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Friday, May 17, 2013

Snyder: Cuomo is a Bully

Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. says Governor Andrew Cuomo is a bully.

Snyder released a statement today saying Cuomo is engaging in playground bully tactics regarding the stalemate over revenue sharing from the nation’s casinos.

After signing an agreement with the Oneida Indian Nation on Thursday, Cuomo said the state could force the Senecas to stop operating their casinos after their compact expires in 2016.

At issue is the more than $500 million in payments the Senecas have withheld from the state because they say New York violated a contract by allowing gambling in the nation’s exclusive territory.

Cuomo wants to expand gambling in New York and said last week that unless the Seneca, Oneida and Mohawk nations came to agreements with the state, new casinos could possibly be built in their territory.

You can read Snyder's news release here.

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Ashley Booth Griffin Care for Children Center
Officially Dedicated Friday Afternoon

Jaden and Tayga Griffin, with help from their grandfather Greg Booth, cut the ribbon on the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center this afternoon. Looking on are CARE Executive Director Tina Martin, Zippo owner George Duke, Aaron Griffin, Cherie Booth and CARE board president Mick Marshall.

Duke donated $1 million to CARE, which expedited the building project, which had been in the works for several years. Booth is president and CEO of Zippo and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery. It was Duke's idea to name the building in honor of Booth's daughter, who died in a car accident in 2008. In his remarks today, Booth said although his daughter was physically at the dedication, she was there in spirit.

You can see more pictures of today's dedication on WESB's Facebook page.

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Cayuga Lake Has New Website

Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway announces the launch of its new website, ,an excellent resource that connects you with local area businesses and beautiful scenic venues surrounding Cayuga Lake.  on its home page starts you out on a journey emphasizing numerous great reasons to visit the area, geo-cacheing, wineries, bird watching and natural wonders.

"Geo-cacheing along the scenic byway is our newest venture", says Cathy Millspaugh the chair of the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway. " A modern-day treasure hunt. We are just a few months into the program and have had numerous visitors take part and experience what this beautiful area has to offer. The byway is divided into two regions with 10 caches on each side of the lake. If a visitor finds at least 15 caches they will receive one of our commemorative 10 year anniversary coins".

Dave Kellar, one of the first to collect a coin shared, "I completed the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway trail with a couple of other Geocachers from Rochester, NY by getting all 20 punches. We had a really great time doing it. We all said that we were going to come back in the warmer season and do more Geocaching in the area and enjoy more of the sites that Cayuga Lake has to offer".

The website offers...

The Lake: a concise history of Cayuga Lake highlighting our natural and cultural sites
Byway Map: a locator map including food, wine, and hospitality businesses
Featured Stops: showcasing a few of our many attractions
Byway Fun: all about our geo-cacheing program
Links to Events listings
Links to places to eat and stay
A beautiful array of gallery shots

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Chapman Beach Opens Memorial Day Weekend

With the summer season approaching, your local State Parks are gearing up for another great season of fun.

Chapman State Park’s swimming beach will officially open to the public Saturday May 25, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. Swimming hours are 8 a.m. to sunset.

In addition to the beach opening, our concessionaire, BEI, will be opening Friday May, 24th at 1 pm. The concession provides canoes, kayaks and paddle boats for rent as well as food, snacks and firewood for sale. Contact BEI or the park office for concession hours.

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Pipe Work Planned for Potter County

Shinglehouse – Work to replace two pipes in Potter County will require a closure on State Route 4014 (Plank Road) May 28 and 29. The road will be closed between Wheeler Hill Road and Honeoye each day from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This two-day closure in Sharon Township will feature an official PennDOT detour.

Drivers will use Routes 4023 (Eleven Mile Road), 44, and 4021 (Honeoye Road) to get around the work zone.

The work will be performed by PennDOT Potter County Maintenance, with the detour lifted overnight, once work is complete on May 28. The road will be fully opened on May 29, as soon as possible – once the pipe work is finished. All work is weather dependent.

Drivers are reminded to obey posted speed limits, follow detour signs, and always buckle up.

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'Smarter Solutions for Students Act' Advances

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted to advance legislation to address the student loan interest rate increase scheduled for July 1, 2013, and create a long-term student loan system that is predictable and affordable. The Smarter Solutions for Students Act, H.R. 1991, today passed out of the U.S. House Education Committee.

“For too long, Congress has kicked the can down the road and avoided putting forward a long term plan for college affordability,” stated Rep. Thompson. “Today, the House Education Committee took a strong step by strengthening our student loan programs by moving to a rate system that is more reliable and sustainable.”

Under H.R. 1911, student loan interest rates would reset once a year and move with the market. Both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan interest rates would be calculated based on the 10 year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent.

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget included a similar proposal to move to a market-based interest rate. “The Smarter Solutions for Students Act is based on what the president has proposed in his own budget, which I believe is a commonsense approach,” Rep. Thompson stated.

“We need a system that offers students the lowest possible cost while ensuring the solvency of these important programs,” Rep. Thompson added. “This bill will allow students to take advantage of low interest rates but also protect them with a reasonable rate cap during higher rate environments.”

Absent congressional action, a 6.8% interest rate on student loans will take effect on July 1, 2013.

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Man in Critical Condition After Crash

A speeding motorcyclist lost control of his bike, crashed and is now in critical condition at UPMC Hamot.

Sheriff’s deputies say 24-year-old David Baum of Ripley was on Route 76 in the Town of Ripley at just after midnight Thursday when the bike went out of control on a curve and hit the guard rail.

