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Friday, October 5, 2012

Mary Carletta

Mary V. Carletta, 90, formerly of 10 Park St. and 2 South Ave., passed away Thursday, October 4, 2012, in The Pavilion at Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born in Lewis Run, on December 14, 1921, she was the daughter of Frank and Nina (Zandi) Vecellio.

On November 26, 1955 in Bradford she married Frank A. Carletta, who died on October 31,1993.

She had been employed as a service representative at the Bell Telephone Co. for 11 years and prior to her retirement as a clerk in the Meat Department at the A&P Grocery Store.

She was a member of St. Bernard Church and the Catholic Women's Club, Bradford Ecumenical Home Auxiliary, AARP, Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, and the Greater Bradford Senior Activity Center.

Mary is survived by a daughter, Michele A. (Dennis) Peters of Warren, two grandchildren, Heather Peters of Jamestown NY, and Bridget (Mike) Neely of Newport News VA, two great grandchildren Skylynn Tomlinson and Bryce Tomlinson and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one brother Joseph Vecellio, and one sister Clara Pascarella.

Friends may call on Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 2-4 & 6-8pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. 372 E. Main St. Bradford, where prayers will be held Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:30am followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am at St. Bernard Church with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as Celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Bradford Central Christian Alumni Association, the American Cancer Society, St. Bernard Church or the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PGC Re-Thinks Bat Plan

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), co-chairman of the Legislative Timber Caucus, issued the following statement in response to an announcement made today by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) that it will not pursue regulatory changes related to the state’s bat population at this time.

“I am pleased that the Pennsylvania Game Commission is backing away from its consideration of regulations that would have had dire consequences for our regional and statewide economy.

“To propose something like banning the harvest of timber for seven months out of the year – without any scientific evidence it would help the bat population – was misguided. I am encouraged by the agency’s acknowledgement that interested parties must work together to find a solution that will ‘protect bats without threatening the industries that employ thousands of Pennsylvanians.’”

In early August, the PGC published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin regarding its consideration of a number of actions to address the declining population of three species of bats due to the spread of white nose syndrome. The actions under consideration included a seasonal ban on timber harvesting from April until mid-November, as well as mandatory canopy retention requirements, mandatory retention of certain tree species and prohibition of all timber harvesting in riparian buffers.

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Lost Hiker Found Safe & Sound

Elkland Search & Rescue spent about three hours Wednesday night searching for a hiker who got lost in the Winslow Hill area of Benezette Township.

The 68-year-old man is not from this area, but was camping at a campground along Route 555. He told his wife he was going for a walk in the woods, and hoped to get pictures of some elk. When he didn’t return to the campground his wife found his vehicle and contacted state police.

The search started at about 8:30 p.m., and an Elkland team found him at just after 11:30 and led him out of the woods. He wasn’t hurt.

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DalTile Closing in Olean

DalTile has announced that it will close its operations in Olean at the end of January, leaving nearly 200 people without jobs.

Senator Cathy Young says all levels of government worked to put together a lucrative package to keep the company in Olean but, in the end, the national economy was too much to overcome. She says sales are down at the facility has been running and 40 to 50 percent capacity.

She says it would have cost the company $10 million more in capital and operations to say in Olean than to stay in Gettysburg, where its sister plant is.

Back in August, company officials said a decrease in sales of mosaic tiles nationwide was forcing them to make a decision on whether keeping both the Olean and Gettysburg plants open was feasible.

She says she’s been in contact with the Department of Labor and the Rapid Response Services team will be coming to Olean to help workers with job placements, unemployment insurance and job training.

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Beaver County State Trooper Killed

Harrisburg – State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan today released the following statement regarding the fatal crash that took the life of a Pennsylvania State Trooper this morning:

“It is with a very heavy heart and a deep sense of sadness that I announce the tragic death of Trooper First Class Blake T. Coble of Troop D, Beaver Station.”

