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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Correctional Facility Locked Down

The Gowanda State Correctional Facility was locked down for a short time Friday afternoon after officers discovered two live rounds inside the facility.

A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Corrections says the .25 caliber rounds were discovered in a loading dock area at about 2:30 Friday. The facility was locked down while officers searched the rest of the jail, but they didn’t find any other rounds.

Investigators are still trying to determine where the rounds came from, but the spokeswoman says it's possible they could have fallen off of a delivery truck.

Cops: Man Shoved Woman into Dryer

A Genesee man is in jail after being accused of threatening a woman and shoving her into a clothes dryer.

State police say 18-year-old Derrick Barker threatened the 41-year-old woman at his Rocks Road home, pushed her down a hallway and into a bedroom. He then allegedly put her in a headlock and shoved her into the dryer.

The victim was able to free herself and run to a neighbor’s house.

Barker is charges with terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment. He was unable to post $50,000 bail.

Olean Pair Charged with Assault

Two Olean residents are facing charges for incidents Friday night on North Ninth Street.

Police say 34-year-old Amy Becker-Tejera hit another woman in the stomach with a baseball bat. The victim went to Olean General Hospital for treatment.

Becker-Tejera is charged with assault.

33-yearold Hugo Tejera is charged with assault for punching a man in the face several times. The victim also went to Olean General.

Bradford Man Jailed for Threats

A Bradford man is in jail for threatening to kill a woman.

45-year-old Ace Ferry is accused of making the threats Friday night at a home in Corydon Township, according to papers filed in District Judge Rich Luther’s office. Ferry also allegedly hit the woman in the face and grab her by the neck.

He’s charged with terrorisitc threats, simple assault and harassment.

His bail is set at $25,000.

Friday, July 16, 2010

CARE 'Fore' Children Golf Tournament

Pine Acres Country Club will host the seventeenth annual CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament on Sunday, August 1st, 2010. All proceeds benefit free services for local children of all abilities.

The tournament is a four person scramble with an 8:30 AM shotgun start. Flighting is based on the team member with the lowest handicap.

The entry fee is $40 for Pine Acres members and $50 for non-members, which includes green fees, food and refreshment on course. The tournament has a total purse of $3,500 based on 35 teams and prizes on par 3 holes. Carts are an additional fee; please reserve carts when registering teams.

To field a team, please contact: Kirk Stauffer, PGA Pro, Pine Acres Country Club, 814-362-2005.

To find out about course sponsorship please contact Tina Martin, executive director, CARE for Children, 814-362-4621.

Bradford Teacher Receives Award

A teacher at Bradford Area High School has received a “Ripple Effect” award from the Governor’s Institute on Financial Education.

Kimberly Preston was one of four teachers recognized today during the third annual “Ripple Effect” awards ceremony. The award is given to teachers working to improve financial education in their school and communities. The other teachers are from Bucks, Huntingdon and Westmoreland counties.

“It is more important than ever that we provide young people with the financial tools they will need to succeed as adults,” Secretary of Banking Steve Kaplan said while congratulating the winners. “The educators recognized with this award are overcoming the challenges of tight budgets and scheduling hassles to pioneer new ways of teaching some of the most important lessons students will ever learn.”

The awards were presented at the conclusion of the Governor’s Institute on Financial Education at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster County. The weeklong program, offered by the Pennsylvania Office of Financial Education, is designed to help teachers integrate financial concepts – such as budgeting, saving and borrowing wisely – into their existing lesson plans. About 90 teachers attended the Institute, which is now in its sixth year.

Group Hoping for Grant to Fix Blue Streak

The Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park want Pepsi to help them get one of the country’s oldest wooden roller coasters back on track.

The group is hoping to a get a $50,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Project to help refurbish the Blue Streak, the sixth oldest wooden roller coaster in the country.

The trustees hope to raise $125,000 to complete the restoration of the Blue Streak and provide off-season maintenance for the coaster. The Blue Streak has not been in operation since 2006, although the park is open.

Conneaut Lake Park is the 12th oldest amusement park in the U.S., but has had a number of financial problems over the last several years.

The group is hoping people will go to http://www.refresheverything.com and vote for their project.

University of Pittsburgh Increases Tuition

Tuition at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is going up by 2.5 percent.

The board of trustees approved the increase today for the Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville campuses. Tuition for in-state students at the main campus will increase by 5.5 percent, or $722. The increase for out-of-state students is 3 percent.

Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg says the school has managed to move forward in the bad economy, but revenue streams continue to be under stress.

He said the board juggled rising costs with the need to limit tuition increases.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cross-Dressing for a Cure in Kane

Here are just a few of the "Miss Relay" contestants:




You can see all of the the Miss Relay contestants in person Friday at Kane Area High School, where the Relay for Life starts at noon and goes through noon on Saturday.

Kane's Relay for Life Parade 2010

Here are just a few of the participants before the parade ...



McKean County Commissioners Joe DeMott and Judy Church



Three of the survivors on their float



100.1 The HERO's Igor


... and some of the spectators ...



