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Friday, November 15, 2013

United Way at 35 Percent of Goal

United Way of the Bradford Area officials hope the generous spirit of giving will be evident in the next several weeks, resulting in continued successes for the 2013-2014 campaign, Life is Good When You’re United.

To date, 35% of its $330,000 goal has been raised, with just little over four weeks left in the fundraising period. Mandi Wilton Davis, executive director, is confident the campaign will reach 50% by Thanksgiving, which will partly be attributed to the generosity of employees after the last month of campaign presentations.

“We have been so fortunate to have several local businesses and corporations allow us time with their employees, relaying the mission of the UWBA and directly asking for their support,” said Wilton Davis. “There are also several others who promote our campaign internally, which is greatly appreciated as well.

“This division of the annual appeal makes up roughly a quarter of our goal, which is quite substantial.”

United Way has utilized mail solicitations, a business blitz and workplace presentations to educate the community on the campaign and encourage giving. Lisa Boser-Miller described her experience as campaign co-chair thus far as rewarding.

“I’ve been lucky to have been awarded time to be available at some presentations. As donors ourselves, Mary (Boser) and I are asking the community to do nothing more than what we’ve done. It feels great to be part of an organization that has the ability to touch so many lives,” said Boser-Miller. A second push of solicitations will be coming in the next week as a reminder for those who have yet to fill out their pledge cards.

“The community is once again showing how generous it is; our citizens understand the importance of how their contributions build a better community,” said Steve Williams, president of the board of directors. “As we begin to initiate our final push to meet our goal of $330,000, our volunteers, staff and board will continue to work diligently to ensure we are successful.

“Our entire community benefits from others’ generosity and we thank you for your current and continued support of the United Way,” said Williams.

Additionally, the office is promoting honorarium giving this holiday season.

“Often times it may be difficult to find that one perfect gift, but a donation to the United Way of the Bradford Area in honor of that family member, friend or neighbor will go a long way,” said Wilton Davis. “Not only are you making the season a little brighter, you’re adding cheer to so many lives right here in our own community.”

Direct solicitations for the campaign end December 15, but United Way accepts donations and pledges through January 5 for any end-of-the-year giving. To learn more about the 2013-2014 Campaign: Life is Good When You’re United, or to make a donation, visit www.uwbanews.org or call the United Way office at 814-368-6181.

Pictured, United Way Board Member, Debbie Curtin, and Campaign Co-Chair Lisa Boser-Miller look over the hockey night raffle tickets currently being sold by the local office, while discussing the progress of the annual appeal.
Glenn Melvin photo

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

City of Bradford Police Log for 11/14/13

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated a burglary on Park Street and criminal mischief on Thompson Avenue. Officers were called to a disturbance on Congress Street and a report of disorderly conduct on Campus Drive. They also got a report of suspicious activity on Davis Street.

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

Andrew McCutchen Named NL MVP

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) today announced that Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen has been named the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player.

McCutchen is the sixth different player in Pirates history to receive the award since it was created in 1931, joining Dick Groat (1960), Roberto Clemente (1966), Dave Parker (1978), Willie Stargell (1979 - tied with Keith Hernandez) and Barry Bonds (1990 and 1992). Hall-of-Famer Paul Waner also received the National League Most Valuable Player Citation in 1927.

The 27-year-old McCutchen hit .317 with 38 doubles, five triples, 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 97 runs scored and 27 stolen bases in 157 games in 2013 while leading the Pirates to the postseason for the first time since 1992. McCutchen ended the season ranked seventh in the league in batting, third in hits (185) and on-base percentage (.404), second in multi-hit games (59), sixth in runs scored and slugging percentage (.508) and fifth in total bases (296).

“This is a tremendous honor, not only for Andrew and his family, but for the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington. “Since making his major league debut in 2009, he has been a great ambassador for the game of baseball. The Pirates organization is extremely proud of his focus and commitment, not just to the team, but to the entire Pittsburgh community.”

During the 2013 campaign, McCutchen became the sixth player in the 127-year history of the team to hit at least 100 home runs and steal at least 100 bases in his career, joining Barry Bonds, Al Martin, Andy Van Slyke, Dave Parker and Hall-of-Famer Paul Waner. He also became the first Pirates player since Barry Bonds (1990-92) to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 20 bases in three consecutive seasons.

