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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Help USO Send 'Cheer' to Families

The USO and Cheerios have teamed up to spread cheer and show military families that America cares -- and you can help.

I spoke with USO President Sloan Gibson about the program, and other services the USO provides. Listen here.

House May Act on Bill to Create Offense of
'Sexual Assault by a Sports Official'

A state House committee next week will consider a bill that would protect children from sex-predator sports officials.

Representative Mike Vereb’s bill would create the new offense of “sexual assault by a sports official.” He introduced the bill earlier this year and it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee in April. The committee will hold a hearing on the bill on Tuesday, according to Majority Leader Mike Turzai's office.

Under the bill, a person who serves as a sports official in a sports program of a nonprofit association, or a for-profit association, commits a felony of the third degree when that person engages in indecent (or sexual) contact with a child younger than 18 who is participating in a sports program of the nonprofit association or for-profit association.

The offense would be a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.

A sports official would be (but is not limited to) a manager, coach, umpire or referee.


John, Timothy Rigas Back in PA

John Rigas is back in Pennsylvania – but still behind bars.

The 86-year-old former CEO of Adelphia Communications and his son Timothy were transferred from a federal prison in North Carolina to the Allenwood federal prison in Union County earlier this week.

Rigas and his son were convicted of securities and bank fraud in 2004 after a $3.2 billion accounting fraud scandal. They are serving 12-year and 17-year sentences respectively.

They had been serving time in Butner, North Carolina since 2007.

A federal tax fraud case is pending against both Rigases in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and Allenwood is closer to the court. The tax trial isn’t expected to begin until next year.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thompson Withdraws Support for
Joe Paterno Medal of Freedom

Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) sent the following letter to the White House, withdrawing his support for the recommendation of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The full text and a copy of the letter is provided below.

Full text of letter:

November 11, 2011

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Last month, I wrote you along side of my congressional colleagues to request your consideration of The Pennsylvania State University's football coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The recommendation for the highest civilian honor was based upon Mr. Paterno's long term contributions to society on and off the field, and his personal commitment to the success of his students and numerous philanthropic endeavors.

Due to the tragic events that surround The Pennsylvania State University, it is with a heavy heart that I respectfully withdraw my support for Mr. Paterno's nomination. As a proud Penn State alumnus, I believe the nomination at this time only serves as a distraction from the most important issue - supporting the victims, their families and our community.

Sincerely,

Glenn 'GT' Thompson
Member of Congress


Corbett Meets with Penn State Students

Governor Tom Corbett today met in State College with students from Penn State University. The group talked about the events of the past week, the future of the University and the pride the students feel in the institution.

Peter Khoury (wearing the red tie), the student representative on the university’s board of trustees, said they are determined to move forward.

He said they have been “working tirelessly to show how proud Penn State students are of this university, and that we are not going to allow the acts of a few individuals to determine or define what Penn State stands for.”

Corbett added that the eyes of the nation will be on the university tomorrow during the football game with Nebraska, and the students’ actions must reflect everything good about Penn State.




Susan Corbett Tours Military Museum

Boalsburg - First Lady Susan Corbett today honored Pennsylvania's military men and women by touring the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County. The museum celebrates the state's rich military history and emphasizes the 20th century roles of Pennsylvania-based units.

The First Lady's tour of the museum also kicks off her role as Pennsylvania's "First Tourist." Mrs. Corbett will work with the Department of Community and Economic Development to promote Pennsylvania's diverse tourism industry. In addition to promoting popular attractions, she will work to bring attention to the state's lesser- known gems.

Pictured, First Lady Susan Corbett tours the Pennsylvania Military Museum. She was accompanied by Joseph Horvath, Museum Educator/Acting Administrator.
Courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

Can't Make it to the RC Tonight?
Don't Fret; Watch Free Online

St. Bonaventure University will video stream all of its home men’s and women’s basketball games free of charge in the 2011-12 season. Fans will be able to access all Bonnies home games, beginning with tonight’s men's opener against Cornell, live on GoBonnies.com.

