The 1490 NewsBlog

powered by NewsRadio 1490 WESB

brought to you, in part, by

Friday, November 19, 2010

Steppin' Out for the Holidays

Street Dreaming of Christmas

Kevin Shaffer probably made Santa's "nice" list after offering a ride to a couple of elves.

Herb Confer decked out his Firebird for the holidays.

Street Dreams Car Club President Gary Hoy tossed out candy to the kids.

Frosty and Rudolph wave to the crowd.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus makes an appearance in Bradford's 2nd Annual Home for the Holidays Parade, sponsored by the Downtown Bradford Business District Authority and the Street Dreams Car Club.

More video and pictures coming soon.

KCH's Volunteer Chaplains Meet Spiritual
Needs of Patients, Families and Staff

By Ruth Gentilman Peterson
Director of Planning & Communications
Kane Community Hospital

“This month Kane Community Hospital celebrates a twelve-year partnership with area ministers for the spiritual care of our patients," stated KCH Director of Nursing Pam Bray, RN at a breakfast for KCH’s Volunteer Chaplains on Friday.

CEO J. Gary Rhodes thanked the chaplains and shared the latest KCH news on Hamot affiliation, and on new specialty care en route to KCH over the next two months.

The Volunteer Chaplain Program, which began at KCH on November 1, 1998, is a joint effort of the Kane Area Ministerial Association and Kane Community Hospital. “It was created to recognize that the healing process is multifaceted, and that frequently, if healing is to occur, spiritual needs must also be met,” Bray notes.

The purpose of the Volunteer Chaplain Program is to provide spiritual care on an “on-call” basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for crisis situations, emergency needs and end-of-life and terminal care situations where an individual or a family system is challenged.

This is an important service to our patients and their families.

After crisis intervention, appropriate referrals are made for follow-up to local congregations or pastors, or to chaplains at a transfer facility if the patient requires transfer. In addition, support is also available to our hospital staff as we cope with these difficult situations.

At KCH we realize the importance of integrating the spiritual component in our delivery of health care. The chaplains are an integral part of our healthcare team and have received orientation to hospital policies.

With the help of our chaplains we also hold services for our staff such as the "Blessing of the Hands" ceremony and holiday services. We are proud of the mutually beneficial and growing relationship we have with area pastors.

“On behalf of the hospital, I would like to publicly recognize and thank our Volunteer Chaplains: Theodore Benson, David Pfleiger, Phillip Pinczewski and Craig Smith. We also look forward to welcoming Pastor William LaVelle to our volunteer chaplain team this month,” Bray added. “These pastors hold regular meetings and sign up to be on call to serve our patients, families and staff. They are truly a valuable part of our healthcare team at KCH and we are most grateful for their service.”

Pictured, KCH Volunteer Chaplain Breakfast attendees include (l-r) Craig Smith, CEO Gary Rhodes, David Pfleiger, Director of Nursing Pam Bray, RN, Theodore Benson, and Phillip Pinczewski.
Courtesy of KCH

Grand Opening of Main Street Business

The Grand Opening for the AT&T Authorized Dealer store was held at noon on Friday, November 19. The storefront is located at 93 Main Street and retails cellular phones and wireless service for both business and residential customers. Store hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Pictured from left: AT&T Mascot; Cory Schuchter, owner; Dick Truman, employee; Ron Orris; Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce

Man Picked Up in Wednesday Raid
Arrested by AG's Office Last Month

One of the men arrested in Wednesday’s drug raids in Bradford was charged last month in the state attorney general’s Operation Stateline Crackdown that focused on using sources in Buffalo and Jamestown to take drugs to Warren County and surrounding communities.

24-year-old Dontrell Wise of Buffalo was charged by the attorney general’s office with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine in Operation Stateline Crackdown.

After Wednesday’s arrest he was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and was sent to McKean County Jail on $12,500 bail.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Congressman Tom Reed Sworn In

Congressman Tom Reed has been sworn in on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Swearing in for the Congressman, whose district includes Cattaraugus County, was postponed for a couple of days after he was hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. He was released from the hospital this morning and sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at around 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Reed replaces Eric Massa, who resigned in March amid allegations that he was sexually harassing male staff members.

Nolf Hearing in McKean County Court

The man accused of killing a woman and her infant daughter in March was in McKean County Court today.

Attorneys for Waide Nolf are arguing that the confession he gave to Bradford City Police should be suppressed because it wasn’t given voluntarily.

Judge John Pavlock didn’t render a decision today, and another hearing on the matter has been scheduled for January 26.

