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Saturday, December 14, 2013

City of Bradford Police Log for 12/13/13

City of Bradford Police on Friday investigated an attempted burglary on Summer Street and incidents of trespassing on Williams and Pleasant streets as well as Rockland Avenue. Officers were also called about disorderly conduct on Chestnut, Main and East Corydon streets and suspicious activity on Mill Street.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Local Emergency Planning Committee Meets

(News Release) SMETHPORT – The McKean County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on December 6, 2013 at the County EMA facility.

Representatives from McKean County Emergency Management, Pennsylvania DEP, Zippo, W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery, American Red Cross, American Refining Group, FCI Mckean and Allegheny Bradford Corporation were in attendance.

The LEPC was formed in accordance with PA Act 165 of 1990 and the Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III. The primary roles of the LEPC are preparing plans dealing with the release of Extremely Hazardous Substances from facilities utilize these chemicals, the collection and use of chemical fees from industries to support Hazardous Materials Response needs in the county. Updated plans for Universal Well Services and The McKean Landfill were reviewed and approved. Also, new plans for Baker Petrolite and the CARES-McKean were reviewed and approved. The LEPC was also notified that Superior Well Services has closed their facilities and no longer meet the requirements for a plan. Two new toxic gas meters were demonstrated by EMA Director Bruce Manning, these were purchased with grant funds and LEPC funds.

The two hazardous materials incidents a fuel spill outside of Port Allegany and a crude oil spill on Route 321 in Hamilton Township reviewed by County EMA personnel.

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Cops: Trio Helped Toddler Smoke Pot

A young Chautauqua County couple is facing charges for helping their toddler smoke marijuana.

Sheriff’s deputies say 17-year-old Jessica Kelsey and 18-year-old George Kelsey – along with the child’s grandfather 54-year-old Don Baker of Mayville – encouraged the 23-month-old boy to smoke marijuana from a lit bowl at a home in Mayville on December 5.

All three were charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child and sent to jail.

The toddler and a sibling are in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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Truck Collision on Route 219 Near Brockport

No one was hurt when a pickup truck and a Peterbilt roll-off truck collided Thursday morning on Route 219 near the Elk/Jefferson County line.

Police say the Peterbilt truck driven by 42-year-old Ronald Huey Jr. of Brockway was traveling north at 6:44 a.m. when a pickup truck driven by 35-year-old David Rosensteel of Brockway pulled out from the Brockport Post Office into the path of the other truck.

Route 219 from Brockway to Brockport was closed until around 11 a.m.

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Scarnati: Rural Regional Community College
Legislation Advances in the Senate

The Senate Education Committee voted this week to unanimously pass legislation which will create a Rural Regional Community College Initiative, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Senator Scarnati, who introduced Senate Bill 1000 in June, explained that the legislation is a bi-partisan measure which is based largely on recommendations by a Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) study completed in December 2011.

“Senate Bill 1000 will help set the foundation for establishing rural public community college opportunities in Pennsylvania and help meet the educational needs of students in rural areas,” Scarnati stated.

Scarnati noted that a public hearing on Senate Bill 1000 was held by the Senate Education Committee in Harrisburg in October. Testifiers at the hearing included the North Central Workforce Investment Board, American Refining Group Inc., Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Rural Community College Alliance.

“Senate Bill 1000 received an in depth review by the Senate Education Committee at the October hearing,” Scarnati said. “Thanks to input by education, business and community leaders we were able to ensure that this legislation will provide a solid foundation for rural regional community colleges.”

Scarnati mentioned that in the House of Representatives, Representative Martin Causer has introduced a companion bill to SB 1000, which would seek to establish a rural community college program. A hearing on House Bill 1701 was held this week by the House Education Committee.

The LBFC study which helped provide a framework for SB 1000, concluded that there is a significant need for public community college programs in rural Pennsylvania. According to the report, by 2018 most jobs will require post-secondary education training, however 25 of the 26 rural counties in Pennsylvania have no community college programs.

“Providing rural communities with access to affordable higher education is critical to providing new career opportunities for students and improving the economy,” Scarnati said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives to launch this important educational initiative.”

Senate Bill 1000 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to Dispatch State Police

(News Release) Effective Monday, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center will begin dispatching for the New York State Police Barracks in both Jamestown and Fredonia. Currently, the State Police dispatches Troopers from the Jamestown Barracks on Rt. 60 in the Town of Ellicott. On December 16th, the police phone lines from the Barracks will be transferred to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center and the Troopers will switch to the Sheriff’s Office police radio frequency as their primary channel. All 911 calls via cell phones are currently received by the Sheriff’s Office 911 Center.

