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Friday, January 10, 2014

Senate Committees Hold Public Hearing on
Endangered and Threatened Species

(News Release) HARRISBURG – The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee and Senate Majority Policy Committee, on Friday, held a public hearing to examine Pennsylvania laws pertaining to endangered and threatened species.

Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Senator Richard Alloway (R-33) explained that the purpose of the informational hearing was to receive testimony on the Threatened and Endangered Species legislation that has been proposed.

Senate Bill 1047 was introduced by Senator Scarnati last year and would establish the Endangered Species Coordination Act.

The hearing, which took place at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, included testifiers from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the PA Builders Association.

“Our federal government has effectively protected threatened species for over 100 years,” Senator Scarnati stated. “However, currently in Pennsylvania our state agencies do not coordinate their efforts with federal rules and regulations. Senate Bill 1047 takes an important step to create a greater level of accountability and transparency regarding the classification of endangered species in our Commonwealth.”

SB 1047 would also 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).

Scarnati noted that in addition, DCNR will be required to maintain a centralized database containing a list of all designated species and critical habitats within the Commonwealth.

“Testifiers at the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee hearing did a thorough job of explaining to the Committee how the Endangered Species bill would impact their agencies and businesses,” Senator Alloway stated. “Information presented will be closely reviewed and analyzed before a Committee vote is scheduled.”

Senator Alloway noted that last November the House Game and Fisheries Committee voted to pass House Bill 1576, the companion bill to Senate Bill 1047.

“Taxpayers expect that state government operates in an efficient manner,” Senator Scarnati stated. “Our goal is that Pennsylvania maintains a universal standard of protection for our fish, wildlife and plants, without unduly harming our businesses and employers who provide family sustaining jobs in the Commonwealth.”

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

Man Found Guilty of Stealing,
Damaging Police SUV

One of the men who stole a Seneca Nation Marshal’s SUV and then did about $3,000 worth of damage to it has been found guilty by jury after a three-day trial in Cattaraugus County Court.

23-year-old Kevin Beaver of Salamanca stole the Chevy Tahoe while the marshals were responding to a call in Kill Buck. He and another man then took the SUV to Old Route 17, where they met up with two other men. All four then went to the gravel pits in the Town of Red House and did $2,665 worth of damage to the SUV.

Beaver is scheduled for sentencing on March 10.

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

Obituary
Florence Caruso

Florence A. Caruso, 90, of Bradford, passed away, Monday, January 6, 2014, at the Bradford Regional Medical Center, following a long Illness.

Born June 18, 1923, in Seminole, PA, she was the daughter of Alexander and Veronica Ostovich.

On December 15, 1945, in St. Charles Catholic Church in New Bethlehem she married Henry A. Caruso, who preceded her in death on June 10, 1999.

Mrs. Caruso was a 1941 graduate of Redbank Valley High School in New Bethlehem and a 1969 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Math Education. Mrs. Caruso taught in Bradford Schools for several years, and at the end of her career was an Elementary Principal, retiring in June of 1985. She had resided in Bradford since 1958. She enjoyed sewing and cooking.

Surviving are two sons, Alex (Marcia) Caruso of Bradford and Joseph (Rozlyn) Caruso of Edina, MN five grandchildren, Michael (Katie) Caruso, and, Jill (Danny) Neighbour, Katie Caruso, Sarah (Daniel) Jankowski and Mary (her fiancee, Thomas Elliott IV) Caruso, 7 great grandchildren, Logan, Luke & Joey Caruso, Finley and Gwyneth Neighbour and Lily and Alex Jankowski. She was a loving aunt to several nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband she was predeceased by a daughter Veronica A. Caruso, who died February 2, 1999 and a son Mark J. Caruso, who died March 13, 2008.

At the request of the family there will be no public visitation. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the convenience of the family in St. Bernard Church with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery. Arrangements are under the directions of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

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

Donor Puts UWBA Over the Top

Bradford was indeed a cool town on Friday, but warm hearts prevailed as an anonymous donor came through to push the United Way of the Bradford Area’s 2013 campaign over the $330,000 goal.

“By 8:30 in the morning, we had a phone call saying that this donor wanted to contribute an additional $5,000, which was beyond exciting,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.

