Showing posts from March 27, 2011

Charges Filed Against Father Slocum

A criminal complaint against Father Sam Slocum has been filed with District Judge Rich Luther’s office.

According to online court records, Slocum is charged with interference with custody of children and concealment of whereabouts of a child, both third-degree felonies; corruption of minors; defiant trespassing; and loitering and prowling at night.

State police filed the charges in connection to incidents on January 1.

Mother, Son Facing Drug Charges

A Kill Buck woman and her son have been arrested on drug charges following a yearlong investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

41-year-old Maria Jimerson is charged with criminal possession of heroin. 21-year-old William Rodrieguez is charged with possession of hypodermic instruments and unlawful possession of marijuana.

At the time of arrest, Rodriguez was allegedly found with narcotics and was also charged with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

They were both taken to Cattaraugus County Jail.

On to the Next Contest
Ultimate Fishing Town USA

Now that the Toughest Weather City Tournament is over, it’s time to concentrate on the Ultimate Fishing Town contest.

You can fish anywhere in the area, and still nominate Bradford as the Ultimate Fishing Town. Linda Devlin of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau explains.

Bradford "is where you come to stay overnight, and buy your fishing gear. This is where you come to tell your fishing stories at the local bar or local restaurant," she said on Thursday's LiveLine.

"You can fish in any of the streams around here," Devlin said, "Potato Creek, Allegany State Park, the Allegheny Reservoir -- and it's just that Bradford would be the Fishing Town." (Listen to Thursday's LiveLine here.)

You don’t even have to fish to submit a nomination. You can just say you see other people fishing and having a good time.

Bill Would Give Voters More Control
Over Property Tax Increases

HARRISBURG – Under current law, school boards cannot raise property taxes to a rate above the inflation index provided in Act 1 of 2006 without approval from local voters at the ballot box. However, school boards may apply to the Department of Education for an exception to this requirement to raise property taxes without voter approval. Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-36) introduced legislation today that would give taxpayers a stronger voice in education funding debates and greater control over excessive property tax increases.

Senate Bill 911 would remove all exceptions that school boards use to raise property taxes beyond the rate allowed by current law without a referendum. Brubaker's bill would ensure that all property tax increases in excess of the Act 1 index would need to be approved by voters, giving taxpayers a greater say in education funding decisions.

"These exemptions allowed by current law essentially remove the taxpayer's voice from the dialogue on burdensome prop…

'boom' to be Performed at Pitt-Bradford

“boom,” a modern comedy about the trials, tribulations, demise and origins of a species, will be performed next week at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The Division of Communication and the Arts will present the play at 7:30 p.m. April 7, 8 and 9, and at 2 p.m. April 10 in the Studio Theater of Blaisdell Hall. Cost is $6 for the public and $2 for students. Seating is limited.

In “boom,” a grad student’s personal ad lures a randy journalism coed to his subterranean lab, where he studies fish sleep cycles for signs of the apocalypse. Will their “intensely significant coupling” lead to another big bang, or is mankind’s fate in the hands of someone watching from outside the fishbowl? Peter Sinn Nachtreib wrote the play.

“A couple of years ago it was the most produced play in professional theatres across the U.S., and it’s not hard to see why,” said Dr. Kevin Ewert, associate professor of theater. “I wanted to do it here at the university as soon as I read it.”

Performing in the pro…

UPB Profs to Study PA Wine Industry

Two University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professors have received a $47,400 grant to study the Pennsylvania Wine Industry.

James Dombrosky, assistant professor of hospitality management, and Dr. Shailendra Gajanan, associate professor of economics, received the grant from The Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

The center works with various government groups and organizations to maximize resources for Pennsylvania’s 3.4 million rural residents. In part, it sponsors research projects, collects data on trends in rural Pennsylvania and publishes information and research results about diverse people and communities in rural Pennsylvania.

Unlike other grant-giving organizations, the center does not put out an open call for proposals. Instead, the center chooses topics of importance to the state, then solicits proposals from faculty members at the states’ rural universities. This was the first-time Pitt-Bradford was eligible to submit a proposal.


Avalon, Rydell Coming to Salamanca

SALAMANCA, N.Y. – Seneca Allegany Casino announces a double-header concert of 1960s teen idols at the Seneca Allegany Events Center on Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m. Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, who each performed in fall 2010 at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, now travel together to Salamanca for a spectacular evening of entertainment.

Tickets for the show are on sale now and are priced starting at $25. Fans can purchase tickets at all Seneca Casino box offices,, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Frankie Avalon’s music became one of the defining sounds of “pre-Beatles” rock ‘n’ roll. In addition, his motion picture career spanned more than 30 films.