BP: No Oil Flowing into Gulf

BP: No oil flowing into Gulf of Mexico for first time in months as part of test of ruptured well. Watch live on CNN.com.

Quinns are UWBA 20101 Campaign Chairs

Scott and MaryAnn Quinn gained insight into their new roles as chairs of the 2010 campaign during a training session held Tuesday.

Executive Director Kelly Case and Community Relations & Marketing Specialist Megan Mangini provided information regarding responsibilities and time lines for the coming appeal, noting that the effort will be one that is supported heavily by the United Way staff and Board of Directors.

"The Quinns are veterans when it comes to the United Way," says Case. "They have been involved with the Untied Way for more than 15 year." MaryAnn has been a board member, campaign division chair, & 2008 Red feather recipient. Both Scott & MaryAnn have been volunteers in every sense of the definition.

"We're proud and honored to take on the role of chairpersons," says Scott Quinn. "This campaign has such a rewarding goal."

For their part, the dedicated campaign volunteers are looking forward to the task at hand and taking on the rewarding challenge.

During the training session, the individuals received a packet of information detailing the job descriptions for each campaign division, as one of their tasks will be to organize the solicitation efforts of a particular section.

"We divide our campaign donors into nine sub-categories, or divisions," says Mangini. "Kelly and I will assist the team of volunteers with each step of the process."
The community will find that the campaign theme is "A Lifetime of Gratitude" in their efforts this year. "This theme is especially fitting because the United Way is turning 85 this year," says Case.

"85 years is a big accomplishment," says Mangini. "With this years appeal we wanted to show the community how much they have done for the United Way by saying thank you."
The campaign process officially begins August 15, and plans are underway for the annual, Pig Roast/Clam Bake, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 9.

"We're encouraging people to learn about the United Way, and the programs and services which are able to be financially supported through this campaign," says Mangini. "Please feel free to visit our office, check out our website and check us out on Facebook."

To learn more about the United Way, visit the website at www.uwbanews.org.

Man Charged with Attempted Homicide

A Warren County man is in jail after firing a rifle toward a woman inside a Youngsville house early this morning.

32-year-old John Little is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault, and is being held on $75,000 bond.

Police say Little got into a fight with a female acquaintance at around 1:30 a.m., and fired a rifle toward her while she was laying on the floor.

The shot did not hit the 28-year-old woman, who police did not identify.

State police arrested Little at the home.

Family Fishing Progam in Potter County

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is sponsoring a free educational Family Fishing Program for families on Saturday, July 24 at John J. Collins Memorial Park (Benner Town Lake), Potter County. The program will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participants are to meet at the pavilion at the Point. The program is open to families with children ages 8 – 15 years old. A parent or guardian must accompany children to this wonderful event. We’ll even provide the fishing equipment!

The program will include a welcome and introduction, and presentations regarding SMART fishing, regulations, licenses, where to go, equipment, knots, rigging and baiting, casting skills, and a family fishing session. More information on Family Fishing Programs can be found at www.fish.state.pa.us.

Reservations are required for this event. Please contact the Regional Education Specialist at 814-359-5127 to register by Wednesday, July 21. Please call between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This event is limited to 50 people, so be sure to register as soon as possible! No fishing license is needed for this event.

Man Arrested for Attempted Shooting

A man has been arrested for attempting to shoot a woman inside a Youngsville home early this morning.

State police say 32-year-old John Little got into a physical fight with the woman at about 1:30 a.m. and aimed a bolt-action rifle at her as she lay on the floor. He also fired a shot toward her.

The shot did not hit the 28-year-old woman, who police did not identify.

Four Amish Teens Arrested

Four Amish 18-year-olds have been arrested for underage possession of alcohol and littering.

In an e-mail sent to WESB and The HERO, Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s deputies say Eli Raber, Mose Miller, Raymond Hershgerger and Noah Coblentz were drinking and in possession of beer while in an Amish buggy, and had thrown empty beer cans from the buggy onto West Road in the Town of Leon.

They’re scheduled to appear in Town of Leon Court at a later date.

Fredonia Man Drowns in Lake Erie

A Fredonia man is dead after an accidental drowning Wednesday night at Lake Erie’s Barcelona break wall.

30-year-old Victor Arce Jr. was swimming with friends when he went under the water and didn’t resurface. The friends tried to find him, but couldn’t. He had been under water for 15 to 20 minutes before rescuers arrived on the scene.

Arce was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to an e-mail sent to WESB and The HERO by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dunham to Receive Another Honor

A Scio, New York, Marine and star athlete who was killed in the line of duty will be recognized again – this time as an outstanding basketball player.

Corporal Jason Dunham died in 2004 while shielding his comrades from a bomb blast in Iraq. He received the Medal of Honor for his heroism, and a warship has been named for him.

Now Dunham will be inducted into the Section 5 basketball hall of fame.

In 2007, Dunham's jersey number was retired during halftime ceremonies at the annual Don Raabe Big 30 Charities Classic All-Star Game, in which he played following his senior year of high school.

