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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cops: Woman Stapled Man's Forehead

A Jamestown woman is facing charges for allegedly stapling her boyfriend's forehead.

Police say when they arrived at the scene of a domestic dispute on West 4th Street they found the victim with the staples in his forehead. Their investigation revealed that his girlfriend, Jodi Gilbert, hit him with a carpenter stapler several times.

The victim already had an order of protection against Gilbert. She was arrested for aggravated criminal contempt and assault.

The victim was treated at WCA Hospital.

Fatal Fire in Town of Carrollton

The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking into a fatal blaze that started at around 4 a.m. on Ten Mile Road in the Town of Carrollton.

Sheriff's deputies are waiting until relatives are notified before releasing the name of the victim.

Pennsylvania Farm Show Opens

Watch the Video Here

Video provided by Commonwealth Media Services

Update on Gabrielle Giffords

For the latest news on the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that included US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, go to CNN.com.

Also making news on Saturday:

~~ 15 headless bodies found in Acapulco

~~ Supreme Court to review case against Halliburton

~~ Bob Dole hospitalized

Teresi Named to 'Mandate Relief' Team

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has been named to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Mandate Relief Redesign Team.”

The team will review unfunded and underfunded mandates imposed by the New York State government on school districts, local governments, and other local taxing entities.

The mandates are requirements that a local municipality provide a program, project, or activity on behalf of the state.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/010711mandaterelief

Cocaine Seller Sentenced

A Frewsburg, New York, man who sold cocaine to undercover agents in Pennsylvania twice has been sentenced to state prison.

29-year-old Randy Houghwot was sentenced Friday in Warren County Court to 27 to 54 months in prison on the drug charge.

He was also sentenced to 12 to 24 months for criminal use of a communications facility.

Woman Facing Assault Charge

An Otto, New York, woman is facing assault charges following an incident earlier this week at her home.

Sheriff’s deputies say 24-year-old Courtney Kulczyk hit another person in the face at around 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon.

She’s scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

'App' is Word of the Year

In its 21st annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “app” (noun, an abbreviated form of application, a software program for a computer or phone operating system) as the word of the year for 2010. (Read the entire press release.)

Presiding at the Jan. 7 voting session were ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, and Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com. Zimmer is also the “On Language” columnist for the New York Times Magazine.

“App has been around for ages, but with millions of dollars of marketing muscle behind the slogan ‘There’s an app for that,’ plus the arrival of ‘app stores’ for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers, app really exploded in the last 12 months,” Zimmer said. “One of the most convincing arguments from the voting floor was from a woman who said that even her grandmother had heard of it.”

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 121-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars. In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

http://www.americandialect.org/



Man Charged After Snowmobile Crash

An Olean man is charged with snowmobiling while intoxicated after a crash that injured his 9-year-old son Wednesday night.

Allegany State Park Police say 45-year-old John Perry was thrown from the snowmobile after helping his son operate it. The snowmobile went out of control while the boy was operating it, then accelerated across a field, through some small trees and into an embankment.

The boy was also thrown from the snowmobile. He was flown to Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.


Visitor One Minute, Inmate the Next

A Jamestown man went to the Chautauqua County Jail as a visitor Friday afternoon, and ended up as an inmate.

Sheriff’s deputies say 42-year-old Walter Green was seen passing contraband to 28-year-old Laverne Riley. Prison officials confiscated marijuana, matches and a striker.

Green and Riley were both charges with promoting prison contraband and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Gov. Rendell on '60 Minutes' Sunday



Homicide Charges Bound to Court

Charges against the man accused of driving under the influence of drugs when he hit and killed a PennDOT worker have been bound to court.

42-year-old Donald Blocher of Salamanca, New York, is charged in the death of Jack Griffin on October 2 in a work zone on Olean Road in Foster Township. PennDOT worker James Burrows was also severely injured in the crash.