Bobby Rydell recorded 34 Top 40 albums, selling more than 25 million records. He also starred in hit films such as Bye, Bye, Birdie and plays such as West Side Story. Avalon and Rydell continue to tour with Fabian for the hit show, The Golden Boys.…

Wagner: Prison Reform Needed

Auditor General Jack Wagner said today that Pennsylvania could save $50 million in the upcoming fiscal year, and $350 million over four years if the state better utilized alternative-sentencing programs and implemented other reforms.

“With Pennsylvania facing its greatest budget crisis since the Great Depression, we must look for sustainable savings in every nook and cranny of state government, and that includes the criminal-justice system, which is one of the three biggest drivers of increased spending over the past decade,” Wagner said.

In 2009, Pennsylvania had the fastest-growing prison population in the nation, adding 2,122 inmates. Florida was second, adding 1,527.

On WESB’s LiveLine today, Senator Joe Scarnati said the state’s prisons have too many people in them who would be better off in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs or mental health facilities. He said getting those inmates to where they should be would save a significant amount of money.

Graphic from the auditor g…

Brothers Charged with Illegal Dumping

HARRISBURG – Two Lebanon County men who run a family-operated waste hauling business were charged today with allegedly dumping $500,000 worth of private and commercial waste at local landfill and billing Wyomissing Borough for the trash.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan identified the defendants as Joseph Barry, 48, and his brother John Barry, 46, both of Lebanon County. Joseph Barry is the president of Lebanon Farms Disposal, Inc., 230 Obie Road, Newmanstown, Heidelberg Township, Lebanon County.

Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

Ryan said that Lebanon Farms Disposal provides commercial, private residential and municipal waste collection and disposal throughout Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, and York counties.

According to the grand jury, from 1992 to 2008, Lebanon Farms was contracted to provide residential trash ha…

Goats Die in Clearfield Barn Fire

More than two dozen goats died in a fire this morning in Clearfield County.

State Police fire marshal Greg Agosti says in a news release that he and the Lawrence Township Fire Department are investigating the cause of the fire, but it has not been determined yet.

The fire started at about 8:30 in a wood-frame barn owned by Clifford Simcox of Clearfield. The barn was destroyed. Damage is estimated at $50,000.

27 South African Boer goats died in the fire.

Port Allegany Woman is State Trooper

A Port Allegany woman graduated today from the State Police Academy in Hershey.

Noelle Schad has been assigned to Troop E, Erie County.

Also assigned to Troop E is Joshua White of Ridgway.

Bryan Uhl of Kersey has been assigned to Troop F, Montoursville, Lycoming County.

Following is the news release from Commonwealth Media Services:

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett announced that 131 men and women joined the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police following their graduation today from the State Police Academy in Hershey.

“In years to come, you will look back on this day as the moment you became something bigger than yourselves,” Corbett said. “You join a force with more than a century of history. I salute your willingness to take on this calling. You are that part of government we want.”

Corbett spoke at the ceremony, which was held at Central Dauphin High School. Pennsylvania Superior Court President Judge Correale F. Stevens was the principal speaker and Commissioner Frank Noonan offered …

Arrest Made in Dunkirk Murder

An arrest has been made in the fatal shooting in Dunkirk Wednesday night.

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says 22-year-old David Corsi of Dunkirk has been charged with second-degree murder for the death of 20-year-old Ricardo Vasquez of Silver Creek.

Vasquez died Thursday at ECMC.

Ortolano says Corsi was arrested late Thursday night following an investigation that included every law enforcement agency in Chautauqua County.

Scarnati Talks About Marcellus Shale,
Education Funding, Visitors Center

Listen here.

BonaResponds Gets New Trailer

BonaResponds, St. Bonaventure University’s volunteer disaster-relief organization, is usually the one riding to the rescue of people in need.

But on Wednesday, James Mahar Jr., associate professor of finance at St. Bonaventure and founder of BonaResponds, found his group on the receiving end, taking delivery of a new, light-weight, aluminum flatbed trailer won in a national contest – a contest Mahar didn’t even know his group was entered in.

The chain of events began last fall when Olean pharmacist Vic Vena, a longtime friend of the university, went online to register for a warranty for a Featherlite trailer he had just bought from a Rochester-area dealership. While he was filling in the form online, a pop-up promotion offered the chance to enter Featherlite’s national “Win 1, Give 1” trailer contest. “So I clicked on it,” said Vena.

He was asked to nominate a non-profit organization that could use a Featherlite trailer. Vena thought immediately of BonaResponds.

