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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Inmate Facing More Charges

An inmate at the Chautauqua Jail is facing more charges after allegedly being found with drugs and then threatening guards Friday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say 19-year-old Joshua Roach of Brocton had 3 Gabapentin pills hidden in a bandage on his arm during a routine search of the jail. During the search, Roach allegedly tried to resist the officers to prevent them from finding the contraband. He also allegedly said he would “swing on the officers.”

This is the third month in a row Roach has been in trouble with law enforcement.

In April he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly yelling vulgarities at deputies who were investigating a fight. He also allegedly obstructed traffic throughout the investigation.

Last month, he was charged with harassment for allegedly calling a student at Brocton Central School and threatening the person.

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Gaskew to Give Lecture on CSI House

Dr. Tony Gaskew, director of the criminal justice program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, will speak on “360-Degree Crime Investigation” this month at Pitt-Bradford.

The program, which is a part of the Alumni Lecture Series presented by the Pitt Alumni Association, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on June 14 in the University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is being made in partnership with the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association and Liberty Mutual.

Gaskew will speak about the criminal justice system, how crimes are solved, and demonstrate how Pitt-Bradford’s Crime Scene Investigation House and Lab are used to teach modern criminal forensic science techniques for investigating crimes. The CSI House features some of the most advanced criminal forensics equipment in the country.

Tours of the CSI House as well as complimentary refreshments will be offered immediately following the lecture.

In addition to his work as a professor on the Pitt-Bradford campus, Gaskew is also a member of the McKean County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the McKean County Child Advocacy Center Advisory Board, and the McKean County Child Sexual Abuse Forensic Team. He is also the lead instructor for Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Institution McKean Victim Impact Program. In 2010, Gaskew was named Volunteer of the Year by the FCI McKean for his work in the Victim Impact Program.

Before joining the Pitt-Bradford faculty, Gaskew worked extensively in the field of criminal justice. He was a member of a Counterterrorism/Counterdrug Task Force in Southeast Asia. As a detective assigned to the Special Operations Unit at MPD, he was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, where he conducted wiretap and conspiracy investigations targeting violent criminal organizations in the Middle District of Florida. He was named Region IV Florida Narcotic Officer of the Year in 2004.

Gaskew received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Criminal Justice Institute at Nova Southeastern University, and has more than 2,000 hours of specialized criminal investigations training, including death and homicide investigation, advanced evidence processing and collection, hostage negotiations, money laundering, advanced DEA, criminal conspiracy and organized crime investigations. He is also a certified police academy instructor.

In his academic career, Gaskew has earned several fellowships including a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, an FDD Terrorism Fellowship, and a University of Pittsburgh Faculty Diversity Fellowship. His articles have been published in many journals and edited books, and he has presented academic papers by invitation at several colleges and universities. His book “The Muslim Brotherhood: Reshaping US Foreign Policy in a Post-911 World” is forthcoming and will focus on his work in Egypt and Israel, where he has conducted ethnographic field work examining the Muslim Brotherhood as well as structural and political violence.

Gaskew’s previous book, “Policing Muslim American Communities,” deals with the relationship between Muslim American communities and law enforcement since the USA PATRIOT Act was implemented. Gaskew is the Board President of the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies and the University of Pittsburgh Faculty Expert on terrorism and criminal investigations.

Those wishing to attend are asked to register online at by June 9. For more information, contact the Pitt Alumni Association at 1-800-258-7488.

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In Case You Missed It ...

From the Huffington Post:

The three-day gathering, Become Your Place, Defend Your Self!, was filled with workshops, discussions, keynote speakers, field trips to oil and gas drilling sites in the Allegheny National Forest, late-night revelry at the campfire, live music, and the greatest local and organic vegetarian food prepared by chefs Shane McElwee and Mia Manion.

Read more here.

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In Case You Missed It ...

From the Erie Times-News:

It's easy to see why Zippo, which has since been featured in more than 1,500 movies and television shows, emerged as a cultural icon when the war ended.

But logic might suggest that the company's sales would have crashed into a cultural brick wall by now. This, after all, is a device designed to light cigarettes in a nation that's trying hard to kick the habit.

But the Zippo remains.

Read the full story here

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Bradford Man Dies in Route 59 Crash

A Bradford man is dead after a one-vehicle crash earlier today on Route 59, about a mile west of Route 321.

Police say a pickup truck driven by 57-year-old Keith Lyberg was traveling east when it left the road on a curve and hit a group of trees.

McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill pronounced Lyberg dead at the scene.

State police were assisted by the Lafayette and Corydon township fire departments and Bradford City EMS.

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Thompson, Schrader Introduce
Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) today introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012, bipartisan legislation that would open new opportunities for American forestry producers by allowing their products to qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biobased Markets Program, also known as BioPreferred.

