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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Casey on Growing Jobs in Rural PA

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after an Agriculture Committee hearing today on growing jobs in rural America:

“I am committed to keeping our rural communities strong and productive. Today’s hearing is a good way to focus attention in Washington on the needs of rural Pennsylvania and rural communities around the country.

“I have supported the Farm Bill and other rural development programs, such as those that provide loans and loan guarantees to rural businesses to provide economic opportunities and create jobs. By increasing access to capital, we can help provide economic opportunities and create jobs.

“Rural manufacturing certainly has an important role to play in creating a strong economic base for rural towns. Manufacturing still accounts for 22 percent of total wage income in nonmetropolitan Pennsylvania compared with 17 percent in metropolitan Pennsylvania. Penn State research shows that for Pennsylvania’s rural counties, a higher degree of industry diversity and a better educated workforce contribute to lower rates of unemployment and underemployment.

“As Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, I have outlined various ways to lay the groundwork for future growth in manufacturing: a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy, making permanent the R&D tax credit, cracking down on China’s currency manipulation that is putting Pennsylvania workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage and sending jobs overseas and extending working training programs through Trade Adjustment Assistance.”

Man Charged with Welfare Fraud

A Springville man has been charged with welfare fraud in Cattaraugus County.

Sheriff’s deputies say 56-year-old Keith Johnson forged his doctor’s name on an employment medical report and then filed the report with the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in City of Olean Court on August 2.

CARE 'Fore' Children Tourny August 7

Pine Acres Country Club will host the eighteenth annual CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament, scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2011. All proceeds from the event benefit free therapeutic recreation and family support services for children with disabilities; the local Shriners Orthopedic Clinic; fourth-grade disability awareness presentations; and child safety and injury prevention programs throughout McKean County.

The tournament is a four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Flighting is based on the team member with the lowest handicap.

The entry fee is $45 for Pine Acres members and $55 for non-members, which includes green fees, food, and refreshments on the course. The tournament has a total purse of $3,500 based on 35 teams; there are also prizes on par 3 holes.

To field a team, please contact Kirk Stauffer, Pine Acres’ PGA Pro, at 814-362-2005. Carts are an additional fee and can be reserved when registering a team.

To find out about course sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mandi Wilton Davis at CARE for Children at 814-362-4621 or visit the website at www.careforchildren.info/Special-Events/Golf-Tournament.html

CARE for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children of all abilities.

South Avenue Detour Starts July 25

Slide repair work will close a section of South Avenue in Bradford starting Monday, July 25. South Avenue will be closed between Race Street and Maplewood Avenue.

A detour will be in place while work is performed. The detour uses Main Street, Forman Street, Elm Street Route 219, and Owens Way. Crews from PennDOT McKean County Maintenance will perform the work, which is scheduled to last through Friday, July 29.

Drivers are reminded to obey posted speed limits, follow detour signs, and always buckle up.

Area Code Hearing Set for August 16

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is encouraging area residents concerned about a proposed change to the 814 area code to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a public hearing in Bradford hosted by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

The hearing, to gather further input on the impact of various options to address a shortage of numbers in the 814 area code, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Bradford Township Fire Department, 368 Interstate Parkway. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m.

“I am pleased the PUC listened to the overwhelming opposition to its original plan to split the region in half, assigning a new area code to McKean County and points west while maintaining the existing code in the rest of the region,” Causer said. “People need to take advantage of the opportunity to voice their opinion about how best to address the number shortage.”

Other options available include different geographic split proposals, as well as an overlay that would allow people to keep their existing phone numbers and area code. Any new numbers assigned throughout the region would come with the new code. This would require 10-digit dialing for all calls, including local ones, but it would not change rates in any way. Causer introduced a House resolution calling on the PUC to consider that option.

“Much of the testimony I have seen from prior hearings, as well as information presented in petitions to the PUC opposing its original split plan, indicates there is more support for the overlay option than for a split,” Causer said. “Changing a residential phone number is inconvenient, but changing a business phone number can carry significant costs. The overlay will not require anyone to change their existing phone number.”

For people who would like to offer testimony at the hearing, the PUC offers the following tips:
• Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read.
• Bring copies. If you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge as evidence, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants.
• Plan to be questioned. Parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.

The PUC had announced late last year its plan to split the 814 area code region in half. Under the proposal, Cameron County and most of Potter County (except for Shinglehouse) would retain the 814 area code, while McKean and areas west would receive a new code. Earlier this year, the PUC agreed to review its decision and schedule additional hearings to gather input.

Neustar, a third-party area code relief planner, estimates existing numbers in the 814 area code will be exhausted by the first quarter of 2015.

For additional information, visit www.RepCauser.com or www.Facebook.com/RepCauser.

