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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston Dead at 48

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Legendary pop singer Whitney Houston was found dead at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel at age 48, officials said Saturday night.

For more on this story go to

Man Sentenced for Shooting Incident

A Delevan man has been sentenced to 5 years’ probation for his role in a shooting in the Town of Yorkshire.

27-year-old Nathan Biehl pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to reckless endangerment and attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

Biehl was with another man at around 3 a.m. June 22 when a shot was fired into a house on McKinstry Road, just missing the homeowner who was asleep in bed.

22-year-old Joseph Walenka was sentenced in December to two to six years in prison for his guilty plea to reckless endangerment.
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Lady Owls Dump Brookville

The Lady Owls dumped Brookville Friday night 59-30 at the Lady Owls Nest. The girls are now 20-0 overall and have captured a least a share of the D-9 League championship.

Kaserra Owens led the team with 18 points. Ali Rinfrette scored 14. Alex Vinelli and Haley Vinelli each had 10.

The Lady Owls host Elk Catholic Tuesday. A win would earn the Bradford girls the D-9 championship. The Lady Crusaders are 6-2 in league play. The Lady Owls are 8-0.
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Smethport's Phalon Earns a Bona Win

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The St. Bonaventure softball team (1-1) plated three runs on three errors in its final half inning to earn a two-game split at the Upstate Classic.

Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Bonnies took advatage of Detroit miscues to steal the 6-3 win. Junior Jessenia Andujar, who notched the Bonnies' only hit in a 3-0 loss to Ohio to open the day, advanced to third on the innings first error and came around one batter later when Christine Watson reached on a wild pitch after striking out. Watson later scored from first on another outfield error, with freshman Grace Rooney plating the final marker on an infield boot.

Senior Diana Phalon of Smethport, Pa., (1-0) registered the win and Jen Sansano the three-out save (1) after Phalon fanned eight through six innings of work.

Sansano (0-1) allowed just one earned run in the loss to Ohio, but four Bona errors spoiled a four hit outing.

St. Bonaventure continues play today with games against Ohio and host S.C. Upstate.

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Man Died of Natural Causes, Not Crash

Police say the Emporium man who was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident died of natural causes.

65-year-old Donald Selb was pronounced dead on February 5 after his pickup truck crashed near Rich Valley Road in Shippen Township.

The police investigation into the crash showed that Selb “suffered a fatal medical emergency prior to the crash.”
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Local Tourism Agencies Joining Forces

With the idea there’s power in numbers, the tourism agencies in McKean and Cattaraugus counties are partnering to bring visitors into the region.

The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization for McKean County, and the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County, N.Y., have joined forces with FORE! Golf magazine to entice golfers to come to the region.

The group has developed marketing materials and golf packages that will be used at travel shows and other distribution areas. The group plans to attend the Toronto Golf & Travel Show in March to promote packages and distribute information on golf courses as well as other attractions in both areas.

Focusing on Toronto as one of the key markets in this joint effort helps the agencies reach their target audience, said Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau.

“There’s already a steady stream of visitors coming from Canada to Ellicottville,” Devlin said. “With this promotion, we hope to lure travelers to come further south into our areas.”

By thinking and promoting regionally, more visitors will come, stay and play here, making this a true win-win situation.

“This unique cooperative effort is anticipated to bring visitors to our area that will not only enjoy our golf courses, but also stay overnight in our accommodations, eat in our restaurants and shop in our retail stores,” said Debra Opferbeck of Cattaraugus County Tourism. “Increased tourism dollars will result in increased sales and bed taxes that will help our local governments.”

The FORE! Golf publication has already started promoting the region with its monthly newspaper that informs golfers of the variety of courses as well as other attractions here.

Those attending the show will be eligible to win a pair of FREE overnight golf packages from each county. Once the winners arrive, both agencies are hopeful that the winners explore the area and discover other golf courses and attractions along the way.

For more information on promoting golf or your business in the area, contact the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 or The Enchanted Mountains at 800-331-0543.

Pictured, Pennhills Club in Bradford, Pa., is one of the golf courses in the Allegheny National Forest Region taking part in a joint effort between McKean and Cattaraugus counties to promote golfing and tourism in the region.

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Man Accused of Soliciting
Young Girls in Facebook Scheme

HARRISBURG -- Attorney General Linda Kelly today announced the filing of a series of felony charges against a Butler County man accused of using Facebook to operate an elaborate and disturbing false identity scheme that was used to solicit young girls for explicit photos or meetings for sex.

Kelly identified the defendant as William R. Ainsworth, 53, 110 Raupp Lane, Mars.

Kelly explained that the investigation by the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit began in September 2011, after agents received information that Ainsworth had traveled to the home of a 14-year old girl in Butler County in order to engage in various sex acts.

For more on this story go here.

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Owls Football in New Region This Fall

The 2012 Bradford Owls football schedule is out. The Owls will be playing this fall in Region 5 of Distrcit 10. Region five includes, Oil City, Warren, Slippery Rock, Dubois, Franklin and Meadville. Also non league schools on the schedule include Olean, St Marys and General Mclane.

2012 Bradford Owls Football Schedule


31 Olean


7 Oil City

14 Warren

21 @ Slippery Rock

28 Dubois October

5 @ Franklin

12 @ General McLane

19 @ Meadville

26 St. Marys

Sandusky Trial Could Start in May

John Judge Cleland set a tentative date of May 14 for Jerry Sandusky’s trial on child sex abuse charges.

Cleland heard arguments this morning in Centre County on whether a jury should be brought in from outside the State College area; whether Sandusky’s legal team can see secret grand jury testimony; and whether to modify Sandusky’s bail conditions.

The former Penn State assistant football coach is on house arrest and the Commonwealth says he’s violating terms of his bail by standing on his back porch and watching children at a nearby elementary school.

