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Friday, January 21, 2011

Ridgway Cop Guilty of Game Law Violation

A Ridgway Borough police officer has been found guilty and fined $400 for two state game violations after he used an ATV to hunt deer.

Shawn Geci was hunting on the ATV on December 3 in Johnsonburg.

He has 30 days to appeal the conviction and fines.

Thursday's convictions were his third and fourth violations of state game laws. He pleaded guilty and was fined $300 for illegally taking or possessing game in 2005 and fined $200 in 2003 for a game law firearms violation.

Feds: Man Tampered with Witness

A Salamanca man already facing charges for having sex with minors is facing additional charges of tampering with witnesses.

The US Attorney’s office says 45-year-old Kevin Donaldson tried to tamper with one of the girls who is a witness against him.

Donaldson was originally charged with transporting minors accros state lines to have sex with them.

He’s accused of sending three letters to the alleged victim, trying to persuade her not to testify against him, and telling her that he loves her.

Donaldson has pleaded innocent to the original charges.

Senators Casey, Toomey to Sit Together
During State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC—In the spirit of bipartisanship, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced today that they will sit together during the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 25. Democrats and Republicans have typically sat in different sections of the House chamber during the speech.

"The simple act of sitting together in a normally divided chamber will send an important signal that legislating shouldn't be about taking partisan sides," said Senator Casey. "Senator Toomey and I will sit together as public officials representing all the people of Pennsylvania. I look forward to working together and hope the bipartisan spirit will continue for all Members of Congress."

“I am proud to sit with my fellow colleague from Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey,” Senator Toomey said. “There will be many opportunities for us to work together in the 112th Congress, and sitting next to each other is a small, but important step towards setting a civil and cooperative tone for the challenging work ahead of us.”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Whining About Winter?
Not in Warren County!

The Annual Warren County Winterfest starts Friday at Chapman State Park and runs through Sunday.

One of the highlights of the event is the Polar Bear Plunge, when hundreds of people take a dip in the icy cold waters of the West Branch of the Tionesta Creek. This year's plunge is being held at 1 p.m. Saturday and includes a special guest -- Lt. Governor Jim Cawley.

Cawley made a promise during his campaign to do the plunge if he got elected, and he's making good on it. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to attend Winterfest next year, but will not be doing the plunge.

"Grizzly" Gary Wert, who is the master of ceremonies for the plunge (and has done it himself several times), tells us to get to the park well before 1 p.m. if you're plunging, or watching. Shuttle buses are available to take people from the parking areas to the event areas for free.

Other events include sled dog races, cardboard box derby, geocaching, ice skating, snow sculpting and sleigh rides.

For more about the Winterfest you can go to Warren County or listen to my LiveLine with Grizzly Gary here.

PA Jobless Rate Drops in December

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December, down one-tenth of a percentage point from November.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for the fifth consecutive month, according to figures released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was down 5,000 in December to 6,358,000. Resident employment rose by 4,000, the fourth consecutive month of growth. The number of unemployed residents fell by 10,000 to 538,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was down 35,000 from its December 2009 level.

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs fell, for the first time in four months, by 1,100 in December to 5,619,800. Declines were seen in seven of the 11 supersectors, four of which were down at least 1,000 jobs from November (Construction, Manufacturing, Information, and Other Services). Professional & Business services showed the largest gain from November, up 3,800. Education & Health Services also showed noticeable growth, up 2,000 jobs in December. Mining & Logging – the only supersector to not show any monthly declines in 2010, with eleven increases and one month without change – was up 100 jobs in December.

Pennsylvania’s job count is up 65,600 (1.2 percent) from December 2009; nationally, nonfarm jobs were up 1,124,000 (0.9 percent) from last year.

Nushawn Williams Back in Court

Nushawn Williams was in court again today asking to have his guilty plea on rape charges vacated.

He finished serving his sentence on those charges last spring, but the state attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit that’s keeping him in jail, saying he is still a threat to society. That case isn’t expected to go to court until later this year.

As for today’s motion, the judge has not made a decision yet.

Williams was convicted for knowingly infecting more than 13 Chautauqua County residents with HIV in the late 1990s.

FCI-McKean Inmate Gets Another Month

An inmate at FCI-McKean will spend an extra month in prison for having contraband in prison.

51-year-old Hakim Malik Ali pleaded guilty to the charge, and the sentence will be tacked onto the 97-month sentence he’s currently serving.

Ali had a cell phone in the prison last October.