“I’m proud of, and happy for, Andrew and the entire Pirates organization,” said Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle, who was tabbed the National League Manager-of-the-Year Tuesday. “I’ve said all along that he was my vote for MVP and I’m thrilled."

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

... Chats with Anne Holliday

Pete Rahn of HNTB Corporation chats with Anne Holliday about a study from a transportation research group that found 27 percent of America’s roads are in substandard condition.

Listen here.

PA US Senator Bob Casey

PA US Senator Pat Toomey

PA Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson

NY US Senator Chuck Schumer

NY US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

NY Congressman Tom Reed

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

Bradford Chess Season Underway

According to the entry in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess “Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee…”

In Bradford the sport of chess is off to a great start as the 23rd annual Bradford Businessmen’s Chess League kicked off on Wednesday evening. Each team will face every other team in its division during the season, which runs through March 12th and pits the best players against each other.

At the end of first round action at School Street Elementary, Hennard’s Construction is in first place in the varsity division. In the junior varsity division, Burns & Burns, Ed Shults Toyota, Eschrich Construction, and Lang Surveying are all undefeated and tied for first place.

For additional information about the league, visit http://bradfordchessclub.org/ or email the club at execdir@amchess.org.

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

Causer Unhurt When His Vehicle Hits Elk

State Rep. Marty Causer wasn’t hurt, but his car was heavily damaged when it hit an elk last night in Cameron County.

State police say Causer was on Route 120 (CCC Memorial Highway) 574 feet north of Bucktail Trail Highway at 8:20 p.m. when the elk entered the road.

His car had to be towed from the scene.

Photo courtesy of Marty Causer

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

Kane to Supreme Court:
No Reason to Consider Sandusky Appeal

The state attorney general’s office says there’s no reason the state Supreme Court should consider an appeal of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse convictions.

Kathleen Kane’s office filed papers saying that in his request "Sandusky nowhere argues that there are special and important reasons for allowance of appeal, much less identify such reasons or explain their importance. Rather, he simply argues the merits of each of the issues that he raised before the Superior Court without explaining why this court should address those issues."

Sandusky argues that his lawyers were rushed to trial, prosecutors improperly referred to his decision not to testify, and that Judge John Cleland made a mistake by telling the jury to weigh evidence of his good character against all other evidence in the case.

The 69-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach is serving the second year of a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

You can read the prosecutors' 28-page brief here. (PDF)

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

Big 30 Elects New Officers

Frank Williams has been elected president of the Don Raabe Big 30 Charities Classic Committee for the 2014 All Star Football Game to be played August 2 at Parkway Field in Bradford.

Williams succeeds Bill Kleinberger. Following Williams in the office of Vice President will be Craig Funk of Smethport, who is a former player in the Big 30 game. Re-elected to the offices of secretary and treasurer are Bob South and Tom Bowes, respectively.

The new officers’ terms begin with the regular monthly meeting December 11.

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

Local State Trooper Honored

A local state trooper is one of 53 being honored today for their efforts to fight drinking and driving in Pennsylvania.

Trooper Robert Means will be recognized by the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association during its annual meeting in Seven Springs.

The Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association was founded in 1979 to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from DUI.

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

Striking Appropriate Balance with the
Endangered Species Coordination Act

An Op-Ed by
Senator Richard Alloway

As an avid sportsman and conservationist, I find the rhetoric surrounding opposition to Senate Bill 1047 and House Bill 1576, known as the Endangered Species Coordination Act, both disappointing and disingenuous. Protection of Pennsylvania's most vulnerable species and preservation of the habitats that sustain them is one of the core functions of three Pennsylvania state agencies-the Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). These agencies effectively protect the Commonwealth's threatened and endangered species, and they are undoubtedly the best equipped to continue to fulfill this critical charge. This legislation would not change that, rather it would simply establish a consistent, transparent and accountable framework for doing so.