Blocher remains jailed on half a million dollars bail.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Women Hurt in Cameron Co. Crash

Two women and a baby suffered major injuries in an accident Thursday afternoon on Route 120 in Shippen Township.

State police say a car driven by 37-year-old Saira Bano of Emporium went out of control on the snow-covered road, spun around and traveled into the path of a car driven by 33-year-old Bonnie Halquist of St. Marys. A two-year-old boy in Bano's car also suffered major injuries.

All three were taken to Elk Regional Health Center.

In Case You Missed It



CNN Report: Ignited Package in DC
'Similar' to Those in Maryland

For the lastest on the envelope that ignited today in a Washington DC postal facility, go to CNN.com.

CNN is reporting that the package was "similar in nature" to the devices found in Maryland on Thursday.

Today's package was addressed to Janet Napolitano, a Homeland Security official says.


Police Deal with Accidents, Theft, Animal

Problems with property along with accidents kept police busy over the last couple of days.

Officers were called to a property dispute on Cole Avenue, and were notified of damage to a pole and Mill Street and Jackson Avenue and property damage on King Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

They were called to a hit and run on Clarence Street, assisted Foster Township and Bradford Township police with accidents on Bolivar Drive and Owens Way. They also got a vehicle complaint from South Avenue and a report of a disabled vehicle on West Corydon Street.

Officers looked into a theft on Kendall Avenue, a disturbance on Park Street, a domestic dispute on Williams Street and an animal complaint on West Corydon Street. They also served a few subpoenas and a warrant and received several requests to speak with an officer.


Fourth-Grader Saves Classmate's Life



You can also find the latest on the envelope that ignited at a Washington D.C. post office at CNN.com.

Bob Casey Pushes for Senate Rule Changes

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is calling on the Senate to adopt rule changes to reduce obstruction of legislation and encourage debate on issues important to Pennsylvanians and Americans. Senator Casey is supporting a new rule reform package that would provide greater transparency, allow for a more equitable amendment process and to reduce procedural tactics used to prevent consideration of legislation.

“Partisan gridlock in Washington has been out of control,” said Senator Casey. “Senate rules have been abused in order to block legislation and prevent real debate on the problems facing the country. The Senate should adopt these commonsense rule changes to make Washington more efficient and reduce the political gamesmanship.”

Since entering the Senate, Senator Casey has pursued rule changes to make Washington more effective. Over the past year, he has worked with his colleagues elected in 2006 and 2008 to reform Senate rules and change how the Senate operates. The rules reform package Senator Casey is supporting has 26 Senate cosponsors.

The rules reform package includes five provisions that would do the following:

Eliminate the Filibuster on Motions to Proceed: Makes motions to proceed not subject to a filibuster, but provides for two hours of debate. This proposal has had bipartisan support for decades and is often mentioned as a way to end the abuse of holds.

• Eliminate Secret Holds: Prohibits one senator from objecting on behalf of another, unless he or she discloses the name of the senator with the objection. This is a simple solution to address a longstanding problem.

• Guarantee Consideration of Amendments for both Majority and Minority: Protects the rights of the minority to offer amendments following cloture filing, provided the amendments are germane and have been filed in a timely manner.

• Talking Filibuster
: Ensures real debate following a failed cloture vote. Senators opposed to proceeding to final passage will be required to continue debate as long as the subject of the cloture vote or an amendment, motion, point of order or other related matter is the pending business.

• Expedite Nominations: Provide for two hours of post-cloture debate time for nominees. Post-cloture time is meant for debating and voting on amendments - something that is not possible on nominations. Instead, the minority now requires the Senate use this time simply to prevent it from moving on to other business.

The very first amendment introduced by Senator Casey in the Senate was signed into law as part of the landmark ethics reform legislation. Senator Casey’s law shut down the K Street Project and made wrongfully influencing hiring practices a federal crime. Republicans had used this vehicle to fill high-profile positions with Republican loyalists. The K Street provision would prohibit a Member of Congress from influencing hiring decisions of private entities. Wrongful influence could include threatening or withholding official action. Those found guilty of such actions would be subject to fine, imprisonment or disqualification from public office.

