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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fireman Hurt in Punxsy Hotel Blaze

One firefighter was hurt while battling the blaze that destroyed the historic Punxsutawney Hotel early this morning.

The injured fireman suffered minor injuries when debris from the building fell onto his head. Falling debris also damaged a couple of vehicles.

Firefighters were called at just before 3 a.m. to Smugler’s Inn, which is right behind the hotel. Within half an hour the hotel started to collapse, and flames engulfed the building.

A state police fire marshal has been called in to investigate.

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Saturday Style
with Dr. Doris Day

Everyone knows the holidays can be stressful. But did you know that stress can take a toll on your skin. Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day spoke with me about how to give your skin a healthy, holiday glow.

Listen here:

Find out more at

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Andover Man Charged with Burglary, Theft

An Andover, New York, man is facing charges in connection to a string of burglaries in Allegany County and Northern Pennsylvania.

52-year-old Ronnie Farrow Sr. is accused of stealing ATVs, snowmobiles and about 200 other items. The burglaries started in September.

Farrow is charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and petit larceny. He’s in Allegany County Jail on $25,000 bail.

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Fire Destroys Historic Punxsy Hotel

The historic Punxsutawney Hotel was destroyed by fire early this morning.

Firefighters got the call at around 3 a.m., and by 4 a.m. it ended up being a 6-alarm fire.

Part of the building collapsed and several streets in downtown Punxsutawney were blocked off.

Firefighters haven’t said yet if anyone was hurt.

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Weather-Related Crashes in Chautauqua

Weather is being blamed for two accidents last night in Chautauqua County – one in the Town of Chautauqua; the other in the Town of Hanover.

In the first accident 23-year-old David Dituri of Brocton lost control of his vehicle, crossed the snow-covered road, went into a ditch and hit a utility pole.

A passenger, 27-year-old Amanda Coleman of Brocton suffered a head injury and was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.

In the second accident, 29-year-old Michael Stitzel of Forestville lost control of his vehicle and hit a trailer in the Angell Road trailer park.

Sheriff’s deputies say two passengers suffered what appeared to be minor injuries. They, and three children, were taken to Lakeshore Hospital for treatment and evaluation.

The trailer had only minor damage.

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Woman Charged with Welfare Fraud

The crackdown on welfare fraud continues in Cattaraugus County.

40-year-old Dawn Perrington of Delevan is the latest to be charged with welfare fraud and offering a false instrument for filing.

She allegedly submitted altered doctor’s slips to the county department of social services from June of 2010 to July of this year to get food stamps.

Perrington is scheduled to appear in City of Olean Court on December 20.

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School Board Member Resigns After
Being Accused of Stealing from Employer

A member of the Jamestown School Board resigned Friday after being charged with stealing thousands of dollars from Jamestown Area Medical Associates while she worked there.

42-year-old Barbara Piazza of Jamestown allegedly took more than $19,000 in cash between 2007 and earlier this year when she pocketed the money she received as payments to JAMA.

The investigation began when JAMA officials contacted police November 8 after discovering a discrepancy in their books.

Piazza turned herself into police Friday after a warrant had been issued for her arrest. She was arraigned in Jamestown City Court and was released on $5,000 bail. She could face up to seven years in jail.

Piazza began serving on the school board in July 2010.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Dresser-Rand to Buy Virginia Company

Dresser-Rand plans to buy a Virginia company for about $50 million.

The transaction between Dresser-Rand and Synchrony is expected to close next month.

Synchrony is a technology development company with a portfolio of world-class technologies and products including active magnetic bearings, high speed motors and generators, and power electronics for clean, efficient, and reliable rotating machinery.

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Students Awarded NEXT STEP Grants

Two students at Pitt-Bradford have been awarded a total of $1,350 in NEXT STEP Business Grants to start their own businesses.

Winners were Steven L. Hurd, a psychology major from Bradford, who received an $850 grant to develop Runk Pock, a feasibility study to identify artists in McKean County who want to be involved in a community art center to sell and promote art and teach artists.

Matthew Covert, a hospitality management major from Bradford, received a $500 grant for Royalty Clothing Couture. With the grant, Covert plans to test ideas for a T-shirt design company.

The NEXT STEP competition is sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford entrepreneurship program to help student entrepreneurs move their businesses forward.

The next round of grants for students will be awarded in the spring. For more information, visit the Pitt-Bradford entrepreneurship program website at

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Sandra O'Connell

Sandra M. O'Connell, 72, of 155 Pleasant St., passed away on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at the Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born November 1, 1939, in Bradford, she was a daughter of the late Alfred and Antoinette (Piscitelli) Caputo. She was a graduate of St Bernard High School.

On May 14, 1960 in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church she married Robert W. "Bob" O'Connell who died on September 19, 2007.

She was a member of St. Bernard Church.

She worked as a secretary - receptionist at Beacon Light for 38 years.

Surviving are two daughters: Kelly (Bill) Gleason and Karen (Norm) Strotman, all of Bradford, one brother, Thomas (Margaret) Caputo of Boardman OH, one grandson, Kyle Burgess of Bradford, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and two nephews.

Family will be receiving friends on Sunday, December 11, 2011 from 3:00 to 6:00pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., East Main Street, where a prayer service will be held at 11:30am on Monday, December 12th, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00am in St. Bernard Church, with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as Celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

A Christian wake service will be held at 3:30 on Sunday in the funeral home.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the McKean County Unit of the American Cancer Society , Beacon Light Behavioral Systems 800 Main Street Bradford, PA 16701.