Cleland promised a quick ruling on those matters. UPDATE: CNN reports that Cleland is expected to rule Monday.

Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years. He denies the allegations.

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Teenager Charged with Burglary

A Great Valley teenager is charged with burglary for breaking into a home and stealing property.

18-year-old Matthew Grimes Jr. is also charged with petit larceny in connection to the incident that happened in January.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s deputies say Grimes is already in jail for a separate incident. He’ll appear in court at a later date.
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Bradford Woman Sentenced in Catt Co.

A Bradford woman has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court on a drug charge.

21-year-old Samantha Conner will be on conditional discharge for one year following a conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance.

On December 22, 2010, in Olean, Conner possessed a controlled substance with the intent to sell it.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

PA Congressmen Honor Joe Paterno

Washington, D.C. — Members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation including U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Bill Shuster (PA-9), Mike Kelly (PA-4), and Lou Barletta (PA-11) today joined on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the life of Coach Joe Paterno. The Members delivered their remarks during a special order speech following the conclusion of legislative business in the House.

“Joe Paterno’s accomplishments as a teacher and a coach rank him among the very best, most especially his push for higher academic standards for both high school and college athletics,” said Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson. “He was a man, but his legend continues. With the passing of Joe Paterno, we are all Penn State, and we mourn his loss. Thank you Joe Paterno.”

“While many Americans will remember coach Paterno for his unparalleled success on the field, Penn State students, alumni and fans will never forget his love for the University and contributions to its development,” said Rep. Charlie Dent. “A truly exceptional man, Joe Paterno helped shape the lives of his players and colleagues, as well as countless individuals who found inspiration in his remarkable dedication and distinctive modesty. As a proud Nittany Lion, I will miss Joe’s extraordinary humility, unique spirit and contagious smile.”

"What set Coach Paterno apart was that he demanded excellence from his players every day of the week,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach. “Success with honor was what Coach Paterno expected whether his players were performing in front of 100,000 fans at Beaver Stadium or taking an exam in a classroom. Football was the means by which he molded players into leaders and forever transformed a university. He prepared his players to be winners in life -- not just on Saturday afternoons."

"Joe Paterno is a legend not just because of what he did on the football field, but for the lasting impact he had on the development of his football players and the community of Penn State," said Rep. Bill Shuster. "Coach Paterno strived for excellence in education and success with honor in life. With his passing, we mourn his loss but we also celebrate his remarkable life and accomplishments and count ourselves lucky to have been alive to witness a legendary coach and teacher in action."

“The thing I remember most about Coach Paterno, he had the ability to inspire you to do things that maybe you didn’t think you could do,” said Rep. Mike Kelly. “He had the ability to get you to go beyond being tired into being better.”

“Joe Paterno loved coaching at the college level because he loved preparing young men to succeed in life,” said Rep. Lou Barletta. “He saw all of these young men as his sons, and he wanted the best for each and every one of them. Joe Paterno’s personal life was humble. His humanitarian life was remarkable. And his professional life was legendary.”

To view Rep. Thompson’s remarks, click here.

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Company Fined for Galeton Incident

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Chesapeake Appalachia LLC a total of $565,000 in civil penalties and reimbursement costs for erosion and sediment control violations, wetland encroachment violations and an April 2011 well control incident.

“The governor and I expect the highest standards to be met and when they are not, we take strong enforcement action,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “We will continue to be vigilant on that front. The protection of the state’s water is paramount.”

West Branch Township, Potter County

DEP fined Chesapeake $215,000 for a March 2011 incident in West Branch Township, Potter County, where sediment discharged into a stream classified as high quality. High-quality streams receive some of the highest levels of protection in the state, and operators are expected to ensure their work does not negatively affect them.

In late February and early March, heavy rain caused significant erosion to an access road and Chesapeake’s Beech Flats gas well pad, both of which lacked sufficient controls in place to prevent the run-off. As a result, significant amounts of sediment entered the Right Branch of Wetmore Run, a high-quality stream.

An inspection found that accelerated erosion had occurred at several spots on the access road and the well pad because the operator failed to construct adequate controls to prevent the run-off of sediment.

The sediment traveled downstream and impacted Galeton Borough Authority’s water treatment filters. Chesapeake has since paid $190,000 to the authority to repair and upgrade the water supply facility and has made assurances it will reimburse the authority any additional costs associated with this incident.

DEP issued a compliance order that required Chesapeake to cease all activity at the site that would disturb earth, such as road maintenance and grading; movement of rock, soil or earth; and activity associated with gas drilling and extraction. Chesapeake was also ordered to implement additional measures designed to lessen environmental impact and submit a revised erosion and sediment control plan.

Soon after that, the company installed silt fences, silt socks, gravel surfacing of the access road and a stormwater capture ditch, and it submitted the revised plan.

Follow-up inspections determined that the violations were corrected. The authority thanked DEP for taking immediate action.

Leroy Township, Bradford County

In addition, Chesapeake paid $190,000 as part of a consent order and agreement after the operator lost control of a well head during hydraulic fracturing of the Atgas 2H Well in Leroy Township, Bradford County, on April 19, 2011. Fluids from the well mixed with rainwater and entered a nearby unnamed tributary to Towanda Creek and Towanda Creek itself.

On April 20, DEP detected levels of total dissolved solids, chlorides and barium that were higher than background levels at the mouth of the tributary, where it enters Towanda Creek. Subsequent testing further downstream and on the following days showed these levels returned to normal background levels.

Chesapeake took two days to stop the flow from the well and four days beyond that to bring the well fully under control. At DEP’s request, Chesapeake suspended completion activities at well sites across the state for approximately three weeks while assessing its equipment’s integrity, containment mechanisms and procedures.

