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Friday, August 2, 2013

Agosti: Ridgway Fire was Arson

Arson has been determined as the cause of the fire that damaged buildings in the Ridgway Borough Maintenance facility last Friday.

State Police fire marshal Greg Agosti says because people were in the area at the time it’s likely there are witnesses who may have seen someone start the fire.

The fire was reported at just after 6 o’clock last Friday evening. Anyone who may have seen someone walking along South Street at around the that time is asked to contact Agosti at 776-6136 or Ridgway Borough Police at 773-5125.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

City of Bradford Police Log for 7/31/13

City of Bradford Police on Wednesday investigated thefts on West Washing and Boylston streets, criminal mischief to automobiles on High Street and a disturbance on Main Street. They checked out a possible drunk driver on Barbour Street, reports of harassment on East Main and South Avenue and an animal complaint on St. James Place. Officers also received a report of suspicious activity on Homestead Avenue.

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US House Ways and Means Panel
Continues Discussion on Welfare Reform

Congressman Tom Reed of New York and the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources continued its welfare reform hearing series Wednesday, gathering feedback from public assistance directors on how states’ flexibility to test various welfare programs leads to improved success rates in helping low-income individuals and families out of the welfare system and toward self sufficiency.

“(The) hearing was an opportunity to engage face-to-face with those who administer welfare programs and solicit input on how we can improve the programs to better care for the working poor,” Reed said. “Welfare assistance programs are not required, nor designed, to work with one another and this presents a burden on the whole system and is not fair to recipients or taxpayers. With over 80 federal programs working independently from one another, there is a clear need to communicate and coordinate among programs.”

The hearing, titled “Improving the Safety Net: Better Coordinating Today’s Maze of Programs to Ensure Families Receive Real Help,” examined how states have used flexibility in the past in testing to determine what approaches are successful in helping families out of poverty and which practices are inefficient.

“What we’re hearing is the more flexibility states have to test out policies – whether it’s workforce development, job training, or utilizing programs with timelines – the better equipped these programs are to lift individuals and families from poverty,” Reed continued. “If we can help lift people from poverty and give them the skills they need to prosper, we all benefit.”

In June, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources kicked off a welfare reform hearing series. The first hearing focused on how the current system of welfare programs is fragmented, failing to provide effective help to those in need. In the second hearing, witnesses testified that welfare programs have not been regularly evaluated. Wednesday's hearing was third in the series.

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Tri-Athlete with Cerebral Palsy:
Good Things Happen When You Try

By SANDRA RHODES

Marty Gregoire has taken life one step at a time, but his steps are not like most.

The Western New York native was born with cerebral palsy and has not let this slow him down. One big step will be done this week. On Saturday, Gregoire will compete in his first outdoor triathlon. He chose the Willow Creek Triathlon.

“My sister Eileen told me about the Willow Creek Triathlon. She competed in her 100th Triathlon last summer and encouraged me to challenge myself as she often does,” Gregoire said. “Once read about the event and its support for disabled veterans, I knew it was an event I wanted to do.”

The Willow Creek Triathlon is a sprint triathlon that starts in Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park in New York State. Following a 300-yard swim in the lake, participants will bicycle 15 miles to the Corydon Hotel then run three miles to the finish line at the Willows Restaurant.

In the past, Gregoire has done indoor triathlons or “try a tri” which are 15-minute timed segments of swimming, spin biking and tread mill or track running.

“I’m excited and a bit nervous at the same time. This distance will be a challenge for me and I want to perform well to honor the veterans,” he said. Something tells me the atmosphere and emotions of the day will carry me to the finish with a smile.”

The fact that this triathlon helps disabled veterans - specifically the DAVs of McKean and Warren counties - added to its appeal.

“My father served in the Navy at the time of the Korean War. From a young age he instilled in me that at any moment God may compel you to give a gift to someone in Need,” Gregoire said. “Sometimes it's your money, sometimes it's your talents, sometimes it's your reputation, and even sometimes your future. It's not the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the sacrifice.

“I certainly cannot match the sacrifices our veterans have made through their service, but it is both my honor and a privilege to try and use one of my greatest gifts to perhaps meet one of their greatest needs.”

With his cerebral palsy, Gregoire asked just two things from race officials – to use a pull buoy for this swimming portion and a stepstool to help him get on his bike.

A pull buoy is a piece of foam used in swim workouts. Swimmers place the buoy between the legs – between their thighs or their ankles – to provide support to the body without kicking the legs. The buoy provides floatational support for his hips and legs since he is unable to kick while swimming.

