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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Casey, Toomey, Thompson
React to Votes on Raising Debt Ceiling

Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson voted on Friday to support the Budget Control Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 218-210. The bill called for a balanced budget amendment to be passed before the debt ceiling could ever be raised again. The Senate almost immediately rejected the measure.

“(T)he House took action on a solution to end this debt limit crisis.” Thompson said in a news release. “By reducing spending more than we increase the debt limit, the House bill restores fiscal discipline in Washington while protecting the integrity of the United States.”

Republican Senator Pat Toomey said in a news release, “For many months I have urged the administration to support a solution that raises the debt limit and puts our federal government on a fiscally sustainable path toward a balanced budget. While the Budget Control Act has shortcomings, it certainly warrants debate. I therefore am extremely disappointed that the other side of the aisle refused to even consider the measure and have an open debate, and instead, killed the bill immediately upon its reaching the Senate.

“Twice now, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that increases the debt limit while making meaningful reforms, and twice, the Senate has refused even to debate these measures. It is long past time for this administration and Senator (Harry) Reid to stop avoiding making the tough choices and start putting our government on a path toward a balanced budget," Toomey said.

The nation’s top credit rating agencies, including Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, have indicated that failure to pass a debt limit increase and put forward a credible plan for debt reduction could result in a downgrade in America’s credit. In total, the Budget Control Act increases the statutory debt limit by as much as $2.5 trillion, following the enactment of $2.7 trillion in spending cuts and other deficit reduction measures.

“If leaders in the Senate put aside politics and read this bill, they will find this a commonsense plan that changes the trajectory of federal spending so that America can meet its short and long-term fiscal obligations,” Thompson added. “It’s the height of irresponsibility for Washington to continue its political posturing, which will only cause more economic harm to our small businesses and families who are calling on us to act.”

America’s federal budget deficits have reached historically high and unsustainable levels since 2009 and spending is at its highest levels since 1945, with the national debt now totaling almost $14.4 trillion. On May 31, 2011, the House considered a "clean" debt limit bill that did not include corresponding debt reduction measures, which received overwhelming bipartisan opposition and failed to pass, Thompson's news release said.

Democratic Senator Bob Casey said in a news release, “Credit rating agencies have warned that short-term measures like the House bill will jeopardize our AAA credit rating. This will have a disastrous effect on our economy and hurt our ability to create jobs. Our fragile economic recovery cannot afford the uncertainty of finding ourselves in the same position six months from now.

“Too much time has been wasted on political theater. Time is running out to reach bipartisan compromise that credit rating agencies, economists and Pennsylvanians have called for," Casey said.

The U.S. Treasury reached its statutory debt limit on May 16, 2011 and government officials predict the nation’s borrowing capacity will run out on August 2, 2011.





Friday, July 29, 2011

Corbett Tours GE Transportation in Erie

Erie – Governor Tom Corbett today toured GE Transportation, Erie County’s largest employer, where he discussed his commitment to working with Pennsylvania’s businesses to ensure future growth and job creation.

GE Transportation (GET), headquartered in Erie, provides manufacturing services for the railroad, marine, drilling, mining and energy storage industries.

“I am committed to fostering the pro-growth, pro-business environment that will ensure GE Transportation’s continued economic contribution to this region,” said Corbett. “When government works as an ally to businesses instead of working against them, we all succeed. Today, I am standing in a plant that is a great example of that success.”

GET employs nearly 6,200 employees in northwestern Pennsylvania with manufacturing facilities in Erie and Grove City. A 2010 study by Tripp Umbach found that these operations have an annual economic impact of $2.7 billion on Erie County, $3.6 billion on Northwestern Pennsylvania and $4.6 billion on the state of Pennsylvania.

“When I was elected governor, I committed to putting Pennsylvania back on track. To honor that commitment, I have focused on policies that allow business to stay and grow in our state; bringing with them jobs that Pennsylvanians need now,” said Corbett.

“GE Transportation’s success here in the region supports, directly or indirectly, one out of every 11 jobs in Erie county. The impact is undeniable, and one the commonwealth is proud to support,” Corbett added.