He was flown to Hamot, where a blood test was taken. Deputies say they expect to file charges against Baum.

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PSP: Man Had Sex with Teenager

A Shinglehouse man is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

54-year-old Brian McMullen is charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of minors in connection to alleged incidents that happened at two houses in Shinglehouse between June of 2011 and Thursday.

He is in Potter County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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Fire Destroys Jefferson County House

Fire destroyed a Jefferson County house Thursday evening and investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

The fire at the Big Run home of Melvin Coblentz was reported at about 5:45 p.m. Damage is estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.

No one was hurt.

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Another Pipe Bomb in Elk County

Another pipe bomb was found in Elk County.

At about 7 o’clock Thursday night someone found the device in a wooded area off Aviation Way in St. Marys.

The State College Bomb Unit was called in, and the device was rendered safe.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Monday morning a pipe bomb was discovered in a wooded area off Boone Mountain Road in Fox Township.

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Earthquake in Ontario, Canada

If you felt the Earth move under your feet at around 9:45 this morning, you weren’t alone.

The US Geological Survey says a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Eastern Ontario, Canada, could be felt in the Buffalo area, about 350 miles away. The USGS originally said it was a 5.0 magnitude quake.

People have told Buffalo media outlets that they felt their houses sway and the ground shake for less than a minute.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

May is 'Lyme Disease Awareness Month'

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) recently joined his House colleagues in unanimously passing House Resolution 245, which recognizes May 2013 as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.”

“A significant majority of Lyme disease cases in the United States occur in the northeastern part of the country, and Elk and Clearfield counties have been especially hard hit,” Gabler said. “It is a disease which is growing in epidemic proportions and can be fatal if left undetected or untreated.”

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria. It is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere.

In 2012, state health departments reported more than 22,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease and nearly 7,600 probable cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number is believed to be much higher than the yearly number of cases reported, due to reporting criteria varying from state to state.

For more information on Lyme disease, please visit Gabler’s website, Questions about this or any other legislative issue should be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688 or his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301.

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McKean County Natural Gas Taskforce
Hydraulic Fracturing Series

The McKean County Natural Gas Taskforce is hosting a series of three free events focused on Hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing has been and continues to be a hot topic related to natural gas development. May and June will feature investigative films, with opposing viewpoints, focused on hydraulic fracturing. The final event scheduled on this topic is a presentation on alternative fracturing techniques being developed for the gas industry.

The views and opinions expressed in the documentary films and presentations being presented as part of this series are those of the film producers and speakers, and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the McKean County Natural Gas Taskforce, its members, or its member agencies. The McKean County Natural Gas Taskforce strives to provide information that represents both sides of the natural gas debate. Individuals are strongly encouraged to attend both movies and the presentation to hear both sides of the issue and draw their own conclusions.

FrackNation - Throughout this documentary, Journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops and bogus lawsuits while questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned. Emotions run high but the truth runs deep. This film will be presented on May 28, 2013 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM in Room 162 Swarts Hall, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Campus.

Triple Divide - Questions in the corners of society behind the controversial technology known as "fracking" are being answered in the new documentary film Triple Divide from An 18-month investigation discovered recurring impacts: contaminated water, air, and land; intimidation and harassment; loss of property, investments, and standard of living; community disruption; destruction of the public trust; illness; fragmentation of Pennsylvania's last stands of core forest; and lack of protection over basic human rights. Triple Divide reveals the failure of state regulations to protect the public and the environment, and the failure of natural gas companies to prevent real and immediate dangers, whether or not they're in compliance with regulations. This film will be presented on June 25, 2013 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM in Room 107 Fisher Hall, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Campus.

Alternative Fracturing Technologies - Russell Marold a sophomore enrolled in the Petroleum Technology program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will give a presentation on Alternative Fracturing Technologies including liquid nitrogen, liquid carbon dioxide, and compact crystallized natural gas. These and other technologies may someday eliminate the need for water to be used in the fracturing process used to harvest natural gas. The research that will be presented was conducted by Mr. Marold under the supervision of Dr. Panah, Director of Petroleum Technology and Geology and Environmental Science Programs, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Mr. Marold recently gave a similar presentation at the PA Academy of Science Conference held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in April. This presentation will be held on August 27, 2013 from 7:00 - 8:00 PM in the Mukaiyama University Room located in the Frame-Westerberg Commons building, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Campus.

All three events are free of charge and are open to the public. Additional information and resources related to the natural gas industry are available at the McKean, Potter, and Cameron County Natural Gas Resource Center website at

Holland Receives Gateway to Equity Award

The American Association of University Women - Bradford Branch honored Margie Holland of Bradford with the Gateway to Equity Award last week.

Holland, a native of Kane, tackled Title IX and brought forth a lawsuit that set a precedent in the state of Pennsylvania for coaches of women sports to be paid the same as coaches in male sports.

She also played professional women's baseball in her younger years.

Holland taught in the Bradford Area School District for several years as well as coached girls' basketball.

Gateway to Equity award to honor individuals, groups or organizations that have shown, by action and philosophy, that they advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy or research.

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Christman Blog: Farewell to 'The Office'

Since 2005, the fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin has called Scranton, Pennsylvania its TV home. Production of the NBC series The Office didn’t take place in Lackawanna County, but the constant references to local businesses and other real-life features of the region were a boost to locals over the sitcom’s 9-season run.

Read more from Brad Christman here.