“I will use my arms upper body exclusively while swimming,” he said. “This is the only accommodation I asked for for this event, and will only require a small stepstool to assist my getting onto my bike.”

Gregoire explained that with cerebral palsy, the part of a person’s brain that controls body movement constantly send intense messages to the muscles of the body.

“These intense messages are constantly telling the muscles to tighten - making some movements very difficult to control or even do,” he said. “Sometimes this can make even the simplest of tasks like standing or walking almost exhausting or perhaps not even possible.”

So each step is a challenge, but one he embraces.

“Every day many people go from point A to point B without thinking about it. For someone with a physical disability .the challenge of getting from place to place is something they may really have to concentrate on and think about - at times it become exhausting,” Gregoire said. “The gift of my mobility is not lost on me. … I am excited to be able to try my best and give back to veterans who gave so much. It will be an honor to compete on their behalf.

The 38-year-old has taken big steps to help others, too. He founded Footsteps of WNY, non-profit organization that provides charitable assistance to individuals with Cerebral Palsy by directly purchasing orthopedic and therapeutic devices, as well as therapies which are not covered by insurance.

These items may include orthopedic supports, braces, shoe lifts, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and purposeful exercise equipment among others.

“The goal of Footsteps of WNY is that through this assistance, those with Cerebral Palsy will receive the devices and therapies they may need to improve their mobility and overall quality of life,” he said.

Gregoire credits his family with helping in each step he has taken in life.

“My family has played and still pays a big role in my attitude in life and how I view myself as a person living with cerebral palsy,” Gregoire said. “CP is part of who I am but it doesn't define me as a person or what my dreams are or what I can achieve.

“Growing up, I had ad big dreams and high hopes just like anybody else. It was because I wasn't coddled, that I wasn’t afraid to try. Regardless of your physical ability, nothing takes you further than a positive attitude and a willingness to try. Good things happen when you try.”

Gregoire explained that one in five babies born 2 or more months premature may be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“I was born two months early weighing less than 5 lbs. My cerebral palsy is considered mild by medical standards. The fact that I am able to walk independently, play sports and even run, isn’t typical of every person with cerebral palsy. Growing up, I always knew I had cerebral palsy but never considered myself disabled. I had tendon lengthening surgery twice before my 11th birthday and spent many of my days after school at physical therapy.”

Now, he works in human resources at M&T Bank. In his spare time, outside of work and managing the charity, he can usually be found spending time with family and friends, including his racing team.

“My friends and I, Team OMFAA (Often Mistaken for Actual Athletes), try to participate in at least one charity 5K run a month. My biggest accomplishment to date was completing the final 12K leg of the Buffalo Marathon Relay.”

And on Saturday, Gregoire hopes to add Willow Creek Triathlon to his list of accomplishments.

For more information on the triathlon, log onto www.willowcreektriathlon.org. To read more about Gregoire’s charity, go to www.footstepsofwny.org.

Anyone interested in stepping alongside Gregoire on Saturday, there’s still time. Registrations are ongoing and will be taken from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Bradford Family YMCA and starting at 7 a.m. Saturday at Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park.

Participants are capped at 400 so people are encouraged to register soon rather than later.

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Obituary
James Nuzzo

James V. Nuzzo, 87, of Bradford, passed away on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at the Bradford Manor.

He was born on September 7, 1925 in Salamanca, NY, a son of the late Andrew and Marie Revetti Nuzzo.

On May 25, 1954, in Bradford he married Eileen A. Means who preceded him in death on August 3, 2008.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II; while serving in the Navy Mr. Nuzzo was a chef.

He owned and operated a tavern on East Corydon Street in Bradford for a number of years until Urban Renewal purchased his building; at that point he was employed by the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as their chef and finally he worked as a chef for the former Holiday Inn/Howard Johnsons in Bradford.

He is survived by one step-daughter, Cassandra (Robert) Gill, Olean, NY and one daughter-in-law, Margaret Terrell, Butler, PA.

In addition to his parents and his wife; he was also preceded in death by one sister, Mary Cleveland and one brother, Anthony Nuzzo.

At the family’s request there will be no viewing or services.

Private graveside services at St. Bernard Cemetery will be held at the convenience of the family.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Mascho Funeral Home, Inc.

Online Condolences can be expressed at www.maschofuneral.com.

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Bradford Airport Gets Grant Money from FAA

Bradford Regional Airport is getting a $197,500 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help pay for terminal and runway safety enhancements.