USDA’s Biobased Markets Program was originally designed “to increase the purchase and use of biobased products.” The program requires USDA to set federal procurement standards and a voluntary label for biobased products, which allows producers to market their products as “USDA certified biobased.” As currently implemented by USDA, most forest products are excluded from both the federal procurement preference and the “USDA certified” label. As a result, foreign-produced, imported materials are given preference in the program, rather than U.S.-made forest products.

The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 would modify the definition of “biobased product” – as defined in the Federal Farm Bill – to include U.S. forest products in the Biobased Markets Program.

"Forest production and timber harvesting has served as a critically important economic engine to so many communities in the 5th District of Pennsylvania and nationally," said U.S. Rep. Thompson. "The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 will offer producers stronger, expanded product markets, so that the industry can better compete in the global marketplace. This modification is a win-win for consumers and producers, along with the promotion of healthy, well managed forests, and the protection of communities that rely on these jobs and industries to survive."

"The timber and wood products industries in Oregon and across the nation are struggling to keep afloat as our nation's economy slowly recovers," said Rep. Schrader. "Continuing to place a sustainable, American made product at a disadvantage is unacceptable at a time when we need to be investing and creating jobs here at home, not overseas. The Forest Products Fairness Act will ensure these vital U.S. industries have a chance to grow and compete globally."

Representative Thompson is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and currently serves as Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry. Representative Schrader is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, and currently serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Finance and Tax.

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) introduced similar, but not companion, legislation (S.2346) on April 26, 2012.

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Gillibrand Wants Help for NY Farmers

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is asking that 34 New York counties be considered federal disaster areas because of the spring freeze that destroyed cropland.

Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties are among those Gillibrand says need help. She said in the Lake Erie Grape Belt alone, more than $13 million in market value has been lost.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Gillibrand pressed for the disaster declarations so New York farmers can access federal funds to help them recover losses and stay afloat this season.

Read more here.

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Missing a Wallaby?

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials are looking for information about anyone who may be missing a wallaby, which was captured around 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, along King Road near Cambridge Springs, Crawford County.

The wallaby was tranquilized by officials from the Northwest Region, including Information and Education Supervisor Regis Senko, Crawford County WCO Mark Allegro and Northwest Region Wildlife Management Supervisor Roger Coup, and transferred to a licensed facility until the owner is identified.

Resembling a small kangaroo, a wallaby is a member of the marsupial family, and a native of Australia and surrounding islands.

“My landlord saw it, so I went down and took a photo of it,” said Sarah Dippold, former Game Commission biologist aide. “I forwarded the photo to the Game Commission’s Northwest Region office.”

Anyone with information about where the wallaby originated is encouraged to call the Northwest Region Office at 814-432-3187.

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In Case You Missed It ...

Jerry Sandusky trial judge known for
calm demeanor, fairness

Cleland’s courteousness, his attention to detail, watchful eye for the law, and his handling of court cases have drawn praise from those who have presented cases in front of him or have worked beside him.

Read more here:

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Child Car Seat Check on Saturday

State Troopers will conduct a FREE child car seat check from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Zook Motors on Route 6 just west of Kane.

No appointment is necessary.

The checks will go on rain or shine.

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Man Charged for 2010 Burglary

An Emporium man has been charged with breaking into a house in July of 2010 and stealing a gun and money.

Police say they believe 20-year-old Michael James Hallowell forced his way into the home of Edward Niebaur and stole a handgun and an undisclosed amount of money.

He is charged with felony counts of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property. Hallowell is free on $50,000 bail.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Catt County Girl Hit by Minivan

A Cattaraugus County girl is hospitalized after being hit by a minivan late Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Mansfield.

Sheriff’s deputies say it appears that 11-year-old Grace Dowdell of Mansfield turned her bike into the path of the van, driven by 49-year-old Kenneth Minnekine of Little Valley.

Grace was taken by Mercy Flight to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for treatment of injuries to the left side of her body. No report is available on her condition.

Deputies say no charges will be filed.

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'Art of the Heart' Show to Open Monday

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

Betsy Matz is not the kind of person to just let an idea fester. She likes to do something about it.

So when the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professor saw a Facebook post about The Compassion Project in Appleton, Wis., the wheels in her mind started turning of how to do something similar in Bradford.

The Art of the Heart project in Bradford is now involving hundreds of people throughout the community, including students from every school, Pitt-Bradford and the Kiwanis Club of Bradford.

At the center of the project is a simple idea: Have children talk and learn about compassion, then depict that in art on 4-inch square tiles. Each child painted his or her own tile with paint markers.

The hundreds of tiles that make up the “Art of the Heart” show can be seen from June 4 through June 15 in the KOA Art Gallery of Blaisdell Hall at Pitt-Bradford. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 4.