Nolf is accused of drowning Tanya and Tamara Haight in a house they shared with several other people on Pleasant Street.

McKean County District Attorney Ray Learn is seeking the death penalty.

DEP Praises Vote for Stronger
Well Construction Standards

HARRISBURG -- A set of new standards that will make natural gas wells safer were approved unanimously today on a vote of 5-0 by the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission, Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said today.

Hanger praised the IRRC vote, saying the new regulations will, among other things, impose more stringent construction standards on gas wells, making them less likely to allow natural gas to escape and contaminate water supplies or cause safety concerns.

The final-form regulations now go to the state Office of Attorney General for final review and approval. The regulations were deemed approved by the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy committees.

“When gas migrates from a poorly constructed gas well through the ground, it can contaminate water supplies or build up to explosive levels in water wells or even homes,” said Hanger. “These strong rules will eliminate or significantly reduce the problem of gas migration from poorly designed or constructed gas wells, as long as the rules are followed or enforced.”

Hanger added that the new rules also will require drillers to report production and waste volumes electronically and to submit a detailed report of the chemicals they use in the hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – process. In addition to these important provisions, operators will be required to keep a list of emergency contact phone numbers at the well site and follow a new set of instructions on what steps to take in the event of a gas migration incident.

The regulations also include provisions clarifying how and when blow-out prevention equipment is to be installed and operated.

The Environmental Quality Board approved the regulations on a final vote of 15-1 in October, after receiving nearly 2,000 public comments during the comment period and a series of five public hearings. A majority of the comments supported the new regulations.

In drafting the regulations, DEP also met with numerous oil and gas operators, industry groups and environmental groups to discuss the regulations in detail.

The department used the public’s input to make several important changes to the regulations, which further improved the well-design requirements to prevent gas migration incidents, including:

· A provision that requires operators to have a pressure barrier plan to minimize well control events;
· A provision that requires operators to condition the wellbore to ensure an adequate bond between the cement, casing and the formation;
· Provisions that require the use of centralizers to ensure casings are properly positioned in the wellbore; and
· A provision that improves the quality of the cement placed in the casing that protects fresh groundwater.

Once all reviews and approvals are obtained, the regulations will go into effect upon publication in the PA Bulletin.

Pitt-Bradford Professors Publish
Research Paper on Student Texting

A newly published article by two Pitt-Bradford professors examines the relationship between student texting and professors’ teaching.

Dr. Fang-Yi Flora Wei, assistant professor of broadcast communications, and Dr. Y. Ken Wang, assistant professor of computer information systems and technology, published “Students’ Silent Messages: Can Teacher Verbal and Nonverbal Immediacy Moderate Student Use of Text Messaging in Class?” in the fall issue of the scholarly journal Communication Education.

The researchers gave surveys to 228 Pitt-Bradford students, asking them about what levels of immediacy behavior (smiling, eye contact, calling them by name, etc.) professors used and how frequently the students sent and received texts in class (about three of each in a 45-minute class).

The researchers hypothesized that there would be a relationship between the professor’s communication immediacy and the students’ texting behavior. Due to students’ addiction and habitual use of texting, the analysis showed that the professors’ behaviors do not affect students’ use of text messaging during class.

However, they also asked students about their daily texting habits and, not surprisingly, those who were heavy text messaging users all of the time were heavy texting users during class.

“When somebody’s already addicted to texting, you cannot easily change their behaviors just because of their professors’ verbal and nonverbal immediacy,” Wei said, explaining that many professors feel that students texting in their classes must be their fault – that they are somehow failing to engage students.

It’s not their fault, Wang says. “Our research tells professors to ‘take it easy’ as once a student established the habit of texting, it is overwhelmingly powerful in his or her everyday behaviors, including in the classroom.”

Wei said the behavior is like that of “looking at a watch” – just something students do.

As to whom students are texting, Wei said it is mostly close family members for entertainment and friends and boyfriends or girlfriends for affection.

In addition to collaborating with each other, the researchers also received suggestions and comments from Dr. Lawrence Frey, a professor in the department of communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in a previous version written by Wei. Frey has also served as a professional mentor to Wei.

The texting phenomenon is a relatively new area of research that complements both Wei’s studies in communications as well as Wang’s in human-computer interaction.

Wei’s research focuses on mass media’s effects on children, computer-mediated communication and instructional communication. She and Wang hope to work together again and may continue their research on student texting.

