Showing posts from February 13, 2011

One Book Bradford
Discussion on 'Still Life'

Dr. Anita Herbet talks about, and leads a discussion on, this year's One Book Bradford selection 'Still Life' by Louise Penny at the Bradford Area Public Library.

Today's event was the first of four activities being held by One Book Bradford. On March 19 at the library the McKean Historical Society will present "Tales of Murders in the Bradford Area" and Dr. Tony Gaskew, professor of Criminal Justice at Pitt-Bradford, will present "Insights into Modern Day Sleuthing Techniques." Admission is free.

Author Louise Penny will be in Bradford May 3 for a talk and book signing. That's also free and open to the public.

Woman Charged with Stealing Medication

A Galeton woman is charged with stealing prescription pills from the man she’s living with.

State police say during the last year 57-year-old Yolana Dusik filled prescriptions belonging to 72-year-old Edward Balch for Percocet and Valium then resold them.

The value of the medication she stole was $4,479.

Dusik is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and distribution of a controlled substance, all felonies, and possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.

She was sent to Tioga County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Teen Charged with Passing Out Pills

A 15-year-old boy is facing charges after being accused of taking prescription pills to school and passing them out to other students.

The incident happened Thursday when a teacher at Ellicottville Middle School noticed a student acting oddly and questioned him. That questioning led to two other boys – ages 13 and 14 – who were eventually taken to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. One of the boys was in intensive care until Friday morning.

Sheriff’s deputies charged the 15-year-old with criminal diversion of a prescription medication and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors, according to a fax sent to WESB and The HERO.

The 15-year-old was released to his parents and will appear in Cattaraugus County Family Court.

Naked Sausage Thief in Florida


PA Lifts In-State EAB Quarantine

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced that the state Emerald Ash Borer quarantine restricting the in-state movement of ash materials and all hardwood firewood will be lifted April 15. However, a federal quarantine remains in effect.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly invasive, wood-boring beetle that kills ash trees and poses a threat to the state’s $25 billion hardwoods industry.

Acting Agriculture Secretary George Greig says because the Emerald Ash Borer has moved rapidly across the state, the in-state quarantine restrictions no longer serve a productive purpose.

Since 2007, when the Emerald Ash Borer was first observed in Butler County, the pest has been found in 17 additional counties, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Centre, Clarion, Cumberland, Fulton, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Union, Washington and Westmoreland.

For more information, go here PDF

Possible Phone Scam Hits Elk County

A Johnsonburg man tells police he received 8 telephone calls on Thursday from a man saying he was a collection officer for an undisclosed loan company, and asking for immediate payment for a defaulted loan.

Police say they believe this is a scam and are asking people to not give any financial information out over the phone unless the caller has been identified.

The number the possible scammer used is 661-213-9218.

Leaders Certified as Members of the
Legislative Reapportionment Commission

HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-66) announced today that they have officially certified the four caucus floor leaders – Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-28), Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-43), and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-33) – to serve on the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC).

The certification, required by Article II, Section 17(b), of the state constitution, was delivered this morning to Carol Aichele, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The LRC is a five-member panel responsible for redrawing the boundaries for state Senate and state House districts. Article II, Section 17, of the state constitution names the four caucus floor leaders as members of the Commission. They are to choose a fifth member, who serves as chair of the LRC. The deadline for that selection is 45 days from today's certification, or April 4.

In January,…

Push Begins Anew For Juvenile Protection

Senator Lisa Baker has launched the first full-session push for juvenile justice reform by introducing a series of bills to protect the fundamental rights of kids entering the system.

"For too many years, the system utterly and completely failed to protect juveniles in Luzerne County. Now, it is our obligation to approve legislation, judicial rule changes, and administrative procedures necessary to safeguard the rights of juveniles, as the state Constitution requires and a commitment to quality justice dictates," Baker said.

Baker's bills will:

~~ Eliminate waiving counsel in juvenile delinquency hearings
~~ Create a victim advocate devoted to juvenile justice
~~ Require judges to state on the record the reasons behind disposition orders
~~ Expedite appellate review of juvenile cases
~~ Prohibit shackling of juveniles in the courtroom

Baker believes that the wide-raging recommendations of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice must be enacted, plus several reforms …

'Gasland' Maker on 'American Morning'


Reporter Watches Garbled Grammy Shot


Verdict in 'Kids for Cash' Trial

The former Luzerne County judge involved in the Kids for Cash scandal has been convicted of racketeering.

