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Friday, April 19, 2013

City of Bradford Police Log for 4/18/13

City of Bradford Police on Friday investigated motor vehicle accidents on Davis and Boylston streets and a hit and run on Chestnut Street. They were called to a harassment complaint on Avenue B and a disturbance on South Avenue. Officers also looked into reports of suspicious activity on Kiwanis Court, South Avenue, Clinton Street and at a Main Street bank.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 4/17/13

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated a motor vehicle accident on Pleasant Street and a report of criminal mischief to an automobile on East Main Street. Officers got reports about harassment on Main Street, disorderly conduct on Interstate Parkway, a disturbance on Miller Street and a suspicious person on Festival Way.

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

Bar Fight Lands Man in Jail

A bar fight landed a Roulette man in jail.

28-year-old David Darush is accused of head-butting one man and punching another in the face last Friday at Shooters Bar in Port Allegany. Both men suffered injuries. Darush is also accused of knocking another man off a barstool.

He was jailed on $30,000 bail.

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

Cops: Man Had Sex with 13-Year-Old

A Derrick City man is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

19-year-old Richie Cromley is charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal solicitation on a computer of a sex act with a child.

He was sent to jail on $100,000 bail.

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

Downtown Shooter Sent to State Prison

The Buffalo man who fired several gun shots near a Pittsburgh man last October in in downtown Bradford has been sentenced to 5 to 10 years in state prison.

30-year-old Lawrence Fox fire several rounds from a .45 caliber handgun toward Robert Vaughn in the early morning hours of October 13 on Chautauqua Place. One of them hit an electric box on a house.

Fox pleaded guilty last month.

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

Bradford Native Talks About Boston Experience

Bradford native Rick Piscitelli arrived in Boston Wednesday and flew out earlier this afternoon. He shared these pictures with us, and also talked to us about some of the things he saw and heard.

Listen here.

SWAT in front of the Sheraton

The finish line of the Boston Marathon taken on Wednesday.

Trash left behind after the bomb went off in front of the Convention Center. Not disturbed because it is a crime scene.

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

Three Vehicle Crash on Route 219

A three-vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 219 and Hungry Hollow Road in Great Valley sent one person to the hospital.

Sheriff’s deputies say at around 3:20 Wednesday afternoon 58-year-old Sandra Simons of Kill Buck was traveling north on 219 and was about to make a left turn onto Hungry Hollow Road when a pickup truck driven by 28-year-old Kyle Schue of Orchard Park rear-ended Simon’s car, causing the truck to go into the oncoming lane and collide with a truck driven by 34-year-old Joshua Zolner of Great Valley.

A passenger in Simons' vehicle, 21-year-old Ronnie Waite of Kill Buck was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC with leg injuries. All the vehicles had to be towed for the scene.

Schue was issued tickets for following too closely and not wearing a seatbelt. Zolner was ticketed for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

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

School Prank Leads to Charges

A school prank led to charges against a teenage student.

State police were called to the Belmont BOCES Center in the Town of Amity for a report of a student who intentionally put a bag of nails on a seat in a classroom.

The 17-year-old from Amity is charged with reckless endangerment and is scheduled to appear in Amity Town Court on Wednesday.

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

Hajdu Appointed to Represent
Double Homicide Suspect

The four suspects in Wednesday’s double homicide in Carroll, New York, are scheduled to be in court next week, and one of them will be represented by a Bradford native.

34-year-old Davide Coggins, along with 21-year-old Joshua McCormick, 18-year-old Steven Todd and 18-year-old Ricky Knickerbocker of Elmira, were arrested in Elmira Thursday morning after a manhunt.

They are charged with two counts each of second-degree murder in connection to the deaths of 66-year-old Gordon Skinner and his wife, 59-year-old Joyce Skinner, who were found by firefighters inside their burning home.

All four suspects will be back in Carroll Court Thursday morning for preliminary hearings with their court-appointed attorneys. Bradford native Lyle Hajdu will be representing Steven Todd.

During a news conference on Thursday, Sheriff Joe Gerace said law enforcement is certain this was a home invasion that ended up in the deaths of the victims.

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

Alleged Smethport Battery Thief Arrested

Police think they’ve solved the case of the Smethport battery heist.

23-year-old Nathan Hoy of Smethport is accused of stealing 35 batteries from heavy construction equipment that belongs to Duffy Incorporated.

