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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Ripley

A tractor-trailer driver wasn’t hurt when his rig turned over in a ditch Friday night in Ripley.

Sheriff’s deputies say that at 8 p.m. 71-year-old Lowell Farmer of Ohio was hauling a load of wood on Route 5 when his tractor-trailer went out of control and into the ditch.

Riplely Rescue personnel got Farmer out of the vehicle.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Firefighters Called to Holiday Inn Express
Construction Site in Bradford

Bradford City firefighters were called to the construction site of the Holiday Inn Express that's being built at Forman and Davis streets, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

The calls were prompted by a flame that could bee seen in a commercial heater.

Traffic was being directed away from Forman Street for a short time.

Brockway Goat is Grand Champion

Harrisburg - Cody Steele from Brockway, Jefferson County, exhibited the Grand Champion Overall Junior Meat Goat on Thursday, Jan. 12, during the 96th Pennsylvania Farm Show.

World Class was named champion after taking the Champion Purebred title and being selected as the class winner for the 10-12-month-olds.

Reserve Grand Champion Junior Meat Goat honors went to Hayden Remesburg of Middletown, Dauphin County, with his goat LBCSZ6 Ruth. Ruth was named Reserve Champion Purebred after winning the 19-24 month class.

Judge Mike Borsch from Jacobsville, Ohio, evaluated the goats based on soundness, broodiness, age and conformation.

Youth meat goat breeders from across Pennsylvania competed in the show's three divisions: Purebred, Percentage and Crossbred. The Keystone Goat Producer's Association sponsored embroidered chairs for the champions of each division.

The results of each division were as follows:

Champion Purebred: Cody Steele from Brockway, Dauphin County, with JPHIL World Class

Reserve Champion Purebred: Hayden Remesburg from Middletown, Dauphin County, with LBCSZ6 Ruth

Champion Percentage: Lindsey Zeigler of Biglerville, Adams County, with DLBG1 Betty Boop

Reserve Champion Percentage: Nicole McCord of Delta, York County, with NDM Queen Islanzadi

Champion Crossbred: Hannah Easter of Gettysburg, Adams County, with Rebel Yell

Reserve Champion Crossbred: Kayla Romberger of Pitman, Schuylkill County, with Harmony

Pictured from L-R are Judge Mike Borsch, Cody Steele and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mathew Meals

Provided by PA Department of Agriculture

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Art Exhibit Explores Suburban America

“America Unsettled,” an exhibit of small sculptures and drawings by Drake Gomez, will be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s KOA Art Gallery Jan. 27 through Feb. 24.

The exhibit will open with a talk by the artist and reception at noon Jan. 27 in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby of Blaisdell Hall.

The exhibit explores mid-20th-century suburban America, including American idealism, optimism, consumerism, conformity and complacency.

Gomez is an associate professor of art and director of exhibits at Keystone College in LaPlume, Pa.

He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbook Academy of Art. In addition, he studied at Texas Tech University.

The KOA Art Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources at (814)362-7609 or

Reynoldsville Man Wins Ford Mustang
from PA Lottery Instant Game

Middletown –Douglas Giles of Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, today claimed the 2012 Ford Mustang GT he won by playing the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Mustang instant game.

Thomas Miller, area manager of Lottery’s Clearfield Office, today presented the Mustang to Giles at Murrays Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, 3007 Blinker Parkway, DuBois, Clearfield County.

“I’ve always wanted a Mustang,” said Giles, explaining it was an easy decision to choose the car instead of the $60,000 cash prize option.

Giles, who works at a local powder metal plant, said he was very pleased with the assistance the dealership provided in helping him pick out the car, including its color, Kona Blue.

Giles bought the Mustang Lottery ticket at Backstreet Distributor in Reynoldsville.

Mustang, $5 per ticket, offers 10 top prizes of $100,000 and 10 Ford Mustang GT prize packages valued at $60,000 each. As of Jan. 9, one top cash prize and three Ford Mustang GT prize packages remained to be claimed. The odds of winning a top prize in the Mustang Lottery game are 1-in-720,000, while the overall odds of winning any prize in the game are 1-in-4.52.

In the 2010-11 fiscal year, in addition to awarding nearly $9.2 million in prizes to Jefferson County winners, the Pennsylvania Lottery contributed nearly $5.3 million to programs serving Jefferson County’s older residents.

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Habitat for Humanity
Grants Charter to Pitt-Bradford Club

Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit group that builds affordable housing for low-income families, has chartered a collegiate chapter at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

John Bevan, a senior criminal justice major from Wexford, is the president of the new chapter, which has been working with the Bradford Habitat for Humanity Chapter on its first home. The home is being built on Interstate Parkway, and Bevan said that students will be able to contribute more hours once interior finishing begins.

Tonya Ackley, coordinator of community engagement at Pitt-Bradford, is the advisor for the club.

“The Office of Community Engagement had a table at Club Night last year to see if there was interest in reactivating the club, and we got an overwhelming response from our students,” she said. “They were very supportive of the mission of Habitat for Humanity and were excited about the opportunity to go on alternative spring breaks.”

More than 40 students have registered for the new club, and eight students will make a Habitat spring break trip to help with homebuilding by the Chatham Habitat for Humanity in Pittsboro, N.C.

Bevan said that the students are making the trip with the Habitat chapter from Pitt-Johnstown, and that they will all live in a rented cabin for a week and learn skills on the job that allow them to help work on a home that is being built.