“These investments will help Bradford Regional Airport continue offering safe and reliable transportation services to the residents of McKean County and the broader region,” said Congressman Glenn “GT “ Thompson. “These projects benefit the local economy and businesses alike, and will provide all traveling custumers with greater safety.”

“These funds will make considerable improvements to the terminal apron, replacing damaged and crumbling concrete, which has been in place since the 1950s,” said airport manager Thomas Frungillo. “The funds will also help improve airfield safety and complete the third and final phase to remove trees and brush from Runway 14/32’s primary surface areas.”

“On behalf of the Bradford Regional Airport Authority, we certainly appreciate the Congressman's assistance and support in the release of these funds,” Frungillo added.

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Man Allegedly Sexually Abused Girls,
Mistreated Four Puppies

There’s a disturbing story out of Wyoming County, New York, involving sexual abuse of children and cruelty to animals.

State police say 23-year-old Robert DeCarr of Gainesville sexually abused a 9-year-old in girl 2006 and a 13-year-old girl in May of this year. Also in May he allegedly tried to inappropriately touch an 11-year-old girl.

When troopers went to his home on Saturday to arrest him they found a cage on the porch with three emaciated puppies and one dead puppy in it. They say the living puppies were infested with fleas, and possible had other diseases. The three puppies were taken to a vet clinic but troopers say it’s unclear yet if they will survive.

DeCarr is charged with sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, cruelty to animals and neglect of an animal. He’s jailed on $50,000 bail. Another person in the house, 20-year-old Thomas Hyde is also charged with cruelty to animals and neglect of an animal. He was released with an appearance ticket for Gainesville Town Court.

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Dirt BIke Stolen in Crosby

State police are looking into the theft of a dirt bike in Crosby that they believe may be in the Bradford area.

The bike is a Yamaha 2000 TTR90 and is blue and white.

It was taken from Rhonda Green’s home on Route 46 sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

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Theft, Forgery Charges Dismissed

Theft and forgery charges against a Bradford woman accused of stealing nearly $42,000 from McKean Memorial Park have been dismissed.

55-year-old Jeanne Haynes paid restitution.

She took the money between 2003 and 2009 when she was employed by the cemetery. The thefts were discovered when she was out sick.

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Women Facing Drug Charges

Two women are facing drug charges following separate incidents in Salamanca.

34-year-old April Kuhn of Salamanca allegedly had cocaine with her during a traffic stop in the city. She is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

30-year-old Janine Heitzinger Olean was charged with criminal possession of and criminal sale of a controlled substance following an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. The charges stem from two separate incidents where she allegedly sold cocaine in Salamanca.

Heitzinter is in Cattaraugus County Jail. Kuhn was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court tomorrow.

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Car Hits House in Clarendon

A car hit a house and sheared off a utility pole during a crash Monday in Clarendon.

Police say 24-year-old David Littlefield III was going around a curve on Route 6 when the car went out of control, went off the road and hit the utility pole. The car continudc spinning until it hit the front of a house on South Main Street.

Littlefield and his passenger, 19-year-old Harry Lyon Jr. of Clarendon then allegedly ran away. Littlefield will be charged with driving at an unsafe speed and leaving the scene of an accident.

No one in the house was hurt.

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Man Charged with Sexually Assaulting
7-Year-Old Waives Hearing

The 59-year-old Bradford man accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl has waived his preliminary hearing.

George “Jack” Roach subjected the child to oral sex while he was babysitting her on May 28, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office. Police say he confessed to the crime.

Roach is charged with felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated assault, along with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

He’s jailed on $300,000 cash bail.

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Husband, Wife Waive Hearings on
Child Sex Abuse Charges

A husband and wife facing hundreds of charges related to sexual assault of children have waived their preliminary hearings.

51-year-old Warren Yerger and 34-year-old Leslie Yerger of Phoenixville, PA, are accused of abusing a 5-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister starting back in 1989. When they all moved to McKean County the siblings were forced to have sex with each other, according to court records.

Police started their investigation in December after they got information about the abuse.

Warren Yerger’s ex-girlfriend 47-year-old year-old Deborah Keeley is also charged in the case. The three face more than 1,000 counts of child endangerment, rape, sexual assault, incest and conspiracy to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and related offenses.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

City of Bradford Police Log for 7/30/13

City of Bradford Police on Tuesday were called to domestic disputes on Kennedy and Pearl streets, and disturbances on Jackson Avenue and Congress Street. They issued a number of traffic citations, looked into an animal complaint on Chautauqua Place and reports of disorderly contact on Osborne Place and harassment on Interstate Parkway. They also dealt with a public drunk on Poplin Avenue.