Staff at the State Police Barracks for non-emergency business may still be contacted by calling 716-665-3114 or 716-679-1520. There will also be an emergency call box located at the front door of the Jamestown and Fredonia Barracks in the event a citizen arrives at the Barracks with an emergency. The call box will ring into the 911 center and the closest available police car will be dispatched.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office currently dispatches sheriff’s patrol, the City of Jamestown Police and Fire Departments, the Ellicott Police, Westfield Police, Lakewood-Busti Police, the Town of Carroll Police and the Chautauqua Institution Police. They also directly dispatch 41 of the county’s 42 fire companies. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s 911 Center is fully accredited by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and meets or exceeds all standards as required by New York State. This includes many hours of training for the dispatchers. The Sheriff’s Office Dispatchers are also certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch which gives them the ability to provide pre-arrival medical instructions to those calling 911.

“Our dispatchers have the highest level of training available and our center is in compliance with the most stringent requirements for emergency dispatch set forth by New York State,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace. “Our 911 Center was the first in the State to have Smart911 available to our residents. Everyone is encouraged to create a public safety profile by visiting This information is automatically presented to the 911 dispatchers when a Smart911 subscriber calls 911 for help. There is no cost to the subscriber for this service. It is completely confidential and has been proven to be life-saving.”

Sheriff Gerace said: “This partnership with the New York State Police is important for the efficiency of dispatching the closest available unit to emergencies and other calls for service and provides for better coordination of resources. It also comes at a time when governments are being asked to reduce expenses and share services. It just makes sense to combine dispatching into one central location where equipment and resources can be dedicated to a single site”.

A full upgrade in radios and towers for public safety communication is currently underway to comply with federal mandates for narrow banding. The grant funded, six million dollar project, contracted to Motorola, will narrow the current bandwidth for police communications to free up addition spectrum for first responders and private industry. The project has a target date of May 2015 for completion.

State Police Captain Edward Kennedy said: “I believe that this consolidation of dispatch services provides the citizens of Chautauqua County with the best in police service and response times while also providing for an increase in the safety of our officers. In addition, this consolidation allows us to reassign Troopers to road patrol functions who would have otherwise been delegated to dispatch and clerical administrative functions. This move should help increase police coverage and response times in the County."

Pictured, Captain Edward Kennedy, Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace, Major Michael J. Cerretto
Photo provided by the Sheriff's Office

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Limestone Man Jailed for Stabbing

A Limestone man is in jail for stabbing a person with a knife multiple times Thursday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say 31-year-old Justin Cramer stabbed Carey Mills Jr. at Mills' Limestone Run Road home. Mills is in Stable condition at UPMC Hamot in Erie.

Deputies and other police agencies – including Bradford City and Foster Township – were on the lookout for Cramer following the stabbing and found him in Cattaraugus County.

Cramer is charged with assault and is jailed on $200,000 bail.

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City of Bradford Police Log for 12/12/13

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated an attempted burglary on Kennedy Street, reports of suspicious activity on Bushnell and East Main streets, and thefts on Pleasant and Chestnut streets. Officers were called to domestic incidents on Willard and Marion avenues and Kane Street, a disturbance on West Corydon Street and motor vehicle accidents on Main Street and at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Jackson Avenue. They also got reports of Disorderly conduct on Brennan Street and harassment on School Street and Interstate Parkway.

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Three Hurt in Ridgway Crash

Two men suffered major injuries in a crash Thursday afternoon in Ridgway Township.

Police say a pickup truck driven by 21-year-oldl David Cyphert of Ridgway didn’t stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Water Street Extension and Long Level Road, and hit a vehicle driven by 48-year-old Kurtis Barclay of Ridgway, which spun around, crossed the center line and went into the path of a vehicle driven by 46-year-old Sharon Streich of Ridgway.

Barclay and Streich’s passenger 54-year-old Kenneth Streich were taken by ambulance to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of major injuries. Sharon Streich suffered minor injuries. Cyphert was cited for not stopping at a stop sign.

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Dirt Bike Stolen from Smethport-Area Home

A dirt bike was stolen from a Norwich Township home on Thursday.

Police say sometime between 4 and 10 p.m. someone went to the Christian Hollow home of Michael Thielges and took his 2005 Honda CRF dirt bike. The bike is red and black and has Torco, Dunlap and Planet Fitness stickers on it. The thief put the bike onto a vehicle and then drove away.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Kane-based state police and reference incident number C05-1146529.

