Showing posts from April 24, 2011

College Commencement Extra Special for First-Generation Graduate

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

When Lyndon Orinion came to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, he thought that most other first-generation students would be like himself: children of immigrants.

After all, he thought, everyone who’d been in America already had been to college, right? He found out differently when he began meeting his fellow Pitt-Bradford students, many of whom are first-generation college students.

In fact, last fall, first-generation students made up 41 percent of the entering freshman class at Pitt-Bradford, which puts it in the top 10 of four-year baccalaureate-granting institutions in Pennsylvania.

For those who have earned their degree and are crossing the stage in the KOA Arena Sunday, earning their college degree isn’t just for them, it’s also for their family.

Orinion’s parents grew up in the Philippines province of Pangasinan, which Orinion said is a poor region of the country lacking in…

Marilyn Horne Honored at Luncheon

A luncheon was held in honor of legendary mezzo-soprano and Bradford native Marilyn Horne today at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Ms. Horne will be speaking at Pitt-Bradford’s commencement Sunday afternoon. She is shown here gesturing toward Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford president.

Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford

Three Men Jailed for Copper Theft

Three men are charged with stealing hundreds of pounds of copper from a lumber yard in Great Valley.

Sheriff’s deputies say they saw a vehicle owned by 36-year-old Jason Dille of Great Valley at Donver’s Lumber Yard in the early morning hours of Thursday. Their investigation determined that Dille, along with 31-year-old Richard Farnham Jr. of Kill Buck and 27-year-old Douglas Reed of Great Valley stole several hundred pounds of copper, which was found at the lumber yard and at a home in Great Valley.

Dille and Farnham were sent to jail on $1,000 bail each. Reed was jailed on $10,000 bail. Deputies say more arrests are likely.

St. Bonaventure University Graduate's
Films Selected for Cannes Festival

Emma Riley didn’t take long to make a name for herself after graduating from St. Bonaventure University last May.

Riley, a 2010 graduate from Berkeley, Calif., was instrumental in two short films selected for the world’s most prestigious film festival. The 64th annual Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11-22.

Riley, who earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, was the sole actor in “What Happens,” and served as the film editor on the sequel, “It Happens.” Both six-minute short subjects were among more than 1,700 short films from 86 countries selected for the eighth annual Short Film Corner, a Cannes showcase for short films from around the world.

Participation in this Cannes event gives aspiring members of the movie industry invaluable exposure to established players in the field searching for new talent.

“We are overwhelmed by the opportunity to meet others working in the industry, specifically others who are actively working in the arts, and who were also accredited by Cannes. It…

Ross Porter Accepts PA Wilds Award

ST. MARYS, Pa. – Ross Porter of Smethport receives one of the Champion of the PA Wilds awards Thursday at the PA Wilds Planning Team’s annual luncheon at the Diamond View Restaurant in Smethport. Ross is flanked by, on the left, Meredith Hill of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and his wife, Jovanna.

Porter, mayor of Smethport and owner of the Mansion District Inn, has been instrumental in developing the Smethport Mansion District Walking Tour brochure as well as creating and placing several historical site signs throughout Smethport. Both projects have enhanced heritage tourism in McKean County.

Coutese of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau

Kelly Case Resigns as United Way Director

Will Continue to Volunteer for the Organization

United Way executive director Kelly Case is resigning effective in June.

Case has been associated with the organization since 1991, when she was Ms. United Way. She has also served as campaign chair and vice chair, board member and board president. Case is also a past recipient of the United Way’s Red Feather Award.

“Being involved with the United Way, both as a volunteer and as an employee, has been a major factor in my life and has granted me with treasured memories,” Case said in prepared statement. The friendships, experiences and knowledge I have gained will remain with me forever. I have been involved for over 17 years and that will certainly not end with this change.”