Casey, Reed Join Advocates of Unemployed; Discuss Insurance

U.S. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project and an unemployed Pennsylvanian who is looking for work on a conference call to discuss the importance of preserving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Unemployment insurance provides an important safety net for millions of Americans to help them support their families while they look for work, and also provides an immediate and necessary boost to the economy. Recent polling data shows that a strong majority of Americans support extending unemployment insurance as Congress works to create jobs and strengthen the economy. If Congress fails to act, two million job-seeking Americans will lose their benefits in December and several hundred thousand unemployed workers will lose their benefits every month thereafter.

"Helping workers who have lost their jobs and pumping dollars into local businesses and the economy should be something everyone can support," said Senator Casey. "Congress must act now to preserve unemployment insurance for the two million Americans and 83,000 Pennsylvanians who will lose this financial lifeline at the end of the month. Doing nothing will hurt millions of Americans, job creation and the economic recovery."

“Maintaining unemployment benefits would help millions of job seekers and boost the economy. But Republicans are trying to re-write economics and reality. They want to provide $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, but not pay for them. At the same time, they are demanding that emergency unemployment benefits for middle-class folks be fully paid for. That is a little like the dieter who orders a Diet Coke and a Big Mac. The fact of the matter is we won’t achieve economic growth and job creation if we don’t get the economy going, and failing to preserve UI benefits will put the economy into reverse, not forward,” said Senator Reed.

“National polls and overwhelming petition response are proof-positive that Americans care about the unemployed and know that taking care of them and ensuring that they still have money to spend in their local economies is a top priority,” said Judy Conti. “We urge the Senate to do what 3 out of every 4 Americans wants them to do – enact a yearlong reauthorization of federal unemployment benefits and help keep us on the road to financial recovery.”

“I’m counting on Congress to put politics aside and do the right thing by reauthorizing the federal jobless benefits until the jobs come back,” said Pat McNamara. “If all of us don’t have the dollars to spend on the economy, there will be more workers unemployed and more hurt and suffering.”

Pictured, Casey receives petitions signed by over 100,000 Americans from Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project (NELP). The petitions call on Congress to extend unemployment benefits which will expire at the end of November.
Courtesy of Casey's office

'Blou Christmas' for the SPCA

To honor Blou, who died one year ago in December Tyb and Cavallaro Paint
and Decorating are sponsoring a BLOU CHRISTMAS, to benefit the McKean
County SPCA..

From now until Christmas we will be collecting things needed by the shelter for their day-to-day operations. The following items will be accepted at Cavallaro’s, 12 Kennedy Street, during normal business hours:
Paper towels, bleach, copy paper, dry dog and cat foot, laundry
detergent, 40 gallon garbage bags, Fabuloso, treats, and cat litter; new and/or used leashes, collars, toys, blankets, towels, and bedding.

Any cash donations will be gratefully accepted as well.

Tyb and Jay Monti will match any cash donations up to a total of $500.00. Stop in and add an ornament to our tree in honor or memory of your pet for a donation of $2.00.

Pictured, Jay Monti and Blou during National Night Out two years ago.

PennDOT, Police Team Up for
Operation Safe Holiday

Harrisburg – PennDOT will again partner with police agencies across the state for “Operation Safe Holiday” from Thanksgiving through the New Year’s holiday.

Police will use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to watch for motorists exhibiting dangerous behaviors, including speeding, aggressive and impaired driving. Pennsylvania will also conduct Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement from Nov. 19 – Dec. 3.

“The holidays bring increased traffic to our highways,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “We’re asking all motorists to be smart about safety by buckling up, obeying speed limits and avoiding distractions behind the wheel.”

According to PennDOT, Thanksgiving continues to be the leading holiday for traffic crashes. There were more than 4,500 crashes and 41 fatalities last year during that period, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday. More than 500 of those crashes were alcohol-related.

To increase safety on long trips, PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert. It is also a good idea to rotate drivers and take frequent breaks, stopping to rest for 10 minutes every 100 miles.

Motorists should also plan for traffic delays and allow extra time for travel.

“Getting there safely is more important than being on time,” Biehler added. “Your family and friends would rather see you arrive late than not at all.”

PennDOT reminds motorists that weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time of year. Motorists should always check the weather forecast before traveling and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit.

Information on travel delays, road conditions and weather forecasts is available by calling 511 from a landline or cell phone, or visiting before leaving home.