“While on patrol today just after 10 a.m., Trooper Coble was involved in a motor vehicle crash at SR 168 and Blackhawk Road in South Beaver Township, Beaver County. He was transported to the Heritage Valley Beaver hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Trooper Coble, age 48, had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since Nov. 1, 1988. Trooper Coble has two children and his wife, Brenda, is a Police Communications Operator at Troop D, Beaver Station.”

“His untimely death left two children without a father and a wife without her husband, plus countless friends and family members grieving. He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends."

“Trooper Coble is the 94th member of the state police to be killed in the line of duty in the history of the Pennsylvania State Police.”

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Man Charged with Beating Up His Mother
Waives Preliminary Hearing

A man accused of beating up his mother in Bradford Township back in July has waived his preliminary hearing.

32-year-old Robert White of Rochester, New York, is accused of throwing his mother against a wall, punching her in the face, stomping on her ear, kicking her in the ribs and back, banging her head off the kitchen floor and choking her.

White called the McKean County 911 Center to say he had just beaten his mother and, when police arrived, he told them he could have killed her and buried her in the backyard, according to papers filed in District Judge Rich Luther’s office. He also told police the assault was his mother’s fault because she caused him to have physical shortcomings.

White is jailed on $50,000 bail.

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SPCA Investigator Charged Again

The animal cruelty investigator for the Cattaraugus County SPCA accused of forging a rabies vaccination certificate is now accused of forging another certificate.

38-year-old Phillip Barrett was charged with forgery back in August for an alleged incident in 2008. The second charge was added Wednesday night.

Barrett has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to be back in Town of Hinsdale Court next month.

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Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Kids

A Falconer, New York, man is facing charges for having sex with children.
State police say 48-year-old Douglas Nelson had inappropriate relationships with children in Chautauqua County and surrounding areas. The investigation is continuing while police try to determine whether Nelson had contact with any other children.Because of the ongoing investigation, police have not released any further information. Nelson was sent to jail on $25,000 cash bail.
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Roulette Man Killed in Crash

A Roulette man is dead following a crash between a pickup truck and a tractor trailer Wednesday night.

State Police say 73-year-old Gordon Cotter was at the intersection of Route 6 and Main Street in Roulette Township at around 8 o’clock when a tractor trailer attempting to turn around at the intersection hit the pickup.

Cotter was pronounced dead at the scene. The tractor-trailer driver, 72-year-old Kenneth Scott of Chase City, Virginia, was not hurt.

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United Way at 20 Percent of Goal

United Way of the Bradford Area has made its first thermometer posting of 2012-2013 Campaign: LIVE UNITED, announcing that the organization is currently at 20% of the $330,000 goal.

“We received an early boost with the generosity of the many leadership donors that support United Way and our mission. We also are very grateful with the number of individual donations from the community, which all add up and truly do signify the ‘Live United’ concept,” stated Executive Director, Megan Minich.

In the coming weeks, Minich noted that “the United Way is scheduling employee presentations within many of the community’s organizations, so you’ll see the red rising relatively quickly.”

Leadership Division Co-Chair Lisa Minich added, “I’m excited and honored to be co-chairing the Leadership and Professional Division with Jeannine Schoenecker. As professionals in a community that has allowed our careers to flourish, we are privileged to be considered leaders in our community. We also understand that giving to United Way is an investment in a community in which we live, work, and raise our families. The need in our community is greater than ever for the services and programs provided by the member agencies. Being at 20% this early in the campaign is a true testament of how generous and caring a community we are. Your investment in United Way will help build our leaders of tomorrow.”

Efforts will continue over the next three months to not only solicit the local community for monetary support, but to also educate it on the purpose of United Way. A Business Phone-A-Thon is scheduled for the week of October 15 with volunteers calling local businesses to secure their pledge to this year’s campaign.

The United Way Board of Directors is currently in the process of reviewing the RFPs (request for proposals) submitted for the 2013 calendar year. RFPs were due September 4, and the committees are comprised of United Way board members who will be meeting numerous times to make their recommendations, which will be voted on in November.