Provided by Commonwealth Media Services

PA Wilds Outdoor Map Now Available

The Pennsylvania Wilds Outdoor Discovery Map is now available through the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at no charge.

The map is a regional effort of the Pennsylvania Wilds to promote tourism and recreation in the area. The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 12-county tourist organization that consists of McKean, Clinton, Clearfield, Cameron, Clarion, Forest, Elk, Jefferson, Potter, Tioga, Lycoming and Warren counties. The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for McKean County.

In addition to a sizeable foldout map, there is also information on local attractions, trails, state parks, state forests and the Allegheny National Forest. In addition, the map highlights fishing, scenic overlooks, wildlife watching and canoeing and kayaking areas. General tourism-related and contact information is listed for a variety of agencies, making this a convenient travel resource for the region.

The free maps are available by calling 800-473-9370 or e-mailing info@visitANF.com. In addition, tourism information supplies for individuals or businesses may be picked up at the ANF Visitors Bureau Welcome Center located at 80 E. Corydon Street, Bradford, which is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.






Men Charged in 2007 Arson

Two men have been charged with arson in connection to a house fire four years ago in Elk County.

State police had been investigating the fire that happened at 12:15 a.m. on July 9, 2007, and recently received new information that led to the arrests of 24-year-old Matthew Geyer of St. Marys and 23-year-old Josh Foster of Kersey. They are both charged with dangerous burning under the arson section of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.

Police say Geyer and Foster were attending a party in the area prior to the fire, which destroyed the abandoned house owned by William Haller of Kersey.

National Fuel Raising Rate

National Fuel is raising its rate by nearly 10 percent starting Monday.

This increase raises the monthly bill of a typical residential customer
from $84to $93.

National Fuel’s Nancy Taylor says the primary reason for the change is an increase in the charges the company must pay to bring the gas supply to the service area. She also says the cost of gas is slightly higher than predicted.

In January, National Fuel said it expected to raise the rates by 8.6 percent.


Time to Vote Again!
Help A Young Bradford Businessman

UPDATE: He won!

Get your clicking fingers ready to vote in another online contest.

Matt Teribery is in a contest to win a free photo shoot for his company Capitl Clothing.

Matt won an entrepreneurial contest this spring from Pitt-Bradford with a cash award of $2,500. He took the award and fully invested it into his company. This could be the next step for further success of this young businessman.

http://iamthetrend.com/2011/07/26/voting-is-now-open-josh-guim-iamthetrend-photography-contest/

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honoring a Fallen Soldier











Rain didn't stop hundreds of people from showing up in Kane for the funeral services for US Army Staff Sergeant Ken VanGiesen, who was killed July 18 while serving in Afghanistan.

WESB and The HERO's Stefan Arlington was there and took these pictures that show some of the ways Kane honored their Hometown Hero.

Connie Magnuson Hall shared the photos taken outside the Ronald McDonald II Funeral Home and the school. Ruth Gentilman Peterson shared the photo from inside the school. (Thank you so much, ladies!)






EPA Proposes Air Pollution Standards for
Oil and Gas Production

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed standards to reduce harmful air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. These proposed updated standards - which are being issued in response to a court order - would rely on cost-effective existing technologies to reduce emissions that contribute to smog pollution and can cause cancer while supporting the administration’s priority of continuing to expand safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production. The standards would leverage operators' ability to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes into the air, resulting in more efficient operations while reducing harmful emissions that can impact air quality in surrounding areas and nearby states.

"This administration has been clear that natural gas is a key component of our clean energy future, and the steps announced today will help ensure responsible production of this domestic energy source," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "Reducing these emissions will help cut toxic pollution that can increase cancer risks and smog that can cause asthma attacks and premature death - all while giving these operators additional product to bring to market.”

Today’s proposal would cut smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from several types of processes and equipment used in the oil and gas industry, including a 95 percent reduction in VOCs emitted during the completion of new and modified hydraulically fractured wells. This dramatic reduction would largely be accomplished by capturing natural gas that currently escapes to the air and making that gas available for sale through technologies and processes already in use by several companies and required in some states.