Man Told Authorities He was Wearing
Ankle Monitor in Support of Lohan

US border patrol officers say a Buffalo man who's on probation and not supposed to leave the country told them he was wearing an ankle monitor while returning from Canada as a show of support for actress Lindsay Lohan.

In an e-mail to WESB and The HERO, Customs and Border Protection officers say they found the bracelet around 29-year-old Eugene Todie's ankle on Friday after he tried to re-enter the country using someone else's passport.

Officers say Todie told them a probation officer friend gave him the bracelet to wear for Lohan, who's had to wear an ankle monitor to see if she’s consuming alcohol. Court records show that Todie is on probation for criminal contempt.

Todie appeared in federal court Tuesday on misuse of a passport and lying charges and must return with a lawyer July 20.

Kane Relay Weekend Kicks Off with Parade Thursday on Fraley Street

Tuesday night organizers for this year’s Kane Area Relay for Life (RFL) produced two floats for Thursday's mega parade (6 p.m. on Fraley Street in Uptown Kane) with the theme “Celebrating Birthdays” complete with picnic table for partying, tons of gifts and candles for the cake.

Organizers hope everyone in the area will come out and support this effort. Bring the whole family, invite your neighbors, colleagues and friends to the parade and Friday-Saturday event. The parade will include walkers from the 20 plus teams, Zem Zem cars, floats, music, Miss Relay Contestants, dignitaries, fire department, The Twin Tiers Action Van (with Igor and Anne) and local businesses and much more.

The parade is the kickoff event of Relay for Life that begins noon Friday and runs until noon Saturday at the Kane Area High School Track. Come to the track and bring your family and friends, enjoy "Just Having Fun" Polka Band from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, stay for supper (concession stand open from 4 p.m. until midnight) and tent to tent games and fun, raffles. The moving survivor ceremony starts at 7 p.m., the Miss Relay Contest at 8 p.m., luminary ceremony (9:30 p.m.) with lighted memories. On Saturday breaskfast is served at 6 a.m., Zumba exercise at 7 a.m., and at 9 a.m. 4x4 races (bring your best team to race against defending champions) and 11 a.m closing ceremonies when fundraising totals will be announced, along with winners of many raffles.

Relay for Life is the signature fundraising effort of the American Cancer Society (ACS). ACS fights for every birthday threatened by cancer. The Kane Area Relay for Life team members count for 300 of ACS’s more than three million volunteers worldwide helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investments in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contribution about $3.4 billion, ACS turns what they know about cancer into what they do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. Sixty percent of the money raised by Kane Area Relay stays in the community for patient care and services. Forty percent goes to cancer research. If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed, please call the ACS to register or to get help, call ACS anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Pictured, organizers waiting for the party/parade to start on board the heavily gifted float; Marianne Rook, Chair of 2010 Relay for Life, with Mary Sewell, survivor and organizer; and Shirley Morgan, Co-Chair for 2010 and Chair of the 2011 Relay for Life work to create flames for candles for parade floats; two floats awaiting debut at parade, complete with presents and candles.
Story and photos courtesy of Ruth Gentilman Peterson

Gas Well Fire in Susquehanna County

DEP is looking into the cause of a fire at a natural gas well pad in Susquehanna County on Tuesday.

The fire happened at a separator tank at a site operated by Chesapeake Energy. The tank ignited at about 8 p.m. and was put out at around 10 p.m. by local emergency responders working with the company. The well was producing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation through a pipeline away from the wellhead to a production unit where a valve failed, leaked natural gas and caught fire.

DEP Secretary John Hangar says the incident doesn’t appear to have caused any significant environmental contamination.

Chesapeake notified the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency of the fire at about 8:30 p.m. DEP dispatched an oil and gas inspector immediately to the scene to assess the conditions. The site will remain closed until repairs can be made and DEP completes its investigation.

Chesapeake Energy has been issued 698 permits to develop natural gas in Pennsylvania, 697 of which are located within the Marcellus Shale. The company operates 187 wells in the state, 182 of which are in the Marcellus Shale.

Man Waives Hearings on Drug Charges

A Bradford man accused of selling cocaine and fake LSD to an undercover state trooper has waived his preliminary hearings.

26-year-old Leland Baker is accused of selling a total of 6 grams of cocaine to the state trooper on two separate occasions in November and December of last year.

On December 20 of last year he sold a trooper a small, clear glass vile containing a clear liquid that was supposed to be liquid LSD, according to papers filed in District Judge Dom Cercone’s office.

The trooper asked Baker if he was trying to rip him off. Baker said he wasn’t and told the trooper he “tried this stuff the night before and that it was really good stuff.”

A test at a state police lab showed that the 4.1 grams of liquid in the vile did not contain a controlled substance.

Baker is free on unsecured bail.

Earlier this year, Baker was sentenced to six months in jail in Tompkins County, New York, for selling fake cocaine to someone, getting into a fight with the victim after he realized he’d been ripped off, and robbing him of $800 and his cell phone.