If anyone has questions regarding the 2012-2013 Campaign: LIVE UNITED or would like to make a financial donation, please contact the United Way office at 814-368-6181 or visit

Pictured, Megan Minch (executive director of United Way of the Bradford Area) Lisa Minich and Jeannine Schoenecker (Co-Chairs of the Leadership and Professional Division of 2012-2013 Campaign: LIVE UNITED), raise the thermometer at Northwest Savings Bank to indicate that the organization is at 20 percent of its campaign goal.
United Way photo

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pitt-Bradford Students Tackle Project to
Increase Trail Use in Area

The Appalachian Regional Commission is helping to take University of Pittsburgh at Bradford students out of the classroom and into the community by sponsoring the rapidly evolving GPS Mapping and Community Development Project centered in McKean County.

On Oct. 4, students of Dr. William Schuman III, assistant professor of anthropology, will participate in a seminar held on campus by the Pennsylvania Wilds. They will conduct a workshop detailing the work that they have done thus far on a trails project and what their plans are for the project in the future.

The trail project uses interactive trail mapping software to create virtual tours of McKean County wildlife trails. The trail information will be able to be accessed through applications on hand-held devices and will feature facts about landmarks on the trail, such as naturally occurring developments and historical sites. This information would be community specific and not the type of routine fact that could be found easily on the Internet. Project organizers hope to help local businesses gain a competitive advantage by using the data entries on the trail to promote local landmarks and businesses in the area.

Last year members of the trail project, led by Schumann, laid the groundwork for this year’s efforts by attending town meetings in several communities alongside representatives of the Allegheny National Forest Visitor’s Bureau to help to measure the level of community interest in the project.

Later Schumann received grants for the trail project, including an Oakland Innovation in Education Award and an Appalachian Teaching Project grant. This month, he will lead his students in Applied Anthropology in mapping and photographing the Potato Creek Trail in Smethport. He calls this year’s work on the project, “The perfect storm of student ability, outside campus partnerships and community interest.”

The trail project is being developed in partnership with the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Pitt-Bradford’s Center for Rural Health Practice, the borough of Smethport, and the Potato Creek Trail Association. Within the campus community, Dr. Reece Wilson, assistant professor of education, and his students will design and add digitally based lesson plans to the trail app for the students of the Smethport Area School District.

Schumann said his students’ participation in the project is an opportunity to distinguish themselves and adds that their involvement in the project could help them to find internships, bolster résumés, and build working relationships and networking opportunities with professionals who may be able to give students an edge in the job market later.

Last year, Schumann and his students traveled to Washington D.C to submit their research to the ARC. The group will return in December of this year to present their work.

Pictured, from left, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford education students Beth Mealy, Nick Anderson and Kelly Peterson, and anthropology students Kayla Branch and Dominika Urban, showing off the coordinates of a bridge they’ve mapped for a trails mobile app to enhance use of the Potato Creek trail in Smethport. The education students will be developing a curriculum to complement the app.
Pitt-Bradford photo

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Kasperski Named Faculty Liaison to Athletics

Michael Kasperski, a lecturer of accounting in the School of Business at St. Bonaventure University, has been appointed to a three-year term as the university’s NCAA faculty athletic representative.

The appointment, made by Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., university president, is effective immediately.

“Mike is a respected faculty colleague who has an appreciation for the complexities of intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level. I am thrilled that he has accepted this appointment,” said Sr. Margaret.

Kasperski will serve as a liaison between the university and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. His role is to help maintain an appropriate balance between academics and athletics on campus.

His duties include monitoring procedures and processes to assure that student-athletes meet all NCAA, Atlantic 10 Conference and institutional eligibility requirements for financial aid, practice and competition; certifying the academic eligibility of St. Bonaventure’s student-athletes; and maintaining a high degree of visibility and availability to student-athletes on campus.