State Sen. Joseph Scarnati (R-25) and state Rep. Matt Gabler
(R-Clearfield/Elk) are also reminding residents of the upcoming public hearings being held by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to gather further input on the effects of both the geographic split and overlay options designed to ensure adequate numbering resources in the 814 area code.

“I am pleased the Public Utility Commission has decided to hold additional hearings on this important public matter,” Scarnati stated. “It is imperative this issue be vetted to the greatest extent to ensure every consideration is given to the voices of the citizens of this area.”

The schedule of hearings, all to begin at 6 p.m., is as follows:

· Monday, Aug. 15 - Arlington Hotel, 1 Seneca St., Oil City.

· Tuesday, Aug. 16 - Bradford Township Fire Department, 368 Interstate Parkway, Bradford.

· Wednesday, Aug. 17 - DuBois High School Auditorium, 425 Orient Ave., DuBois.

· Thursday, Aug.18 - Punxsutawney Community Center Auditorium, 220 North Jefferson St., Punxsutawney.

· Monday, Aug. 22 - Somerset Fire Department, 340 West Union St., Somerset.

· Tuesday, Aug. 23 - Quality Inn, Keystone Room, 4407 Business 220, Bedford.

· Wednesday, Aug. 24 - Ramada Altoona Conference Center, Ballroom A, 1 Sheraton Drive, Altoona.

Gabler is pleased not only with the additional hearings, but with the wide geographic area from which public comment will be gathered.

“Senator Scarnati and I were both insistent that the PUC offer more opportunities for public opinion from a wider segment of the population,” added Gabler. “I am glad they chose to listen further to the people who will be impacted by its decision, especially in DuBois and its surrounding municipalities, which are very close to the boundary line which would have, under the previous plan, divided some communities into 582 and 814 area codes.

“I am confident this additional round of hearings will better aid the PUC in rendering its decision.”

Anyone wishing to speak at the hearings is asked to have a written statement, bring copies of it and prepare for the possibility of being questioned. The PUC has suspended the timeline for implementation of area code relief, in order to allow for this additional round of public hearings.

The list of possible 814 area code phone numbers is expected to be exhausted by the first quarter of 2015, resulting in the need for a way to accommodate any subsequent telephone customers.


Deputies Looking for Bridge Jumper

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies are still looking for a man who may have jumped off a bridge and into Conewango Creek Friday afternoon.

They got a call at around 4:15 p.m. saying a white man in his late teens to early 20s was seen jumping off a bridge on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road near Keywell Vac-Air. Emergency crews checked the area but didn’t find anyone.

A witness, who was driving by the bridge at the time of the incident, said the man had a thin build, tattoos on his arms, was wearing shorts and no shirt and was possibly wearing a baseball hat. The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information, who may have seen the person or is missing a friend of family member matching this description, to call 716-753-2131.


Man Accused of Grabbing Girl

A Gowanda man is in jail after allegedly grabbing a girl Friday night on a breakwall at Sunset Bay.

Sheriff’s deputies say two young girls were walking along the breakwall at around 10 p.m. when 23-year-old Eric Thompson approached them and blocked their path. He kept obstructing their movement, blocking their way with his arm and getting in front of them. He then grabbed the arm of one of the girls. She hit Thompson in the head and was able to run off. Both girls ran to a nearby cottage to call 911.

While deputies were interviewing the girls, Thompson ran by and the girls pointed at him and identified him. He took off despite repeated orders to stop. A short foot pursuit in and out of yards and streets ended up with Thompson being tackled to the ground.

He is charged with Unlawful Imprisonment and Resisting Arrest.

Getting Caught Up ...

I'll try to get caught up over the next couple of days.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fatal Crash in Hanover

A 79-year-old Dayton, New York, man is dead following a crash at about 6:40 this morning on Route 39 in Hanover.

Sheriff’s deputies say Horace Ivett’s pickup truck left the road, hit a small tree and a utility pole before coming to rest in a private driveay.

Coroner Warren Riles pronounced Ivett dead at the scene. Deputies are continuing their investigation and are looking into the possibility that Ivett may have been suffering a medical emergency at the time of the crash.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunset Over St. Francis Drive




More Thefts Reported in City

Bradford City Police on Monday investigated three motor vehicle accidents – on Bedford, Davis and Main streets. They also looked into theft from a vehicle on Summer Street and criminal mischief to a vehicle on Williams Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Officers also looked into a theft at Callahan Park, criminal mischief on Davis Street, a disturbance on Bushnell Street and a report of an unwanted person on Chautauqua Place. They also looked into a possible Megan’s Law violation on East Main Street.

Supervisors Deflect Fallout,
Hear Several Complaints

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Foster Township supervisors on Monday deflected fallout from last month’s meeting when statements were made about former supervisors and township employees.

Former supervisor Chris Wolcott, who resigned in December, said he is “very disturbed” by some of the statements made at the June meeting.