Why make art of compassion? Matz felt that the time was ripe.

“Times have been hard recently, and it’s important now,” she said, referring to the effects of the national recession. “It was time to bring it to the forefront. We have an obligation to help each other out.”

The idea dovetailed nicely with the anti-bullying education program of the Bradford Area School District, which became one of the first allies of the project.

With the school district on board, Matz felt strongly that the project should not be funded by Pitt-Bradford or the district, but rather by the community as a way of expressing that compassion is a community-wide value. She worked with the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, which helped secure donations.

As the chair of the Division of Management and Education at Pitt-Bradford, Matz next turned to the university’s education faculty, which jumped on board with its students to design lessons to be taught about compassion.

The lessons for children at both the elementary and middle school levels included stories based on Aesop’s Fables. The younger children heard the story of The Lion and the Mouse, which was acted out by education students in Dr. Donna Dombek’s capstone course. The story is about a mouse who, when caught by a lion, begs to be let go, promising to help the lion one day. The lion scoffs, but takes pity on him and lets him go. When the lion is caught in a trap made of ropes, the mouse fulfills his promise by chewing through the ropes to free him.

Middle school students heard the story of a runaway slave who takes pity on a wounded lion and removes a thorn from its pad. Later the runaway slave and the lion met again in the Roman Coliseum, where the lion recognized the slave and did not harm him.

The education students then led the middle schoolers in a discussion of compassion and empathy and urged them to identify a time when someone was kind to them or when they were kind to another person.

In Janelle Turk’s art class last month at Fretz Middle School, the students tried to relate these stories on the tiles. It was difficult.

“It was hard to think of something to paint because there are so many things that go into compassion, like caring and friendship,” said seventh-grader Jack Pecora as he sketched out a peace sign on scratch paper.

While some students tried to depict specific incidents of someone helping a child change a bicycle tire or a student helping another pick up dropped books, many reached for colorful iconography, depicting hearts of all kinds, peace symbols and stick figures holding hands.

The bright paint pens on the tiles lend a joyful quality to the paintings.

Seventh-grade student Molly Frederick knew exactly what her hands holding a heart were about. She painted them, she said, to remember a friend who had died of leukemia, pointing to the brightly colored rubber bracelets with “Livestrong” and other uplifting slogans imprinted on them lining her own arms and the arms in the painting.

Although some students struggled with how to depict their ideas about compassion, it was clear that the project had gotten them thinking about the subject, Turk said. “They were also excited because they got to interact with students from the university and because their tiles will be on display downtown.”

Various offices and student groups on campus pitched in with designing and constructing the panels that will hold the tiles on display, and Nancy Kloss, the administrative assistant for Matz’s division, has made it her personal mission to be able to find each tile easily in a listing available at the display site.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Bradford recruited by the Rev. Stacey Fussell, pastor of the Church of the Ascension, will act as docents during the exhibit and help people find their student’s tile.

“We’ve gotten a really good response from the community,” Matz said. When the display comes down, students will be able to reclaim their tiles, or businesses can continue to display them as a reminder to be more compassionate.

Pictured, art teacher Janelle Turk with seventh-grade student Jack Pecora of Bradford; and Morgan Whitlow working on her tile.

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Looking for Prom Dresses

From a reader/listener:

Hi, our daughter Morgan is doing a prom dress drive for a camp for special needs children. They hold a “prom” for the campers and their dresses are worn so she is collecting dresses, jewelry and shoes to donate to them. So, if anyone has prom dresses just hanging in the closet and would like to donate them to a worthy cause, they would be so grateful!

Call 814-966-3312

Thank you!

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Work Starts Next Week on Route 255

St Marys – Work to improve Route 255 in Fox Township and St Marys will get underway next week. Crews will be working to set project signs and begin milling roadway pavement from the Route 948 intersection in Fox Township to the intersection for Tractor Supply. Milling is expected to start on Thursday, June 7 and lane restrictions will be in place.

Once the project completes in late summer 2013, travel along this section of Route 255 will be smoother and more efficient. PennDOT will issue regular updates on this project as work schedules and traffic impacts require.

Overall work includes concrete repair, paving, installation of overhead signage, drainage improvements, concrete curbing, guide rail updates, and pavement markings.

This project is expected to overlap with PennDOT’s other Route 255 project that will begin in 2013. That project will stretch from the Tractor Supply intersection to Route 120 in downtown St Marys.

All work is weather and schedule dependent. New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company, Inc. is the contractor on this $6.3 million project.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at

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Three to Enter SBU Hall of Fame

St. Bonaventure Athletic Department officials will induct three new members into the Hall of Fame this Saturday, June 2, at 1 p.m. in the Reilly Center as part of the University’s Alumni Weekend. The event is free and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

As originally announced in February, women’s basketball standout Hilary Waltman ’99, men’s soccer great Jim Meicke ’87 and women’s basketball player and trailblazing head coach Mary Jane “M.J.” Telford ’75 will be the latest class welcomed into the Hall of Fame.

