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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Video of Eldred Flooding

PA Flood Victims Should Call Municipality

State Representative Marty Causer is encouraging flood victims to contact municipal officals.

"If you experienced, or are still experiencing, flood damage due to heavy rains on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 1, please be sure to report it to your local municipality as soon as possible," he said.

If you have additional questions, contact your county emergency management agency:

McKean County: 814-887-5070

Cameron County: 814-486-1137

Potter County: 814-274-8900

Flood Warning Still in Effect

A flood warning is still in effect until this afternoon, when the Allegheny River at Olean and Salamanca is expected to drop below flood stage.

In Olean, the river crested at 15.7 feet Thursday night. Flood stage is 10 feet. In Salamanca, the river crested at 15.2 feet at noon Thursday. The flood stage there is 12 feet.

Most roads in the area closed by flooding remain closed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Weather Bright Spot

We did see some sunshine today. Here, it's shining on Foster Brook.

Don't expect a lot of sunshine this weekend, though. News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka says we could see an inch of snow tonight, and then light snow showers on Saturday.

Sunday and Monday, expect more snow and whipping winds that will cause a nasty wind chill and could cause whiteouts.

Disaster Assistance Center Opens in Olean

The Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services, along with representatives of the county departments of Social Services, Aging, Health and Community Services, will be available at the newly opened Disaster Assistance Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the county office building in Olean (1 Leo Moss Drive).

In order to assit the Office of Emergency Services with damage assessments, residents affected by flooding are encouraged to send photographs, documentation and any other materials related to expenses associated with the repair of damages to or to 303 Court Street, Little Valley, New York, 14655. Materials will be accepted at the Disaster Assistance Center as well.

For shelter assistance, contact the American Red Cross at 716-372-5800.

Bishop Wisor of 'Just for Jesus'
Responds to Scarnati Comments

Joe Scarnati, because of the strong arm of the Just for Jesus Ministry, amended SB 1161 – known as the Scarnati Amendment. This bill is now signed into law. It states that when a murderer or someone with a similar offense is released by the Department of Corrections to a facility in the community, the municipal officials may hold a public hearing to give the community an opportunity to express itself and ask questions.

Then, Mr. Scarnati had the audacity to violate the law, one that he is taking public credit for and sent a letter, along with four other people to Judge Creany in Cambria County, trying to influence the judge to remove Ernie Simmons from the Just for Jesus facility in Brockway, when the law now says that Ernie and the community has a right to a public hearing.

Mr. Scarnati’s arrogant ways and actions are showing him to be so comfortable in his position that he can blatantly violate his own amended law, oath of office and ignore the Constitutional rights of a human being. He has arrogantly stepped from his legislative powers over to influencing the judicial powers of our government. This is usurpation and despotism at its best.

Mr. Scarnati attempted to mislead Judge Creany by blaming the ministry for not providing or having proper staff, when in fact, Ernie is a free man and can come and go according to the conditions of his probation –the DOC/Parole & Probation has approved the ministry as an appropriate placement for Ernie.

The judge was aware of this wrongful, underhanded attempt by Mr. Scarnati to influence him. Judge Creany publicly announced that Joe Scarnati’s letter would have no bearing on his decision. Shortly, the rest of the state will also be aware of Mr. Scarnati’s improper actions…corruption?

Bishop Jack Wisor

Portville Flood Pictures

Thanks to Peggy Austin for sharing these pictures of the flooding in Portville.

News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka says the Allegheny River should be below flood stage Saturday morning.

Water-Covered Exit Ramp

This is why Exit 23 (the Bradford exit) of Interstate 86 is closed.

Photo courtesy of Peggy Austin

Wes Benedict for Wesley Snipes

Why men can't jump on Wesley Snipes

WASHINGTON - Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, issued the following statement today:

"The federal government's recent demand for tax protester Wesley Snipes to report to prison brings attention to how horrible the federal income tax system is.

"The three-year federal prison sentence for Snipes's failure to file tax returns is absurd. Snipes is not a threat to anyone, and the judge who sentenced him clearly just wanted to scare others who might think about resisting federal taxes.