The broadcasts will be produced by SBU-TV under the direction of Paul Wieland, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, and technical director Joe Paciorkowski. Undergraduate students from the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication will continue to provide most of the broadcast crew. On the majority of the men’s games, Jeremy Noeson ’05 will call the play-by-play and John Watson Jr., associate professor in the School of Business, will provide color commentary.

The Bonnies’ All-Access Player, which includes the schedule of all games produced by St. Bonaventure, can be accessed here:

http://www.fansonly.com/schools/stbo/allaccess/

Alumni Dan Collins ’73 and James Slattery ’58 provided the lead sponsorships to create the change from the previous pay-per-view model. The free streaming model is and will continue to be dependent on sponsorships. For information on sponsoring future broadcasts of St. Bonaventure Basketball, contact Aaron Hill, director of sales and marketing, at ahill@sbu.edu or (716) 375-2086.

Games are produced through a network-level, standard-definition production truck, which was donated to the University by Game Creek Video. The truck, a 48-foot, 40-ton unit, sits just outside the Reilly Center and was once used to broadcast professional sports and the Academy Awards.


Frampton Pleads Guilty

A Bradford man who led police on a high-speed chase on July 20 has pleaded guilty.

43-year-old Jeffrey Frampton nearly hit Police Chief Chris Lucco with his Jeep Cherokee on Kennedy Street, then led police on the chase at speeds up to 70 miles an hour while running several traffic lights and stop signs.

He’s scheduled for sentencing on December 8.

Kwik Fill Robbers Turn Themselves In

Two more participants in last Friday’s robbery of the Kwik Fill on East Main Street have turned themselves in to Police.

16 year-old Nathan Harvey and 18 year-old Alexander Hayes are both charged with robbery and theft. Hayes was also charged with assault and tampering with evidence and jailed on $100,000 bail. Harvey is being held on $50,000 bail.

Their co-defendant, Kyle Eck, turned himself in on Monday.

UPB Faculty Members Recognized

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford at a dinner last week recognized faculty members who are celebrating milestone service anniversaries.

Dr. Michael Klausner, associate professor of sociology, and Dr. Richard Melka, professor of mathematics, were both honored for 35 years.

Klausner teaches a variety of sociology courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Socialization, Organizational Behavior, Small Groups and Sociological Theory. In 2005, he was inducted into the Pitt-Bradford Athletic Hall of Fame for his support of Pitt-Bradford athletic teams. While spending summers in New York City, he volunteers tutoring homeless children through the group New York Cares and with the group VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Melka teaches Mathematical Modeling, Differential Equations, Advanced Differential Equations and Writing in the History of Mathematics. When he’s not on campus, he writes articles with Biblical themes, and he previously taught Bible study at the Federal Correctional Institution McKean for five years. He enjoys the outdoors and spends summers boating on Lake Chautauqua.

Dr. Shailendra Gajanan, associate professor of economics, and Dr. Helene Lawson, professor of sociology, were both honored for 20 years of service.

Last month Gajanan received the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award. His research interests include water issues and the spread of the chickungunya virus in his native Chennai, India, and the local economic impact of both Pitt-Bradford and a proposed four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 219.

Lawson is a past recipient of both the PBAA Teaching Excellence Award and the Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award. She also founded the Penn-York Undergraduate Research Association with the goal of promoting undergraduate research in universities in the region.

Honored for 15 years was Trisha A. Morris, director of Hanley Library.

Those honored for 10 years of service were Dr. Kira M. Leck, associate professor of psychology; Dr. Nancy G. McCabe, associate professor of writing; and Dr. ’BioDun J. Ogundayo, associate professor of French and comparative literature.

Mary K. Boser, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice; and Richard D. Knott, assistant professor of health and physical education, were honored for five years of service each.