For those unable to attend the event, it will be streamed live and free of charge for the first time on by clicking here or by selecting the “Multimedia” tab and then choosing “All-Access” from The event will also be archived and available to watch following the ceremony.

Below is more information about each of the inductees:

Waltman is the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,106 career points and, at the time of her graduation, was the only Bonnies player to score more than 2,000 points. One of just two Bona players to average more than 20 points per game twice in a season, she set SBU career records in field goals made (742), field goal percentage (.541), steals (317), free throw attempts (765) and free throws made (588). She also finished her career fourth on Bona’s all-time rebounding chart (669). At the time of her induction, Waltman was the only St. Bonaventure player named to the First Team Atlantic 10 Conference twice, earning those citations in 1998 and 1999 after a Second Team honor as a sophomore in 1997.

Jim Meicke is one of the top goalkeeper in the history of the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer program, evidenced by his school records for career wins (41) and saves (743). His 11 victories in both the 1984 and 1985 campaigns are tied for second-most in the record books. He turned aside 192 shots in both the 1985 and 1986 seasons to rank second in program history, while his 1.92 goals-against average is third-best in the career books. Had St. Bonaventure played a complete NCAA Division I schedule for his entire four years, Meicke’s 743 saves would rank as the top mark in D-I history. Meicke served as graduate assistant coach in 1988 and has remained a staunch supporter of St. Bonaventure Athletics as a donor and volunteer.

A successful student-athlete and coach, Mary Jane “M.J.” Telford is synonymous with St. Bonaventure women’s basketball. A four-year starter from 1971-1975, she averaged 15 points per game throughout her career. She was chosen “Ideal Bonaventure Student” runner-up at graduation, the first woman to be so honored. Telford then took over as head coach of the program and, over the next 10 years, guided the Lady Bonnies from NAIA Division III to NCAA Division II and then into Division I in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Under her tutelage, partial scholarships were awarded for the first time in 1977. In 1986, she led SBU to the Upstate Conference title and was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Telford served the Bonnies as head coach through 1993 and totaled 201 victories over her career, which at the time of her induction was the top figure in the program’s history and ranked second among all St. Bonaventure basketball coaches, men or women. She coached five SBU Athletics Hall of Fame players. All told, Telford has represented St. Bonaventure as an employee for more than 30 years, also working in Admissions and University Relations.

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Bradford Man Escapes from Police Custody

A Bradford man kept Erie police busy Wednesday after escaping from custody while he was being questioned about burglaries in the city.

25-year-old Alex Wells, who had been in a prison pre-release center, fought with police investigating burglaries at Schmid Towers, then escaped while being interviewed at the Erie police station. Authorities say Wells was able to escape when a detective walked out of the interview room and the door didn’t lock properly.

Wells was on the run for about three hours. Police found him at around 5 o’clock at Boston Store Place.

Wells is now facing charges of escape and burglary, and is jailed on $50,000 bail.

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Council Approves Bond Issue

Bradford City Council has approved a bond issue that will go toward a street restoration project and improvements to several city buildings.

The new borrowing is $5.2 million. At the last city council meeting, when the measure was passed on first reading, council explained that the ordinance as it read then also included refinancing of the city’s 2008 bonds, which would have brought the amount up to $7.4. At that time they said they would not know until today if refinancing of the 2008 bonds was feasible.

The city’s millage rate will go up by about 2 mils, but no tax increase is expected.

$2 million of the money will go toward street restoration projects. Also, improvements will be made to several municipal buildings, including the fire station, and the ice skating rink floor will be replaced.

Council approved the measure in a special meeting at 7 a.m. today.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Carl Hultberg

Carl A. Hultberg, 82, formerly of 40 Wildwood Ave., passed away Tuesday, May 29th, at The Pavilion at BRMC.

Born September 13, 1929, in Cyclone, he was the son of the late Oscar and Agda (Johnson) Hultberg.

On September 5, 1953 in the Asbury United Methodist Church he married Harriette (Hanson) Hultberg who survives him.

He enlisted in the United States Army on July 11, 1949, served during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on November 28, 1952.

Mr. Hultberg was a 1953 graduate of Bradford High School. He had worked for the Bradford Era, local construction companies, including Kessel Construction, Curly Walters and then for 14 years for the Bradford Area School District and retired as a maintenance supervisor.