Although the campaign closed earlier in the week, officials say that, because it was the donor’s wishes for these dollars to be attributed to the 2013 appeal, they will make the necessary adjustments.

“We, as an organization, obviously abide by the Donor Bill of Rights, which states that the donor can be assured that their gift will be used for the purpose for which it was given,” said Davis. “In this case, it was directed to the 2013 campaign, and that’s where it will be used.”

Davis said she was happy with the success based on Thursday’s status, and is beyond elated today.

“I really don’t know what to say. So many times I think that ‘Thank You’ isn’t enough to express how grateful I am, and this is definitely the case today.”

Davis reiterated that it’s not necessarily about the goal and whether or not that dollar amount was raised, but rather it’s the agencies and programs that offer the necessary services to our community that are the focal point.

“We (at the United Way) do what we do because they (the funded agencies) do what they do. Without the talents, compassion and dedication of these local agencies and all those people affiliated with them, I can’t even imagine how the lives of everyone in our area would be affected.”

Davis announced Thursday that regardless of whether or not goal was achieved, all agencies would receive there allocation in full.

For more information, please visit the UWBA website at www.uwbanews.org.

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

It's Madison Rising Day in Bradford

Dave and Sam from Madison Rising joined Scott Douglas on The Morning Buzz today.

Bradford Mayor Tom Riel proclaimed today "Madison Rising Day" in the city.

Pictured with Dave, Sam, Tom Riel and Scott Douglas is TC Clark who organized tonight's concert at the VFW Event Center. About 20 tickets are left and will be on sale at the VFW at at 11 a.m. First come, first served. The band is dedicating tonight's show to US Army SFC Andrew R. Taylor and his family.

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

House Passes Modernization of
Environmental Clean Up Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, PA-5, today voted to support H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act, which passed the House by a vote of 225 to 188. The legislation, composed of three separate bills, seeks to modernize existing federal law and increase the role of the states in environmental cleanups under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

“Passage of H.R. 2279 will protect businesses and local municipalities from expensive and duplicative federal hazardous substance cleanup requirements, which stands to help the 17 Superfund sites in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District,” stated Rep. Thompson. “Additionally, these reforms will prevent EPA regulations, which the agency admits are overly burdensome and costly, from preempting state requirements pertaining to hazardous substances.”

Included in the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act:

· H.R. 2279, which provides flexibility for EPA to determine as appropriate whether to review, and if necessary revise, regulations promulgated under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, and will preserve existing state financial assurance laws from preemption.

· H.R. 2226, which requires the EPA to consult with states before beginning remediation activities at a Superfund site and provide credit for state Superfund cleanup costs.

· H.R. 2318, which would waive the U.S. government’s immunity from state laws as they apply to federal Superfund sites, potentially subjecting federal agencies to civil penalties and state requirements for private Superfund sites.

Background:

Created in 1980 under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Superfund program was designed to spur joint federal-state efforts to clean up and manage abandoned hazardous waste sites.

There were 1,321 Superfund sites across the country. 95 sites are located in Pennsylvania, 17 of which are located in the 5th District.

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

Thursday, January 9, 2014

City of Bradford Police Log for 1/09/14

Besides the arson on West Washington Street, City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated motor vehicle accidents on Interstate Parkway and Main and Forman streets and a drug violation on Bushnell Street. They were also called about disorderly conduct on Main Street and harassment on Cornen and Amm streets.

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

United Way Falls $2,500 Short of Goal

Agencies Will Still Get Full Funding

The United Way of the Bradford Area closed the books on the 2013 campaign, “Life Is Good When You’re United”, coming up just $2,500 short of the $330,000 fundraising goal.

“I’m truly so happy with the successes of this appeal,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “Aside from being so close to that 100%, we can assure our agencies that no one will receive a reduction in their 2014 monthly allocations, which is the most important thing.”

Davis said that diligent, responsible and strategic work on the part of the Board of Directors led to the agencies being able to receive their full allocation.

“They (the board members) take their responsibilities very seriously, especially that of determining which agencies receive funding from the annual campaign(s), and they worked very hard to determine what would be best for those agencies – and our community – in the end,” said Davis.

Campaign Co-Chairs Mary Boser and Lisa Boser-Miller expressed their appreciation and enthusiasm for all of the support received since the beginning of the process in August.

