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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Game Commission Unveils
Barn Owl Nest Web Cam

The Pennsylvania Game Commission this week unveiled a new “web cam” broadcast live from a Perry County barn owl nest box. Interest in this unique wildlife viewing opportunity is growing steadily on the worldwide web.

Southcentral Region Wildlife Diversity Biologist Clay Lutz helps prep the barn owl nest box for its live feed video camera.

“The best way to get people acquainted with wildlife and to help them further appreciate its importance is to give them a front-row seat to the action,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “That’s what our new web cams and live-feed broadcasts are doing, using technology to connect people with wildlife.
“We began our ‘wild cam’ broadcasts a few weeks ago with snow geese scenes from off Willow Point at our Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Look for more exciting locations to be wired for broadcast after the barn owls to help our website followers get more acquainted with and closer to Pennsylvania wildlife. It is part of our commitment to be the first and best source of information on Pennsylvania wildlife.”

You can find the web cam here.

Read more of the story here.

Pitt-Bradford Bomb Threat
One of Six Received on Friday

The bomb threat received for Pitt-Bradford’s Hanley Library was one of six received by the university Friday morning.

The main campus received the other five, bringing the total since February 13 to 85, according to The Pitt News, the daily student newspaper.

Pitt-Bradford is the first of the university’s branch campuses to receive a threat. The other branch campuses are in Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville. Pitt-Bradford spokeswoman Pat Frantz Cercone says the Hanley Library threat was similar to those received for the main campus.

Friday’s threat for the Hanley Library was sent by e-mail to Pitt’s main campus and was forwarded to Dan Songer, Pitt-Bradford’s Director of Campus Police and Safety. Kathleen Schreiber, the university’s regional manager of campus police, also called Songer.

The library, which houses the office of university president Dr. Livingston Alexander, was evacuated at just before 11 a.m. After a thorough search of the outside and inside of the building, people were allowed back in at around 12:30.

When the threats started two months ago they were written on restroom walls in Pitt-Oakland buildings. In the last few weeks they have been emailed to the university and to Pittsburgh media outlets. But Friday, a handwritten note was found in a stairwell in the 42-story Cathedral of Learning, where the first threat was delivered two months earlier. The historic building has been the target of about a dozen of the threats.

Pittsburgh’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is working on the case, and US Attorney David Hickton said earlier this week they are making "significant progress." The university is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Bradford Man Jailed on Arson Charges

A Bradford man is accused of hiring someone to burn property he owns so he could collect more than half a million dollars in insurance.

54-year-old Edward Panighetti is charged with eight felony arson-related crimes.

State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti says in a news release that police “intercepted a plan” to start a fire at 103 South Avenue in March and took action to stop the arson. The building owned by Panighetti was occupied by a family of three who didn’t know there was a plan to set it on fire, Agosti says.

Police also learned that a fire at Panighetti’s own house at 102 South Avenue in February of 2007 was intentionally set. Panighetti also allegedly reported that a classic car he owns was stolen. The burned car was recovered in July of last year on the Allegheny National Forest.

The three cases involve more than $574,000 in insurance company funds from three separate companies, Agosti says.

Panighetti was arraigned Friday in connection to the house fires, and is jailed on $200,000 bond. He will be arraigned on the car-related charges on Monday.

Agosti says the charges were filed following a joint investigation involving state police, Bradford Township and Bradford City police and the McKean County DA’s office. He says the investigation is continuing and anyone who has additional information can call him at 814-776-6136.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Pitt-Bradford Bomb Threat
Similar to Pitt-Oakland Threats

The bomb threat that closed the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Hanley Library late this morning was similar to the threats received at the university’s main campus.

Pat Frantz Cercone, Pitt-Bradford’s Director of Communications and Marketing, tells WESB and The Hero the threat came in an email, which was immediately forwarded to Campus Security Director Dan Songer, who was also contacted by phone. Songer ordered an evacuation of the building at just before 11 a.m. At the same time, voice, e-mail and text messages were sent to people in the campus community who subscribe to the emergency notification system, she said.

Police sealed off the building and established a perimeter, and Bob Rinfrette of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department brought in his bomb dogs. The inside and outside of the building were thoroughly searched. No bomb was found, and people were told they could go back into the building at around 12:30 p.m., Cercone said.

The Bradford Township fire and police departments, Bradford City fire and police departments, Foster Township police, state police, and the McKean County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management Agency were all on the scene.

Cercone said the campus community is grateful to everyone who responded.

The university's main campus has received about 70 bomb threats since mid-February, including five this morning. At first, the messages were scrawled on restrooms walls of campus buildings. More recently, they have been e-mailed to various people on campus or to Pittsburgh media outlets.

Earlier this week, similar threats were received at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind, California University of Pennsylvania, Point Park University and the Community College of Allegheny County.

Computer security experts say the emails are being sent via "anonymous remailers," which can route them through several countries, making it very difficult to trace a message to its source.

The Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force is working on the case. The university is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Driver Falls Asleep; SUV Hits Tree

One person was hurt when a woman fell asleep at the wheel of her SUV this morning in Ceres Township.

Police say 69-year-old Emogene Reed of Shinglehouse was on Kings Run Road just north of McCrea Brook Road at 3 a.m. when she fell asleep. The SUV left the road and hit a tree.

Reed was not hurt but her passenger, 47-year-old Terry Woolley of Shinglehouse, suffered minor injuries.

Police gave Reed a traffic ticket.

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Cremation Urn Stolen; Woman Wants Husband's Remain Returned

Someone stole an urn containing the remains of a woman’s husband.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say the burglary happened on Van Buren Road in Pomfret on April 3. The burglar took a bronze sculpture of a dolphin riding a wave. Sergeant Pete Pett says they believe the person though it was a piece of art, but it is actually a cremation urn containing the remains of the victim’s husband.

Anyone who has seen the urn is asked to call the sheriff’s office. Pett says the woman is not interested in pressing charges, but she is very distraught and just wants her husband’s remains back.

Pett says no charges will be filed.

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Bomb Threat at Pitt-Bradford

UPDATE: All clear at Pitt-Bradford as of around 12:30 p.m.

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford received a bomb threat at just before 11 o'clock this morning for the Hanley Library.

Everyone was told to evacuate the building.

The office of University President Dr. Livingston Alexander is in that building, but he was at the Bromeley Family Theater for the honor’s convocation.

We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Pitt's main campus has received about 70 bomb threats since mid-February.

Pictured, Bradford Township volunteer firefighters get ready to leave campus as Pitt-Bradford police officer Mark Burns removes crime scene tape from around the Hanley Library, following a bomb threat.
WESB photo

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SBU Publishing Commemorative Book on
NCAA Seasons of Basketball Teams

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., April 13, 2012 — To keep your memories of this remarkable year in St. Bonaventure basketball as fresh 20 years from now as they are today, the university is producing a 128-page book on the NCAA Tournament seasons of its men and women.