In that case, Baker tried to pass off a piece of a soap bar as cocaine.

Man Pleads Guilty in 1994 Murder Case; Implicates Ex-Girlfriend in the Crime

An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to stabbing a Cattaraugus County man to death in 1994.

56-year-old Randall Knight entered his plea in federal court in Buffalo. As part of his plea agreement he implicated 47-year-old Cheryl Gasper, whose husband Andie he killed and left in a pickup truck behind the Ames department store in Yorkshire.

Knight and Cheryl Gasper were having an affair at the time of the murder.

Knight was tried and acquitted on charges brought by the state in 1995. Because of the acquittal, the state could not charge him again which is why, after the case was opened up again, he was charged in federal court with crossing state lines to commit murder.

Cheryl Gasper has pleaded not guilty to her part in the murder but court papers indicate that she did confess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Sky at Night

If the old saying is true, tomorrow should be delightful. Actually, News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka says the day will start out foggy, and any leftover rain showers will wind down early. After that, it'll be a mostly sunny day with a high around 86.

Firefighters Appreciation Month

Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraising coordinator Lisa Minunni and city firefighters Terry Brinker and Mike Scrivo accept a proclamation from Bradford City Council recognizing July as Bradford Firefighters Appreciation Month for the work they do on behalf of MDA. Last year, their "Fill the Boot" campaign raised $4,800. The money goes toward medical services, summer camps and research grants.

Bad TV Reception? You're Not Alone

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Frustration has been growing among Atlantic Broadband customers about television reception, and one person took his concerns to Bradford City Council Tuesday.

Bradford resident Brad Mangel said, with the franchise contract coming up for renewal in a couple of years, maybe the city could do something.

“The lower channels are terrible and they’re not doing anything about it,” Mangel said.

"This new digital TV …was supposed to be a Godsend. Well, to me, it’s made my television reception worse,” he added.

Police Chief Chris Lucco asked if Mangel had tried contacting the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Mangel said cable companies are not governed by the PUC.

“I wish I could go to the PUC,” he said, “but it wouldn’t do any good.”

"I’ll keep complaining to Atlantic Broadband and they’ll keep telling me it’s a satellite signal and clouds get in front of them, and I know better. I think they have some issues with their lines,” Mangel said. “Hopefully when the franchise negations come up , maybe they’ll have the problem solved – or maybe we’ll have to put some pressure on them.”

Fire Chief Boo Coder was a Bradford Township supervisor and member of the Tuna Valley Council of Governments the last time the franchise contract was negotiated. He said the municipalities in the COG hired a lawyer to help in the negotiations, and even the attorney didn’t help all that much.

“There are so few things you can do, it was kind of waste of money to hire him,” Coder said. “You can’t dictate channels. You can't dictate who you pick as far as a cable server goes. You’re kind of locked into exactly what you have.”

Mayor Tom Riel said the chance of getting another franchise to come in is slim because Atlantic Broadband owns the lines. Councilman Fred Proper added that being in a smaller market doesn’t help Bradford either.

Also Tuesday, council approved a change order to the Holley Avenue Roof Replacement Project that adds $24,330 to the cost.

Proper said once the project started the contractor discovered myriad problems well beyond the scope of what was planned.

Among the problems is that part of the building has a “double roof” that no one knew about before the work started.

“You wouldn’t have even thought to look and see if there were two roofs,” said Roy Pedersen of E&M Engineers during a work session before the council meeting.

Another problem is that the boards in the building were in worse shape than expected. An intern for E&M had his feet go through some of the boards. Some of the wood is rotted; some is charred from a past fire.

“(The change order) is not a contractor trying to gouge an owner,” Pedersen said.

Another option the city had besides forking out the extra money – which is coming from the recycling, Holley Avenue, and capital reserve budget line items – was covering up the leaking roof until next year.

“We’re not putting blue tarps on city buildings,” Riel quipped.

Also Tuesday, council approved a liquor license transfer from a Kane business to Callinan Enterprises, which is opening Tortuga’s Mexican restaurant on Main Street on Thursday.

Council also approved fa├žade improvement grants to John Kohler for 25 Main Street; Sam Sylvester for 41 Main Street; Jonathon Pingie for 12 Mechanic Street; and Kelly Martin for 27 Main Street.

And, council authorized a special events waiver for Festa Italiana being held August 12, 13 and 14 on Festival Way. The waiver is to allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed in plastic containers on the property during the hours the event is open to the public.

And, yes, for your listening pleasure:

We Jumped in the Creek to Keep Cool

Andrews: Code Enforcement Has to
Go Beyond Being Complaint Driven

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


One city official says if the code enforcement department is complaint driven, perhaps more people should make formal complaints.

“If it has to be complaint driven then I guess a bunch of us have to walk up and down Main Street and write a complaint out,” said OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews.

“I think it has to go beyond being complaint driven and at this point in time – if we see something we need to address it,” she said.

Andrews made her comments during Tuesday’s Bradford City Council meeting in a discussion on who is responsible for enforcing codes in commercial buildings.