Senator Casey has been an opponent of secret holds that allow one senator to obstruct legislation without publicly revealing their identity. In April 2010, he pledged to not place secret holds and urged Senate leaders to take up legislation to end the practice.

To increase transparency in the appropriations process, Senator Casey cosponsored bipartisan legislation to make public detailed information regarding earmarked spending projects. The Earmark Transparency Act will create a searchable database of all requested congressionally directed spending items that will be made available to the public. Senators and Representatives would be required to post detailed information regarding projects on the website within five days of making their requests to individual appropriations subcommittees.


What's New at CES 2011?



No Advisories for Pymatuning, Tamarack

HARRISBURG -- State officials announced today that there are currently no advisories for Pymatuning Reservoir or Tamarack Lake for 2011. The fish in Pymatuning Reservoir are safe to eat when consumed according to the recommended statewide advisory of one meal per week.

Such advisories are developed through a partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health, and Agriculture.

In the spring of 2010, large numbers of dead fish appeared in Pymatuning Reservoir, Tamarack Lake, and a few other Ohio and New York State lakes. The final cause of the kills was determined to be rapidly rising water temperatures, which stressed local fish populations.

Before the cause was found, temporary “Do Not Eat” advisories were issued for fish caught in Pymatuning and Tamarack. Those advisories were lifted last June.

More information on fish consumption advisories and the most current advisories are available online at www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: “Fish Advisories” and http://www.fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/sumconsumption.pdf.


State Issues Fish Consumption Advisories

HARRISBURG -- State officials today released an updated list of fish consumption advisories that includes nine new advisories and also eases or lifts seven other advisories, and includes fish caught in Warren, Forest and Venango counties.

Due to mercury contamination, officials are advising that people eat Smallmouth Bass from the Allegheny River in Warren, Forest, and Venango counties no more than two times per month.

The advisories were developed through a partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health, and Agriculture.

The advisories are only for fish caught recreationally and do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or those bought in stores or restaurants.

“Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” DEP Secretary John Hanger said. “However, at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals according to these advisories, and in consultation with their physician.”

While fish can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, some fish caught in Pennsylvania may contain chemicals of concern such as mercury and PCBs. These contaminants exist in some waterways due to unregulated industrial practices of the past.

Consumers can reduce the potential risk of exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking fish. Proper preparation generally includes trimming away fat and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking or preparing other foods.

All of Pennsylvania remains under a blanket advisory that recommends limiting consumption of any recreationally-caught fish to one meal per week. This advisory is designed to protect against eating large amounts of fish from waters that have not been tested, or for certain species that have not been tested or fish that may contain other unidentified contaminants. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person.

For 2011, the following new advisories have been added due to mercury contamination:
• Two meals per month advisory for Smallmouth Bass in the Delaware River in Wayne, Pike, and Monroe counties;
• One meal per month advisory for Largemouth Bass in Shohola Lake in Pike County;
• Two meals per month advisory for Largemouth Bass in Lackawanna Lake in Lackawanna County;
• Two meals per month advisory for Largemouth Bass in Stephen Foster Lake in Bradford County;
• One meal per month advisory for Smallmouth Bass in the Susquehanna River in Bradford and Wyoming counties;
• Two meals per month advisory for Smallmouth Bass in the Allegheny River in Warren, Forest, and Venango counties;
• One meal per month advisory for Northern Pike in Conneaut Lake in Crawford County; and
• One meal per month advisory for Largemouth Bass in Crystal Lake in Crawford County.