On line condolences may be made at

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Susan Otto

Susan A. Otto, 56, loving wife, mother and grandmother of 7546 Rt. 59, Lafayette, passed away, Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at the Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born July 8, 1955, in Kane, she was a daughter of the late Carolyn (Anderson) Hoop and Jack Hoop who survives her of Fairplay, SC.

On December 31, 1980 in Lafayette she married Theodore E. Otto who survives.

Mrs. Otto attended M. J. Ryan school and was a 1973 graduate of Bradford Area High School. She had been employed at Jaguar Manufacturing in Smethport and then worked as a teacher's aide at M.J.. Ryan School. She had an extreme love for gardening and ran Otto's Gardens out of her home, making wreaths with dried flowers arrangements. She loved animals, but above all she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and being the Godmother of Cayla.

In addition to her husband Ted of 31 years, she is survived by two daughters, Jennifer L. Otto of Lafayette, and Janelle C. (David) Gingerich of Grantville, one son, Michael (Christine) Otto of Bradford, two sisters, Jane (Wade) Robertson of Bradford, and Linda (Rick) Jones of Lakeside, CA, 2 grandchildren, Devan Otto and Cayla Otto and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother and one brother James Hoop.

Family will be receiving friends on Sunday, December 11, 2011 from 2 to 4 & 6 to 8 pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. South Ave., where funeral and committal services will be held at 1:30pm on Monday, December 12th, with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor of St. Bernard Church officiating.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the McKean County SPCA PO Box 113 Bradford, PA 16701 or American Heart Association 823 Filmore Ave. Erie, PA 16505.

Online condolences may be made at

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Scarnati to Attend JFJ Hearing

Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) announced today that he will be attending a public hearing on Monday, December 19th at 6:30pm at the Jefferson County Courthouse. The hearing was called by the Jefferson County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Snyder Township Supervisors, in order to address community concerns with the “Just for Jesus” Group Home, located in Snyder Township.

Scarnati mentioned that he supported legislation passed last year that gave local governments the authority to hold a public hearing in regards to a group home which provides housing to a convicted murderer.

“Obviously, the Jefferson County Commissioners and Snyder Township Supervisors recognize the merit of such a hearing and I applaud them for their decision to allow the public to express their concerns,” said Scarnati. “In addition, I will take the opportunity to make remarks and listen to the concerns of local residents.”

Scarnati also addressed comments made by the ACLU in regards to Jack Wisor’s refusal to obey the law and have a representative of “Just for Jesus” attend the hearing and answer questions from attendees in regards to the group home’s operations.

“Given Mr. Wisor’s fondness for the public eye, I was hopeful that he would be eager to speak to the community and address their concerns,” said Scarnati. “Unfortunately, it appears Mr. Wisor would rather hide behind lawyers from a far-left organization like the ACLU.”

In a letter released earlier this week the ACLU claimed the law allowing a public hearing in this case was unconstitutional.

“The ACLU has a long history of fighting against the laws of our land and the rights of our citizens,” Scarnati added. “This is just another example of that disturbing trend.”

Recently, the United States Supreme Court handed the organization a crushing defeat when it ruled that an Arizona law punishing employers who hired illegal immigrants was constitutional, contrary to a claim brought in an ACLU lawsuit.

“It’s no surprise to see the ACLU, once again, weigh in against the will of the people,” said Scarnati. “However, it was surprising to see a man like Mr. Wisor align himself with a group that has consistently fought against religious freedoms like school prayer, public nativity scenes and the display of the Ten Commandments at county courthouses.”

Despite Mr. Wisor’s and the ACLU’s refusal to adhere to the law and participate at the hearing, Scarnati said the hearing will serve a useful purpose.

“Concerned citizens will have the opportunity to share their thoughts with local government officials and myself,” said Scarnati. “This will help us all make a determination as to whether ‘Just for Jesus’ is a suitable residence for so many convicted felons and sexual predators.”

“The hearing could also potentially aid elected officials in crafting future legislation and ordinances to deal with this issue,” concluded Scarnati.

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Snow Advisory for Three Counties

The National Weather Service has issued Lake Effect Snow Advisories for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren counties.

The advisory in New York, which includes the cities of Jamestown and Olean, is in effect until 6 o’clock tomorrow morning.

The advisory for Warren County, which includes the City of Warren, is in effect until 4 o’clock tomorrow morning.

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Coudersport Man Jailed for Fraud, Theft

A Coudersport businessman has been charged with fraud and stealing cash and property from a Galeton woman.

State Police say 38-year-old Jim Mills Jr., who owns M & M mechanical, did work for 75-year-old Margaret Andrews and convinced her to invest in properties in Tioga County that had mineral rights.

Mills is accused of starting projects for Andrews and accepting payment, but not competing the jobs. He allegedly took more than $363,000 dollars in cash payments, and stole a pickup truck, backhoe, lawnmower and other items from the victim. Mills is jailed on $250,000 bail.

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Kane Man Hurt in Allegany Crash

Two men were seriously injured, and one of them is facing charges, following an accident late Monday night in Allegany.

Sheriff’s deputies say 26-year-old Zachary Harter of Kane lost control of his vehicle on South Nine Mile Road, then hit a tree and a house. Harter and his passenger, 21-year-old Ronald Baer, were taken to Olean General Hospital, then transferred to ECMC for treatment of serious injuries.

Harter is charged with driving while intoxicated and will appear in Town of Allegany Court at a later date.