127 with Mafia Ties Arrested

You can read the story at

Neighborhood Watch 'Interest Meeting'
Scheduled for January 27 in Bradford

Many residents and business owners have expressed interest in a sustainable, long term, relevant block watch network for the City of Bradford.

In order to have strength in numbers, Project Pride is attempting to organize a Neighborhood Watch for the City of Bradford.

A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. January 27 at the Bradford Area Public Library for anyone interested in learning, sharing and finding out how to help.

During the meeting, a representative from the City of Bradford Police Department will facilitate a discussion about Neighborhood Watches; share safety/observation tips that can be used right away; and answer residents’ questions.

The organizers are looking for input as to what people want to see in a neighborhood watch program, and are looking for people interested in participating by being a Block Captain or member of the Neighborhood Watch.

All residents in Project Pride, as well as other city residents and/or business owners, interested in participating are encouraging to attend.

Complaints About Animals, Parking

Bradford City police got complaints about animals on North Center Street and Belleview Avenue and parking on Main Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

They also checked out several buildings where alarms were activated, issued a number of subpoenas and looked into a report of a suspicious vehicle on South Kendall Avenue.

Another Burglary in Elk County

Ridgway state police are investigating another burglary – this time at a house.

They say someone walked in the front door of Bruce Bowers’ house on Montmorenci Road and took about $800 from a desk drawer in the den.

Police are also investigating about 40 camp burglaries in Elk and Cameron counties.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doctor Accused of Murdering Newborns

You can also read the story at

Snow Plow Falls into Hole

Rep. Causer on Appropriations Committee

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today was appointed to the state House Appropriations Committee, giving the fifth-term lawmaker greater standing in the development of the annual state budget.

“My number one priority this year is for the state House to adopt an on-time, fiscally responsible state budget, and I believe my appointment to the Appropriations Committee will help us reach that goal,” Causer said. “Many of the people I represent have told me enough is enough when it comes to government spending, and I could not agree more. I will make sure their voices are heard loud and clear in this year’s budget negotiations.”

As a member of the committee, Causer will participate in a series of in-depth hearings with officials from every major state agency and department to determine their budgetary needs. He also will play a role in monitoring ongoing expenditures to ensure departments are operating within the confines of the enacted state budget. Additionally, the Appropriations Committee is responsible for reviewing all legislation to analyze the fiscal impact it may have on the Commonwealth.

“This year’s budget is sure to be a challenge with an estimated revenue shortfall of at least $4 billion,” Causer said. “We have a lot of work to do to make up for the overspending of the Rendell administration.”

In addition to his new role on the Appropriations Committee, Causer will also serve on the Health Committee for the first time in his tenure with the state House.

“I am very happy to have the opportunity to serve on this committee and advocate for our rural hospitals and health care system,” Causer said. “It is vital for our citizens to have access to affordable, quality health care without having to travel to Pittsburgh, Erie or New York to get it.”

Causer also will continue his service on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

His goals as a member of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee include expanding the state’s alternative energy opportunities as well as facilitating the ongoing development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry. Causer said he wants to ensure the region benefits from the economic opportunities presented by the Marcellus, but he also recognizes the importance of protecting the state’s water supply.

The lawmaker is a long-time member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, to which he brings his past experience as an EMS volunteer. His goals on that committee are to continue providing veterans with the support services they need and deserve, and to ensure the public safety of the Commonwealth’s citizens.

This session, Causer also will continue his service as chairman of the Legislative Timber Caucus and vice chairman of the Firefighter and Emergency Services Caucus.

Burglary, Thefts Reported in Bradford

Bradford City Police are investigating a reported burglary on East Main, a theft on High Street, and theft from a vehicle on Bon Air Avenue, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

Officers also got reports of a traffic problem on Cole Avenue, an erratic driver on Route 219, harassment on Main Street and a disturbance on Florence Street.

Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

A Warren man has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

23-year-old Joshua Atwell and 55-year-old Richard Raspatello of Kersey conspired to defraud financial institutions throughout western Pennsylvania on a number of occasions.

Atwell will be sentenced May 2. Raspetello already pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in March.

Cops: Sexual Assault Didn't Happen

An Olean woman who told police she was sexually attacked in Oak Hill Park has admitted that she made up the story.

Police say that toward the end of their investigation she admitted she was not telling the truth about the attack.

She had been taken to Olean General Hospital after taking 9 Benadryl tablets.
The woman has not been charged with making false reports, but has agreed to seek counseling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Olean Woman Reports Sexual Attack

An 18-year-old Olean woman says she was sexually attacked in Oak Hill Park Monday night.

