Bindeman faces two years a prison, a fine of $250,000 or both when he’s sentenced on October 22.

From CNN:
Federal Judge Blocks Six-Month
Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling

A federal judge in New Orleans, Louisiana, has blocked a six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the government will immediately appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

More from

Nushawn's Lawyer in Court Today

A lawyer for the man who infected more than a dozen people in Chautauqua County with HIV was in court today to argue that his client has done his time and should be released from prison.

Nushawn Williams’ prison term ended in April, but Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wants to keep him in custody under a civil law that allows extended confinement for a person who has a mental abnormality.

A judge ruled last month there was enough evidence to hold Williams until a civil confinement trial in October.

State Supreme Court Judge John Michalski reserved decision on today’s arguments and ordered both sides to be back in court next month.

Be A Candy Bar Czar

The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) has challenged their Facebook Fans to "Be A Candy Bar Czar" with a new contest created exclusively for their Fan Page audience

Through July 16, Facebook Fans can follow in the footsteps of the great chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey who built his fame and fortune on his uncanny ability to create and market unique candy confections like the original Hershey®'s Milk Chocolate bar and Hershey®'s Kisses® chocolates.

To be eligible for the "Be A Candy Bar Czar" grand prize valued at $2,000, participants must post what "tasty" ingredients they would put in their ultimate candy bar and what they would name their new creation.

"Imagine you were given the keys to your very own top secret food lab," said Rick Dunlap, Director of Communications for HHRVB. "If you had access to any ingredient in the world, what would you put in your ultimate candy bar and what would you call it? Contestants will be limited only by their own imaginations."

Dunlap said the bureau decided to launch the "Be A Candy Bar Czar" contest on the first official day of summer to celebrate the new ‘Create Your Own Candy Bar' attraction that opened earlier this month at Hershey's Chocolate World®.

According to Dunlap, the contest evolved from a conversation among the bureau staff of what they would put in their ultimate candy bar after attending the ground breaking for the new attraction in January.

"We had so much fun with the question of what makes the ultimate candy bar that we decided to make it our biggest Facebook Fan contest to date," said Susan Ewing, Manager of Social Media for HHRVB. "If you're not already a Fan of ‘HersheyHarrisburg' on Facebook, now would be the perfect time to join us and win one of our monthly contests!"

The "Be A Candy Bar Czar" grand prize package worth $2,000 includes:

Two-nights' accommodations at The Hershey Lodge,
$100 gas card,
VIP treatment for four (4) at Hershey®'s Chocolate World® attractions include:
Unique Limousine service to/from Hershey®'s Chocolate World®,
All-access behind the scenes tour of Hershey®'s Chocolate World®,
Lunch with real Hershey Foods candy bar scientists,
Tickets for the new ‘Create Your Own Candy Bar' attraction,
Tickets to Hershey's Really Big 3D ShowTM & operate special FX,
Tickets for Hershey's Trolley WorksTM tour,
Tickets for Hershey's Photo Bar Wrapper attraction,
Tickets for Hershey's Chocolate Tasting Adventure®
VIP treatment for four (4) to other Hershey attractions including:
Tickets to Hersheypark,
Tickets to The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue
Two (2) flights of samples from the Chocolates From Around the World at Café Zooka,
Tickets to Hershey Gardens.

Busy Monday for City Police

It was a busy start to the week for Bradford City Police. They received reports of missing property on Bushnell Street, a theft from Cole Avenue porch, and a theft from Rochester Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO from the police department.

Officers also looked into disputes and Park and West Corydon streets and disturbances on West Washington and Jefferson streets, as well as harassment on Jefferson. They investigated motor vehicles accidents at High and King streets, and on Elm Street, and a hit and run on Jackson Avenue.

Police were called to complaints of loud music on Leland Avenue, dogs running loose on Lorana Avenue and juveniles in the road on West Washington Street. They were also asked to remove a person from a Main Street business.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cops: Man Running Marijuana Growing
Operation in Cold Spring is Illegal Alien

The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force has released more information about the weekend arrest of a Chinese national accused of running a marijuana growing operation in Cattaraugus County.

31-year-old Xiao Xia Tang is jailed on charges of theft of services and unlawful growing of marijuana. Tang is also an illegal alien, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been notified.

Friday night, a raid of Tang’s Cold Spring home by several law enforcement agencies uncovered 1,162 marijuana plants worth more than $2 million. They also found about $10,000 worth of marijuana-growing equipment.
The Olean and Jamestown offices of the drug task force, as well as the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force and New York State Police Community Enforcement Team were involved in the investigation and the raid.