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Woman Picked Up on Drug Charges

A Salamanca woman is in jail on drug charges following a six-month investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

27-year-old Alicia Tyger is accused of selling controlled substances in the Salamanca area, and is charged with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

She was arrested Thursday and sent to jail to await arraignment.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Man Cited for Poaching Record-Book Buck

HARRISBURG – A Lancaster County resident was cited for poaching a record-book class buck, according to charges filed by Pennsylvania Game Commission in the court of District Justice William Wenner, in Harrisburg, on Wednesday.

Wildlife Conservation Officers Mike Doherty of Dauphin County, and John Veylupek, of Lancaster County, filed the charges against Scott M. Garner, 33, of Bainbridge, Lancaster County, who was charged for exceeding the bag limit for antlered deer in a license year by killing a second buck. Under long-standing bag limits, Pennsylvania hunters are limited to one antlered deer per license year.

On Dec. 1, Garner killed a 14-point buck in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, during the two-week firearms deer season after having killed a five-point buck in archery season on Oct. 31. He re-used and altered his buck tag, originally used on the buck taken on Oct. 31, to tag the second buck illegally harvested on Dec. 1.

For killing the 14-point buck, Garner faces penalties of up to 90 days in jail and an enhanced fine of $6,500 since the size of the deer’s antlers are considered trophy class under Game Commission regulations. He also faces up to three years revocation of his hunting and trapping privileges in Pennsylvania.

Had the 14-point buck been lawfully taken by a hunter, with a Boone & Crockett green-score of 172.5 inches, it would have placed it in the top 25 for typical deer taken with a firearm in Pennsylvania’s All-Time Big Game Records.

Pictured, Dauphin County WCO Mike Doherty holds the antlers of an illegally taken buck from Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, that green-scored it in the top 25 of Pennsylvania's All-Time Big Game Records.
Lori Neely/PGC Photo

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Mayors, Officials Representing PLCM,
Call for Needed Measures to Prevent Act 47

Harrisburg, PA – Mayors and local government officials from across the Commonwealth, representing the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities (PLCM), as well as local business chamber executives, rallied in the Capitol Rotunda earlier today, to make an urgent call to the General Assembly for measures to prevent municipalities from entering Act 47 – the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act – by providing the necessary tools for municipal self-reliance. Local officials also called for immediate legislative correction to the October 19 PA Supreme Court decision regarding Act 111 arbitration awards under Act 47.

The press conference was held following a joint committee hearing of the House and Senate to discuss amending Act 47, where several League members testified, urging reform of the antiquated laws under which local government currently operates.

One of the primary reasons a governing body enters Act 47 is for the ability to hold the line on personnel costs. For 25 years, state and municipal officials have relied upon the premise that both arbitration settlements and arbitration awards in Act 47 communities must comply with the corresponding Act 47 plan. In deciding City of Scranton v. Firefighters Local Union No. 60, the Court found ambiguity in Act 47, in terms of its application to arbitration awards, determining that arbitration awards could exceed the Act 47 Plan limitations. This decision has effectively overturned 25 years of precedent and, in PLCM’s opinion, made Act 47 useless. The decision will cost Scranton’s taxpayers dearly in the form of both a tax increase and public safety layoffs. Other Act 47 communities and their taxpayers are now at risk during future collective bargaining sessions. Additionally, fiscally distressed municipalities may find no benefit to Act 47 and head straight for bankruptcy. It is imperative that the General Assembly act quickly to correct this ambiguity.

Senator Earll and Representative Ross have both introduced legislation to clarify the intent of Act 47. PLCM supports Senate Bill 1321 and House Bill 1988, and urges the General Assembly to pass one of these bills prior to their December recess and send it to the Governor for enactment.

In addition to the immediate need to address the Supreme Court’s decision, there are broader issues that require action by the General Assembly. Our Commonwealth should not only be working to improve Act 47, it should be focusing on building fiscally healthy communities, thereby preventing the need to use Act 47, except in rare cases.

“The reality is that Act 47 is looming for many of our small cities. Perhaps not this year, or next, but down the line, when every last ditch effort to prevent fiscal distress has been made, many will turn to the Commonwealth and Act 47 for assistance,” stated Reading Mayor Thomas McMahon, PLCM President. “Act 47, however, does not have to be their destiny.”

As the joint committee concludes its Act 47 hearings, we hope the committee members will recognize the need for reform of the archaic laws under which local government officials are attempting to operate, and begin to pursue a comprehensive overhaul aimed at providing local government with tools for self-reliance. There are difficult decisions to be made and no easy fixes, but inaction is no longer acceptable.

“It is PLCM’s position that no amount of amendments and improvements to Act 47 will make a difference to our communities, if we don’t address the underlying causes of municipal distress. We simply cannot continue to allow our communities to fail,” said Mayor McMahon. “New tools and reform measures are essential and can only be provided by our General Assembly.”

Our 2010 Core Communities in Crisis Report ( sets out what we believe to be the reasons for the fiscal crisis facing the Commonwealth’s older, full-service municipalities. It also provides the legislative and policy actions necessary for fiscal relief.

The Report addresses the impacts of hosting a high percentage of tax-exempt property; the inability to pay for current and future personnel costs, which can be half of a municipal budget; the impediments to regional thinking and shared municipal services; and an over-reliance on the inelastic real property tax. These are weighty issues, and change will not occur overnight, but change must occur.

PLCM has partnered with a number of local chamber executives who are also concerned with the future viability of their communities. Fiscally distressed communities do not attract new business and investment. Together, this partnership has concentrated its efforts on addressing personnel costs by developing language to amend the Act 111 collective bargaining laws covering police and fire, as well as reform of the municipal pension laws.