Olean police say the woman was walking home on Putnam Street at 7:55 p.m. when a black man attacked her from behind, put a cloth to her face, dragged her into the park and had sex with her. The man then uncovered her face and ran away toward West State Street.

Police took the woman to the hospital because she took 9 Benadryl tablets and to collect evidence of the attack.

They are continuing their investigation.

Appliance Causes Sunset Bay Blaze

A faulty kitchen appliance caused a fire that damaged a Sunset Bay home Tuesday morning.

Sheriff’s deputies say the residents were not home when the fire started at around 8 a.m.

The Sunset Bay Fire Department and several others responded to the blaze. The county fire investigation term determined the cause to be the appliance.

Teen Charged for Bouncing Babies

A Salamanca teenager is facing charges for endangering the welfare of two babies.

Salamanca Police say the 17-year-old girl threw two six-week old infants on a bed hard enough to make them bounce in the air a few inches at the Zafron House in Salamanca. The teen then tried to shut staff members out of the bedroom.

The teen was taken to Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

The infants were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Corbett Sworn In as 46th Governor

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today delivered his Inaugural Address after being sworn-in as Pennsylvania’s 46th governor:

Chief Justice Castille; Governor Rendell, Judge Rendell; members of the judiciary; leaders and members of the General Assembly; members of Congress; my fellow Pennsylvanians: today we celebrate a long, proud, and sustaining tradition of democracy.

Over three hundred years ago, a free society took root here in Penn’s woods. The leaders of those times were uneasy with a government more prone to political favor than fairness to the people. They were deeply troubled by government exploitation and excess and through the course of human events, envisioned the potential for a new government – a new ideal – based in unalienable rights and power derived from the consent of the people.

That debate conducted by our forefathers, beginning with William Penn and carried through the 13 colonies to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, was not without moments of rancor or sacrifice. But those noble leaders stood true to the belief that civility stands at the core of fair and peaceful governance.

As we open this new chapter in Pennsylvania’s history, let us also step forward firmly dedicated to a civil discourse. Let us not confuse acrimony with passion or partisanship with principle. Rather, let us take this opportunity to begin a new kind of debate – one that honors our shared history and unites us as citizens in common purpose. In doing so, I have great faith that we will unleash a new common prosperity to benefit all Pennsylvanians.

I would like to take this moment to recognize Pennsylvania's new First Lady, my wife, Sue. She is my partner; my rock; my everything. Her love of culture and history has always inspired me and I know she will be an inspiration for all Pennsylvanians.

It is fitting that I assume the office of governor pledging my oath on William Penn’s bible. As governor, I will lead each day grounded in the truth of Penn’s first charted liberties and mindful of the role we have in democracy’s endurance. I will honor your trust by standing firm in my guiding principle to do the right things, for the right reasons, even in the most challenging of times. And I will dedicate each and every day over the next four years to fiscal discipline and a responsible, limited government.

The chill that we feel today isn’t solely January’s wind. We gather during uncertain times and no one has been left untouched. Pennsylvania is known for hard workers, but today they must search too hard for work. Small businesses can’t hire. Large employers can’t invest. Government has spent beyond its means and individual corrupt acts have eroded an essential element of leadership – the public’s trust.

As we turn this new page in history, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley and I seek to chart a new course for Pennsylvania. Together, we are dedicated to leadership that is responsive to fiscal realities; leadership that takes on financial burdens, rather than passing those burdens on to the next generation; and leadership that can see beyond today’s turbulence and into tomorrow’s tranquility.

For some, the impasse between political considerations and economic realities is too difficult. For some, the deadlock between the current size of government and the size our government should be is too daunting. I disagree.

I have had the privilege to see and experience all that is special about Pennsylvania. Our land is rich in resources. Our industry is rooted in innovation. And our people – our people are extraordinary in their diversity and determination. As they work to make a living and raise their families –our people are exceptional in their dignity.

Our Commonwealth has been built by exceptional people, with exceptional ideas. William Penn ventured into uncharted lands to fulfill his dream of a great “Holy Experiment.” Ben Franklin struggled to define a young country’s foundation. And countless men and women, honored in Soldier’s Grove, just behind you, demonstrated exceptional courage as citizen soldiers protecting those freedoms.

Today, Pennsylvania’s tradition of character and courage carries on in the single mother who works an extra job so she can send her children to a better school; in the researchers who have taken a nugget of an idea and turned it into viable nanotechnology; and in the third generation farmer who is as committed to the environmental integrity of his land as he is to keeping the family farm going.