"Maybe it's worth reminding people that Wesley Snipes was acquitted of tax fraud and conspiracy charges in 2008. He was only found guilty on misdemeanor charges of 'willful failure to file an income tax return.'

"Why is a failure to file a tax return a criminal non-act? Should people ever be sent to prison for not doing something? If the IRS wants to come after Snipes and take his money, they have power to do that. Who does it help to send the man to prison?

"The tax code is incredibly vague and open to interpretation. In fact, the 'law' is largely written by IRS bureaucrats. If they decide the law says one thing, you're OK; if they decide it's something else, then you're headed for prison.

"The federal tax code also allows for 'selective enforcement,' to put it mildly. Why is it that Wesley Snipes gets a prison sentence, but known tax cheat Tim Geithner gets promoted to Secretary of the Treasury? Maybe Tim should be Wesley's cellmate. Throw tax cheat politician Charlie Rangel in the slammer too for good measure.

"Why do people like Wesley Snipes and Tim Geithner work so hard to avoid paying taxes? Because THE TAX IS TOO DAMN HIGH! When the government wants to grab 35 or 40 percent of what a person earns, you can expect that person to spend a whole lot of time, effort, and money to get around it. Accountants and tax lawyers use a giant bag of tricks to help their clients pay less tax. When the IRS decides that they're just inside the legal bounds, then everything's great. But when the IRS decides they're just outside the legal bounds, now the person's supposedly a horrible criminal who deserves our hatred. Was Snipes a fraudster, or was he just trying to do what he thought the law allowed? It all depends on who you ask.

"Should we simplify the tax code? Obviously. But better yet, I want to get rid of the federal income tax and replace it with nothing. A federal government limited to its proper functions would cost so little compared to today's bloated, unconstitutional leviathan, that an income tax would be unnecessary.

"People can argue over whether non-payment of taxes is immoral, and whether people are 'avoiding' or 'evading.' (I think one of those two is illegal, but it's hard to remember which.) As an organization, we can't encourage people to break the law. Did Snipes break the law? I have no idea. Did he behave immorally? I don't know. What I do know is that the law is horrible, and the IRS is immoral."

Snipes has been ordered to turn himself in at FCI-McKean on Thursday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Road Closures in McKean, Catt Counties

PA Route 346 in Eldred Township

PA Route 44 in Ceres Township

PA Route 446 in Eldred Township

PA Route 1002 (Champlin Hill Road) in Annin Township

PA Route 155 from Potter to McKean County

PA Route 146 in the Red Mill area

Route 305 South in Portville to the state line

Route 417 Eastbound and Westbound at the Portville underpass

Exit 23 Westbound Exit Ramp of Interstate 86 in the Town of Carrollton (Bradford exit)

County Rod 26 -- Gile Hollow in Hinsdale

County Road 60 in the Town of Allegany

County Road 30 -- Chipmunk Road in the Town of Allegany

Maple Avenue from 2nd Street to First Street in Allegany

East River Road in the Town of Olean from Steam Valley Road to the city line

Smith Road in the Town of Portville

Steam Valley Road in the Tow of Portville from the bridge to Linn Road

1st Street in the Village of Allegany from Main Street to Pine Street

Chapen Cross Road to Pine Street in Allegany

Up That Creek?

Thanks to Patty Gee from Allegany for this picture of the Port-A-Potties.

Thruway Traffic Moving -- Slowly

Traffic has starting moving – but slowly – on the section of the New York State Thruway that’s been closed since about 3 o’clock this morning.

In a news release, the New York Thruway Authoritiy says there is no estimated time for a re-opening of the highway.

Currently snow is falling in some effected areas at the rate of one inch per hour, and is expected to continue for another four to six hours.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority buses are transporting hundreds of stranded motorists to the Cheektowaga Senior Center, which is being used as a shelter. Among the hundreds of people stuck on the road are the D’Youville men’s and women’s basketball teams that played at Pitt-Bradford last night.

No injuries have been reported up to this time, although one person using oxygen was transported as a precaution.