BonaResponds was form…

Medicine Man Coming to St. Bonaventure

A Native American who began learning about traditional Iroquois medicine when he was only a young boy will discuss his career as a medicine man at St. Bonaventure University.

The presentation by Edward Gray, “Traditional Iroquois Healing: A Medicine Man’s Insight,” will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the amphitheater of the William F. Walsh Science Center on campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Gray, the second youngest of seven children, was born on a farm in Akwesasne, in upstate New York.

He began his career as a medicine man at a young age by observing many of the elders within his community. Meeting in the local barbershop, Gray listened and learned as his relatives and friends discussed herbs and treatments of various ailments. Between the ages of 8 and 9, he began following a local medicine man on walks through the woods. Year after year, Gray followed and learned what plants were useful, how they were useful, and when to harvest them.

He spent time as both…

Sheffield Teacher Dies in Crash

A Sheffield Area Middle High School teacher is dead following a two-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Route 6 in Wetmore Township.

33-year-old Lindy Lydic was pronounced dead at the scene by McKean County Deputy Coroner Sam Cummings.

Police say Lydic was driving west on Route 6 at about 7:30 a.m. when her SUV went out of control on a slushy part of the road. The SUV started spinning and crossing into the oncoming lane, where it was hit by a truck driven by 38-year-old Jason Barner of Kane.

Barner and two passengers, a 12-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, were taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Casey Statement on Jobs Report

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March jobs report showing that the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.8 percent and 216,000 total nonfarm jobs were added:

“This is the 13th month in a row of private sector job gains. We’ve added almost half a million private sector jobs in the past two months -- a particularly encouraging sign.

“Again this month, we saw broad-based job gains with employment gains in manufacturing, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. The number of unemployed workers has dropped by more than two million since peaking in October 2009. While we’ve made considerable progress, we’ll need to continue the recent job growth to bring the unemployment rate down further.

“The private sector is a key to continued progress. In the weeks ahead, I look forward to hearing from private sector leaders abou…

Bradford Comes Up Just Short

Bradford didn't win The Weather Channel's Toughest Weather City Tournament but, as Mayor Tom Riel just told us, we are the Toughest Weather City east of the Mississippi.

Even The Weather Channel said we're overachievers because they never expected us to go anywhere in the tournament. The final vote count was 29,837 for Fargo and 25,575 for Bradford. Respectable, considering Fargo's population is 105,000 and Bradford's is about 9,000.

The Weather Channel says, "The championship was really Fargo's only stern test." They got 54 percent of the vote against Bradford, but steamrolled their other competition by between 74 and 91 percent.

Pitt-Bradford Rallies to 'Stand with Pitt'

Dozens of University of Pittsburgh at Bradford students, joined by staff and faculty, gathered in the cold Bromeley Quadrangle Thursday afternoon for “Stand with Pitt: Rally to Restore the Budget.”

The purpose of the rally was to raise awareness of the university’s plight in light of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget, which would cut the state’s contributions to the University of Pittsburgh by 52 percent.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president, spoke at the rally, assuring students that the Pitt system will not close regional campuses and that Pitt-Bradford will not eliminate majors.

“We are very optimistic that things will change” during the budget process, he said, but warned that tuition increases are “inevitable” and an attempt will be made to keep increases at a minimum.

Alexander and others speaking at the rally also urged those gathered to take their concerns to their legislators through letters, voting and attending Pitt in Harrisburg Day April 5…

Bradford Priest Being Investigated

Bradford-area priest Father Sam Slocum is the center of an investigation by the McKean County District Attorney's office.

Sources tell WESB and The HERO that Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church in Lewis Run and St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bradford were searched Wednesday by State Police.

A home in Cyclone, which is owned by Father Sam, has been searched too.

A sign posted at St. Francis Church says there are no Masses today or tomorrow, but there is no explanation.

A call to District Judge Dominic Cercone's office referred us to State Police, where a trooper said even if he knew anything about the investigation, he couldn't tell us.

Overheated Outlet Caused Fatal Fire

An overheated electrical outlet is being blamed for the fire that led to the death of Ridgway man.

A state police fire marshal said today that the March 19 fire started because of the outlet in a second-floor apartment of the three-story building.

45-year-old Timothy Keyser died of blunt force trauma to his abdomen and chest when he fell from the window of his apartment, where he had been trapped by the fire.

La Herradura Owner Pleads Guilty

The former owner of La Herradura Restaurant in Bradford has pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens who worked at 7 of his restaurants.

50-year-old Simon Banda-Mireles, who now lives in Depew, was arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in April of 2008.