“Yes, we would like to have our headline read that we met goal or even surpassed goal,” said Mary, “but we’re very proud of what our community has accomplished through their annual United Way giving.”

“In the end, it’s not necessarily the dollar amount that we should focus on,” said Lisa, “but rather the numbers – the number of agencies and programs which will receive funding through this campaign, the number of our friends and family and neighbors who will be impacted by those services – that’s what is important.”

The other number that Lisa said was imperative this year was that of new donors.

“To those folks who signed that pledge card for the first time, we thank you for taking that step with us, for saying that you believe in the United Way and what we do for our community.”

From what can be accounted for, there were nearly 75 new donors this year, which does not include many of the employees from various corporations.

“Often times we don’t see who it is that is contributing through pay-roll deduction, so I’m sure that number would be much higher if we were able to account for those individuals,” said Davis.

UWBA Board President, Steve Williams, expressed his personal appreciation to those who made the 2013 campaign a success.

“We can’t thank the staff enough for the hard work they put into this appeal, as well as our campaign volunteers, board members and partner agencies who were out there advocating on behalf of the United Way.

“And, thank you, of course, to the donors who amaze me with their generosity year-in and year-out. We hope we, as an organization, express appropriately how truly grateful we are to you.”

Davis said that the theme of “Life Is Good When You’re United” was fitting for this campaign.

“It’s funny because obviously the theme is decided upon long before the start of the actual solicitation process, so to sit back now and think of all of the intricacies of the 2013 campaign, I can honestly say there probably wasn’t a more fitting theme.”

That theme was decided on based on a competition amongst local elementary school students. The winning theme came from the 2012-2013 3rd grade students in Mrs. Johnson’s class at School Street Elementary.

“Being a part of this campaign has proven to be an eye-opening experience,” said Mary. “I thought I was in the loop as to the needs of the organizations for which the United Way supports, but the needs in our community are so much stronger than I ever anticipated.

“I am proud to have represented such a fine organization as so many worked extremely hard striving to meet our goal,” she said.

“Many corporations, businesses, schools, and individuals gave back to our community, and all have combined efforts to spread the message Life is Good When You’re United. Thank you for being a part of such an amazing effort,” said Lisa.

So, what’s next for the local United Way? “Well, we are in the process of planning our special events for the 2014 calendar year,” said Davis. “And, there were several goals that I had set for myself for 2013 that I didn’t accomplish at the office, so those are next on my list. Then, there’s campaign 2014, which will kick-off in just seven months!”

For more information, please visit the UWBA website at www.uwbanews.org.

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

Public Assistance Programs Need More Integrity
Senators to Address Misuse of Benefits

(News Release) HARRISBURG – Senators David G. Argall (R-29) and Joe Scarnati (R-25) are crafting a proposal that would strengthen the integrity of several areas within the state’s welfare department.

The two senators are taking concerns voiced by their constituents to include in a proposal that addresses several areas of misuse of taxpayer-funded benefits.

“Our concern is that these valuable taxpayer dollars are being misused when the programs are set to help those with a genuine need,” Senator Argall said. “We need to make sure we protect our most vulnerable citizens while letting the system abusers know the free ride is over. I’ve heard at town hall meetings some outrageous examples of misuse of taxpayer dollars occurring, but after further review, have found it is legal under the current system. This drives hardworking taxpayers crazy.”

“Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve to know that their tax dollars are being invested wisely and that state funds for public assistance programs are being given to those who truly have a need,” Senator Scarnati said. “As our economy continues to recover, it is imperative that we utilize our state’s limited resources in a responsible manner. Our comprehensive legislation will be aimed at ensuring that only our citizens who are legitimately in need of assistance receive benefits.”

Specifically, the Argall/Scarnati proposal will address several key issues to promote integrity of the public benefits.

Their plan would require the Pennsylvania Lottery to report individual winnings to the Department of Public Welfare when determining eligibility for public assistance. The proposal will also include a provision to place a cap on the amount of a primary vehicle’s worth when determining eligibility for programs at $35,000. Currently, there is no limit.

Under their plan, replacing lost Electronic Benefits Transfer cards would be a flat $5 for the first replacement card, and $100 for any replacement card after that in the same calendar year.