“I look forward to being a volunteer for many years to come,” Case continued. “My sincere congratulations and thank you goes out to the Bradford area for supporting the United Way for over 85 years. A huge thank you goes to all the people I have worked with, the agencies…

Northwest Savings is Ranked Highest in
Customer Satisfaction for Second Year

For the second consecutive year, Northwest Savings Bank is ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study. (SM)

The study, conducted in January, analyzes overall customer satisfaction with their retail banking experience based on six factors: account activities, account information, facility, fees, problem resolution, and product offering. Northwest received the highest satisfaction score in the Mid-Atlantic Region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

“Earning this award from J.D. Power and Associates for being highest ranked in our six-state region was a tremendous honor last year,” said Steven G. Fisher, Executive Vice President, Banking Services of Northwest Savings Bank. “To receive it a second time is both a humbling and exhilarating experience. It demonstrates how dedicated our employees really are to the c…

Champlin, Boyce Retiring from UPB

Two members of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford faculty, Isabelle Champlin and Dr. Gillian Boyce, are retiring this spring.

Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology, has taught at Pitt-Bradford since 1971. A Bradford native, she first came to Pitt-Bradford as a student, attending during the 1964-65 school year before going on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at George Washington University.

At the beginning of her Pitt-Bradford career, she taught not only anthropology, but also sociology. She also taught field archaeology for many years, exploring several sites in the Allegheny National Forest and earning the school the National Award for Excellence from the U.S. Forest Service for its contributions to the “Windows on the Past” program. She shared those sites with young students, also, including those at George G. Blaisdell Elementary School and in the Intermediate Unit 9 Summer Academy.

She has played a strongly supportive role…

Scarnati: Environmentalists Should be
Supportive of Impact Fee Proposal

WESB/WBRR News Director

Senator Joe Scarnati introduced his plan for a Marcellus Shale drillers impact fee this morning, and one of the components of the plan addresses environmental concerns.

"Those that have been clamoring for this – for a severance tax or an impact fee on the issue of the environment should be very supportive (because) of the fact that we are putting dollars into real cleanup programs,” he said.

A portion of the fee would go toward cleanup projects distributed through the Commonwealth Financing Authority; water and sewer infrastructure; impacted state highway improvements; and hazardous site cleanup.

The proposal would assess a base fee of $10,000 per well. That figure would rise based on production and natural gas prices. The Public Utility Commission would collect the revenue and, besides the statewide environmental and infrastructure projects, it would go to local governments and conservation districts.

Scarnati said municipalities near drilling …

Cawley Talks to Middle School Students
About Marcellus Shale

Lt. Governor Jim Cawley visits Gettysburg Middle School 8th grade students to discusss their studies of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, during Science teacher Justin Klinger's class.

Photo provided by Commonwealth Media Services

Thompson Calls on White House, Congress to End Political Games Over Gas Prices

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson issued the following statement regarding the current debate over gas prices and the need for bipartisan action to expand domestic energy production and avert America’s looming energy crisis:

“The Washington summertime ritual where politicians spend more time bickering over pains at the pump than working to create real solutions must come to an end,” said Thompson. “No longer should this debate rise and fall based on gas prices. It’s time to take action and move forward with a plan to aggressively expand domestic production and a framework for long-term energy security.”

In early April, the House Natural Resources Committee passed three energy bills cosponsored by Thompson – H.R. 1229, H.R. 1230 and H.R. 1231 – each designed to boost domestic energy production. These bills and others are slated to be voted on in the House in the coming weeks.

“Members of both political parties agree the President’s policies are ill-advised, irresp…

Train Hits Pickup Truck; No One Hurt

A train smashed into a pickup truck on railroad tracks late Wednesday night in Chautauqua County.

Sheriff's deputies say the pickup truck got stuck on tracks near Progress Drive and Werle Road in the town of Sheridan. 27-year-old Christopher Steward of Dunkirk was unable to get his truck off the tracks, but was able to escape before it was hit by a Norfolk Southern freight train.

The investigation is continuing.

Five Amish Teens Facing Charges

Five Amish teenagers are facing charges following a drinking party on Easter Sunday in Conewango Valley.

Sheriff’s deputies say they were patrolling the area when they saw several Amish buggies parked along Dredge Road. Deputies learned the occupants of the buggies were intoxicated and had three 30 packs of beer.