Learn more about Operation Safe Holiday by visiting Follow PennDOT on Twitter at

Learn: Wednesday Drug Busts 'Largest
Tactical Operation in Bradford History'

News release from McKean County District Attorney Ray Learn:

On November 17, 2010 at approximately 1:30 PM, a major Buffalo to Bradford cocaine ring was broken-up after a lengthy investigation by the McKean County Drug Task Force. Arrest warrants were issued and served for the following individuals:

Quantrell Austin-Carson, 28, of Buffalo

Kennedy Gadley, 26, of Buffalo

Dontrell Wise, 24, of Buffalo

Dorian Cooper, 21, of Buffalo

Also arrested were: Lamarlo Jones, 25, of Buffalo; Quentell Suttles, 20, of Buffalo; Dandrea Parker, 19, of Buffalo; Marquay Lee, 24, of Buffalo; Tania Reed, 25 of Buffalo; Quentin Suttles, 20, of Buffalo.

The Bradford City Police Emergency Response Team and the State Police Special Emergency Response Teams simultaneously executed three separate search warrants in the City of Bradford in the largest tactical operation in Bradford history.

Assisting in the investigation and execution of the warrants were officers from the McKean County Drug Task Force, the City of Bradford Police Department, Bradford Township Police Department, Foster Township Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the McKean County Sheriff’s Department.

Search Warrants were executed at 6 Kane Street, 168 Congress Street, and 19 ½ Pine Street, all in the city of Bradford. Seized at 6 Kane Street was approximately 123 grams, or 1/4 pound of cocaine and several items of drug paraphernalia. Cocaine, drug paraphernalia and marijuana were also found at 168 Congress and 19 ½ Pine Street. The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of approximately $15,000

Still at large are:

Steven Austin, aka “Dre”, age 32, of Buffalo

Donald Gadley, aka “Unc”, age 49, of Buffalo

If anyone has information of the whereabouts of these individuals, they are asked to contact the McKean County Drug Task Force at (814) 887-3232

“This was a major cocaine distribution operation that was bringing in large amounts of cocaine from Buffalo. We have been receiving tips from many residents about the drug problems in their neighborhoods and I’m glad that we can show them that those tips do lead to arrests. The Task Force has been extremely active this year and it will continue to be as long as drugs are being sold on the streets of McKean County,” Learn said. “I especially want to thank the Pennsylvania State Police SERT and the City of Bradford ERT team for their support in serving these warrants. Some of these guys drove from hours away to make sure that the arrests were performed safely. We could not have done this without their professionalism and skill”

“Over the last several months, we have been working hard to address the issues that the people of Bradford have brought to my attention, especially drug related issues," said City of Bradford Police Chief Chris Lucco. "As local law enforcement, we understand the benefits from working together to tackle a common problem and I am glad to say that today s events were a direct result of that team work. I would like to commend my officers for their dedication to the community and their hard work today.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pavilion Aims to Raise COPD Awareness

A Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Day will be held on Monday, November 22 from noon to 2 p.m. in the main lobby of The Pavilion at Bradford Regional Medical Center on 200 Pleasant Street. The event is open to the public and all BRMC staff.

A member of the BRMC Cardiopulmonary team will be on-site to discuss COPD including chronic bronchitis and emphysema plus offer FREE Pulse-Oximetry Tests, Berlin sleep questionnaires and educational information about “Better Breathing”.

COPD a highly prevalent disease; has a large impact on the quality of life for patients and their families. According to the World Health Organization, COPD afflicts approximately fifty million people around the world and kills nearly three million each year.

No reservations are required. For more information about this event, call (814)362-8293.

Pitt-Bradford's Truman Presents
Paper on First-Generation Students

Dr. Jean Truman, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, presented a paper at a teaching conference held at Penn State Shenango on the success of first-generation nursing students.

Truman presented her paper “First Generation Student Preparedness for NCLEX-RN Success” at the “Meeting the Challenges of the 21st-Century Classroom” conference. The NCLEX is the state board nursing licensure exam.

Truman’s study was a furthering of the research she did for her doctoral dissertation, which focused on predictors of student success on the NCLEX. This time, Truman chose to focus on first-generation college students and whether, as a group, their NCLEX scores differed from other students.

Truman found that first-generation students (who make up about one-third of college students nationwide, but two-thirds of Pitt-Bradford nursing students) do not score much differently on the NCLEX then non-first-generation students.

In conducting her research, however, she found characteristics of being a first-generation student that can make it harder for those students to succeed in college.

“They often have greater family responsibilities and are likely to work more than 20 hours each week. They are more likely to attend a local college and less likely to complete their degrees on time,” she said. Also, they relate having greater academic and social challenges.

She said it is important for these first-generation students to receive additional academic support to help them succeed.

Truman said she enjoyed presenting at an interdisciplinary conference where educators from many disciplines were tackling issues faced by first-generation students, adult learners and students with learning disabilities.