Hoy was arraigned by District Judge Bill Todd on felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property, and then sent to McKean County Jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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

Candidate Forum ... with No Spin

Candidates for McKean County Sheriff and Bradford City Council participated in a forum Thursday night at the Bradford Area Public Library, sponsored by the American Association of University Women. The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's Dr. Stephen Robar was the moderator.

To give you an opportunity to form your own opinions on what they had to say, we are providing you with the audio of the event.

Candidates for McKean County Sheriff:
Steve Caskey, Brian Gustafson, Brad Mason (pictured)

Candidates for Bradford City Council
Brad Mangel, Tim Pecora, Fred Proper

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

'Cigarette Exchange Scheme'
Leads to Charges for Corrections Officer

A jail “cigarette exchange scheme” has led to charges against a New York State Corrections officer from Dunkirk.

State police arrested 52-year-old Christopher Ley after a two-month investigation into the scheme at the Lakeview Correctional Facility in Brocton. While working as a corrections officer he allegedly exchanged cigarettes with inmates.

Ley is charged with a misdemeanor count of official misconduct and is scheduled to appear in Town of Portland Court.

Guilty Plea in Scheme
Involving Humane Society

A financial adviser has pleaded guilty to charges he stole more than $422,000 from an Elk County animal shelter and one of his private clients.

Forty-eight-year-old Richard Danz, was living in Matthews, N.C., when he was indicted and jailed on a federal arrest warrant last October for wire fraud and money laundering.

Danz stole most of the money from the Elk County Humane Society in St. Marys, where he volunteered as accountant and treasurer from September 2008 until he left in June. The rest of the money was stolen from one of his financial services clients and used to cover up some of the money missing from the Humane Society.

Danz could face up to 50 years in prison when he’s sentenced on September 10.

Carroll Homicide Victims ID'd

Authorities have released the names of the couple found dead after a house fire Wednesday morning in Carroll, New York.

Firefighters found 66-year-old Gordon Skinner and his wife, 59-year-old Joyce Skinner after putting out the fire on Wheeler Hill Road, and then called police.

The deaths have been ruled homicide, but authorities have not said how they died. Sheriff Joe Gerace said the crime scene was the worst he’s even seen, and added that the Skinners were not killed with a gun.

Four suspects are in Chautauqua County Jail awaiting arraignment in connection to the killings. They are 34-year-old Davide Coggins, who does not have a permanent address, and three Elmira, New York, men: 21-year-old Joshua McCormick, 18-year-old Steven Todd and 18-year-old Ricky Knickerbocker. They were arrested earlier today in Elmira.

City of Bradford Police Log for 4/17/13

City of Bradford Police on Wednesday investigated thefts on West Washington and East Main streets, and on Interstate Parkway. They were also called to disturbances on Roberts, Pearl, Forman, East Main, Kennedy and Jefferson streets, and on South Avenue. Officers also looked into a report of harassment on Main Street.

Water Main Break on East Corydon Street

Water authority crews were working on a water main break on East Corydon Street that happened earlier this afternoon. Apparently, someone working for contractor for the sewer project broke the pipe, according to the water authority. Crews had it fixed at just after 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Photos provided by John Stoneman

Arrests Made for Carroll, NY, Homicides

Four people have been arrested for the double homicide in the Chautauqua County Town of Carroll on Wednesday. Their names have not been released yet, but Sheriff Joe Gerace says they were picked up in Elmira and will likely be arraigned later today.

Gerace says the scene inside the Wheeler Hill Road home was the worst he's ever seen, and said a firearm was not used.

The names of the victims have not been releaesd yet either.

Malfunction Causes Power Outage

About 2,800 Penelec customers – including WESB and The Hero's studios on St. Francis Drive – lost power for a short time this morning.

Penelec tells us that there was an equipment malfunction between two substations at 8:31 a.m., which caused the outage.

Power was restored at about 8:40 a.m.

Cops: Woman Took Child to Drug Deals

A St. Marys woman is accused of bringing her child to drug deals where she sold heroin.

25-year-old Ashley Bianco allegedly sold the heroin to undercover investigators, and her child was with her during the sales.

She is charged with four felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a felony count of endangering the welfare of children, a felony count of criminal use of a communication facility for allegedly using her cell phone to set up the drug deals, and four misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance.

She’s jailed on $5,000 bail.