Chesapeake’s payment includes a $67,000 reimbursement for costs associated with the agency’s response. The company must also conduct further testing, using an independent laboratory, of five groundwater monitoring wells from the surrounding area to ensure there were no impacts to groundwater from the release. Samples of the five monitoring wells taken in July, August and October 2011 showed levels consistent with regional groundwater quality.

North Towanda Township, Bradford County

In connection with a third site, DEP fined Chesapeake $160,000 as part of a consent order and agreement resulting from violations in 2010 of impacting a wetland and allowing sediment to enter Sugar Creek in North Towanda Township, Bradford County. Part of a well pad was built in the wetland. It was constructed with extremely high, steep slopes which, after significant precipitation, caused additional sediment to slide further into the wetland and the nearby stream.

A series of site inspections in July 2010 found that the well pad had been constructed partially in a wetland and the construction activities deviated from the site’s erosion and sediment control plan, rendering the site vulnerable to erosion. DEP issued a notice of violation for encroaching on wetlands without a permit and failing to implement best management practices. A follow-up meeting also directed Chesapeake to develop a remediation plan.

By constructing the well pad in that way, the company filled a third of an acre of wetlands without authorization. There were additional temporary impacts to the wetland through erosion and tree clearing and in October 2010, heavy rains caused the middle portion of the pad’s fill slope to fail and sediment to enter Sugar Creek and an unnamed tributary, as well as further impact the nearby forested wetland.

In addition to paying the penalty, the company has removed the fill from the impacted wetland and must construct 2.55 acres of replacement wetlands. The company is also required to submit regular, detailed wetlands restoration monitoring reports.

Chesapeake’s actions constituted violations of the Oil and Gas Act, Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.

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Ralph DeSantis

Ralph J. DeSantis, 93, of 19 Valleybrook Dr., formerly of 291 Congress Street, passed away Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at UPMC-Cranberry in Cranberry Twp., after a long and fulfilling life.
Born March 25, 1918, in Bradford, he was a son of the late John and Carmel (Pepe) DeSantis.

On September 22, 1951 in St. Bernard Church, he married Theresa Magnella, who passed away December 4, 1993.

Mr. DeSantis was a 1936 graduate of St. Bernard High School.

On April 23, 1943 he enlisted in the United States Army and served with the 86th Mountain Infantry, 10th Division during WW II. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his valiant service during engagement with the enemy in Italy. He was honorably discharged a SGT on January 16, 1956.

He was a member of St. Bernard Church.

He was a postal worker for the United States Postal Service, retiring in 1976 after 33 years of service.

He is survived by four daughters, Mary Jo (Robert) Bernini of Cranberry Township, Anne (Doug) Holmes of St. College, PA, Lisa Minich and Dina DeSantis, both of Bradford; four sons Nick (Linda) DeSantis of Indiana; John (Judy) DeSantis of Pittsburgh, Thomas DeSantis and Dan DeSantis, both of Bradford; seven grandchildren; one great grandchild; one sister Geraldine Grego of Bradford and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother Louis DeSantis and a sister Angeline Lane.

Friends are invited to call from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM Saturday, February 11, 2012 in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. South Ave., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00 PM in St. Bernard Church, with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as Celebrant. Committal services, military honors and burial will follow in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorial contributions, if desired, can be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, P.O. Box 1189 Buffalo NY, 14240, or to the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at

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Woman Takes Coke to Parole Meeting

An Olean woman is accused of bringing cocaine to a meeting with her parole officer in the Cattaraugus County office building.

Sheriff's deputies say 30-year old Jennifer Heitzinger had the suspected drug in a small glass container in her pocket.

She was taken into custody on a parole violation. A charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance is pending.

Heitzinger is jailed without bail for the parole violation.
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Jamestown Boy Hit, Killed by SUV

An 11-year-old boy is dead after being hit by an SUV Wednesday afternoon near the intersection of North Main and 12th streets in Jamestown.

Police say the boy walked between two parked cars, onto North Main Street and into the path of the SUV. He was taken to WCA Hospital, where he died.

Police did not release the boy’s name.

They say the driver of the SUV, who they did not identify, could not avoid hitting the boy. No charges have been filed.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pitt-Bradford Named One of 150 Best
Value Colleges in U.S. by Princeton Review

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has been named one of the 150 “Best Value Colleges” in America by The Princeton Review.

Pitt-Bradford is one of only eight Pennsylvania colleges and one of only five public colleges with fewer than 2,000 students included on the list. Also, it was one of 56 colleges that are new to the list.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, president at Pitt-Bradford, said he wasn’t overly surprised by the selection of Pitt-Bradford as a “best value college.”

“This new recognition by The Princeton Review substantiates what many have said for years about Pitt-Bradford -- that we provide the highest quality education available in our region at an affordable price,” he said. “Most students who attend Pitt-Bradford qualify for generous merit awards and donor scholarships that bring the cost of attendance to a manageable level.”

The “Best Value Colleges” project was launched in 2004 by The Princeton Review to identify America’s top undergraduate schools offering excellent academics, generous financial aid, and/or relatively low cost of attendance.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior VP/publisher and lead author of its “Best Values Colleges” book, said, “We recommend these extraordinary colleges as our ‘best buys’ for 2012 and salute them for all they are doing to keep costs down and/or offer generous aid to applicants with financial need.”

More than 90 percent of students at Pitt-Bradford receive some form of financial aid. In 2010-11, the average financial aid award was $16,490 for in-state students and $19,250 for out-of-state students.

Franek added, “We appreciate the deep concerns families have about affording college. Among the 12,000 teen and parent respondents to our 2011 ‘College Hopes and Worries Survey,’ 86 percent reported financial aid would be ‘very necessary’ for them to pay for college.”

The Princeton Review chose its “Best Value” schools based on analyses of data the company collected from an initial list of 650 institutions it identified as having excellent academics.