Businessman John Kohler brought up the issue, and gave the IAS building on Marilyn Horne Way as an example, saying wires are hanging off of it, electric boxes are hanging loose, there’s broken glass and piles of pigeon droppings.

“Who’s responsible to make sure that kind of stuff is cleaned up and taken care of?” Kohler asked. “Somebody could walk by there and get hurt real easily.”

Councilman Ross Neidich, who oversees code enforcement, said that building may be an issue for the Board of Health which “sometimes seems to have a little more clout – long-term.”

Andrews noted that council has held at least two work sessions on code enforcement and nothing’s been resolved as to who is responsible for commercial buildings.

The condition of the commercial buildings is starting to be a concern,” she said. “Those buildings are a whole lot bigger than houses. When it comes to a point where we’re going to have to be responsible (to tear down the buildings) we’re looking at a very expensive proposition.”

“There has to be some decision somewhere as to who really is responsible for code enforcement,” Andrews said.

She added that there is some misunderstanding as to what code enforcement officers George Corignani and Merle Silvis can do.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of structure it is -- They can enforce a code on a commercial building. They can enforce a code on an industrial building or a residential building. It doesn’t matter. They can enforce a structural code on any building,” she said.

“They are trained to do code enforcement in any structure,” she said.

Fire Chief Boo Coder said he will “absolutely” check into that.

Woman Accused of Pushing Stroller -- with 2-Year-Old Inside -- While Drunk

A Pittsfield woman is facing charges for strolling under the influence.

State police say 21-year-old Randi Eck was pushing her 2-year-old son in a stroller through the intersection of Couver’s Crossing and Old Pittsfield Road in Brokenstraw Township Sunday afternoon.

She was charged with public drunkenness and similar misconduct.

The toddler was not hurt.

Area Sportsmen Groups Recognized

Two sportsmen’s clubs in McKean County are among those recognized by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for 50 or more years of service in helping to stock the Commonwealth’s waterways.

The Eldred Conservation Club has been in the program for 54 years and annually raises 4,050 trout which they stock into three local waterways.

The Norwich Township Sportsmen Association has been in the program for 51 years and annually raises 5,050 trout which they stock into six local waterways.

The commission also recognized two Elk County groups.

The Hi La Sportsmen Association has been in the program for 58 years and annually raises 4,050 trout which they stock into two local waters.

The Saint Marys Sportsmen Club has been in the program for 51 years and annually raises 4,600 trout which they stock into four local waters.

Also recognized were the Health Township Sportsmen Club in Jefferson County and the Potter County Anglers Club.

Olean General Awarded Accreditation

By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety, Olean General Hospital has earned a three-year accreditation.

The Joint Commission recently conducted an unannounced five-day, on-site evaluation of Olean General Hospital’s compliance with numerous quality and patient safety standards. The accreditation award recognizes Olean General’s compliance with The Joint Commission on a continual basis. Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation's health care through voluntary accreditation.

"Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization's performance and the outcomes of care," said Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., executive director of The Joint Commission’s Hospital Programs for Accreditation and Certification Services. "The community should be proud Olean General is focusing on the most challenging goal -- to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels."

Hospitals seek accreditation because it: helps organize and strengthen patient safety efforts; strengthens community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment and services; provides a competitive edge in the marketplace; improves risk management and risk reduction; provides education on good practices to improve business operations; provides professional advice to enhance staff education; provides a customized, intensive review; and enhances staff recruitment and development.

Timothy J. Finan, President and CEO of Olean General and its parent company Upper Allegheny Health System, said, “We pursued accreditation for our organization because we want to demonstrate our commitment to patients’ safety and quality care. We view obtaining Joint Commission accreditation as another step toward achieving excellence.”

He called the accreditation "proof of an organization-wide commitment to provide quality care on an ongoing basis."

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

photo courtesy of OGH

Wellsville Man Says He's Part Owner of Facebook; Lawsuit Filed

A Wellsville man is suing Facebook, claiming he owns 84 percent of the company.

Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit in State Supreme court saying he has a signed contract with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg from 2003 to design and develop thefacebook.com.

Ceglia claims he is owed a $1,000 fee and ownership of 50 percent of Facebook, plus 1 percent for each day beyond the original terms until the site was finished.

Facebook calls Ceglia claims frivolous.

If Ceglia’s name sounds familiar – last year New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued him and his wife for defrauding customers of their wood pellet business.


You can read the complaint here

http://1490newsblog.blogspot.com/search?q=ceglia

Report Faults EOG for Well Blowout

HARRISBURG -- Untrained personnel and the failure to use proper well control procedures were the principal causes of a June 3 natural gas well blowout in Clearfield County, according to an independent investigation that was released today by the Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP Secretary John Hanger said the blowout, which allowed natural gas and wastewater to escape from the well uncontrollably for 16 hours, was the result of failures by the well’s operator, EOG Resources. The company and its contractor, C.C. Forbes LLC, lost control of the well while performing post-fracturing well cleanout activities.