Banda-Mireles pleaded guilty to a felony, admitting that he employed and harbored up to 100 illegal aliens at his restaurants in Bradford, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties and in West Virginia.

He’s scheduled for sentencing July 14 in federal court in Buffalo.

Arrests Made for Rolling Meth Lab

Four Ripley, New York, residents are facing charges in Pennsylvania for allegedly running a rolling meth lab that was discovered during a traffic stop near Erie.

Acting attorney general Bill Ryan says 42-year-old James Fuhus, 38-year-old Marie Kopta, 18-year-old Alexandria Gibbs and 20-year-old John Gibbs used a “one pot” method to manufacture meth while driving back and forth between Erie and Ripley after buying supplies.

Waste products generated during the production of meth, including flammable and caustic chemicals, were allegedly placed in plastic soda bottles and thrown from the moving car as the defendants traveled along Interstate 90 and other roads in northwestern Pennsylvania.

All four defendants were arrested today Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies. They are currently being held in Chautauqua County pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Changing the Direction of New York State

By Senator Cathy Young
57th Senate District
Ranking Member of the
NYS Senate’s Agriculture Committee

The recently approved State budget illustrates the new way New York State government is getting positive results. Having joined with Governor Cuomo, and hardworking taxpayers from across our State, I am proud to say that this year the Senate stopped the vicious cycle of raising taxes to pay for unrestrained spending.

Doing more with less, tightening belts and cutting wasteful spending is what many families throughout New York have had to do during these challenging economic times. At last, this common sense approach has been used when it comes to State government.

The new budget, which I worked hard to ensure was passed on time this year, includes a number of important reforms that reflect major changes. Perhaps most importantly, I believe this fiscally-responsible plan keeps a commitment I made to you last year – no new taxes, cutting government waste, and reducing …

Make Bradford the Ultimate Fishing Town

You can help make Bradford an Ultimate Fishing Town simply by telling people why you like living here.

Listen to today's LiveLine with ANFVB Director Linda Devlin here, then go here to submit your nomination.

Tom Riel on Fargo TV Show

Watch here.

Since the show aired, mayors Tom Riel and Dennis Walaker have talked – and no matter which city wins the tournament, both mayors are going to be winners.

Walaker will get a Zippo lighter, and Riel will get some of Fargo’s famous chocolate covered potato chips.

The winner will be announced live tomorrow morning on The Weather Channel.

Six Sentenced for Welfare Fraud

A Mount Jewett woman and several Elk County residents have pleaded guilty to welfare fraud, and have been sentenced.

The state inspector general’s office say 32-year-old Anita Arthurs received more than $6,200 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Arthurs was sentenced to 23-and-a-half months probation and 80 hours of community service.

36-year-old Linette Hall of Ridgway received more than $3,350 in SNAP benefits, and was sentenced to seven years’ probation.

38-year-old Christine Kennedy and 30-year-old David Kennedy, both of Ridgway, received more than $5,800 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Both were sentenced to seven years probation.

29-year-old Jeffrey Penfield, Jr. of Wilcox received more than $5,300 in cash assistance. Penfield was sentenced to seven years probation.

All six have also been ordered to pay full restitution and costs

Vote for Bradford!

This would be pretty -- if it was the beginning of winter instead of the beginning of spring.

Go here to vote in The Weather Channel's Toughest Weather City Tournament.

Pascarella Picked for Big 30 Team

The names of six more players who have accepted invitations to play in the 38th annual Big 30 Don Raabe Charities Classic are:

Nick Cappelletti
Offensive Tackle/Defensive Tackle
Cuba-Rushford Central School
Height: 6’2” Weight: 260 lbs.

Nick will attend SUNY Brockport in the fall and major in history. He is an Olean Times Herald Big 30 All Star and has been a Livingston County All Star for three years. He was named his teams’ most valuable player for 2010. He lists his biggest thrill as the intensity and competitiveness of the game. When asked why he wants to play in the Big 30 Game he replied, “…it’s a great honor and privilege to play in the Big 30 Game!” Nick also participates in track & field at Cube/Rushford and enjoys playing guitar during his free time. His favorite NFL team and player are the Steelers and Troy Polamalu.

Clark Gregory
Center/Defensive End
Frewsburg Central School
Height: 6’2” Weight: 255 lbs.

Clark plans to study exercise science at S.U.N.Y. Cortland and pla…

Sorg Joins Staff at Charles Cole Memorial

Amy Sorg, CRNP, has joined the staff at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and will care for patients at the Eldred Health Center. Appointments can be made by calling 814/225-4241.