In addition to his wife Harriette, of 58 years, he is survived by four children; Kenneth (Ann) Hultberg of Bradford, Donald G. (Mary) Hultberg of North Huntington, Karen Hultberg and Linda (the late James) Lamb both of Huntington Station, four grandchildren; Greg (Brittany) Hultberg, Tess Hultberg, Matthew Hultberg, and Kaylin Lamb, one great grandson, Elias Hultberg and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister Caroline Bernard.

Friends are invited to call on Friday June 1, 2012 from 10:00am to 11:00am in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc. East Main St. where funeral and committal services will be held at 11:00am with Rev Douglas Soley, Pastor Emeritus of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church officiating. Military Honors will be accorded in the funeral home after the service. Burial will be in McKean Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bradford Stroke Group or the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at

Eleanor McDowell

Eleanor J. McDowell, 89, of 15071 Shell Point Blvd. Fort Myers, FL, formerly of South 2nd Street, Bradford, passed away Monday, May 28, 2012 at Shell Point Pavilion.

Born on March 17, 1923, in Lewis Run, she was a daughter of the late John and Ella (Kutchmire) Kemick.

On November 24,1963, in Bradford she married James R. McDowell, who died in 1980.

She was a member and past president of the Bradford Hospital Auxilliary, former member of Bradford Hospital Board of Directors, YWCA and McKean County Republican Women. She was a member of St. Bernard Church.

Eleanor was Vice President and partner at Barnsdall's Inc. in Bradford.

Surviving is a daughter, Barbara J. (Terry) Brown, of Fort Myers, FL, three step daughters, Karen Phillips, Bradford, Marsha Sands, of Norwalk, OH, Barbara Lockman, of Ellicott, MD, and a step son, James McDowell, of Sherman Oaks, CA, sixteen grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, one great great granddaughter and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a step daughter, Kathleen Spindler, three brothers Donald, Frank and John Kemick and one sister, Beatrice Nortum.

Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian to be announced at a later date and time in St. Bernard Church. Burial will be in McKean Memorial Park. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc.

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

On line condolences may be made at

Senators Want to Change Pension System

HARRISBURG - Four state Senate leaders are looking to make changes to Pennsylvania's pension system.

Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mike Brubaker will soon introduce legislation to change Pennsylvania's pension system for government employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

The new defined contribution retirement system will be provided for all state employees and public school employees hired on or after December 1, 2012.

"Significant policy decisions regarding Pennsylvania's pension system must be made soon," Senator Browne said. "Without significant changes in the design of Pennsylvania's pension system, including a switch to a defined contribution system, the long-term costs will be unaffordable to Pennsylvania taxpayers."

"Over the past few decades, virtually all of the private sector has shifted to defined contribution retirement plans," Senator Pileggi said. "It's time for Pennsylvania government to do the same."

"A switch to a defined contribution plan will benefit Pennsylvania taxpayers by forcing fiscal discipline," Senator Corman said. "Retiree benefits will become predictable and sustainable, costs will be easily defined, and future liabilities will be fully funded; it's an excellent choice prospectively."

"With a defined contribution plan, the employee has ownership rights and the assets are portable," Senator Brubaker said. "Additionally, investment strategies can be tailored to the retirement and investment needs of individual employees."

The new pension system will be known as the Public Employees' Retirement System. The legislation will be introduced in early June.

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Corbett Signs Three Execution Warrants

Governor Tom Corbett has signed execution warrants for three men, each of whom were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

Darien Houser, John J. Koehler Jr. and Willie Clayton are incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene.

Darien Houser, 49, is scheduled to be executed on July 24. In March 2004, Philadelphia Warrant Officer Sgt. Joseph LeClaire was attempting to serve a warrant on Houser for failing to appear at his trial on rape charges. Houser opened fire, killing LeClaire and wounding two other officers. Houser was arrested a short time later. In March 2006, Houser was sentenced to death.

John Koehler Jr., 51, is scheduled to be executed on July 25. In April 1995, Koehler's girlfriend, Regina Clark, and her 9-year-old son, Austin Hopper, were killed in Bradford County by William Curley at the urging and insistence of Koehler.

Koehler told Curley he worked for the mob and persuaded Curley to enter the profession, killing the pair as part of his "training." Koehler said if Curley didn't kill the woman and child, he would kill Curley. Both men were arrested and tried separately. Koehler was sentenced to death for both murders in April 1996.

Willie Clayton, 65, is scheduled to be executed on July 26. In 1980, two Philadelphia men, Eric Grice and Jack Summers, were shot and killed during separate robberies inside their apartments, two months apart. According to trial testimony, the victims were known drug dealers and Clayton had been seen with both men.

Also during the trial, an acquaintance testified that Clayton had confessed to him that he had killed Grice and Summers so that people would fear him and he could increase his influence over the drug traffic in Philadelphia. In February 1986, Clayton was sentenced to death for killing both men.

Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection.

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New Law to Protect Student Athletes

Norristown - Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1610, which sets new guidelines for protecting Pennsylvania's student athletes from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA happens when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. It is the number-one killer of student athletes, claiming up to 7,000 young lives each year, nationwide.

At a bill-signing ceremony at Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Elementary School in Norristown, Governor Corbett was surrounded by students, teachers and parents who have lost children to SCA.

Read more here

Photo provided by Commonwealth Media Services

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Charges Against Panighetti Bound to Court

Charges against the Bradford man accused of hiring someone to burn property he owns so he could collect more than half a million dollars in insurance money have been bound to court following separate hearings in front of District Judges Dominic Cercone and Rich Luther.

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

Panighetti allegedly hired someone to start fires at two houses he owns on South Avenue. He 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.

Panighetti is jailed on $200,000 bond.

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Kansas Couple Hurt in Potter Co. Crash

A Topeka, Kansas, couple both suffered injuries during an accident Monday evening on Cowley Hill Road in Keating Township.

Police say 47-year-old David Lemon failed to negotiate a turn and had to lay the bike down on its side off the north edge of the road.

His passenger, 37-year-old Dawn Lemon, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police did not know the severity of the driver’s injuries.

An earlier news release said Dawn Lemon was charged with DUI, but a corrected release says David Lemon was charged.

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Ridgway Woman Hurt in Fire

UPDATE: The fire has been ruled arson

A Ridgway woman was hurt during a house fire early this morning.

69-year-old Pauline Smith suffered minor injuries in the blaze at her West Main Street home that started at around 5:15 a.m.

The fire did about $100,000 worth of damage to the two-story building.

A state police fire marshal has not determined the cause of the blaze but is continuing his investigation.

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'I Love NY' Campaign Returns

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched a new tourism advertising campaign featuring a reinvention of the iconic "I Love NY" logo in order to promote the New York’s unmatched vacation destinations and attractions.

For the first time ever, the State has asked New Yorkers and visitors to help remake the "I Love NY" logo by submitting personal sketches depicting what they love about New York State. The "I Love NY" logo has not been used in television ads in over three years.

The ads feature destinations in all regions of the state. After years of cuts to tourism promotion, this ad campaign fulfills Governor Cuomo’s campaign promise to support tourism across the state this year. Visit to explore the new campaign and watch the ads.

"Tourism is vital to the economy of our state, supporting nearly 500,000 jobs and generating tens of billions of dollars in revenues for the state and businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "This campaign reinvents one of our state's great assets – the 'I Love NY' icon – which is known the world over as one of the most successful advertising symbols ever. This campaign brings that icon to life in order to highlight all of the things people love about New York."

The New York State Division of Marketing, Advertising and Tourism, which is part of Empire State Development (ESD), together with BBDO Advertising, developed the summer advertising campaign asking New Yorkers as well as out-of-state visitors to share their most meaningful travel experiences in the state by sketching what they love about the state’s vacation destinations.

Ken Adams, President and CEO of Empire State Development, said, "Governor Cuomo knows that tourism is a critical economic engine for our state. It is now the 5th largest employer in the state and growing. There’s never a shortage of passion about New York, and now, we’re putting that passion where it belongs – into the heart of New York and its tourism industry. Governor Cuomo has restored the confidence in, pride for and reputation of New York on a national and international level. Today’s launch of the new 'I Love NY' marketing campaign is yet another thing for all New Yorkers to be proud of."

David Lubars, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of BBDO North America, said, " 'I Love NY' hadn't been used on TV in more than three years. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we took that one-of-a-kind icon and made it even more dynamic in order to match the dynamism and diversity of New York. By asking the public to sketch what they love most about New York, we are demonstrating that New York state is an amazing place with so much for everyone to love – events, locations, icons, and activities. The drawings will be the cornerstone of this campaign as we help grow New York's tourism industry throughout the state. On behalf of BBDO, I thank Governor Cuomo for the opportunity to be part of this campaign."

People can replace the heart in the iconic "I [HEART] NY" logo with their own drawing of what they most love about the state and submit it online. Submissions can be sent to or Submissions will be displayed in an online gallery.

This is the first time in nearly 40 years, since the logo’s inception, that New York State has officially asked the public for their interpretations of the "I Love NY" and for the reasons they love New York.

Advertisements will encourage viewers to visit to plan their summer vacations to New York State. Select drawings may be used to replace the heart in "I Love NY" in new ads focused on New York’s many different experiences in future campaigns.

The campaign will be supported with a strong public relations and digital program to drive trade and consumer awareness. Digital elements include "I Love NY" Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

The ads, focusing on summer tourism destinations, will air for seven weeks and are targeted to tourists within a five to six hour driving range which includes the following markets: Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, New York, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, Burlington-Plattsburgh, Cleveland, Hartford-New Haven, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Montreal.