Pitt-Bradford students have attended Habitat alternative spring breaks in the past, but not been an officially recognized group on campus.

To raise money for the trip to North Carolina, the group is planning a Mr. and Miss Pitt-Bradford fundraiser at the end of next month.

Pictured, Richille Denora, an elementary education major from Bradford, foreground, and Sharie Radzavich, an administrative assistant at Pitt-Bradford, work on a Habitat for Humanity house in Bradford on Make a Difference Day in October.
Photo by Alan Hancock

Karen Whitney Named to PSAC Committee

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and the league's board of directors (presidents) has announced that Clarion University President Karen M. Whitney has been named an at-large representative to the PSAC's Executive Committee, starting with the spring 2012 semester.

Whitney replaces Dr. Maravene Loeschke, who recently resigned from Mansfield University to accept the presidency of Towson University.

"I look forward to serving Clarion University and our Pennsylvania conference to ensure that collegiate sport supports our university values of student learning, service, inclusion and good sportsmanship," Whitney said.
The PSAC Executive Committee, made up of five of the league's university presidents, has Dr. David L. Soltz, Bloomsburg as chairman; Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, Kutztown, as vice-chair; Dr. Gregory Weisenstein, West Chester, as treasurer; and Dr. Thomas J. Gamble, Mercyhurst, and Whitney as at-large members.

PSAC is governed by the board of directors, who are the presidents of the 16 full-time, member universities. The Executive Committee is authorized to act on behalf of the board between its regular meetings.

Originating in 1951 to administer and promote men's athletics, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference has evolved into one of the NCAA's most heralded intercollegiate conferences.

The first major step came in 1977, when, based on a growing interest, the league reorganized to provide a structure for its women's programs. Three years later, lacking a standard competitive division, they voted to reclassify the entire conference to the NCAA Division II.

PSAC is currently made up of 16 full-time members and two associate members. That number began in its early days with 14 members including Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities.

Among its recent enhancements, PSAC has expanded its membership twice in four years. The first expansion occurred during the 2008-09 academic year with the addition of full-time members Gannon University and Mercyhurst College, and associate member Long Island University-C.W. Post. Over the past year, PSAC's board of directors agreed to welcome Seton Hill University as an associate member to begin play in field hockey during the 2011-12 campaign.

All of the league's full-time members are located in Pennsylvania, which makes PSAC the largest one-state conference in the NCAA. The league has also grown to share the distinctions of largest conference in Division II, the largest football-playing conference in the NCAA, and, with 23, the conference that sponsors the most championships at the Division II level.

Highly competitive on a regional and national level, PSAC schools annually combine to send nearly one-third of its teams into NCAA postseason play. Ultimately, the membership's success has yielded 43 NCAA team and 246 individual title winners.

While proud of its athletic accomplishments, the league also has evolved into one of Division II's finest from an academic standpoint. Today, nearly one-third of PSAC's estimated 6,300 participants are honored each year as scholar-athletes for maintaining a grade point average of 3.25 or better - a total that has nearly doubled since PSAC scholar-athletes were first recognized in the mid-1990s.

Although all 16 current institutions are members of Division II, seven league schools also compete at the Division I level in select sports. PSAC schools enroll more than 127,000 students and claim more than 710,000 alumni, including 483,000 who live in Pennsylvania.

PSAC employs a commissioner, an associate and an assistant commissioner, and a director of media relations at its headquarters in Lock Haven.
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Company Fined for Frack Water Spill

The Department of Environmental Protection has fined TerrAqua Resource Management LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County, $18,500 for a March 2011 hydraulic fracturing, or frack, water spill at the company’s treatment facility in Lycoming County.

“This spill of between 800 and 1,000 gallons of frack water was caused by operator error,” DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber said. “Accidents like this can be prevented.”

The spill occurred when TerrAqua employees were in the process of filling three frack water storage tanks that overflowed into the containment system. The containment berms were not elevated enough and were too close to the tanks to contain the frack water.

A DEP investigation determined that the overflow occurred because the operator was not able to shut off the pump quickly enough after the alarm system displayed that the levels were high. The release was halted by opening valves to other storage tanks, allowing the frack water to flow into them.

TerrAqua hired an environmental remediation company to respond to the spill and about 750 gallons were recovered. The remainder entered a storm drain that discharges to the Susquehanna River. Because of the volume, no impact to the river was expected.

The spill was a violation of the Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Streams Law and the company’s general permit.

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BAHS Winter Carnival Cancelled

Bradford High's Winter Carnival -- including the dance and spaghetti dinner -- has been cancelled.

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Olean Officials to Discuss Budget

Olean Common Council will be working on the city’s budget on Tuesday during a finance committee meeting.

Fire Chief Robert Bell and Parks and Recreation Director John Anastasia will be discussing budgets for their departments.

The committee will also discuss procedures to be used by aldermen to adopt the budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The budget is due April 15.

Tuesday’s public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building.

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The Bradford High boys and girls basketball games with Brookville tonight have been canceled. No makeup dates yet.

Also, the Bradford Freshman and Fretz Middle School basketball games with Brookville have been canceled.

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Woman Allegedly Stole Gas Vouchers

An Olean woman has been charged with stealing 20 gas vouchers from the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services.

Sheriff’s deputies say 27-year-old Stefanie Scanlon took the $25 dollar gas vouchers then “caused them to be used” to buy gas at contracted stations during the month of November.

Scanlon is charged with two counts of forgery and petit larceny and will appear in court at a later date.