Pictured, members of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford faculty were honored at a dinner last week for milestone service anniversaries. They are, from left, Dr. Tony Gaskew (5 years), Dr. Helene Lawson (20 years), Dr. Nancy McCabe (10 years), Trisha Morris (15 years), Dr. ’BioDun Ogundayo (10 years) and Dr. Shailendra Gajanan (20 years).
Courtesy of Pitt-Bradford


Clarion President Urges People to
Report On-Campus Sex Crimes

Clarion University President Karen Whitney has released the following statement:

“The recent media coverage involving allegations of sexual abuse/sexual assault of minor children by a former Penn State coach caused me to ask whether Clarion University has systems in place to make sure that anyone, including children who have occasion to be on our campus, is protected from similar allegations.

One of the practical questions for each of us is, ‘To whom should I bring my concern?’ If you see, hear about or know about possible abuse in any form, including child abuse on our campus, please immediately contact University Police at 814-393-2111. After making this phone call, inform your immediate supervisor, who, in turn, will contact his/her respective vice president. What is essential is that university police are notified immediately in order for investigatory procedures to be implemented.”


PCN Call-In Program to Focus on
Penn State Sex Crimes Investigation

The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air a special LIVE PCN Call-In program at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, November 14, to discuss the Penn State sex crimes investigation.

Featured guests for this special edition of the PCN Call-In program will include Ed Marsico, Dauphin County District Attorney and Matthew Gover of Gover, Perry & Shore. Rep. Pat Meehan, R- Pennsylvania will be participating in the discussion via phone. Viewers will be able to share their comments and questions concerning the topic during the LIVE hour-long PCN Call-In program just by dialing toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001.

Bradford Student in Crew for Clarion's
'Scrooge: The Musical'

The Clarion University 2011-2012 theatre season continues Nov. 17-20 with “Scrooge: The Musical,” at 8 p.m. Nov. 17-19 and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in the auditorium of Marwick Boyd Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for children and free for Clarion University students showing a valid ID, and are available by calling 814-393-2787 or going online.

The musical was adapted by Leslie Bricusse from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Director Marilouise Michel, theatre department professor, said it is a very recognizable adaptation for anyone who knows the story.

“It is a musical comedy with a heart. There are funny moments, sad moments, scary moments … a lot of singing and dancing and a really great story,” said Michel, whose past directing credits at Clarion include “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Snoopy! The Musical.”

Theatre professor Robert Bullington will play Ebenezer Scrooge, and Dr. Brent Register, professor of music, is musical director.

There will be a special cameo appearance from Clarion University President Karen Whitney.

The cast includes: Rob Milanich, Rockville, Md., as Bob Cratchit; Nic Barilar, Punxsutawney, as Fred/Young Ebenezer; Jonathon White, Morrisdale, as Dick Wilkins/Jocelyn Jollegoode; Leon Avery, Farrell, as Hugo Hearty/Mr. Fezziwig; Christian Ryan, Lansdale, as Bisset the Butcher; Kristina Papa, Mountain Top, as Mrs. Dilber; Mary Wagner, Girard, as Mrs. Fezziwig; Trisha Vamosi, Sharpsville, as Miss Dilber; Rebecca Sears, Damascus, Md., as Ghost of Christmas Past and the beggar woman; A.J. Smith, Sharpsville, as Mrs. Pringle; John Rose, Clarion, as Mr. Pringle/Ghost of Christmas Present; Jordan Rembold, Franklin, as Tom Jenkins/school teacher; Colin Lefevre, Compiegne, France, as Punch and Judy nan/topper; Joe Bazzone, North Versailles, as chestnut seller/sweep/wine seller; David Matthews, Jefferson, Texas, as Jacob Marley; Jack O’Keefe, Lititz, as Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come; Danielle Watt, Kittanning, as Isabel/Helen; KiriKoziol, Harvey’s Lake, as Mrs. Ethel Cratchit; Benjamin Kade Phillips, Clarion, as Tiny Tim Cratchit.