ATVs, snowmobiles, plows and tow-trucks are involved in rescue and digging-out operations, and providing food, water and gasoline, as needed.

The Thruway Authority says it will conduct a post-situation review to improve its performance during future storm incidents.

Flooding in Eldred

Flooding in Eldred has left no way in or out of the village. Also, emergency crews were called in for a water rescue in Bullis Mills at just after 5 p.m. If you have pictures of the flooding there, or anywhere in the area, send them to

You can find information about flooding in Potter County, and parts of McKean County, at Solomon's Words.

The following pictures are from Smethport:

Big thanks to Nancy Connor for the photos of the flooding in Smethport.

Zippo in Alliance with New Jersey Nets

Zippo, maker of the world famous windproof lighter with the Lifetime Guarantee, proudly announces that it has formed a multi-faceted sponsorship alliance with New Jersey NETS Basketball.

As part of this alliance, Zippo will receive a variety of sponsorship entitlements during the 2010-2011 NBA season, including: television-visible courtside signage during NETS home games, advertising time during local radio broadcasts of NETS games and advertising on the NETS’ English and Russian official team Web sites.

“We’re incredibly excited to kick off a sponsorship program with the world-renowned New Jersey NETS,” said David Warfel, Director of Global Marketing, Zippo Manufacturing Company. “Basketball is a sport which embraces endurance and vitality, both of which are at the heart of our brand. We are confident that this partnership will undoubtedly contribute to both organizations’ success and continued growth.”

“This is a perfect alignment of two exciting brands with global objectives,” said NETS CEO Brett Yormark. “We are thrilled that such a respected company as Zippo recognizes the powerful opportunities that exist today as a NETS partner, not only internationally, but in the No. 1 media market in the world.”

In addition to manufacturing windproof pocket lighters, Zippo also offers a full range of products designed to enhance the lifestyle of today’s outdoor enthusiast. Zippo’s award-winning Outdoor Line is built with the same quality and durability that is integral to the brand. Rugged enough to stand up to any condition year-round, the products are tailored to a range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, hunting and barbecuing. Products featured in the Outdoor Line include: Zippo’s Flex Neck Utility Lighter, Outdoor Utility Lighter (OUL®), Windproof Lighter, Hand Warmer, Emergency Fire Starter Kit and Campfire Starter Cedar Pucks.

For more information about the Outdoor Line, visit

Specter, Barton Pay Up on Game Bets

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Congressman Joe Barton of Texas as they made good on their World Series wagers this afternoon. Specter presented Pelosi with Hershey’s chocolate and Barton gave her deep-dish pecan pies from the historic Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies to get into the World Series, and beat the Texas Rangers in the Series.

Photo provided by Specter's office

Fulltime Orthopedic Surgeon Joins KCH

J. Gary Rhodes, FACHE, CEO of Kane Community Hospital and VP of Hamot Health Foundation has announced the mid-December launch of the Orthopedic practice of Vasileios Kostopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Orthopedic Surgeon. "We welcome Dr. Kostopoulos who will provide general orthopedic surgery (sprains, fractures, joint replacements) and sports medicine (arthroscopy). Additionally, Dr. Kostopoulos is fellowship-trained in specialized surgery of the upper extremities (finger, hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder)."

Dr. Kostopoulos served in the Hellenic Navy for eleven years where he received his Medical Doctorate. His internship was at Athens Naval Hospital. He served for two years as Chief Medical Officer on board the Greek warship Tombazis. He completed his five year Orthopaedic residency and served his final years in the Navy as Attending Commander Orthopedic Surgeon, Athens Naval Hospital.

Following his Navy career Dr. Kostopoulos was in private practice in Athens. He left Greece to become Attending Hand Orthopaedic Surgeon at Gulf Coast Orthopaedics in Pensacola, FL and to Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh) where he is completing an Upper Extremity Orthopaedic Fellowship.

Dr. Kostopoulos is also fellowship trained in Microsurgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Surgery in Norfolk and in hand surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics, Division of Hand Surgery, in New York City.

Dr. Kostopoulos is a member of the American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society and World Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.