We need a bold group of bi-partisan sponsors to introduce our Act 111 amendments. This is in no way a call to eliminate our public safety personnel’s right to collectively bargain. It is, however, a call to equalize the inequities in the law and bring personnel costs in line with the revenue available to pay for them.

Over the last few years there have been studies, hearings, and reports all pointing to the need to reform the systemic failures in today’s local government structure. The policies and laws of the 1950’s and 60’s do not sustain today’s local governments, and no one should expect that they would.

“Pennsylvania’s local governments need new 21st Century tools aimed at building self-reliance and preventing fiscal distress. Only the General Assembly can provide these tools,” said McMahon. “The choice is clear – more Act 47 petitions, or a new path toward building sustainable core communities. PLCM chooses the new path and stands ready to support this effort.”

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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92 To Graduate Sunday from Pitt-Bradford

Ninety-two students expected to graduate from Pitt-Bradford this month will be recognized with a reception on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Students will be honored during an informal event beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president; Dr. Steven Hardin, dean of academic affairs; and Dr. K. James Evans, dean of student affairs, will speak. Refreshments will be served afterward.

The reception is held for students graduating at the end of the fall term who may not be able to return for the April commencement.

Those expected to graduate with an associate degree are Beth Christman, a petroleum technology major from Bradford; Brandon Meacham, a petroleum technology major from Shinglehouse; Karen L. McManigle, an information systems major from Emporium; and Cody J. Sheasley, a petroleum technology major from Ridgway.

Those expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree are, from Bradford, Craig R. Dillaman, economics; Amanda Allison Caldwell, English; Andrea Marie Herzog, history-political science; Corey Meyer and Edmund D. Thornton, social sciences; Sarah Marie Randolph, sociology; Bethany Lynn Kapp, writing; Bryan Thomas Deloe, applied mathematics; Michael Thomas DeCasper, biology; Robert Colts, chemistry; Diana Lyn Lawton, Tarah Marie Lipps, Samantha Pascarella and Christy Sherk, elementary education; Shea Ann Miller, elementary education and sociology; Maddi Shea Smith, English education 7-12; Emily J. Wilton, psychology; Zachary D. Foster, sport and recreation management; and Brittany Danielle Gilmore, sports medicine.

Students anticipated to graduate from elsewhere in McKean County are, from Derrick City, Melissa Ann Hickey, history-political science, and Cassandra Ludwig, social sciences; from Eldred, Brian C. Schneider, accounting and business management; from Kane, Kalli Rae Baker, criminal justice, Jenna Oyler, human relations, Jessica Adamski, social sciences, and Keith Anderson, social studies education 7-12 and history-political science; from Port Allegany, Cynthia Remington, criminal justice, and Jeffrey S. Pinchock, environmental studies; from Smethport, Charles E. Vandever, environmental studies, and Kathy Lynn Donovan and Ronald C. Tanner Jr., both business management.

Students anticipated to graduate from Elk County are, from Ridgway, John Michael Urmann III, criminal justice, Miranda Pauline Miraglia, environmental studies, Meghan Gabrielle Rutigliano, business management, Kendall Klawuhn, health and physical education, Kelsey Klawuhn, mathematics education 7-12; from Brockport, Nicholas Tyler, computer information systems and technology; from Johnsonburg, Rebecca Marie Mahoney, English education 7-12; from Kersey, Kaylee Rae Mitcheltree, applied mathematics; from Wilcox, Gary William Parks, computer information and systems technology, and Jesica E. Brendel, hospitality management.

Students anticipated to graduate from Warren County are, from Clarendon, Kayloni Leigh Smith, broadcast communications, and Harmonie J. Kibbey, English and English education 7-12; from Russell, Nichole Marie Neall, psychology; from Warren, Jason M. Halle and John David Lewis, elementary education, and Ashley D. Zaffino, business management.

Other students anticipated to graduate from Pennsylvania are Kevin M. Erdelack, public relations, Cheswick; Scott J. Burton, criminal justice, Ellwood City; Joseph John DeVito, environmental studies, Tionesta; Erin Joy Lynn, English, and Kyle Allen Lewis, history-political science, both from North East; Joselynn Ann Hackman, English and English Education 7-12, Lehighton; Nicholas William Eckhardt, mathematics education 7-12, Springdale; Jill K. Northey, health and physical education, Brookville; Sara Jean McFadden, radiological science, Falls Creek; Michael Stephen Cipriano and Martin Ryan Cipriano, both business management from New Castle; Karl Gesing, elementary education, Oil City;

Kristy Ann Bunce, Kimberly Anne Salvatore and David T. Stewart, all business management from Titusville; Todd Smith, business management, Saegertown; Heather Capella, elementary education, Spartansburg; Ashley A. Bissell, business management, Erie; Cory Malantonio, computer science, Fogelsville; Justin Mann, accounting, and Emily Lewellin, business management and economics, both from Northampton; Ankush Verma, biology, Archbald; Jeremy C. Grove, sport and recreation management, Sayre; Kyle E. Lange, psychology, Pipersville; Rahul Jangiti, chemistry, Quakertown; and Intisar E. Wilson, biology, Philadelphia.

Those anticipated graduates from New York state are Morgan Kinville, sociology, Fulton; Brody J. Childs, history-political science, Ryan Andrew Marzec, business management, Trisha Fridman, elementary education, and Hannah E. Penman, sport and recreation management, all from Olean; Michael Benjamin Teresi, hospitality management, Batavia; Samantha R. Marsh, biology, Kennedy; Ashley L. Andrews, business management and computer information systems and technology, Little Valley; Taylor Grey Lubi, health and physical education, Panama; Paul Anthony Wallace, applied mathematics and mathematics education 7-12, Portville; and Megan Carpenter, elementary education, Wellsville.