Truman came to Pitt-Bradford in 2003 and earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Truman is the daughter of Mariann Pascarella of Bradford and the late Louis W. Pascarella. She continues to work as a nursing supervisor at Bradford Regional Medical Center and is an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, G. Scott Truman, and their children, Megan and Andrew.

Rendell: PA Achieves Milestone in
Weatherizing; More Training Available

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that Pennsylvania is more than halfway toward its goal to help nearly 30,000 low-income homeowners improve their energy efficiency and reduce costs. Training will help prepare 1,000 more weatherization installers, crew chiefs and auditors across the state in the coming year.

“We are making great progress weatherizing low-income homes, work that creates jobs, conserves energy and reduces costs for homeowners,” Governor Rendell said. “Over the past 11 months, 15,027 homes across the state — just over 50 percent of our 29,700 goal — were weatherized as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded initiative in Pennsylvania.”

Approximately 1,800 people have jobs and skills that can carry well into the future economy because of the weatherization work on these homes.

“Those homeowners are now saving an average of $600 each year on their energy costs. But this effort is about more than simply saving energy and money; this Recovery Act-funded initiative is boosting local economies across the state,” the Governor said, noting that more than $22.3 million has been invested so far in materials and supplies for the weatherization initiative.

“Over the past year, we trained and certified 1,026 workers on ways to help reduce energy costs for Pennsylvania families,” Governor Rendell said. “The demand for these workers is growing. Through the Recovery Act, we expect to train and certify another 1,000 weatherization workers.”

Seven recipients will use a total of $799,000 in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to continue providing weatherization training to students learning to become weatherization installers, crew chiefs and auditors. The funds will also provide weatherization instructors with Building Performance Institute, or BPI, certification. BPI is a nationally recognized credential for energy-efficiency and weatherization retrofit work.

“As long as people are struggling to pay mortgages, keep the power on and keep their families warm, Pennsylvania should take the necessary steps to provide the help those people need,” Governor Rendell said. “Weatherizing homes and increasing energy efficiency saves real money that can help families to put coats on kids and food on the table.”

Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Assistance Program provides energy retrofits to low-income homes. While the weatherization work is coordinated through the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Labor & Industry coordinates all weatherization training. Individuals performing weatherization work for the program must be certified to ensure that work done on a consumer’s home is completed safely and provides the greatest possible energy savings.

The training grants are part of a joint effort by the departments of Labor & Industry and Community and Economic Development to enhance a Weatherization Assistance Program providing training and career-focused employment to Pennsylvania’s workforce, creating green jobs, improving residential energy efficiency and promoting economic recovery.

Prospective students should contact their PA CareerLink® for enrollment information. Visit to find the nearest office.

For additional information about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act initiatives in Pennsylvania, visit

Following is a list of grant recipients with the counties they serve.

Adams, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties

* $100,000 – Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties

* $100,000 – Community College of Allegheny County/ Local 95

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clarion, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson and Somerset counties

* $100,000 – Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center

Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Schuylkill counties

* $100,000 – Lehigh Career and Technical Institute

Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties

* $100,000 – Johnson College

Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Elk, Juniata, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder and Union counties

* $199,000 – Pennsylvania College of Technology

Delaware and Philadelphia counties
• $100,000 – Energy Coordinating Agency

Pitt-Bradford Recognizes Professors for
Years of Service

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford recognized 10 faculty members who are celebrating service anniversaries at a dinner held Tuesday evening.

Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology, was honored for 40 years. She has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford since 1971 and is one of the few faculty members who was a student here first. Besides hiking, gardening and basket weaving, Champlin likes to canoe. She is the director of international studies, leads the Maya spring break trip each year and was the 2005 recipient of the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Warren Fass, associate professor of psychology, was honored for 30 years. He is the director of the psychology program and enjoys music, especially classic rock. His favorite sport is hockey, and he is a Buffalo Sabres fan. He was the 2007 recipient of the PBAA Teaching Excellence Award.

Honored for 25 years were Dr. Lisa Fiorentino, assistant professor of nursing; Jeffrey Guterman, associate professor of communications; Dr. Ronald Mattis, associate professor of engineering; and Richard Nelson, associate professor of business management.

Fiorentino is the director of nursing and radiological science and is an avid figure skater and former ice hockey player. In addition, she enjoys walking, snowshoeing, cooking, movies and music.

Guterman is the chairman of the Division of Communication and the Arts and the director of the communications program. He was the 2003 recipient of the PBAA Teaching Excellence Award.

Mattis is director of the engineering program and holds a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from Penn State University. He served as a W.C. Foster Fellows Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Department of State in the Verification and Compliance Division, Office of Nuclear Affairs. He lives in Kane.