Community members in the cast include: Hanna Phillips, a student at Clarion area schools, as Kathy Cratchit; Marshall Powers, a student at Clarion area schools, as Peter Cratchit; Leia Bauer, Knox, as Belinda Cratchit; Maria Bradley of Shippenville, daughter of Michael and Lisa Bradley as Martha Cratchit; Kevin Bradley, Shippenville, a student at Clarion area schools, as boy/urchin; Emily Phillips, a student at Clarion area schools, as an urchin; Haley Bowders, Lauren Skelley, Breanna Kirkland, all of Clarion, Chrissy Lui and Lauren Farine, Pittsburgh, as phantoms/ensemble; Kiera Vinson, a student at Clarion area schools; Gavin Hoover, Clarion, Ethan Burford, Shippenville, and Caleb Thompson, a student at Keystone, as urchins.

The creative team includes: Kendyl Yarzabek, lighting student; Tavis Costik, Bradford, props student; Elliot Sussman, Livingston, N.J., sound design; Matthew Catledge, Philadelphia, house manager student; Myra Bullington (faculty), costumes; Ed Powers, Clarion, set; Corey Trudgen, Rural Valley, stage manager student; John Dumpman, York, assistant stage manager student; Brittany Tague, Clarion, assistant choreographer.

Other performances for the 2011-12 season include "Rhinoceros," Feb. 29 to March 4; and "Metamorphoses," April 27 and 28.

Pitt-Bradford Wraps Up Scholarship Challenge, Announces Thomas Scholarship

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has wrapped up its $1 million Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge, which generated 44 new scholarships and prompted donors to add money to 53 existing scholarships.

The university also announced a new $100,000 scholarship fund in honor of the late Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas.

The $1 million gift from the estate of Agnes L. Thomas, made in 2008, was matched by $1 million in funds from other donors. In addition, the investment of the initial gift yielded another $250,000.

The total addition of scholarship money was $2.25 million.

“The estate gift could not have come at a better time, given the financial distress many families were experiencing in 2008,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford.

“Many students were able to continue their studies or complete their degree because of the additional scholarship money made possible by the Thomas estate gift. Needless to say, we’re grateful to Mrs. Thomas for including Pitt-Bradford in her will. We’re also grateful to accountant Alan Gordon and attorney Fred Gallup, who worked with Mrs. Thomas on her estate plan.”

Earnings from the invested funds allowed the total match to reach more than $1 million.

“Scholarships continue to be a priority because more than 94 percent of our students demonstrate financial need,” said Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement.

Agnes Thomas was born and grew up in Pitcairn, graduating from Pitcairn High School. She married Lewis Lyle Thomas in 1937.

Mrs. Thomas graduated with honors from the Pittsburgh Academy Business School and worked as an executive secretary at Dresser Manufacturing and later for Dr. Gordon Huff and Dr. Edward Roche.

She was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Church, the Pennhills Club and the Bradford Club and loved playing bridge.

Lewis Lyle Thomas was an engineer for the former Bradford Motor Works who died unexpectedly in 1969.

To find out more about endowing a scholarship, contact Jill McInroy-Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement, at (814)362-7689 or jballard@pitt.edu.




Garcia Joins BRMC as Nurse Midwife

Kimberly Garcia, DNP, CNM, WHNP has joined the medical staff at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) as a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Ms. Garcia joins board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists Alexander Batchev, DO and David Peleg, MD of the Women’s Health Services Department at BRMC. She will provide comprehensive care including a full-range of obstetrical and gynecological services at 159 Interstate Parkway, Bradford, PA., and the Smethport Family Practice, 406 Franklin Street, Smethport, PA.

“We are pleased to welcome Kim to our Women’s Health Services; she is a highly trained, multi-skilled healthcare professional, and provides a safe, sensitive and personal alternative for women in the region, that was not available in the recent past” said William F. Mills, M.D., senior vice president of Quality and Professional Affairs at Upper Allegheny Health System.

Ms. Garcia received a doctorate degree in nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio where she also earned a master of science in nursing, nurse-midwifery and women’s health, as well as a certificate of professional nursing.

During the spring of 2010, Garcia, along with a contingent of other medical providers; traveled to Sarstun, Guatemala as part of a medical mission for Refuge International. Refuge International is a nonprofit organization providing clean water, health care, and education to the people of Guatemala. Garcia provided primary care to 700 patients in five days, while also conducting research about traditional midwife knowledge in Guatemala; of preventing postpartum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal death worldwide.