More than 30 data points were assessed across three primary areas: academics, cost of attendance and financial aid. Cost and financial aid data came from the company’s Fall 2011 surveys of school administrators.

Data on academics came from its Fall 2010-Fall 2011 surveys of school administrators. The Princeton Review also factored in data from surveys of students attending the schools who shared assessments of their professors and their satisfaction with their financial aid awards.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh campus was also included on the list.

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Ceglia Pays Fine; Still Fighting Facebook

Paul Ceglia has paid a $5,000 court fine for obstruction, but is contesting a claim by Facebook that he owes the company $84,000 in attorney fees.

The Wellsville man claims he owns half of Facebook. He filed court papers saying the court costs are outlandish.

Ceglia's suit against the multi-billion social networking site is based on his contention that he Mark Zuckerberg entered into a contract in 2003 that gives him a 50 percent interest in the company. Zuckerberg acknowledges knowing Ceglia but says he had nothing to do with Facebook.

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Rebert Starts Appeal Process

The Emporium man convicted of killing a Brockway couple in 2010 has filed post sentence relief motions.

Last month, Steven Rebert was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for killing Wayne and Vicky Shugar.

The post sentence relief motions are the first step in the appeal process. Judge John Foradora is expected to rule on the motions in the next couple of weeks.

If granted, the appeals hearing would be in the Jefferson County Courthouse. If Foradora denies the request, Rebert would have to appeal to the state Superior Court.

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$100,000 Gift to SBU Given in Honor of
'Olean Institution' Coach Hookey Frey

A $100,000 leadership gift committed by Jim and Kristin Canty of Concord, Mass., will see a student collaboration area in St. Bonaventure University’s new School of Business building named in honor of Jim’s great-uncle, Francis Walter “Hookey” Frey, the university announced today.

St. Bonaventure is in the midst of a $15 million campaign to construct a new building to house its School of Business.

Jim Canty (class of 1984) is a partner with Boston-based investment advisory firm Clough Capital Partners L.P. and a member of St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees. He has long supported the Bonaventure Fund and Bona Athletic Fund. Of his current gift, $25,000 helped finance the Center for Entrepreneurship in the new Business building.

Now, he and his wife, Kristin, hope to carry on the legacy of his great-uncle (an “Olean Institution,” according to many) by naming a student collaboration area in the School of Business building after him.

Francis Walter Frey left high school at Corning Free Academy to join the Army and fight in World War I. After the war, he came to Olean and attended St. Bonaventure University where he finished his high school education in 1920 and received an undergraduate degree in 1924. Frey captained the university’s basketball and football teams during his time there and later coached those sports at the high school level in the Olean area. A “Hookey Frey Award” is given annually to the unsung hero of the Olean High School football club.

Frey returned to Bonaventure for graduate studies and completed his Master of Science in Education degree in 1938. He stayed in the area and served as principal of Portville Elementary School for the remainder of his life, excluding an extended period during World War II. Frey, who was in his early 40s at the time, again chose to fight for his country and joined the Navy.

Hookey Frey enabled Canty’s mother, Kay Frey, and aunt, Gerry Frey, to attend college.

“After high school, my mother wanted to study at Buffalo State College to become a teacher. She was the second youngest of nine children, however, and could not afford further education,” explained Canty. “She worked at Corning Glass Works for a year, but saved only enough money for two semesters. Uncle Hookey loaned her the remainder she needed and later forgave the debt when she attempted to repay him after graduation, saying her intention was enough for him.”

Frey also influenced Canty’s college experience, despite the fact that he passed away in 1969 when Canty was still a young boy.

“I came to SBU because of him; he was an amazing man,” Canty said. “My mother met my father at college, so in a way I owe everything to Uncle Hookey.”

Canty describes his time at Bonaventure as a turning point that allowed him to see what was important in life.

“St. Bonaventure has given a lot to me in terms of education, personal relationships and life lessons,” he said. “I think that it is my turn to give back to my alma mater so that future students at SBU can have the same opportunities and competitive edge that I had.”

He hopes the new School of Business building will help Bonaventure compete for students so that many others can share the extraordinary experiences in which he so strongly believes.

The new center will feature a financial services lab with electronic ticker tape, dean’s suite, corporate boardroom, state-of-the-art classrooms, break-out areas, spaces for student collaboration, team building and faculty research, innovative technology uses, and a commitment to sustainability.

Construction of the building is scheduled to begin by June, with occupancy set for fall 2013.

“The new School of Business center is a key element in our overall strategic plan,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of the university. “We have seen firsthand the power of new facilities on our campus, and know that investing in this building will position us to better compete for high-quality students and faculty who want to be part of a unique and distinctive scholarly environment."

The $15 million campaign will provide: $10 million for the construction of the new business center; $4 million in endowments for faculty and programmatic support to ensure a vibrant intellectual community; and $1 million for building endowment.

Nearly $13 million has been raised under the leadership of Robert Daugherty, ’77, University trustee and campaign chair. “We are grateful for the financial commitments that have been made to date,” said Mr. Daugherty, a retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “Now we need the leverage of many. We need the help of our alumni, parents and friends to make this campaign a success.”

St. Bonaventure’s School of Business is among a select group of business schools (20 percent) in the U.S. and a very select group (5 percent) internationally to hold accreditation by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

“We are in demand,” said Carol Fischer, dean of the School of Business, adding that some 30 percent of St. Bonaventure’s student body is composed of business majors.

“Our faculty, students and graduates have made the case for this new building,” Dr. Fischer said. “They have demonstrated through academic excellence and through success in the business realm that St. Bonaventure’s School of Business is world-class quality. Reaching our goal in this campaign will enable us to maintain and build upon our traditional strengths, as well as develop new strengths in our distinctive niches, such as service learning.”

The Canty gift is among nearly 300 commitments made to the campaign by St. Bonaventure alumni and friends.