Wolcott said current supervisor Jim Connelly Jr. “has been blaming former supervisors and (former township secretary Jennifer Gorrell) for not getting a recent PennVEST loan “and that is just ludicrous.” He added that blaming Gorrell is “despicable.”

“Somebody dropped the ball and it wasn’t the secretary or former supervisors,” Wolcott said, adding that he believes the responsibility lies with E & M Engineers.

“It was a slip,” said township engineer Roy Pedersen. “This was a procedure we’d never had to follow before.”

Wolcott also took exception to Connolly, last month, questioning diesel fuel contracts given to Wolcott’s employer, William G. Satterlee & Sons.

Calling them “serious and false allegation,” Wolcott pointed out that Kane Liquid Fuels got more business during the time period in question than Satterlee did. Wolcott said Connelly insinuated that Satterlee stopped getting the business when he started asking questions. Wolcott said what really happened is that a “new player” – Griffith Energy of Olean – entered the game and underbid the other companies.

“I had nothing to do with any of those bids,” Wolcott said. “Whether we got it or not is irrelevant to me. I’m not on commission. I’m on salary. I wouldn’t have made any more money in my pocket or feather in my cap, so I couldn’t care less. … For him to make an allegation like that, trying to cast dispersions on my character I think is just … I don’t know what to say about that. … Is he alleging criminal activity here?”

“No one is alleging criminal activity,” Connelly said, explaining that he just wanted answers.

Now you have it, Wolcott said. Griffith is submitting lower bids.

Wolcott ended by suggesting that Connelly “quit blaming everyone else and just move forward and let’s get this township going again. It’s pretty sad when you’ve got to try so hard to make other people look bad to make yourself look good.”

Derrick City resident Denise Strouse, who is Gorrell’s sister, also suggested that they “stop looking in the rear view mirror.”

She said her sister made no secret of letting people know she was leaving her job of 14 years that she “truly loved” because she didn’t feel she could work with Connelly any longer.

“Can we make a deal right now, Mr. Connelly, that we’re not going to go back and revisit the Bob Slike, and the Chris Wolcott and Jennifer Gorrell and the Cary Kaber issues?” Strouse asked. “We have all heard them to death. Let’s move forward.”

Connelly agreed, but said if someone asks him a question about any of those issues, he will answer them.

Township residents Tom Perry and Joe Piganelli spoke in support of Connelly and said township government has been more transparent since he got into office.

In other matters, several Harrisburg Run Road residents asked if their road will finally be paved this year.

Supervisors said they are holding a work session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss which roads need to be paved, and what they have the money to do. They said Harrisburg Run is on the top of their list.

Also Monday, supervisors accepted the resignation of code enforcement officer Bruce Cauvel because of medical reasons. They had planned to appoint Tom Robinson, but township resident Bob Baker, who had applied for the job previously, asked why he wasn’t even given an interview.

Baker said he was told before that he wouldn’t be considered because he is a contractor and the supervisors felt that would be a conflict of interest. He said he doesn’t think that argument is valid because if he cites someone for a violation he would probably be the last person they would hire as a contractor.

He said he’s been listening to South Kendall Avenue resident Barb Price come to meetings for months and bring issues to the supervisors’ attention that he feels he could have addressed for her “months ago … a long time ago.”

“I drive by properties on my way through the township, like Mrs. Price, and I get disgusted. It bothers me,” Baker said. “It rubs me the wrong way and I think that’s the kind of guy we need in there – somebody that is bothered by trash in the yard and all the issues she’s talking about on South Kendall.”

Price agreed with Baker and said she thinks someone in his business should have the code enforcement position, adding that she wasn’t sure Robinson was as qualified.

Supervisor Dale Phillips said Robinson is qualified or he wouldn’t have been nominated, and added that the township has “a long way to go and we need to get started …”

“I’ve heard this before,” Price said. “I’ve heard this before and I’m not going to listen to it anymore.”

“You don’t have to listen to it,” Phillips said. “We’re trying to do the best we can …”

“Oh come on,” she said, “Get off of that. I’ve been through supervisor after supervisor and, Dale, you’re not helping the matter any at all.”

“Thank you for your opinion,” Phillips said.

“I think your opinion sucks,” Price said.

Supervisors decided to table the issue for a month and talk to Baker about the position.

Take 3 Performing at Lunch in the Square

The next “Lunch in the Square” event will be held on Wednesday, July 13 at Veterans’ Square, Downtown Bradford from 11:30 until 1:00 pm. Entertainment will be provided by local favorites “Take 3”.

Participating restaurants include Chu Lee Gardens, Dari Hut, John Williams European Pastry Shop, The New Broaster, Dairy Queen, Tortugas Restaurant and The Grocery Stretcher.

The ‘Lunch in the Square’ program is sponsored by The Downtown Bradford Business District Authority, Bradford Rotary and Zippo Manufacturing.