Published by the university’s Franciscan Institute Publications, “A Legacy Defined” costs $19.95 (plus $4.95 if shipping is necessary) and is now available for advance sale at The book’s title is based on the teams’ joint preseason marketing slogan “Defining Our Legacy.”

The soft-cover book, similar in scope to the commemorative books produced after teams win the Super Bowl, is expected to be available in May at the SBU Bookstore and Olean-area retailers.

Proceeds from the limited edition book will benefit the Bonaventure Athletic Fund.

The book will include a few reprinted articles on each team’s run to glory, plus new material on how their seasons unfolded and the highs and lows along the way. The highlight will be more than a hundred photos of their seasons, including some behind-the-scenes glimpses during their tournament trips.

Primary photography in the book is by Olean’s Craig Melvin, team photographer for the Buffalo Bills.

Contributing writers include Mike Vaccaro, Adrian Wojnarowski, Tom Missel, Chuck Pollock, Dallas Miller, Jason MacBain, Dan McCarthy and Shannon Shepherd.

The St. Bonaventure men (20-12) qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning three games in three days at the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Atlantic City, eventually losing to third-seeded Florida State, 66-63, in their NCAA opener in a game that went down to the final seconds.

The St. Bonaventure women (31-4) won 18 games in a row before losing to Dayton in the Atlantic 10 title game, but earned a No. 5 seed with an at-large bid and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Marist in Tallahassee before losing to national runner-up Notre Dame in the next round.

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Booth Appointed to U.S. Department of
Commerce Manufacturing Council

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce today appointed Gregory W. Booth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zippo Manufacturing Company, Bradford, Pa., to the Department’s 2012 Manufacturing Council, according to U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson. Representative Thompson initiated a letter in support of Mr. Booth’s candidacy in July of 2011 that was signed by Senator Bob Casey along with twelve other members of congress from the Commonwealth. Both Thompson and Booth praised the news upon hearing of the Department’s announcement.

“With his steadfast commitment to American manufacturing and the iconic Zippo brand, it was easy to nominate Mr. Booth to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council,” said Representative Thompson. “I want to congratulate Mr. Booth on this appointment and look forward to working with him to advance the competitiveness of manufactures in our region, the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and across the country,” added Thompson.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to have been selected to serve our country as a Manufacturing Council member. Helping to develop a business environment here in the U.S. conducive to rebuilding our manufacturing industry is a challenge I passionately look forward to,” said Gregory Booth. “Working with the Department of Commerce and the advisory Council to develop realistic and meaningful solutions to improve the manufacturing climate in the U.S. will be incredibly rewarding. I anxiously await my first Manufacturing Council meeting next month in Austin, Texas.”

“I am pleased to welcome seven new members to the Manufacturing Council, who will help us continue to support U.S. manufacturers building things here and selling them everywhere,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, in a statement issued earlier today. “Each of the new appointees brings enormous experience in this critical sector for our economy, and will play an important role in our ability to promote innovation, economic growth, and continue to level the playing field for American manufacturing firms and workers.”

The Manufacturing Council serves as the principal private sector advisory committee to the Secretary of Commerce on the manufacturing sector. The Council is charged with ensuring regular communication between the federal government and the manufacturing sector, advising the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect manufacturing. Following a notification of an existing vacancy, Representative Thompson approached Mr. Booth about applying for a seat on the Council.

Mr. Booth was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Zippo Manufacturing Company on February 25, 2001. Zippo employs approximately 900 people in Bradford, Pa., manufacturing $100 million worth of pocket lighters each year marketing them in over 160 countries around the world. Prior to his work at Zippo, Booth spent nearly 30 years with Kendall Motor Oil and Sunoco Lubricants in a variety of sales and marketing and management positions.

Mr. Booth is one of seven new members of the Manufacturing Council. Each of the appointments fills an existing vacancy, and will bring the Council up to a total of 25 members.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Smith: PA Chemical Disclosure
Requirement One of Strongest in Nation

Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Punxsutawney) released the following statement regarding what he says is the misinformation being perpetuated by some special interests regarding the chemical disclosure language in one paragraph of Act 13, the Marcellus/Utica Shale Impact law:

“Doctors will be able to provide all of the information needed to discuss any patient ailment.

“It is outrageous to think, let alone for anyone to portray, that the state would actually ‘gag’ a doctor in treating a patient. It is irresponsible for an organization to try and create such hysteria.

“The language in the Marcellus/Utica law was advocated by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“The new law explicitly requires fracking chemical information be disclosed to medical professionals so that they may provide treatment should the need ever arise. This will enable medical professionals to meet their highest ethical obligations and to fully inform their patients.

“The law was modeled on language used in Colorado, which was praised by public health care officials and others. The language replicates the same process already in place for the same purpose and has existed for decades in the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

“We thought this was a good, proactive approach. Now Pennsylvania has the most progressive hydraulic fracturing disclosure law in the nation. It is designed for transparency and access, and it provides unfettered access to physicians or other medical professionals who need information to treat their patients.

“The law protects proprietary information from disclosure to the general public, but not from environmental or health officials.

“In fact, any citizen can access chemical information, along with the concentrations at which the chemicals are used on a well-by-well basis, through

“Act 13, the Marcellus/Utica Impact Law, was crafted to protect our environment -- the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we live upon.”

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Hallman Moves to Oil Creek State Park

Harrisburg – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today named David Hallman as manager of Oil Creek State Park in Venango County. He is former assistant manager of Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County.

“Leaving one of our most heavily visited state parks in the southeastern section of the state, David Hallman brings to Oil Creek State Park a wealth of managerial and public relations skills,” said DCNR Secretary Richard Allan. “His employment background can only strengthen the already strong environmental education efforts under way at Oil Creek, where more than 180,000 visitors are drawn annually.”

Hallman will oversee Oil Creek State Park’s 7,096 acres in Venango County’s Oil Creek Valley, site of the world’s first commercial oil well. Through its environmental education center and programs, Oil Creek State Park helps tell the story of the early petroleum industry by interpreting oil wells and boom towns, and early transportation.

“Oil Creek is an outstanding state park with a wonderful resource base and link to the history of the area, and my family and I are extremely excited about this next journey in our lives,” Hallman said. “Oil Creek not only seems like a great place to work, but a great place to live as well. I am eager to meet the staff and to learn all that this beautiful part of the state has to offer.”

The new manager replaces Jacob Weiland, who was named assistant manager at Moraine State Park, Butler County.