Donations to the campaign may be made by visiting or by calling (800) 664-1273.

For more on the planned Business Center and the School of Business Campaign, go to

Pictured, Coach “Hookey” Frey with the 1925 Portville basketball team.
Provided by St. Bonaventure University

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thompson, Others to Salazar:
Expand Offshore Energy Production

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today joined 182 Members in sending a bipartisan letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar requesting new, expanded access to offshore energy production in order to encourage new job creation, reduce America’s reliance on foreign energy and generate new revenue.

Last November, the Obama Administration released a draft five year plan that closes the majority of the OCS to new energy production through 2017. The draft plan includes lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic—leaving portions of Alaska, the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts off-limits to new energy production.

Next week the House is expected to consider the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7), which would lift President Obama’s offshore drilling ban and require the Administration to lease offshore areas containing the most oil and natural gas.

Text from letter:

“Dear Mr. Secretary:

“With the release of the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Plan for 2012-2017, we write to express strong bipartisan support in the House for the consideration of new and expanded access to the OCS for the production of oil and natural gas.

“Opening up new areas of the OCS will bring new jobs, new energy, and new revenues to the Treasury – all at a time where each of these benefits is desperately needed. When finalized, this will be the first five year plan since the presidential and congressional moratoria were lifted in 2008. At the time these moratoria were removed, it was anticipated by the public and the Congress that without these obstacles in place the result would be that future five year plans would include significant new access to the OCS thereby laying the groundwork for new jobs, energy, and revenues. Together, these moratoria had kept more than three quarters of the OCS off limits to exploration and production activities for more than 30 years. Consequently, we were disappointed that the proposed plan announced by your Department on November 8th would open no new areas of the OCS for assessment and leave exploration and development activities focused in the same places where we have been looking for a generation. We continue to believe that any new five year leasing plan should allow for the consideration of expanding into new areas, such as offshore Virginia, as envisioned when the moratoria were lifted.

“We recognize that in the wake of the Gulf spill, your Department has moved aggressively to implement new safety and environmental regulations and that you have stated publicly that your Department would not be authorizing new activity if you did not believe it was being done safely. Given these regulatory changes, as well as actions taken by industry to restore confidence, we believe it is time to move ahead in facilitating new access to the OCS and that waiting until 2017 at the earliest to initiate these activities does not serve the public interest. Moreover, the public is strongly supportive of new offshore access and is anxious to realize the promised economic benefits from new access to American resources rather than continuing our overreliance upon foreign sources of energy.

“We ask that you take into account these views as you consider the Proposed Five Year Plan for 2012-2017. Thank you in advance for your consideration.”

To see the signed letter go here. PDF

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Truck Hits Utility Pole

A Kersey woman escaped injury in an accident earlier this month on Cuneo Road in Fox Township.

Police say a pickup truck driven by 54-year-old Cindy Taylor went out of control on loose gravel on the road, and then hit a utility pole.

The pickup had to be towed from the scene. Taylor was cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

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Frustration at Foster Township Meeting

Anger and frustration freely flowed into and infiltrated last night’s Foster Township supervisors meeting, when the better part of two hours was taken up by a variety of sewer line-related issues.

Even before supervisors introduced a motion to appoint a township engineer, residents – who packed the meeting room in the municipal building – brought up issues concerning hook-up fees to the new sewer line.

But the discussion really heated up after supervisor chairman Jim Connelly Jr. made a motion to appoint The EADS Group as township engineer. He read quotes for the sewer line project from EADS ($684,000), Hill Engineering ($576,000) and E&M Engineers ($320,000).

For months residents have been asking the supervisors to take action against E&M for a mistake that cost the township a PENNVEST loan for the project. But, last night, they were not happy about paying twice as much money to another engineering firm.

Connelly said if E&M hadn’t made the mistake they wouldn’t even be having the conversation about appointing another engineering firm.

“I’d be voting for E&M in a heartbeat,” he said, “but when the project went out to bid they left out a paragraph. It cost us over $200,000.”

“I understand all that,” said resident Bob Baker, “I just don’t like the fact that the alternate choice is twice as much money. That’s not sitting well with me.”

Baker also pointed out that earlier in the meeting supervisors talked about Tuna Valley municipalities consolidating some sewer-related expenses to save money.

Supervisor John Sullivan said he doesn’t want to waste the taxpayers’ money, adding, “There’s no guarantee that engineering firm Two and Three aren’t going to make any other mistakes as well.”

Resident Mike Dennis said it’s an issue of accountability, and no one held E&M accountable.

“You guys want to kick (E&M) in the butt by spending $363,000? Ain’t no way I’m voting for that,” Dennis said. “And I don’t think anyone who has an ounce of common sense in this room is going to let you do that.”

“I’m asking you to rescind your motion and do what Jim (O’Mara) suggested and give yourselves a couple more weeks and really think this thing through,” Dennis said. “Blowing $363,000 of the taxpayers’ money to kick E&M in the butt is not the way to do it.”

He added that whichever engineering firm is appointed has to be held accountable.

“That’s what happened with E&M. Somebody was asleep at the switch,” Dennis said, adding that he would never vote to pay more for another firm. “I would vote for E&M and put my thumb on them and hold them accountable for that $317,000. I would never give EADS $363,000 more. You’re crazy to even think about it.”

Baker added that, now, E&M is less likely to make another mistake.

Supervisors did table the matter. Township secretary Shannon Morgan pointed out that even if the township appointed EADS as its engineering firm, supervisors could hire another firm for the sewer project.

Sullivan noted that the clock is ticking, however, on getting the sewer line project finished. They have 23 months to get into compliance with the Act 537 plan or they face fines and sanctions from the Department of Environmental Protection.

He said virtually no progress has been made on the plan since a wetlands delineation issue from Corwins Corners to Rew came up four years ago.