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Inmate Sentenced to Life In Prison for
Violent Murder Of Fellow Inmate

A federal inmate was sentenced today to life in prison for the violent murder of a fellow inmate in Pennsylvania’s Allenwood Correctional Complex, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith.

Ritz D. Williams Jr., 32, of Gila River Indian Reservation, Sacaton, Ariz., pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder and possession of a weapon on April 15, 2013. U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane sentenced Williams to life without the possibility of parole on May 15, 2013, for his role in the murder of fellow inmate Alvin Allery.

Williams and his co-conspirator Shawn Cooya were indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2008 and a superseding indictment was returned in July 2009.

According to court documents, Williams and Cooya aided each other in the premeditated murder of Allery. On Sept. 28, 2005, Williams and Cooya stabbed Allery 10 times with a homemade knife and repeatedly kicked him in the head and torso, which resulted in Allery’s death.

On Jan. 8, 2013, Cooya pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder and was sentenced to serve life in prison on March 18, 2013.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Prisons and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wayne P. Samuelson and Michelle Olshefski of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Trial Attorneys Julie B. Mosley and Mike Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney C.J. Williams of the Northern District of Iowa and formerly with the Capital Case Unit.

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DEP Recovers Missing Nuclear Gauge

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it recovered in Maryland the missing nuclear gauge a Franklin County company lost in West Virginia on May 3. The device has not been tampered with or damaged.

“We are relieved that the nuclear gauge has been recovered and that no radioactive materials were released,” DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David Allard said. “The agency thanks the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, West Virginia officials, the public and the citizen who discovered the gauge along the road for the combined effort to find it.”

The nuclear gauge has been returned to Valley Quarries Inc. of Chambersburg, Franklin County, which lost the Troxler Model 3430 gauge when it fell off the company’s truck on I-81 in West Virginia between mile markers 17 and 24.

The gauge is normally stored in a locked yellow transportation container when not in use at construction sites for taking measurements in the ground, but it apparently fell out of the container on the back of the company’s truck during transport to another work site.

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Drive 4 UR Community to Benefit KCH

KANE -- On Friday, May 17, all day, Zook Motors, Inc. and Ford Motors Company are sponsoring a DRIVE 4 UR COMMUNITY to benefit Kane Community Hospital. They will donate $20 for every test-drive done on Friday up to 300, with a goal of earning $6,000 for the KCH Futures Fund and the KCH Cafe Makeover Project. KCH has already entered a Ford photo contest that gives the Hospital a chance to double the Drive total. We have a potential $12,000 riding on your support.

So come to the KCH Parking Lot, anytime from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and drive the Ford vehicle of your choice from Zook's impressive lineup.

Test drives take about 10 minutes --You register, you drive, you complete a survey. No sales pitch or pressure. So come drive for your community and help KCH reach the goal of 300 test-drives. There is grass/field parking for your vehicles while you drive and participate in other activities.

Also at the event will be a bake sale, a Chinese auction, and some tickets remain for a cash raffle (with 20 cash drawings at 3 p.m.) At 1 p.m. the community is welcome to a participate in a hospital-sponsored balloon release in memory of our colleague and friend Dale Ostrander in the Gardens at KCH. Pick up a balloon 10-15 minutes ahead in the Doctor's Library off the KCH Lobby.

For your time and support, each test driver is provided with a Zook Motors, Inc. coupon for a oil change and you get a chance to win a gift basket of Kane products and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses in addition to other tokens of appreciation from Zook Motors and KCH for supporting the Drive.

If you drove last year for your school or community, no problem, you may drive again this year for KCH.

Kane Community Hospital is an affiliate of UPMC Hamot with UPMC Hamot/KCH primary care clinics and specialty services in Kane, Mt. Jewett, Bradford, Sheffield, Johnsonburg and Ridgway.

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York Murder Suspect Arrested in Memphis

Harrisburg -- United States Marshal Martin J. Pane announced the arrest of Derrick Eugene Johnson, a 23-year old man, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Johnson was being sought for a homicide that occurred on February 17, 2013 in the 600 block of East Market Street in York. The victim, a 21 year old male, died from gunshot wounds.

On March 11, an arrest warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge Linda Williams, charging Johnson with Criminal Homicide.

At the request of the York City Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania began investigating the whereabouts of Johnson shortly after the murder. U.S. Marshals based in Harrisburg developed information that Johnson may have fled to the greater Memphis area. An investigative lead was sent to U.S. Marshals Service personnel based in Memphis.

During the evening hours of May 13, U.S. Marshals Service personnel located and arrested Johnson in Memphis. The fugitive was taken into custody without incident.

Johnson was turned over to local authorities for processing, and subsequently lodged in the Shelby County Criminal Justice Complex. He will await a local hearing to determine his extradition to York.

United States Marshal Martin J. Pane stated, “This investigation demonstrates the Marshals Service’s ability to coordinate with other law enforcement agencies to bring this alleged murderer to justice. It is our top priority to arrest violent crime fugitives, especially those who have no regard for human life.”

U.S. Marshals were assisted by personnel from the York City Police Department. This agency is a participating member of the USMS Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Additional assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, as well as Deputy U.S. Marshals from the Western District of Tennessee.

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PSEA Opposes Converting
Keystone Exams to Graduation Tests

HARRISBURG – Students should not be required to pass Pennsylvania’s Keystone Exams in order to graduate from high school, a move the State Board of Education has proposed that negatively impacts student learning, usurps local school boards’ power to set graduation requirements, and could cost school districts as much as $300 million, the president of Pennsylvania’s largest school employee union said today.

