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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rapp Seeks Local Testifiers for Hearing on
Marcellus Shale Drilling Impact Fee

WARREN – Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) will co-chair a House Finance Committee informational hearing regarding Marcellus Shale impact fee proposals in September.

Additionally, Rapp is searching for a limited number of local residents willing to provide testimony on whether they would support or oppose an impact fee on Marcellus Shale drilling.

“As a lawmaker who unapologetically voted against legislation to impose the largest job-killing, natural gas severance tax in American history, most District 65 residents already know where I stand on this issue,” said Rapp. “Regardless of an individual position, this informational hearing will provide an ideal opportunity to make one’s voice heard before the House Finance Committee which is responsible for all state tax legislation, including personal income taxes, school property taxes and, most recently, proposals to tax or impose impact fees on the drilling of Marcellus Shale natural gas.”

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13, and will be held at the Warren Holiday Inn, beginning at 10 a.m. Anyone interested in testifying should contact Rapp’s Warren district office at (814) 723-5203 for more information.

Seneca Casinos Earn Awards

NIAGARA FALLS and SALAMANCA, N.Y. – Seneca Gaming Corporation is pleased to announce that it received 26 “Best in Gaming 2011” awards from the readers of Casino Player magazine. The annual survey determines the best casinos, hotels, amenities and games throughout the United States.

Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel ranked in the top three among “Native Northeast” casinos for 23 categories. It earned second-place honors for Best Steakhouse (The Western Door), Best Italian Food (la Cascata) and Best Seafood (Koi). Other notable third-place honors included Best Overall Gaming Resort, Best Hotel, Best Concerts, Best Players Club, Best Comps/Free Play, Best Reel Slots and Best Video Poker.

Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel received three honors in the “Native Northeast” category, including a coveted best overall award for buffets (Thunder Mountain Buffet), and second-place awards for Chinese cuisine (Thunder Mountain Buffet) and spa services (The Spa).

“Our first priority is our guests, and we’re delighted to know they appreciate our services,” said Cathy Walker, president and CEO, Seneca Gaming Corporation. “Casino Player is one of the industry’s foremost trade publications, and its readers are passionate about all that the nation’s best casinos have to offer. To receive 26 honors reaffirms for us that we’re creating memorable experiences.”

The full list of “Best in Gaming” awards is available in the August 2011 issue of Casino Player.

Mount Jewett Man Jailed

A Mount Jewett man is in jail for an alleged indecent assault against a 6-year-old girl.

State police say 18-year-old Dominick DeSio is accused of rubbing the victim’s genital area with his hand at a home in Mount Jewett last month.

His bail is sent at $20,000.

Alleged Child Predator Indicted

An Ashville, New York, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for sexually exploiting children.

40-year-old David Lopus is accused of traveling from Ashville to Warren County at least four times and approaching young girls.

After charges were filed earlier this year Lopus left the area but was picked up June 9 at a homeless shelter in Cleveland, Ohio, and extradited to Warren County.

You Know You Grew Up in Bradford ...

One of the fastest growing groups on Facebook has more than a Bradford connection. It’s all about Bradford.

On Monday the group “You know you grew up in Bradford PA when …” had about 500 members. This morning, it’s well over 1,000 and growing by the hour.

If you remember Collella’s bread, Flaming the Main and Tullah Hanley… look for the group and join the conversations.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fatal Accident Victim Identified

Police have released the name of the man who died Friday afternoon in an industrial accident at Dresser-Rand in Wellsville.

Donald Gadley of Friendship was taken to Jones Memorial Hospital after the 2 p.m. accident, and was pronounced dead there.

Police say they will release more information after OSHA completes its investigation.

Woman Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

A Great Valley woman is in critical condition following a motorcycle crash late Sunday afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies say 51-year-old Kathleen Musall was riding her motorcycle on Humphrey Road at about 5:45 p.m. when it went out of control and hit a guard rail. She was thrown from the bike and suffered severe trauma to her left leg and lacerations to her abdomen.

Musall was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC in Bufalo.

Vandals Damage Police Cars

St. Marys Police are looking into an act of criminal mischief that happened in their own parking lot Saturday morning.