Photos courtesy of the Southern Tier Regionanl Drug Task Force/Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office

Series to Feature Drama, Comedy, Ballet

Drama, comedy and ballet are on the bill for the 2010-11 Prism Series at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The university’s premiere arts series will begin with “The Diary of Anne Frank” presented by The Barter Theatre from Abington, Va., at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The price for the public is $29 and $24; the cost for all students is $12 and $10. A matinee will be performed Oct. 14 as part of the Kaleidoscope school series.

Based on the published diary of German teenager Anne Frank, the play tells the story of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis in wartime Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The beauty of the story of Anne Frank is that she left behind in her diary … the everyday thoughts, dreams and ordinary existence of an adolescent girl growing up in extremely difficult conditions while struggling with those things every adolescent experiences,” wrote Richard Rose, director of the Barter Theatre’s production.

When the play made its debut at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1955, it earned both a Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

“The Barter Theatre got its name from its unique beginnings during the Depression, when an out-of-work actor returned to his native southwest Virginia and put on plays. The price of admission was 40 cents, or equivalent vegetables, eggs, dairy products or livestock. Among the famous alumni of the resident company are Oscar winners Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine and Ned Beatty.

A pre-show dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m. in the KOA Dining Room on campus. The cost is $20.

The second Prism series offering will cure the winter blues with a dose of comedy. The Second City’s “Fair and Unbalanced” show will treat audiences at the Bromeley Theater at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 2011. Tickets for the public are $24 and $20; for students, $10 and $8.

The Second City’s “Fair and Unbalanced” takes unbridled comic pleasure in the foibles of politicians, celebrities and even our significant others. No institution escapes the satiric eye of The Second City – from the blowhards of the Beltway to the Hollywood elite.

For more than 50 years, The Second City has presented the best in Chicago-style comedy. Performing a special medley of classic scenes, songs and improvisation, The Second City Touring Company is always original, daring and hilarious. Its alumni is a veritable “Who’s Who” of comedy, including Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, John and Jim Belushi, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, George Wendt, Mike Myers, Ryan Stiles, Tim Meadows, Horatio Sanz, John Candy, Joan Rivers, Peter Boyle, Bonnie Hunt, Chris Farley, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and many more.

The Second City traveling troupe will also conduct an improv comedy workshop while in Bradford.

On March 15, The Russian National Ballet Theatre will return to the Bromeley at 7:30 p.m. for a performance of “Romeo and Juliet.” The ballet’s 2009 performance of “The Sleeping Beauty” played to a sold-out crowd.

Tickets for the show are $32 and $28 for the public and $14 and $12 for students. A pre-show dinner featuring pork tenderloin with vodka-sage crème will be held in the KOA Dining Room. The cost is $20.

Shakespeare’s classic love story is set to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and told by more than 50 dancers upholding the grand tradition of Russian ballet.

Under the artistic direction of Elena Radchenko, the Russian National Ballet was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, when many of the great dancers and choreographers of the Soviet Union’s ballet institutions were exercising their new-found creative freedom by starting new, vibrant companies.

In addition to its performance, the Russian National Ballet will hold a workshop for area dancers during its stay in Bradford. More details will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for all three shows will go on sale after the beginning of the academic year Aug. 30. For more information, call the Bromeley Family Theater box office at (814)362-5155.

Pictured, from “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Kelly Klein as Anne; and Klein with Danny Vaccaro as her father, Otto Frank, in the Barter Theatre’s production. Also pictured, a scene from the Russian Ballelt's Romeo and Juliet.
Photos courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

Retreat Helps Children Cope with Any Loss

Children between the ages of 7 and 12 who’ve suffered any kind of loss are being urged to attend the free Helping Hands Retreat at Camp Penuel in Eldred on Aug. 13-15.

To enable a child to attend the camp, call Bradford Regional Medical Center’s (BRMC’s) McKean County VNA & Hospice office at 814-362-7466 by Aug. 9.

“If you know of a child who has experienced the loss of someone close to them, or any other loss that is affecting them, encourage their family to call the VNA,” said Martha Dibble, RN-C, hospice coordinator for VNA & Hospice.

“We can accommodate 20 to 25 children at the sixth annual camp that’s filled with fun and meaningful activities,” said Mrs. Dibble.

Registration is open to all children, not just those who live in McKean County.

Also, “Children who’ve attended before are welcome to come again,” Mrs. Dibble said. Those who return will find new activities have been added.

The camp is staffed by full-time VNA staff, a registered nurse, a social worker, a lay minister and multiple hospice volunteers.