The advertisements will run throughout the day on both network and premium channels during early morning and primetime, including during shows such as Today, Good Morning America, and on channels like ESPN, the Travel Channel and the Food Network.

In addition to digital and television media, NYC Taxi TV will carry the advertisements in more than 6,000 cabs approximately four times per hour during weekdays.

The new "I Love NY" ads are part of a $5 million tourism marketing campaign within the larger “New York Open for Business,” a $50 million statewide business initiative. The "I Love NY" ad campaign is expected to expand to feature other tourism seasons in the future.

The "I Love NY" launch follows a recent report from Tourism Economics stating that direct spending by tourists in New York State in 2011 was $53.8 billion, an 8.1 percent increase from 2010 and a new high direct spending figure for the state that also generated $6.9 billion in state and local taxes. This represents back to back 8 plus percent growth in annual statewide tourism, which has helped New York State tourism to return to pre-recession levels. There has been a 3.8% increase in tourism industry employment to 482,231, and in some parts of New York, particularly rural communities like in the Adirondacks and the Catskills, tourism generates up to 16 percent of all local jobs.

Among states, New York ranks third in size of tourism economies behind California and Florida. New York faces increased marketing budget competition from other states: Florida ($90M), California ($50M), and Michigan ($25.4M).

Provided by Cuomo's office

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Cleland: Sandusky Trial Will Start Tuesday

Judge John Cleland has denied a request by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to delay the start of his child sex abuse trial, which is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

Cleland’s ruling this morning said that he, the defense and the prosecution met in the judge’s chambers yesterday to discuss the reasons the defense thinks the start of the trial should be delayed.

One of the defense arguments is that reviewing the significant amount of discovery material provided by the attorney general’s office is difficult. Cleland wrote that, “No doubt sorting the wheat from the chaff has been time consuming. … (H)owever, the defense team is assuredly capable, even as the trial is ongoing, of sorting through the material to determine what is useful to the defense and what is not.

Sandusky is charged with 52 counts involving 10 boys he allegedly abused over a 15-year period. He denies the allegations.

A hearing is being held this afternoon to hammer out last-minute details regarding the trial.

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Two Dozen Arrested for Drug Trafficking

BUFFALO – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that 24 individuals have been arrested on narcotics trafficking charges in connection with drug distribution networks in Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Genesee Counties.

Today’s two indictments are the result of an investigation known as “Operation Babcock” run by the Attorney General Schneiderman's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (C-NET) unit. Babcock is the nickname of a neighborhood in South Buffalo where much of the investigation took place.

Attorney General Schneiderman's office is prosecuting the 24 individuals who participated in two separate cocaine distribution networks centered in and around the Buffalo area. During the course of this investigation, several kilograms of cocaine, and approximately $58,500 in cash were seized.

"Operation Babcock has led to the arrests of dozens of individuals who infiltrated the streets of Western New York with large quantities of illegal drugs," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "With our partners in law enforcement, we will continue to crackdown on these drug networks to rid our neighborhoods from the infestation of these dangerous narcotics. I want to thank the New York State Police and the rest of our law enforcement partners for another successful operation that will keep our streets safer."

New York State Police Superintendent, Joseph A. D'Amico said, "This investigation is yet another result of the longstanding and highly successful partnership that exists between the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team. Their dedication, investigative efforts, and today's arrests have removed a significant cocaine distribution operation in Western New York. We are sending a strong message that illegal drugs will not be tolerated in our communities."

The year-long undercover investigation revealed Richard Himbury, of Tonawanda NY, as one of the major suppliers in the Buffalo area.

Another defendant, Laurie Kozakowski, has been a toll collector, employed by the New York State Thruway Authority, for the past 10 years. The investigation revealed that Kozakowski bought large amounts of cocaine from suppliers in South Buffalo and brought it to Batavia where she re-sold the drugs.

Kozakowski is charged with an A1 felony which carries a penalty of eight to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

The first indictment is 95 counts and charges 22 defendants with Conspiracy, as well as Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. The second indictment charges three defendants with Conspiracy, Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Defendants (Hometown, Age):
ROB ALESSI West Seneca, NY, 29
JESSE BONNER Buffalo, NY, 38
SCOTT BUSH Buffalo, NY, 50
MARK COUSINS Buffalo, NY, 21
KEVIN DEAN Buffalo, NY, 21
DANIEL FINO Lackawanna, NY, 26
WESLEY FISH Buffalo, NY, 25
GREGORY GIOIA West Seneca, NY, 22
RICHARD ISCH East Aurora, NY, 24
DAVID LINK Tonawanda, NY,42
JOSEPH SANNA Buffalo, NY, 43

The indictment is the culmination of a major investigation led by Attorney General Schneiderman’s OCTF and is part of his efforts to combat large-scale narcotics trafficking and related crimes across the state.