They say someone smashed the windshields on four patrol vehicles, and also damaged other windows and the bodies of the vehicles.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact St. Marys at 781-1315.

Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

A man is dead following a motorcycle crash Saturday afternoon on Route 6 in Wetmore Township.

Police say 60-year-old Neil Phillips of Hartland, Minnesota, was traveling east when a wild turkey attempted to fly across the road but hit Phillips’ head and the upper part of his body. Phillips lost control of the bike, and it hit a guiderail. Phillips was thrown over the guide rail and went down an embankment.

Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man Accused of Assaulting Police Officers

A man from the New York City area is facing charges for assaulting St. Marys Police officers earlier this month.

Police say they were called to Brusselles Street for a possible motorcycle crash and when they got there, they found 48-year-old John Cartica of Poughquag standing next to a motorcycle that was on its side.

During the course of the investigation, Cartica allegedly assaulted the officers. He and one of the officers were taken by ambulance to Elk Regional Health Center, where the officer was treated and released.

He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault, as well as simple assault and resisting arrest. He’s free after posting $25,000 bond.

New Hotel Tower to be Built at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca

SALAMANCA, N.Y. -- Strengthening their position as the premier gaming operator in the Western New York region, Seneca Gaming Corporation announced that it plans to build a new hotel tower at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca. The project was recently approved by separate votes of the company's Board of Directors and the Seneca Nation of Indians Council.

Seneca Gaming Corporation is planning a $53 million project that will add approximately 200 hotel rooms at the gaming and entertainment resort, essentially doubling the number of hotel rooms available for patrons. The current 212-room hotel tower opened in 2007 and has received a Four Diamond rating for service and quality from AAA in each of the past four years.

"The ability to offer additional hotel capacity will help strengthen our position in the marketplace and further establish Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel as a true destination resort," said Karen Karsten, Chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation Board of Directors. "As we continue to expand our reach, strengthen our marketing programs and work with other tourism leaders in the Southern Tier, we need to offer our patrons the complete experience they have come to expect from Seneca Gaming Corporation."

In addition to its current 212-room hotel tower, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel offers patrons the complete gaming resort experience. The property features 68,300 square feet of world-class gaming space with more than 2,000 slot machines and 30 table games, outstanding entertainment in the 2,300-seat Seneca Event Center, a full-service spa and salon, an indoor swimming pool, four exquisite dining destinations and multiple retail outlets.

"We are proud that our Nation's Allegany Territory is home to the premier gaming destination resort in the region and the destination of choice for millions of visitors each year," added Robert Odawi Porter, President of the Seneca Nation of Indians. "Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel is a symbol of quality and stands as a testament to the Seneca Nation's entrepreneurial success and our bright economic future. The new hotel tower is the start of an exciting new chapter for the property and the latest milestone in our efforts to achieve true financial sovereignty for the Seneca people."

The hotel at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel has been a particularly strong performer. According to Seneca Gaming Corporation officials, occupancy rates are above 95 percent for the past nine months. More than 1.5 million people have visited the resort so far this year, including significant numbers from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

"Logistically, we simply cannot meet the demand for on-site hotel accommodations, particularly during peak times and for concerts and special events, creating scenarios where guests seeking hotel rooms were turned away," said Gus Tsivikis, General Manager, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel. "In today's gaming market, patrons are looking for getaway opportunities that are not only convenient, but that also stand out in their quality, comfort, service and excitement. All of the right factors are in place for this project to succeed."

Located in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel is minutes away from nearby Ellicottville, New York and a focal point for the area's growing tourism economy.

"Not only will the new tower improve the hotel, it also will create dozens of new jobs during its construction, with even more long term jobs available once it is completed. The expansion also means even more visitors will spend their tourism dollars that are enormously important to our region's economic well-being. I appreciate the Seneca Nation's continued investment in the local economy and wish them success as this exciting new project progresses," said New York State Senator Catharine Young.

With the Seneca Allegany project, Seneca Gaming Corporation will have significant capital projects in either the planning or development stage at all three of its casino properties. In recent weeks, the company and the Seneca Nation have begun a hotel room renovation project at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls and are reviewing proposals from interested architectural and engineering firms for the design of a new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo.