A jury found 61-year-old Mark Ciavarella guilty of 12 of 39 counts.

Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and a second judge, Michael Conahan, of taking nearly million in bribes from the builder of two juvenile detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities' co-owner. .He then sent children who committed minor offenses to the centers to keep the beds full and justify building the centers.

The state Supreme Court threw out about 5,000 convictions.

Judge John Cleland chaired the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice that investigated the Kids for Cash scandal and the underlying corruption in the county.

During a talk Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Cleland said whether Ciavarella is convicted or not “makes no difference to the children involved.”

Theft on Main Street, Racing 4-Wheelers

Bradford City Police on Thursday investigated a theft at a Main Street business, a vehicle break-in on Williams Street and a motor vehicle accident on Interstate Parkway.

Officers also received calls about a fight on Bank Street, harassment on Clarence Street and a suspicious vehicle at GGB Elementary School, according to the complaint report and request sheet. They were called to a domestic incident and were asked to remove an unwanted person on South Avenue.

In addition to half a dozen requests to speak with an officer and a transport to McKean County Jail, police also got complaints about juveniles on Belleview Avenue and Barbour Street, parking on Veterans Square and 4-wheelers racing on Park Street.

SBU Radio Station a Finalist for Award

WSBU, St. Bonaventure University’s student-run campus radio station, is now one of 10 finalists for mtvU’s 2011 College Radio Woodie Award.

A college-oriented member of the MTV family, mtvU first narrowed its list of 50 nominated college stations to 25 with online voting from Feb. 1-8, and then pared the list of 25 to 10 with voting that concluded Feb. 15.

Annually among The Princeton Review’s top 5 college radio stations, WSBU now has a chance to be named the nation’s top college station and be recognized at the sixth annual mtvU Woodie Awards March 16, airing at midnight on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU from the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas.

Listeners can vote online — as many times as they like — until March 1 at

Pirates Pitchers at Spring Training

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton, top, throws some balls under the watchful eyes of a few coaches. Paul Maholm gives an autograph to a young fan during spring training in Bradenton, Florida.

Photos provided by the Pittsburgh Pirates

Senate Votes to Preserve EAS Program

The US Senate voted today to preserve the federal program that supports smaller airports, including Bradford Regional.

Senators rejected John McCain’s amendment by a vote of 61-38.

“Eliminating the EAS program would have been devastating to the economies of rural communities in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Bob Casey. “I am proud to stand up for the regions of Pennsylvania that rely on the EAS program for sustained economic development and jobs. At a time when the Commonwealth is struggling to recover from a devastating recession, I will continue to fight everyday for economic growth and job creation strategies for Pennsylvania.”

Earlier this month, Casey joined three Senate colleagues in sending a letter to McCain outlining their opposition to his amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill that would have eliminated the EAS program.

Besides Bradford, airports in DuBois, Oil City, Altoona, Johnstown and Lancaster are supported by EAS and received a total of nearly $9 million last year.

Convicted Killer Ernie Simmons to
Remain Jailed After Probation Revocation

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati announced today that Ernie Simmons has had his probation revoked and will remain in prison. Scarnati has repeatedly expressed serious concern, over the past several months, regarding the decision to allow Simmons to take up residency in the local area.

“I am pleased that the Judge’s decision is in accordance with the feelings of a large majority of residents in the local community,” Scarnati stated. “I have stated time and time again my opposition to a convicted murderer being placed in a local group facility. Obviously, I have on numerous occasions expressed those concerns to the Judge, as well as the Board of Probation and Parole.”

According to Scarnati, Simmons faces 6 months to 10 years in prison for his most recent violation.

In 1993, Ernie Simmons was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1992 beating and strangulation of 80-year-old Anna Knaze of Johnstown. But a federal judge ruled in 2005 that prosecutors withheld some evidence t…

Disturbances, Disputes and Drivers

Bradford City Police on Wednesday answered calls about disturbances on West Corydon and East Corydon streets, a dispute on School Street and noise on Kiwanis Court.