Finally, the senators seek to increase and standardize the grading and penalties for individuals who commit welfare fraud. A serious offense which leads to the receipt of fraudulent benefits valued at over $1,000 would be graded as a 3rd degree felony. It is currently considered a misdemeanor.

Argall and Scarnati will introduce a formal bill in a few weeks for the Senate’s consideration.

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

Man Who Threatened Mom Waives Hearing

A Ludlow man accused of threatening his mother with a gun and stealing her car has waived his preliminary hearing in McKean County Central Court.

49-year-old Christopher Straneva allegedly took his mother’s car without permission on December 20 and then, after refusing to give her gas money, threatened her with a .22 caliber rifle. Police found him December 22 on a forest service road and arrested him without incident.

He remains in McKean County Jail on $75,000 bail.

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

Drug Task Force Arrests Four

Four people have been picked up by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

27-year-old Carmen Burney and Kellee Lewis, both of Olean, and 29-year-old Pierre Morgan and 29-year-old Justin Vance, both of Buffalo, are each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

They were charged after a search warrant was executed at Lewis’s home early this morning and the task force, along with the Olean City Police Street Crimes Unit, found crack cocaine.

The task force says more charges are pending the completion of the investigation.

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

Police: Bradford Fire was Arson

Arson has been determined as the cause of a fire late last night in a vacant apartment on West Washington Street.

City police were called to 125 West Washington at just before midnight and found smoke coming from the back of the building. An upstairs tenant was able to put the fire out before firefighters arrived.

Four people were in the upper apartment at the time and one of them suffered an asthma attack from smoke inhalation, but did not require medical treatment.

The building is owned by David Monago.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact City of Bradford Police.

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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

City of Police Log for 1/7/14

City of Bradford Police on Tuesday got calls about harassment on Pleasant, Pearl and Chestnut streets as well as Chautauqua Place. They looked into traffic/parking problems on Brennan, School and Boylston streets, Abbott Road and Seaward Avenue. Officers also got a call about barking dogs on Park Street.

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

Man Sentenced for Burglary

A man already in Chautauqua County Jail for a burglary in Busti has been sentenced as a repeat felon in Cattaraugus County.

27-year-old Brandon Clifton, who has lived in Jamestown and Randolph over the last couple of years, will spend 1 ½ to 3 years in prison for breaking into two camps in Randolph in June of 2012 and stealing several items.

The Chautauqua County burglary was in October of 2012.

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

Four in Court on Drug Charges

Four people appeared in Cattaraugus County Court on drug charges earlier this week.

34-year-old Joseph Dempsey of Olean was sentenced as a repeat felon to two years in prison for selling heroin last January in Olean.

49-year-old Henry Dalaba of Salamanca was sentenced to five years’ probation for selling morphine pills in July of 2012 in Salamanca.

20-year-old Katie Leti of Olean was sentenced to five years’ probation for selling a Lortab pill in July of 2012 in Olean.

57-year-old David Foster of Olean pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance for having heroin in February of last year in Olean. He’s scheduled for sentencing on February 24.

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

Salamanca Woman Admits to Arson

A Salamanca woman has pleaded guilty to charges that she set fire to her mobile home.

50-year-old Tina Wagoner is charged with arson is connection to the November 8, 2012, fire in the City of Salamanca.

She’s scheduled for sentencing on March 10 in Cattaraugus County Court.

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

Man Sentenced for Police Stand-Off

The Olean man who held police at bay for about an hour and a half, and fired a shot from a rifle out the back door of his apartment will spend the next two to four years in state prison.

49-year-old Frank DiLorenzo was charged as a repeat felon after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment.

The incident happened on July 18. He eventually surrendered to police. No one was hurt.

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

Three Sentenced for Running Meth Lab

Three men have been sentenced for running a meth lab in Allegany.

33-year-old Anthony Ray and 32-year-old Joshua Safford, who lived at the South Seventh Street house that was raided in March of last year, have each been sentenced to five years’ probation

Their co-defendant 36-year-old Raymond Shaffer Jr. of Olean has been sentenced as a repeat felon to two years in state prison.

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

Westfield Woman Facing Federal Charges

A Westfield, PA, woman is facing federal charges for allegedly receiving Social Security benefits she wasn’t entitled to.