SB 1047 and HB 1576 strike the right balance between species protection and economic considerations. Species are best protected when those industries that move earth can responsibly plan their development projects so that they can avoid them. This legislation would ensure such a commonsense approach to project planning. As for designation of species and wild trout streams, the objective of this legislation is not to usurp authority from the agencies but to ensure that designations occur in a standard and transparent manner, similar to every other Pennsylvania state agency, including DCNR which also protects the state's threatened and endangered plant life. Counter to the assertions of the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commissions' executive directors, an agency's independence does not determine whether or not it should be held accountable to the public for the regulations it promulgates. As a legislator, I have never heard the Public Utility Commission or the Liquor Control Board, both independent state agencies, complain that they were unable to do their jobs because they were required to solicit and respond to public comments and provide the evidence underlying the need for their proposed regulations. That would be absurd. Accountability and transparency is the backbone of good government, not a hindrance to it.

I have followed HB 1576's progression in the House and appreciate the thoughtful consideration that Chairman Causer and Chairman Haluska have afforded it with two public hearings. I’m also currently planning a public hearing in the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee on the issue. I’m pleased that the valid concerns raised have been addressed through a bi-partisan amendment and strong committee vote. As a result of this cooperative process that resolves the legitimate concerns with the bill, I urge my fellow sportsmen and conservationists to re-examine this legislation before allowing the politics and rhetoric to overshadow its merits. Consistency, transparency and accountability are important tenets of government. They do not run counter to species designation and management, and in many ways they will actually augment it. I look forward to seeing this bill move through the House so that we can continue to consider it, on its merits, in the Senate.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'In God We Trust'
Should It Be Displayed in Schools?

Dozens of grassroots organizers and concerned citizens joined in a rally in the state Capitol today to urge passage of legislation calling for the public display of the official national motto “In God We Trust.”

Rep. Kathy Rapp said the legislation calling for the public posting of the motto in school buildings throughout the Commonwealth serves as an educational aid to remind students about the underlying values held by the nation’s founders.

“In God We Trust” was officially adopted as the national motto in 1956, and appeared on US currency as early as 1864.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section -- Keep it clean! (Note: All comments have to be approved by the moderator before they show up, so there's no need to re-post if you don't see your comment right away.)

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

... Chats with Anne Holliday

Rob Grubka, President of Lincoln Financial Group's Group Protection Business, chats with Anne Holliday about November's Benefit Open Enrollment.

Listen here.

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

Council Approves Changes to Tax Ordinances,
Moves Ahead with Second Ward Revitalization

In an effort to make it easier for the city’s new financial officer to do his job properly, Bradford City Council has approved on first reading changes to several tax ordinances.

During its meeting Tuesday night council OK’d changes to the Local Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Mercantile License Tax, Business Privilege Tax, Local Services Tax and Public Utility Tax Ordinance.

City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck explained the changes give Michael Shanks “the ability to monitor the ordinances, enforce them as part of his duties with the city.”

Mayor Tom Riel stressed that council is not raising taxes or creating new taxes.

In other matters, council authorized the filing of a Keystone Communities Façade and Public Improvement Grant for the Second Ward Neighborhood Partnership Program.

The $400,000 grant would go toward the NPP façade program, streetscape improvements and new construction.

The city is also seeking a Home Program grant from the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development to rehabilitate owner-occupied housing in the Second Ward.

Before the regular council meeting OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews and Elm Street Manager Lisa Keck updated council on the NPP project.

Also Tuesday council granted permission to advertise for bids related to the proposed renovations of the city’s Central Fire Station at 25 Chestnut Street. The renovations have been proposed to preserve the building and to make it energy efficient.

Council accepted a quote of $19,525 from and approved payment to Chestnut Ridge Radio Communications for police radios and necessary equipment for the City of Bradford Police Department.

Riel said during budget talks they had talked about getting new police radios over the course of several years “but Chief (Chris) Lucco did a good job and went out and solicited the funds privately so we’re getting the radios all in one shot, all in one year. Well done.”

Councilman Brad Mangel congratulated and thanked the Parks Department for a successful opening of the Callahan Park Ice Rink and “great turnout” for open skate.

Parks Director Chip Comilla said 261 people skated on Friday evening.

“That’s a good number for people who don’t think it’s worth it,” Riel said.

Council also observed a moment of silence for former city councilman and water authority member Lee Morehouse, who passed away November 2.