Since opening Seneca Niagara Casino in 2002, Seneca Gaming Corporation has grown to employ more than 3,700 people. Seneca Gaming Corporation operates world-class facilities offering more than 6,500 slot machines, 140 table games, 800 hotel rooms, a championship golf course and other related amenities. For more information, visit

Man Hurt in Dock Collapse

A Lancaster man suffered a serious head injury when another person crashed a Jet Ski into a dock he was standing on Friday evening.

Sheriff’s deputies say 43-year-old Craig Dulak of West Seneca was test driving the Jet Ski at Hadley Bay in the Lakeside Campground in Chautauqua County when he crashed into the dock, causing it to collapse. 47-year-old Donald Hayes was standing on the dock at the time, but fell and hit his head on the front cleat of a moored pontoon boat.

Hayes was taken to WCA Hospital. Dulak was issued a summons for operating a personal watercraft on the inland waters of Chautauqua County without an operator certificate.

Woman Rescued from Chautauqua Gorge

A woman had to be rescued at the Chautauqua Gorge Saturday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say the woman, who they did not identify, was stranded on a small ledge overlooking the gorge off Canada Road in the Town of Chautauqua at around 7:15 p.m.

After deputies helped the woman get off the ledge, the Technical Rescue Team got her up the hill and out of the gorge.

Man Charged with Grand Larceny

A Cattaraugus county man is in jail for stealing items in the Coldspring and South Valley areas over the past year and selling them for scrap.

Sheriff’s deputies say 54-year-old Ward Wheeler had been taking items from camp sites along the Allegany River, concentrating mostly along the Route 280 river bank.

The arrest stems from an incident in April when Wheeler allegedly stole a pontoon boat and dock system from a camp site, cut it up and scrapped it at a local scrap yard. The other thefts happened between September of last year and this month.

Farm Tractor Rolls on Top of Man

A Chautauqua County man is in critical condition after his farm tractor rolled on top of him Sunday afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies say 62-year-old Daryl Thayer of Portland was cutting his grass on a hill that led to Campbell Road when the tractor flipped over on top of him, trapping him underneath.

He was flown to UPMC Hamot for treatment of his injuries.

Arrest in Railroad Tracks Incident

Police have arrested the man who attempted to assault a train engineer back in July after he would not leave the tracks, forcing the train to stop.

45-year-old Donald Gonyon had been walking down the middle of the railroad tracks near the Main Street crossing while a train was approaching. The train operator put the emergency brake on, causing the train to come to an almost immediate stop. Two women pulled Gonyon from the tracks just before the train hit him.

As the operator approached Gonyon he allegedly picked up a wooden 2x4 and started swinging it at the operator. He then fled the scene. For that incident, he is charged with aggravated assault, causing or risking a catastrophe and related offenses.

In a separate incident on Saturday, Gonyon was charged with burglary and simple assault for breaking into a Walker Avenue home, after already being forcibly removed, and allegedly shoved and choked the resident.

He is jailed on $10,000 bail for each incident.

Man Brandishes Gun at Country Fair

A Bradford man is in jail for brandishing a gun at Country Fair early Sunday morning.

City police got the call at about 3:25 a.m. and learned that 28-year-old Nicholas Jennings allegedly pointed the 45 mm handgun at several patrons outside the store. Police say he was in a verbal confrontation with a person in a car when he pulled the gun from his backpack and pointed it through the window at that person and several others inside the vehicle and tried to get the person to engage in a physical fight. When the person did not get out of the vehicle Jennings put the gun back in his backpack and left the area.

He was picked up near the Bradford Area Public Library just moments later and was arrested for aggravated assault, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and possessing an instrument of crime. He is in jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Eldred Man Dies in Crash

An Eldred man is dead following an accident Sunday morning on Route 46 near Coleville Road.

State Police say 24-year-old Joshua Benjamin was traveling west on 46 when his pickup truck crossed the double yellow line, went into the eastbound lane, then went off the road and hit a culvert and a utility pole.