Our people – our fellow Pennsylvanians – make this an exceptional state. Today I call upon everyone in state government to summon all of the will and talent within you to advance the promise of our Commonwealth and to perform exceptionally for all Pennsylvanians.

This will require creativity and courage, and be assured that where there is creativity and courage we will navigate the pending storms.

It will take courage, it will take courage to pursue government and legislative reform. As individuals, there are moments that require quiet contemplation; an intimate “step home within ourselves” to carry us to our ultimate destination. Today is our moment to assess our state government and choose a course that will renew the founding principles of democracy’s covenant.

In that reflection, I believe the only conclusion is the one the people expressed last November. We must act to renew the people’s trust in government. We must restore transparency, accountability and fiscal discipline. But we will move forward with government and legislative reform because, without it, there is no good government.

We need good government. The people now demand it. And they deserve it. We will lead the way toward a government that understands that, just as families have found a way to live within their means, it too must budget in a way that is responsible and honest, a government that has the courage to find fiscal strength in restraint, a government that shows compassion for those most in need and recognizes its citizens’ great investment, a government that must yield them a hopeful, realistic return.

To those who create jobs and to those who raise our future workers: you deserve a government that will not ask more of its citizens until it asks more of itself. I will not shrink from such a challenge; nor will I ignore the opportunities to set Pennsylvania on its new course, a new course where financial security leads us to prosperity and greatness.

You will never hear me say “impossible.” To say it, or worse, to believe it, would accomplish nothing. I see the possible. And in the possible I see a promising future for Pennsylvania.

I see a promising future; one that breathes new life into our existing economies such as agriculture and manufacturing. I see a future that embraces innovation in emerging frontiers of energy, life sciences and biotechnology. I see a future that sets free the kind of creativity and competition that will make Pennsylvania the envy of our nation.

I believe in Pennsylvania and I believe in Pennsylvanians. And in those beliefs is a certainty that the best way to embrace innovation – the best way to make us competitive – is to make us competitive in education. Today, our students compete not only with those from the other 49 states, but with students from around the world. Our education system must contend with other nations and so we must embrace innovation, competition and choice in our education system.

All of this will take time. The challenges we face were not created overnight, nor will they be solved in a 24-hour news cycle or an arbitrarily conceived deadline. It is more important to lead with decisive action that is accurate and precise. This is a generational moment. Our children’s grandchildren deserve our focused attention on doing only what is right to bring about this generational change.

I am confident. I am confident because as we work to steady our Commonwealth with patience and perseverance, our courage will be no less than what Pennsylvanians have already done in summoning their own best from within.

There is no more noble example of Pennsylvania’s inner strength, than the generations of courage commemorated just across the way in Soldier’s Grove. Last week, I walked among the trees and plaques that honor the men and women whose personal sacrifice have timelessly protected our freedoms. They were ordinary people serving in extraordinary times. They demonstrated their commitment during the harsh winter at Valley Forge, their courage in the bloody fields of Gettysburg, and their valor on the beachheads of Normandy. Their heroism in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq humbles us. And today, I ask that we honor all those who continue to “hang tough” in Afghanistan.

“Wars do not make people great, but sometimes they bring out the greatness in good people.” Such was the wisdom of the beloved Pennsylvania patriot Major Richard “Dick” Winters. His recent passing is a loss not only for Pennsylvania, but our entire nation. Major Winter’s valor behind enemy lines in France was immortalized by the Band of Brothers, but I believe that what makes us look to him as a leader and true hero was his courage, his earnest humility, his private determination and the warm respect he showed and fostered among his men. Over the Capitol today, we fly a flag given to Major Winters by fellow soldiers in honor of the legacy he leaves and a reminder to all of us.

Let us honor Major Winters, and all those who have served by calling upon the best within ourselves. Let us dare to do great things, by daring to do what is right day by day. And let our legacy reflect all that is exceptional about Pennsylvania.

In doing so, we will find a true common wealth that allows this generation and future generations to dream with credible hope.

Join me. With God’s protective guidance we will lead with clear minds, full hearts, and eyes set toward new generations of Pennsylvania’s true and sustaining greatness.

May God bless you. May God bless our Commonwealth, and may God bless the United States of America.

Provided by Commonwealth Media Services

Cawlely Sworn In as Lieutenant Governor

Lt. Governor Jim Cawley joins Judge Mike Fisher, his wife Suzanne and his son Nicky following swearing-in ceremonies in the State Senate.
Photo provided by Senate Republican Communications

Driver Not Hurt in One-Car Crash

A St. Marys woman escaped injury in a one-car crash at 3:15 this morning on Route 120 just east of Beechwood Road in Shippen Township in Cameron County.