Dr. Kostopoulos is married with two children. He is employed by Hamot with his fulltime orthopedics practice at KCH. His office is located at the KCH Center for Orthopedics, Pain Management and Rehabilitation across the street from the Hospital at 4355 Route 6 in Kane.

For an appointment, call 814-837-4750. Dr. Kostopoulos will begin seeing patients in mid-December.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kostopoulos and his family to Kane and to return orthopedics fulltime to KCH," stated Rhodes.

Pictured, J. Gary Rhodes, CEO of Kane Community Hospital and Vice President of Hamot Health Foundation welcoming Vasileios Kostopoulos, M.D., Ph.D. to KCH and the KCH Center for Orthopedics, Pain Management and Rehabilitation.
Courtesy of Kane Community Hospital

State of Emergency in Allegany, Portville

A state of emergency has been declared for the Village of Allegany and Town of Portville because of flooding.

Earlier today, Emergency Services and the American Red Cross set up shelters at Portville Central School and the Town of Olean Fire Department on Old Rock City Hill Road.

A third shelter has now been opened at St. Bonaventure University’s Francis Hall.

In addition to the Cattaraugus County roads that were closed earlier in the day, several more have been closed. They are:

Maple Avenue from 2nd Street to First Street in Allegany

East River Road in the Town of Olean from Steam Valley Road to the city line

Smith Road in the Town of Portville

Steam Valley Road in the Tow of Portville from the bridge to Linn Road

1st Street in the Village of Allegany from Main Street to Pine Street

Chapen Cross Road to Pine Street in Allegany

To see the list of others roads that are closed go here.

Help May Be Available for Flood Victims

From Bruce Manning, Director McKean County EMA:

The recent flooding in McKean County has caused damage to people’s homes and properties. If you are a home or business owner and have suffered loss to your home or business, contents, structure, land and improvements you might qualify for a Federal Small Business Administration loan.

For the County to qualify there has to be 25 or more homes that have 40% or more uninsured loss of your property for this low interest Loan. You may contact the McKean County EMA office for further assessment of your damage to see if you may qualify for a Federal Small Business Administration Loan. Flood insurance is usually not part of a home owners insurance policy, you need to check your insurance policy, or with your agent. Call 814-887-5070 ext. 13 or 12.

Photos courtes of Nancy Connor

Annual 'Season's Readings' on Wednesday

For the 18th consecutive year, the Friends of Hanley Library at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will present its annual “Season’s Readings” on WESB’s Live Line program next week.

The show, which can be heard at 1490 AM, will be broadcast at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Dr. Don Ulin, associate professor of English at Pitt-Bradford, will share some poems from around the world with Christmas and mid-winter themes. He will also read a first-hand account from a World War I soldier who participated in one of the Christmas truces, when English and German soldiers gave up war for a day -- or sometimes more -- to share a glass of beer, a game of football and some Christmas carols.

“The Friends are grateful to Dr. Ulin for bringing this wonderful holiday event to our region each December and for continuing the tradition begun by Dr. Laing in the 1990s,” said Stephen Eidson, a Friends’ program committee member. “We always look forward to hearing his selections. We also appreciate that WESB’s Live Line format allows the Friends to reach many listeners in their homes and places of work.”

The annual holiday radio program was created by the late Dr. Robert Laing, professor emeritus at Pitt-Bradford and a board member of the Friends of Hanley Library. The Friends of Hanley Library was founded in 1990 to strengthen relations between the community and Pitt-Bradford’s Hanley Library.

The Friends also acquaints area residents with what the library has to offer by sponsoring cultural and educational programs, usually related to books and authors.

Second Round of First Night Auditions

This just in:
The very talented Scott Douglas will be hosting this year's First Night's Got Talent competition.

Calling all local talent. Start the New Year right with a chance to win a local talent competition.

The First Night Bradford committee is holding auditions for the First Night’s Got Talent competition.

The auditions will be held Monday, Dec. 13, and Monday, Dec. 20, at the First United Methodist Church on Chambers Street. The auditions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. each night. Time is limited for each audition and the entire act must be present for the audition.