Officers also got calls about an erratic driver on South Kendall Avenue, parking problems on High and Pleasant streets, possible unregistered vehicles on Belleview Avenue and a low wire on Williams Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

DEP Fines Fire Company

DEP has reached an agreement with a Jefferson County fire deparatment that illegally burned demolition debris last August.

DEP received complaints from residents concerning smoke and odors from the illegal fire that the Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Company started to burn debris from a former commercial building adjacent to the fire hall.

DEP cited the fire department for its intentional open burning as well as smoke and odors crossing property lines. The agreement requires the fire company to pay a $5,000 penalty.

PSP Looking Into Water Tank Leak

State police are trying to determine whether a leak at a water tank in Mount Jewett was caused by vandalism or a worn out seal.

They were called to a report of possible criminal mischief at the tanks located off High Street in the borough on Wednesday when one of the three tanks started leaking.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Casey: Block Congressional, President's
Pay During A Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) today called for the pay of Members of Congress and the President of the United States to be blocked in the event of a federal government. A government shutdown had been threatened by some Washington politicians.

“Economists have warned that a government shutdown would hurt the economy and endanger job creation,” said Senator Casey. “A shutdown in a fragile economic recovery will hurt people who have already suffered through the recession. If it comes to a government shutdown, everyone should agree that Members of Congress and the President should not receive pay or retroactive pay.”

Washington Republican leaders have refused to take the threat of a government shutdown off the table, even though a shutdown would affect the lives of millions of Americans by disrupting Social Security checks, benefits for veterans and paychecks for our troops.

The legislation introduced today with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) prevents Members of Congress…

A Message from Lew Temple

Actor Lew Temple sent an e-mail to Scott Douglas talking about Unstoppable and his new movie, Rango (which we've told you about a few times). He also had a message for Bradford, so we're passing it along:

I am hopeful that the harsh winter is not dampening the spirits of you and fellow Bradfordians too bad. I am guiltily enjoying 70-80 degree sunny weather for the most part, as we prepare for spring, which for us in Los Angeles generally means some rain.

Really lovely that we have such support for Unstoppable in the form of amazing sales. Everyone should get a copy, because as I have said all along it is the community that the movie thrives from. It's aesthic, its spirit, it's people. It is as much to do with the community as any. I am proud to be part of both.

Lisa and I attended the premiere of Rango on Valentines Day. It was a lot of fun, as things involving Johnny Depp are prone to be. The movie is so very good, funny, cinematic, and very adult in both humor and metap…

Community Watch Blog Started

The second Community Watch program meeting in Bradford was Wednesday night at Fretz Middle School.

Project Pride Manager Lisa Keck said Community Watch deals with more issues than crime.

"I think a lot of times people think drugs, guns, robberies," she said, "but there are a lot of other quality of life issues."

Keck mentioned code enforcement, pet problems and trash as some of the issues that could be dealt with.

"As a group I think we can tackle a lot of different things and use this as a mechanism to do it, get the word out to a lot more people and get a lot more involvment. That's basically what we're hoping for here," she said.

If you want more information about the program, you can go to the program's new blog:

Pictured, Project Pride Manager Lisa Keck and Bradford City Police Chief Chris Lucco address the people who attended Wednesday's meeting.

Cleland: 'Kids for Cash' Arose from
Human Failures of Greed, Corruption

On the day a Luzerne County jury started deliberating in the case of Judge Mark Ciavarella, Judge John Cleland was at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford talking about the "Kids for Cash" scandal and Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which he chaired.

You can listen to his presentation by following the links below.

Part 1

You can watch the 20/20 videos:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Part 2

Part 3 (question and answer session)

In Part 4 Cleland talks about a boy who's story sticks with him.

Pictured, Judge Cleland and a group of students Dr. Tony Gaskew described as "some of the most talented and brightest criminal justice students we have at UPB."

You can read some of our previous stories about Kids for Cash here.

'Brand Champions' Honored at UPB

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on Wednesday celebrated faculty and staff who “go beyond” and chose winners among the student body who submitted homemade Pitt-Bradford videos.

At the 5th annual Go Beyond Brand Party, the Anthropology program, TRiO Student Support Services and Student Government Association were honored as this year’s Brand Champions.

Selected by Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford’s president, the Brand Champions are those people who best outwardly live the university’s brand promise, which includes providing a safe, friendly and personalized campus environment.