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Smethport Bingo Cancelled

Bingo at the Smethport Fire Hall has been cancelled tonight.

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Woman Allegedly Rams Sheriff's Car
During High Speed Chase in Stolen Vehicle

A Jamestown woman is jail after ramming a marked sheriff’s patrol car during a chase in a stolen vehicle Thursday night.

Sheriff’s deputies and New York State Police spotted the vehicle driven by 27-year-old Elizabeth Marlett on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret. At first she pulled over for them, but then sped off on Route 60 and took police on a chase through Pomfret, Dunkirk and Sheridan.

The sheriff’s car had minor damage and no one was hurt.

Marlett is facing about a dozen charges and traffic law violations including a felony count of possession of stolen property.

Sheriff’s deputies say the investigation is continuing and they expect Jamestown Police to file more charges.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nancy Teague

Nancy B. Teague, 77, of 22 Bon Air Ave., passed away, Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at Bradford Regional Medical Center

Born November 30, 1934, in Bradford, she was a daughter of the late Jack H. and Sarah (Yates) Bird.

On September 17, 1955 in Bradford, she married Russell E. Teague who survives.

Mrs. Teague was a 1952 graduate of Bradford High School. She attended The Pennsylvania State University and received a degree in Elementary Education. Upon returning to Bradford she taught school at Lafayette School, Hobson Place School, West Branch School and George G. Blaisdell Elementary School from where she retired.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the National Education Association.She enjoyed playing bridge with various groups and was an avid reader.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Lisa (Jim) Dwyer of Fredericksburg, VA;

two sons Jack (Santi) Teague of Danville, CA and William (Roxana) Teague of Limestone; a sister, Linda (Dan) Lenze of St. Marys, four grandchildren; Gerad Teague, Rob Miller, Alex Miller and Allen Dwyer, three great grandchildren; Kristen Nicole, Damian Jacob and Sarah Rachel Dwyer and several nieces and nephews.

Family will be receiving friends from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 PM Friday, January 13, 2012 in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., East Mains Street, where funeral and committal services will be held at 11 AM Saturday, January 14, with Rev. W. LeRoy Beckes, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Mausoleum entombment will be in Willow Dale Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Bradford Public Library, the Salvation Army or to the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at
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USGS Study:
Asian Carp a Threat to Lake Erie

A federal study says Lake Erie and some rivers flowing into it would offer ideal habitat for Asian carp, the invasive species that could threaten the Great Lakes’ multi-billion dollar fishing and recreation industry.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the Maumee, Sandusky and Grand rivers have temperatures and water flows suitable for spawning by silver and bighead carp. Both species that have been advancing toward the Great Lakes for years after escaping into the Mississippi River and its tributaries from southern fish farms and sewage lagoons.

The study released today says there is reason to worry about the potential threat to Lake Erie.

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Potter C0. Family Honored at Farm Show

Harrisburg - Agriculture Secretary George Greig celebrated more than 450 combined years of family farming across the commonwealth on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Greig honored the four farms families by presenting them with certificates designating each farm as a Pennsylvania Century Farm.

"The Farm Show is a great place to honor Pennsylvania's long-standing farm families," said Greig. "This is where farm meets city and where people from all walks of life can appreciate what these families have done to maintain their farms for a century and keep Pennsylvania growing."

The four farms include: The Tim and Sandra Brown Farm, the Marguerite Maxwell and James Maxwell Farm, the Linda (Lang) Mathias and Kevin Mathias Farm and the Prange Family Farm.

The 101-acre Brown farm was established on April 1, 1893 and purchased for $14.85 per acre. A blacksmith and sawmill business was also on the Ebensburg, Cambria County farm and today the main business is in beef and hay. The family still uses the original home and spring house.

The Browns, who enjoyed their first visit to the Farm Show, join 25 other century farms in Cambria County.

The mother and son team of Marguerite and James Maxwell farm 572 acres in Potter County. The original farm consisted of 260 acres, purchased in 1868. Several of the farm's original buildings remain in use today.

The Maxwell family entered multiple businesses over the years in addition to farming, including logging, wagon-building and law enforcement. Farming has remained a staple for the family; beef cattle and crops are currently the farm's primary business. Potter County is home to 22 century farms.

The Lang farm, owned by Linda Lang Mathias and Kevin Mathias, was established by Linda's great-grandfather. All of the farm's original 100 acres, purchased on July 2, 1906, for $62 per acre, are farmed today.

Four grape vines planted in the 1800s remain productive, joining other vines, apples, peaches, corn and hay as crops produced on the farm outside of Cabot, Butler County. It also produces beef. In addition to the Lang farm, Butler County, has 90 other century farms and a bicentennial farm.

The Prange family purchased their farm on March, 24, 1911, for $4,139.63 at the site outside of Kirkwood, Lancaster County. All 54 acres of the original farm remain in use today, primarily for crop farming. Likewise, the Prange family still uses the original house and barn. The Prange family joins 150 other century and bicentennial farms throughout Lancaster County.

Pennsylvania recognizes 2,057 farms through its Century and Bicentennial Farm Program.

"This program highlights the longevity, durability and strength of Pennsylvania's farm families," said Greig. "I'm proud of these folks and our other century and bicentennial farm families across the state. They have unique and fascinating stories to tell and I appreciate their preservation of our state's proud agricultural heritage."