One new advisory has been added due to PCB contamination:
• One meal per month advisory has been issued for Corbicula (Asiatic Clam) in the Schuylkill River in Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

The following PCB advisories have been eased but not lifted:
• Carp in the Monongahela and the Ohio Rivers at the Point in Pittsburgh has been reduced to a one meal per month advisory;
• Channel Catfish in the Ohio River at the Point in Pittsburgh has been reduced to a one meal per month advisory;
• Brown Trout in Valley Creek in Chester County has been reduced to a one meal per month advisory. Note: Valley Creek remains a No Harvest – PFBC Catch and Release All Tackle Regulation.

Consumption advisories have been lifted for the following:
• Lackawanna Lake in Lackawanna County for Bluegill;
• West Conewago Creek in York County for Smallmouth Bass;
• Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers at the Point in Pittsburgh for Freshwater Drum;
• Licking Creek in Fulton and Franklin Counties for Smallmouth Bass.

More information on fish consumption advisories and the most current advisories are available online at www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: “Fish Advisories” and http://www.fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/sumconsumption.pdf.





Company Fined for Illegal Water Discharge

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it has imposed a $34,000 fine on Chief Gathering LLC, of Dallas, Texas—a subsidiary of Chief Oil and Gas—for illegally discharging hydrostatic testing water at a pipeline project in Penn Township, Lycoming County, in August 2010.

Chief Gathering builds and operates natural gas pipelines. Hydrostatic tests involve placing water in a natural gas pipeline at the required pressure to ensure there are no leaks before it is placed into service.
In conjunction with the enforcement action, Chief agreed to voluntary surrender its discharge permit, and did so early in December.

“Chief clearly did not comply with the requirements of the DEP discharge permit that was issued to the company in February 2009,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber.

DEP’s Water Management Program conducted an investigation on Aug. 12, after Chief notified the department that a hydrostatic water discharge had occurred the previous day—contrary to an earlier notification in which Chief indicated that no discharge would occur.

DEP inspectors determined that 21,000 gallons of hydrostatic testing water remained in storage on-site, but that an additional 25,200 gallons had already been discharged to the Big Run watershed. None of the discharged water reached any nearby surface streams.

The investigation revealed numerous other violations, including:

• Failure to minimize the flow rate from the discharge point and allowing the formation of a 150-foot erosion channel;

• Failure to submit accurate, detailed Notice of Intent project information;

• Discharging hydrostatic test water with a total chlorine residual greater than 0.05 parts per million;

• Allowing an unknown industrial waste to co-mingle in five storage tanks with the hydrostatic test water, which was subsequently discharged; and

• A failure to monitor the discharge for the specified effluent parameters at the minimum frequency required.

The department issued a notice of violation to Chief, and the company provided a detailed explanation regarding the event as well as corrective actions taken to prevent a recurrence.

The fine was paid to the Clean Water Fund, which helps to finance cleanups across the state.



Woman Jailed for Cigarette Trafficking

An Allegany woman who sold untaxed cigarettes over the Internet to both individual smokers and restaurants in New Jersey has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison.

47-year-old Rita Roosa has also been ordered to compensate the state of New Jersey for lost tax revenue.

She sold at least $4.9 million worth of cigarettes, resulting in a $3.9 million tax revenue loss to the state. She pleaded guilty conspiracy to traffic and trafficking in contraband cigarettes.

Roosa is not a member of the Seneca Nationa of Indians.



Pitt-Bradford Names New SID

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named Scott Elliott as its new sports information director.

Elliott comes to Pitt-Bradford from Lindenwood University in St. Louis, where he served as the primary media contact for the men’s and women’s volleyball, track and field, ice hockey and softball teams. He helped implement a new athletics website in the fall of 2009.

Elliott also worked for Fox Sports Midwest in St. Louis, participating in Cardinals Live online chats.

At Pitt-Bradford, Elliott will serve as the media contact for all 14 Panther athletic teams as well as manage the athletics portion of the Pitt-Bradford website.

“We are very excited to have Scott join our staff,” said Lori Mazza, director of athletics. “We are hoping to implement additions to our website that will make it more interactive for the user and start webcasting all indoor events. Scott will play a big role in those initiatives.”