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Winter Weather for the Weekend

A Winter Storm Watch will go into effect at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning for Pennsylvania and will last until 1 a.m. Sunday and a Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday in New York. Six to 10 inches of snow is possible.

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Hannons Plead Guilty to Crosby's Robbery

The husband and wife who conspired to rob the Crosby’s store on South Avenue have pleaded guilty.

39-year-old Robert Hannon Sr. and 34-year-old Alice Hannon drove to the store on September 17. After his wife dropped him off, Robert Hannon forced an employee who was leaving for the night to unlock the door and go back inside, where he unlocked the safe and took about $3,000. He is a former Crosby’s employee.

He then drove the employee, Jamie Cabisca, to Allegany State Park in her car, made her get out of the car took her cell phone.

Robert Hannon pleaded to robbery and kidnapping to facilitate a felony. Alice Hannon pleaded to conspiracy to commit robbery. They are both scheduled for sentencing on January 9 in McKean County Court.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

8-Year-Old Catt County Boy Shot

An 8-year-old Cattaraugus County boy is being treated for a gunshot wound after a gun went off while he was playing with his brothers this morning.

Police say the incident happened on West Road in Leon while the parents of the boys were not home. The 8-year-old was hit by a shot from a .22 caliber gun. He is in stable condition at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.

Police didn’t say how old the other boys are. All the weapons have been taken out of the home while police investigate.

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Causer Presents Citation to Lewis Run's Montecalvo

Rep. Martin Causer presents a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to retiring Lewis Run Borough Mayor Abbie Montecalvo. Montecalvo is stepping down after 60 years of public service to the borough of Lewis Run, first as a borough council member for four years and then as mayor for 56 years.
Provided by Causer's office

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Part of Route 219 Closed for Several Hours

A crash on Route 219 near the Elk/Jefferson County line downed utility lines and closed the road for several hours this morning.

The road was closed in both directions from Brockway to Brockport after the crash that happened at around 6:40 a.m., according to PennDOT. It re-opened at around 11 a.m.

Police haven’t released any details on the crash yet.

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Landuyt 'Last Day to Plea' Moved

The former Bradford paramedic accused of stealing drugs from the fire department’s ambulance service and altering paperwork to cover it up was scheduled to be in McKean County Court this morning for his Last Day to Plea, but that’s been moved to January 2.

32-year-old Brandon Landuyt is accused of taking morphine and fentanyl from vials in a storage locker and putting saline in the vials to make them look full.

The charges were filed in July. He was fired from the fire department in August.

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Man Charged with Risking a Catastrophe
Waives Preliminary Hearing

A Bradford man whose truck crashed into a utility pole and caused a blackout in part of the city has waived his preliminary hearing.

Police say at just before midnight on September 13 31-year-old John-Jay Rhodes crashed his truck at Forman Street and the off-ramp of Route 219, hitting a utility pole that held high voltage lines. The wires were then exposed, starting a fire, and several traffic lights were disabled in the downtown area.

Rhodes told police he wasn’t driving the truck, but a witness to the crash said he pulled Rhodes from the driver’s seat. Besides a felony count of risking a catastrophe, he is charged with misdemeanor counts of DUI and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, as well as a number of traffic violations.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No Tax Increase in Bradford for Third Straight Year

Bradford City Council last night approved on first reading the millage ordinance, which keeps the millage rate at 16 and means no tax increase.

Mayor Tom Riel says although he had hoped to be able to lower taxes, keeping the rate steady is quite an accomplishment.

City Clerk John Peterson gives much of the credit for the no-tax-increase budget to the department heads being realistic in their requests and keeping a close watch on their budgets during the year.

You can listen to the entire meeting here.

Among the other topics covered are the demolition of more plighted properties, bid openings for fire station renovations and the 2014 wage ordinance.

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Bradford Couple Inducted into Pitt's
Branckenridge Circle for Gifts to Pitt-Bradford

Between them, Dr. George and Susan Evans of Bradford have attended five different universities, yet they’ve steadfastly supported the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford even though neither of them were ever students there.

The couple’s generosity to Pitt-Bradford has been so significant that they were inducted last month into the University of Pittsburgh’s prestigious Brackenridge Circle, which honors donors whose planned gifts and pledges total at least $1 million. Since the circle’s inception in 2010, the Evanses are two of only three Pitt-Bradford affiliated donors who have been inducted. The third was Rich Johnson.