“A big part of this is being accessible to the student-athletes,” said Kasperski. “They need to know that they have somebody they can reach out to, somebody willing to help them if they have an issue or need to talk to someone.”

The role seems perfectly suited to Kasperski, who is both fan and faculty member. A native of Olean, he was a kid when Bob Lanier led St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Final Four in basketball in 1969-70.

“That really sparks an interest in a young kid, so, yes, I think athletics is important, and I can see how athletics helps focus and round out an individual,” he said. “But we can’t forget that first and foremost, students are here to get an education. It needs to be clear to our student-athletes that that is the main goal here. My responsibility is to help bridge the gap between academics and athletics.”

Kasperski succeeds Dr. Dennis Wilkins, professor of journalism and mass communication, who served as faculty athletic representative for eight years.

Conspiracy Charge Bound to Court

A charge against a Bradford man accused of conspiring with two other people to take a stolen car to Buffalo and trade it for drugs was bound to court today following a hearing in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone.

Robert Pierce is accused of conspiring with Tyler Sherman and a man he only knows as “Junior” to take the car that was stolen from Phillips Auto Depot. When they were unsuccessful in their attempt to sell or trade the car for drugs, they came back to Bradford and parked the car on Linwood Avenue, according to court papers.

Sherman then allegedly drove the car a block away to the McKean County SPCA so it wouldn’t be in front of his house.

Pierce remains jailed on $10,000 bail.

A charge of receiving stolen property was dismissed.

Sherman is also charged in connection to a home invasion, where he allegedly put a knife to a woman’s throat and demanded that she hand over her prescription for morphine patches, which she didn’t have.

Hearings for both of Sherman's cases have been moved to October 31. He remains jailed on a quarter of a million dollars bail.

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Fire Ruled Accidental

A fire that damaged an Elk County house early Monday morning has been ruled accidental.

The fire started at around 3:30 a.m. in the house off Hickey Lane in Highland Township. The house is owned by James and Robin Vito Jr. of Kane.

The fire caused about $80,000 worth of damage. No one was hurt.

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Man Accused of Threatening SPCA, Police
Waives Preliminary Hearing

The Bradford man accused of threatening SPCA employees and city police has waived his preliminary hearing.

Sean Luce went to the SPCA on the afternoon of August 7 to get his dog and was told he would have to pay a $20 claim fee to take the dog. According to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office, Luce yelled that he would not pay the fee, and then forced his way into an area he wasn’t supposed to be in. When the manager and employees tried to get him out of the area he allegedly hit an employee.

Luce got his dog and took it from the shelter without paying the fee. When the manager told him she was going to call the police he allegedly said, “They better bring their f***ing guns.”

Luce is free on unsecured bail.

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Pitt MSW Program at Pitt-Bradford
Celebrates 10 Years, Honors Cleland

Alumni of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work who earned their master’s degree through the program on the Bradford campus gathered Friday to celebrate the program’s 10th year and honor one of its strongest champions, the Judge John M. Cleland.

Since its inception in 2002, the MSW program at Pitt-Bradford has graduated 76 social workers. Currently, 37 students are working to complete their degrees.

“I believe that it is very important for us to strengthen our network, support one another and to work collaboratively every chance we can get to make our communities the best they can be,” said Stephanie Eckstrom, MSW coordinator. “I believe that each one of you has made a difference in someone’s life. Together, we can really make an impact.”

To honor Cleland’s role in beginning the program at Pitt-Bradford, he was made an honorary alumnus of the School of Social Work.

Dr. Larry Davis, dean of the School of Social Work, spoke about the involvement of Cleland, who is a former president judge of McKean County and former chairman of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board.

“In his years on the bench, Judge Cleland was intimately aware of the troubles experienced by the communities’ most vulnerable citizens, children,” Davis said. “These children deserved the best interventions, the best coordination, the best advocacy, and he saw a consistent need to expand the region’s pool of professional social workers, particularly in the realm of child welfare.