As for the cost of the hook-up fees, Sullivan said he is working with the county redevelopment authority to see if there is some way to provide relief to residents and entities such as the First Wesleyan Church.

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Causer: Budget Needs Careful Study

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled his 2012-13 state budget proposal before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

The $27.1 billion plan includes no new or increased taxes and represents a 0.1 percent reduction in spending when compared to the current year’s budget. More than $1 billion in spending cuts were made to address an anticipated shortfall of $500 million by the end of the fiscal year, as well as at least $700 million in mandated cost increases in things like debt service, Medical Assistance and long-term care services.

“Controlled spending with no tax increases is a good starting point for budget negotiations, especially as the statewide economy still struggles to recover,” said Causer, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Like families across the state, we have to live within our means and prioritize our spending to focus on core government services. The governor has laid out his priorities, and it is now up to the Legislature to study his proposal in depth as we work toward adoption of a final plan by the end of the fiscal year in June.”

Causer said he also is pleased to see the administration is continuing its work to bring spending under control within the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Corrections, two of the fastest-growing areas of the budget each year.

However, he expressed concern with some of the proposed cuts, especially the 30 percent cut in funding to state-related universities such as the University of Pittsburgh.

“One of the most important elements of an economic recovery is to bring more jobs to our communities, and a strong educational system is part of that,” Causer said. “I know many of my fellow legislators are also concerned about this, and we will be trying to find ways to better support our higher education institutions.”

Another concern for Causer is lack of funding for critical access hospitals, which is important to ensuring access to care in many areas of rural Pennsylvania.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Causer will take part in a series of budget hearings in late February and early March. Various department heads will appear before the committee to outline their funding needs and priorities. The hearings begin Tuesday, Feb. 21.

For more information about the budget, visit

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Marilla Winter Trek on Saturday

Come rain or snow or shine – the Marilla Winter Trek will take place on Saturday.

The annual event, now in its third year, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Marilla Reservoir, located five miles west of the City of Bradford on Route 346.

Sponsored by the Tuna Valley Trail Association, the winter trek generally includes cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the agenda. However, in the event Mother Natures does not come through with some snow, the event will still be held and would focus on hiking the Marilla Trail System.

The event, free and open to all ages, provides an outlet for people to escape cabin fever and hit the trails.

A free shuttle service will be held to the top of Marilla Springs Trail for a four-mile return hike and Hidden Valley Trail for a one-mile return hike.

A new geocaching component will take place from noon until 2 p.m. Temporary event caches – artic animals that turn white for winter - were placed along the Marilla Bridges and the Marilla Springs trails.

Participants will fill out a game card based on each cache. Those returning the card with the correct answers by the end of the event will receive a prize.

Free refreshments and a bon fire will be provided by the trail association.

For more information on the Marilla Winter Trek, call Gene Cornelius at 814-362-9928 or Rick Lutz at 814-362-2323.

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Marcellus Shale Bill Passes in Senate

The state Senate passed a Marcellus Shale regulatory and impact fee measure this morning.

A six-member conference committee of Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both chambers gave a party-lines approval to the measure Monday evening.

The fee is projected to raise more than $190 million retroactively for 2011, and should rise $333 million by 2015.

You can see and hear Senate Joe Scarnati's floor remarks here.

House Bill 1950, which must receive House approval before it goes to the governor for his signature, was approved after months of negotiation and compromise on a number of areas, including local zoning issues and how funding would be allocated.

"This legislation will help communities in the Marcellus Shale region provide for reasonable local zoning parameters and implement strong environmental protections," Scarnati said. "Drillers will pay their fair share, and that revenue will help our state and its citizens as this industry continues to grow."

The "local impact fee," would fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and, beginning in 2013, on the rate of inflation. The bill enables counties where drilling occurs to decide whether to impose a fee. If a county declines to impose a fee, half its municipalities would have the option to force it to do so.

Under the proposal, 60 percent of the revenue raised from the fee would go to local governments impacted by drilling. Of that share, 37 percent would go to host municipalities, 36 percent to host counties and 27 percent to other municipalities in host counties. The money would be used to pay for a number of local services, from emergency preparedness to road, bridge and infrastructure projects.

The remaining 40 percent of the revenue would be for statewide environmental projects, including acid mine drainage remediation, water projects, flood control, statewide highway and bridge improvements, projects for open space, recreational trails and "beautification" projects, and hazardous sites cleanup.

The legislation also provides for standardized but flexible zoning standards which would allow communities to retain reasonable control over zoning power and encourage consistency in regulating the gas industry.

"Local governments will retain their traditional powers to provide for local zoning and regulation, and we can, at the same time provide for the development of natural gas and the jobs and opportunities that this industry brings," Scarnati said.

Environmental safeguards included in the measure would increase well-bonding amounts, boost penalties for violations, and require the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing as well as call for the posting of inspection reports. The bill increases setbacks – requiring shale gas wells to be 500 feet from occupied structures and water wells, and 1,000 feet from public drinking water sources. It also increases the setback distance from a shale gas well to a spring or body of water to 300 feet.

"The Marcellus Shale industry is here to stay in Pennsylvania – bringing us jobs, huge economic benefits and the potential for energy independence," Scarnati said. "It makes sense to impose a reasonable impact fee on the industry to provide the funding necessary to further protect our natural resources, particularly at a time when our state is being forced to stretch our tax dollars."

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AG: House Arrest is Not a House Party

Jerry Sandusky wants copies of secret grand jury testimony to help him prepare for trial on charges he sexually abused 10 boys.

Sandusky’s lawyer Joe Amendola has filed a court motion seeking transcripts of testimony by any witness the attorney general intends to call to testify.

This hearing will be added to Friday’s scheduled hearings on the Commonwealth’s request to bring in a jury from outside Centre County and the request for bail modification so Sandusky can see his grandchildren.