Senator Bob Casey Column:
Honoring Our Veterans

On November 11, our nation thanks and honors our veterans. It’s a day to express our gratitude for the many sacrifices that veterans and their families have made in defense of our country and freedom. This week, as the nation celebrated Veterans Day, the Senate took action to boost the employment prospects of veterans and to ensure that veterans get the resources, support and job training they need when they return home.

The economic challenges facing veterans today are significant. Nearly 100,000 veterans in Pennsylvania are unemployed. Nationally, the number of jobless veterans is close to 900,000. Among those veterans who have left active duty since September 2001, the unemployment rate is 12.1 percent, significantly higher than the unemployment rate for other veterans and the broader population.

A new report from the Joint Economic Committee, which I chair, found that Post-9/11 veterans also face a higher poverty rate than veterans of earlier wars. In 2010, the poverty rate for Post-9/11 veterans was 12.4 percent, compared to 7.9 percent for veterans of the Gulf War and 7.1 percent for Vietnam veterans.

This higher poverty rate among Post-9/11 veterans results, in large part, due to their younger ages compared to other veterans. Veterans between the ages of 18 and 34, which account for about 80 percent of Post-9/11 veterans, are 1.5 times more likely to be living in poverty than older veterans between the ages of 35 and 64.

Senate passage this week of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act offers promising news for veterans of all ages and from all wars. The Senate voted in a bipartisan manner to provide incentives for businesses to hire unemployed veterans. Under the legislation, firms would receive a $2,400 tax credit for hiring an unemployed veteran, a $5,600 credit for hiring a veteran who has been jobless for six months or more, and up to a $9,600 credit for hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability who has been unemployed for at least six months.

More out-of-work veterans will find jobs and businesses will see their hiring costs reduced. This is an important step in the right direction that will add strength to the economy as we continue to rebuild from the recession. The legislation also expands education and training opportunities by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.

While there are many challenges awaiting our veterans as they return home and begin the next chapter of their lives, finding a job is vital to a successful transition to civilian life. The legislation passed by the Senate will make employment services offered through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), such as resume-writing workshops and career counseling, more broadly available to service members.

I had introduced legislation earlier this year calling for an independent audit of the TAP program to ensure that it is providing up-to-date, effective services that are helping to match veterans to employers. I’m pleased that the VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides that third-party assessment, by calling for an audit of the program every two years by a qualified organization.

There are other steps we should take. My Help Veterans Own Franchises legislation would help veterans realize the dream of small business ownership. It promotes business ownership among veterans by providing them with a tax credit of 25 percent of the franchise fee when purchasing a franchise. I’m continuing to push to get this bill passed.

Strengthening our veterans employment programs will enable veterans to utilize the skills they gained during their service and will help businesses tap the talents of these workers. The courageous men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve first-rate employment services and accessible job opportunities to help them return to civilian life. This week, we made progress toward that goal.

The job ahead is to build on that progress.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Man Jailed for Hotel Robbery

A Mayville man is in jail after allegedly robbing the Jamestown Comfort Inn on Wednesday.

After getting a description of the suspect and his vehicle a sheriff’s deputy pulled over 26-year-old Matthew McKane in Dewittville.

Sheriff’s deputies say they are trying to determine whether McKane was involved in Monday’s robbery at the Holiday Inn Express in Findley Lake, which is also just off I-86.

Red Sky at Night ...

I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera at home because this would have been a great shot, but at least I remembered my video camera.

But the "red sky at night ..." thing may not hold true tonight -- unless sailors like snow. We'll probably start seeing some flakes at around 10 p.m.

Pitt-Bradford's CJ Program Sponsoring
Presention by CYS Forensic Investigators

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford criminal justice program will sponsor a presentation by McKean County Children and Youth Services forensic investigators next week.

The program, “Children Advocacy Issues in McKean County,” will take place from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Nov. 15 in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

Presenters will be Mikele Bay and Ronda Skoken.

Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice, said the presenters were chosen because “issues of child advocacy must become a priority in McKean County.”

McKean County CYS has 32 employees who investigate reports of child abuse and neglect and children who are beyond the control of their parents. The agency also provides oversight of ongoing cases, including home visits, court hearings, contact with service providers, licensing foster care homes and providing independent living services.

Senators Rescind Support for
Paterno Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced today that they are rescinding their support for the nomination of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They issued the following statement:


“In light of the recent events in State College, we are rescinding our support for the nomination of Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We hope the proper authorities will move forward with their investigation without delay. Penn State is an important institution in our commonwealth. We should turn our attention to the victims of these atrocious crimes and ensure they get the help they need. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and their families.”

A Pair of Pretty Puppies


Tony Danias from the McKean County SPCA stopped by the station with these two puppies this afternoon. They were dropped off outside the shelter overnight. They're perfectly healthy, and have had their shots. They'll be ready for adoption in about a week.

Sam Smith: Spanier Had to Go

HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Samuel H. Smith (R-Jefferson County) today released the following statement regarding the Penn State tragedy and removal of university president Graham Spanier:

“There are certain obligations we all share as a society; topping the list is protecting our children.

“If the findings of the grand jury are true, the leadership at Penn State failed in this most basic obligation and in a most egregious way.

“As a father, my heart goes out to the victims and their families – those who have come forward, and those who have not. As Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I offer the sympathies of each and every member of the House and the hope that the victims can move forward.

“While it may be easy to second-guess the decisions the Penn State Board of Trustees made last night, it was important they take steps to refocus their leadership on the education part of Penn State and away from the ‘business’ of Penn State. Further, they must put in place procedures to ensure nothing like this can happen again.

“As a Penn State alumnus, I am horrified at the apparent lack of action by some of the school’s administrators.

“As a legislator, I have often disagreed or been at odds with Mr. Spanier throughout his tenure. But it was Mr. Spanier’s ‘unconditional support’ of his administrators’ actions after they were charged by the attorney general that made his term at Penn State untenable. By using the word ‘unconditional,’ Mr. Spanier was stating he is backing their side no matter what – even if proven guilty.

“It appears protecting the ‘industry’ of Penn State was more important to Mr. Spanier and others than was protecting the students, the children and the original purpose of the university.

“It is time to bring Penn State back into balance, and removing Graham Spanier was the first step.”

Sandusky Grand Jury Presentment

If you have not read the grand jury presentment yet in the Jerry Sandusky case you can read it here (PDF) Be warned: It's graphic.



Man Accused of Pushing Woman, Baby

A Cattaraugus man is accused of pushing a woman to the floor while she was holding an infant.

25-year-old Jonathan Huchingson is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He allegedly pushed the woman onto a bedroom floor while she was holding a one-month-old baby, then punched the woman in the face, according to sheriff's deputies.

He was released on his own recognizance after an arraignment, but the judge did issue an order of protection.

Paterno, Spanier Fired

Penn State's Board of Trustees has fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid the child sex scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.


Paterno statement:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value. I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."


For more on this story go to CNN.com.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

78-Year-Old Man Missing

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies say 78-year-old John Kircher walked out of an assisted living facility at lunch time today and has not been seen since. He has no money on him, but is likely to hitchhike.

Kircher is a white male 5'2" 120 lbs. with thinning brown and grey hair and a grey beard. He walks with a limp and has a cane. He was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and grey winter coat.

Ellicott Police are asking the public's assistance if they have seen this man to call our dispatch center at 716-661-7232.

Artist Removes Sandusky from Mural

An artist from Emporium has removed Jerry Sandusky from a mural he painted in State College about 11 years ago.

Every year Michael Pilato adds people who inspire him and one of those was Sandusky for his work with The Second Mile and his impact on Penn State football.

Sandusky was accused in a grant jury presentment last week of multiple counts of sexually abusing children.

The Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center says Sandusky has been replaced on the mural with a chair and a teal ribbon. Teal is the color for survivors of sexual assault.

