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Friday, July 12, 2013

Trio Charged with Sexually Abusing Children

A husband and wife, along with another woman, are accused of sexually and physically abusing four children, some of which took place in McKean County.

Authorities say 51-year-old Warren Yerger of Douglasville sexually assaulted two girls and two boys who were in his care from 1989 to 2012 in Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties as well as McKean.

According to court papers, the children as young as three-years-old were raped, forced to perform sex acts on adults and each other, and participate when the suspects were having sex. The suspects also took and distributed naked pictures of the children, and punched and kicked them.

Yerger and his wife, wife, 34-year-old Leslie Yerger, and former girlfriend, 46-year-old Deborah Keeley of Birdsboro, are all charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy and related offenses. Warren Yerger is jailed on $1 million bail. His wife and Keeley are jailed on half a million dollars bail each.

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Fire at Domtar in Johnsonburg

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: Firefighters from Bradford Township, Lewis Run, DuBois and Horton Township have been called to Johnsonburg because the incident commander says "it'll be a long night." They plan to "swap out" crews to give the firefighters on the scene a break.

United Refining of Warren is on the way to Johnsonburg with 1,850 gallons of foam, foam pumps and five firefighters.

UPDATE: The McKean and Warren County Emergency Management Agencies are headed to Johnsonburg with foam used to fight refinery fires.

UPDATE: All crews were evacuated from the tunnel and firefighters have switched to defensive operations.

UPDATE: Firefighters say due to the processes used by the plant, there are several chemicals present, including chlorine.

Firefighters from Johnsonburg, St. Marys, Ridgway, Fox Township, Wilcox and Kane are on the scene. Brockway has been asked to stand by with an aerial and manpower.

Live scanner here.

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Firefighters in Elk County are battling a blaze in an underground tunnel at the Domtar paper plant in Johnsonburg.

The fire was reported at just before 1 p.m.

We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

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City of Bradford Police Log for 7/11/13

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated a motor vehicle accident on West Washington Street and a report of vandalism on Forman Street. They looked into complaints of harassment on Brookline Court, terroristic threats on West Washington Street and a disturbance on South Avenue. Officers also got calls about barking dogs on High Street and suspicious activity in Veterans Square.

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Cops: Man Exposed Himself at Lighthouse

A man from Louisiana is accused of exposing himself to waitresses at the Lighthouse Restaurant Thursday morning.

Court records say 29-year-old Kenneth Ratliff was fondling himself in front of a waitress while sitting in a booth at the restaurant, and then walked down the hallway with his penis out of his pants.

He is charged with indecent exposure and open lewdness and is jailed on $25,000 bail.

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Man Pleads No Contest to Nurse Attack

A man accused of attacking a male nurse at Bradford Regional Medical Center has pleaded no contest.

A few hours after 26-year-old Robert Williams of Blaisdell, New York, had been admitted to the MICA Unit he allegedly burst through the gated entrance to the main desk of the unit, grabbed the nurse from behind and chocked him. He also allegedly hit and scratched the nurse, and bit him in the abdomen, causing bleeding and bruising.

He will be sentenced on August 22.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Bar Fight

A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting people in a bar fight back in April.

28-year-old David Darush of Roulette head-butted one man and punched another in the face at Shooters Bar in Port Allegany. He also knocked another man off a bar stool.

Darush is scheduled for sentencing on August 22.

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Prison Guard Accepted into ARD

The federal prison guard who tried to shoot his wedding ring off his finger has been accepted into McKean County’s A-R-D program.

31-year-old Alfredo Malespini III of Bradford had been fighting with his wife on March 2 when he decided to try to get rid of his wedding ring. When police arrived at his home his finger was nearly severed, but the ring was still attached to it.

He had been charged with recklessly endangering another person as well as disorderly conduct.

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Bradford Paramedic Allegedly Stole Drugs

A Bradford firefighter and paramedic is accused of stealing morphine and fentanyl from the city fire department.

32-year-old Brandon Landuyt allegedly took some morphine and fentanyl from vials in a storage locker, but didn’t empty the vials, and then filled them with saline to make it look as if they were still full. Papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office say he told police he had been stealing and using the drugs from January of last year until Thursday.