In a response filed this morning Attorney General Linda Kelly says Sandusky was fortunate to have been granted house arrest because the Commonwealth believes he should be in jail. The response adds that “house arrest is not meant to be a house party.”

Sandusky is facing 52 criminal counts and denies the allegations.
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Governor Unveils 2012-13 Budget

Harrisburg –Governor Tom Corbett today unveiled his 2012-13 budget to the General Assembly, asking legislators to continue the path of fiscal restraint and to encourage free enterprise for a more prosperous Pennsylvania.

“Last year, we accomplished much of real consequence. For the first time in 40 years, we spent less,’’ Corbett said. “Pennsylvania took its first steps toward changing the culture of tax and spend. Together, we showed we can make reforms that count. It is time to show citizens, weary of empty promises…that we can accomplish more.

“Today I bring before you a budget grounded in difficult realities but framed in the optimism that we are solving our problems,’’ Corbett said. “Once again, revenues do not match mandated, escalating costs. That means we must continue the course bravely charted by this assembly in the year just passed.’’

The $27.14 billion proposal maintains Corbett’s commitment to balance the state budget. The budget closes a projected revenue shortfall of more than $700 million and reduces spending by more than $20 million. It meets the state’s pension obligations and does not raise taxes for residents or businesses.

“Every dollar taken in tax is one less dollar in the hands of a job-holder or a jobcreator,’’ Corbett said. “We will not spend more than we have. We will not raise taxes. We can’t ask people to travel the road to recovery and then turn around and add to the burden they must carry along the way.’’

Most importantly, this year’s budget begins to transform the way government delivers products and services through greater use of block grants giving greater control and flexibility to the recipients, including local governments, community organizations and school districts.

The proposed budget focuses on five key areas: economic opportunities, education, human services, public safety and streamlining government.

For more on this story go here.

Photo of Corbett, Speaker of the House Sam Smith and Lt. Governor Jim Cawley courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services.

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Man Charged for Texting Teen

A 31-year-old Irving, New York, man is charged with endangering the welfare of a child for inappropriately texting a 14-year-old girl.

Chad Ellis is accused of sending the girl numerous texts of a sexual nature over a period of two months.

He will appear in Town of Hanover Court at a later date.

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Young: Keep Kindt in Prison

Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – 57th District) is once again calling on residents of her district to pursue an urgent letter-writing campaign to the New York State Parole Board to help keep Edward Kindt behind bars when he becomes eligible for parole this month.

At 15-years-old, Kindt was convicted of raping and brutally murdering Penny Lea Brown (pictured) of Salamanca on Mother’s Day 1999 while she was jogging on a trail with her two dogs.

“Edward Kindt took the innocent life of Penny Brown, a wife, mother of two, and well-respected nurse-midwife. She deserved to have her life, and Kindt selfishly stole that from her. He is up for parole next week. I urge residents throughout the district to write letters of support in keeping this violent, dangerous individual from freely walking our streets,” Senator Young said.

In 2003, prior to becoming a Senator, then-Assemblywoman Young lead the fight for four years before successfully passing Penny’s Law in the State Assembly. The bill, named in honor of Penny Brown, affords judges the discretion to impose more severe sentences on juveniles tried as adults.

“Before Penny’s Law, juveniles convicted of second-degree murder faced a maximum sentence of only nine years to life. Now, with Penny’s Law in place, those individuals may face a more severe sentence – a minimum of 7 ½ years to life and a maximum of 15 years to life. Families of victims should not be forced to have to continually work to ensure offenders remain in jail. Penny’s Law provides a just punishment for dangerous criminals who commit heinous, depraved acts of murder, and it protects our families and our communities by keeping those individuals in jail,” Senator Young said.

Letters of support denying Kindt's parole can be sent to the Department of Corrections, Board of Parole, 97 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 12206, ATTN: Andrea Evans, chairwoman. The letters should be sent as soon as possible and contain the following prisoner information: Edward Kindt, NNYSID 02879580, DIN # 01A4001. Emails may be sent to

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Monday, February 6, 2012

SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir at UPB

The SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir will perform a free concert at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall.

The event is part of the university’s annual Spectrum Series.

The SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir is directed by Robert Brown, instructor of African Studies at SUNY Cortland and director of the New Life Community Church. The Cortland A Cappella, directed by Noelle Paley, will also perform during the 90-minute concert.

The ensembles will perform a varied program that consists of contemporary and traditional selections, as well as popular American hymns. The repertoire will include The Battle of Jericho by Mahalia Jackson, O Happy Day by Edwin Hawkins, Let’s Dance by Lonnie Hunter, Battlefield by Norman Hutchins, Perfect Praise by Richard Smallwood, Faithful is Our God by Hezekiah Walker, Ride on King Jesus and I’m Covered by John P. Key, and His Eye is On The Sparrow by Civilla Martin and Charles Gabriel.

“I’ve seen the SUNY Gospel Choir perform before,” said Jeff Guterman, chairman of the Division of Communication and the Arts, “and they’re a really impressive group that puts on a great show. They’ve performed extensively in the United States and have toured through England, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.”

Dr. John Levey, assistant professor of music, said, “We’ve never had a gospel choir perform on campus. There’s no doubt that they will serve as a great example for the growing student vocal ensemble we’ve got here at our college. “I hope some of our students have the chance to meet the SUNY Cortland singers and exchange some ideas about music and performing.”

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or For more information on the choir, visit
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Man Pleads to Resisting Arrest

A Salamanca man who resisted arrest after police found him with a dagger has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

Police found 21-year-old Jeremy Foster in the area of where a burglary had been committed on November 13. When they were questioning him they allegedly found two controlled substances and the dagger.