Nelson teaches business and financial courses. A native of Warren, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has extensive professional experience in business and finance.

Honored for 15 years of service was Dr. Bernie Meyer, associate professor of criminal justice.

Those honored for 10 years of service were Dr. Gillian Boyce, director of the Academic Success Center; Donald Lewicki, associate professor of business management and director of computing, telecommunications and media services; and Klaus Wuersig, assistant professor of engineering.

Pictured, from left, Klaus Wuersig, Dr. Gillian Boyce; Dr. Ronald Mattis; Isabelle Champlin; Jeff Guterman; Richard Nelson and Don Lewicki.
Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

Casey Introduces Air Cargo Screening Bill

WASHINGTON, DC—Following the recent terrorist attempt to ship explosive devices from Yemen in packages, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Air Cargo Security Act to expand the 100% screening mandate to all-cargo aircraft.

“Terrorists intent on doing us harm have shown that they will adapt and try new tactics,” said Senator Casey. “It is imperative that threats are constantly assessed and procedures put in place to ensure the safety of the American people. Requiring 100% of cargo aircraft to be screened will add another layer of defense as we continue to hunt down terrorists.”

The Air Cargo Security Act strengthens security by directing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to:

~~Develop a system to screen 100 percent of cargo transported on all-cargo aircraft within 3 years, with half of the cargo screened within 18 months;

~~Establish a system for the regular inspection of shipping facilities for shipments of air cargo transported on all-cargo planes for purposes of ensuring that appropriate security controls, systems, and protocols are observed; and

~~Enter into arrangements with government authorities of foreign countries to ensure that inspections are conducted on a regular basis at shipping facilities for cargo transported in air transportation to the United States.

Captain Bob Thrush, President of the Independent Pilots Association said: “As all-cargo airline pilots, we welcome Senator Casey's introduction of new legislation which will increase air cargo security screening standards. Recently, we narrowly avoided a potentially devastating detonation of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) onboard an all-cargo jet. Not only does this jeopardize the lives of the pilots flying the transport-category aircraft, but also those persons on the ground under the flight path. By acting now to shore up gaping holes in the screening process, we reduce the likelihood of terrorist organizations being successful in their efforts to bring down an all-cargo aircraft over a major U.S. city.”

Earlier this month, Senator Casey sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking for a full assessment of cargo screening and the progress toward screening all cargo.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) has introduced the Air Cargo Security Act in the House.

SERT Helps Police in Drug Busts

A state police Special Emergency Response Team helped Bradford City Police today as they rounded up crack cocaine dealers being supplied out of Buffalo, New York.

District Attorney Ray Learn says SERT was called in to assist with some suspects who are considered high-risk because of their criminal records. But he says the warrants were served without incident.

Raids were conducted on Congress, Kane and Pine streets and at the Hotel Holley (formerly the Riddell House).

Learn says the 18-month investigation has "taken down the major suppliers." He says he’ll release more information later tonight.

House Passes Thompson Resolution
Honoring Joe Paterno's 400th Win

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a resolution by U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, honoring Joe Paterno on his 400th win as Penn State Nittany Lions Football head coach.

The resolution, H. Res. 1715, passed the House. “This seemed the most appropriate way to commemorate the historic occasion and to express national support for not only his record, but what Joe Paterno stands for.,” said Thompson.

“Coach Paterno has given a lifetime to Penn State, the game, and his players - on and off the field. His charitable spirit has been unsurpassed and he leads by example. This is why I was also proud to nominate him for the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year,” added Thompson.

The resolution cites the fact that “Joe Paterno has served the Pennsylvania State University with honor and distinction for 60 years since starting as an assistant coach in 1950.”

It also lists Paterno’s many accomplishments: “…two National championships, seven undefeated seasons, 23 finishes in the top 10 rankings, and three Big Ten Conference Championships since joining the conference in 1993. Joe Paterno has 24 bowl game wins and 36 bowl game appearances, both of which are the most of any coach in history.”

Thompson was able to get 28 cosponsors of the resolution including all the Members of the Pennsylvania delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Thompson said, “In his build-up to 400 wins, Paterno began winning before many current coaches on other teams were born. He has turned Penn State football into a powerhouse program, one of only seven football programs in history to have more than 800 wins. “

Lawmakers Override Rendell Veto

The state Senate has voted to override an education bill Governor Ed Rendell vetoed last month.

Senate leaders had said they would not hold any lame duck voting sessions, but changed their minds after the House voted to override the veto earlier this week. Senators were returning to Harrisburg today for leadership elections.