Senator Calls for the Fast Tracking of
His Sex Crimes Legislation

PHILADELPHIA – State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) today called on the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee to fast track his legislation that would keep state and municipal workers who are convicted of a sex crime against a minor from collecting their public pension. Senate Bill 1290 was introduced on October 18, 2011, and would amend the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act.

“Senate Bill 1290 is an important piece of legislation that will protect our children and it needs to be called up for a vote when the Senate reconvenes,” said Sen. Farnese. “The headlines out of Happy Valley are disgusting, and we need to get this legislation to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible so those convicted of sex crimes against minors know we are serious about protecting our children.”

Almost 19,000 Penn State employees participate in state funded pension plans that could be covered under this law. Current Pennsylvania law contains provisions that bar public officials and employees who commit certain crimes related to their employment from receiving retirement and benefit payments. But there are no provisions that call for the same punishment if an employee commits a crime against a minor. Senate Bill 1290 corrects that by prohibiting public employees from receiving retirement benefits if they commit crimes requiring them to register as a sex offender under Megan’s law.

Megan's Law is a federal law that authorizes states to establish their own procedures for registering sex offenders. In Pennsylvania, information about registered sex offenders is available to the public through the internet. The law was inspired by the case of seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who moved across the street from her family. Senate Bill 1290 is companion to legislation introduced by State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Phila./Mont.) and State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Phila.).

Third Annual 'Cruisin’ Into Christmas'
Parade Scheduled for November 18th

The third annual “Cruisin’ Into Christmas” parade will be held in downtown Bradford on Friday, November 18th. The parade is scheduled to start at 5:30pm, at which time the new downtown holiday lighting will be lit for all to enjoy. This year’s parade, which will proceed down Main Street to Veteran’s Square, is sponsored by the Street Dreams Car Club and the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce.

Organizations, businesses, and/or individuals interested in participating in the parade should contact Gary Hoy of the Street Dreams Car Club at 814-362-3717. Parade units will begin lining up at 4:30pm at the Bisett Building Center parking lot on Davis Street.

Bring your friends and family and go “Cruisin’ Into Christmas” in Bradford this year!

We'll be talking about the parade next week on 1490 WESB's LiveLine.

Kinzua Bridge Park Has Record Season

Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau releases new Kinzua Bridge Sky Walk Zippo



That famous movie line “If you build it, they will come” came to fruition this fall as visitation at the Kinzua Bridge State Park saw an increase of a staggering 465 percent from four years ago.

Visitation at McKean County’s only state park in October was a record 66,353, according to Park Manager Jason Heasley.

“Tourism for this fall season has been a record high with the addition of the Kinzua Sky Walk,” said Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, the destination marketing organization for McKean County. “Our local businesses are seeing a boost in business since the Sky Walk opened in September.”

Visitation the weekend the Kinzua Sky Walk opened in mid-September was an estimated 16,000.

“Our lodging reported sold-out nights; our restaurants and shops were full of tourists who traveled to see the new Kinzua Sky Walk. We had people checking in at our ANF Visitors Bureau Welcome Center in Bradford from all over the United States and Canada. We even had a family from Israel who were going to see the Kinzua Sky Walk - and this is only the beginning.”

The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau is commemorating the “reinvention” of the historic towers of the Kinzua Viaduct as the Kinzua Bridge Sky Walk with a newly designed Zippo lighter which features a profile photograph of the structure.

“We’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Zippo Manufacturing Co., an American institution on its own, to develop a great keepsake on another great icon in our region,” Devlin said.

The lighters are available at the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau’s Welcome Center located in the Old Post Office at 80 E. Corydon St., Bradford. Each lighter costs $29.95 plus tax. Lighters can be shipped for an additional $4.95 plus tax.

To order a lighter, call the ANFVB at 800-473-9370 or e-mail info@visitANF.com. Payment can be made by cash, check, Visa or Master Card. Orders can also be made on the Visitors Bureau’s website, www.visitANF.com.