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

UPB Criminal Justice Student Helping Design
Re-Entry Programs for State Prison Inmates

A junior criminal justice major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is getting a glimpse of graduate school life while serving as a research assistant on two projects.

Richard Obermeyer of Bradford is helping conduct research for Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice, on two projects. The first is a project to develop a prisoner re-entry blueprint for state prison inmates who will be returning to McKean County. The second is to help with research on a book Gaskew has planned on prison re-entry.

Last spring, Gaskew, in conjunction with Theresa Wilcox, director of the McKean County Juvenile Probation Department, received a $10,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the McKean County Offender Re-entry Planning Project.

Gaskew said he applied for the grant, which runs from October 2012 to October 2013, knowing that hundreds of hours of research would be required and with Obermeyer in mind as a student capable of that work.

Obermeyer already had experience with prison re-entry programs, having worked on them while an intern at the Federal Correctional Institution – McKean last summer.

There he worked with two other criminal justice students, Kyle Yeager of Bear Lake and 2012 graduate David Kunkle, to design courses for inmates nearing the end of their sentences. They also designed a resource book and taught inmates how to obtain a driver’s license, Social Security card, library card and other necessities upon release. That information is coming in handy for his current project, some of which he has been able to modify for a more localized area.

As part of his research, Obermeyer is interviewing dozens of people involved with the prison, probation and social service communities, including the McKean County Commissioners, District Attorney, Sheriff and probation officers.

He also conducted a literature review – a standard first step in research to see what research already exists on the subject.

All of that research, interviewing and transcribing is adding up to hundreds of hours in the library and hundreds of hours of graduate-level research experience for Obermeyer, Gaskew said.

“It’s a great experience. He has a much more thorough understanding of research methods,” Gaskew said.

With one federal internship already under his belt and a recommendation from FCI McKean’s warden, Bobby Meeks, Obermeyer landed a second federal internship with the U.S. Marshal Service in Washington, D.C., this summer. Currently a junior, he has his eye set on attending the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs for a master’s degree in human security.

When all the literature is reviewed, interviews taken and transcribed, Obermeyer’s work will help Gaskew design a plan for prisoner re-entry aimed at reducing recidivism.

“It’s nice to have research in the field that will be used,” Obermeyer said.

For more information on the criminal justice program at Pitt-Bradford, contact Gaskew, who also directs the program, at (814)362-7636 or

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Oxycodone

A Clearfield man accused of selling oxycodone throughout northwestern Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty in federal court.

38-year-old Jason Shaffer conspired to distribute thousands of oxycodone tablets between February of 2010 and September of 2011. Prosecutors say he sold the drugs on the street after buying them himself for $25 to $30 a piece.

Shaffer faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on August 12.

Dr. Francis Mulcahy Receives Chairs' Faculty Teaching Award at Pitt-Bradford

Dr. Francis Mulcahy, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, has received the 2013 Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching.

“Students fondly consider him a very accessible instructor who is always available after class for questions dealing with homework or lab reports,” said Dr. Yong-Zhuo Chen, professor of physics and chairman of the Division of Physical and Computational Sciences, who nominated Mulcahy.

Mulcahy was chosen for the award by the chairmen and chairwomen of Pitt-Bradford’s five academic divisions.

In choosing an award recipient, the chairpersons review letters of recommendation, student evaluations of teaching, syllabi and grade distribution. They also consider the teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and their advising and dedication in working with students beyond the classroom in activities such as internships and research projects.

The award, which is now in its 12th year, is open to any full-time faculty member who has taught at Pitt-Bradford for at least three consecutive academic years.

Chen cited Mulcahy’s ability to maintain high evaluations from students whether the class had eight upper-level students or more than 60 students in an introductory lecture class.

Jake Loree ’11 said that Mulcahy “has the ability to not only engage his students in a difficult subject, but also to keep the subject of chemistry fun.”

Chen and alumni of the chemistry program also praised Mulcahy’s work outside the classroom, advising chemistry and pre-pharmacy majors, repairing lab equipment, supervising directed study and internships, and growing the chemistry program as its director from fewer than 10 students in the major five or six years ago to as many as 30 today.

Mulcahy has taught at Pitt-Bradford since 1989 and has served as director of the program since 1998. He teaches general, analytical and environmental chemistry. He earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 and earned his bachelor of science in chemistry at St. Vincent College. He and his wife, Dr. Mary Mulcahy, associate professor of biology at Pitt-Bradford, live in Bradford with their two children.