“He took his firsthand knowledge and, in his role as a Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board and Pitt Board of Trustees member, he spoke up. At the right time, to the right people, Judge Cleland advocated for the establishment of the Pitt-Bradford MSW program. He will downplay his role, but there are many of us who know that it was Judge Cleland’s efforts, his championing of the program, that broke the bureaucratic logjam so that all of the collaborative efforts of everyone else could come to fruition.”

For more information about the MSW program or its alumni network, contact Eckstrom at (814)362-7527.

Pictured, Judge John M. Cleland, center, is made an honorary alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work by Dr. Larry Davis, dean, left, and Stephanie Eckstrom, coordinator of the school’s Master of Social Work program at the Bradford campus. Cleland was honored for his advocacy, which was instrumental in creating the regional program.
Photo by Shawn Murray

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Casey Advocates for
Bradford to Pittsburgh Flight

Senator Bob Casey thinks flights from Bradford to Pittsburgh would benefit the local economy more than flights to Cleveland do, and he has written to Silver Airlines’ CEO to tell him that.

In his letter to Darrell Richardson Casey says adding a direct flight from Bradford to Pittsburgh would help the region take better advantage of the economic activity generated by natural gas, and give McKean County residents a more convenient option to travel to southwestern Pennsylvania.

He added that Bradford Regional Airport has seen a decline in passengers over the last several years because of the elimination of direct service to Washington, DC. Casey also said he believes a flight from Bradford to Pittsburgh would spur continued economic growth and job creation in the region.

Causer: Proposal to Address Bat Deaths
Could Paralyze State's Economy

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), co-chairman of the Legislative Timber Caucus, today warned that a proposal being discussed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to address the state’s bat population would be devastating not only to the timber industry, but to the oil, gas and coal industries as well.

Populations of three bat species in the Commonwealth – Little Brown Bats, Tri-Colored Bats and Northern Long-Eared Bats – have dropped dramatically in the last five years due to the deadly white nose syndrome (WNS). The commission is considering several actions to protect the remaining population of the bats, including a seasonal ban on timber harvesting from April until mid-November.

“Frankly, I’m not sure where the PGC is coming from with this proposal,” Causer said. “Sacrificing key segments of our economy is a very drastic step to take, especially when there is no evidence to prove a ban on timber harvesting will help the bat population one bit.”

Causer brought members of the Legislative Timber Caucus together on Tuesday to discuss the impact of the commission’s proposals. In addition to the seasonal ban on harvesting, other actions being considered that would affect the timber industry include mandatory canopy retention requirements, mandatory retention of certain tree species and prohibition of all timber harvesting in riparian buffers.

According to Paul Lyskava of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, such actions would devastate the forest products industry and the owners of working forests. He told members that logging would become a part-time profession in the Commonwealth, and sawmills, paper mills and other timber processing facilities would find it extremely difficult to remain competitive. Tens of thousands of jobs are potentially impacted by the proposal, and the Commonwealth itself would lose millions of dollars annually in future timber sale revenue. Both the game commission and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) currently benefit from timber sales on Commonwealth lands.

“Pennsylvania cannot afford, and certainly our region cannot afford, to have one of our most important industries cut off at the knees,” Causer said. “We must find a solution to this problem that will not have such dire consequences for the economy.”

Causer noted that the harvesting restrictions being discussed by the game commission would impact all tree removal, which also would hamper the growing natural gas industry, as well as the oil and coal industries.

Members of the Timber Caucus voted unanimously at the meeting to submit comments to the game commission expressing opposition to the proposal and urging commission members to reach out to the industry, DCNR and other stakeholders to find a solution that will preserve the bat population without sacrificing the state’s key industries.

WNS was first documented in New York in 2006. It spread quickly and has now been confirmed to exist in 21 states and four Canadian provinces. Lawmakers will further explore this issue when the House Game and Fisheries Committee holds an informational meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, at the state Capitol. Game commission officials will discuss their proposal and take questions from the committee at the meeting, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Room 60 East Wing.