Sorg earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and Pennsylvania State University. She earned a master’s degree in the family nurse practitioner program at the University of South Alabama. Most recently, she worked as an emergency room nurse at Elk Regional Health Center. She is a member of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses and American Nurses Association.

Report: PA Has Country's Worst Bridges

Pennsylvania has the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country, according to a report released today by Washington DC-based Transportation for America.

The report says more than 26 percent of bridges in Pennsylvania are structurally deficient, giving the state both the highest percentage and greatest number of deficient bridges in the country.

The report goes on to say that 5,906 of Pennsylvania's 22,271 bridges were rated by inspectors as poor in at least one of three areas -- superstructure, substructure or deck.

Special Olympians Compete in Pittsburgh

Eight bowlers from McKean County Special Olympics were among over 300 special athletes who competed at the Western Pennsylvania Special Olympics Bowling Tournament held in Pittsburgh recently.

Tom Day and George Burton won gold medals. Their names will go into the competition pool and be considered for selection to the Pennsylvania Summer Games at Penn State in June.

Silver medalists included Renee Chittester, Jackie Wolfe and Glenn Lee, while Janet Pressler and Donna Dallary won bronze medals. Randy Johnson won a fourth place ribbon.

McKean County Special Olympics is a year-round program of sports training and competition for individuals with disabilities. In addition to bowling, programs are offered in swimming, track and field, basketball, golf, skiing and softball.

Study Ranks Health of Counties

A new report looks at county health rankings nationwide, and considers a number of health factors including risk behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment of a county. McKean County ranks 44th out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Cameron County is 61st; Elk County 60th, Jefferson, 45th, Potter 29th, and Warren 23rd.

In New York, Chautauqua County ranked 46 out of 62 counties, and Cattaraugus ranked 54th.

For more information:

Man Pleads Guilty in Son's Death

A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing his 2-year-old son in 2009.

32-year-old Agustin Morales was charged after his son Auston died on October 17 at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, a day after he was found unresponsive at his home.

Morales was scheduled for a jury trial May 3, but pleaded guilty to the charge Tuesday. He will be sentenced June 6.

Morales also pleaded guilty to attempting to make terroristic threats for incidents occurring on June 15 and Aug. 3, 2010, at the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services offices in Jamestown.

Work on I-86 Starts Monday

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has announced that construction is scheduled to resume on Interstate 86, in the towns of Randolph and Cold Spring, Cattaraugus County. As a result, several travel restrictions will go into effect.

Beginning Monday, April 4, Interstate 86 between Exit 16 and Exit 17, in the town of Randolph, will be reduced to one lane in both the eastbound and westbound directions. These lane closures will be in effect for the duration of the construction season.

Also, beginning Monday, April 4, the Interstate 86 bridge over Main Street, in the village of Randolph, will be closed in the westbound direction. Traffic will be directed to use Exit 16 (Main Street), and then re-enter Interstate 86 using the on-ramp at Main Street. A new temporary traffic signal will be installed at this intersection to direct all traffic. The bridge is expected to remain closed to westbound traffic for approximately three months.

This work is weather sensitive …

SUV Hits Street Sweeper; 3 People Hurt

Three people were hurt when an SUV hit a highway department street sweeper in the Town of French Creek this afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies say 45-year-old Loye Albright was operating the street sweeper on Redding Road when the speeding SUV driven by 35-year-old Julia Miller of Clymer hit the sweeper, causing it to leave the road and tip over into a ditch.

Albright was taken to UPMC Hamot for treatment of his injuries. Miller and her passenger were taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital.

Deputies say charges are pending.

Bradford Going for Championship

Watch for Mayor Tom Riel and BACC Director Ron Orris on Fargo's Valley News Live at 7 a.m. Thursday (via Skype).


Both Bradford, Pa. and Fargo, N.D. steamrolled through their "Final Four" opponents in impressive fashion to set up a cold-weather championship showdown.

Bradford got 14,126 votes; New Orleans got 7,065. Fargo got 17,084 votes; Juneau got 5,018 votes.

Voting for America's Toughest Weather City "National Champion" will begin at noon today, continuing through early Friday morning.

We will reveal the "National Champion" Friday morning live on Your Weather Today (7-10am EDT).

Here are some interesting facts about the movie "Fargo" from

~~ The region was experiencing its second-warmest winter in 100 years. Filming of outdoor scenes had to be moved all over Minnesota, North Dakota, and Canada.

~~ None of the movie scenes, either exterior or interior, were actually filmed in Fargo.

Remember, a vote for Bradford i…