The youths are 19-year-old Noah Shetler, 17-year-old Emanuel Hostelter and David Miller of Conewango Valley, and 17-year-old Eli Miller and 17-year-old Henry Miller, both of Cattaraugus.

They are scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

Elk Catholic Locked Down This Morning

UPDATE: The lockdown was apparently prompted by two public school students pulling a prank.

Elk County Catholic High School was locked down this morning after an intruder was reported in the building.

St. Marys Police responded to the school at around 8 a.m., and the school was off lockdown before noon.

School officials say all students and faculty are safe and police will release more information later today.

House Approves Drug Testing Legislation As a Part of Welfare Reform Effort

House Bill 1297, which would establish a drug testing program for public assistance recipients who have been convicted of a drug-related felony, has been passed by the House with a vote of 164 to 23, Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) announced Wednesday.

“This approval by the House, with a bipartisan vote, indicates the determination to bring about substantive reform of our welfare system in Pennsylvania, and my legislation is a step in the right direction,” said Everett. “The bill is not designed to impugn everyone who is receiving assistance in a time of need. This measure is specifically directed at preventing abuse of the system by those who have been convicted of a drug-related felony and who continue to use illegal drugs.”

The bill would require the administration of a drug test to individuals who have a felony drug conviction in the previous five years, or those who are currently on probation for a felony drug conviction. Every six months, 20 percent of that group would be test…

Impact Fee Would Help Bradford

Senator Joe Scarnati says his plan for a proposed impact fee on the Marcellus Shale drilling industry will help cities like Bradford, who don’t actually have wells but do feel the ramifications.

During a conference call with reporters this morning to introduce his proposal Scarnati said municipalities near drilling sites are feeling a huge impact.

"It's a true impact to not only the township, the municipality where this drilling is taking place but also those that are impacted in the contiguous municipalities," he said.

In Scarnati’s plan, the state Public Utility Commission would collect at least $10,000 per well, but could collect two or three times that depending on the price of natural gas and the volume the well produces.

The money would go toward road repairs, environmental cleanups and water and sewer plant improvements in communities across the state.

Scarnati says he hopes to introduce the bill soon and, hopes it will be passed into law by June.

Tornado Warnings

UPDATE: WARNING in Potter County extended until 7 p.m.

Tornado WARNINGS are in effect in and around Olean until 6:15 p.m. and in Potter County near Coudersport until 6:30.

Tornado Watch still in effect for all of WNY and Northern PA until 10 p.m.

Fallen Trooper to be Honored Sunday

Harrisburg - The family of Paul G. Richey, a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty in Venango County last year, will receive the State Police Cross during a May 1 ceremony in Hershey.

Trooper Richey will be honored during the annual state police memorial service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 1 at the State Police Academy, 175 E. Hersheypark Drive.

"Trooper Richey was a hero. This award recognizes his sacrifice and the tremendous loss suffered by his family," Commissioner Frank Noonan said. "Our annual memorial service reminds us that any of our members may be called upon to lay down his or her life rather than swerve from the path of duty."

The State Police Cross is presented posthumously to the next-of-kin of a member whose life was lost under honorable circumstances in the performance of duty.

Richey died Jan. 13, 2010, after he was shot while responding to a domestic incident in Cranberry Township, Venango County. He was the 93rd and most recent member …

Corbett Tours Google; Visits Erie Thursday

Governor Tom Corbett today toured Google Pittsburgh, where he highlighted his proposed budget's commitment to growing the state's economy and helping employers create jobs. The facility employs more than 150 engineers who are critical to the development of Google's core initiatives in Search and Ads.

Corbett will be in Erie Thursday to tour Industrial Sales and Manufacturing Inc., which built the cancer-killing external radio-frequency generators invented by the late John Kanzius.

Photo provided by Commonwealth Media Services

Tornado Watch in Effect

A tornado watch has been issued for all of western New York and northern Pennsylvania by the National Weather Service.

The watch is in effect until 10 o'clock tonight.