Other anticipated graduates are Ahmed Shalom Hooper Jr., sport and recreation management, Baltimore, Md.; Jordan Matthew Wilhite, business management, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and Marco Manansala Dominguez, sports medicine, Norwalk, Calif.

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WNY to Receive $100 Million from State

Western New York will be receiving more than $100 million for economic development plans.

Governor Andrew Cuomo annouonced the grants today as part of his plan to redesign the way state government works to help economic growth and create jobs.

Among the grants are $787,000 to replace about 3 miles of rail and 7,000 ties on the railroad tracks between Carrollton and Salamanca; $1 million to rebuild East State Street in Olean from Front Street to King Street, including replacement of the water and santiary sewer lines and installation of new storm sewers; $630,000 to build a hangar for small planes at the Olean airport; and $200,000 for complete a Grape Discovery Center in Chautauqua County.

To see a list of the projects, and how much money they are receiving, click here. PDF

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Shots Fired at Virginia Tech

UPDATE: Virginia Tech's website says :Suspect remains at large. A police officer has been shot. A potential second victim is reported at the Cage lot

CNN is reporting that Virginia Tech is on lockdown after shots were fired on campus. The university's website says the suspect is a white male wearing gray sweatpants, a gray sweatshirt and a maroon hoodie. He is carrying a backpack and was last seen on foot.

Check out for updates.

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since 1947

Blood Supply Hundreds of Units
Below Safe Levels as Holidays Approach

The Community Blood Bank has experienced a slight increase in donors over the past week, but the blood supply remains hundreds of units below optimum safe levels. Blood Bank officials hope to get close to 100% before the holidays hit and the supply begins to fall again. More donorswill be needed to accomplish this.

The Community Blood Bank is taking donors on Saturday at 24 Davis Street, Union Square in Bradford from 9-1pm. No appointment is needed to save a life.

"Things are slowly improving," said Dan Desrochers, Director of Marketing at the Community Blood Bank. "But not at nearly the pace needed to be ready for the holidays. Please help by giving blood."

All donors are strongly encouraged to donate. The Community Blood Bank is located at 24 Davis Street in Union Square across from the Sports Café in the BRMC Laboratory. Hours are on Saturdays 9am to 1pm. No appointment is necessary. All donors are strongly encouraged to donate. Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission), weigh 110 pounds and be in generally good health. Photo ID is required.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
since 1947

St. Bonaventure Internet Speed Triples

St. Bonaventure University has tripled the speed of its Internet service on campus in a move aimed at meeting the expectations of students whose appetite for technology seems to know no bounds.

The university has increased its Internet connection to 300 megabits per second, which represents a three-fold increase of its Internet capacity and five times more bandwidth than was available just 18 months ago, said Michael Hoffman, executive director for Information Technology.

“Basically, this means that the speed of the Internet on campus is three times faster than it was before the upgrade,” said Hoffman.

What’s that mean for students? Plenty, said Hoffman.

“They’ll see faster web browsing, faster web gaming, faster delivery of video, faster delivery of audio – basically, faster delivery of any Internet content a student would consume, which is a lot,” said Hoffman.

Students arrive on campus today with an array of technology based devices such as laptop computers, iPads, iPods, e-readers, web-based gaming systems and smart phones, all built to take advantage of wireless Internet networks.

And while students are using these devices to access the Web for academic purposes, they’re also turning to the Internet for escape from the daily grind.

Joseph Harrington, president of the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, said a significant amount of student traffic on the Internet is not academic driven. At Boston College, where Harrington is director of network service, an estimated 70 percent of Internet bandwidth is consumed by video streaming and downloading. “The vast majority of that is purely entertainment,” said Harrington.

It’s a similar story at St. Bonaventure, said Hoffman. “I’d say that the Internet is probably the No. 1 recreational resource our students consume on campus, as evidenced by the fact that our Internet enjoys extremely high utilization until 2 in the morning,” he said.

Fast Internet service is an expectation among incoming students these days.

“The majority of them are coming from households that have access to wireless high-speed Internet and they want to know that they’re going to get something similar here,” said Hoffman.

At 300 megabits per second, St. Bonaventure ranks favorably among similarly sized, and even bigger, institutions in regard to Internet delivery, he said. “Relative to our peer group of colleges and universities, we are definitely in a leadership position,” said Hoffman, noting one nearby regional university just upgraded its Internet connection to 200 megabits per second.

Hoffman said the university will continue to review its technology offerings and implement upgrades as necessary.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
since 1947

Man Pleads Guilty to Endangering Child

BELMONT, NY -- Defense attorney Mark S. Williams says that on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, in Allegany County Court, his client, Steven Rhodes, 22, of Cuba, entered a guilty plea to one misdemeanor count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, in full satisfaction of two multi-count indictments which alleged that on May 29, 2010, in the Town of Clarksville, Mr. Rhodes gave or sold prescription drugs and marijuana to two 14 year olds and that he also endangered their welfare by doing so.

The case, which had been scheduled for trial today, was resolved by Mr. Rhodes plea and admission that he was present and did not intervene when one of those teenagers consumed a narcotic drug not prescribed to her.

The matter was adjourned for sentencing on February 8, 2012, at 1:00 P.M.