George Evans, who retired as a journalism professor from St. Bonaventure University after 29 years, earned his doctorate in mass communication and political science from Syracuse University, his master’s degree in mass communication from The Ohio University, and his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rider University.

Susan Evans, who retired after teaching English at Bradford Area High School for 32 years, earned her master’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure and her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Slippery Rock University.

The Evanses stress that all of their alma maters are quality schools, but there is something extra special about Pitt-Bradford, something that ignites their passion for philanthropy.

“This is such a wonderful institution that is wonderfully run,” Susan Evans said. “The university is doing an excellent, excellent job, which makes this campus stand out.”

George Evans added, “Pitt-Bradford has done more in 50 years than many schools have done in 100 or 150 years. Fifty years ago, the campus was just a flat piece of ground. Look what’s here now. We’re passionate about quality education, and it’s here. This university is a gem among gems.”

Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford’s president, said, “Pitt-Bradford is fortunate to have received such unwavering support from George and Susan Evans over the years. Students for many years to come will continue to benefit from their generosity.”

The Evanses have supported other causes generously, but they’ve done so quietly, opting to make those contributions anonymously. However, they’ve always been willing to be open about their support to Pitt-Bradford in the hope that it will encourage others to donate. Supporting education is also a natural for two people who have more than 60 combined years as educators.

“Education is important to us,” George Evans said. “We didn’t have to think long and hard about contributing to Pitt-Bradford. We knew we wanted to do this.”

In 2002, the Evanses contributed $30,000 to Pitt-Bradford to establish the Michael R. Cavalline Scholarship to memorialize Susan Evans’s father, a gift that was matched by the Reed-Coit Scholarship Challenge and now has grown to a significant endowment. So far, 35 students have received scholarships, and each scholarship has been about $1,000. Over the years, they’ve also contributed to the Blaisdell Fine Arts Challenge, Buy a Seat for the Arts program and the Harriett B. Wick Chapel.

For the couple, supporting the university is also their moral obligation.

“We have been blessed with good fortune,” George Evans said. “We were taught to share our good fortune with others.”

Students need help, his wife said, adding that without financial assistance, many students would not be able to get a college education. “We just think this is a wonderful place, and we’re passionate about the quality of education here,” Susan Evans said. “The students here are always courteous and respectful. Everyone I’ve dealt with on campus has been so nice. You don’t always see that on a bigger campus.

“Money is never wasted if it’s spent on education. The benefits will always come back to you or the student.”

Dr. George and Sue Evans (center) at the Brackenridge Circle induction in Pittsburgh with, at left, Jill Ballard, executive director of Institutional Advancement at Pitt-Bradford, and Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford.

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Austin Girl a Calendar Contest Winner

A Potter County girl is one of 13 fifth-graders in the state whose artwork will appear in the attorney general’s 17th annual drug free calendar.

A drawing by Abigail E., who attends Austin Elementary School, will be October’s featured picture. You can see all the pictures, and find more information, at

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says the reason the contest is geared toward fifth-graders is that most of them have been exposed to drugs or alcohol socially, and her office wants to engage them in positive activities before they or their friends make a bad choice.

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Northwest Donates to Education Consortium

(News Release) WARREN -- The Northwest Charitable Foundation donated $10,000 to the Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny (ECUA) to help the Consortium meet its mission of providing affordable, accessible associate degree programming to northwestern Pennsylvanians.

Duane Vicini, president of ECUA, and Amanda Hetrick, ECUA board member and Superintendent of the Forest Area School District, accepted the donation on behalf of the organization.

In presenting the donation, Stephanie Freitag, manager of Northwest Savings Bank’s Warren Commons Office said, “I am extremely happy to make this award, which will help support the delivery of quality secondary education programming throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. Without the Education Consortium, our region would not have local access to the opportunities that are now available through the Consortium’s collaboration with Gannon University, school districts and other partners.”

ECUA partnered with Gannon University to offer associate degree programming in interdisciplinary studies and business management. Courses are taught live from one location and telecast to Corry, Coudersport, Emporium, Kane, St. Marys, Tidioute and Warren using interactive television. The ECUA also works with state legislators to further address the need for quality technical and associate degree programs north of Interstate 80.

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McDowell, Causer Speak at Hearing on
Community College Pilot Program

(News Release) HARRISBURG – Appearing before the House Education Committee on Wednesday, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Dr. Richard McDowell made their case for creating a rural regional community college pilot program to serve the 11-county northwest/north central Pennsylvania region.