Anthropology was recognized for the involvement of its faculty members, Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology, and Dr. Michael Stuckart, associate professor of anthropology, beyond the classroom.

Both professors actively encourage students to study abroad and have led trips and research trips to Central and South America. Champlin volunteers her time and expertise to local historical …

Toomey: Debunking Debt Limit 'Hysteria'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) delivered a major policy speech at the Heritage Foundation on the country’s spending problems and the recent debt limit debate.

Borders Store in Erie to Close;
Buffalo Stores to Remain Open

The Borders book store in Erie will close as part of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, but all the Buffalo store will remain open.

You can find a list of the store closings at Border (PDF)

CNNMoney reports that Wall Street expected the bankruptcy filing:

Committe Formed to Draft Donald Trump

ST. CHARLES, MO. -- Decorated Iraq War veteran Nick McLaughlin of St. Charles, Missouri, has announced the formation of a grass-roots, all volunteer organization to draft New York developer Donald J. Trump for the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination.

McLaughlin saw combat in three tours in Iraq in the US Marine Corp and was hit by shrapnel from a car bomb in Ubush, Iraq. He was awarded a Purple Heart and nine other medals including a Presidential citation.

"Under Barak Obama, America has become a laughingstock around the world," said McLaughlin, in a news release sent to WESB and The HERO. "America needs a strong leader like Donald Trump to restore America's economic strength and respect around the world."

McLaughlin, who has never been active in politics before, said he had filed the committee with the Federal Election Commission and that the organization was not directed, authorized or funded by Trump. "I have never met Mr. Trump," said McLaughlin,…

Senate Passes Mandate Relief Legislation

ALBANY - The State Senate has passed mandate relief legislation sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C – Olean), that would give local governments more authority and flexibility and help save taxpayer dollars.

“In this time of tight budgets and overstrapped taxpayers, every dollar is precious and should be used in the most effective and efficient manner possible. It is crucial that we focus on passing legislation to give county governments the ability to finally achieve long-term and meaningful mandate relief that can be passed onto the taxpayers,” said Senator Young.

One of the provisions (S.764) that passed would allow two or more contiguous towns to jointly purchase highway equipment.

“Service on our roads and highways is extremely important, but the equipment that is needed can be very expensive, especially for local governments that are stretched to the limit. This is common sense and cost effective legislation that allows for the sharing of expensive highway equipment betw…

Cleland to Talk About 'Kids for Cash'

RadioPA’s Matt Paul reports that federal prosecutors say former Luzerne County Judge Ciavarella and former county President Judge Michael Conahan received payments from the builder and co-owner of two juvenile detention facilities in a $2.8 million Kids for Cash scheme which prompted the state Supreme Court to throw out thousands of convictions.

While on the stand, Ciavarella admitted accepting "finder's fees" from a developer but not bribes.

Conahan has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Judge John Cleland will be talking about the Kids For Cash scandal at 7 o’clock tonight in the Bromeley Family Theater.

Cleland was chairman of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which investigated what Cleland called “the breathtaking collapse of the juvenile justice system in Luzerne County.”

PA Teen Athlete Walks After Spinal Injury


Man Admits Killing Mercyhurst Student

A Syracuse-area man has pleaded guilty to strangling and suffocating a Mercyhurst College student in November.

21-year-old Steven Pieper of Liverpool admitted in court that he killed his former girlfriend – 20-year-old Jenni-Lynn Watson – while she was home for Thanksgiving break. He then dumped her body near a park outside of Syracuse, where it was found 8 days later.

Man Charged with Fleeing from Police

A Coudersport man is facing charges for fleeing from police Tuesday night.

Police say they were attempting to stop 54-year-old Steven Jeffers for traffic violations on Hickox-Ulysses Road when he led them on a pursuit that ended when his car got stuck in the snow.

He’s charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, DUI and numerous summary traffic violations.

His bail was set at $2,500.

Guitar Stolen from Harrison Valley Home

Someone broke into a Harrison Valley home earlier this month and stole a guitar and guitar case.

State Police say the burglar entered the home of Ruth Kinchen near Whites Corners Road, went to an upstairs bedroom and stole the items that are valued at about $700, according to a fax sent to WESB and The HERO.