Listen to the meeting

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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

Students Collecting Items for Active Military

To honor those who serve in our country’s military, the St. Bonaventure University Class of 2017 is collecting items in the Thomas Merton Center on campus — and at Saturday night’s basketball game — to send overseas for the holidays.

Collection barrels will be set up at each entrance to the men’s basketball game against Canisius on Saturday, Nov. 16. Those attending the game are encouraged to bring an item.

Students and community members are asked to bring beef jerky, trail mix, canned ravioli, microwavable food, gum, wet wipes, holiday and birthday cards, footballs, Frisbees, Q-tips and nail clippers to the Merton Center throughout the week to add to the collection.

The idea surfaced with a group of freshmen after writing letters during Welcome Days to veterans and those currently serving, said Sr. Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern.

“There was a group who made two quilts (for soldiers) and now they’re doing this package project,” she said.

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

Two Sentenced on Drug Charges in Catt County

Two people have been sentenced on drug charges in Cattaraugus County Court for separate incidents.

Because she is a repeat felony offender 33-year-old Heidi Clayson will spend six years in prison for selling crack cocaine in Olean on February 27.

44-year-old Kyle Johnson of Buffalo will spend two years in prison for possessing heroin with the intent to sell it on July 16 in Olean.

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

Man Jailed for Firing Civil War Cannon

Civil War cannons are cool – but not when one of them is being fired at your home.

But neighbors of 52-year-old Brian Malta in the Chautauqua County Town of Kiantone says that’s exactly what he was doing.

Sheriff’s deputies got a search warrant and found the cannon. Malta was charged with menacing and harassment and was sent to jail on $2,500 bail.

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

Memorable Elk Season in the Books

Nearly 85 percent of the hunters participating Pennsylvania’s 2013 elk hunt have taken home a trophy.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced 72 elk were taken by hunters during the regular one-week elk season that ended Nov. 9. And for those licensed to hunt antlered elk, also known as bulls, the success rate was a perfect 100 percent.

In calling the season a success, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe offered congratulations to the hunters lucky enough to participate in this year’s hunt.

“Our annual elk hunt has become quite a tradition here in Pennsylvania and it’s a hunting opportunity we’re proud to provide,” Roe said. “The fact we’ve been able to expand the hunt in recent years is a testament to the health and management of our elk herd, and hunts like this year’s are something to get excited about.

“Congratulations to all of the hunters who took part in the season, and for those of you still awaiting your chance, rest assured more great elk hunting opportunities await in 2014,” he said.

The 2013 harvest included several large elk. Fourteen bulls each were estimated to weigh 700 pounds or more, with the heaviest bull taken in this year’s hunt estimated at more than 847 pounds.

That bull sported a 6-by-7 rack that initially was measured with a Boone & Crockett score of 340 1/8 inches.

The largest bull in terms of the number of points on its rack was an 8-by-8 harvested Nov. 4 by Jeffrey G. Trought, of Muncy, Pa. That bull weighed an estimated 676 pounds and its rack initially scored 389 7/8 Boone & Crockett points.

The bull scoring the most Boone & Crockett points in its initial scoring was a 7-by-7 harvested Nov. 4 by Thomas R. Schneider, of Conshohocken, Pa. The bull was scored initially at 403 inches, and it weighed an estimated 724 pounds.

Other large bulls taken during the hunt include: a 7-by-7 bull weighing 811 pounds harvested Nov. 5 by Donald E. Christy, of Hermitage, Pa.; a 7-by-6 bull weighing 802 pounds harvested Nov. 6 by Donald E. Campbell, of Butler, Pa.; a 7-by-7 bull weighing 793 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by William K. Gifford, of Catawissa, Pa.; a 6-by-7 bull weighing 785 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Edward Thomas, of Marianna, Pa.; a 6-by-6 bull weighing 784 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Mark W. Kopar, of Mars, Pa.; a 7-by-7 bull weighing 775 pounds harvested Nov. 4 by Randolph L. Caldwell, of Export, Pa.; and a 6-by-6 bull weighing 775 pounds harvested Nov. 6 by Ronald G. Wildfire, of Kersey, Pa.

The largest antlerless elk, weighing an estimated 621 pounds, was harvested Nov. 4 by Timothy J. Mazol, of Danville, Pa.

In total, 10 of the antlerless elk harvested in this year’s hunt weighed an estimated 500 pounds or more.