Pictured, Marguerite Maxwell, son James Maxwell and family of Potter County accepted a certificate recognizing their farm's status as a Pennsylvania Century Farm from Agriculture Secretary George Greig Wednesday at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.
Provided by the PA Department of Agriculture

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Marcott to Receive BLT's Brauser Award


Richard J. “Dick” Marcott has been chosen to receive the 2012 Lester Brauser Theatre Appreciation Award, announced Bradford Little Theatre president Nanci K. Garris on Thursday.

Established in 2001, the Brauser Award is presented to an individual whose work makes community theatre possible in the Bradford area. It is named after theatre enthusiast the late Lester Brauser.

“Dick is most deserving of this particular award recognizing his efforts in and dedication to community theatre,” said BLT president Nanci K. Garris, noting he has appeared in BLT almost since its founding; has served on the board as president, treasurer and hospitality chairman; has designed and founded programs including various types of acting and technical workshops and Senior Theatre.

“This is only the second time BLT has honored one of our own, the first time being founder Patty Bianco in 2006. She, like Dick, was also honored by Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center, another group she founded. We had no second thoughts about the merits of Dick receiving Brauser just three months later. We so want to thank him for his generosity and dedication to BLT and to making theatre available for area residents to take part in.”

The award will be presented to Marcott at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the opening curtain of “Twelve Angry Men” at First Presbyterian Church, 54 E. Corydon St. In that drama, he will portray Juror #10; it is his second show acting for director Cindy Matteson, with whom he has worked on a variety of productions and the BCPAC children’s acting workshop.

Though he left the board formally after his stint as president ended in June 2010, the 76-year-old retiree has never waivered in his support and has always been easy to turn to for advice, said Garris.

The Bradford native graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1957 retiring with the rank of captain in 1985. In 1986, he returned to Bradford with a master’s degree from George Washington University and taught at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford until 1991.

On his return, he returned to the local stage he had enjoyed at Bradford High School and Arena Theater, eventually performing with BLT, Kiwanis Kapers, Woodland Theatre and Olean (N.Y.) Community Theater.

He and wife Carol, who also worked hospitality and box office for BLT, live in Bradford where their daughter and her husband, Richard and Kimberly Marcott Weinberg also live with their children, Preston and Madeline. In fact, Marcott’s son-in-law also will appear in “Twelve Angry Men” as Juror #7 – and did not know Marcott had intended to try out.

Well-wishers can congratulate Marcott personally during a small reception after the Feb. 3 performance . Of course, he and the rest of the cast will also be on hand after the performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 and 2 p.m. Feb. 5. There will also be a guest book for those who want to write their congratulations.

Past recipients of the Brauser Award include the late Dr. Robert C. Laing Jr., John and Marlene Kijowski, Dr. Richard Frederick, the James VanScoy family, Marmy and the late Steve Hodges, Patty Bianco, Ron Johnson and H.L. “Woody” Woodruff.

Marcott reflects on community theater

Long-time community theater performer and director Richard J. “Dick” Marcott says the accomplishment he is proudest of during his time with Bradford Little Theatre was offstage.

“I guess my proudest accomplishment for the organization of BLT was establishing a budget and financial system that made it easier to plan for our seasons, track expenses, and set priorities. I think it made for more meaningful strategic planning,” he said this week. Marcott did that as treasurer for several years before stepping up to president.

Marcott believes in BLT and in the value of the performing arts for his hometown neighbors and friends.

“I really appreciate BLT for providing the opportunities for growth and development. You’ll find open arms and willing encouragement, whether you want to make your first stage appearance, improve your acting craft, learn the fundamental of theatre tech, or even move ahead to become a director. I made the move to directing, and discovered that is the most fun for me, especially at this point in my life.”

“We all look for a growing and prosperous community. Everyone knows that that means you must be willing and able to make progressive, sometimes scary, moves to provide jobs, medical care, education, and human services. But we can’t shortchange the impact of the amenities of art and cultural opportunities. It can be the influence that makes your city the choice for a corporate decision to move a major business here, or for a retiring family to choose Bradford as a location. We are fortunate to have UPB, Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center and BLT, each filling a little different niche but working together to make our town a better place to live in and enjoy.”

“My fervent wish is to someday see BLT in a permanent home. A small studio theatre of their own. Even a 100-150 seat theatre could do marvels for the community, and set the stage for expanding BLT offerings, as well as being a venue for other small community events.”

“Someone once told me, ‘There’s no sense trying to sell shoes to a culture that prefers to go barefoot.’ But I say, ‘Get them to try some shoes on, they might be surprised how much they improve their outlook!’ Or as Kevin Kostner’s character says in Field of Dreams: ‘Build it and they will come.’”

During his time with BCPAC, Marcott worked hard to ensure its future. He designed, developed and presented workshops on directing, lighting and acting. He said he discovered a love for the classroom when he was assigned to teach at the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in 1961. During and after his Coast Guard career, he led workshops in leadership and management and also served as a human resources development consultant locally after teaching at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Marcott said he was especially touched to be nominated to receive the award named for the late Lester Brauser because Brauser got him started in theater.

“My association with Lester began when I was in high school, I believe 1952. Lester, who had seen several high school productions I had been in, asked me to do something with the Arena Theater (forerunner of the Seneca Players and BLT). I did two plays with Lester, done in- the- round. Our venue was the Women’s Literary Club clubhouse on Chautauqua Street.

“When I retired from the Coast Guard and returned home, I did a lot of skits and dance (of sorts) with Lester for Kiwanis. They paired us up a lot. That was ad-lib heaven! We also had a common Coast Guard connection. Lester had commanded a Coast Guard-manned LST during WWII and, later, I served 28 years active duty with two sea commands.”