“The blowout in Clearfield County was caused by EOG Resources and its failure to have proper barriers in place. This incident was preventable and should never have occurred,” said Hanger, who added that EOG Resources has been ordered to take nine corrective actions; C.C. Forbes ordered to take six corrective actions and both companies were fined more than $400,000, collectively.

Following a 40-day suspension of operations in Pennsylvania, EOG Resources and C.C. Forbes were permitted to resume all well completion activities. EOG Resources, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas Co., operates approximately 297 active wells in Pennsylvania, 139 of which are in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The report was compiled by John Vittitow, whom DEP hired to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all aspects of EOG’s drilling operation based on his respected reputation in the industry as an experienced petroleum engineer. The investigation was conducted alongside, but independently of, DEP’s investigation.

“Make no mistake, this could have been a catastrophic incident,” Hanger said. “Had the gas blowing out of this well ignited, the human cost would have been tragic, and had an explosion allowed this well to discharge wastewater for days or weeks, the environmental damage would have been significant.”

In light of the investigation’s findings, Hanger said his agency has written each company drilling into the Marcellus Shale to ensure they understand proper well construction and emergency notification procedures. The letter stated that:

• A snubbing unit, which prevents pipes from ejecting uncontrollably from a well, may be used to clean out the composite frac plugs and sand during post-fracturing (post-frac) if coil tubing is not an option.
• A minimum of two pressure barriers should be in place during all post-frac cleanout operations.
• Any blowout preventer equipment should be tested immediately after its installation and before its use. Records of these tests should be kept on file at the well site or with the well site supervisor.
• A sign with DEP’s 24-hour emergency telephone number and local emergency response numbers, including 911 and the county communications center, should be posted prominently at each well site.
• At least one well site supervisor who has a current well control certification from a recognized institution should be on location during post-frac cleanout operations. These certifications should be in possession at all times.
• A remote-controlled, independently powered blowout preventer unit, which allows workers to control what’s happening on the rig at a safe distance, must be located a minimum of 100 feet from the well and operational during all post-frac cleanout operations.

The fines assessed to EOG Resources and C.C. Forbes—for $353,400 and $46,600, respectively—will cover the cost of DEP’s response to the incident and the investigation. In addition to the financial penalties, DEP ordered EOG Resources to implement practices and take nine corrective actions to avoid a repeat of this incident. C.C. Forbes was ordered to implement similar practices and to take six corrective actions.

To review a copy of the complete investigation report and related documents, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the report graphic under the “Latest News” tab.

George Steinbrenner Has Died

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has died after suffering a massive heart attack in his Tampa, Florida, home.

Steinbrenner turned 80 years old on July 4.

For more on this story, go to CNN.com.

New York.Yankees.mlb.com

Breaking News from CNN

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has suffered a massive heart attack at his Tampa, Florida, home

Steinbrenner turned 80 years old on the 4th of July.

Check with CNN.com for further updates.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Commissioners, Supervisors Address
Drilling, Code Enforcement Issues

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Most of the oil and gas drilling companies working in the county have been cooperative in fixing the roads they damage, according to McKean County Commissioners.

Commissioners Joe DeMott, Al Pingie and Judy Church attended Monday’s Foster Township Supervisors meeting as part of their effort to attend meetings in every municipality in the county. So far, in three months, they’ve visited 20 of 22 municipalities.

Seaward Avenue resident Tom Perry asked who’s responsible for making sure the companies adhere to weight limits, and take care of damaged roads.

Pingie said it’s up to the municipalities to make sure the companies are following the rules and regulations.

“So far … they’ve been very good about taking care of the roads,” Church said. “They replaced a road in Norwich Township.”

She said supervisors met with the drilling company, got an estimate for road repairs and company paid it.

DeMott added that the companies have been cooperative.

“Most of the townships feel they’re being left with better roads than when (the drillers) came in,” he said.

So far most drilling has been done in the southern part of the county – Sergeant and Norwich townships – but some sites in Liberty and Hamlin townships are being considered for Marcellus Shale wells, DeMott said.

He added that it’s important for township officials to have contact with the company before drilling starts.

Township Supervisor Chairman Bob Slike added that, in seminars on Marcellus Shale drilling held at Pitt-Bradford, experts recommended having an agreement with the companies

“Nine times out of 10 it will work out fine,” Slike said.
Church added that the state is in the process of adding more inspectors to check roads drilling companies are using.

Water quality in drilling areas is another issue.

“I’m real concerned now about my water,” said Bolivar Drive resident Joe Martin. “Hopefully the drilling is not going to destroy it.”

Supervisor Jim Connelly Jr. said anyone who’s concerned should get a certified water survey so they have “something to fall back on” if water is affected by drilling.

DeMott added that his is a concern a lot of people are addressing and that the Penn State Cooperative Extension also suggests certified testing. He added that if water is affected within 1,000 feet of a drilling operation, the assumption is that it’s from the drilling.