Past recipients of the Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award are Dr. Tammy Haley, Isabelle Champlin, Dr. Hashim Yousif, Dr. Jean Truman, Andrea Robbins, Dr. Helene Lawson, Dr. Joanne Burgert, Dr. Nancy McCabe, Donald Lewicki, Dr. Donald Ulin and Dr. Lauren Yaich.

Statements on Failure of
Background Check Measure

Senator Pat Toomey:
“I did what I thought was the right thing for our country. I sought out a compromise position that I thought could move the ball forward on an important matter of public safety. My only regret is that our amendment did not pass. It’s not the outcome I hoped for, but the Senate has spoken on the subject, and it’s time to move on. We have a lot of other very important issues to deal with such as getting the economy back on track, dealing with the debt ceiling and creating more jobs for Pennsylvanians.”

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:
“The failure to pass even the most basic measures to expand background checks for gun sales, despite near-universal support from the American people, is a disgrace. Expanding background checks is not a partisan or ideological issue, it is a public safety and law enforcement issue. We have shown here in New York that it is easy to expand background checks without infringing on anyone’s Second Amendment rights. Make no mistake– this fight is far from over. While Washington has failed to act, my office has partnered with the gun show industry to develop and implement a set of Model Gun Show Procedures to ensure universal background checks at gun shows in New York, a model that other states can use. ”

NRA Executive Director Chris Cox:
Today, the misguided Manchin-Toomey-Schumer proposal failed in the U.S. Senate. This amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.

Senate Passes Scarnati Safer Schools Bill

The State Senate today unanimously approved legislation introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) that would provide grants to Pennsylvania schools to address the issue of school violence and improve school safety.

Scarnati said that Senate Bill 10 was introduced in response in part to the tragic school shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last December.

“This legislation takes a crucial step to provide schools with the funding they need to protect students and teachers, through the expansion of targeted grants for School Resource Officers, School Police Officers, violence prevention programs and emergency preparedness initiatives,” Scarnati said.

Scarnati’s legislation paves the way for increasing the Safe Schools line item in the state budget. Currently, roughly $500,000 a year is awarded in Safe Schools Targeted Grants. Scarnati has proposed increasing that amount to a total of approximately $10 million per year.

“A core responsibility of government is to ensure the greatest level of security possible in our schools,” Scarnati said. “Protecting our children is not a partisan issue; this is an issue of importance for every school district, urban, suburban and rural.”

According to Scarnati, many school districts across the Commonwealth currently employ armed police and school resource officers. “These trained professionals provide an invaluable contribution to their schools, offering far more than just protection from physical harm,” Scarnati explained. “Such skilled school leaders also play a central role in creating a safer environment at academic institutions, by engaging students and preventing bullying.”

Senate Bill 10 was thoroughly vetted earlier this year during the Senate Education Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee joint hearings on the issue of school safety and violence prevention.

Scarnati said there has been significant support and encouragement for Senate Bill 10, from parents, teachers, school administrators, superintendents and public safety officials across the State. In addition, the bill is supported by the State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).

“I am pleased that this important legislation to help guard our students and educators has received such widespread support,” Scarnati said. “We must step up as a Commonwealth and take the lead in protecting the most vulnerable and precious in our society, our children.” Scarnati said.

Senate Bill 10 will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

PSEA Supports Scarnati Safer Schools Bill

HARRISBURG – The president of Pennsylvania’s largest school employee union today voiced support for Senate Bill 10, legislation introduced by state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati to improve school safety. It was approved by the Senate today.

Michael Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, today said Sen. Scarnati’s bill will help create safe learning environments for students attending the Commonwealth’s public schools.

“Senator Scarnati’s bill will provide another $10 million for safe schools grants, grants that school districts can use to improve security and support programs that keep students safe,” Crossey said. “PSEA was pleased to work with Sen. Scarnati on this bill. It’s an important step forward in protecting Pennsylvania’s students.

“Senate Bill 10 provides an appropriate balance for the distribution of school safety grants,” Crossey said. “We believe the bill, as amended, recognizes both the importance of school resource officers and the value of research-based programs such as schoolwide positive behavior supports, bullying prevention, or alternative education.”

Crossey said PSEA will continue to work with Sen. Scarnati and all stakeholders to improve state policies in order to ensure safe and secure school environments throughout the Commonwealth.