Though he won a Theater Association of New York State award for his performance as Stephano in BLT’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Marcott more fondly recalls other moments from his work on the boards.

“When I played the blind hermit in ‘Frankenstein,’ I was warming my hands over the fake fire and heard a noise stage left. I said, ‘Who’s there, is somebody out there?’ A little kids voice yelled out from the audience–‘It’s the monster!’ Chuck Church, the monster, was indeed approaching, and I could barely keep from laughing out loud.”

“A great moment for me was directing my daughter Kimberly in ‘Waiting for MacArthur.’ She surprised me by auditioning. Not only was it one of my favorite plays, but she was terrific; I was and am very proud of her,” he said.

Pictured, Marcott in his upcoming role as juror #10 in the Feb. 3-5 production of "Twelve Angry Men" and Marcott portraying blind hermit DeLacy in "Frankenstein," presented by BLT in 2006.

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NY AG Concerned About Prescription Drug Abuse; Calls for Legislative Action

Concerned about abuse of prescription drugs in New York State, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has detailed the extent of the problem as he pushes for legislation to help combat what many view as a growing crisis.

Schneiderman’s 42-page report documents the year-to-year increase in the number of hydrocodone and oxycodone prescriptions being written in New York State, as well as prescription drug-related addiction and death.

In a news release, Schneiderman said, “The prescription drug abuse crisis in Western New York and across the country has reached epidemic proportions (and) the time to act is now.”

Earlier this week the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested three Salamanca residents in an on-going investigation into illegal sales of prescription drugs in the area. They say more arrests are coming.

You can find a copy of the report here PDF

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Dunkirk Native Murdered in PA

A Lebanon, PA, man has been charged with criminal homicide in connection to his girlfriend's death after police found the woman's body in the couple's home on January 3.

31-year-old Jennie Cassel is a native of Dunkirk and has relatives living in Chautauqua County.

Police say 25-year-old Nathan Patrick admitted to strangling Cassel over the New Year’s weekend. They say they also found a video on Patrick's cell phone in which he admits to causing Cassel's death.

A memorial service for Cassel is being held today in Lebanon.

Patrick is jailed without bail.

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Investigation into Blaze Continues

A state police fire marshal and Bradford City fire and police departments are still investigating to find the origin and cause of the blaze that destroyed the old Tuna Mill Wednesday morning.

Damage to Tuna Mill and Lumber is estimated at more than half a million dollars.

The building was unoccupied at the time and no one was hurt.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Bradford City Police at 368-6133 or State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti in Ridgway at 776-6136.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Firefighters Still on Scene of Blaze;
Demolition of Old Tuna Mill Underway

Firefighters are still on the scene of the old Tuna Mill and demolition of the parts of the historic building not destroyed by this morning's fire is underway.

The fire was reported at about 10:30 a.m. At least half a dozen fire companies responded.

A state police fire marshal and city firefighters are investigating.

No injuries have been reported.

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Corry Man Accused of Running
Marijuana, Mushroom Operation

HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General?s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and police from the City of Corry have arrested an Erie County man following the discovery of a suspected indoor marijuana growing lab and hallucinogenic mushroom operation inside his trailer home.

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Mark Michael Varasso, age 62, of 13695 West Washington St., Lot 27, Corry.

According to the criminal complaint, Varasso was arrested today as agents and local police officers executed a search warrant on his Corry home. Investigators located 24 suspected marijuana plants, along with "grow lights" and hydroponic plant growing materials in the bedroom and closest of his residence. Agents also located three plastic bins in the kitchen area of the home which contained suspected Psilocybin mushrooms.

Kelly noted that this is an ongoing investigation involving the Attorney General?s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation along with police departments from Corry, Edinboro, Girard and Meadville.

Varasso is charged with one count each of manufacture of marijuana, manufacture of psilocybin mushrooms, possession of marijuana, possession of psilocybin mushrooms and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Varasso was preliminarily arraigned before Corry Magisterial District Judge Brenda A. Nichols and lodged in the Erie County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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Girard Man Allegedly Ran DMT Lab

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Linda Kelly today announced the arrest of an Erie County man suspected of manufacturing and selling "DMT," a psychedelic drug often produced using the root of a plant from South America.

Kelly identified the defendant as Lucas Andrew Youngs, age 28, of 11390 Cross Station Road, Lot 35, Girard.

Kelly said that agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, members of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Meth Task Force and Edinboro Police participated in a coordinated investigation to locate a DMT lab allegedly operated by Youngs.

"Our joint investigations have been very effective in shutting down meth labs and cutting off the supply of synthetic drugs like 'bath salts,' forcing drug dealers and users to search for other alternatives, including DMT," Kelly said. "Today's arrest marks the first seizure of a suspected DMT lab in northwestern Pennsylvania."

Kelly explained that DMT ? Dimethyltryptamine ? is produced using a root typically obtained from sources in South America, often via sale over the Internet. Labs are used to produce a crystal solid, similar to meth, which can be injected, snorted or smoked to generate a "high."

Kelly said that Youngs was arrested at his home today after agents and officers executed a search warrant, seizing quantities of suspected DMT along with various lab-related materials.

Youngs is charged with the sale of DMT along with the prescription drug Suboxone.

Youngs is charged with one count of delivery of DMT, one count of possession of DMT, along with two counts of delivery of Suboxone and two counts of possession of Suboxone.