Elliott holds a master’s degree in sports management from Lindenwood, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. While a student at Lindenwood, he was sports director for the campus radio station, where he was the voice of both the football and basketball teams.

Elliott lives in Bradford. He can be reached at dse3@pitt.edu or (814)362-7564.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Natural Gas Expo Being Held in March

The Natural Gas Expo: Cameron-McKean-Potter is being held on Thursday March 10th, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm and Friday March 11th, 9:00 am - Noon at the Sport and Fitness Center at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Education and industry seminars will take place on both days at Blaisdell Hall. A
Wednesday evening networking event will be held for only exhibitors and their guests. You can register, get information and explore sponsorship, exhibitor, and advertising opportunities on the expo's website at www.natural-gas-expo.com.

The event will bring together the natural gas industry and local business entrepreneurs to explore the opportunities that are emerging out of the Marcellus natural gas play. The industry is raving about the quality and quantity of natural gas in Pennsylvania. Industry leaders are taking note and putting major resources into this region. Taking the opportunity to be part of the Natural Gas Expo in Bradford, Pennsylvania is a must if you and your business are interested in becoming part of this emerging industry.

Registration is open! Sign-up today to reserve the best Expo booth locations. Register online at www.natural-gas-expo.com.

For more information contact the Natural Gas Resource Center at (814)
260-5625 or visit www.natural-gas-expo.com.

Butter Sculpture Unveiled at Farm Show

A sculpture made from nearly 1,000 pounds of butter has been unveiled at the 95th Pennsylvania Farm Show, which officially opens Saturday, Jan. 8.

The design depicts a dairy farmer providing milk to children playing on a jungle gym and tossing a ball with a football player.

Sculptor Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, began crafting the life-size design in mid-December and finished just in time for the Farm Show. He also creates sculptures using chocolate and cheese.

The butter will be converted into biofuel after the Farm Show ends.

http://www.farmshow.state.pa.us/

Pictured, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Reading and artist Marie Pelton look over the 2011 butter sculpture at the unveiling event today at the Farm Show Complex.
Courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

Cuomo Plans Webcasts for Students

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning weekly webcasts to schools with updates on state government and answers to questions submitted by students.

The interactive webcasts, called "Albany at Work" are planned during the legislative session that runs through June, and are expected to start next week.

Students can submit questions about government, which Cuomo says will be answered by him or other state officials in the effort to engage students in an active dialogue on government.


Head of Q-Dog Drug Ring Sentenced

A Jamestown man who headed one of the Twin Tiers’ biggest drug rings has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison.

35-year-old Quentin Leeper was the kingpin of the Q-Dog drug ring that was broken up after an investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force led to a series of arrests in 2008.

In May of 2008, one of Leeper’s drug associates, 31-year-old Quincy Turner, was shot to death after he began cooperating with law enforcement.

42-year-old Jose Martinez of Jamestown is one of five people charged with murdering Turner. All five have pleaded not guilty.


Free Application for FAFSA Now Available

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) would like to remind students and families that the 2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available online.

The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants, the need-based Pennsylvania State Grant, many scholarships, reduced-cost federal student loans, work-study programs, and many school-based student aid programs. Completing a FAFSA is a vital step students and families should take when looking for assistance in covering higher education costs.

Completing the FAFSA online helps reduce the potential for errors and offers a quicker processing time. Since most families complete a FAFSA online, the federal government will no longer provide paper FAFSAs. Families have the choice of completing and submitting the form electronically or printing the form and sending it to the U.S. Department of Education through traditional mail. To submit an electronic form, the student and parent must request a personal identification number (PIN) at pin.ed.gov. A PIN should be issued in approximately three days via e-mail and will serve as an electronic signature.

In addition to the FAFSA, first-time applicants for a Pennsylvania State Grant are required to submit a State Grant Form (SGF) which contains data elements not included on the FAFSA. Students will be able to link directly to the SGF from the FAFSA on the Web.