Mr. Williams went on to say that his client “Never sold or gave any drugs to anyone that day. An acquaintance of Steven’s gave hydrocodone to one of the girls and Steven should have stopped him from doing so, but did not. Steven has been up-front from day one about his involvement in this incident and took full responsibility for his actions. He should have stopped the other man from giving those drugs to the 14 year old but didn’t. He is accepting his responsibility for his actions.”

Reports that Mr. Rhodes gave drugs to anyone are untrue and would have been refuted by the evidence had the case proceeded to trial, Williams stated. He was retained by Mr. Rhodes’ family after he was initially jailed. He was ordered released from jail less than a week later upon Williams’ motion to Allegany County Court. Mr. Rhodes will likely be sentenced to 3 years probation at sentencing.
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New Law Will Cut Taxes, Help Create Jobs

ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) today voted for a $3.3 billion tax cut that will help grow jobs.

“Everyone who pays state personal income taxes gets a break no matter which tax bracket. People will keep more of their hard earned money in their paychecks,” said Senator Young.

“Small businesses and upstate manufacturers will gain much-needed tax relief so they can grow private sector jobs,” she added.

“It will help family budgets while giving a real boost to the economy,” Senator Young said.

“In fact, after these tax cuts, middle income earners will see the lowest state personal income tax in 50 years. They will have more money to spend, save or invest,” she said.

“High taxes have hurt our economy by making our state hostile to business growth. This legislation slashes the corporate tax rate on upstate manufacturers in half to help them add more jobs,” Senator Young said.

“The reduction in the personal income tax also helps thousands of small businesses, especially those who file as S corporations. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” she said.

“Improving our business climate will get people back to work, add more jobs, and establish career opportunities so our young people can stay after they graduate,” Senator Young said.

Economic growth advocacy groups including the Business Council, Unshackle Upstate, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Farm Bureau enthusiastically have endorsed this new law, she said.

“By working together in a bipartisan way, we have gotten great results. We cut taxes, eliminated this year’s $10 billion deficit, brought spending under control, and capped property taxes,” Senator Young said.

“It is a major step forward, and I will continue to push for more initiatives to grow the economy and give relief to taxpayers,” she said.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gabler Supports Well Safety Legislation

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) today voted in committee to support legislation that would require all unconventional oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania to be assigned Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. Senate Bill 995, which was passed by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, is now eligible for consideration by the full House.

“Marcellus Shale development has resulted in changes to the landscape that outdate conventional maps,” Gabler said. “This legislation allows us to keep pace with those changes and equip our emergency responders with the tools they need to protect our citizens and the workers on these sites.”

Senate Bill 995 requires the operator of each unconventional oil and gas well to adopt GPS coordinates at both the access road entrance and wellpad site. These coordinates along with the site address and emergency contact information must be posted at the entrance to each site. Operators must also develop an emergency response plan to be filed with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Environmental Protection, and local emergency management officials.

“I believe it is of vital importance that we ensure the ability of emergency responders and local officials to know where well sites are located, and empower them with the ability to respond in a timely fashion should the need arise,” added Gabler. “I am proud to support this commonsense legislation that further provides for the health, welfare and safety of the workers on these well sites as well as all of the residents of our region.”

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Former Councilman Dene Wesmiller

Dene P. Wesmiller, 81, of 187 Constitution Ave. passed away Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at the Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born November 8, 1930, in Bradford he was a son of the late Clarence G. "Smiles" and Helen I. (Parsons) Wesmiller.

On May 4, 1953, in Bradford he married Barbara J. (Case) Wesmiller who survives.

Mr. Wesmiller was a 1948 graduate of Bradford High School. On September 5th, 1950 he entered the United States Army, served during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on September 28, 1951. He had been employed for many years as a car salesman at Fairway Ford, Star Garage and then at Dale Phillips Auto Sales. Mr. Wesmiller was very involved in the local city government, he served on the Redevelopment Authority and was a member of the Bradford City Council for two terms. He attended the former East End Presbyterian Church

In addition to his wife, Barbara of 59 years he is survived by one daughter, Trudy L. Cucuzza of Bradford and two sons Colin D. Wesmiller of Bradford and Kent O. Wesmiller of Limestone, a sister, Carole Piccuilla of Suprise, AZ, a brother, Gary Wesmiller of Griffin, GA, three grandchildren: William, Breyen, and Owen, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jay A. Wesmiller.

Family will be receiving friends on Friday, December 9, 2011 from 11:00 to 1:00pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. East Main St., where funeral and committal services will be held at 1:00pm with Rev. W. LeRoy Beckes, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at

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'Col. Pottter' Has Passed Away

Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, possibly best-known as Col. Potter on television's "M*A*S*H," has died.

He was 96.

He died in his California home in Brentwood after suffering from pneumonia.

Before M*A*S*H Morgan appear on several TV shows, including "Dragnet," where he played Sgt. Joe Friday's partner in later episodes.

He earned an Emmy for his portrayal of Col. Sherman Potter on CBS-TV's long-running series.

Sandusky Arrested on New Charges

HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police today filed new criminal charges against Gerald A. "Jerry" Sandusky, age 67, of 130 Grandview Road, State College, as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into alleged sexual assaults of children.

"Today's criminal charges were recommended by a statewide investigating grand jury, based on evidence and testimony that was received following the initial arrest of Sandusky on November 5th," Kelly said. "At that time, Sandusky was charged with sexually assaulting eight victims, all of whom first encountered Sandusky as children through The Second Mile, a organization that he founded to operate programs for disadvantaged young people."