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Woman Charged with Sexual Abuse of a Child

A 49-year-old Delevan woman has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a child.

Prosecutors say Diana Bradley had sexual contact with a child younger than 15 in February in the Town of Yorkshire. She’s charged with criminal sexual act, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The case has been adjourned for motions.

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Man Pleads Not Guilty to Drug, Other Charges

An Olean man indicted on drug and other charges in connection to a number of incidents has pleaded not guilty.

22-year-old Leshawn Kimbrough was allegedly caught with heroin and prescription medication with intent to sell it on January 26. On April 20 he was caught with heroin again. On May 27 he allegedly attacked a person and endangering the welfare of children.

Kimbrough is the same man who crashed into and damaged the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown and then spit in the face of a guard at the Chautauqua County Jail.

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Cuomo Visits Salamanca

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Salamanca today present a check for $34.5 million as part of the agreement that resolved a multi-year dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians over casinos.

Seneca President Barry Snyder Sr. said the nation appreciates that Cuomo understands the importance of Seneca Gaming to the region, and continued to work on a compromise.

As part of the agreement reached in June, the state recognized and reconfirmed the compact that gives the Seneca Nation exclusive rights to operate casinos in Western New York, while the nation agreed to resume payments, and make up for payments, that they stopped when then-Governor David Paterson allowed non-Indian gaming in the region.

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Bowling Bowl Thrown Through Window

Police say two disgruntled customers threw a bowling ball through the front window of a business and then went inside to try and cause more damage.

Jamestown Police were called to Aaron’s Rental at 5:15 this morning for a commercial burglar alarm and, on their way there, they saw 23-year-old David Henn and 20-year-old Shane McDaniel walking in the area.

Police learned that their goal was to get inside and cause as much damage as possible. They say the damage could exceed thousands of dollars, but an exact amount hasn’t been determined yet.

Both men are charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

Accused Pipe Bomb Maker has Hearing

The 20-year-old St. Marys man accused of placing pipe bombs in two places in Elk County is headed to trial.

Charges against Kelly Shaffer were bound to court following a preliminary hearing.

A state trooper testified during the hearing that the pipe bombs found in Fox Township and the City of St. Marys were almost identical. Shaffer admitted to police that he made the pipe bombs and tried to detonate them but, after they didn’t go off, he didn’t pick them up because it was too dark outside to see them.

Shaffer is free on bail.

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Kindle Damaged During Facebook Fight

A Jamestown man is facing charges for breaking his girlfriend’s Kindle Fire during a fight about Facebook.

Police say 33-year-old Daniel Scroggins threw the Kindle on the floor – twice – after getting upset with her over something on Facebook at 6:30 this morning.

He’s charged with felony criminal mischief.

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Vandals Damage Message Board

Vandals did thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to message boards in a construction zone over the weekend.

Police say between Friday evening and Monday morning someone threw “hard objects” at two message boards and an arrow board in the construction zone on Route 255 near St. Marys.

Damage to the boards is estimated at more than $26,000.

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Man Hurt When Car Hits Tree

A Marienville man was hurt when his car left the road and h it a tree Tuesday afternoon in Elk County.

Police say 28-year-old Jonathan Doud was on Route 948 when the car left the road. He was taken to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The police report indicates that he was charged but doesn’t say what the charge is.

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National Fuel Raising Rates

National Fuel has announced that it’s raising its rates.

The 7.5 percent increase goes into effect tomorrow.

The monthly bill of a typical residential customer will from $74 to $80.

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Woman Jailed in Connection to
Assaults on Her Baby Daughter

A Port Allegany woman is facing charges in connection to the assault of her baby daughter.

Police say 25-year-old Kristen Kirkman saw 29-year-old Timothy Maben assault the 11-month-old girl on different occasions and never sought medical treatment for the baby. After being taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital on July 20 with various injuries to her head and body, the baby was flown to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Maben is jailed for assaulting the little girl.

Kirkman is charged with reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and neglecting to care for a dependent person. She’s jailed on $100,000 bail.

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Man Charged for Stealing Pills, Fighting in Church

As if fighting in a church isn’t bad enough, a 24-year-old man is also accused of stealing prescription pills from a Chautauqua County home.