“This camp is geared for children who’ve experienced any kind of a loss of a loved one, pet or friend through separation, divorce or death in their young lives,” Mrs. Dibble explained. The camp offers an opportunity for children to interact with peers, helping them to know they are not alone in their grief. It also provides friendship, counseling and learning about the normalcy of grief, she said.

There will be a variety of fun and therapeutic games, craft activities, fishing, swimming that is supervised by a certified lifeguard and other staff members, a scavenger hunt, a bonfire and more.

Although the children may be somewhat reserved or quiet when first arriving, “They begin to open up. They feel safe to express their feelings because they are reluctant to do so when at home for fear of upsetting someone,” Mrs. Dibble said.

As time progresses at the camp, “You begin to see a lot of healing. During the second day you can tell the children begin to trust us and are able to relate to the other children.”

In the evening of the second day, a memorial service and bonfire will be held. “This gives them a chance to remember their loved ones and say goodbye to get some closure. The children also write a letter to their loved one that is burned in the bonfire. The smoke from the fire symbolizes the children’s messages are going to their loved ones,” she said.

To attend the camp, children only need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, clothes for the weekend and a bathroom bag. “If anyone forgets something, though, we’ll have extras to supply the children,” she noted.

Gifts to the Melissa A. Price McKean County VNA Children’s Bereavement Camp Named Fund are used to support the Helping Hands Retreat. To give to the Fund or others, contact Bradford Hospital Foundation at 20 School St., Bradford, PA, 16701, call 814-362-3200 or go online at

Martha Dibble and Stacy Williams will be on an upcoming LiveLine to talk about the retreat.

NYC Man Arrested for Bomb Threat

A 63-year-old New York City man has been arrested in connection with a bomb threat phoned in to the Buffalo campaign headquarters of gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino in April.

Miles Fisher has been charged with conveying false information, following the bomb threat phoned in to the "Paladino for the People" campaign headquarters in Ellicott Square on April 13. Ellicott Square was evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

Allen's Body Found in Lake

Divers found the body of 31-year-old Jason Allen of Jamestown at about 2:45 this afternoon.

Allen disappeared late Saturday afternoon on Chautauqua Lake near Dewittville Bay after jumping into the water from a boat.

Volunteer fire departments and the county dive team had been searching the lake since about 5:30 on Saturday. Today, they used a special sonar unit from the Glade Township, PA, fire department that can be dragged by a boat and provides better visibility underwater.

Senator Ward Unveils 'Jennifer's Law'

A State Senator has introduced a crime-reporting bill named for a mentally disabled woman who was tortured and killed earlier this year.

State Senator Kim Ward calls the bill calls "Jennifer's Law," for 30-year-old Jennifer Daugherty.

The proposal would make it illegal for someone to witness a violent crime and fail to report it to police.

"It is heartbreaking to think of what Jennifer went through, and the fact that one phone call to police might have put an end to these cruel crimes," Ward said. “Sometimes society has to compel people to do the right thing. This legislation is aimed at preventing further tragedies."

Daugherty was tortured for several days before being stabbed to death and her body dumped in a parking lot. Two of the six people accused in her death are facing the death penalty.

Ward also expressed her concern that housing shelters are not screening guests for criminal backgrounds. Daugherty met some of the defendants at a homeless shelter. One of the defendants in the case had a Protection from Abuse order against him.

Pictured, Senator Kim Ward announces legislation that would establish a legal obligation for witnesses of a violent crime to contact law enforcement. On hand was the family of Westmoreland County murder victim Jennifer Daugherty.
Photo and info provided by Senate Republican Communications

Salamanca Man Gets 75-Year Prison
Sentence for Making Child Porn Videos

A Salamanca man who made child pornography videos with five girls has been sentenced to 75 years in federal prison.

38-year-old Shawn Snyder's victims ranged in age from 4 to 11. He pleaded guilty in February to five counts of producing child porn. He was sentenced today in federal court in Buffalo.

Snyder's defense attorney argued that his client is mentally retarded and has an IQ of 73. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango pointed out that Snyder is intelligent enough to operate a high-end video camera and entice girls to come to his home and appear in the videos.

Casey Says Drilling , Clean Environment
Can Co-Exist if Done Properly

This is the third part of a series I've been calling "Gasland," in reference to to the award-winning film by Josh Fox. The film is winner of The Special Jury Prize for documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. For more on the movie -- including video -- go to Gasland the The movie debuts on HBO at 9 p.m. today.