Natural gas production in the U.S. is growing, with more than 25,000 new and existing wells fractured or re-fractured each year. The VOC reductions in the proposal are expected to help reduce ozone nonattainment problems in many areas where oil and gas production occurs. In addition, the VOC reductions would yield a significant environmental benefit by reducing methane emissions from new and modified wells. Methane, the primary constituent of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas - more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Today’s proposed changes also would reduce cancer risks from emissions of several air toxics, including benzene.

EPA’s analysis of the proposed changes, which also include requirements for storage tanks and other equipment, show they are highly cost-effective, with a net savings to the industry of tens of millions of dollars annually from the value of natural gas that would no longer escape to the air. Today’s proposal includes reviews of four air regulations for the oil and natural gas industry as required by the Clean Air Act: a new source performance standard for VOCs from equipment leaks at gas processing plants; a new source performance standard for sulfur dioxide emissions from gas processing plants; an air toxics standard for oil and natural gas production; and an air toxics standard for natural gas transmission and storage.

EPA is under a consent decree requiring the agency to sign a proposal by July 28, 2011 and take final action by Feb. 28, 2012. As part of the public comment period, EPA will hold three public hearings, in the Dallas, Denver and Pittsburgh areas. Details on the hearings will be announced soon.

Two Sentenced for Welfare Fraud

Two Emporium residents will be on probation for two years after illegally receiving cash assistance from the state.

The inspector general’s office says 30-year-old Robert Banks and 21-year-old Carrie Martin received more than $2,700.

They must also pay all the money back.


Shriners Get OK for Hospital Transition

Erie Shriners officials announced today that Shriners International has approved the hospital's planned transition from a full-service hospital to an ambulatory facility.

This allows the hospital to move forward with plans to convert its inpatient surgery unit into pediatric specialty clinics.

They have not determined yet exactly what specialties will be offered but it’s possible that patients could see pediatric pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and neurologists.


Shinglehouse Fire Under Investigation

A State Police fire marshal is still investigating a fire that killed two dogs and destroyed a house Wednesday in Shinglehouse.

Police say no one was home at the time of the fire but renter Roger Mesler suffered minor injuries to his hands when he tried to save the dogs.

Damage to the two-story house is estimated at $180,000. The owner is Robert Lewis of Effingham, Illinois.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scholarship Established at Pitt-Bradford in
Memory of Tom and Edith O'Hargan


The children of Tom and Edith O’Hargan have endowed a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in memory of their parents.

Jim and Susan O’Hargan of Tupelo, Miss., started the scholarship with a gift of $5,000 that was matched by both the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge and Jim O’Hargan’s employer, Philips.

Since then, Jim and his siblings, Diane O’Hargan Fagan, Deborah O’Hargan Robbins, and Roger O’Hargan, have added to the scholarship, which will soon be endowed at $50,000.

Tom and Edith O’Hargan both grew up in Western New York. Tom O’Hargan was born in Andover, N.Y., and moved to Bradford and attended Bradford High School. Edith O’Hargan was raised on a dairy farm in Limestone, N.Y., and graduated from Limestone High School.

After graduating from BHS in 1941, Tom O’Hargan went into the U.S. Air Force and served during World War II in the area of procurement and logistics.

Edith O’Hargan graduated from Limestone High in 1943 and went to secretarial school in Cleveland.

The couple met while both worked at Dresser Manufacturing in Bradford, where Tom was a draftsman and Edith a secretary.

Tom O’Hargan went on to be manager of application engineering at Dresser, where he worked on a couple of patented products. In 1972 after 27 years with Dresser, Tom O’Hargan left to work for other companies in the same type of business in Foster City, Calif., Texarkana, Texas, Chicago and Seattle before retiring in Texarkana.

“Their roots were always in the Bradford area. Our dad was always known as ‘Hap’ O’Hargan from his nickname in high school as ‘Happy’ O’Hargan and Mom as Eddie,” Jim O’Hargan said, adding that his father was active in the American Legion, for which he was a district commander. The O’Hargans were also active members of St. Bernard Church.

Jim O’Hargan said he and his wife, Sue, got the idea for the scholarship from friends, Mike and Susie Carlson, who had similarly joined with Mike Carlson’s siblings to honor his parents, Patricia and Robert Carlson.

The O’Hargan children asked that scholarship recipients be graduates of Bradford Area High School.