Youngs was preliminarily arraigned today before Edinboro Magisterial District Judge Denise Stuck-Lewis and lodged in the Erie County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Youngs will be prosecuted by the Erie County District Attorney?s Office.

Kelly thanked the Edinboro Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, clandestine laboratory teams from the Office of Attorney General and State Police, along with members of the Northwestern PA Meth Task Force for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

The A.F. Dobler Hose & Ladder Company and Erie EmergyCare also provided assistance during today?s search.

Kelly noted that this is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are anticipated.

Young to Cuomo:
More Money for Rural School Districts

ALBANY – State Senator Cathy Young is helping spearhead an effort with other Senators who represent upstate districts, asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to give rural schools extra consideration in the upcoming state budget.

The Governor will release his 2012-13 Executive Budget proposal on January 17.

Senator Young joined 14 of her colleagues in signing the formal letter, requesting a significant boost to rural school aid.

“New York State is unique in the country because the Governor has enormous power over the budget making process, unlike other states. The courts have made it more difficult for the state Legislature to change the Executive’s proposal. The Governor’s leadership to include more rural school funding up front in his plan would help ensure success in the final enacted budget,” Senator Young said.

In December, legislation supported by Senator Young and area Assemblymen Andrew Goodell and Joseph Giglio was passed and signed by the Governor, ensuring a four percent -- or $800 million -- education increase in the upcoming budget that will be distributed to school districts across the state based on an existing progressive formula that gives poorer districts more dollars per student.

“Our letter asked the Governor to present us with a budget plan that recognizes both the sacrifices made by our rural schools and the unique challenges they face,” Senator Young said.

“In 2007, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit required the state to give more funding to New York City schools. The state Senate successfully pushed to have an increased allocation for upstate, too, so our schools would not be left out. Consequently, Governor Eliot Spitzer created the Foundation Aid formula as a means to distribute education dollars statewide,” she said.

Despite the expanded education commitment, there are flaws in the current system, according to Senator Young.

“The existing funding formula doesn’t adequately account for the true financial condition of our schools because the actual wealth ratio is not used if it falls below a certain level. When Governor Spitzer established this formula, he placed an artificial limit on what can be considered in each district’s wealth data. We are hoping that through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, our rural schools get a helping hand by utilizing a more accurate calculation,” she said.

“Our region’s schools receive a huge amount of money from the state. Last year, it was well over a half a billion dollars in my Senate district. The total state allocation for schools was $19.4 billion. While we have only 1.77 percent of the state’s students, we receive a higher amount of the state’s entire education funding, totaling 2.63 percent. However, our schools need more assistance to provide the quality of education that our students need and deserve,” Senator Young said.

“Rural school districts are more dependent on state funding because their tax bases are less wealthy than communities that have more local resources. Our schools receive a higher amount of state aid per student than affluent districts, but it is harder for rural schools to supplement their state allocations with local taxes, especially since property taxes already are too high and taxpayers cannot afford increases,” Senator Young said.

“I have many families who live in my district who are struggling to make ends meet, or are seniors trying to survive on fixed incomes. They need a break,” she said.

“Suffocating property taxes have driven jobs, businesses and people from the state. We need to turn the state around so we can grow private sector jobs, get people back to work, develop career opportunities for our young people so they can stay after they graduate, and we can have a brighter future.

“With Governor Cuomo’s partnership, property tax reform is underway. The property tax cap will help limit tax increases, but it makes unfunded mandate relief and adequate funding especially important,” Senator Young said.

“We need to have efficient operations, and many of our school districts are taking steps to be as creative and economical as possible. They are establishing shared services, and some are looking at forming regional high schools that would give more opportunities to students,” she said.

“Due to the state’s $10 billion deficit in 2011 caused by the terrible condition of the national economy, Governor Cuomo proposed school aid cuts. My Senate Majority fought hard in last year’s final budget to successfully secure an additional $272 million in education aid, including $230 million in direct school aid to districts across the state. We also prevented $190 million in cost shifts that were proposed by the Governor that would have placed additional financial burdens on local school districts and taxpayers,” she said.

“This coming year, we face another budget shortfall of at least $2 billion that will have to be solved. It will be another challenging budget process, but I am optimistic that the right priorities will be funded while cutting spending and closing the budget gap,” she said.

“I am hopeful the Governor will listen so that we can protect our taxpayers while meeting our children’s needs,” she said.

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Alleged Child Predator Arrested

Wanted for Multiple Sex Crimes against Several Minors

Scranton, PA – U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today that the United States Marshals Service (USMS) arrested Raymond Brennan – a 37-year old Bradford County man - in Burlington, North Carolina. Brennan was being sought on multiple charges by the Pennsylvania State Police-Towanda barracks and the Athens Township Police Department (Bradford County).

In July of 2011, the Athens Township Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police received information that two minors were sexually assaulted. The assaults allegedly began in 2009 and continued for two years, in both Athens and Litchfield Townships. These allegations were fully investigated.