Hallman, 31, began his Bureau of State Parks career in 2007 as an environmental education specialist assigned to Kettle Creek State Park, Clinton County, and Ole Bull State Park, Potter County. Before becoming Nockamixon’s assistant park manager in 2010, Hallman also worked as an education specialist at Sizerville State Park, Cameron County, and as a park manager trainee with the bureau’s Region 2 office at Moraine State Park, Butler County.

Hallman, a native of Dayton, Armstrong County, holds a bachelor’s degree in parks and resource management from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the Act 120 Police Academy at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is married and the father of a 2-year-old son.

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Cleand Rejects Sandusky Motion
to Have Charges Dismissed

Judge John Cleland will not throw out child sex abuse charges against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Cleland today rejected an argument by Sandusky's lawyer that the statute of limitations may have run out for eight of the 10 alleged victims.

In his two-page order, Cleland also rejected defense motions that some of the charges against Sandusky were not specific enough and that evidence was lacking in others.

He did grant a motion to have prospective jurors questioned individually. The attorney general’s office also agreed to that. Cleland said he will make a decision on whether to sequester the jury at the time of the trial, which is scheduled to start June 5.

Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years. He has denied the accusations.

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Horse Trail Construction Starts on ANF

Construction of a 38-mile equestrian trail system in the Duhring area of the Marienville Ranger District of the Allegheny National Forest started today, and is expected to be finished in December.

The trail will be worked on in segments, with several segments being worked on simultaneously at times. These segments may not be contiguous, so visitors to the area are advised to be informed of where construction activity may be occurring throughout the next eight months. Maps showing which segments are currently under construction will be posted at Kelly Pines Campground, Bob Summers’ camp, as well as on the trail. Maps will also be available at all Allegheny National Forest offices and on the ANF website,

At this time, the Allegheny National Forest is not restricting riding in the areas near the new trail, but equestrians are being asked to stay off of those sections until they are posted open. This is for the safety of visitors and their horses, as well as trail contractor. Avoiding these segments will also help ensure that the project stays on schedule.

SBU's Keenan-Martine Grants for 2012

Laboratory development and specialized training programs to benefit faculty, staff and students are some of the exciting new projects to be funded by the Keenan–Martine grants announced by St. Bonaventure University.

The awards are funded through a gift from Leslie C. Quick III, member and past chair of St. Bonaventure University’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Eileen. In 1999, two $1 million endowments were named after longtime faculty members, the late Dr. Leo E. Keenan Jr. and Dr. James J. Martine. These grants provided to faculty are funded through the interest generated by the endowments.

The Leo E. Keenan Jr. and James J. Martine Faculty Development Endowments are intended to “provide funds to faculty engaged in activities designed to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process at St. Bonaventure University.” The Martine endowment provides for funding of activities associated with the general education core curriculum (Clare College), while the Keenan endowment provides funds for all other areas.

Through the Leo Keenan Faculty Development Endowment for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning at St. Bonaventure, nine members of the University community received grants totaling more than $34,000.

Two associate professors of counselor education received funding for their projects: Dr. Barbara Trolley, for her project “Faculty and Student Training: Counseling Diverse Populations” and Dr. Craig Zuckerman for his project to provide “Trauma Focused Training for MSED Counselor Education Students.”

Dr. Darryl Mayeaux, associate professor of psychology, was awarded funds that will allow for the creation of a “Biopsychology Laboratory,” while an award granted to Dr. Les Sabina, professor of music, will allow for “iPad-based Music Creation, Production, and Performance.”

Funding to provide “Staff Development Opportunities for instructional Excellence” was awarded to Dr. Peggy Burke, associate professor of education, dean of the school of graduate studies and associate provost.

Dr. Xiao-Ning Zhang, assistant professor biology, and Dr. Paula Kenneson, assistant professor of education, will use their award for “Aligning Biology Lab Planning, Instructional Design and Common Core College Readiness Writing Standards to Increase Student Learning.”

To complete the Keenan awards, Dr. Diana Lawrence-Brown, associate professor of education, will use awarded funds to provide “Assistive Technology for Inclusion of Students with Exceptionalities” and Dr. Karen Wieland, an assistant professor of education, for “Developing Expertise in Structured Language Remediation and Passing Forward to Bona’s Aspiring Reading Specialists.”

Four faculty members were awarded $15,000 in funds from the Martine Faculty Endowment for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning in Clare College.

Dean of the School of Franciscan Studies, Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., was awarded funds for a program being offered in July by the Franciscan Institute titled “The Challenge of Ethical Living in the 21st Century,” as well as two SBU faculty training workshops, “Franciscan Values: Tagline or Tactical Choice?” and “Clare College Core Curriculum: A New Faculty Orientation Program, Summer 2012.”

Dr. Manju Prakash, adjunct professor, on behalf of the Department of Mathematics, was awarded funds for a project on “How to Make Mathematics Meaningful to non-Mathematics Majors.”

And, funding is being provided to Dr. Oleg Bychkov, professor of theology, for his project working toward “Improving Teaching in Clare 209 or Equivalent Core Courses in the Arts” and to Dr. Russell Woodruff, assistant professor of philosophy, for his endeavor in “Revising Clare 304, The Good Life.”

“Thank you to all applicants for the work involved in submitting their proposals and we encourage everyone to continue their research efforts and formulate proposals for consideration in future years,” said Dr. David DiMattio, dean of Clare College.

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Tickets Still Available for Rock & Win

There are still tickets available for CARE’s 3rd annual Rock & Win event, coming up on Saturday, April 28th - but they are going fast! If you’re not able to make it the night of the event, you DO NOT need to be present to win any of the cash prizes - but, there will be great food, great entertainment and great auction items for those who do attend!

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Pitt-Bradford's Graham is Recipient of
Chancellor's Award for Staff Excellence

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg has selected Christina Graham of Bradford as a recipient of the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the University.

Graham is director of student activities at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

She is one of four staff members university-wide to receive the award this year, which was created to recognize staff members who make a significant impact on the university through their commitment and performance.

The Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence is the highest honor a staff member can receive. Graham will be recognized by Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford, during honors convocation Friday at the university. She was also recognized at the University of Pittsburgh Honors Convocation held earlier this year.

In his letter of congratulations, Nordenberg cited many letters received from former students supporting her nomination.

“She worked twelve hours a day and most weekends,” wrote Amy McCoy, a 2008 graduate who now serves as coordinator of special events at the University of South Carolina. “She lived to help her students succeed in life and that is exactly what she did for me.”

Nordenberg said that Pete Buchheit, director of facilities at Pitt-Bradford and a member of the selection committee, told his fellow committee members how Graham quietly gets done what needs to get done with the wellbeing of students at the forefront of her mind.