Thirty-three of the 72 elk harvested were taken on the opening day of the elk season Nov. 4. Twenty-five of the 72 elk harvested were bulls.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission typically doesn’t release information about license holders, but those who are drawn to participate in the annual elk hunt often give their consent to release their names or other information. Information on successful hunters who do not sign and submit a consent form prior to the hunt is not released.

To participate in the elk hunt, hunters must submit an application, then must be selected through a random drawing and purchase a license. The drawing typically is held in September and annually attracts more than 20,000 applicants.

Pictured, right, Thomas R. Schneider, of Conshohocken, Pa. grasps the antler of a 7-by-7 bull elk he harvested Nov. 4. The bull scored the most Boone & Crockett points among those measured, with an initial score of 403 inches. Left, : Jeffrey G. Trought, of Muncy, Pa., grasps the antler of an 8-by-8 bull he harvested Nov. 4. In Pennsylvania’s 2013 elk hunt, Trought’s bull was the largest in terms of the number of points on its rack.
Game Commission photos

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

Peterson Retiring After 42 Years of Service

Bradford City Clerk John Peterson is retiring after 42 years of service to the city. He was a firefighter before taking the job as city clerk 14 years ago.

A date hasn’t been set yet for his retirement, but it will be sometime after the city hires a city manager to take his place.

He explained that the hiring of a city manager does not mean the form of city government is changing, but that council can create the position of city manager that will do basically what the city clerk does now.

During last night’s meeting, city council OK’d a resolution to advertise for the position. Peterson said a job description will be posted on the city’s website soon.

Peterson said the event he remembers most in the past 42 years is the Dresser Home fire in the mid-1980s. He said the fire department got calls for media outlets all over the country including states as far away as California, Texas and Florida.

He said the first they the reporters asked was how many fatalities there were.

“When I said none, they hung up,” he said. “They didn’t care that we got everyone out alive.”

, Peterson also talked to WESB and The Hero about changes in the fire department over the last four decades, including not having breathing apparatus to use on the job.

“When they called us ‘smokeaters,’ that’s really what we did,” he said.

One of the other big differences between then and now is that the fire department to have an ambulance service back then.

He talked about how Zippo founder George Blaisdell bought the city its first ambulance – and several after that – but didn’t want any recognition for it. All he wanted was a Zippo plate on the front and a ride in the new vehicle, Peterson said.

Peterson and former chief Bill McCormack were the two who took Blaisdell for the ride on the last ambulance he bought for the city.

Peterson was also in the first class of Emergency Medical Technicians in McKean County. Because he’ll be staying in the area after his retirement, Peterson said he will keep his positions has city health officer and city zoning officer until the city can make other arrangements. He explained that unless a person is a medical doctor, he or she would have to go through a lengthy certification process to be qualified to work at the health officer.

Peterson said the best piece of advice he ever got regarding doing business with people, which he uses to this day, is: Treat everyone the same.

“If you treat your worst enemy the same way you treat your best friend,” he said, “you can’t go wrong."

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

PSP: Man Shot Rifle at Another Man

The state police Special Emergency Response Team had to be called to a Ulysses home at 9 o'clock last night after reports that a man was shooting a rifle at another man.

The victim, 49-year-old Russell Carter of Genesee, was able to get out uninjured.

State police were then able to get 55-year-old Terrance Mills out of his home. He is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. He will be arraigned after being treated for pre-existing injuries.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Troopers wanted to give special recognition for the assistance of Tri-Town Fire and Ambulance.

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

Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault on Child

An Olean man will spend the next seven years in prison for sexually assaulting a child younger than 11.

29-year-old John Williams had sexual contact with the child between March of 2006 and November of 2007 in Allegany. He pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal sexual act.

Williams will be on parole for 15 years after he’s released from prison.

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

Shell Appalachia Contributes to
Big Bend Recreation Area Project

Penn Soil RC&D Council announced today the completion of the paving of the Riverside Watchable Wildlife Trail and the receipt of a $5,000 donation from Shell Appalachia in support of the project at the Big Bend Recreation Area at the Kinzua Dam.