Mike Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, encouraged members of the Senate and House Education Committees to join Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) in opposing the regulatory change, which would convert the Keystone Exams from end-of-course exams to high-stakes tests on which students must score proficient in order to graduate.

“This takes high-stakes testing to a dangerous and counterproductive new level,” Crossey said. “It replaces the professional judgment of a teacher who has observed a student’s work over a full year. We will have students who have worked hard and received good grades who won’t graduate because of a single test on one day. It’s another bad idea that is bad for students.”

Crossey pointed out that narrowing graduation decisions to performance on a single high-stakes test does a disservice to all students, because it will likely force school districts to narrow instruction to the tested subjects, and limit learning and enrichment opportunities that represent the kind of well-rounded curriculum that students need to be prepared for success after graduation.

In addition, the Commonwealth is not offering resources to pay the cost of remedial instruction for students who do not pass this exam.

“After nearly $1 billion in Gov. Tom Corbett’s funding cuts, this is more than school districts can bear,” Crossey said. “School districts are struggling to pay for programs that work for students, the last thing they need is to pay for yet another testing scheme that doesn’t work for students.”

Crossey also indicated that the State Board of Education has no authority to make this dramatic policy change, because state law does not authorize the use of the Keystone Exams as graduation requirements and because the State Board’s proposal interferes with local school boards’ power to make graduation decisions.

“The State Board has exceeded its authority and is attempting to impose bad public policy on Pennsylvania’s public school students,” Crossey said. “I urge lawmakers to put the best interests of students first and say ‘no’ to this regulation.”

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.

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Casey to Treasury Secretary:
Make Timeline for Reforms Public

Washington DC- Today, in advance of next week’s Senate Finance Committee oversight hearing, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a letter calling on Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to immediately begin implementing the Inspector General’s recommendations that have come in the wake of admitted political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to make the timeline to implement those recommendations public.

In his letter, Casey demanded swift reforms to IRS procedures and accountability for those involved in the targeting of conservative political groups.

“The American people should expect impartiality and fairness from their government. In his instance the IRS fell far short of that standard,” Senator Casey said. “The Treasury Department owes the public a timetable for the implementation of the Inspector General’s recommendations. And the Administration must move swiftly to ensure all responsible parties are held fully accountable.”

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$2 Million Lottery Winner in St. Marys

$2 million is a far cry from $475 million, but the person who bought the winning $2 million Powerball ticket in St. Marys probably isn’t complaining.

The person bought the ticket yesterday at the Sheetz store on South Michael Street. Sheetz will get a $10,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

Lottery officials can’t release the name of the winner until the prize is claimed and the ticket is validated. Winners have a year to claim their prizes.

Because there wasn’t a big winner Wednesday, Saturday’s Powerball jackpot has rolled to $475 million.

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Warren, Potter County Businesses Get
Local Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion Grants

Two local businesses in the 25th Senatorial District will receive grants totaling $750,000 to be used for conversion of vehicles to run on natural gas and CNG fueling stations, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

The grants were awarded through the Natural Gas Energy Development Program, created as part of Act 13 of 2012. Scarnati, a chief architect of Act 13, explained that the program is designed to help reduce Pennsylvania’s dependence on imported oil and improve air quality, by reducing vehicle emissions of carbon monoxide. The Natural Gas Energy Development Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Through the development of the Marcellus Shale industry, Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to become a leader in energy advancement initiatives,” Scarnati said. “Embracing new and innovative technology is an integral part of making our state energy independent and continuing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

According to Scarnati, a $500,000 grant is being awarded to Crossett, Inc., located in Warren, and will aid in the conversion of all 75 of their tractor trailers to natural gas, as well as the construction of publicly accessible CNG fueling stations located in Warren and Bradford. Since 1928, Crossett, Inc. has been a leader in the region and transport industry.

A $250,000 grant is also being awarded to Hoopes Turf Farm, Inc., located in Ulysses, to be used for the installation of a new, onsite 16,000 gallon public access fueling mechanism and the deployment of 10 natural gas fueled heavy duty trucks.

“These grants provide a significant investment in two local businesses, both of which are important employers within our region,” Scarnati stated. “Converting heavy duty vehicles to operate on natural gas and allowing for the building of natural gas fueling stations will help us to use environmentally friendly energy made here in the United States, while keeping jobs in our community.”

The Natural Gas Energy Development Program grants are funded through revenue generated by the annual impact fee assessed on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction. Over the next three years, this program will make $20 million in grant funds available on a competitive basis, to purchase or convert eligible vehicles to natural gas.

Applications for this first round of grants were due on February 1, 2013. More information on the Natural Gas Energy Development Program can be found on the DEP website:

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Soprano to Perform Program of Wagner

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

Stephanie Welge does not want the words “opera” or “Wagner” to scare anyone.

“Opera is all about feeling,” she says, and more familiar than most people think. Welge will share her love of both opera and Wagner in a recital at 7:30 p.m. May 17 in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The concert is free, and programs will provide synopses and translations of each piece she plans to perform. There will be a short reception afterward.

Before George Lucas brought the world of “Star Wars” to the screen, before JRR Tolkien created Middle Earth in “The Lord of the Rings,” Richard Wagner created his own world on so grand a scale that the adjective for such epics became “Wagnerian.”

The 19th century German composer’s scores are still heard today in movies and television commercials.

Bugs Bunny’s “Kill the Wabbit”? Wagner. “Here Comes the Bride”? Wagner. “The Ride of the Valkyries” is familiar to all sports fans.