He was not prosecuted for that or burglary, but was charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

Foster is scheduled for sentencing on April 9.
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Bona Women in Top 25

For the first time in program history, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team is ranked in the national polls. The 22-2 Bonnies – who just missed out the last two weeks – checked in at No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll.

The ranking is also a first for any Big 4 women's basketball team, and marks the first time in more than 40 years that a Big 4 basketball team is nationally ranked. The Bonaventure men were the last Big 4 school to be ranked in January 1971 – a season before the women's program at Bona even existed.

"The ranking is a great piece of national recognition that our players have worked extremely hard to achieve," head coach Jim Crowley said. "While we're certainly excited and proud of the ranking, we need to make sure that our focus remains on the next game."

The Bonnies – who sit atop the Atlantic 10 Conference standings as the lone unbeaten team at 9-0 – are coming off an 80-69 win over George Washington Saturday afternoon. The victory against the Colonials stretched SBU's winning streak to 11 straight, tying the 2009-10 team's start for the most consecutive wins in program history.

Bonaventure's 22 victories are the third-most in the nation, behind only No. 1 Baylor (23-0) and No. 2 Notre Dame (23-1).

St. Bona is 9-2 against top-100 teams in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index), which is a main ranking utilized by the NCAA Tournament selection committee when choosing its postseason participants. Bona's only two losses this year have come to RPI #6 Delaware and RPI #16 Villanova, and it was missing a starter in both of those games due to injury.

Bonaventure returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Massachusetts to face the Minutewomen in the first game of a road doubleheader with the men.

The Bonnies will be looking to keep the nation's best road record intact as they enter the contest with a 10-0 mark in road contests. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. as St. Bonaventure plays its first-ever game as a nationally ranked team.
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Where in the ANF Region
Will You Kiss Your Valentine?

Visitor & Member Services
Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau

A kiss may be just a kiss, but to kiss a loved one in the Allegheny National Forest … now that’s amore! Between the trails and the ambiance, there are plenty of places to kiss your loved one this Valentine’s Day.

Here are the top 10 places:

The Lodge at Glendorn

Cozying up in front of the grand, stone fireplace at the Big House at this Relais & Chateau would warm up your sweetie for a little smooch. It’s the perfect end to an evening after enjoying a gourmet meal fixed to your liking by Chef Joe Schafer.

Under a street light at Zippo/Case Museum

You can rekindle an old flame with a kiss under these specially made streetlights that provide a glow from Zippo lighters. Afterwards, stroll through the Zippo/Case Museum at 1932 Zippo Drive, Bradford, hand-in-hand and view some great displays showing off two American icons.

Rimrock Overlook

Any couple will be able to take their eyes off each other and enjoy the scenic view of the Rimrock Overlook. The entrance to the overlook, off of Route 59, is 19 miles from Bradford. Take in the sights of the scenic vistas overlooking the Allegheny Reservoir and the massive rock formations.

Marilla Bridges Trail

You can definitely woo your valentine as you both take a stroll around the Marilla Bridges Trail on Route 346 just outside of Bradford. Take in the beauty of the Marilla Reservoir, the wooden covered bridge and sit at the gazebo as you hold hands and kiss.

Veterans Square

If a public show affection is more your style, try a smooch under the twinkling lights of Veterans Square in Historic Downtown Bradford. Picture yourself and your sweetie under the glow as snow gently falls. How romantic!

Flickerwood Wine Cellars & Lounge

A little kiss while sharing a bottle of Cayuga Kiss at his family-owned winery is a lovely way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Burgers & BBQ

Enter this 50s style restaurant and order one shake with two straws and enjoy a place that invokes a more simple time. Don’t forget to try one of the great burgers, too.

Freefall Oz
This unique homestay is a great place to spend Valentine’s Day, or any day, with your honey. Chocolates and two thick terry robes and use of the outdoor salt water hot tub and sauna wait for you.

Scenic Route 6 – McKean County Courthouse

Take a road trip on Scenic Route 6 – one of America’s Most Scenic Drives. While you and your sweetie “Do Route 6,” stop by for a little kiss on the steps of the McKean County Courthouse, where you can also pick up a marriage license if you so desire.

Mount Jewett Mural

How Swede it is! You don’t have to have Swedish blood to enjoy the Mount Jewett Mural in downtown Mount Jewett. Comment on your lover’s eyes as you both gaze at this vibrant beauty.

For more information on these and other kissable locations, log onto or contact the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization in McKean County, Pa., at 800-473-9370 for a free visitor guide and map.

Pictured, from top, The Lodge at Glendorn, a relais & chateau located in Bradford, Pa., provides the perfect place to snuggle with your loved one in front of the huge fireplace in the Big House.

A stroll around the Marilla Reservoir, a stop on the wooden covered bridge and a choice of trails combine for that romantic place to share with your valentine. The reservoir is located on Route 346, just outside of Bradford, Pa.

These couples enjoy the ambiance of Burgers & BBQ on East Main Street, Bradford, Pa, where valentines can enjoy a burger and a shake as well as a kiss.

The steps of the McKean County Courthouse on Scenic Route 6 in Smethport, Pa., is the perfect place to kiss your valentine this year. And while you are there, you can also slip inside to get your marriage license.

Photos courtesy of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau

Fire Destroys Ridgway Building

Fire destroyed a vacant three-story building in Ridgway Sunday night.

Firefighters were called to the intersection of Allenhurst Avenue and Depot Street at just before 9 o’clock, and the building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

No one was hurt. A state police fire marshal is investigating.
Damage is estimated at $300,000

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Lewis Run Man Hurt in Crash

A Lewis Run man is in serious condition at UPMC Hamot after his car hit a tree on Route 59 in Lafayette Township this morning.

Police say 22-year-old Joshua Hilmes was driving west at 1:15 a.m. when his car crossed into the eastbound lane, left the road and hit the tree.

He was flown by Stat MedEvac to Erie.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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