Buchheit cited an example flooding that required alternative housing to be found for 370 students and how Graham stayed with them overnight in the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

“Not only was the committee impressed with your dedication, but so too, was this Chancellor,” Nordenberg wrote.

Graham is the advisor for the Student Government Association, Student Activities Council and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She organizes the annual Movin’ On New Student Orientation, oversees spending for more than 50 student clubs and organizations on campus, sits on the Cultural Festival Committee, teaches a freshman seminar class focused on leadership development and is president of the Staff Association.

In 2008, she was named Outstanding Professional at the National Association for Campus Activities Mid America Awards. In the same year, Pitt-Bradford was one of five colleges nationwide nominated for Campus Activities Magazine’s Campus of the Year Award.

Graham joined Pitt-Bradford in 2002. Prior to that, she was a program coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh and assistant director of student activities at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in student affairs of higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

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Company Fined After Brine Gets Into
Water Source in Clearfield County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with EXCO Resources LLC for violations of the federal law designed to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The violations occurred at the company’s brine disposal well located at Brady Field in Bell Township, Clearfield County, Pa.

Under the terms of the Consent Agreement with EPA, EXCO is required to pay a civil penalty of $159,624 and comply with the conditions of its underground injection control permit. The company must also rework the well in accordance with an EPA-approved plan to comply with federal mechanical integrity standards for brine disposal wells, which require multiple levels of protection to prevent contamination of underground sources of drinking water.

According to information provided by the company in response to a September 2011 information request from EPA, the disposal well failed mechanical integrity sometime in early April 2011. The company failed to notify EPA in a timely manner as required by law, and continued to inject brine into the well through August 2011.

The agreement resolved violations of federal Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulations issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The order was finalized on March 30, following a 40 day public comment period.

As part of the settlement, EXCO has begun reworking the well following approval of the plan by EPA. EPA technical staff has been actively working with the company to address the violations, and to ensure that the company is taking proper measures to rework the well.

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Man Arrested for Threatening Pitt-Oakland Professors; Bomb Threats Continue

A New York man has been arrested at Pittsburgh International Airport for allegedly threatening University of Pittsburgh professors through email, but the bomb threats on campus continue.

The university issued a statement saying 65-year-old Mark Lee Krangle of Croton-on-Hudson was charged with terroristic threats and harassment by communication.

On his Facebook page, Krangle says he believes he knows who is making the threats, and they are an attempt to get publicity for his book, “Revolution or Extinction.”

The university received seven more bomb threats today, bringing the total to 71, according to the daily student newspaper, The Pitt News.

The newspaper has also posted a map of where the bomb threats were received. You can find it here.

The Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force is working on the case. The University is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Salamanca Man Takes Deputies on Chase

A Salamanca man who took police on a brief car chase Tuesday is facing a number of charges.

Sheriff’s deputies say Gregory Huffman drove through a red light and, when they tried to stop him, he led them on chase. When he was finally stopped, deputies gave him a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Huffman was convicted of driving while intoxicated within the last 10 years, making this a felony. He’s also charged with unlawfully fleeing, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and numerous traffic violations

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Potter-Tioga Maple Festival in May

The 46th Annual Potter – Tioga Maple Festival will take place Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th at the Courthouse Square in Coudersport. We are now accepting registrations for vendors, sponsors and parade registrants for 2012. Visit for information or to register as a vendor, sponsor or parade registrant.

The festival features demonstrations of making Maple Syrup, Maple Products that are made in the Potter and Tioga Counties. We will have Live Music, Pet Parade, Multiple Vendors, Kiddie Carnival, Chain Saw Carving Demonstration, Bingo Tent, Boys & Girls Club of Potter County Obstacle Course, Library Book Sale, Red Cross Duck Race, and of course the Maple Festival Parade at 3:00 pm on Saturday.

For more information contact the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce at (814) 274-8165 or by email at

For any groups or organizations wishing to participate in the 2012 Potter-Tioga Maple Festival Parade please contact Amy Thompson as soon as possible or register at . The Parade will be Saturday May 5th in Coudersport at 3:00pm. Line-up will be at 2:30 pm on Allegheny Avenue.

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Teen Accused of Assaulting Younger Teen

A Yorkshire teenager is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a younger teen late last week.

Sheriff’s deputies say 18-year-old Lucas Burdick of Yorkshire threw a 13-year-old boy against the front door of a house and punched him several times. The 13-year-old suffered pain and bruising on his face, head and shoulder.

Burdick is charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was released on his own recognizance, and is scheduled to answer the charges in Town of Yorkshire Court.

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Port Allegany Meth Lab Case Continued

The woman accused of operating a meth lab in Port Allegany was scheduled to be in court this morning, but her hearing has been moved to next week.

23-year-old Sara Jones is facing seven felony counts related to manufacturing methamphetamine, as well as risking a catastrophe.

The state police clandestine lab response team, along with detectives from the McKean County DA’s office and McKean County Drug Task Force raided the lab on the evening of March 14.

Jones is jailed on $200,000 bail.

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More Bomb Threats at Pitt-Oakland

While authorities say they are making “significant progress” in the investigation of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland Campus, two more threats have been reported.

The mother of a Pitt-Oakland student tells us the threats were received at 11:30 last night and 5:30 this morning.

She says the 11:30 evacuation left the students out of their dorms until 3:15 a.m.

The Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force is working on the case. The University has is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Man Takes Plea Deal in Murder Case

An Austin man charged in the murder of an Eldred teenager last June has taken a plea deal.

26-year-old Avery Buckingham is expected to formally plead guilty to first degree murder Monday in Potter County Court.

His co-defendants 20-year-old Jonothan Prather and 16-year-old Kaylynn Benson have already pleaded guilty.

Prather shot 18-year-old Samuel Miller in the head and chest 8 times, and then he and Buckingham threw his body into Prouty Creek while Benson held a spotlight for them.

Prather has been sentenced to life in prison. Benson is scheduled for sentencing on May 1.

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Woman in Critical Condition After Crash

A woman is still in critical condition at ECMC after a two-vehicle collision at Route 353 and Leon Road in the Town of New Albion Friday afternoon.

48-year-old Linda Drumstra of East Concord, New York, was taken by Mercy Flight to Buffalo after the crash.

Sheriff’s deputies say she was a passenger in a Jeep driven by 53-year-old Dominick Drumsta Jr. that didn’t stop at a stop sign and hit a car driven by 56-year-old Susan Korbar of Gowanda.

Korbar was also flown to ECMC, but has been released Dominick Drumsta was taken by ambulance to Bertrand-Chafee Hospital in Springville, and has been released.