Kelly said these latest criminal charges come following grand jury testimony from two additional young men, identified as Victim 9 and Victim 10, who were allegedly targeted by Sandusky when they were children.

"As in many of the other cases identified to date, the contact with Sandusky allegedly fit a pattern of 'grooming' victims," Kelly said, "Beginning with outings to football games and gifts; they later included physical contact that escalated to sexual assaults."

According to the grand jury, Victim 9 first encountered Sandusky in approximately 2004, while participating in a summer camp organized by The Second Mile, when he was 11 or 12 years old. Sandusky allegedly approached the young man, engaged him in conversation and expressed an interest in spending more time with the child.

Kelly said Sandusky allegedly took the boy to numerous Penn State University football games and gave him gifts and money.

Later, the grand jury found that during overnight stays at Sandusky's home, behavior such as hugging, rubbing, cuddling and tickling - initially viewed as acts of affection - escalated to sexual assaults. Additional sex acts were allegedly performed in the swimming pool and Jacuzzi of a hotel in the State College area, at times when the pool area was not occupied.

According to the presentment, Sandusky told Victim 9 that he loved and cared for him and urged him to keep their activities secret.

In the case of Victim 10, the boy was referred to The Second Mile in 1997, when he was 10 years old, at the recommendation of a counselor because of difficulties in his home life. Sandusky allegedly approached the boy during a summer camp and later made arrangements to take the boy to several Penn State Football games where the boy played football at Holuba Hall on the Penn State campus before the game, attended "tailgate parties" prior to the game and spent time at the Sandusky home.

According to the grand jury, "wrestling" sessions in the basement of Sandusky's home eventually escalated to incidents where Sandusky performed oral sex on the boy. Victim 10 also detailed incidents which occurred at a swimming pool on the Penn State Campus, along with an encounter in a car when Sandusky allegedly exposed himself and requested oral sex from the boy.

As in other cases, Sandusky allegedly gave the boy gifts and frequently told the boy that he loved him.

Sandusky is charged with four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, all first-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 fines.

Additionally, he is charged with one count of indecent assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Sandusky is also charged with one count of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors, all first-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Sandusky was arrested today by agents from the Attorney General's Office and Pennsylvania State Police and preliminarily arraigned before Senior Magisterial District Judge Robert E. Scott, from Westmoreland County, who has been assigned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to handle this matter. A preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th, at 8:30 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Robert E. Scott, at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.

Attorney General Kelly thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for their continued cooperation and assistance with this ongoing investigation.

Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Noonan emphasized that this remains an active and ongoing investigation and stress that any information or leads should be provided to the Attorney General's Office and Pennsylvania State Police. Potential victims or others with information related to this case are asked to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238.

"As in any other criminal investigation, we will continue to follow the evidence and facts wherever they lead," Kelly said.

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Pearl Harbor Anniversary

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that ushered the U.S. into World War II. Then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt uttered the most famous description of the tragedy in an address to Congress the next day.

"December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy ..."

To hear the entire speech and learn more about Pearl Harbor and FDR go to

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Rapp's ANF Legislation OK'd by Committee

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) to protect both private and Commonwealth property rights in the Allegheny National Forest that were not acquired by the United States when this national forest was originally established was advanced by the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee today.

More specifically, House Bill 1904 clarifies that national forest acquisition did not empower the federal government to limit the development of private oil, gas and mineral rights within Allegheny National Forest or supersede Pennsylvania laws governing water and mineral resources.

“When the Commonwealth approved the creation of Allegheny National Forest, it did so with the understanding that the federal government would respect and uphold the rights and interests of the individuals and companies who share ownership of this wonderful natural resource as required by law,” said Rapp. “The U.S. Forest Service’s most recent attempt, through its 2008 Land Resources Management program, undercut an effective regulatory policy that was designed to keep the federal government from blatantly trespassing on both the private property and day-to-day activities of private entrepreneurs where it has no authority to do so.”

House Bill 1904 recognizes and codifies the following:

Two recent U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals decisions holding that the U.S. Forest Service has no right to apply new regulations to private mineral estates or property interests that it did not acquire when the national forest system was established under the Weeks Act of 1911.

Rapp’s unanimously approved House Resolution 693 and state Sen. Mary Jo White’s unanimously approved Senate Resolution 294 which were adopted in April 2008 in response to the U.S. Forest Service’s (now suspended and enjoined federal agency/court action) to apply a federal regulatory regime against private mineral estates operating in the Allegheny National Forest.

Preservation of the legal principles regarding application of Pennsylvania law to deed interpretations related to private mineral ownership rights within Allegheny National Forest.

Federal government acquisition of the Allegheny National Forest did not and does in no way supersede, invalidate or modify statutory or common law of the Commonwealth regarding the storage, control, use or development of water resources located in the Allegheny National Forest.

“Current law and my legislation are crystal clear when it comes to restricting the amount of oil, natural gas and other resources that can be produced by non-government employers operating in Allegheny National Forest,” said Rapp. “The Weeks Act specifically prohibits such regulation, and there is no other state or federal law conferring such authority to the Forest Service or any other federal government agency.”

Letters expressing similar objections regarding federal infringement on private property rights in Allegheny National Forest have also been submitted to federal officials by Gov. Tom Corbett, and a bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers that includes U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and U.S. Congressmen Glenn “GT” Thompson, Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Tim Holden.

House Bill 1904 now advances to the full House floor for consideration.