Anyone with information on this incident should contact Trooper David Burd at 274-8690

More from the Bradford Police Log

Bradford City Police today went to two motor vehicle accidents – one on Williams Street and the other on East Avenue.

Also according to the complaint report and request sheet, officers got a call about a downed wire on School Street and an irate female at a downtown store.

In addition to several requests to speak with an officer, police also answered calls about criminal mischief to a vehicle on Jackson Avenue and parking problems on Congress, Amm, Pleasant and Summer streets.

Spring Training in Full Swing

The Pittsburgh Pirates spring training is in full swing in Bradenton, Florida.

After various meetings and early work from 8-10am, the players took the fields for a 30-minute stretch/warm-up and throwing program, beginning at 10 a.m.

The following 16 pitchers threw 30-35 pitches during a bullpen session: Chris Resop, Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Cesar Valdez, Charlie Morton, Tony Watson, Tyler Yates, Sean Gallagher, Jeff Karstens, Brad Lincoln, Daniel McCutchen, Chris Leroux, Bryan Morris, Ramon Aguero, Justin Thomas and Daniel Moskos.

Al pitchers participated in fielding practice and bunting drills. Lyle Overbay and Garrett Atkins assisted with the pfp.

Seven infielders and seven outfielders participated in defensive work for 25 minutes with various coaches/instructors and then took BP from 11:00 to 11:55.

The pitchers began their conditioning at 11:20 and the first group was off the fields by 11:40.

The catchers took BP from 11:20-11:55 and conditioned before stopping for the day. All pla…

Ray Schweizer Passes Away at Age 90

Raymond C. Schweizer, 90, of 180 Penhurst Dr. Pittsburgh, PA., formerly of 15 Thomas Road, Bradford, passed away Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Born January 30, 1921, in Buffalo he was a son of the late Charles and Gertrude (Raymond) Schweizer.

On June 25, 1947 in Buffalo he married Elizabeth "Betty" (Roarke) Schweizer who died April 24, 2005.

He was a 1938 graduate of Bennett High School in Buffalo, and later graduated with a bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Buffalo in 1951.

In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp and attended B-29 Flight Engineering School. He was honorably discharged in 1946.

He worked as a police officer in Buffalo while attending the University of Buffalo. After the service he worked for the FBI in Philadelphia. Later he began working as a Dealer Representative for the Ford Motor Company covering Upstate New York and North Western Pennsylvania. In 1964 he purchased Fairway Ford…

Two Plead Guilty in Catt County Court

An Olean man has pleaded guilty to a drug charge.

40-year-old James Pittman sold a controlled substance in Olean on October 2, 2009.

He’ll be sentenced May 9, according to a fax from the Cattaraugus County District Attorney's Office.

A Hinsdale man has pleaded guilty to burglary.

19-year-old Jarrett Kent was indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury for breaking into a Hinsdale home on July 15, 2010. He also had a weapon during the break-in.

He’ll be sentenced May 2.

Casey Promotes Natural Gas Job Training

At a meeting today with Pennsylvania community college presidents, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) thanked the presidents for the work they do to give workers the skills they need to succeed. Senator Casey and the community college presidents also discussed federal resources available to community colleges to expand curriculum to offer courses to prepare Pennsylvanians for jobs related to the Marcellus Shale. Senator Casey has been a proponent of training Pennsylvania workers so natural gas jobs go to Pennsylvanians rather than out-of-state workers.

“Many community colleges across the Commonwealth have done good work to offer new courses and training to help workers secure jobs in the natural gas industry,” said Senator Casey. “The federal government has provided help to Pennsylvania schools including $4.9 million to Westmoreland County Community College for community-based job training in the natural gas drilling and production industry. At today’s meeting, we also discussed additi…

Unstoppable Out on DVD;
Available for Android, Too

The day is finally here – Unstoppable is out on DVD.

But that’s not the big news.

Android handset owners will now be able to watch a digital copy of a Blu-ray film on their smartphones. The movie is the first with a Blu-ray Digital Copy that plays on Android, according to news release from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

As for rentals, Patrick Morrisroe of Family Video says people were lined up at the door this morning waiting to rent the movie.

"It was crazy," he said, adding that all 55 copies were gone by 3 p.m.

Pictured, actor Lew Temple visiting The Morning Buzz on the day Unstoppable opened in Bradford. His next movie, Rango, opens March 4. Read more here.