Man Pleads Guilty to Burglary, Robbery

A Delevan man has pleaded guilty to going into a restaurant with a shotgun in January and demanding money.

25-year-old Paul Andolina went into The Shop restaurant in Yorkshire at 9:20 p.m. on the night of January 6 and demanded money.

Andolina is scheduled for sentencing on September 19.

Twin brothers Corey and Christopher Roper also pleaded guilty in connection to the robbery. Last month, Christopher was sentenced to six years in prison. Corey is scheduled for sentencing next month.

Man Who Robbed National Guard Soldier
Sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court

One of the people who robbed a National Guard soldier who was working as a pizza deliveryman has been sentenced to four years in prison.

19-year-old Hilario Maldonado Waskiewicz Jr. was convicted of second degree attempted robbery for robbing Matthew Balcerzak in Allegany back in March. He got $28.

Waskiewicz’s sentence will run consecutively with a one to three year sentence for a third degree burglary conviction, according to the district attorney's office. Waskiewicz entered a home in Olean six days earlier and threatened the homeowner with a weapon while robbing him.

StateImpact Report: Emergency Services
Stretched in Top Drilling Counties

Emergency services in drilling-heavy Pennsylvania counties face a troubling paradox: As permanent population fell, 911 call activity has spiked — by as high as 46 percent, in one case.

For more on this story go to StateImpact Pennsylvania.


Several Thefts Reported in City

Bradford City Police investigated several thefts over the weekend including two on East Main Street and one each on Kiwanis Court, South Avenue, Davis Street and Main Street. Officers also looked into reports of criminal mischief on Oakwood Avenue, and harassment on Chautauqua Place, West Corydon Street, South Avenue, Main Street and Kiwanis Court, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Police got complaints about animals on Burnside and Chamberlain avenues, juveniles on Elm and Boylston streets and public drunks on Mechanic and Elm streets. People also called police about a suspicious vehicle on Chelsea Lane, suspicious activity on Forman Street and suspicious people at Hanley Park and on West Washington Street.



Rainbow Corner Holding Summer Camp

Rainbow Corner Preschool, part of CARE for Children, will be hosting its annual Summer Fun Camp from Tuesday, August 9 through Friday, August 12 at its Russell Boulevard location.

Children aged three to five years are welcome to participate in the camp, which will promote school readiness and summer play for preschoolers. There will be activities focusing specifically on nature, outdoor play, structured play and socialization skill, and weather permitting there will be water play, as well.

The children do not need to be enrolled at Rainbow Corner Preschool to attend the camp.

There is a fee to attend the camp. Anyone interested should contact Kimberly Engstrom, Preschool Director, at the CARE office. Registration forms are also available on the CARE website at www.careforchildren.info. The deadline to register is Tuesday, August 1.

Missing Woman's Family Ups Reward

The family of a Skyesville woman who has been missing for four years has increased the reward they’re offering for information on her whereabouts.

33-year-old Joey Lynn Offutt has been missing since July 12, 2007, when a fire destroyed her home. After the fire was put out, the remains of her six-week-old son were discovered. Her car was found four days later in State College.

On Sunday, the family increased the reward from $5,000 to $25,000. State police say they are still actively working on the case.

For more information you can visit FindJoey.org.


Three Bikers Hurt in Crash

Two women suffered major injuries when their motorcycles collided Sunday afternoon on Route 120 in Cameron County.

Police say a bike operated by 53-year-old Ronald Fox of Rockton was going around a curve when something hit him in the eye, causing him to cross the center line and travel into the path of a motorcycle operated by 52-year-old Dorothy Spencer of DuBois. Both bikes fell onto their sides and slid on the road for a short distance.

Spencer and Fox’s passenger, 56-year-old Kathy Anderson of Clearfield, were both flown to Altoona Hospital with severe injuries. Fox was taken to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of moderate injuries.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Pickup Truck Hits Motorcycle

A Ripley, New York, man was seriously injured Friday when his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck and burst into flames.

Police say 49-year-old Cris Reed was at the intersection of Route 157 and Horsecreek Road in Venango County when the pickup driver pulled into his path.

The pickup driver and other motorists pulled Reed out of the fire. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The pickup driver, who police identified only as a 17-year-old from the Franklin area, suffered minor injuries.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Book Talk
The Silent Girl -- A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

Before "Rizzoli & Isles" was a hit TV show it was a bestselling series of novels -- and still is. This week I had the pleasure of speaking with the creator of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, Tess Gerritsen.

We talked not only about her new book, The Silent Girl, but the also the book that introduced Jane, and about the TV show which starts its second season on Monday.

Listen here

For more about Tess and her books go to TessGerritsen.com.

For more about the TV show go to TNT.tv.

For more information about any book go to the Bradford Area Public Library.

Next week: An author who was featured recently (very recently) in People magazine.