In October, Welge will have the opportunity to perform for someone intimately familiar with the art of opera, renowned mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, who will visit Bradford for the 50th Anniversary Fundraising Gala. The Gala will raise money to fund a rotating exhibition of the Marilyn Horne Archives in the Seneca Building in downtown Bradford. Horne has spent a large part of her retirement nurturing young singers through her foundation, which at one time regularly sponsored opera recitals in Blaisdell Hall.

“I am a big fan of Marilyn Horne,” Welge said. “I just love her voice.” She and her husband also enjoy watching interviews of Horne on popular talk shows like “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

Welge hopes both the recitals and the museum will make opera accessible to more people in the area, “I think opera is one of the great art forms, and it is meant to touch the soul.”

That’s especially true with Wagner. The “Wesendock Lieder” that Welge will sing during the first portion of her program are “sumptuous,” Welge says. “It’s very romantic music.”

In the second half of her program, Welge will portray Brunhilde from “The Ring Cycle.” Wagnerian opera singers are the marathoners of the opera world who are required to sing for more than four hours at a time in the four operas that make up the cycle. The cycle tells the story of a golden ring that brings the wearer unlimited power. But in the fight for attaining this power at any price, it ultimately leads to the self-destruction of the ring bearer, who has become corrupt in his quest for power. It is Brunhilde, daughter of the mighty Wotan, who, in her mortal love, finally destroys the ring and with it brings balance back into the world.

Welge will sing the climactic scene of the ring cycle when Brunhilde, who, after destroying the ring, follows her lover into death, by riding into the flames of his funeral pyre. The theme of redemption through the love of a woman is a very common theme with Wagner and plays a role in almost all of his operas.

Welge’s childhood was immersed in classical music. Starting at age 5, she sang in the local church choir and soon went on to performing the oratorios of classical church music with the choir until she was 19. She is also trained as a classical pianist. In spite of her musical background she went first into studying theology to become a pastor. After a few years of studying theology, she switched back into music, when, she met her future voice teacher Ariel Bybee on a trip to New York City.

Welge met Bybee through a fellow German student, who was professionally studying voice with the veteran of the Metropolitan Opera. Bybee accepted Welge as a student and immediately recognized her talent. “You will be singing Sieglinde at the Met,” was Bybee’s reaction after hearing Welge.

“Voices are something one is born with,” Welge said. An experienced voice teacher or singer can easily detect a talented voice, even in the early stages of training. After the first lesson with Bybee, Welge knew that she had found her calling. “It just hit me. I knew that this was what I wanted to do,” she said. Welge went on to study with Bybee for seven years, and then started to take on roles in New York, while continuing her studies with conductors at the Metropolitan Opera. She now coaches with Dennis Giauque and Steven Crawford, both conductors at the Metropolitan Opera.

Welge has performed the roles and excerpts of Sieglinde, Elsa, Elizabeth, Venus, Freia, and Gerhilde in New York at the Wagner Theater Festival at Mannes School of Music under conductor David Gilbert. She is also versed in the Italian repertoire and has sung the roles of Tosca with the New York City Opera Ensemble, Desdemona in “Othello” and finally Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni” and the First Lady in “The Magic Flute” with the Opera Forum in New York City.

Under the direction of Bybee, she has performed Mother Marie in “Dialogues of the Carmelites” and Ellen in “Peter Grimes,” among other roles.

Welge is also making herself a name as a concert artist. Among others, she has sung in concert at The Roosevelt Birthplace and The German Embassy in New York City. She has performed the “Wesendonck Lieder” at Mannes School of Music and performed with the New York City Opera Ensemble at Manhattan School of Music. Her concert appearances also often take her to Germany, where she has performed at a Benefit Gala in Detmold, Germany, in order to raise funds for orphaned children in Romania.

Thompson Forestry Bills Advance in House

Washington, D.C. – Before midnight on Wednesday evening the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed a 5-year farm bill reauthorization, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) Act of 2013. U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry, voted to support the bipartisan measure which passed by a vote of 36-10.

“The House Agriculture Committee has advanced a package of agriculture reforms that will save taxpayers nearly $40 billion and strengthen the economic health of our family farms and local economies,” stated Rep. Thompson. “The FARRM Act will keep our farmers, and our foresters, profitable by streamlining outdated or duplicative programs and improving the overall effectiveness of federal agriculture policies.”

“I look forward to working with members of the committee to further improve this package through the amendment process on the House floor,” Rep. Thompson said. “I also look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to find consensus on a final reauthorization bill that keeps Pennsylvania agriculture strong and America’s farmers globally competitive.”

“Ultimately, we can no longer allow partisan gridlock to prevent these commonsense reforms from becoming law,” Rep. Thompson added.

FARRM Act Summary:

Ø Achieves $40 billion in savings by streamlining and consolidating agriculture programs.

Ø Enacts regulatory relief to help mitigate onerous regulatory mandates and pressures.

Ø Includes Thompson proposal expanding forest product markets (click here).

Ø Includes Thompson proposal improving forest management (click here, pg. 459, sec.8006).

Ø Streamlines conservation programs to improve user access and effectiveness.

Ø Eliminates direct payments that went to farmers regardless of market conditions.

Ø Moves dairy policy away from price supports towards a market-based system.

Ø Reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry voted Tuesday to pass similar legislation, which is expected to be considered by the full Senate in late May. The FARRM Act is expected to be considered by the full House later this summer.

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

Clymer Girl Wins Art Contest

Congressman Tom Reed announced today that Megan Clark, a sophomore at Clymer Central High School, is the winner of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition from the 23rd district. Megan’s artwork will be put on display in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC where thousands of visitors from across the country will view the artwork.