On August 17, 2011, Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw of Sayre issued an arrest warrant for Brennan, based upon the Athens Township Police investigation. Brennan was charged with:

20 counts of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
20 counts of Statutory Sexual Assault
20 counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault (victim less than 16 years of age)
20 counts of Indecent Assault of Person less than 16 Years of Age
20 counts of Sexual Assault
20 counts of Corruption of Minors
On November 8, 2011, Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw of Sayre issued a second arrest warrant for Brennan, based upon the Pennsylvania State Police investigation. He was charged with the additional crimes of:

5 counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child
5 counts of Indecent Assault of a Person less than 13 Years of Age
1 count of Corruption of Minors
On November 8, the Pennsylvania State Police requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and apprehend Brennan. The case was adopted by the USMS Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Marshals based in Scranton conducted interviews and investigated several leads. Information was developed that Brennan fled from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. This information was sent to Deputy U.S. Marshals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

On January 10, 2012, at about 11:30 AM, Deputy U.S. Marshals arrested Brennan in Burlington, NC. He was lodged in the Alamance County Prison as a fugitive from justice, pending court hearings and his extradition to Pennsylvania.

U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane stated, “The United States Marshals Service recognizes the importance of removing dangerous child predators from the street. This case in particular required expediency to ensure no other child would be hurt. We dedicated extra resources in bringing Brennan to justice.”

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Child Protection Task Force Appointed

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Sam Smith today named members of the Task Force on Child Protection, a panel created by the General Assembly to thoroughly review state laws and procedures governing child protection and the reporting of child abuse.

“This task force has a tremendously important job,” Corbett said. “It will provide input to help us strengthen state laws and ensure every Pennsylvania child receives the protection from harm they deserve.”

The four members appointed by the governor are:
· Hon. David W. Heckler, Bucks County District Attorney;
· William Strickland, president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation;
· Dr. Cindy W. Christian, M.D., director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and
· Delilah Rumburg, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Corbett also designated District Attorney Heckler, a former state legislator and county judge, as the task force’s chairman.

“It is my honor to accept the recommendations of my colleagues, Senators Pileggi, Ward, Costa and Washington for three immensely qualified individuals with impressive and diverse qualifications,” said Scarnati. “The three Senate appointments collectively have over 80 years of experience dealing with a variety of child abuse issues.”

Members appointed by the Senate are:
· Dr. Rachel Berger, member of Child Protection Team at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh;
· Garrison Ipock Jr., executive director, The Glen Mills Schools, Glen Mills; and
· Carol Hobbs-Picciotto, MHS, Intake Social Worker, City of Philadelphia.

“There is a real need to review how we approach, define, investigate and respond to the issue of child abuse overall,” Speaker of the House Smith said. “With input from Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) and Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny County), I am appointing three individuals with the background to tackle these issues, but even more importantly, a shared vision to protect our most vulnerable citizens... our children.”

Members appointed by the House are:
· Jason Kutalakis, senior partner, Abom & Kutalakis LLP, Carlisle;
· Jackie Bernard, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Blair County; and
· Hon. Arthur Grim, Senior Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Berks County.

Governor Corbett also announced a representative of the Pennsylvania State Police will assist the task force. Lt. Gregg Mrochko of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation will serve as a liaison and resource to the panel.

Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander will also serve as an ex-officio member of the task force, Corbett noted.

As called for under House Resolution 522 and Senate Resolution 250, the 11-member task force will:
· Examine and analyze the practices, processes and procedures relating to the response to child abuse.
· Review and analyze law, procedures, practices and rules relating to the reporting of child abuse. · Hold public hearings, accept and review written comments from individuals and organizations.
· Submit reports which will include recommendations to improve the reporting of child abuse; implement any necessary changes in state laws and practices, policies and procedures relating to child abuse; and train appropriate individuals in the reporting of child abuse.

The task force’s final report is due by Nov. 30.

In Pennsylvania, certain types of professionals -- health care workers, educators, and others who come into contact with children -- are required by law to report suspected child abuse. Protecting children from abuse and neglect requires the collaboration of the entire child welfare system, community partners and residents, Corbett said.

To report suspected child abuse in Pennsylvania, contact the Department of Public Welfare’s ChildLine and Abuse Registry at 1-800-932-0313.

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Cleland Sets Schedule for Sandusky Case

Judge John Cleland, who is overseeing the Jerry Sandusky criminal case, has established a schedule for prosecutors and defense attorneys, and says he plans to hear argument on pretrial issues in less than three months.

According to Cleland’s order the attorney general's office to turn over material to Sandusky's lawyers by Monday. The deadline is Feb. 1 for Sandusky to ask for trial outside Centre County, or to bring in a jury from another county.

Other pretrial motions are due March 1, with argument scheduled for April 5 in Bellefonte.

Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, denies charges that he sexually abused 10 young boys.

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Casey Urges Shell to Bring Plant to PA

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged Shell Oil Company to bring a natural gas processing facility to Pennsylvania, which could create thousands of jobs and leverage billions of dollars in private investment to the region.

Shell is considering locations to construct a large facility to break down natural gas, which is abundant in Pennsylvania, into substances used to produce plastics, fibers, and automotive products, which would also boost Pennsylvania manufacturing.

“Pennsylvania is at the epicenter of the rapidly growing Marcellus shale natural gas industry, making it the ideal location for a processing plant that will create thousands of local jobs,” said Senator Casey. “Pennsylvania has the skilled workers, natural resources and innovative research network needed to support this plant and boost Pennsylvania’s economy.”

Shell is considering building the plant, called an ethane cracker, in the northeast so it can process gas extracted from the Marcellus shale formation. There is currently no infrastructure in the region to process the natural gas co-product, requiring it to be shipped elsewhere. Some estimates indicate that the construction of a new processing complex could attract up to $16 billion in private investment and create thousands of jobs in the process.