Crossey is a special education teacher in the Keystone Oaks School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents more than 183,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.

Casey Bill Would Promote New Construction,
Retail Improvements for Restaurants

Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled new legislation that would promote new construction and retail improvements at restaurants across the state. Casey’s bipartisan bill would increase access to capital by permanently extending the 15-year tax depreciation period for leasehold improvements, restaurant improvements and new construction and retail improvements.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Senator Casey. “We should provide them with the certainty they need to grow. By making the 15 year depreciation provision permanent, we will allow businesses across Pennsylvania to make smart investments to expand and create jobs.”

Senator Casey’s legislation will give companies the certainty they need to invest in their businesses and expand. These capital investments fuel economic activity and create jobs. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, every dollar spent in the construction industry generates an additional $2.39 in spending in the rest of the economy.

In addition to construction jobs, as employers expand their stores and restaurants, they will also need additional workers, creating jobs across the Commonwealth. This legislation will be particularly beneficial to Pennsylvania’s $17 billion restaurant industry, which supports more than 500,000 jobs around the state.

Senator Casey is joined in support of this legislation by Senator Cornyn, the lead Republican sponsor, as well as Senators Stabenow, Crapo, Menendez, Brown, Begich, Collins, Hagan, Inhofe, Klobuchar, Risch, Vitter and Wicker.

Dead Bodies Found in Chautauqua County

Two dead bodies were found in the Town of Carroll this morning after firefighters were called out for a house fire on Wheeler Hill Road.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace tells the Jamestown Post-Journal newspaper that the situation is considered suspicious. A forensics team is on the scene.

Frewsburg Junior-Senior High School and Robert H. Jackson Elementary School were in lockdown until dismissal as a precaution.

PA Film Tax Credit is Focus of Hearing

HARRISBURG, April 17, 2013 – Led by Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton) and Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), the Senate and House Democratic Policy committees today held a joint hearing to discuss Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program and its affect on the state’s film and television industry.

“Jobs and economic development should be this legislature’s top priority,” said Boscola, who chairs the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. “When we help businesses expand, hire more workers and invest in our economy, many of our funding and budget challenges will take care of themselves. This is why I will continue to fight for economic development programs with proven track records. The state’s film tax credit is a glowing example of one of these programs.”

The tax credit program, which provides a 25 percent tax credit to film company’s qualifying expenditures, has helped Pennsylvania’s film office attract major motion picture and television projects. This effort has directly generated over 18,000 jobs and $739 million dollars in wages.

“The legislature needs to focus on putting our state’s resources where we can garner the greatest return,” House Policy Committee Democratic Chair, Mike Sturla said. “Pennsylvania’s Film Tax Credit generates a host of indirect investments in communities across the commonwealth, and we need to ensure the tax credit remains competitive with other states.”

Since its inception in 2004, the program has helped spur nearly $2 billion in economic activity in Pennsylvania. Currently, it has an annual operating budget of approximately $60 million. However, the program is allowed to provide multi-year credits using funds from future fiscal years.

To be approved for a tax credit, projects must spend 60 percent of their budget in Pennsylvania.

Democrats claim the film tax credit program could accomplish even more if state government were willing to expand the amount of available credit dollars and make a multi-year commitment to the program.

Pennsylvania film industry advocates who testified discussed the impact of the film industry in Pennsylvania and what it could mean to the state’s job creation and economic development if the film tax credit program was expanded.

“In a nation that has seen one of the most serious economic downturns in history and with rampant unemployment and almost daily news of closing businesses; the film industry in Pennsylvania is one of the few growth industries,” Dawn Kezzer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office said. “When the film industry has proven for six years that Pennsylvania is one of their first choices for film production, we need to respond with a resounding yes. The biggest way of doing that is to eliminate the cap on the film tax credit and bring an immediate influx of hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the state.”

Union officials representing actors, performers and broadcasters in Pennsylvania and the surrounding regions discussed the impact on jobs and revenue for actors, companies and other industries that support the film productions in the state.

“In 2012, approximately 350 SAG/AFTRA actors worked on a production with a film tax credit in Pennsylvania and were paid wages at or around $4 million, doubling the earnings of actors in 2008,” Stephen Leshinski, Philadelphia region executive director of SAG/AFTRA said. “Creating a competitive tax incentive program in Pennsylvania without the damaging impact of unrealistic limits and caps will be good not only for our members, but for Pennsylvania as well.”