Since schools have different financial aid deadlines, families should complete and submit the FAFSA to the federal government prior to the earliest due date for financial aid applications. The Pennsylvania State Grant deadline is May 1 for all applicants submitting a renewal and first-time applicants in degree and transfer programs.

More information for students and families about obtaining financial aid is available at RepCauser.com.


Area Police Departments Honored by AAA

Three area police departments received Bronze Awards from AAA for their community traffic safety efforts in a recent award ceremony.

Bronze awards were given to , Bradford City, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and the City of Saint Marys police departments.

"We are very proud of the departments for their achievement and participation in the Community Traffic Safety Program," said Terri Rae Anthony, AAA safety adviser. "They went above and beyond the call of duty by organizing projects which would make their community a safer place for motorists as well as local residents."

The awards were given by AAA East Central for a department's safety efforts and enforcement activities geared toward making communities safer. The departments were among hundreds nationwide that participated in the Community Traffic Safety Program.

To be eligible for the annual awards, departments must conduct traffic safety promotions and educate the public on safety topics. In 2010, the departments completed work in safety education, as well as aggressive driving and seat belt grant programs. Those projects were accomplished in cooperation with PennDOT.

"The purpose of the award program is to recognize these great efforts that have advanced the cause of traffic safety so they can be shared and emulated by others," Anthony said.


Bradford City – AAA East Central Regional Manager Lynette Dickinson presents a bronze award to Bradford City Police Chief Chris Lucco


Pitt Bradford – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Police Department was honored with a bronze award from AAA East central.

Saint Marys - AAA East Central Regional Manager Lynette Dickinson presents a bronze award to City of Saint Marys Police Chief Todd Caltagarone and Sgt. Phil Hoh.

2 Million Fish Found Dead



Also, for the latest news on the explosions at the Maryland office buildings, go to CNN.com.

Young Appointed to Finance Committee

ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) has been appointed to the powerful Senate Finance Committee by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

"It is a huge honor and responsibility, and it gives the people in my district an even greater voice about policy decisions made in Albany that affect their everyday lives," she said.

"This assignment especially is significant because of the state's fiscal crisis. We need to get to work immediately to make the structural reforms necessary to curb out-of-control state spending, substantially reduce the suffocating tax burden, and make our state a place where private sector jobs will be created," Senator Young said.

"There is going to be a lot of hard and difficult work ahead. Tough decisions will have to be made. By putting the right policies in place, we can and we must turn our state around so we have a brighter future," she said.

The Senate Finance Committee plays an integral role in reviewing the Governor's proposed budget and developing the Senate Republican Conference's priorities for state spending. The Finance Committee will examine appropriations and disbursements for each agency included in the budget. It also is responsible for reviewing bills or resolutions that provide for an appropriation.

In addition, the Finance Committee is charged with reviewing nominations sent by the Governor for appointments, and moving nominations to the full Senate.

Senator Young said her Conference will fight to shed sunlight on budget negotiations and work with Governor Cuomo to find solutions to the state's fiscal woes.

Calling an orderly and functional system paramount, Senator Young said the state budget process has been "a disgrace" over the past two years.

"We passed budget reform in 2007 that required an open, transparent process in which deadlines were met. We had on-time budgets for the following two years, and then those who seized control of state government ignored the law and forced through budgets that were crafted in secret. Their irresponsible taxes and spending abused the taxpayers and set our economy back even further," she said.

"Everyone in this state is impacted by the state budget, and the people have the right to know what their government is doing," Senator Young said.

Senate Finance and the Rules Committee assignments were the first appointments announced by Senator Skelos. Senator Young said he will release the remaining committee duties next week.

"I don't know yet about the rest of my committees, but I expect that I will be named to a chairmanship. Stay tuned," she said.

Food Banks Get Money from CVS

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania has received $30,000 as part of a consumer protection settlement between the state's Attorney General's Office and the CVS Pharmacy chain.