He’s charged with two felony counts of theft by unlawful taking as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and recklessly endangering another person. He was arraigned by District Judge David Engman late last night and sent to McKean County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

~~~

Here’s the rest of the story (from the affidavit of probable cause):

On July 2 Fire Chief Chris Angell contacted Police Chief Chris Lucco and asked him to look into a possible theft of some narcotics from their services. Lucco met with Captain Rich Zmuda (acting ALS coordinator) and learned that their sock of Fentanyl and morphine may have been tampered with.

Zmuda said on July 1 he took a report of Lt. JD Tehle (ALS quality control officer) saying he believed vials of morphine in the sub-stock storage unit and ambulances had been compromised, and it appeared two vials of morphine had been tampered with by someone who had access to secured narcotic storage. The protective discs were removed from the tops of the vials, and it appeared that vials had been perforated in the access port. The volume of fluid inside the vials appeared to be different from each other. Also, there was a white film on top of the metal cap where the protective disc should have been attached. They noticed similar perforations on film on 14 other vials.

Tehle ordered paramedics to remove all morphine vials from all the ALS units at the Central fire station, and had the East Bradford station check their stock. Tehle said it appeared that all of the vials in the ambulances at the Central station had been tampered with, but none from East Bradford had been compromised. Tehle reported his findings to Zmuda, who order that all vials of morphine be removed from sub-stock storage and secured for investigation. Upon further investigation they learned that the fentanyl ampules had been tampered with as well.

Police interview Landuyt on Thursday and say he confessed that he had stolen the drugs and over the course of his employment (January 12, 2012, to Thursday) he had been stealing and using the drugs through various means. He said he started misusing them by saving any remaining medication that was not administered to patients, and would later inject the stolen drugs into his buttocks using an intramuscular injection.

He went on to tell police that on June 12 he gained access to the secured narcotics storage locked and emptied an expired vial of atropine. He then removed all of the protective discs from the vials and then took morphine from about 25 vials, put it in the empty atropine vial and put that in his pocket. He said he injected normal saline into each vial in an attempt to cover up the removal of the narcotic solution. Then, he bought liquid adhesive, went back to the storage locker and attempted to re-attach the protective discs to the tops of the vials. On June 12 and 14 he injected himself with the stolen morphine while at his home.

Assistant Chief Mike Ward and Sgt. Todd Erickson investigated for the police department.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

AG Won't Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Pennsylvania's attorney general says she will not defend the state law that bans same-sex marriage.

Kathleen Kane and Governor Tom Corbett were named in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday seeking to overturn the law and legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. Under state law, it is the attorney general's duty to defend the constitutionality of state laws. But, the attorney general may allow lawyers for the governor's office to defend a lawsuit if it is more efficient or in the state's best interests.

Kane is a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage; Corbett is a Republican who opposes it.

The governor’s office has declined to comment.

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Sleeping Man Charged for Trespassing

People in Ellicottville are very hospitable, but even they don’t take too kindly to uninvited people sleeping in their homes.

Sheriff’s deputies say they responded to an alarm call at a seasonal home in the village at about 2:30 Tuesday morning and found the door open. Inside, they found 34-year-old Jaime Froman of Brantford, Ontario, fast asleep.

Froman is charged with criminal trespass and will appear in Village of Ellicottville Court at a later date.

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Woman Hurt in Crash with Tractor Trailer

A tractor-trailer and a car collided head-on Wednesday night near St. Marys, seriously injuring the driver of the car.

Police say 20-year-old Audrey Petrini of Byrnedale was on Route 255 when her car crossed the center line and traveled into the path of the tractor-trailer driven by 35-year-old Daunte Sanford of Dayton, Ohio.

Petrini was taken to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of major injuries. Sanford sustained minor injuries.

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Eldred Pleads Guilty to Murder

The man who shot and killed his ex-wife inside a Coudersport church has pleaded guilty to first degree murder and will spend the rest of his life in behind bars.

The death penalty was taken off the table when 52-year-old Greg Eldred pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-wife, 53-year-old Darlene Sitler while she was playing the organ in the First United Presbyterian Church in December.

