Showing posts from November 6, 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.

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…

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

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:

Alumni Dan Collins ’73 and James Slattery ’58 provided th…

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 previ…

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 sp…

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 Pi…

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…

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…

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 …

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

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 e…

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…

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 communi…

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 P…

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