The settlement addressed complaints about the sale of expired over-the-counter drugs, infant formula, baby food, dairy products and other food items.

The Erie-based organization supplies food to 254 agencies, mostly in Erie County, but it also serves McKean, Cameron, Elk, Jefferson, Warren and five other counties.

http://attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=5915

Talisman Energy Fined for Diesel Spill

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it has fined Talisman Energy USA Inc., of Horseheads, N.Y., $24,608 for a large diesel fuel spill in March 2010 at the company’s Putnam 77 Marcellus natural gas well pad in Armenia Township, Bradford County.

“This spill went off the well pad and into a neighboring farm field,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber. “Talisman is extremely fortunate that it did not impact surface water or wetlands.”

The company reported the spill to DEP, but has been unable to explain the cause.

Discharging a polluting substance like diesel fuel without a permit violates the Clean Streams Law and failing to manage the waste properly violates the Solid Waste Management Act.

The cleanup required 3,800 tons of contaminated soil to be excavated and 132,000 gallons of contaminated water was collected, from which about 450 gallons of diesel fuel was recovered.


Vet to Discuss Illegally Feeding Elk

HARRISBURG – Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian will discuss the harmful effects of winter feeding of elk at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Elk Country Visitor’s Center at 134 Homestead Dr., in Benezette Township, Elk County.

“While feeding elk is illegal any time of the year, as it causes problems by habituating elk to find food around homes and can be dangerous to those who attempt to feed elk by hand, those who violate this law during the winter also put the elk at risk,” Cottrell said. “In 2009, there were four cases involving elk that died of rumen acidosis, which is directly related to artificial feeding.

“There were other deaths that we believed were caused by such feeding, but, in those cases the animal was either decomposed or other circumstances prevented us from obtaining the carcass in time for laboratory analysis to take place.”

As part of his 30-minute presentation, Dr. Cottrell will outline how elk, as well as white-tailed deer, adapt to a winter diet of primarily woody vegetation and can die of acidosis caused by a build up of lactic acid in the rumen, which is the chamber of its four-part stomach responsible for fermentation of food. If elk or deer consume too much highly-fermentable grain, such as corn - which is the most common artificial feed put out during winter - the pH level falls quickly and a shock-like syndrome can occur.

Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers have cited residents in the elk range for the illegal feeding of elk. In one case, an elk was found lying dead on a pile of corn, and the resident dragged it into the woods in an attempt to conceal the situation.

“This presentation is geared to help local residents and camp owners understand that the well-intentioned individuals who are illegally feeding the elk are actually creating a situation in which they may be killing the elk,” Dr. Cottrell said. “For those who truly enjoy seeing elk it is best for them to stop artificially feeding elk and other wildlife. It would be far more beneficial if they were to implement some form of habitat improvement producing cover to reduce weather-related stress or food in the form of digestible native plants on their property.”


For more information on the problems associated with feeding deer and elk, please visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), put your cursor on “Self-Help” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage and click on “Living with White-Tails,” and then click on “Please, Don’t Feed the Deer” in the “Related Information” section.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thompson Sworn in to 112th Congress

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today took the oath of office as a Member of the 112th Congress. Vowing to put great focus on deficit reduction, Thompson said:

“The Congress and the Administration under President Barack Obama has over the last three fiscal years borrowed about $3.7 trillion. That is more than the entire accumulated national deficit for the first 225 years of U.S. history.

“It means we have a $14.2 trillion national debt. It went up by $1 trillion just in the last seven months. The ‘debt’ is the accumulated national deficit. If you divide that number by the population, each citizen now owes more than $45,000. To continue along those lines is unimaginable. We must look at targeted consolidations, cuts or sunsets to programs in the next two years and make government work better for the American people.”

Thompson cited his committee assignments as key to many of the major issues during the new Congress. The issues include jobs, the economy, domestic energy production and agriculture and regulatory mandates.