“It’s wonderful that there is such a fabulous facility as the University of Pittsburgh right there in Bradford and graduates from Bradford Area High School will be assisted in their education in the memory of our mom and dad,” Jim O’Hargan said. “The Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas match is just absolutely fabulous, and I know the scholarship’s going to good use.”

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Pitt-Bradford, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at jballard@pitt.edu or (814)362-5091.


Man Accused of Stealing, Selling Gun

A Bradford man accused of stealing a gun from a vehicle and selling it waived his preliminary hearing today.

26-year-old Cotton Winston is accused of stealing the gun, hunting knives, motorcross equipment, a Bluetooth and other items from a vehicle on June 14. He then allegedly sold the gun for $200.

In a separate case, Winston allegedly stole a 3 ounce package of Little Debbie Nutty Bars and a 20 ounce Blue Raspberry Crush from Country Fair. He was released on his own recognizance on that charge, but is jailed on $20,000 bail for the others.

Alleged Assault in City This Morning

A Bradford man is facing charges for allegedly assaulting the man his ex-girlfriend was sleeping with.

Police got a call at just before 6 o’clock this morning about an assault on Forman Street. Then learned that 20-year-old Cody Fowler barged into the home his ex-girlfriend shares with several people, went to the woman’s bedroom and found her and another man asleep in bed.

Fowler allegedly threw the other man into walls and punched him in the face, causing a severe nosebleed.

Fowler is charged with simple assault, burglary, harassment and criminal trespass. He’s free on $5,000 bail.

Young Backs Caylee Anthony-Inspired Bill

ALBANY – The outrage over the Casey Anthony verdict is having a ripple effect across New York State and lawmakers have responded by introducing legislation that would better protect children from neglect, repeated abuse and murder, according to one of the bill’s sponsors Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C – Olean).

Since the July 5th Florida court decision, Senator Young’s says her office’s inbox has been inundated with emails and letters from frustrated constituents who are advocating for tougher changes to New York’s child protection laws.
“The fact that my office has received over a thousand unsolicited emails from very concerned constituents shows just how much this issue hit a nerve with people, especially parents. Other states are introducing ‘Caylee’s Law’ and residents in my district want me to take action, too,” said Senator Young.

“People don’t want to see what happened to Caylee Anthony happen here in New York, and we need to change our laws to ensure that it doesn’t, ” she added.

The two-year old Florida girl was not reported missing by her mother Casey Anthony for 31 days following her disappearance and was found dead months later in a wooded area.

The “Protect Our Children Act” would create new felonies for concealing the death of a child and failing to notify law enforcement when the whereabouts of a young child is unknown for more than 24 hours.

“It is a well-known fact that authorities have the greatest chance of locating a child within the first 24 hours of disappearance. We need to drive the point home that reporting a missing child must take place immediately,” said Senator Young.

“It is the number one responsibility of parents and guardians to watch over and protect their children. It is very disheartening that we need to introduce a bill like this, but we have seen a very sad example of why it’s necessary,” she added.

Senator Young said the “Protect Our Children Act” is one of the most “sweeping changes” to state law aimed to better protect children ever proposed and goes beyond legislation recently introduced in other states that simply address the failure of parents and guardians to report their missing children.

Recognizing that parents and caregivers have a heightened duty of responsibility for children in their care, among the more than two dozen other proposals in this bill is a provision that would create the new crime of aggravated murder of a child under 14 years of age with a sentence of life without parole.

In addition, the new legislation would strengthen an existing law of aggravated abuse of a child which makes it a crime when someone recklessly causes physical injury to a child under the age of 14. Current law applies only to day care providers, but this legislation would expand it to also apply to parents, guardians or a person in a position of trust.

Other elements of the bill would create new felony offenses for obstructing the location of a missing child, create a felony child endangering statute to protect children from especially cruel and sadistic conduct and create a statute to protect children from serious reckless abuse.

Senator Young said provisions to increase penalties for repeat child abusers also have been included.

“Caylee deserved justice and out of this horrific tragedy, a need for change has been made clear on a much wider level. Our current laws do not go far enough to protect children who are particularly vulnerable to abuse by those who should be their first line protectors,” said Senator Young.