The Senate voted 42-7 this afternoon to successfully override the Two-thirds of the members in each chamber must vote in favor of overriding a veto for a bill to become law without the governor’s signature.

Rendell says he vetoed the bill because it contains an unconstitutional provision that would violate the state’s uniformity of taxation clause by giving tax breaks to nonprofit charter schools but not to other nonprofits.

But Senator Jeff Piccola, chairman of the Education Committee, says the provision in the vetoed legislation only sought to make a technical change to the law to make it clear that all public schools are tax-exempt.

"I am deeply gratified that my fellow legislators recognized the bipartisan, bicameral nature of this bill, and what it means to so many people," Piccola said in a news release. "I thank them for their overwhelming support and for putting students first."

"We were on the one-yard line. It would have been a shame to walk off the field now, and lose the hard-fought yardage we gained over the past two years. I am delighted that so many citizens win in this bill."

The move to override was led by Rep. Paul Clymer and House Education Committee Chairman Rep. James Roebuck and by Sen. Andrew Dinniman. They cited emergency certification for teachers in schools for the blind and hearing impaired, sexual violence education in high schools and college, funding for the popular Science in Motion program, the awarding of high school diplomas to Vietnam veterans, and tuition aid for college students with parents in the military.

Piccola said the bill, featuring 21 education-related bills rolled into one, was "inclusive, bipartisan and necessary now to address growing problems in our schools and in society.

Other provisions of the bill, encourage school districts to provide dating-violence education, provide financial literacy instruction and make the cost of college textbooks more transparent and affordable.

Costa Elected Democratic Leader

Harrisburg –State Senate Democrats today elected Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) as their new Democratic floor leader.

“I am honored that my Senate Democratic colleagues have expressed the confidence in me to lead them in the next session. I hope to provide strong, aggressive and unified leadership as we work together to solve problems,” Costa said.

Last session, Costa was elected by his colleagues to serve as Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and previously served as Allegheny County Register of Wills (1992-96) and Deputy Sheriff (1984-89).

Costa succeeds retiring Democratic Leader Bob Mellow (D-Lackawanna/
Luzerne/Monroe), who held the position since 1989.

Other Democratic senators were also elected to the leadership slate.

Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Phila./Montgomery) was elected Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman. Hughes has served in the state legislature since 1987. He was elected to the Senate in 1994 and most recently served as Democratic Caucus chairman.

“We have to find common ground and work together -- and we will,” Hughes said. “Job creation needs to be a top priority and I will work with my colleagues to ensure that their good ideas contribute to our collective solution.”

Sen. Michael A. O’Pake (D-Berks) was re-elected Senate Democratic whip. He was first elected to the state Senate in 1972 after serving two terms in the state House of Representatives.

“I am grateful to my Senate Democratic colleagues for their continued trust and support,” O’Pake said. “I look forward to working on tough issues such as property tax reform with my colleagues to help Berks County and Pennsylvania residents.”

Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Phila./Delaware) was elected caucus chairman. Williams first joined the Senate in 1998. He began his career in public service at the age of 31, first winning office as a state representative.

“By working together with all senators from across the state we can craft solutions that really impact lives,” Williams said. “Our caucus stands firm for working families, improving schools and enhancing the daily lives of all Pennsylvanians.”

The new Democratic Caucus secretary is Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia). She was elected to the Senate in 1994. Prior to her election to the Senate, the Philadelphia Democrat served as business representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

“The Senate Democratic leadership team is strong and balanced and represents diverse views,” Tartaglione said. “We have the ability to explore new ideas and initiatives and will move forward together.”

Sen. Richard Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset) was re-elected Senate Democratic Policy Committee chairman. Kasunic was elected to the Senate in November 1994 but also served as a member of the state House of Representatives.

“I have always prided myself in providing a forum for open discussion and dialogue on important issues facing all Pennsylvanians,” Kasunic said. “I pledge to keep the policy committee active and viable.”

Elected to the leadership team as caucus administrator was Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe). Boscola was first elected to the state House in 1994. She was elected to the Senate in 1998.

“I will bring a unique perspective from a growing part of Pennsylvania to the Senate Democratic leadership team,” Boscola said. “We need to be unified and vigilant as we deal with pressing issues like a tight state budget, reapportionment and creating jobs for working men and women. “

Scarnati Nominated as President Pro Tem

HARRISBURG -- Senate Republicans today elected their leadership team for the 2011-12 legislative session.

Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) has been nominated once again to serve as President Pro Tempore. The full Senate will vote on Scarnati's nomination when it reconvenes on January 4. As President Pro Tempore, he will be responsible for appointing the chairpersons and members of the standing committees of the Senate. He will also play a significant role in negotiations with the Administration and House of Representatives.