Eldred will officially be sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reed Amendment Supporting Cleanup
West Valley Cleanup Approved

A Rep. Tom Reed amendment to restore millions in funding for nuclear cleanup at the West Valley Demonstration Project site passed the House of Representatives Tuesday evening in a bipartisan vote, ensuring cleanup efforts are able to continue at the local site.

“Providing adequate funding for nuclear cleanup is positive news for the health and safety of the local community, the care of the environment, and taxpayers who would otherwise see added costs in future years,” Reed said. “Rather than allowing more taxpayer dollars to disappear into D.C. bureaucracy, this common sense amendment is fair to taxpayers and directs help to the sites where it is needed most and I am pleased to partner with fellow New York Member Rep. Brian Higgins once again on this important amendment.”

“Cleanup at West Valley isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and delaying what needs to be done only costs more in the long run,” said Congressman Higgins. “If this radioactive waste makes its way into the Great Lakes, the environmental and economic implications would be devastating. By working jointly to get this done Western New York wins.”

With bipartisan support, the House passed Reed’s amendment to the 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to provide funding for Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup. The bipartisan amendment was introduced by Reps. Tom Reed, Brian Higgins (D-NY), Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Jim Matheson (D-UT).

Making an investment now in nuclear site remediation will save taxpayers millions of dollars in the coming decades. “Taxpayers simply cannot afford higher taxes in coming years because Congress failed to act when it had the chance,” Reed continued. “We must make sure this cleanup project continues on schedule to avoid any delays that would increase public safety risk and cost. The better we are able to carry out nuclear cleanup efforts now, the better off taxpayers will be down the road.”

Without Reed’s amendment, cleanup projects like the West Valley Demonstration Project would have seen an $18 million reduction from last year. Rep. Reed has been a vocal advocate for West Valley cleanup, working closely with the West Valley Citizen Task Force and the Department of Energy, and sponsoring similar successful amendments in recent years defending local nuclear waste cleanup.

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Casey Urges Feds to Provide More Help in
Police Fight Against Meth Labs

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Michele Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), urging the agency to provide more technical assistance to local police departments across Pennsylvania as they battle meth.

From Shickshinny in Northeastern Pennsylvania to Johnstown in Western Pennsylvania, local police departments have been forced to tackle a rise in meth use and a more frequent use of hard to detect mobile meth labs. DOJ technical assistance can take the form of increased consultation and coordination, aid for police departments to raise awareness about the dangers of meth and access to federal government databases about discovered labs across the state.

“Meth is putting a serious strain on families, communities and our police departments in Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey said. “The DEA has incredible resources that need to be leveraged for our local police so that communities can better combat meth use and the increasing use of mobile meth labs.

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Alleged Drunk Driver Leaves Beer Can Trail

We’ve all heard the stories about police following footprints in the snow to find burglars.

Well, sheriff’s deputies in Cattaraugus County followed a trail of beer cans to a guy who is now facing charges.

Deputies say they got a complaint about a driver in New Albion passing other vehicles unsafely and throwing beer cans out the window. They followed the trail of beer cans and then charged 21-year-old Steven Borkowski of Little Valley with driving while intoxicated, having an open container of alcohol, littering and unsafe passing.

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14-Year-Old Girl Charged with Arson

A 14-year-old Chautauqua County girl is charged with arson after fire destroyed a house in Ellery Tuesday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say the girl started the fire at about 8:30 p.m. and it quickly spread throughout the house. Everyone who lived in the house was able to escape safely, but one firefighter suffered a minor head injury.

The girl is being held pending further court action.

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Superior Well Services Closes

A Bradford well services company has closed after 16 years in the business.

Superior Well Services closed on Tuesday. 67 people were employed there. The company says some of those people will be laid off; others may be moved to other companies owned by Nabors Industries.

Nabors bought Superior in 2010. The company is doing restructuring across the country because of a slowdown in the drilling industry.

Nabors stock fell 6 percent today after the company said its second quarter earnings would be short of market estimates. They blame the shortfall on reduced rentals of pressure pumping equipment for fracking.