“Congratulations to Megan on her winning entry in this year’s contest,” said Rep. Tom Reed. “I know our panel of judges had some difficult decisions to make again with this year’s entries which goes to show what high caliber of talent we have in our area. I am proud to have Megan’s photography hang in the Capitol representing our district.”

Each of the original entries from high school students throughout the district were judged by a panel of art professors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Megan’s digital photography titled “One Way” will hang in the Capitol for the entire year of the exhibition. Megan has also been invited to the Capitol to attend a ceremony honoring art winners from each Congressional District in the United States.

“I want to thank all students who submitted artwork this year,” continued Reed. “These entries are impressive and we’re excited to have some of the local artwork displayed in our office. The young talent here in our district amazes me and we will continue participating in the Congressional Art Competition so that our students can have their hard work and efforts recognized at the national level.”

Five other students were also selected to have their artwork displayed in Congressman Reed’s Washington, D.C. office:

· Christian Bigham – Franklinville Central School

· Casey Bledsoe – Newfield High School

· Ian Chan – Lansing High School

· Andrea Dressig – Wellsville High School

· Shelby Hood – Franklinville Central School

The United States House of Representatives sponsors a nationwide high school art competition each year to showcase young talent in each Congressional District. Winning artwork from the 23rd district can be viewed by visiting Reed’s website,

Senator Wants to Prevent Allergy Deaths

Pennsylvania Sen. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny/Washington, has introduced legislation that would require schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, in a secure location to be used by designated personnel to treat an anaphylactic reaction.

Physicians and families and advocates of children with food allergies joined Smith to announce introduction of Senate Bill 898 in the Main Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pa., and to discuss the importance of the bill in potentially savings children’s lives.

Pennsylvania schools have been encouraged in the past to keep on hand a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors. An epinephrine injector sends adrenaline into the victim’s system to slow down the allergic reaction, providing emergency personnel time to treat victims – often saving their lives. Because children exposed to a potential food allergy need immediate medical attention, requiring epinephrine injectors to be kept at school will save children’s lives.

“The number of children with food allergies and the incidence of life-threatening allergic reactions to food in schools are rising,” said Sen. Smith. “Schools are meant to be a safe place for children. It’s not enough to encourage schools to stock epinephrine injectors. To truly protect our children, we must ensure they have access to life-saving medication.”

Similar laws mandating schools stock epinephrine have been passed recently. Last year, Virginia and Maryland passed laws requiring schools to keep a supply of epinephrine on hand, bringing the total number of states requiring schools to stock the medication to eight.

This year, Kentucky passed a law in April encouraging schools to keep emergency medication on hand for children who suffer severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. A Florida bill is awaiting the governor's signature, and in Washington, a new law expands the ability for school nurses to administer epinephrine to any student, not just one diagnosed with an allergy.

In total, approximately 30 states have either introduced or will soon introduce legislation allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. Approximately 20 states have already passed such laws.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey suggests that about one in 20 children in the United States has food allergies, marking a 50 percent increase from the late 1990s. Other estimates indicate that more than 6 million children suffer from food allergies. More troubling, a 2005 study found 24 percent of severe allergic reactions occurred in children with no prior history of life-threatening allergies, meaning a first allergy attack could be fatal, either through swelling that shuts off airways or through a significant drop in blood pressure.

In addition to the bill mandating epinephrine be kept in schools, Sen. Smith also introduced two other epinephrine-related bills, SB 896 and SB 897 that will provide guidelines and allow public sector entities and restaurants to obtain and administer epinephrine in an emergency situation. Any individual responsible for administering the medication would also have to successfully complete training regulated by the Department of Health.

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Lane Restriction on Route 59

Route 59 is down to a single lane with a 10-foot lane restriction at the intersection with Keck Street in Mead Township, Warren County.

Road crews are working on a scheduled slide repair.

Traffic is being controlled by portable traffic signals.

The road is expected to re-open by 4 p.m. on July 26.

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Phase 2 of Holiday Lighting Campaign Underway

Following a successful Phase 1 effort in 2011, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce is requesting donations for Phase 2 of the downtown holiday lighting program. Phase 2 will include replacing all holiday lights on the Main Street trees with LED lights that will match the snowflakes purchased in Phase 1. There are fifty trees that need to be converted, and two remaining trees in Veteran’s Square that will also be lit if the campaign goal is reached.

Changing the tree lighting to LED lights will reduce the cost of electricity used by the holiday lights throughout the season. “We think the completion of Phase 2 will create a beautiful, cohesive look to the downtown setting during the holiday season from Thanksgiving through the end of January,” said BACC Executive Director Ron Orris, “while replacing the older lights and saving on energy costs.”

The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce is asking for donations to help complete this project. Donations can be sent to the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce at 121 Main Street, Bradford, PA. Any help the community can provide is sincerely appreciated, and any questions about Phase 2 of the holiday lighting campaign can be addressed to the Chamber at 814-368-7115.

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Rapp Supports Study on Mental Health System, Laws

HARRISBURG — Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) voted in support of a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of all aspects of Pennsylvania’s mental health system and associated laws. The Pennsylvania House unanimously adopted House Resolution 226 on Tuesday.