“I worked hard during the 110th Congress to attain my new committee assignments. I have added the Natural Resources Committee this year and that committee has jurisdiction over much of our domestic energy production,” said Thompson. “I remained on the Agriculture Committee and have been named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry. And, I will continue my work on the Education and Labor Committee.”

Thompson has voiced concerns that, “The federal government, through the Environmental Protection Agency will make attempts at further regulating carbon emissions, agricultural and waste water runoff into the Chesapeake Watershed, and domestic energy production in the Allegheny National Forest. These mandates will have grave consequences for our local economies and local governments. My job will be to advocate for our local interests and ensure the federal government does not overreach, as it so often does.”

After the initial swearing-in of the new Congress, a vote took place on the election of the Speaker of the House. Thompson’s vote was number 218, which, coincidentally, was the vote that gave John Boehner, R-Ohio, the number of votes needed to become the new Speaker. The final tally for Boehner was 241 Republican votes.

Pictured, Speaker of the House John Boehner performs ceremonial swearing-in for Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard. Thompson’s wife Penny is holding the Bible and he is surrounded by relatives and State Representative Matt Gabler, R-DuBois, who is immediately to the right of Thompson in the photo in the back row.

Courtesy of Thompson's office



Cuomo Outlines Plan for 'New' New York

Declaring New York State at a crucial crossroads, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today outlined during his first State of the State Address an action plan to fundamentally transform New York State’s government and economy by getting the state’s fiscal house in order, radically redesigning our governmental structures and operations, and restoring integrity and performance to state government. Governor Cuomo noted that the decisions we make now will impact our State for decades to come.

“We must turn this crisis into an opportunity to fundamentally remake our state into the progressive capital of the nation,” Governor Cuomo said in his message to the legislature. “We must seize this moment to build a new New York for future generations.”

In the first State of the State message open to the public and the first using internet-age technology to deliver the presentation, Governor Cuomo said he would open up government to the public and work in partnership with all stakeholders to address the serious fiscal challenges facing New York State and its local governments.

“We must transform the State of New York from a government of dysfunction, gridlock and corruption to a government of performance, integrity, and pride,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not about budget trimming or cutting, it’s about looking at how we can fix government and make it work for the people. Together, we must take the significant steps needed to reinvent, reorganize and redesign government to restore credibility and to rebuild our economy by creating jobs all across this State.”

In light of the enormous fiscal challenges facing New York, Governor Cuomo’s agenda relies on rethinking core government operations and economic development strategies to provide better results and to maximize resources.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/01052011stateofthestate


Homeless Radio Guy Gets Job Offers



You can also find live updates about the police officer who was fatally shot in Oregon, the Arizona mall hostage situation, the munitions plant explosion in Tennessee and the Nebraska school shooting at CNN.com.

Cameron Co. Gets Money from Settlement

The Cameron County School District will receive more than $160,000 as a result of a bid-rigging settlement with Bank of America.

Between 1998 and 2003 Bank of American along with other financial institutions rigged bids, causing school districts and municipalities to enter into contracts that cost more or earned less than they should have in a competitive marketplace.

The St. Marys Area School District will receive more than $35,000.

http://attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=5913


Men's Soccer Team Earns Academic Award

The 2009-10 University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s men’s soccer team was one of 196 men’s NCAA Division III soccer teams to earn a team academic award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

To qualify, teams had to have a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The Panthers, coached by Dariusz Panol, had a GPA of 3.01. The Panthers were the only men’s team in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference to receive the honor.

“One of our main team goals is to have a 3.0 GPA or better each year,” Panol said. “This was the first year we were able to attain it, and I’m very proud of all the hard work the players put in on and off the field.

“Our standards and expectations are very high for our players, and it brings me great pleasure to have truly gifted soccer players who have a full understanding of what it means to be a student-athlete.”

In addition, Kyle Lewis, a senior history political/science major from North East, received an honorable mention in the Scholar All-East Region.