The US Attorney’s office charged 63-year-old Rose Hager with coversion of government funds by receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits in March of 2011.

They didn’t say how much money she received.

The maximum penalty is one year in prison, followed by parole, along with a fine of more than $300,000 and significant tax penalties.

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Scarnati Re-Elected Senate President Pro Tempore

Today State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate for 2014. This is the eighth time Senate colleagues have elected Senator Scarnati to the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth. The Honorable Justice Thomas G. Saylor administered the Oath of Office.
Following being sworn-in as President Pro Tempore, Senator Scarnati offered remarks on major legislative issues that lie ahead for the Senate in 2014. Scarnati explained that one of the largest tasks this year will be to complete Pennsylvania’s budget. “I have confidence that the Senate will be a leader in ensuring our state budget is balanced in a responsible manner, while working hard to find a solution that will allow us to increase funding for our public schools, institutions of higher education and programs that help the elderly and our most needy citizens,” Scarnati stated. “The choices we make will be many, but the largest cost impacting our budget in the coming years will be that of pensions – an issue that must be addressed by this body,” Scarnati continued. “Pennsylvania residents have spoken and have clearly shown that they expect us to move our state pension system in line with that of the private sector.” Scarnati noted that focusing on economic growth and job creation remains a paramount issue for the Senate. “Pennsylvania taxpayers in poll after poll point to jobs and the economy as their major concern facing our state,” Scarnati said. “Over the past several years we have worked hard to provide a climate in our state that allows job creators to flourish, however there is still much more that can be done.” “In 2014 it is my pledge to continue to work with my Senate colleagues to make decisions that will strengthen our communities, provide for family sustaining jobs and ensure Pennsylvania will remain a strong commonwealth for future generations.”

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

Closings and Cancellations

The latest list of closings and cancellations go to http://www.wesb.com/news/closings/.

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

Community Invited to Join Photography Exhibition

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Office of International Services and Study Abroad is looking for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members who live within 30 miles of Pitt-Bradford to submit photos for an upcoming exhibit.

The 2nd Annual Pitt-Bradford Photography Exhibit will be on display from Jan. 17 through Jan. 31 in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall. This year’s theme is a celebration of Pitt-Bradford’s 50th anniversary.

Amateur photographers may enter the following categories: 50 and Beyond; Black and White; Famous Things; Nature and Animals; Daily Life; and Most Creative. The People’s Choice category will be open to everyone, including professional photographers. Professionals will also be considered in the “Best Professional Shot” category. All student photographs will be considered for the “Best Student Shot.”

An opening reception will be held at noon Jan. 17 in the KOA Speer Lobby of Blaisdell Hall. Those attending the event will be able to vote on their top three favorite photographs for the People’s Choice Award.

Submissions will be accepted at the Bromeley Family Theater through Jan. 13. Each exhibitor may submit up to three photographs, each of which must be at least 5 inches by 7 inches and framed, matted, or framed and matted. Canvas prints will also be accepted. Entry forms will be available at the box office.

For more information, contact Kristin Asinger, director of international services and study abroad, at kaa54@pitt.edu or 814-362-5154.

Pictured, last year’s People’s Choice award-winner by Alan Hancock.

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

More Drug Suspects Arraigned

Two more people have been arraigned on drug charges following the New Year’s Eve sweep by the McKean County Drug Task Force.

35-year-old Justin Jones and 31-year-old Jessie Starr Jones are accused of selling Suboxone to a confidential informant of the task force. According to court records, the deal had been arranged by text message and took place at their Hedgehog Lane home.

The husband and wife are charged with felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal use a communication facility and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

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

Two Alleged Burglars Behind Bars

Bradford Police have arrested the man they believe is responsible for some of the burglaries in the city over the past month.

27-year-old Daniel Colella of Avenue B is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. He’s in McKean County Jail on $150,000 bail.

Police say their investigation is continuing.

A Smethport man is in McKean County Jail on burglary charges.

24-year-old Nathan Hoy is also charged with forgery, criminal trespass, identity theft and related offenses in connection to a December 30 incident when he stole a woman's car and checkbook, according to court records.

His bail is set at $25,000.

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