The ANFVB is also working on a new book, which will be an illustrated history of the Kinzua Viaduct, that is set to be released by the Spring of 2012. The book will feature historic photos, the story of the first building of the bridge in wrought iron, the rebuilding of the bridge in steel, and the most recent restoration of the towers as the Kinzua Sky Walk. The 329-acre Kinzua Bridge State Park, located minutes from Mount Jewett, features the remnants of the 2,053-foot long viaduct that was once the longest and highest viaduct in the world. The structure was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003 and six towers were restored and restructured as the Kinzua Sky Walk in 2011.

The new Kinzua Sky Walk is sure to spark more tourism dollars into the region in the future.

Devlin conservatively estimated that if the area reaches pre-tornado visitation numbers of 160,000 annually, an estimated additional $11.5 million will be brought into the region each year through tourism dollars.

To say that is conservative is an understatement given that the park reached about a quarter of that in just one month.

For more information on the lighter, the book, or on tourism in the Allegheny National Forest Region, e-mail the visitors bureau at info@visitANF.com or call 800-473-9370.



Texting Ban Bill Signed into Law


Governor Tom Corbett today signed legislation that bans texting while driving on Pennsylvania roads. The new law, which makes texting while driving a primary offense carrying a $50 fine, takes effect 120 calendar days from today.

“Senate Bill 314 aims to put a halt to texting from behind the wheel and is intended to save lives,” Corbett said during a bill-signing event in suburban Harrisburg. “No text message is worth a human life. The message of this legislation is drive now and text later.”

The new law specifically does the following:

· Prohibits as a primary offense all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message.
· Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smart phone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.
· Defines a text-based message as a text message, instant message, email or other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.
· Institutes a $50 fine for convictions under this section.
· Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

In 2010, there were almost 14,000 crashes in Pennsylvania where distracted driving played a role, with nearly 1,100 of those crashes involving a handheld cellular phone.

“We’ve said it in the past, but today, we are making it law: if you have an urgent need to text, you must pull over and park. If it’s not important enough to stop your car, then it’s certainly not important enough to risk a life,” said Corbett.

The governor thanked Sen. John Rafferty (R-Chester) and Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) and Rep. Richard Geist (R-Blair) and Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks) for their leadership on this legislation.

Provided by Commonwealth Media Services

Paterno Retirement Statement

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today. That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season.

At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more. My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university."

~~ Joe Paterno

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Drilling Ban Referendum Defeated

A referendum banning Marcellus Shale gas drilling has been defeated in the City of Warren.

The referendum was among one of the first in the nation in which voters had a direct voice in determining whether gas well drilling and fracking should be allowed in their neighborhoods.

Lane Ousts Church for Commissioner

Former McKean County Commissioner Cliff Lane has ousted incumbent Judy Church.

According to unofficial results Lane garnered 2,552 votes to Church’s 2,276.

The top two vote-getters were Joe DeMott with 3,519 and Al Pingie with 3,283.



More Top Vote-Getters

Eldred Borough Council – David Wolf, Douglas Stannard, Shannon Hyde

Port Allegany Borough Council – Kate Kysor, Lynn Farber, Eric Button

Keating Township Supervisor – Christopher Chapman


Mascho Retains Seat in BT

Incumbent Bradford Township Supervisor Steve Mascho has staved off a challenge by Bob South to retain his six-year seat.

The unofficial tally is 420 to 212.

Update on Commissioner Race

With the City of Bradford's Second Ward not reporting yet, the McKean County Commissioner race looks like this:

Joe DeMott 3450

Al Pingie 3188

Cliff Lane 2498

Judy Church 2225

Riel Re-Elected

UPDATE: With all precints reporting, the final tally is Riel 514; write-ins 308


It appears that Bradford Mayor Tom Riel has been re-elected.

Minus the votes from the city's Second Ward, he received 450 votes. Write-ins total 268. Former city councilman Bob Onuffer waged a write-in campaign against Riel.

All vote totals are unofficial until they are certified by the Board of Elections.

Commissioner Race Close

With 74% of the vote in the McKean County Commissioner race looks like this:

Joe DeMott 1449

Cliff Lane 944

Al Pingie 961

Judy Church 716