A flash flood warning is also in effect for McKean and Potter counties until Thursday morning.

5th Annual Project Pride Cleanup Saturday

In conjunction with The Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, Project Pride residents, and community volunteers will be cleaning up litter in the Elm Street Project Pride area and Main Street.

The event will run from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm on Saturday April 30th. This effort is to remove litter and trash from the Project Pride/Elm Street Neighborhood bordered by Bennett Street, Charlotte Avenue, School Street, and Barbour Street as well as Main Street.

This is not a bulk homeowner or household waste cleanup, but a concentrated effort to remove litter and trash from the Elm Street Project Pride area and downtown.

Grace Lutheran Community Life Center, 79 Mechanic Street, will serve as cleanup headquarters and provide an area for cleanup participants to take a break, grab a light snack and pick up gloves, vests and trash bags.

“This event is a perfect activity for our newly created Neighborhood Watch; it encourages community building through personal stewardship while enhancing the level…

Wind Causes Fatal Crash on I-86

A Chautauqua County man is dead following an accident on I-86 apparently caused by wind.

Sheriff’s deputies say 39-year-old Brian Range of Panama, New York, was on a motorcycle in the Town of Sherman when a large gust of wind caused him to lose control of the bike and leave the road at about 12:30 this afternoon.

Deputies say Range was an inexperienced motorcycle driver and was riding in close proximity of another licensed operator.

Range was taken to UPMC Hamot, where he died as a result of his injuries.

Pitt-Bradford Students Teach
Conservation Lessons From Rain Forest

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

When University of Pittsburgh at Bradford students Phylicia Patterson and Kaitlin Zapel went to Costa Rica last summer as Vira Heinz scholars, they gained a new appreciation for trees in the earth’s ecosystem.

Now they’re working with educators at School Street Elementary School to help fourth- and fifth-graders there understand the importance of trees. After visiting Melissa Cornelius’s green and technology enrichment group last week to talk about the value of trees in the environment, the Pitt-Bradford students took the younger students to plant trees at the trailhead for the Tuna Valley Trail Association’s newest trail, the Blaisdell-Emery trail.

The School Street students seemed to have learned their lessons well and could list quite a few reasons why trees are important to the environment as they planted Tuesday morning.

“It takes in carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen,…

Amish Man Facing Charges

An Amish man is facing charges following a traffic stop early Monday morning in the Town of Conewango.

Sheriff’s deputies say 19-year-old Levi Hostetler of Leon was operating his horse-drawn carriage at just before 1 a.m. and failed to stop at a stop sign.

Deputies learned that Hostetler was intoxicated and also had beer in the carriage.

He’s scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

PennEnviornment Hails New
Clean Water Act Announcement

PITTSBURGH – PennEnvironment today hailed the Obama administration for releasing a proposed guidance that, if adopted, would restore Clean Water Act protections to vital streams across Pennsylvania and protect Pennsylvanians’ drinking water.

“Right now, waters like the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers are at risk as the very streams that feed them and the wetlands that keep them clean may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act. We need to stop giving polluters a free pass and start protecting our waterways and our drinking water,” said Erika Staaf, Clean Water Advocate for PennEnvironment.

One of America’s core environmental laws, the original Clean Water Act, was intended to protect all of our waters from harmful pollution. But over the past decade, developers and others have used litigation to create loopholes in the Act, leaving thousands of streams and millions of acres of wetlands likely beyond its scope.

Here in Pennsylvania, this means that 59% of t…

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text: FOLLOW WESBNEWS to 40404 to receive breaking news and weather right on your mobile phone.

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Flood Watch for McKean, Potter Counties

FLOOD WATCH for McKean County, PA from 5 PM through Thursday Morning and for Potter County, PA from 8 PM through Thursday Morning.

Four Hurt in Route 5 Collision

Four people were sent to the hospital following a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer on Route 5 in the Town of Portland Tuesday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say a tractor-trailer was trying to legally pass a car driven 37-year-old Kathryn Tyler of Dunkirk but then Tyler attempted to turn left into a driveway in front of the rig. The driver of the tractor could not avoid the crash and hit Tyler’s vehicle.