Last week, I spoke with US Senator Bob Casey, a co-sponsor of the FRAC Act. You can listen here.

Pictured, a panel discussion following the June 6 showing of the movie in Bradford. Josh Fox is on the far right.

ANF Gets Ready for Rainbows

The Allegheny National Forest was selected by the Rainbow Family as the location for their 2010 national gathering and, since ince this announcement, the forest has joined forces with a National Incident Management Team (NIMT) to manage the event.

The primary concern for the gathering is the health and safety of area residents, forest employees, and Rainbow Family gathering attendees.

“This team, working in partnership with the Forest, will help ensure a safe and successful gathering for all parties involved,” stated Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten. “We realize the impacts to the communities and services resulting from a gathering of this size and we will strive for positive outcomes from this event,” added Marten.

The Rainbow Family is a loose-knit group of people from diverse backgrounds who gather annually on a national forest for a celebration of peace during the July 4th holiday, when the gathering reaches peak attendance of up to 10,000 people. Following the holiday, the attendance rapidly declines. These gatherings have been held annually since 1972. The Rainbow Family has held previous national gatherings on the forest in 1986 and 1999 and a smaller regional gathering in 2007.

The forest and NIMT staff includes a contingent of resource specialists, information officers and law enforcement personnel. Forest resource specialists are working with Rainbow Family members to protect water resources by properly locating cooking areas and sanitary facilities. They are identifying sensitive plant and animal communities and cultural sites so that people can avoid these areas and lessen impacts.

Law enforcement personnel, including K9 and horse units, are on hand and working cooperatively with state and local law enforcement officers to help protect the public interests including health and safety, and the protection of resources and improvements on National Forest System lands.

The gathering is located in the Queen Creek area of the forest on the Bradford Ranger District in southwestern Warren County.

Pictured, Rainbow Family member “Maverick” posting messages to the Message Board at the gathering site.
Photo courtesy of the ANF

Zippo/Case Museum Celebrates
MotorSports Day on Saturday

Motorsports fans will want to be at the Zippo/Case Museum on Saturday, June 26, when Zippo celebrates with special sales and promotions, car displays, and the opportunity to win tickets to the Zippo 200 Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen.

Here’s a chance to get up close to the show car replica of the Zippo / Kwik Fill #47 Toyota that Marcos Ambrose hopes to bring to Victory Lane in his only Nationwide race this year, the 2010 Zippo 200 at the Glen.

Try your skill at taking on the twists and turns of The Glen in the NASCAR racing simulators, or grab a photo of the pace car that leads the field at Watkins Glen International.

NASCAR not your speed? See the 1947 Zippo Car and browse the traveling museum for a look at hundreds of Zippo lighters that tour with the Zippo Car.

Don’t miss this chance to see the Freedom Bike, a custom-painted 2010 Harley Fat Bob that will be raffled off Saturday, July 17, by the Kids and Cancer philanthropic organization.

Save 20% off all Zippo MotorSports lighters all day long, and enter to win tickets to the Zippo 200. No purchase necessary.

Located at 1932 Zippo Drive, the Zippo/Case Visitors Center is open 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday, 11 to 4 Sundays.

Rebert Hearing Postponed

The preliminary hearing for the Emporium man charged with the murders of Wayne and Vicky Shugar of Brockway has been continued.

45-year-old Steven Rebert was scheduled to be in district court today.

He was arrested in New York State on June 12 on unrelated charges, then turned over to Pennsylvania State Police, who charged him with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and burglary. He’s in Jefferson County Jail without bail.

The Shugars were found shot to death in the basement of their home on April 12.

Rebert is also a person of interest in the unsolved murders of Bill Fickel of Genesee County, New York, and Kevin Smith of Orleans County.

Two Well Workers Hurt in Tioga County

Another natural gas well incident in the region sent two people to the hospital.

The workers were hurt Friday morning in Tioga County when a pipe coupling came apart at an Ultra Resources well in Gaines Township.

DEP’s Nels Taber says both workers were flown to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. A piece of metal hit one worker in the head, causing a skull laceration; the other had broken ribs.

The well was being readied for production, but was shut down for the rest of the day on Friday. OSHA is investigating.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Book Talk:
Last Light Over Carolina

I had the pleasure of speaking with New York Times best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe about her book Last Light Over Carolina, which just came out in paperback.

The story takes place in a small shrimping village off the coast of South Carolina, which led Mary Alice and I into a conversation about the BP disaster in the Gulf and how that is affecting families.

Listen here.

For more information go to Mary Alice

Happy Father's Day

to all you dads out there. (Yes, all of you.)