Casey Wants Transparency from USPS

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), pushing for more transparency in the process of considering post offices in Pennsylvania for closure. Earlier this week, the USPS announced it was considering closing 203 post offices in Pennsylvania.

“Unfortunately, many of my constituents feel as if the USPS has repeatedly dismissed public opinion associated with these closures,” wrote Senator Casey. “While I understand that the USPS needs to restructure, when citizens of Pennsylvania ask reasonable questions regarding this process, it is imperative that the USPS respond to these inquiries in a thorough manner.”

Senator Casey requested that the USPS submit a plan to ensure that public input is given the weight it deserves as facilities are considered for closure.

Senator Casey also expressed his commitment to working with the USPS to overcome the agency’s fiscal challenges while preserving the jobs and services on which Pennsylvanians depend.

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter is below.

Dear Mr. Donahoe:

I am writing today regarding the recent announcement that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is considering closing 203 post offices across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am well aware of the financial challenges facing the USPS and am committed to working with you to overcome these challenges while preserving jobs and services on which Pennsylvanians depend. However, I am concerned about the level of community engagement in this process.

As I have written in previous letters, I am not seeking to challenge the logic behind any particular proposed closure but rather to stress the importance of involving communities in these decisions. Unfortunately, many of my constituents feel as if the USPS has repeatedly dismissed public opinion associated with these closures. My office has been informed that communities have often asked the USPS to provide data to support assertions made regarding closures. It is my understanding that the USPS generally considers this information proprietary and has refused to release it publicly. This secrecy has caused a significant amount of frustration in affected communities. While I understand that the USPS needs to restructure, when citizens of Pennsylvania ask reasonable questions regarding this process, it is imperative that the USPS respond to these inquiries in a thorough manner.

As the USPS considers which facilities to close, I ask that you please take into consideration the viewpoints of your customers. I also request that you submit to my office your plan to ensure that public input is given the weight it deserves.

Thank you for your attention to this request.

To see a list of the targeted post offices go here.

Alleged Car Shoppers Waive Hearings

Two 19-year-olds accused of “car shopping” on Rockland and Lincoln avenues have waived their preliminary hearings.

James Hochstine and Adam Weaver admitted to police that they went through a number of cars in the early morning hours of July 13 and stole several items including a radio, GPS unit, cell phones, CDs, a Beanie Baby and candy, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone's office.

A witness told police she saw them “hitting cars right in front of her” while she was sitting on her front porch smoking a cigarette.

Police were called to the scene and chased the men into Oak Hill Cemetery, where one of them was tripped by the thick brush and fell during the pursuit. The other surrendered a few feet away.

They are jailed on $5,000 bail each.


Man Sentenced for Stealing from Corning

A Georgia man involved in a scheme to steal trade secrets from Corning has been sentenced to two years’ probation.

The US Attorney’s office says 65-year-old Danny Ray Price was aware of a scheme hatched by others to sell trade secrets to a rival business in Taiwan called Picvue. The blueprints are valued at more than $100 million. Corning got the materials back after suing Picvue.

Price was sent by Picvue consultant 71-year-old Yeong Lin to exchange money for the drawings that had been taken by Corning employee Jonathan Sanders.

The other men have already been sentenced for their roles in this crime.

http://www.fbi.gov/buffalo/press-releases/2011/georgia-man-sentenced-to-probation-in-trade-secret-case


Pirates File Formal Compaint

Pirates president Frank Coonelly has released the following statement concerning the umpire's call that ended the Pirates 19-inning game early today with a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves:

"The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is extremely disappointed by the way its 19-inning game against the Atlanta Braves ended earlier this morning. The game of baseball and this game in particular, filled with superlative performances by players on both clubs, deserved much better. We have filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner.

"While we cannot begin to understand how Umpire Jerry Meals did not see the tag made by Michael McKenry three feet in front of home plate, we do not question the integrity of Mr. Meals. Instead, we know that Mr. Meals' intention was to get the call right. Jerry Meals has been umpiring Major League games for 14 years and has always done so with integrity and professionalism. He got this one wrong.