“House Bill 1904 officially recognizes in legislative statute that the federal government is neither the chief executive officer, nor an equal stakeholder with private land owners or private industry in Allegheny National Forest,” said Rapp. “In reality, the Forest Service is a taxpayer funded servant that is legally bound from interfering with privately purchased mineral rights or private economic development.”

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Man Arrested for Recent Robberies

A Jamestown man is in jail in connection with six robberies or attempted robberies in the last two weeks.

36-year-old William Buckley is accused of robbing a Kwik Fill, a Crosby’s and an Exxon station. He also allegedly attempted to rob a different Kwik Fill, a Red Roof Inn and an Arrow Mart.

The crimes happened between November 21 and Sunday.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Man PIcked Up for Second Robbery

A Jamestown man was picked up at the Chautauqua County Jail on an arrest warrant stemming from robbery charges in Randolph.

21-year-old Derrick Williams is now in Cattaraugus County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Deputies didn’t provide details about the Randolph incident, but Williams was in jail in Chautauqua County in connection to a robbery and assault last month.

Williams and three other men allegedly broke into a home, held a couple at gunpoint and kicked, punched and pistol whipped the man.

The four allegedly stole cell phones, cash, a wallet and a flat screen TV.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Happenings in Bradford

Here's the schedule of events for Bradford's
Old Fashioned Christmas on Saturday

Breakfast with Santa
9AM – 10:30 AM Aud Restaurant 30 Boylston Street
Josiah and Tina Herne will be serving breakfast with Santa at The Aud Restaurant. One child per paying adult will eat free from a special Santa Menu.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
11AM – 3PM Main Street Mercantile
Board at the Merchantile, and let Prince & Otis take you on a tour of Historic Mainstreet before returning to the mercantile for Holiday shopping & festivities.
Sponsored by Real living AVISTA & Hennard Construction.

Letters to Santa
Hey Kids! Drop your letters to Santa at his special mailbox at The Mercantile. Letters will be accepted throughout December.

Happy Holiday Open House
Friday 10AM – 7PM, Sat. 9AM – 5PM
Grandma’s Tea House 16 Congress Street
Stop in and have freshly brewed tea while you shop the unique items available in this historic shop.

Blou Christmas Item Collection
9AM – 2PM Cavallaro Paint & Decorating at 12 Kennedy Street will serve as the drop off point for your donations for the SPCA during this event as well as throughout December. Enjoy samples of Byler’s Pickled Products while you shop for Holiday items.

Holiday Crafts, Hot Chocolate & Games
12 – 3PM Dickinson Mental Health 9 Main Street
Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate while you shop for holiday crafts available for purchase. 25¢ games will also be available for kids to play while you shop.

Live Christmas Vocal Performance & Caroling
12 – 2PM Main Street Merhcantile
A special holiday ensemble of community members and popular local performers will be singing popular Christmas favorites at the Main Street Mercantile. Sheet music will also be available for those interested in strolling downtown and caroling.

Pictures with Santa
11AM – 2PM
Santa will be at The Main Street Mercantile for holiday pictures taken by Nancy Pascarella for $5.

Christmas Open House
10AM – 3PM Orris Jewelers at 62 Main Street will be featuring unique Holiday gifts from Sivler Spoon & Southern Gate jewelry lines.

Book Signing
10AM Main Street Mercantile Chat with authors Bill Robertson & Sally Costik; signed copies available with purchase.

Holiday Craft
2PM The kids can make a Holiday Keepsake Craft while you shop at the Main Street Mercantile.

Christmas Open House
10AM – 5PM Tin Ceiling Gift Shop 43 Main Street. Nancy will have Christmas Coffee & Gourmet dips available while you shop under the restored Tin Ceiling.

Grab a bite to eat & stock the pantry
12 – 3PM Enoy an Old Fashioned Christmas and bring a canned or non-perishable item into Kelly’s & receive a 10% discount on your bill. Items benefit YWCA food pantry & will be acepted throughout December.

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Teen Helps Light Capitol Christmas Tree

PA Department of General Services Secretary Sheri Phillips, Governor Tom Corbett, 14-year-old Colin Vengen and Susan Corbett applaud after lighting the Capitol Christmas tree today in Harrisburg, honoring Pennsylvania's heroes who helped residents survive this year's storms and floods. In September, Colin, of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, was flown in a State Police helicopter to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to receive a liver transplant after flooding from Tropical Storm Lee made travel by vehicle impossible.

Provided by Commonwealth Media Services

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Store Robbery in Kill Buck

Someone robbed Hoag’s Smoke Shop in Kill Buck at gunpoint at just before 9 o’clock last night and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Sheriff’s deputies say a man wearing a bandana that was covering his face entered the store, approached an employee, displayed a gun and demanded money.

The suspect is about 6 feet tall and slender. He was wearing dark-colored pants and a black sweatshirt.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 716-938-9191

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Scarnati Bill Moves to House Floor

Senator Joe Scarnati’s bill designed to keep public benefits out of the hands of illegal immigrants has made its way to the state House floor.

The legislation would require people to prove they are legal residents before receiving state welfare benefits. While Democrats on the House State Government Committee complained the bill is based on anecdotes instead of facts, Chairman Daryl Metcalfe says it will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Earlier this year, Senate Bill 9 passed the Senate with a vote of 40 - 9. The House committee advanced the amended bill along party lines.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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Flags to be at Half-Staff Wednesday

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett has ordered all U.S. and Pennsylvania flags in the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities statewide to fly at half-staff on Wednesday, Dec. 7 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans and led the United States to enter World War II.

All Pennsylvanians are invited to join in this tribute.

The original news leader of the Twin Tiers ...
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