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PSP: Man Asked Teen to Sext Him

Police say a man threatened to hurt himself if a girl half his age didn’t start sexting him.

28-year-old Matthew Pritt of Austin randomly texted a 14-year-old girl’s cell phone number, and then got into a conversation with her. When she told him she was 14 he continued to text her and then allegedly told her if he didn’t sext him he would hurt himself. He then allegedly sent numerous sexually graphic text messages to her.

Pritt is charged with corruption of minors and harassment.

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Man Charged After Theater Incident

We don’t know if an Olean man actually yelled “fire” in a crowded movie house, but we do know he is charged with falsely reporting an incident at Carmike Cinemas in Allegany.

Reggie Alexander is also charged with criminal nuisance and disorderly conduct in connection to an incident at about 9:30 p.m. on July 1. Sheriff’s deputies didn’t release any further details about the incident.

He’s jailed on $10,000 bail.

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Cops: Man Dropped Child, Assaulted Woman

A man is accused of dropping a child on a road in Port Allegany and assaulting a woman.

21-year-old Zackery Snyder of Port Allegany is charged with endangering the welfare of a children, harassment and disorderly conduct.

Police say the incidents happened during a domestic dispute on Sunday.

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Kane Man Charged After Fight

A fight near Frewsburg has led to charges against a Kane man.

30-year-old Jordan Bradybaugh allegedly got into a fight early this morning on Falconer-Frewsburg Road, pulled a person out of a vehicle, damaged the person’s cell phone and then ran away.

Sheriff’s deputies say harassment and criminal mischief charges are pending.

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Bradford Armory Officially for Sale

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director

The Bradford Armory on Barbour Street is officially for sale.

Governor Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed a bill that authorizes the sale of the Bradford facility, as well as the Ridgway Armory, the Ridgway Weekend Training Site and about a dozen other sites throughout the state.

Before last night’s Bradford City Council meeting Mark Austin of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs gave a brief presentation about how the sale will work and said they are hoping whoever buys the building will not want to change the outside of the building.

The latest appraisal of the 101-year-old building says fair market value is $63,000. For more information you can go to dmva.state.pa.us or contact Bradford City Hall.

Mayor Tom Riel raised concerns about a potential buyer being able to pay for repairs and renovation, saying he didn't want a repeat of the events surrounding Old City Hall, which had a number of owners who had grand plans, but were not able to follow through.

John Verscharen of the Office of Facilities and Engineering said the bid package does ask about potential buyers' finances.

You can listen to the pubic hearing here.

During the regular meeting council authorized a waiver to allow people to drink beer and/or malt beverages outside The Lighter Side on July 20 for the Kids and Cancer Benefit Motorcycle Run's "After Run Bash."

They also awarded a bid to J & J Emergency Vehicle Sales fro $121,398 for an ambulance. This will be charged to the general obligation bond fund.

Listen to the very brief council meeting here.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Three Hospitalized After Police Chase

A high-speed police chase in Salamanca landed three people in the hospital.

Police say 29-year-old Matthew Redeye of Salamanca sped past a line of cars, including a police cruiser, on Broad Street last night. Redeye was driving at more than 90 mph and crashed into a metal utility pole at about 70 mph.

Redeye was trapped in the vehicle and, after being freed, was taken to ECMC for treatment to his lower extremities. His passengers, who were not wearing seatbelts, were thrown into windshield and suffered facial injuries. One of them also sustained internal injuries.

Redeye, who was released from the hospital today, is charged with felony DWI, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reckless endangerment and related offenses. He’s jailed on $10,000 bash bail.

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Marijuana Plants, Guns Seized

About 70 marijuana plants and a number of guns were taken from a Wellsville home after the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant late Monday night.

Besides the 67 mature marijuana plants that were about three feet high, police recovered about four pounds of process marijuana.

30-year-old John Roulo and 29-year-old Heidi Roulo are each charged with criminal possession of marijuana and unlawfully growing marijuana. They are both in Allegany County Jail.

The investigation is continuing and police say they anticipate more arrests and additional charges being filed in the near future.

Pictured, Amity-based New York State Trooper Eric Tavernier stands with some of the items collected during a drug raid Monday night in Wellsville.
State police photo

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