A native of Brockway in Jefferson County, Scarnati was elected to the State Senate in 2000. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University at DuBois, the Senator was a third-generation small business owner and served in local government.

"I am honored and humbled by the support of my colleagues in electing me President Pro Tempore of the Senate to a third term," Scarnati said. "Working with the basic premise of less taxes and less regulation, promoted by the Senate Republican Caucus, has given the Commonwealth a solid foundation moving forward."

Senator Dominic Pileggi (R-9) has been elected to his third term as Senate Majority Leader. His duties will include overseeing the legislative agenda, developing policies and strategies for the Senate Republican Caucus, and playing a key role in floor debates. He will also play a major role in negotiating issues with the Administration and House of Representatives and in supervising action on the Senate floor.

Senator Pileggi was first elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 2002, and he was chosen by the caucus to serve as Majority Leader in November 2006. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served as Mayor of the City of Chester, and as a Chester City Councilman.

"The new legislative session brings with it historic challenges – and historic opportunities," said Senator Pileggi. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Governor-elect Corbett to implement policies which will strengthen our Commonwealth."

Leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most important of the standing committees, will remain with Senator Jake Corman (R-34). The committee reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in developing the state budget.

"I am honored that my colleagues have once again elected me to serve as the Majority Appropriations Chairman," said Senator Corman. "We face challenging economic times in the future. I remain committed to holding the line on spending and seeking long-term solutions to the fiscal issues impacting the Commonwealth."

Senator Pat Browne (R-16) will serve his first term as Majority Whip. His duties include acting as assistant floor leader, working to gain support for legislation and assuring that Republican policies and strategies are maintained through the cooperative efforts of the majority caucus.

"I sincerely appreciate the support of my colleagues and look forward to working alongside the Majority Leader and the rest of the leadership team to promote a legislative agenda that supports Pennsylvania's working families and promotes real economic development and job creation," said Senator Browne. "I am proud of the accomplishments and successes that Senate Republicans achieved standing together over the past eight years. We can build from that foundation. We should work with a renewed spirit of cooperation with the new House majority and Governor-elect Corbett to direct the Commonwealth's efforts and resources toward enhancing the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians now and into the future."

Senator Mike Waugh (R-28) will serve as Majority Caucus Chairman for the 2011-2012 legislative session. As chairman, he will preside over Republican Caucus meetings to discuss bills and amendments and to develop caucus strategy.

"A new year always brings renewed hope, and this upcoming session is no different," said Senator Waugh. "I am looking forward to a productive and successful transitional year with Governor-elect Corbett and the new House leadership team. Together, I am hopeful we can have a session with a much more positive outcome than in recent years."

As the Senate Majority Caucus Secretary, Senator Bob Robbins (R-50) will oversee all executive nominations submitted to the Senate for confirmation. He will coordinate the review of the background and experience of nominees and ensure that proper documentation is submitted.

"Earlier this month Pennsylvania voters sent a clear message to their elected officials at all levels of government," Senator Robbins said. "We need to rein in spending and make our Commonwealth an easier place to run a business, raise a family and find a job."

The Caucus Administrator, who will be responsible for scheduling activities before the caucus and the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, which supports the members of the Senate Republican Caucus through research and development of ideas and initiatives, will be appointed by Senator Scarnati at a later date.

Pennsylvania voters retained the 30-20 Republican majority in the state Senate.

provided by Senate Republican Communications

Man Charged with Homicide by Vehicle in
Crash that Killed PennDOT Worker

The man driving the vehicle that hit and killed a PennDOT worker on Olean Road in October has been charged with homicide by vehicle.

42-year-old Donald Blocher of Salamanca was arraigned on a number of charges this morning by District Judge Rich Luther and was sent to McKean County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Police say Blocher failed to see PennDOT workers Jack Griffin of Bradford and James Burrows of Eldred in an active work zone and hit Griffin, propelling him into a ditch. Blocher then hit Burrows, severely injuring him.

Blocher is also charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI and a violation of the drug act.

At Least Four Arrested in Drug Raids

Several people are in custody after incidents early this afternoon on Congress, Kane and Pine streets and at the Hotel Holley (formerly the Riddell House).

The Bradford City Police Emergency Response Team, the McKean County Sheriff’s office and other police agencies were on the scenes.

Neighbors on Congress Street tell us it was a drug bust, although we have not confirmed that with city police yet.

McKean County District Attorney Ray Learn tells us he'll release information this evening.