“I am optimistic that a Shell facility will be the foundation of an industrial and manufacturing expansion that will bring thousands of construction and production jobs to Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey wrote today to Shell President Mark Quartermain. “I encourage you to take this opportunity to build on Pennsylvania’s long manufacturing history and invest in the region.”

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to Shell President Mark Quartermain is below:

Mr. Mark Quartermain
Shell Energy North America, L.P.

Dear Mr. Quartermain:

As Shell considers plans to build an ethane-fed cracker plant in the Appalachian region, I am writing to urge you to build the plant in Pennsylvania. As you know, there is currently no infrastructure in the northeast United States to process the ethane extracted from Marcellus Shale natural gas. Shell is uniquely positioned to supply a cracker plant in the region with ethane from its own wells, as well as the many other producers who are looking for buyers. A Shell plant could be ideally located in Pennsylvania to take advantage of the combined great potential that Marcellus Shale resources and the state have to offer.

Pennsylvania has everything needed to make it a top choice for Shell’s facilities. We have a proven work force, access to water, communities with a long history of working cooperatively with industry, an extensive rail transportation network and appropriate real estate. Pennsylvania also has an exceptional higher education network which will mesh well with Shell’s commitment to innovation.

I am hopeful that Shell will use all that Pennsylvania has to offer to explore natural gas as an energy source and to supply the increasing demand for petrochemical feedstock and products. As you know, the end uses for these substances will help stimulate manufacturing capabilities in numerous categories, including fibers, agricultural chemicals, plastics and automotive products.

Petrochemical plants are not without risks, but I have faith that Shell’s long experience will help it to design and build its facilities to run cleanly, safely and efficiently. I am optimistic that a Shell facility will be the foundation of an industrial and manufacturing expansion that will bring thousands of construction and production jobs to Pennsylvania. I encourage you to take this opportunity to build on Pennsylvania’s long manufacturing history and invest in the region.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and I look forward to continue working with you.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

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Alleged Kwik Fill Robber Waives Hearing

One of the teenagers accused of robbing the East Main Street Kwik Fill in November has waived his preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone.

16-year-old Nathan Harvey is charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft by unlawful taking and possession of an instrument of crime.

Harvey and 18-year-old Alexander Hayes allegedly threatened the cashier with a knife while demanding money from the cash register. Their co-defendant Kyle Eck is charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, tampering with evidence and theft.

Harvey is free on unsecured bail while awaiting further court action.

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Firefighters Still on Tuna Mill Site

As of 5:45 p.m. firefighters are still on the scene.

Firefighters are still on the scene of the blaze that destroyed the old Tuna Mill off Mechanic Street.

The fire was called in at about 10:30 and at least half a dozen fire departments responded.

Police tape has been placed around the scene and a state police fire marshal with a K-9 officer is investigating.

Heavy smoke is still hanging in the area, including Jackson Avenue.

Shortly after the fire started flames could be seen shooting hundreds of feet into the air and thick, black smoke was billowing from the burning building.

We have not received reports of any injuries.

The mill was built in the 1800s and, at one time, was the centerpiece of Bradford's booming lumber industry.

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Domestic Disputes in Catt County

A Salamanca man is accused of endangering the welfare of a child in a domestic incident last week in the city.

Sheriff’s deputies say 32-year-old Wilson Rodriguez Jr. screamed and yelled threats at his girlfriend, using obscene language. He also allegedly threw an item in the kitchen, breaking a window. The incidents happened in the presence of a small child.

Rodriguez was sent to jail on $500 bail.


An Allegany man is facing charges following a domestic incident last week in the village.

54-year-old Tom Thomas was arrested after the parties involved were separated. Thomas is charged with assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

He was sent to jail on $2,000 bail.

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Ceglia Ordered to Pay $5,000

The Wellsville man who claims to own half of Facebook has been sanctioned by a federal judge and ordered to pay $5,000 to the court.

The judge also ordered Paul Ceglia to pay for part of Facebook's attorney fees and expenses.

The ruling came after Ceglia did not turn over information about his personal email accounts following a court orderin August.

Ceglia claims that he and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg entered into a contract in 2003 that gives him a 50 percent interest in the multi-billion dollar social networking site.

Zuckerberg has acknowledged that, while he was a student at Harvard University, he and Ceglia worked together on another Internet project and that it had nothing to do with Facebook.

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since 1947

Car Hits School Bus, Man Hurt

A Warren man is hospitalized after his car crashed into a school bus Tuesday afternoon in Spring Creek Township.

Police say 22-year-old Thomas Snider was on Route 426 when his car crossed the centerline and sideswiped the bus, then hit a mini-van head-on.

Snider was flown to UPMC Hamot, where he is in serious condition. The van driver, 51-year-old Cynthia O’Day of Spartansburg, was also hurt, but police did not list the severity of her injuries.

Neither the school bus driver nor the 10 students on board was hurt.

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Fire Destroys Old Tuna Mill

The old Tuna Mill off Mechanic Street has been destroyed by fire, and firemen are still on the scene of the blaze that was called in at about 10:30.

Bradford City, Bradford Township, Derrick City, Lewis Run, Lafayette and Corydon townships and Salamanca are among the fire companies on the scene.

Mechanic Street is closed from West Washington Street to Walker Avenue and traffic is tied up in the rest of that area. Please avoid traveling there if possible.

Flames from the blaze could be seen in the East Main Street area and ash from the fire was covering cars in the Grace Lutheran Church parking lot.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

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