Wes Ramsey, Executive Director of Penn Soil RC&D, Doug Helman, Kinzua Dam Resource Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Bill Massa, special projects coordinator of the Allegheny Outdoor Club (AOC), accepted the contribution on behalf of the project partners from Becki Ivancic, Communications Representative and Joe Minnitte, Community Liaison Officer with Shell Appalachia.

"Shell Appalachia is very pleased to support this worthwhile project that has made the Riverside Watchable Wildlife Trail handicap accessible,” said Joe Minnitte, during the check presentation and final inspection.” “We are also very impressed that you were able to get the project completed so fast and it looks as if it turned out great. This is a wonderful addition to the facilities here at Big Bend and we are happy to have been a partner in this project”, said Minnitte.

"Shell takes great pride in the communities where we live and work, from volunteerism to sponsorship opportunities, and so, we are also very pleased to partner with Penn Soil RC&D and the AOC in this collaboration to improve educational and recreational opportunities for members of our communities that may have physical limitations that might limit their opportunities to enjoy this beautiful spot,” said Becki Ivancic, “We thank you for your efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live and work in northwest Pennsylvania and we wish you continued success in your operations."

The trail paving project was completed in October at a cost of $9750 by Huber Blacktop Company of Warren, PA. Other partners in the project included the Community Foundation of Warren County (CFWC), FirstEnergy Foundation, Seneca Resources Corporation, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The AOC, and Penn Soil RC&D Council. The Riverside Watchable Wildlife Trail now provides handicapped accessibility to the wildlife viewing platform located about a half-mile downstream from the Kinzua Dam, overlooking rapids in the Allegheny River, a popular fishing spot for American Bald Eagles.

Shell Appalachia headquarters in western PA is located in Sewickley. The company has more than 300 employees located in Pennsylvania. Shell owns or leases over 900,000 acres of Marcellus rights in the Appalachian Basin. Penn Soil RC & D serves as financial agent for the AOC. Penn Soil RC & D and the AOC have partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the trail and platform endeavor to enhance the tourism assets at the recreation area. Penn Soil is a not-for-profit 501 (c) - 3 organization serving eight counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Pictured, Doug Helman, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers; Becki Ivancic and Joe Minnitte of Shell Appalachia; Bill Massa, AOC Special Projects Coordinator, and Wes Ramsey, Penn Soil RC&D Executive Director met recently to celebrate the completion of the trail paving project.

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

Committee Approves Endangered Species Bill

HARRISBURG – The House Game and Fisheries Committee today approved legislation designed to bring consistency, transparency and accountability to the process of designating endangered species and wild trout streams in the Commonwealth, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), chairman of the committee.

The Endangered Species Coordination Act would require the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to submit proposed designations to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). IRRC already reviews regulations from every other state agency, including endangered species designations made by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and most stream designations made by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Our ultimate goal with this legislation is to bring about the kind of consistency and transparency needed to better facilitate the co-existence of a healthy environment and a healthy economy,” Causer said. “IRRC has an established process for public comment and review of virtually every other state regulation that impacts our citizens. It only makes sense for the commissions to go through the same process.”

The bill also would require all information about threatened and endangered species, and others of special concern, to be placed into a centralized database and would require efficient and timely access to that information to authorized persons involved in permitted projects that may be affected by those species.

“In many cases, our industries and even local governments are embarking on projects without all of the information they need to make sound financial decisions, and that can cost us jobs and increase the burden on taxpayers,” Causer said. “If people have access to solid information from the start, they can determine if they want to continue with a project or move it elsewhere. There is no good reason to keep this information from the people who need it.”

As a sportsman himself, Causer said he recognizes the importance of protecting streams and wildlife, and he believes requiring the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission to go through the IRRC process for endangered species and trout stream designations will have no detrimental effect on their efforts.

“DCNR and DEP have been making similar designations through IRRC for decades,” Causer said. “As long as the commissions have sound science to show the need for designations – and I have no doubt they do – going through IRRC will not hinder their ability to do their jobs.”