In other matters, South Kendall Avenue resident Barbara Price again raised concerns about blighted and junk-laden properties on her road that are in “deplorable” condition.

“It’s not a nice sight to be seen,” she said. “People coming into Bradford are looking at that street.’

Later in the meeting, code enforcement officer John Place added some of the properties are in foreclosure, which poses a problem.

He said he talked with a representative from Bank of America about a property on South Second Street. He said she told him they are dealing with so many properties worth six and seven figures that their legal department is “stretched to the limit.”

“This is small potatoes to them. They're going to do the big money jobs first,” he said, adding that they haven’t come up with much of solution. He did say that he believes one of the properties will be up for judicial sale in September.

Also Monday, Connelly noted that the township will be asking for a traffic study from PennDOT in the hopes of installing a left turn signal at the Foster Brook intersection.

Traffic studies have been done in the past, but Connelly said it's time to revisit the issue.

“With the growth we've got down there in Foster Brook -- especially with Edmonds down there, WalMart -- it’s time for a left turning (signal),” he said. “It’s a mess down there. We've got to get something done."

They're waiting to hear back from PennDOT.

In other matters, supervisors accepted a bid from Casella’s Waste of Olean to collect trash from the municipal building, shop and park. This does not include any residential pick up.

As for a change in residential pick up, supervisors said they are still studying the matter.

Supervisors also approved a resolution opposing a move by the state Legislature that would mandate consolidation of municipalities and put them under the purview of county commissioners.

Even the author of the House bill, Representative Thomas Caltagirone, says he doesn’t see much likelihood of the bill passing this year. It’s currently in the House Local Government Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says it’s a novel idea, but believes the state should not impose it on communities.

In order for a change to take place, the state Constitution would have to be amended. For that to happen, the bill would have to pass both the House and Senate through votes in two separate Legislative sessions, and would then have to pass by statewide referendum.

You Can Watch Demo of Turnpike Bridge

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will offer live coverage of the demolition of its Allegheny River Bridge on its website on Tuesday.

The main span of the old bridge is scheduled to be blown apart with explosives at 10 a.m. Turnpike officials say there is no place on public property to view the demolition safely and is urging the public to stay away.

Traffic will be stopped on the turnpike for up to 20 minutes at the time of the explosion.

The old bridge, which opened on Dec. 26, 1951, has been replaced by twin spans nearly a half-mile long at a cost of $193.6 million.

The site to see the explosion is www.paturnpike.com

PSU Gets Money to Work on Project that
Uses Sound to Power Air Conditioner

Penn State has received a federal grant to work on a project that will produce an air conditioning unit that recycles sound for cooling.

The Thermoacoustic Air Conditioner was one of 43 projects selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive money through the Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The $2.9 million comes from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

The Penn State team plans to produce a 1-ton air conditioning unit that uses high amplitude sound and helium gas to recycle acoustical power for cooling.

The project will scale up an ice cream chiller built for Ben & Jerry’s that combined the acoustic power produced by high efficiency moving magnet linear motor with recycled power to produce useful cooling in a “bellows bounce” thermoacoustic chiller.

To read the technical descriptions of all the projects, go here.

Info provided by US Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs

Pow Wow Scheduled for This Weekend

SALAMANCA, N.Y. – The annual Seneca Allegany Casino Veterans Pow Wow will take place on Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, 2010, at Veterans Park in Salamanca. The event celebrates the culture and heritage of the Seneca Nation and features dance and drum competitions, arts and crafts, and food. Gates open at 10 a.m. each day, and all are welcome to attend.

More than 500 participants from throughout the country will vie for $118,000 in prize money during dance, smoke dance, and drum competitions. Special appearances will be made by Irene Badard, a Native American singer and actress known for her roles in Smoke Signals and Lakota Woman and also as the voice of “Pocahontas” in Disney’s Pocahontas; and “Teyotsihstokwathe” Dakota Brant, Miss Indian World 2010-2011.

This year’s event will honor the memory of SPC Lori Ann Piestewa, the first woman of the U.S. armed forces killed during the 2003 Iraq War and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military. Piestewa’s family will be in attendance.

The Seneca Allegany Casino Veterans Pow Wow is an alcohol-free event and is open to all ages. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 17 and elders ages 60 and up, and free for children 4 and younger. Veterans and active service members with identification will receive free admission. Veterans Park is located at 520 Broad Street (Route 417) near exits 20 and 21 of Interstate 86. For more information, visit http://www.senecapowwow.org.

The Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, located just minutes from Veterans Park, features more than 2,000 slot machines and 30 live table games; a variety of restaurants, retail outlets, and spa services; and the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel with 212 rooms. For more information, please visit http://www.senecaalleganycasino.com.

Sex Offender Pleads Guilty, is Sentenced

A man already serving time in a Georgia State Prison has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to sexual misconduct.

38-year-old Dexter Banner had sex with a person without that person’s consent on December 14, 2008, in Allegany.

He waived his right to a pre-sentence report and was sentenced to one year in jail to be served concurrently to the sentence is serving in Georgia.