“This really is a fairness issue. Students in rural Pennsylvania need affordable access to the types of programs and services provided by community colleges in other areas of the state,” Causer said. “And from an economic standpoint, rural Pennsylvania as a whole needs this vital economic development tool to help jump start our struggling economy.”

McDowell, who is president emeritus and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, also chairs the Upper Allegheny Education Consortium, which has been working toward bringing community college services to the region for a number of years.

“Community colleges provide low-cost, open admission education opportunities, as well as many technical and middle skill training programs so necessary to today’s workforce and employment,” McDowell said. “What rural Pennsylvania misses is the associate degree programs – that rung between high school and college.

“Pennsylvania’s existing community college system has not been responsive to rural Pennsylvania to the detriment of the economic vitality of the entire state,” he added.

While the briefing on House Bill 1701 was taking place Wednesday morning, the Senate Education Committee took up an identical bill, which was introduced as Senate Bill 1000 by Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-25). The bill passed that committee unanimously and now heads to the full Senate for its consideration.

The bills were introduced in response to a 2011 study by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, which verified the lack of community college services in 25 of the state’s 26 rural counties. The study noted that nearly every other state in the nation provides statewide coverage by community colleges and acknowledged the vital role community colleges play in helping to meet the demand for increasing and ever-changing workforce skills. It also pointed out that rural youth who choose to enroll in one of the state’s 14 community colleges today pay at least twice as much in tuition as those who live within a school district with a public community college. Those higher tuition rates, plus greater travel distances, often make community college unaffordable to these students.

Based on the findings of the study, the report recommended the creation of a public community college to serve the state’s rural areas.

“In a region that is struggling like ours – with declining population, especially among our youth; lower-than-average income; and shrinking job opportunities – a community college program could be a catalyst in the effort to rebuild our economy in rural Pennsylvania,” Causer said.

The 11-county area that would be served under the pilot program includes Cameron, Crawford, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango and Warren counties.

House Bill 1701 awaits further consideration by the House Education Committee.

Watch footage of the committee meeting:

Pictured, Rep. Martin Causer and Dr. Richard McDowell address the House Education Committee in Harrisburg Wednesday about legislation to create a rural regional community college pilot program to serve northwest and north central Pennsylvania.
Photo provided by Causer's office

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PSP: Car Stolen from Mount Jewett
May Be in Bradford, Lewis Run

State police believe a 1999 Ford Taurus taken from Mount Jewett may be in the Bradford City or Lewis Run area.

They say Michael Dance of Erie took the silver car between 1:30 Tuesday afternoon and 10 o’clock this morning and didn’t bring it back when owner Audrey Bell asked him to.

The car’s license plate is JDC-7199.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Kane-based state police at 778-5555.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

McDowell, Causer to Appear Before Committee on
Rural Community College Program

Pitt-Bradford President Emeritus Dick McDowell and State Rep. Marty Causer will appear before the House Education Committee tomorrow, during a briefing about bills that would create a rural community college pilot program.

McDowell and Causer will be discussing House Bill 1701. Its sister bill, Senate Bill 1000, sponsored by Senator Joe Scarnati, proposed creation of the program in the 11-county area of northwest and north central Pennsylvania.

The bills were introduced in response to a 2011 study of community college services by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.

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Pinchock Found Not Guilty of Felonies

A jury has found a Port Allegany man guilty of misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and corruption of minors, but not guilty of three felony counts.

The trial for 40-year-old Jeffrey Pinchock started in McKean County Court on Monday. The jury came back with its verdict at around 4 o’clock this afternoon.

Pinchock was found not guilty of statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and a felony count of corruption of minors in connection to an incident in August of last year when he smoked marijuana with a 15-year-old girl and had sexual contact with her.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Drug, Domestic Charges

A man who was arrested on drug charges following a domestic incident has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

37-year-old Joseph Pugh of Perrysburg was arrested following the domestic incident on August 28 at his home. During their investigation, sheriff’s deputies found a large quantity of marijuana and equipment to grow it.

Pugh is scheduled for sentencing on March 31.

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Teen Hurt in One-Car Crash

An 18-year-old suffered minor injuries in a one-car crash on an icy Route 59 this morning.

Police say Draven Nudd of Warren was on 59 near its intersection with Lumber Lane in Lafayette Township when his car went out of control on the ice- and snow-covered road, spun off the south berm and hit a tree.

The car had to be towed from the scene.

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