Benjamin was pronounced dead by McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill. His passenger, 29-year-old Matthew Irwin of Bradford, suffered minor injuries.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

George Petrisek

George E. Petrisek, 75, of Genesee, PA, formerly of Port Allegany, died Friday, August 5, 2011 in his home.

A complete obituary will be announced by the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.

Record-Setting Day in Willow Creek


The Sixth Annual Willow Creek Triathlon is one for the record books. There was a record number of participants as well as a record number of dollars donated to the Disabled American Veterans of McKean and Warren counties.

The pouring rain did not dampen the spirits of the participants in Saturday's triathlon. More than 360 - over 100 more people than last year - either swam, rode a bicycle or ran - or did all three. But the number that really counted - $22,192.57, the amount donated to the DAV - dwarfed last year's amount of just over $11,000. The money goes towards funding the transportation network for veterans, which ensures veterans transportation to and from appointments at VA hospitals and clinics.

Dan Pierce and Sandy Trocki, overall male and female winners, were awarded the Master Sgt. Thom Maholic Award. Maholic, a Bradford native, died in 2006 while fighting with the Special Forces in Afghanistan. The awards are custom made knives from W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery.

"Today is a great day to honor the memory of Master Sgt. Thom Maholic, he was an American hero," said Matt Windsor, director of veterans affairs for McKean County. Windsor was the guest speaker before the awards ceremony. "He answered the call and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. And in doing so, in his memory, this group of people is here today to help raise money for our other American heroes, our veterans.

"We measure success by our accomplishment so for me and the rest of the veteran community, you are all winners," Winsdor said. "May this event continue to grow and be a great success."

The triathlon is a bi-state, bi-county event. It starts with a 300-yard swimming event at Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park in New York and crosses over into Pennsylvania and Warren County with a 15-mile bicycle ride to the Corydon Hotel in McKean County and a three-mile run to the Willows Restaurant on Route 346.

The triathlon committee couldn't be happier with the success of Saturday's event.

"This was our biggest donation. This is a very exciting moment," said committee member Shane Oschman. "In the past five years, we have given more than $35,000 to the DAV. To now give over $22,000 is beyond anything we could have hoped for."

"We just find it astounding that this triathlon, which started with less than 100 participants, has grown to what it has become today."

Much of this success, according to Oschman, comes from the athletes as well as the sponsors, including Northwest Savings Bank, Zippo Manufacturing Co. and Dresser.

Veterans were also recognized at the awards ceremony. Sam Johnson Jr., who served as master of ceremonies, asked for any veterans on hand to raise their hands. He then asked veterans who participated in the triathlon to raise their hands. Both groups received a deafening applause.

Time was also given to remember those who could not be there. A moment of silence was observed to remember Jack Hull Jr., race director, who died last month.

The Disabled American Veterans mobile outreach RV was also on hand with workers giving tours of the RV and help any veteran who sought it.

The Braveheart Award, given to the person who make an extra effort under extenuating circumstances to compete in and complete the triathlon. This year's award was given to Jenny Graves who was hit by a car in June while training for the triathlon. Although she was severely injured, Jones came back and was able to not only participate, but finish the triathlon.

First, second and third place winners received medals in their age groups. Medals were also given to teams.

Pictured, A bicyclist approaches the Corydon Hotel Saturday during the Willow Creek Triathlon; the colorguard from the Federal Correctional Institution - McKean stand at attention while the National Anthem is sang Saturday morning before the Willow Creek Triathlon; a runner nears the end of the Willow Creek Triathlon Saturday; members of the Disabled American Veterans are joined by employees of Northwest Savings Bank for the presentation of a check of more than $22,000 for the Disabled American Veterans of McKean and Warren counties Saturday after the Willow Creek Triathlon.

Sunday Book Talk
The Secret Adventures of Louie V

I had such a good time chatting with author Tracey Delio about her cat Louie V and the books she's written about him. I'm sure you and your kids will enjoy the books, too.

Listen to my talk with Tracey here.

For more about Tracey and Louie -- and more! -- go to

And while you're in a cat frame of mind, go visit Miss Whispurr Nap at the Bradford Area Public Library.