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Another Arson Arrest in Elk County

St. Marys Police have made another arson arrest.

25-year-old Steven Hulings is charged with arson and related offenses in connection the fire that destroyed a house at 137 Lynch Avenue in the city. The contents of the house were destroyed as well.

Hulings is also charged with burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. He’s jailed on $50,000 bail.

Police say this arrest is not related to the string of arsons in Elk County over the summer. Several arrests have been made, however, and several others are still under investigation.

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thinking Pink in Harrisburg

First Lady Susan Corbett joined the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and former First Lady Michelle Ridge in front of the state capitol's War Veteran's Memorial Fountain dyed pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Photo provided by Commonwealth Media Services

New Erie Diocese Bishop Installed

The Catholic Diocese of Erie officially has a new leader.

Bishop Lawrence Persico was installed during a Mass this afternoon at St. Peter Cathedral.

 Persico succeeds Bishop Donald Trautman who retired, and is only the 10th bishop in the history of the diocese.


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Man Charged with Indecent Assault

A Bradford man is in jail charged with aggravated indecent assault, and two other related felonies.

Matthew Braund allegedly had unwanted contact with the victim on Sunday.

His bail is set at $50,000.

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

Bradford Woman Charged with Arson

A resident of a Beacon Light group home is accused of intentionally starting a fire in her bedroom late Sunday night.

27-year-old Chelsea Albright used a Bic lighter to start the fire at around 10:45 p.m. at 241 Congress Street, according to papers filed in District Judge Bill Todd’s office. She allegedly burned a stuffed animal and a plastic tote. A Beacon Light employee put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.

The court papers say Albright was upset because she was told it was time for her guest to leave, but she showed no signs violence. She allegedly started the fire a short time later, and told the employee she did it because she didn’t want to live at the house anymore.

Albright is jailed on $30,000 bail.

Fire Department Captain Matt Rettger told police, “The potential for bodily harm or death was great.” The fire alarm system in the house did not work so there was no notification of an emergency, and there was another person asleep in the house at the time of the fire.

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

James City Man Facing Charges for
Letting Raw Sewage into Waterway

An Elk County man has been charged for allowing more than 10 million gallons of wastewater to be discharged into a tributary leading to Wolf Run.

75-year-old Charles Vaughn of James City is a certified sewage treatment plant operator, but Attorney General Linda Kelly said the plant was being operated by someone who was not certified. During this time – between 2007and 2010 – an unauthorized bypass pipe was installed at the headworks of the plant, which allowed raw sewage to be redirected away from the plant and discharged directly into the unnamed tributary.

DEP requires certified sewage treatment plant operators to report sewage that it bypassed through a plant, but Vaughn allegedly did not report it.

He is charged with two counts of tampering with public records or information, two counts of unsworn falsification to authorities and one count of unlawful conduct pursuant to the Clean Streams Law.

Vaughn is free on $5,000 unsecured bail.

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Taglianetti Fighting Extradition

Anthony Robert Taglianetti is fighting extradition to Chautauqua County.

During a hearing this morning in Virginia, the 42-year-oldl man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Clymer Schools Superintendent Keith Reed Jr. did not waive extradition.

Sheriff Joe Gerace says Taglianetti will remain jailed in Prince William County, Virginia, until an extradition hearing can be held. Gerace says that could take up to 30 days.

District Attorney David Foley is handling extradition procedures.

Taglianetti was picked up in Virginia Friday, a week after he allegedly shot and killed Reed outside his Clymer home.

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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Book Talk
Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone

The fall TV season is in full swing and now so is the fall Book Talk season.

We start with a dark tale from Stefan Kiesbye, "Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone."

If you like creepy, quirky books this time of year -- which many people do -- you'll like this one.

You can hear my conversation with Stefan here.

For more information:

Remember, the Bradford Area Public Library is always ready to help with your book-reading needs.

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