Deputies are continuing their investigation.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day with a Hike in the Forest and a 'Wild & Scenic Film Festival'

Earth Day – held on April 22 – was created to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. Two new events this year in the Allegheny National Forest Region will embrace and celebrate nature’s beauty - a guided hike along the scenic Marilla Springs Trail and the “Wild & Scenic Film Festival” at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Both are free and open to the public.

The Allegheny Outdoor Adventures Club is hosting a hike from 9 a.m. to noon at Marilla Springs Trail, one of the many scenic trails of the Tuna Valley Trail Association. Hikers are invited to meet before 9 a.m. at the Marilla Springs parking lot on West Washington Street, located along Route 346, about five miles west of the City of Bradford. Trail maps are available online in a downloadable format at

The group is expected to walk 3.6 miles on the trail then turn around. However, hikers are allowed to turn back during any part of the hike. Hikers can participate in as much or as little of the 7.2-mile hike as they desire. At 4 p.m., a second, shorter hike is scheduled for the Richard McDowell Community Trail located at 300 Campus Drive, at the campus Pitt-Bradford.

The “Wild and Scenic Film Festival” will take place from 12:30 to 7 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall at Pitt-Bradford. The festival is jointly hosted with the Allegheny Defense Project and Pitt-Bradford’s Environmental Club.

With the theme of “Our Youth,” festival-goers will see award-winning films about a number of environmental topics, including conservation, climate change, agriculture energy and indigenous cultures.

“Mother Nature’s Child: Growing Outdoors in the Media Age” will be the main feature. The other movies that will be shown are “Chasing Water” and “Connecting the Gems.”

Food and beverages are available at the film festival and free parking is available. A variety of outdoor and nature themed organizations will also participate in the Film Festival displaying their information and providing a variety of raffle items for attendees.

For more information on the festival, contact Stephen Robar at For more information on the Allegheny National Forest Region, including a free brochure on all the local trails, attractions and nearby lodging please call the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 or e-mail Maps and guides are also available at

Pictured, a walk on the Richard McDowell Community Trail
Courtesy of ANFVB

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Pitt-Bradford Alumna to Speak About
Experience as Volunteer Teacher in Turkey

Dale Fox, a 2008 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, will speak next week about experiences as a volunteer English teacher in Turkey.

Fox will speak at 7 p.m. April 17 in Rice Auditorium in Fisher Hall. The talk is sponsored by the Friends of Hanley Library.

After graduation, Fox, who was a nontraditional student from Ridgway, became a volunteer English teacher near the city of Izmir, which is on the Aegean coast, and in Istanbul. Living with two different families gave her the opportunity to experience a wide diversity of religious and cultural attitudes and beliefs in a country where 99 percent of its citizens are Muslim.

Fox will share her insights, experiences and perceptions about life in Turkey through her stories and pictures. She is now involved with interfaith initiatives that focus on dispelling stereotypes about Muslims and speaks frequently in public.

She has written a book about her experience, “Turkey Uncovered,” a series of short stories documenting everyday life in Turkish homes and her travel excursions. Copies will be available for purchase. Samples of hand-loomed Turkish rugs will also be on display.

Fox is currently the executive director of the Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Council, an eight-county nonprofit dedicated to the protection and wise use of the region’s assets in Cameron, Centre, Clinton, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties.

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

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United Way Art Gala Features
Variety of Items by Local Artists

United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. will host the 2nd Annual Spring Arts Gala on Thursday, April 19th at the Bradford Club. The event will feature over 30 pieces of artwork donated from local artists, including paintings, framed photographs, wood carvings, glass sculpture, jewelry, and hand crafted furniture. Tim Asinger will act as head auctioneer for the event, with a guest auctioneer appearance by Woody Woodruff.

When we planned the Spring Art Gala last year, we had a vision of creating an event that showcased the local talent of the Bradford community, in a festive networking atmosphere. This year, we have been overwhelmed with the scope of talent and variety of artists that have agreed to donate hand crafted items for the auction. From students with the Bradford Area High School art club, to inmates with FCI McKean, to area artists such as Denise Drummond, Sean Huntington, Alan Hancock, Jay Monti, and Gina Zetts, among others, we know that this year’s gala will well represent the local art community. Pictures of the donated items are on your Facebook page, as well as our website.

All proceeds from the event will benefit United Way, which helps support 17 health and human service agencies and 38 programs in the Bradford area, and touches the lives of many residents in the Bradford community.

Event sponsors include Northwest Investment & Trust Services, Pembroke Foundation, Zippo/Case Museum, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery and Quinn Pump & Supply.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres, along with entertainment. Both a live and silent auction will begin at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $50 each and include three drink tickets and a stemless wine class as a token of our appreciation. For a complete list of artists participating in the event, or to reserve tickets to the event, please visit, or by phone at 814-368-6181.

Pictured, a two-legged child's "Tree Chair" built by woodworker (and master gardener) Bob Harris. He built this chair with educating a child in mind; to the beauty and use of our noble trees. To see more items being auctioned go to

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Pet Calendar Contest Starts Saturday

By Rick Frederick

The McKean County SPCA kicks off its annual pet calendar contest Saturday at the Bradford Area Public Library. Pet owners are invited to bring their animals to the library between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where Dana DiBlasi will take photographs for the “voting” phase of the contest, which will begin in early June.

“This has been a popular event for us the last few years,” said Dick Gorton, President of the organization. “For a small fee of $5, pet owners can have a picture of their pet taken for the contest board, which circulates through the county in June and July. If you’ve seen the board in the last two years, many of the photos were taken by Dana.”

Gorton also reminds contest entrants that they may bring pictures of their pets to the library on Saturday or to the McKean County SPCA shelter any time until the end of May. “The entry fee is the same,” he noted, “but some animals may be a bit shy or may be a little too big to come to the library, so their owners can use their own snapshots for the contest.” Gorton added that, to fit on the contest board, the photos must be no larger than 4 x 6 inches.

Contest co-chair Jan Frederick notes that the competition is wide open to all kinds of pets. “In the past several years, we have had hamsters, two kinds of birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a bullfrog,” she said, “in addition to a variety of dogs and cats.”

Free punch and light refreshments will be provided by the contest committee and the library. Shelter animals available for adoption will also be on hand for a visit with animal-lovers.

All pets who come for the contest should be on leashes or in carriers.

“It promises to be a good time,” says Gorton, “so we hope a lot of people turn out. We’re looking forward to another terrific calendar contest.”

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George Zimmerman to be Charged in
Trayvon Martin Case

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case will announce criminal charges against George Zimmerman on Wednesday, a law enforcement official told NBC News.

A news conference would be at 6 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, Fla.