As a result of two public hearings held on the bill over the summer, the committee adopted a comprehensive amendment that addressed virtually every concern raised during those hearings. Among the changes included in the amendment are:

Removing the requirement for the agencies to re-designate all currently listed species within a two-year time frame.
Expanding the proposed centralized database to include “other designated species” that are of special concern or rare species other than threatened or endangered species.
Ensuring access to information in the database is made available only to authorized persons and increases the civil penalties for unlawful use of sensitive database information.
Prohibiting the transfer of licensing dollars or federal funds for implementation of the act to further ensure there is no loss of federal funds as a result of the change.
Placing the requirement to do field surveys back on the permit applicant affecting the land and specifies that if field surveys are required, the state agency with jurisdictional authority for the protection of the species must within 30 days of receiving the survey results provide either clearance for the project, or detailed avoidance measures, detailed minimization measures or detailed mitigation measures to the permit applicant.
Clarifying that the requirement of the commissions to adhere to independent regulatory review does not apply to actions such as hunting seasons and bag limits or fishing seasons and creel limits.

House Bill 1576 passed the committee by a vote of 16-8.

The committee also approved the following bills today:

House Bill 1534, sponsored by Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Monroe/Pike/Wayne), which authorizes the Pennsylvania Game Commission to create a coyote control incentive program that would offer properly licensed hunters and furtakers an incentive of $25 for every coyote lawfully harvested.
Senate Bill 763, sponsored by Sen. Richard Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset/Washington/Westmoreland), which removes the required keeping and inspection of rosters of big game hunting parties by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Senate Bill 895, sponsored by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams/Franklin/York), which reduces the length of each term for members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Board of Commissioners from eight years to four years, while allowing for multiple terms of continued service. This bill is similar to House Bill 828, sponsored by Causer, which previously passed the committee.

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

Hanley Library to Host
International Games Day

Hanley Library at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is one of more than 1,000 libraries around the world that will celebrate the American Library Association’s 6th annual International Games Day @ Your Library this Saturday.

The Hanley Library event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. for guests age 13 and older. There will be a variety of board, card and dice games on hand, but guests are free to bring games as well. Games that could make an appearance are Zombie Dice, Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Survive! Escape from Atlantis and Hey, That’s My Fish! Refreshments will be served.

Games Day is co-sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford club, Gamers United.

For more information, contact Dina Whitehouse, circulation supervisor, at 814-362-7616 or did13@pitt.edu.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

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Exchange Club Helps CARE for Children

Stoney Greenberg, President of the Exchange Club of Bradford, dropped by CARE for Children on Tuesday to drop off proceeds from the 10th Annual Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Bowling Tournament. The contribution to CARE will benefit the organization’s child safety and injury prevention program through the organization’s leadership of Safe Kids McKean County.

Other recipients from the tournament include the McKean County Family Centers, The Guidance Center, Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems, The Children's Advocacy Center, Children and Youth Services, YWCA, and the Bradford Regional Medical Center Emergency Room. Sponsors for the 2013 tournament were Northwest Savings Bank and Shults Toyota.

Over the past ten years the Exchange Club Tournament has raised $50,000.00 to support local child abuse prevention services; and children and youth organizations.

Pictured from left to right in CARE’s Rainbow Corner Preschool: Vanessa Merrick, 4, daughter of Yuri and Buffy Merrick, Leslie Kallenborn, CARE Development and Marketing Coordinator, Mason Close, 4, son of Marty Cummins and Arick Close, Greenberg, and Ethan Cuddy, 3, son of Leeanne and Michael Cuddy.
CARE for Children photo

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

23 Pounds of Marijuana Confiscated

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations announced today the arrest of a Canadian male attempting to smuggle marijuana across the border.

On Nov. 10, CBP officers working at the Peace Bridge encountered 39-year-old Jordan Rodger, a citizen of Canada and resident of Toronto, Ontario. Rodger was traveling in his mother’s 2009 Porsche and claimed to be destined to the local area for shopping.

The CBP officer inspecting the vehicle noticed luggage in the rear of the vehicle during a trunk exam and referred the vehicle for further inspection. When the vehicle was searched by CBP officers, a brown suitcase was found to contain coffee grinds surrounding vacuum sealed bags with a green leafy substance.

All 20 vacuum sealed bags tested positive for marijuana. Often coffee grinds are used in an attempt to mask the potent marijuana smell. The approximate weight of the marijuana was 23 pounds.

Rodger was arrested by CBP officers and turned over to the custody of the Buffalo Police Department for prosecution.

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