Allegany Man Sent to Prison

An Allegany man who broke into a house in December has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court to two years in prison.

20-year-old Alan Miller pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and attempted robbery.

On December 4, he broke into a North First Street home, stole money and assaulted a resident.

Fire Intentionally Set 'Without a Doubt'

Bradford City Fire Department Lt. Matt Rettger confirms that the person who set the fire at Tops Market this morning is in custody.

He said Tops employees apprehended the suspect after he went back into he store after it re-opened at around 1 p.m.

Rettger said “it was an intentionally set fire – without a doubt.”

The fire was started at around 10 a.m. in a rack of uninflated Mylar balloons, and the store had to be closed because of the smoke and the chemicals in the air from the Mylar.

Representatives from the State Department of Agriculture and Tops corporate office were called to the scene.

Damage is estimated at $10,000.

We’re waiting for a call from Bradford City Police to be returned so we can pass along more information.

Sen. Casey Staement on Uganda Bombings

WASHINGTON, DC– U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the terrorist bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital of Kampala that killed dozens, including one American and injured others, including six Pennsylvanians:

“I condemn the horrific terrorist attacks that took place in Uganda and am I saddened by the loss of life.

“I join with many of my colleagues in offering support to the Americans who have been affected by this tragedy.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Uganda as well as the victims of these bombings and their families.

“Additionally, I want to send my well-wishes to the six Pennsylvanians who were in Uganda doing missionary work and were injured in the attacks. I hope that they have a speedy recovery and safe trip home.”

Fire Temporarily Closes Tops Market

A fire in a rack of uninflated Mylar balloons at Tops Market caused at least $10,000 worth of damage and has temporarily closed the store.

Bradford City Fire Department Lieutenant Matt Rettger says the assistant store manager put the fire out with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived.

Firefighters assisted with smoke removal and are continuing their investigation.

The store had to be closed because of the smoke, and because of the chemicals in the air from the Mylar.

Representatives from the State Department of Agriculture and Tops corporate office have also been called to the scene.

The store is expected to re-open this afternoon.

Selinsgrove Church Members Among
Those Hurt in Uganda Bombings

Some of the injured at the restaurant included six members of an American church mission working with a local congregation, according to the Rev. Kathleen Kind, pastor of Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

For more on this story, go to CNN.com.

Two Dead in Separate Crashes

A Johnsonburg man is dead after a motorcycle accident early Sunday morning on Oknefski Road in Ridgway.

State Police say a 50-year-old Paul Wiles lost control of his bike when trying to make a left-hand turn.

He was thrown from the motorcycle and died from his injuries.

A Sinnemahoning woman is dead after a motorcycle crash Saturday afternoon on Route 6 in Tioga County.

State Police say a motorcycle, operated by 73-year-old Robert Howard went off the road and into a lawn in Delmar Township.

Howard and a passenger, Ruth Howard, were taken to area hospitals for treatment of injuries. Ruth Howard later died from her injuries at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

Men Try to Rob Amish Couple

Several men tried robbing an Amish couple Sunday morning as they traveled in a horse-drawn buggy on Riga Road in Leon.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Deputies say the couple was approached by a group of men, who displayed a handgun and demanded money.

The suspects left after learning the couple didn’t have any money.

Man Facing Charges for High Speed Chase

A Kenmore, New York, man is facing charges after taking police on a chase at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour in Cattaraugus County Sunday evening.

Sheriff’s deputies say they saw three sports bikes on Route 353 in the Town of Persia traveling at 85 miles per hour and tried stopping them. The bikes kept going and went through the Village of Cattaraugus at more than 100 miles per hour and Little Valley at 100 miles per hour.

The bikes then headed toward Salamanca but when they saw city police the turned back toward Little Valley, where deputies put u a roadblock. Two of the drivers went through the roadblock but 28-year-old Jose Amaro did stop in the Town of Mansfield.

He’s facing a number of charges, including fleeing from a police officer.

300 People Involved in Fight

Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies called in about a dozen other police agencies as well as several fire companies after they answered a call about a motorcycle accident and found more than 300 people involved fights.

Deputies got the call from the Water Way Access parking lot off Route 62 on the New York/Pennsylvania state line at about 2:30 Sunday morning.

Investigators eventually determined that the initial fight in the parking lot happened when a driver trying to leave the party hit a large rock that hit two women standing nearby. One woman was treated at the scene and the other was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown, with a lower leg injury.

The driver, 23-year-old Jesus Torres of Jamestown, was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. More charges are pending.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This Week's JAMA Report

National guidelines recommend patients with diabetes maintain a systolic blood pressure of less than 130 or a “tight control” versus a “usual control” blood pressure which is between 130 and 140.

A new study shows having a blood pressure below 130 does not improve cardiovascular outcomes for patients who have both diabetes and coronary artery disease. Catherine Dolf has more in this week’s JAMA Report.

Listen here.


Provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association

Sunday Book Talk:
The Panic Zone

This week's guest is international bestselling author Rick Mofina.

Listen here.

For more information go here.