Sheriff’s deputies say 24-year-old Joshua Huntress went into a Town of Chautauqua home without permission Monday night and stole the pills. He then went to a nearby church and got into a fight with a person there.

Huntress was charged with burglary, petit larceny, harassment and trespassing, and then sent to jail.

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Outstanding Disabled Veteran to
Speak After Willow Creek Triathlon

By SANDRA RHODES

Most people can’t imagine life without the slightest of conveniences – the smartphone, a television or car. Just think of what your life would be like without your limbs.

But that is life day in and day out for David W. Riley, National 4th Jr. vice commander of the 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans. Riley will speak about his abilities, as well as his disability, at the Eighth Annual Willow Creek Triathlon set for Saturday.

Proceeds from the triathlon benefit the Disabled American Veterans of McKean and Warren counties.

The day is set to begin at 7 a.m. with day-of registrations, if spots are available, at Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park in New York State. Registration has been capped at 400 participants. A rules meeting will take place at 9 a.m. with the start of the competition at 9:30 a.m. Competitors swim 300 yards in Quaker Lake, followed by a 15-mile bicycle ride to the Corydon Hotel, then a three-mile run to the Willows. The fastest competitors generally arrive at the Willows in under an hour.

After the last tri-athlete crosses the finish line, the festivities continue with food, music, awards as well as some words from Riley, a veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard.

While on active duty at the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala., he contracted septic shock pneumococcus sepsis. He was hospitalized for three months and lost all four limbs and some internal organs due to the infection. Prior to his injury, he served in the Army from 1976-1982 as a radar repair technician with tours of duty in Korea as well as stateside. He joined the Coast Guard in 1983 and served as a helicopter rescue swimmer.

If ever there was a time for Riley to feel sorry himself, this is it, but Riley has not let this set back get him down. In fact, it has motivated him to help others.

“We feel very blessed to have this true hero as our guest speaker,” said Gregg Reynolds, triathlon race director. “I would encourage anyone interested to come hear him talk, learn his story and learn more about the DAV in general.”

Riley was selected DAV Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year for 2010. He also served as chairman of the organization’s Convention Committee on Legislation and Veterans’ Rights. Following his medical retirement from the Coast Guard in 1997, Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences and a master’s degree in computer science. He is a retired analyst for Gulf Coast Technical Services. Mr. Riley is a life member of Chapter 7 in Mobile, Ala., where he is membership chairman and serves as a chapter service officer. He also volunteers at the VA outpatient clinic in Mobile. He has held a succession of chapter and department offices, and was recently elected Department of Alabama commander.

“David is the kind of veteran whose visible injuries draw questions from many curious people. While this is not an easy role to step into, David has made the most of his disability by unfailingly turning his struggle into a positive and inspirational force,” said Commander Bobby Barrera of the national DAV. “He continues to serve the veteran community with the same courage and tenacity he displayed as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.”

While Riley’s recovery has been described as miraculous by medical professionals and his family, the event has not defined his life.

“The sickness is just another of many events in my life. It took some things from me, but it gave me many things too,” Riley said. “I’m definitely a better person for going through it but it is not the beginning or the end of my story.”

Riley, 50, and his wife Yvonne have three children. The couple lives in Semmes, Ala. Riley, a life member of DAV Chapter 7 in Semmes, is an active volunteer at the VA medical center in nearby Mobile.

“David Riley has dedicated his life to looking out for those in need. First as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer and now as a DAV leader,” said DAV National Adjutant/CEO Arthur H. Wilson. “His selection as our Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year is equally for his accomplishments as a disabled veteran and for the great things yet to come.”

In addition to Riley’s speech, triathlon committee members are hopeful this triathlon will be remarkable in another way – they are closing in on the $100,000 mark in total donations to the two local DAVs.

“We can’t stress how important our supporters have been throughout the years,” Reynolds said. “Whether it was through participation, being a sponsor or coming to watch the event, we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for our community.”

There is still time to participate as well as donate. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 51, Bradford, PA. Registrations will be accepted until we reach the 400 mark. You may register from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Bradford Family YMCA or the morning of the race.

Registration packets, including the timing chip, bib and T-shirt, can also be picked up Friday at the YMCA at the time above to eliminate congestion on Saturday.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cops: Woman Tried to Hit Child with Car

A Bemus Point woman is accused of throwing things at a child and trying to hit her with a car.

37-year-old Wendy Seastrum is charged with menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.

Seastrum was arraigned in Town of Ellery Court and then sent to Chautauqua County Jail.

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