The Attorney General thanked the Buffalo Police Department and the New York State Division of Parole for their assistance with the investigation.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The investigation was conducted by OCTF Special Investigator Thomas Vivian and Supervising Investigator Peter Talty under the supervision of Deputy Chief Eugene Black and NYSP Senior Investigator Charles Torres under the supervision of Lt . Martin McKee and Major Wayne Olson.

The case is being prosecuted in Erie County by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Kevin Kane, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock.

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Jail Escapee Spotted This Morning

UPDATE: Jeffers is back in custody as of 10:40 a.m.

The man who escaped from the Potter County Jail Tuesday afternoon was spotted this morning in Ulysses.

18-year-old Andrew Jeffers was seen at 5:15 a.m. in the woods off Empson Road. Police say he was wearing a blue shirt with jeans and a dark-colored hoodie. He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall with brown hair and a light brown beard.

Jeffers escaped from the jail at about 1 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. He was sent to jail on burglary and theft charges.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Man Charged for Stealing, Selling Wheels

A Smethport man is accused of stealing a woman’s wheels and tires, and then selling the wheels for scrap.

Police say sometime between last Monday and Wednesday 31-year-old Shaun Dinch sole four wheels and tires belonging to Lisa Burkhouse of Bradford. Dinch allegedly cut the tires of the wheels, damaging the wheels, and sold them.

He is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief.

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Fire Destroys Elk County Home

Fire destroyed the home of an Elk County woman Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started at just after 1 p.m. at the mobile home of 73-year-old Dorthy McKinney.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. It did more than $60,000 worth of damage.

No one was hurt. The Red Cross is assisting the victim.

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Not Guilty Plea to Jail Assault

An Olean man has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a corrections officer.

52-year-old Bruce Ferguson was indicted on an assault charge for allegedly injuring a corrections officer at the Cattaraugus County Jail on November 12.

The matter has been adjourned for motions.

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Kinzua Journey Wine Now for Sale

Saturday at FlickerFest at the Flickerwood Wine Cellars & Lounge in Kane the Zampogna family unveiled their new wine, Kinzua Journey, a semi-sweet white wine. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the wine will be donated to the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau to help promote tourism in McKean County and the ANF Region. Sharon Zampogna, Ron Zampogna, Sue Zampogna, Sandra Rhodes, Tammy Zampogna-Liberato, Tim Zampogna (Standing), Rick Zampogna and Julie Julie Zampogna-Wehner (kneeling).

ANFVB photo

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Man Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

A Hamburg man suffered a serious foot injury while riding his motorcycle Monday evening in Forestville.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say the bike operated by 57-year-old Leonard Mann apparently got into the gravel on the shoulder of Hanover Road, which caused it to go out of control and crash.

Mann was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC in Buffalo for treatment of the injury.

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Man Escapes from Potter County Jail

Police are looking for a man who escaped from the Potter County Jail this afternoon.

18-year-old Andrew Schuyler Jeffers of Ulysses escaped at around 1 p.m. and was last seen heading north through the woods near the Coudersport Consistory. He was last seen wearing his yellow jail uniform. Jeffers is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall with brown hair and a light brown beard.

He was sent to jail on more than a dozen felony charges related to burglaries and thefts last month in the Ulysses area. Jeffers is accused of stealing three dirt bikes from different homes, diesel fuel, gasoline and a motocross helmet.

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch

UPDATE: A Severe Thunderstorm WARNING is in effect until 2:45 p.m. for Shinglehouse, Port Allegany, Roulette, Keating Summit, Genesee, Coudersport, Denton Hill State Park.

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 o'clock tonight for McKean, Elk, Cameron, Jefferson, Warren, Forest and Potter counties.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued the warning for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties until 7 p.m.

Some of the storms could produce large hail and strong wind gusts.

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Trout Stolen from Pond

200 stocked trout were fish-napped from Wildcat Park in Ludlow over the weekend.

Police say someone parked along Route 6 and removed the trout from a pond, which had been stocked for a youth fishing derby scheduled for June 20.

The Ludlow Community Association bought the trout and stocked the pond.

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Two Burned When Boat Catches Fire

A woman is hospitalized and a man was burned after a boat exploded on Chautauqua Lake near Smith Boys Marina Monday afternoon.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 41-year-old Stephanie Mummert of Fairfield and 43-year-old Thomas Meyers of Mechanicsburg grabbed life vests and jumped into the water. Nearby boaters pulled them from the water and called 911.

Mummert is being treated at WCA Hospital in Jamestown for burns to her lower legs. Meyers suffered minor burns and was treated and released.

photos from Facebook

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