"For Pirates fans, we may have lost a game in the standings as a result of a missed call but this game, and the gutsy performances by so many of our players, will make us stronger, more unified and more determined as we continue the battle for the National League Central Division."

Hornell Family Found in Scranton

The Hornell, New York, family who had been missing for a week have been found in a hotel in Scranton.

27-year-old Alicia Appleton and her children 8-year-old Alexis Slayton and 6-year-old David Slayton were found with Eric Trumball, an acquaintance of Appleton’s.

Police thought the four could be headed toward Bradford because Trumball has relatives here. Appleton, however, has relatives in Scranton.

In a news release, Hornell police said everyone in the group was in good health; they were all obeying the law; and they were minding their own business.

The matter has been turned over to the Steuben County Department of Social Services Child Protective Unit.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cuomo Announces Development Councils

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his economic development councils that he hopes will will stimulate the economy and create jobs throughout New York.

He explained that the 10 regional economic development councils will compete for $1 billion to fund the best ideas to create jobs and growth.

"For too long, Albany has imposed one-size-fits-all economic development plans across the state, ignoring the unique assets and challenges of each region," Cuomo said. "Today, we are taking a new approach. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas like Western New York to chart their own course for job creation and growth and we will send a clear message that New York is open for business."

The Western New York Economic Council will be made up of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties and will be co chaired by Univeristy of Buffalo President Dr. Satish Tripathi and Howard Zemsky of the Larkin Development Group.

Also on the council are Dr. Charles Edmonson, president of Alfred Univeristy, Cattaraugus County Legislature Chairman Michael O’Brien and Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/07262011DevelopmentCouncil%20

Salamanca Getting $5 Million in
Emergency Funds from the State

SALAMANCA, NY –Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) announced today that the state has provided $5 million in emergency funds to tide over the City of Salamanca during its fiscal crisis.

“By working closely with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblyman Joe Giglio, and city officials, we have developed a plan to address the city’s budget shortfall and continue to provide essential services to the citizens of Salamanca. This zero interest loan will be repaid once Casino payments are resumed being made to the state,” Senator Young said.

“The city was at a point of crisis because financial obligations are due and action needed to be taken. This situation has been very difficult for the people of Salamanca because of the uncertainty, and the reduction of basic services. Cuts to public safety especially have been of deep concern to me. For example, the response time on an ambulance call has gone from about five minutes to 35 minutes in some cases. That’s unacceptable,” Senator Young said.

“By pulling together, we have come up with a short term solution. The Governor has been extremely responsive in formulating a plan, and we all are very grateful for his strong leadership and attentiveness. City officials also deserve kudos for their work,” Senator Young said.

The state loan consists of $3.5 million to continue current staffing levels and a basic level of services under the city’s austerity budget that was adopted in March 2011. That $7.2 million spending plan was based on anticipated tax levy revenues of nearly $1 million, sales tax and other miscellaneous revenues of nearly $2.7 million, plus $3.5 million in “emergency State aid” in place of the traditional funding the city receives from the state as a Casino host community. The remaining $1.5 million of the loan will satisfy a Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) that is due this fall.

City revenues were sharply curtailed, and deep cuts in personnel and services were made when the State and Seneca Nation came to an impasse over gaming compact exclusivity payments in September 2010.

As a host community, Salamanca provides essential police, fire, infrastructure, utility and other municipal services. Complicating the city’s sustainability is the ever eroding tax base, as properties become immune from taxation when they are purchased by enrolled members of the Seneca Nation. The city is located almost entirely on the Seneca Nation’s Allegany Territory.

Said Mayor Jeff Pond, “Thankfully, Governor Cuomo, Senator Young and Assemblyman Giglio worked hard to make this funding available. With their bi-partisan leadership, they have developed an alternative that works for us. We still are responsible for providing services despite the loss of the Casino revenues, and as we move forward, the city will be working closely with them for a long term solution.”

According to Assemblyman Giglio, “This is a very important issue that affects all of the residents of Salamanca as well as those living in surrounding areas. The city and its employees have worked diligently to maintain a basic level of services, and I am pleased that all parties came to an agreement on a resolution. It was great to be a part of this effort because it demonstrates how government should work.”

Senator Young said that the loan is a beginning, but much more needs to be accomplished to shore up the city’s finances in the future.