Leshinski added that due to television and film productions – such as the current David O. Russell film and the “Hatfields & McCoys” television pilot - passing on Pennsylvania due to lack of tax credits, approximately 200-300 actors, from those two productions alone, are out of a job.

Also testifying at the hearing were:

· Nick Paleologos – executive director, NJ State Arts Coulcil
· Sharon Pinkenson – executive director, Greater Philadelphia
· Russ Nissen – Film Incentives director, Ease Entertainment
· Jeff Rotwitt – owner, Sun Center Studios
· Robin Ross – PA Film Industry Association (PaFIA)
· Brian O’Leary – senior vice president and tax counsel, NBC Universal
· John Fundus – vice president, IATSE Local 52
· Mike Matesic – president, IATSE Local 489, Pittsburgh
· Frank Conforti – member and coordinator, Teamsters Local 249, Pittsburgh
· Terry Casaletta – business agent, Teamsters Local 817
· Gregory Cavoli – general manager, Enterprise Holdings Central Pennsylvania
· Mike Fahner – area sales leader, Marriott International
· Troy Bystrom, chairman, Pocono Film Commission

Man Accused of Providing Gun to Downtown
Bradford Shooter has Hearing Scheduled

A hearing for the man accused of providing the gun to a man who fired shots at another man in downtown Bradford has been moved to next week.

23-year-old Allen Funk of Smethport is accused of selling the gun to Lawrence Fox of Buffalo for $300 in cash and cocaine even though he admitted to police “he knew Fox to be a criminal and crazy,” according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office. Funk also allegedly sold or traded a box of 100 bullets.

On October 13 on Chautauqua Place Fox fired several shots from a .45 caliber handgun at Robert Vaughn of Pittsburgh. Fox pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, flight to avoid apprehension and prohibited possession of a firearm. He is scheduled for sentencing tomorrow.

Funk’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Thursday in Central Court.

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Seeking Vendors for Earth Day Activites

The Sustainability Committee of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is seeking individuals and organizations to take part in a farmer’s market and agricultural fair as part of Earth Day activities on Sunday.

The fair is being held in conjunction with the Second Annual Bradford Earth Day Wild and Scenic Film Festival from 12:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday in Blaisdell Hall. Vendors or organizations who farm or create or stimulate local agricultural products may sell or promote their work; solicit volunteers; provide information on activities and events; and mingle, network and collaborate with other groups.

There is no charge to reserve a table. Concessions, food and beverages will be provided, and prizes will be raffled throughout the day. All vendors receive free raffle tickets for their participation. Donated raffle items are always welcome. For more information or to reserve a table, contact committee member Emily Parana at

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

One Book Bradford
Enzo Creator Stein in Bradford Wednesday


Author Garth Stein knew he had something special when writing his book, “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

“I had a feeling. The voice was there … humor, sadness,” he said. What he didn’t know was how that success would be measured. Instead of weeks on the New York Bestseller list, it’s been years. Four-and-a-half to be exact.

One early indication was his wife’s reaction to the book the first time she read it. Her assessment?

“Enzo is going to go around the world,” she said. And she was right.

But while Enzo may not be coming to Bradford, his creator is. Stein will be in Bradford for an author talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of the Bradford Area High School auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

This even is the culmination of this year’s One Book Bradford season. The OBB committee invites the community to read one book per season. This year, the committee chose “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a novel written from the perspective of Enzo, a dog who believes in reincarnation. This means he believes after living his life as a dog, he will come back as a man, thumbs (part of what sets him apart from humans) and all.

Stein, however, describes himself as more spiritual than religious. He does believe in reincarnation to a certain degree.

“There is a soul that can come back and participate in some way,” he said. “A recycling of the soul.”

Enzo’s journey begins, for the most part, when he is adopted by Denny and becomes enthralled by Formula One racing. Enzo watches what unfolds when Denny marries, becomes a father and endures incredible hardships.

To tell the story from the dog’s perspective was not as difficult as you may think.

“For me, it was writing a character. A human soul stuck in a dog’s body,” Stein said. “He wants his thumbs, but doesn’t want to leave his family. He is a highly conflicted character. He could have been anything.”

One of the book’s other “characters” is the zebra, which makes a brief yet memorable appearance. When Enzo is left alone for several days, the zebra, a part of Enzo’s hallucinations, comes to life and destroys items in the house.