For continuing coveringe go to

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US Attorney's Office Says Progress Being
Made on Pitt-Oakland Bomb Threats

Authorities say they've made "significant progress" investigating dozens of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh.

The US Attorney’s Office says in a statement released today that information from students and community members has helped them focus on potential suspects.

US Attorney David Hickton encourages people who think they have pertinent information to continuing reporting it, and adds that the tipsters may remain anonymous.

Pitt has been plagued by dozens of bomb threats since mid-February and is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Tuesday night a threat was received for university Chancellor Mark Nordenberg’s home.

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PA Join Lawsuit on E-Book Pricing

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania today joined Attorneys General from 14 states and Puerto Rico in a lawsuit charging three of the nation's largest book publishers and Apple Inc. with colluding to fix the sales prices of electronic books.

Attorney General Linda Kelly said that the antitrust action is the result of a two-year investigation into allegations that publishers Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan conspired with other publishers and Apple to artificially raise e-book prices.

Kelly said that for years, retailers sold e-books through a traditional wholesale distribution model, under which retailers ?-not publishers - set e-books' sales prices. The states allege that the defendants colluded to use a different distribution model to eliminate free market competition and allow publishers, not the marketplace set the price of e-books.

According to the lawsuit, the cost of New York Times Bestselling e-books rose from $9.99 to as much as $14.99 per book once Apple and the publishers agreed that e-books would be priced on an agency basis. Prices of other e-books, not on the best seller list also increased significantly.

Kelly said to enforce their price-fixing scheme; the publishers and Apple relied on contract terms that forced all e-book outlets to sell their products at the same price. This eliminated all retail price competition and resulted in e-book customers paying more than $100 million in overcharges.

The States' antitrust action seeks injunctive relief to reverse the effects of the defendants' anti-competitive conduct as well as damages for customers who paid artificially inflated prices for e-books.

Kelly noted that the states have reached an agreement in principle with Harper Collins and Hachette to provide significant consumer restitution and injunctive relief.

The enforcement action includes Texas, Connecticut, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.

The Commonwealth's case was handled by Chief Deputy Attorney General James Donahue, III and Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Kirk of the Attorney General's Antitrust Section.

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New Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation
Formed to Support Vets, Their Families


One definition of soldier is someone who is dedicated to a cause.

For Brigadier Gen. (Pa.) Michael Gould that notion has extended far beyond his tenure in the U.S. Army and has inspired him to create a new Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation, a private, non-profit charitable organization that specifically supports veterans and their families in Pennsylvania.

Gould, who serves as deputy adjutant general for the Pennsylvania Office of Veterans’ Affairs, came up with the idea when he looked beyond the borders of Pennsylvania to see what other states are doing.

“You just can’t get there on government dollars alone, especially in these fiscal times,” he said. “The private sector needs to be a part of the solution. Pennsylvania is way behind in this regard. Several states use public-private coalitions to pool the necessary resources to attack these types of social issues.”

Veterans Affairs receives about $3 million to take care of close to 1 million veterans in Pennsylvania.

Gould, a native of McKean County, said there are countless number of veterans’ issues that need addressed. There are 2,000-3,000 veterans homeless in Pennsylvania, about 10 percent are unemployed and 25 percent make less than $22,000 a year. Others suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain injuries. The veteran population is also aging – there are more than 600,000 that are 62 and over.

Gould’s goal is to raise money that will allow the Foundation to grant money to the “multiple non-profit organizations that are already assisting veterans and their families, yet need more resources to touch more.”

The Foundation will also help with a veteran or veteran’s family that needs immediate emergency help.

The directors of two county directors of veterans’ affairs welcome the added help a foundation like this can render.

“I think like all veterans across the nation, these are some that stand out. Employment, medical, and emergency funds to get through the problems that might arise,” said Matt Windsor, who helps the 4,500-5,000 veterans in McKean County.

Windsor added that the Foundation would help veterans with issues that the state or federal governments won’t be able to. He also said that his office, funded through the McKean County Commissioners, has not been affected by lack of funding.

“They have done a great job with making sure that the county veterans are a priority.”

To the west, Warren County has an emergency fund for Warren County veterans handled through the Warren County Veterans Council.

“Our emergency fund has helped with food, heat, and on occasion rent to keep Veterans and their families from being thrown out after they lost their job, said Ed Burris, who serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation.

On a state level, Burris said a foundation like will be great to help organizations get the funding they need.

“Many organizations and private citizens have great ideas on how to help veterans and their families but cannot find funding. This could provide that funding if it was felt that they have the right plans,” he said. “If we only help one person at a time for that one person we have made a difference. If we can help someone who wants to help a specific group of Veterans then we have a made a difference to many.

“Sometimes people need to sit back and think what their lives would be like if it were not the veterans that we are now helping, if they had not went the extra mile for us would we still be the country that we are today, and would we have the freedoms to even write this story.”

Both state Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, and Rep. Martin Causer, R-Turtlepoint, hear issues pertaining to veterans and welcome such a foundation to further assist in veterans’ programs.

“My office assists a large number of constituents in handling veterans’ issues so I am very familiar with the struggles that so many of our country’s heroes face on a daily basis,” Scarnati said. “I believe the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation being established by the Department of Veterans Affairs creates a win-win situation for our veterans and Pennsylvania taxpayers and I am hopeful the program can serve as a model for other organizations throughout the Commonwealth.”

Causer agreed, noting that anything that enhances programs for veterans is a good thing.

“I see this as very beneficial,” he said. “I don’t want to see veterans’ issues reduced.”
The fact that the Foundation was established on 11/11/11 is no coincidence. It is Veterans Day, afterall.

The Foundation recently received its IRS tax exempt status. This means the organizers will be launching an informational campaign and outreach to gain support. They have already gained the support of the Eldred American Legion Post 887, which held a craft show with the proceeds donated to the Foundation.

Once set up, the Foundation will also like to help with educational purposes, too, such as supporting the Eldred WWII Museum.

“Yes this Foundation will make a difference whether one person at a time, a hundred or possibly a thousand there are almost a million Veterans in PA with the right support this foundation can and will do great things,” Burris said.

And people throughout the state are getting excited about this initiative.

“Estimates are now that only 1 percent of our U.S. population has ever worn a uniform. Many people want to help and pay back, but someone has to be on point advocating for them. I take that role very seriously,” Gould said.

“(They) are just waiting to launch activities and spread the word,” Gould said. “Veterans’ organizations, like the VFW, know this could change the face of support for veterans in Pennsylvania if it is successful – and it will be.”

For more information on the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation or to make a donation, go to

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Copper Wire Stolen from Penelec

Someone stole copper wire from a Penelec substation in Ridgway Township sometime within the last month.

Police say the person cut a hole in the metal fence of the substation, and then removed 100 feet of copper wire.