“The Casino has been an important economic asset to our region, and the Seneca Nation has successfully worked hard to make it an outstanding destination. It has provided jobs to many people, and income to the state, city, Cattaraugus County and Salamanca City School.

“The State and Seneca Nation share many areas of mutual concern, including the economy. I am hopeful that the State and the Seneca Nation can come together soon to work out their differences about the gaming exclusivity agreement and other issues. Good communication is the key, and I continue to urge everyone to sit down to have a productive dialogue about positive solutions,” she said.

Flags to be at Half Staff on Thursday

Governor Tom Corbett has ordered all U.S. and Pennsylvania flags in the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities in McKean County to fly at half-staff on Thursday in honor of Staff Sgt. Kenneth VanGiesen of Kane.

VanGiesen was one of three Pennsylvania Army National Guard members killed on July 18 when an improvised explosive device detonated on their convoy in Afghanistan. The other men killed were Sgt. Edward Koehler of Lebanon and Sgt. Brian Mower of Halifax.

VanGiesen's memorial service will be held Thursday at Kane Area High School. He was a 1999 graduate of the school.

Regional Post Offices Targeted for Closure

Several Post Offices in this area are among those that may be closed this year.

They include Turtlepoint, Hazel Hurst, James City, Crosby, Driftwood and Sinnamahoning.

The Post Office plans to close more than 3,000 offices, mostly in rural areas, in an effort to save millions of dollars.

They say they will meet with members of the affected communities before making their final decisions.

For a complete list of the Pennsylvania post offices targeted for closure go here

Man Charged for Casino Disturbance

A Jamestown man is facing charges for causing a disturbance at the Seneca Allegany Casino late Saturday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say 65-year-old Richard Battaglia shouted obscenities and used vulgar language inside the casino at 11:25 p.m. that night.

Battaglia is scheduled to appear in City of Salamanca Court on August 3.


8-Year-Old Boy Hurt in Crash

An 8-year-old boy had to be hospitalized after the motorcycle he was a passenger on crashed into a car in Dunkirk Monday afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies say 40-year-old Adam Johnson was drunk when he crashed his motorcycle into a car waiting at a stop sign. The impact threw Johnson and the boy from the bike. Johnson was airlifted to ECMC. Theg boy was taken to Women and Children's Hospital.

Johnson faces several charges including a Leandra's Law violation.

More Information on Missing Family

A Hornell, New York, mother and her two children are still missing and police are concerned for their safety.

They say 27-year-old Alicia Appleton checked herself out of the psychiatric unit of a hospital last week, then left the area with her children. Police believe they may be traveling with 26-yearold Eric Trumball, who Appleton met at the hospital.

The children, 8-year-old Alexis Slayton and 6-year-old David Slayton, were last seen severely sunburned and walking barefoot along railroad tracks in Arkport, New York.
Police believe they could be headed toward Bradford.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact Hornell Police or state police in Wayland.

You can find more information, including pictures of Appleton and the children, at the New York State Police website.


Monday, July 25, 2011

VanGiesen Funeral Set for Thursday

Kenneth R. VanGiesen, 30, of Gorman Drive, Erie, formerly of Kane, died Monday, July 18, 2011 as the result of injuries sustained while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
Born August 3, 1980 in Kane, he was the son of Thomas A. and Susan J. Proashas VanGiesen.

A 1999 graduate of Kane Area High School, he was a three year letterman in football and played in the Don Raabe Big 30 Classic. Later that year he joined the Army National Guard as a Technical Mechanic. Ken served four tours in twelve years, having served in Germany, twice in Iraq and later in Afghanistan. He served 1400 mobilized days in overseas deployment, being one of only 16 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen serving that level of active duty. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

He was a member of the American Legion and the Loyal Order of Moose, both in Millcreek, the American Legion Riders and various VFW posts. He also was a member of the Kane Fish & Game Club.

Surviving in addition to his parents of Kane are his grandfather, Rowland Proashas of Kane; his high school sweetheart Erin Sirianni with whom he lived; his sister Amie (Joe) Gullifer and their children Isaac and Hannah of Kane, his brother Matt (Heather) VanGiesen and their children Courtney and Carly of Oak Harbor, Wash., Erin’s parents Frank and Sherry Sirianni of Kane, and his beloved dog and companion, Bandit. Several aunts, uncles and cousins also survive.