Stein wrote the part of the zebra when he gave himself a writing assignment of what really makes Enzo tick. When left alone to his own devices, “something will get destroyed.”

But as Stein pointed out, Enzo would never hurt his family intentionally, but when something does happen, blame has to be placed somewhere. Here enters the zebra.

“We all do that in a less transparent way all the time – blaming someone else when we have full control of it.”

One thing seemingly not in control was the bad luck Denny had throughout most of the book. A Machiavellian way to justify how Denny’s story ends.

“I had to amp up that dynamic of highs and lows. Otherwise it wouldn’t be satisfying.”

As Stein wove a story involving life and hardships, it would all have to come to an end – both literally and figuratively. But getting to that end was just as difficult for Stein as it was for the reader.

“Emotionally, it was very had, but it was part of what I do.”

At the time Stein was writing the end, he was renting a desk in a professional office building full of non-writers. As he was writing, complete with an IPod earphones in his ears and tears on his cheek, a tour walked by. When someone asked what was happening, someone responded.

“He is a writer, he gets like that.”

Those who want to experience what Stein is about in person – and perhaps know why “Somewhere a zebra is dancing” is his favorite one-liner by Enzo – can come to the free event Wednesday.

Stein plans to read from the book, answer questions as well as sign books. But be mindful that he will cross off his name when he signs the book.

“The idea is that the publisher printed my name in the book as a formality; now I am assuming control of the book and “replacing” my printed (formal) name with my personal (informal) signature.”

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

Olean Teenager Missing

UPDATE: She's been found.

A 13-year-old Olean girl has been missing since Monday morning.

Korryn Martin is about 5 feet tall and has hazel eyes and red hair. She is believed to be with an older girl from the area.

If you see Korryn please contact the Olean Police Department.

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

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Home Invasion

One of the men involved in a violent home invasion on the day after Thanksgiving has pleaded not guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

26-year-old Anthony Eames of Elmira and three other people allegedly broke into a home in the Town of Conewango at around 1 a.m. on November 23, assaulted a man and stole three rifles, a shotgun and a cell phone.

He is charged with robbery and burglary. The matter has been adjourned for motions.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 4/15/13

City of Bradford Police on Monday investigated a theft on Jackson Avenue. Officers also received reports of disorderly conduct on Main Street as well as criminal mischief and littering, both on East Main Street.

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

Bradford Woman Sentenced for Welfare Fraud

A Bradford woman has pleaded guilty to welfare fraud, and has been ordered to pay back more than $5,000 in benefits she received.

The state inspector general’s office says 34-year-old Jennifer Birch got more than $5,300 in medical assistance and SNAP benefits.

She will be on probation for two years, must pay full restitution and costs and has been disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a year.

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

Committee Adopts Measures to Change
Terms of Game, Fish-Boat Commissioners

HARRISBURG – The House Game and Fisheries Committee, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), approved four bills today, including two that impact the terms of service for board members of the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.

House Bill 828, sponsored by Causer, and House Bill 798, sponsored by Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon), would reduce the length of the terms of service for board members of the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission from eight years to four years. It also would allow them to serve multiple terms with appointment by the governor and approval of the Senate.

“These proposals are about bringing more accountability to the work of the commissioners for the benefit of sportsmen, anglers and boaters,” Causer said. “It also provides more flexibility for the governor and lawmakers by providing the option to appoint a commissioner to multiple, consecutive terms of office.”

Under current law, the term of office for commissioners of both agencies is eight years. A commissioner may serve up to an additional six months when a replacement has not been appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate. A member who fills a vacancy of less than four years is eligible for reappointment to a full term. A member who serves a full eight-year term, or fills a vacancy for more than four years, is not eligible for reappointment for a period of eight years. House Bills 798 and 828 remove these specific limitations on service, allowing for multiple four-year terms of continuous service. Vacancies may still be filled for partial terms.

The committee also approved the following bills:

· House Bill 891, sponsored by Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Monroe/Pike/Wayne), will allow properly permitted Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators to check traps remotely by electronic means.

· Senate Bill 623, sponsored by Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre/Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Union), aims to encourage more participation in hunting by allowing the Game Commission to offer mentored hunting programs to people of various ages, rather than only youths under age 12. The bill was amended in committee to specify that a mentored hunter may only participate in the program for up to three licensing seasons. If the person wishes to continue hunting after that time, he or she would have to obtain a hunting license.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.

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