The total amount of stolen property and damage is about $3,000.

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Lt. Governor Jim Cawley in Bradford

Lt. Governor Jim Cawley has a secret he wants everyone to start spreading: There's a primary election coming up in two weeks.

Obviously, this is not a real secret but Cawley says too many people are focused on issues other than the election and -- speaking at the McKean County Republican Party annual spring dinner Tuesday -- he urged people to help turn the focus of others back to the election. President, senator, congressman, attorney general, and auditor general are among the offices being contested in the April 24 primary.

Also speaking Tuesday were state Senator Joe Scarnati and Representatives Marty Causer, Kathy Rapp and Matt Gabler. Causer and Rapp noted that the new updated legislsative maps are expected to be released Wednesday. In the last maps, which were rejected by the state Supreme Court, Rapp's 65th District would no longer include McKean County. That part of the county would have gone to Causer's 67th District. Neither of them knew as of early Tuesday night what their new districts would include.

Congressman GT Thompson's representative Brent Pasquinelli spoke as well and addressed the news that Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign earlier in the day. He said the fact that Santorum stayed in the race to challenge Mitt Romney made Romney a better candidate.

Pictured, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley delivers the keynote address at the McKean County Republican Party annual spring dinner at the Pennhils Club Tuesday. Cawley's visit to Bradford was part of a trip along the northern tier of the state.
WESB photo

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Survivor: Three Brothers Were Not
Taking a Dare Before Fatal Train Accident

The only survivor from last Friday’s fatal train accident in Chautauqua County says he and his brothers were not taking a dare.

Ben Reed spoke with WIVB-TV from his hospital room at UPMC Hamot. To read the story go to

Survivor of deadly train accident talks:

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Casinos Announce 'Summer Rush 2012'

Seneca Casinos will deliver an unprecedented level of excitement this summer to the Western New York, Southern Ontario, and Northern Pennsylvania and Ohio regions with “Summer Rush” – a package of world-class entertainment, promotions and special events during June through early September.

Summer Rush takes place at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo and Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston. Just some of the many offerings include blockbuster entertainment performances by Stevie Nicks, Larry the Cable Guy, Joe Walsh and more; the return of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” to Niagara Falls, and; hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes with the most exciting casino promotions in the Northeast.

“Two words – ‘Summer Rush’ – really say it best for the experience at Seneca Casinos during the warm months,” said Jim Wise, senior vice president of marketing, Seneca Gaming Corporation. “Spirits are up in the summertime, and people are looking for opportunities to have fun and be entertained. There’s nothing like going to Seneca Casinos for the highest rush of excitement.”

- Entertainment -

Summer Rush features more than two dozen performances at the Events Center and Bear’s Den Showroom at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls as well as the Events Center at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca.

Summer Rush debuts with multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning soft rock / soul singer Michael Bolton at Seneca Niagara Events Center on June 9. Additional star-studded performers at the venue include: impressionist comedian Frank Caliendo – known for his live stand-up comedy and countless uncanny voice and physical impersonations – on June 23; solo star singer and Fleetwood Mac lead vocalist Stevie Nicks on July 7; emerging country sensation Billy Currington on July 28; legendary comedian and reality TV star Larry the Cable Guy – who will ‘Git-R-Done’ for two performances – on August 18, and; comedian and radio celebrity Artie Lange with comic Nick DiPaolo – who will have outrageous stories to tell – on September 1.

The excitement also takes place at the Seneca Allegany Events Center this summer with country matriarch Loretta Lynn on June 10; Sylvia Browne – a world-renowned spiritual teacher, psychic, author, lecturer and researcher in the field of parapsychology – on June 30; Lonestar – a country mega-group that is celebrating 20 years of great music – on July 14; classic rock icon Meat Loaf with his “Mad, Mad Summer Tour” on July 29; Eagles guitarist and rock singer Joe Walsh – who will bring his own array of classic rock hits – on August 11, and; Trace Adkins – a perennial country favorite of Seneca Casinos guests – on August 26.

Entertainers at the Bear’s Den Showroom include: Joan Osborne, The Tokens, Blue Suede Shoes – A Tribute to Million Dollar Quartet and the Night of a Thousand Laughs Direct from the World Famous Friars Club Starring Stewie Stone and Dick Capri in June; Bette & Barry (tribute show to Bette Midler and Barry Manilow), Ann Hampton Callaway Presents the Streisand Songbook and Lou Christie in July, and; Jay White as Neil Diamond, Rik Emmett, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Viva Santana (tribute show to Carlos Santana) in August.

Each Events Center location seats up to 2,400 people with no seat further than 100 feet of the stage. The intimate Bear’s Den Showroom seats up to 440 people with no seat further than 40 feet of the stage. Tickets for Seneca Niagara Events Center shows go on sale at noon on April 16 for June shows; April 23 for July shows; April 30 for August shows, and; May 7 for September shows. Tickets for Seneca Allegany Events Center shows go on sale at noon on April 17 for June shows; April 24 for July shows, and; May 1 for August shows. Starting prices for seats range from $30 to $85

“Summer Rush” at Seneca Casinos also includes the return of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” for the first time since Nov. 15, 2008. The action takes place inside Seneca Niagara Events Center on June 29 with undercard bouts beginning at 8 p.m. and the ESPN telecast from 9 to 11 p.m. The main event will be a 10-round bout featuring Ruslan Provodnikov (21-1-0, 14 KO’s) of Beryozovo, Russia, versus Nick Casal (22-4-1, 17 KO’s) of Niagara Falls, NY. The co-feature bout has former IBF Featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz (39-13-3, 23 KO’s) from Tijuana, Mexico, squaring off against Cesar Vazquez (26-0-0, 16 KO’s) from Mexicali, Mexico. Tickets start at $40 and go on sale April 25 at noon.

Tickets for all entertainment offerings will be available at all Seneca Casino box offices,, all Ticketmaster locations, or by phone at 800-745-3000. Additional events may be added in the coming months.

- Promotions and Events -

Promotions during June include a $20,000 slot tournament at Seneca Allegany Casino, a $50,000 sweepstakes at Seneca Niagara Casino, and the Seneca Summer Shopping Spree at both casinos – offering guests the opportunity to purchase some of the summer’s hottest items and new technology using gaming points. In addition, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will have a $6,000 sweepstakes and an ongoing hot seat contest to win baseball tickets.

To kick off July, Seneca Allegany will host its extravagant fireworks display on Monday, July 2. The following evening on Tuesday, July 3, an equally-spectacular fireworks display will take place at Seneca Niagara. In addition, Seneca Niagara Casino and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will each host slot tournaments throughout the month. At Seneca Allegany Casino, the “Great Race Giveaway” will include opportunities to win tickets, pit passes and more to New York’s yearly biggest stock car race.