Private visitation will be held at the Ronald McDonald II Funeral Home, Inc. in Kane.

The family will receive friends at the Kane Area High School on Thursday from noon until 3:00, at which time a service will be held there with the rev. Chad Troup, pastor of the First Church of God, officiating. Afterwards, the family and funeral cortege will process from the high school, turn onto Hemlock Avenue, then to South Fraley Street and proceed through Kane. Burial will be held privately in Gibbs Hill Cemetery, Ludlow.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850-5168; or at www.fisherhouse.org


Man Tried to Skip Out on Applebee's Bill

An Oklahoma man who allegedly tried to skip out on his Applebee’s bill is in Chautauqua County Jail.

34-year-old Justin Spencer tried to pay his $114 tab on Sunday with a reloadable debit card. Before the bartender got the message that the card was declined, Spencer ran from the Dunkirk restaurant. State troopers found him at the Days Inn in Fredonia.

Spencer was sent to jail on $800 cash bail and is scheduled to appear in Town of Dunkirk Court next month.

Two People in Court on Drug Charges

Two people appeared in Cattaraugus County Court today on drug charges.

21-year-old Samantha Vantuil of Olean pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance for trying to sell hydrocodone pills on December 16 in Olean.

She will be sentenced October 3.

27-year-old Daniel Paone of Lancaster, New York, was sentenced to 5 years’ probation for possessing more than 8 ounces of marijuana on May 31, 2010, in Salamanca.

He must also may $1,000 in fines.

Police Looking for Missing Mother, Kids

A Hornell, New York, family is missing and police believe they may be in, or headed to, Bradford.

27-year-old Alicia Appleton and her two children have been missing since last Tuesday. The children are 8-year-old Alexis Slayton and 6-year-old David Slayton.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said the children were last seen walking along the railroad tracks in Arkport.



Anyone with information regarding the missing people is asked to contact Hornell Police at 607-324-2860

National Night Out Set for August 2

A community wide National Night Out event will be held Tuesday, August 2nd from 5PM until 8PM in recognition of the 28th annual National Night Out.

Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), National Night Out (NNO) was conceived with the aim of empowering community residents, and as a unique tool against criminal and drug activity. Along with traditional displays of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, celebrations of National Night Out also feature activities such as block parties, cookouts, parades, flashlight walks, exhibits, contests, youth programs and visits from local police and fire departments. Goals of National Night Out include creating a heightened awareness of crime and drug prevention efforts, as well strengthening neighborhood spirit.

NNO 2010 involved over 37 million people in over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. National Night Out 2011 is expected to be the largest ever. NNO is sponsored by NATW in partnership with Target.

This year’s Bradford celebration of National Night Out includes a variety of special events. The City of Bradford Police Department and Fire Department will be providing safety information and provide equipment demonstrations at Veteran’s Square. The Bradford High School Criminal Justice Club will also be helping with activities this year. This event will feature an inflatable slide, popcorn, balloons, sidewalk chalk, Tower one, Sparks the fire dog, and the DARE car & ERT vehicles. The City’s Park Department will once again be holding a family swim between 6:30 and 8:30PM at Callahan Park. All children MUST be accompanied by an adult to participate in this event. A downtown pet parade will be take place on Main Street. Anyone wishing to participate should report to PNC parking lot at 7PM. J & K Pets and the SPCA will be available as well as information on pet and pedestrian safety. A Taste of Bradford will also take place at Veteran’s Square between 5:30 and 7:30PM. Local restaurants will have food available and entertainment will be provided.

“We hope to see everyone out and enjoying this fun and relaxing community event. We will be providing information to anyone interested in getting involved with our Neighborhood Watch program, said Lisa Keck Elm Street Manager.” Residents, organizations, churches and neighborhoods wishing to join this effort can still contact Elm Street Manager, Lisa Keck at lkeck@bradfordpa.org.

This year’s event was made possible by local sponsors The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, City of Bradford Parks Department and Wal-Mart.