“Conducting this study is long overdue, especially considering that Pennsylvania’s current Mental Health Procedures Act which governs the state’s regulations and procedures relating to the mental health treatment of inmates is more than 35 years old,” said Rapp. “With such antiquated and inadequate regulations, it is little wonder that our state and county correctional facilities are extremely overcrowded and the state is incarcerating tens of thousands inmates with a mental health diagnosis. I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner with my legislative colleagues, Pennsylvania Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth and Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to protect Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens from winding up incarcerated simply because there is no place to receive the mental health treatment they desperately need.”

According to recent estimates by the state Department of Corrections, an estimated 40 percent of female inmates and 20 percent of male inmates suffer from a form of serious mental illness. Per House Resolution 226, the Joint State Government Commission is required to present its findings to the Legislature within one year.

In addition to voting in favor of House Resolution 226 yesterday, Rapp and the resolution’s prime sponsor, House Minority Judiciary Committee Chairman Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) met with both Mackereth and Wetzel to more fully discuss the undeniable connection between mental illness and crime and agreed to have further conversations.

Secretary Mackereth also expressed her willingness to visit Warren State Hospital for a second time in the near future. Last month, at Rapp’s request, Mackereth visited Warren State Hospital to assess the facility’s capacity to handle additional patients and look for ways to maximize its use in caring for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens. Also considered in this discussion was the potential utilization of the hospital grounds and buildings for alternative treatments other than incarceration.

“I invited the secretary to visit the facility and see first-hand that there is an opportunity to serve more patients,” Rapp said. “We want to make sure that as many patients as possible receive the care they need instead of falling through the cracks or, even worse, committing a crime and ending up in our prison system.”

The Commonwealth has established a 196-bed cap at Warren State Hospital. Rapp said the facility can handle more patients, which would relieve pressure on county budgets and the criminal justice system that often serves as a backstop for patients who go untreated.

“If we treat patients at facilities like Warren State Hospital where the proper care is available, we don’t have to worry about them landing in prison, which represents significantly increased taxpayer costs and is not the optimal place for treatment,” Rapp said. “Moving forward, it is my hope that the comprehensive study authorized by this resolution will give us even more facts to address this critical issue impacting not only our criminal justice and health care systems, but our entire economy.

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YMCA Salutes Community Commitment

The Bradford Family YMCA recognized nine area individuals and one organization for their commitment to the community at its 2013 Bradford Community Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 a.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The “George G. Blaisdell YMCA Community Service Awards” were presented to Dr. Richard McDowell, by Judge John Cleland and to BCPAC, by Patty Colosimo. The annual award recognizes one or more individuals, businesses, or organizations in Bradford and the surrounding area for continual commitment to the improvement of the community by his/her actions, words, and deeds that exemplify the YMCA mission of building “spirit, mind, and body for all.”

McDowell has been a lifelong resident of Bradford who holds a BS in biology from High Point University and a Ph. D. in biology from St. Louis University. He completed his pre-doctoral fellowship at Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago, and then returned to Bradford in 1970 as the assistant professor of biology and director of admissions/financial aid at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. He became the president of Pitt-Bradford in 1973, and at the age of 29, he was the youngest college president in the nation. During his 29 years as president, the University underwent several major transformations and expansions in the college’s mission, enrollment growth and physical plant expansion. He led the University through the process to gain baccalaureate degree-granting status in 1979, which he considers one of his most rewarding experiences. Under his leadership, approximately $100 million in capital expansion and improvements were made to the campus, and the student body increased to 1,200. In 2001 he was awarded the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award, and in 2002, he was recognized for his support of athletics by induction into Pitt-Bradford’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Outside of the college, he has served on the boards of the Bradford Area United Way, YMCA, PA Humanities Council, Headwaters Charitable Trust and Bradford Regional Medical Center. He has also been a trustee for The Hospital and Health System Association of PA and an American Cancer Society volunteer. He currently sits on the boards of the Blaisdell Foundation, Bradford Area Alliance and the Educational Consortium of the Upper Allegheny. He is a trustee of the Upper Allegheny Health System and Bradford Regional Medical Center Foundation and is also a member of RIT’s President’s Roundtable. He has been on the board of Northwest Savings Bank since 1974, is a principal at Chandler Valley Associates and is an associate professor at Pitt-Bradford for biology, non-profit management and fundraising. Dr. McDowell has made the Bradford area stronger by growing Pitt-Bradford into an exceptional center of education and by lending expertise to our community organizations.

BCPAC (Bradford Creative & Performing Arts Center) was honored as a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children of all abilities. In the summer of 1984, Dr. Patricia Bianco from the theater department at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford saw the need for a community organization focused on bringing professional entertainment to Bradford. BCPAC was eventually born out of this idea, and its first show was “The Nutcracker” ballet, which played to a sold out crowd of 1,400. Since its founding, BCPAC has presented a wide variety of professional artists and ensembles from not only outside the area, but also those from or living in Bradford. It believes that the arts are fun, transformational and vital to enhancing the lives of our community. BCPAC is especially proud of its initiatives aimed at developing an appreciation of the arts in young audiences. The Arts in Education Committee's goal is to encourage students to meet and interact with BCPAC-sponsored performers. In addition, the Arts in Education Committee coordinates an annual summer theatre workshop with 60 local students. BCPAC strives to involve volunteers in the production and administration of its programs. It also tries to offer events that appeal to smaller, more sophisticated audiences as well as popular offerings that appeal to broader audiences. BCPAC's success can be measured by both growing patron support and audience attendance, which annually surpasses more than 6,000. Donor, corporate and grant support help keep the ticket prices reasonable. In 1990, BPAC established the annual Marilyn Horne Award for the Creative & Performing Arts, or "The Jackie" award, to recognize an individual or organization who supports the arts in the community. For 29 seasons, BCPAC has brought outstanding performances to Bradford. They have more than lived up to their slogan of “Bringing the World to Bradford!”