Tyler and her 14-year-old daughter were flown by helicopter to UPMC Hamot. Her 11-year-old son and another passenger, 45-year-old Julie Zook of Brocton, were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital. All four were treated and released. The driver of the tractor-trailer, 48-year-old Donald Kennedy of Cochranton, was not hurt.

Sheriff’s deputies say charges are pending.

Riel: We Can Win This Thing

WESB/WBRR News Director

Bradford has slipped to fifth place in the Ultimate Fishing Town contest but Mayor Tom Riel says there’s no reason the city can’t move back up and win the whole thing.

“If we were able to get over 25,000 votes (in the Toughest Weather City Tournament) in three days when you could only vote once, there’s no reason why we couldn’t win this thing,” Riel said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

People can vote up to four times a day with each e-mail address they have.

“This is something that would actually bring tourism and bring money to the area,” Riel said. . “There’s no reason – based on how we did in the weather contest – that we shouldn’t be able to get 100,000 votes.”

“That would be a positive for Bradford,” Riel said, “much more so than having the worst weather in America.”

Riel joked that “Ultimate Fishing Town” doesn’t mean “the carp in the Tuna in the City of Bradford.” He said it includes the Marilla Reservoir, the Kinzua Reservoir and othe…

Middle School Art Exhibition Opens Thursday

More than 300 works by young artists are on display through May as part of the annual Middle School Art Exhibition at the Regina A. Quick Center of the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.

The exhibition opens officially at 7 p.m. Thursday when the artists, representing 14 schools in New York and Pennsylvania, will be present to answer questions about their work. A reception will follow.

“The level of excellence was so high that it made our jobs very difficult,” said Karen Vester, a St. Bonaventure art major and one of four jurors for the exhibition. Another juror, Courtney Blackmon of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, agreed, adding, “I’m in awe of some of the art these students created.”

Students from the following schools have works in the exhibition: Allegany-Limestone, Olean Middle School, Portville, Wellsville, Randolph, Oswayo Valley, Port Allegany, Ellicottville, West Valley, Cassadega Valley, Otto-Eldred, Bolivar-Richburg, Salamanca and Fillmore.

Anti-Blight Law Now in Effect in PA

HARRISBURG – Senator David G. Argall (R-29) joined colleagues from both the Senate and House Urban Affairs and Housing Committees at a press conference today to highlight a new anti-blight law that went into effect Monday.

"Act 90 is now in effect throughout Pennsylvania. I am thankful so many organizations and associations are stepping up to communicate and educate the message to borough officials, code enforcement officers, magisterial judges and other interested parties about the Neighborhood Blight Revitalization and Reclamation Act," said Senator Argall. "We have strengthened current law to identify property owners of blighted buildings and hold them responsible for the costs to rehabilitate or demolish these structures. The priority now is to get the information out to those fighting blight in their communities."

The Neighborhood Blight Revitalization and Reclamation Act aids the effort for local communities throughout Pennsylvania to fight blight and repa…

SBU Lauds Employees During Ceremony

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — As part of its Spring Awards Ceremony April 12, St. Bonaventure University recognized 61 employees who marked employment anniversaries this year and a number of employees who are retiring.

For the third year, this special program incorporated three previously separate ceremonies — The Fr. Joe Doino, O.F.M., Honors and Awards, the Employee Recognition Ceremony, and Faculty Awards — into one celebration.

During the Employee Recognition Ceremony, individuals with 10 years of service and up were recognized, with those reaching 25 years of service and retirees receiving special recognition.

Those who were recognized for 25 years of service are: Paul Brockel (Athletics); Joe Flanagan (Alumni); Darla Freaney (Admissions); Mary Kohl (Health Services); John Kupinski (Biology); Charles Lute (Facilities/Maintenance); David Matz (Classical Languages); Patsy O’Brien (Arts and Sciences); Joseph Questa (Facilities/Maintenance); Fr. Peter Schneible, O.F.M. (Biology); and Da…