Those interested are asked to keep in mind that acts must be family-oriented and need to be available the week of the show for any practice that is called as well as on Dec. 31 from 5 p.m. until midnight. There will be no exceptions.

Acts can bring a CD to accompany them at the auditions; no accompanist will be available for the auditions. Performers must be 13 years of age or older. Those performers who have had venues in past First Nights and were paid are not eligible to participate.

The committee is encouraging all performers to participate – singers, dancers, comedians and jugglers – to name a few.

Bob Teesdale, a singer from Nashville, will be one of the judges.

For more information on the auditions and competition, contact Barb Pedersen and Kim Hallock, both of Bradford.

First Night is a community celebration of the New Year through the arts. It is a drug and alcohol-free, public festival with both local and regional talent.

UPB Student's CNN iReport on Flooding

Emergency Shelters Set up in Catt County

Thanks to the listener/reader who sent in these pictures from Melvin Avenue.

In Cattaraugus County, the Office of Emergency Services has opened a Disaster Operations Center as a result of localized regional flooding.

Several roads are currently closed:

Route 305 South in Portville to the state line

Route 417 Eastbound and Westbound at the Portville underpass

Exit 23 Westbound Exit Ramp of Interstate 86 in the Town of Carrollton (Bradford exit)

County Rod 26 -- Gile Hollow in Hinsdale

County Road 60 in the Town of Allegany

County Road 30 -- Chipmunk Road in the Town of Allegany

Emergency Services in conjunction wit teh American Red Cross has opened a shelter in the Portville Central School for anyone who needs to evacuate their home. Use the south side gym/cafeteria entrance, adn teh access road off Elm Street going around the back of the buildng.

A second shelter has been established in the Town of Olean Fire Department at 1297 Old Rock City Hill Road by the Fire Department and the American Red Cross.

Flooding in Johnsonburg

Pamela Eschrich sent us this photo of the flooding in Johnsonburg. If you have pictures you'd like to share, send them to

Several Roads Closed in McKean County

Extensive rain in McKean County has led to roadway flooding across the Allegheny River corridor. Numerous roads are flooded and closed in McKean County and drivers will encounter delays and potentially hazardous conditions traveling to work Thursday morning. Drivers traveling between New York and Pennsylvania will encounter closed and restricted roads.

Closed roads include:

* PA Route 346 in Eldred Township
* PA Route 44 in Ceres Township
* PA Route 446 in Eldred Township
* PA Route 1002 (Champlin Hill Road) in Annin Township
* PA Route 155 from Potter to McKean County
* PA Route 146 in the Red Mill area

PennDOT expects these roads to remain closed into Thursday afternoon. Drivers may also encounter roadways with water on them. Do not attempt to drive through standing water on roadways. Water may be deeper than it appears.

Outside of McKean County, roadway flooding is widespread and also includes numerous roads in Potter, Cameron and Elk counties. Drivers are urged to allow for extra travel time and should expect delays.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Flooding in Area, More Expected;
Some Catt County Roads Closed

UPDATE: 9 a.m. Thursday -- Ralph Bottone of Limestone tells us the water is starting to recede and he is planning to re-open his restaurant, Raffael's Cafe, sometime today.

Water is already flooding parts of Limestone, Smethport, Shinglehouse and other areas in the region -- and the worst is yet to come in Olean and Salamanca. Flood starge of the Allegheny River is 10 feet, and the river is expected to crest tomorrow at 14 feet 7 inches.

Several roads in Cattaraugus County are closed because of snow and/or flooding:

Fairview Avenue in Hinsdale
Flat Iron Road in Conewango from Route 62 to Youngs Road
Creek Road in Portville
Yankee Hill Road in Ischua
W Keller Hill Road in Hinsdale
Chipmonk Road in Allegany/Carr
Route 446 along the Allegany County Line
Haskell Road/S Happy Hollow & S. Windfall Road in Portville
Swamp Road near Co. Rt. 12 in East Otto
Union Valley Road in Hinsdale between Route 16 and Pennsylvania Road
Guile Hollow Road in Hinsdale

Photo provided by Sharon Yonker, Limestone