In August, all three casinos will offer ticket giveaways and opportunities to win exciting merchandise for Buffalo’s professional football team, with grand prizes that include season tickets and a trip to the Super Bowl. In addition, racing fans will have the opportunity to meet legendary driver Rusty Wallace at Seneca Allegany Casino on Thursday, August 9.

Ticket giveaways and opportunities to win exciting merchandise for Buffalo’s professional hockey team will take place in September at Seneca Niagara Casino and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. For daily slot tournament lovers, there will be a buy-in tournament every Monday through Thursday with $20,000 in prizes at Seneca Allegany Casino, as well as a special $10,000 giveaway throughout Labor Day weekend.

- Special Offerings -

Golf fans who want to stay overnight at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel and play at Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course can enjoy a special package with discounted hotel rates. The course is in its second full season of golf and was recently ranked as one of the Best Casino Courses in the U.S. by Golfweek magazine. Golfers can enjoy a new Seneca Hickory Stick Loyalty Card for $29.99 with hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits, as well as delicious food at the new Seneca Hickory Grill restaurant.

Fans of Summer Rush should be on the lookout for an upcoming coupon book with $200 of savings toward retail, dining, golf and spa services. In addition, Seneca Casinos will continue to roll out partnerships with nearby hotels to provide hotel guests with casino vouchers.

And finally, amidst the adrenaline of Summer Rush, exciting construction projects will be under way at two of the Seneca Casino properties. At Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, work continues on a $53 million new hotel tower that will nearly double capacity from 212 to 413 rooms. And this summer, construction is slated to begin at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino for the recently-unveiled $130 redesigned property.

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Pitt-Bradford Student's Study in Russia
Provides Multicultural Experience

Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

When Shane Close of Bradford decided to leave home for the first time, he really went for it, spending 16 weeks in Russia, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Close, 21, a junior history/political science major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, traveled to St. Petersburg and Veliky Novgorod, Russia; London; Moscow; Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Republic of Estonia; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; bringing back worldly experiences from each courtesy of the Pitt-approved study-abroad program and the American Institute for Foreign Study.

While studying at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University along with nearly 21,000 other students from all over the world, he attended a rock concert at the Lensovieta Palace of Culture and a ballet performance at the Mariinsky Theatre.

In England he visited Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London (including the Crown Jewels), and the British Museum. In Finland, he visited the Presidential Palace, Senate Square, and enjoyed nightlife activities such as going to a club in Helsinki. In Russia, he visited the Kremlin and Red Square, saw an authentic Russian circus with dancing bears from Moscow, a former KGB headquarters, the Estonia Parliament, and Old Tallinn, home to the oldest standing gothic cathedral.

Close said the American Institute for Foreign Study arranged all of the trips. He also traveled independently during his fall semester break at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University.

“I decided to see even more of the world and realized that achieving another goal of mine wasn’t out of reach,” Close said. “I started fall break in Moscow and finished it in the United Arab Emirates.”

Close recalled a conversation he had with a Russian girl at the Domodedovo Airport in Moscow, who was surprised that Close was an American studying in St. Petersburg and on his way to Dubai from the airport in Moscow.

“When I arrived in Dubai, it really hit me how independent and on my own I was,” Close said. “As I was stepping off of the plane, I thought to myself, ‘The nearest person who knows my name is about 2,000 miles away!’ That was quite a feeling.”

Close said realizations like that are what make international travel so worthwhile.

“It was overwhelming to see all of the city lights and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa,” Close said. “Dubai is super modern, almost like a science fiction movie.”

Close said there were above-ground metro trains, man-made marinas and even man-made archipelagos in Dubai.

“I was able to tour Dubai in a helicopter and was able to see the World Islands and Palm Islands from up above,” Close said.

Close said he also flew over Old Dubai and that it was interesting to see the comparison between an old settlement area and perhaps the most modern city in the whole world. While in Dubai, Close was also able to visit the desert of the United Arab Emirates.

“I was lying in the sand peacefully out in the middle of the desert, and then I had a realization,” Close said. “I suddenly thought, ‘What lives in this?’”

Close said he then got up to make sure nothing was coming to bite him and thought it was interesting that he was able to come to the realization.

“That thought process never happened to me in America,” Close said.

Close said he strolled around the desert a bit and came across some Middle Eastern food that seemed very much like spicy shish kabobs. Close said he remembered the different cultural cuisines being very tasty, but for the majority of the trip he ate food similar to the food in the United States.

“I was there to see the country,” Close said. “And you can find just about any kind of food you want there.”

Close said while in Dubai he was also able to engage in political discussions with some of the people. “We agreed more often than we disagreed,” Close said.

Close said studying abroad in Russia helped him in more ways than getting to experience independence. The experience also helped him to eliminate some common stereotypes about Russia and Russian culture that he had heard before in America.

“It is nice to know how Russia actually is,” Close said. “Russia is different from what people think. Many people stereotype Russia as a totally backward place. But in reality it is a truly amazing and beautiful country. St. Petersburg offers anything you could want or want to do in the West, but with a lot of Russian charm.”

The language, which he didn’t know before his trip, also wasn’t as hard and he thought it would be. “It is not as difficult as people think,” Close said. “The best place to learn is being there.”

Close took a three-hour-a-day, four-days-a -week immersion course at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, but he said that he learned a lot about the language simply by talking to people during everyday interactions such as eating at restaurants and spending time with the friends of all ethnic backgrounds that he made there.

Close also volunteered two or three nights a week teaching English at a Center for Learning Foreign Languages in St. Petersburg through an opportunity that was presented by the study abroad program. Close helped college-aged students learn English while they helped him learn Russian.

“We traded languages,” Close said.

Close said they offered to give him a job teaching English if he would ever like to go back to Russia.

“One of the instructors told me, ‘Don’t forget about us,’” Close said.

Close said he found that the Russian people are very reserved at first, but once they get to know you they are very friendly.

“Russian hospitality is very interesting,” Close said. “When you are a guest, they feed you very well, and it is quite difficult to say no to additional servings.

“The most memorable aspect about the trip was the unbelievable hospitality and kindness that I encountered throughout all of my time in Russia.”

Close said that eventually he lived a completely normal life in St. Petersburg and that at the end of the semester when it was time to leave, he did not want to go back to America because he felt like St. Petersburg had become his city.

“It took about a week to get accustomed to the different cultures I experienced abroad,” Close said. “But, I’m still suffering from reverse culture shock!”

Close said he definitely looks forward to returning to St. Petersburg and hopes to teach English as a second language there after he graduates from Pitt-Bradford.

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