State police say a car driven by 24-year-old Heather Penfield went out of control on the snow-covered road and hit a utility pole.

Police say Penfield was wearing a seatbelt. She will be cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

Assault, Theft Reported in Bradford

Bradford City Police investigated an assault on West Corydon Street and a retail theft on West Washington Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

Officers also got reports of found property on School Street, a traffic hazard on East Main Street, a vehicle complaint on Edna Avenue and public drunkenness on Main Street.

Police also did a number of traffic stops and received several requests to speak with an officer.

Senator Toomey Visits Afghanistan

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) recently visited Afghanistan and Pakistan on a congressional delegation (CODEL) led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

During their trip, the senators met with U.S. troops, military officials and political leaders to discuss political, economic and security issues in the region. In addition to meeting with Pennsylvania troops, Sen. Toomey met with General David Petraeus, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of army staff of the Pakistan army.

Sen. Toomey left Washington, D.C., Jan. 13 and will be returning to Pennsylvania today.
Sen. Toomey was joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Pictured, Toomey visits a school in Nawa, Afghanistan, built by U.S. Marines. Toomey meets with villagers in Nawa, located in southern Afghanistan.
Photos provided by Toomey's office

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rango -- Again

In case you missed this the first time I posted it, here's the trailer for the movie "Rango," starring Johnny Depp and featuring Lew Temple. See if you can find Lew in the trailer. (Hint: His first appearance is about 30 seconds into it.)

Obama Family Marks MLK Day

To read the story go to

Mail Scatters for Miles

Attempted Camp Burglary in Elk County

State police are investigating yet another camp burglary in Elk County.

They say someone attempted to enter a camp on Demo Drive in Highland Township by kicking the front door. The incident happened sometime between December 30 and 8 o’clock this morning.

Police are currently investigating at least 40 camp burglaries in Elk and Cameron counties.

Person Walkng, Texting is All Wet

Police Called to More Domestic Incidents

Police continued to be kept busy with domestic disturbances over the weekend. They were called to Orchard Place, Kane Street, High Street and Congress Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet faxed to WESB and The HERO by the police department.

Officers were also asked to remove unwanted people from Kane and Congress streets; were called to a disturbance on Interstate Parkway; investigated a report of a stolen vehicle on Cole Avenue; looked into hit and runs on Barbour and Summer streets; and went to a motor vehicle accident on Davis Street.

Police also got complaints about parking on Jackson Avenue and Williams Street and animals on Barbour and Davis streets. They also got a number of requests to speak with an officer.

Toomey Visits Afghanistan, Pakistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On a conference call with reporters today from Kabul, Afghanistan, Senator Pat Toomey talked about his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan with six other members of Congress.

“The purpose of this trip was to become familiar with our efforts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and to learn from our commanders on the field, our embassy officials and some of the people we are working with in these countries. It was also an opportunity to make it clear to the leaders in both Islamabad and Kabul that we’re committed to success here and to discuss some of the things they need to do to make sure we’re successful.”

“It is truly amazing what the American servicemen and women are doing in Afghanistan. The caliber, the talent, the dedication and the ability of our troops are incredibly impressive, and there is no question that they are doing a terrific job and making tremendous progress. The big challenge now, as we continue to clear the remaining difficult areas in Afghanistan, is making sure there is an actively trained Afghan army, police force and other governmental institutions to be able to sustain the progress we have made.”

Sen. Toomey left Washington, D.C., Jan. 13 and will be returning to Pennsylvania Jan. 18. During their trip, the senators met with U.S. troops, military officials and political leaders to discuss political, economic and security issues in the region. In addition to meeting with Pennsylvania troops, Sen. Toomey met with General David Petraeus, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of army staff of the Pakistan army.

Sen. Toomey was joined by Minority Leader McConnell (Ky.), Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Senator Richard Burr (N.C.), Senator Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Senator Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.).

Lackawanna Man Dies in Route 219 Crash

A Lackawanna, New York, man is dead after a two-car crash Sunday on Route 219 in Ellicottville.

State Police say at about 1:30 Sunday afternoon a driver lost control of his car on the snow and ice and hit an SUV driven by 53-year-old Joseph Faircloth head-on.

Police say 33-year-old Matthew Disch of Henrietta suffered a broken ankle and may end up facing charges.

That section of Route 219 was closed for about 4 hours Sunday.