Five area youth were presented with the “Ray C. Uhler YMCA Outstanding Youth Award.” The annual award recognizes one graduating senior from each private and public high school in McKean County. The students selected are individuals who have demonstrated throughout their high school careers a continual commitment to helping others through volunteer efforts to local community groups and organizations, church and school.

The 2013 honorees were: Kayla Taylor from Bradford Area High School; Zachary Hadfield from Kane Area High School; Katie Jo Smith from Otto-Eldred High School; Nicholas Conway from Port Allegany High School; and Margaret Costa from Smethport Area Jr.-Sr. High School.

The YMCA also presented its 2012 Volunteer of the Year awards to the following: Harry Solarek, Policy Volunteer of the Year; Steve Witczak, Program Volunteer of the Year; and Samantha Johnson, Youth Volunteer of the Year.

Pictured, Samantha Johnson, YMCA Youth Volunteer of Year; Harry Solarek, YMCA Policy Volunteer of Year; Steve Witczak, YMCA Program Volunteer of the Year; Jim Guelfi, Exec. Dir. Of BCPAC; and Dr. Richard McDowell, George G. Blaisdell YMCA Community Service Award Honorees; Ray C. Uhler YMCA Outstanding Youth Award honorees: Nicholas Conway, Port Allegany HS; Kayla Taylor, Bradford HS; Kate Jo Smith, Otto-Eldred HS; Maggie Costa, Smethport HS; and Zach Hadfield, Kane HS

FAW Commemorates Earth Day

The FAW (Friends of Allegheny Wilderness) volunteers honored Earth Day by having a trail stewardship weekend along the Allegheny National Forest’s scenic Hickory Creek Wilderness trail. Using only axes, they cut a hiker passage through a large-diameter oak tree that had fallen on the trail. In federal wilderness areas such as the Hickory Creek Wilderness, no power tools are used for trail clearing or for any other purposes.

The pictured method of trail clearing also has significant value because, while it allows easy passage for hikers on foot, it acutely frustrates and discourages illegal non-conforming uses of the trail such as by motorized and mechanized vehicles. Rough axe cuts also provide a rustic, aesthetically pleasing appearance for the wilderness hiker.

Pictured are volunteer trail stewards with the Warren-based non-profit organization Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) along the Allegheny National Forest’s scenic Hickory Creek Wilderness trail during FAW’s recent trail stewardship weekend in honor of Earth Day.

FAW photo

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

Daryl Williams

Decorated 'Santa House' for many years

Daryl R. Williams, 90, of 440 Congress Street, formerly of Rockland Ave., passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at The Pavilion at Bradford Regional Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family.

A lifelong area resident, he was born November 14, 1922 in Bradford. He was a son of the late Russell H. and Leona B. (Roberson) Williams.

He was a 1940 graduate of Bradford High School. On September 8, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during World War II. While in the Army, he served with the 101st Airborne Division, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, Company A in the Normandy Invasion, Operation Market Garden in Holland and the defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Unit Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster and the European African Middle Eastern Service Badge with four bronze stars. He was honorably discharged October 16, 1945.

While training in Evansville, IN, he met the love of his life, Martha E. Fiedler, whom he married December 29, 1945 and enjoyed 67 years of marriage together.

After his military service, he was employed at Newberry's 5&10 and Dresser Manufacturing. He then was employed at the Bradford Post Office for 31 years and also as a bus driver for The Bradford Area School District for several years.

He was a life member of the American Legion, Post #108, Disabled American Veteran's Post #72 and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #212. He was a member of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Roman Catholic Church.

Daryl enjoyed being a Santa Helper during the Christmas holiday and decorated his house for the community to enjoy for 12 years before passing on the tradition to his son, Dick. He and his wife enjoyed traveling during their early retirement. He was also an avid gardener and enjoyed playing poker and family gatherings.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by six children, Diane (Robert) Felmlee, of Indian Trail, NC, Dick (Linda) Williams of Bradford, JoAnn (Dave) Zeleznak of Hinckley, OH, Mike (Sandy) Williams of Limestone, NY, Mark (Joan) Williams of Allegany, NY and Dennis (Stacy) Williams of Limestone. He is also survived by his deceased son Gary's fiancee, Linda Barille of Bradford, 15 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and three nieces. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Gary W. 'Smiley' Williams on May 30, 1970 and a sister, Bernice Hartburg Moser on July 29, 2012.

Family will be receiving friends from 4-7 PM, Friday, May 17, 2013 in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., 372 East Main St. Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM Saturday, May 18, 2013 with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as Celebrant. At the conclusion of the funeral Mass, military honors will be accorded outside the church. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorial contributions, if desired, can be made to the Bradford Hospital Hospice Memorial Fund, 116 Interstate Parkway, or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Online condolences may be made at

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

Homicide Charges Bound to Court

The man accused of fatally stabbing his former fiancé and her boyfriend is headed to court.

Two counts each of homicide and aggravated assault against 38-year-old Scott Black of Butler were bound to court following a preliminary hearing in front of District Judge George Gregory in Forest County.

Police say Black killed 42-year-old Marcelle Edwards of Tionesta and 43-year-old Donald Shay of Leechburg back in April. He was arrested several hours after the bodies were discovered, and he had bloodstains on his clothes and a number of minor injuries.

Black remains in the Warren County Jail without bail.

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