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Friday, February 21, 2014

Local School Districts Get State Grant Money

Seven schools in the 25th Senatorial District have been selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to receive Pennsylvania school safety grants, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

The grants being awarded today are for the Safe School Initiatives Program. The funding will be used by educational institutions to establish and implement plans to prevent and reduce incidents of violence. Each of the schools selected in the 25th Senatorial District will receive the maximum grant award of $25,000.

“Ensuring that students and teachers feel safe in their learning environments is a crucial part of helping children to learn and succeed,” Scarnati stated. “I am very pleased that seven area schools have been selected to receive this grant funding. Across Pennsylvania each school’s safety needs are unique, which this program recognizes by allowing local school officials to determine how best to use the grants to protect our children.”

Scarnati explained that last year he introduced legislation to expand and enhance the safe schools grant program within PDE, partly in response to the tragic shooting which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012. As a result of Scarnati’s leadership, funding allocated for Safe Schools Initiatives increased from $500,000 to $2.6 million. Each school district across Pennsylvania was able to apply for the grants, to aid with the cost of providing an increased level of security at Pennsylvania schools.

The following Schools in the 25th Senatorial District will receive the Safe Schools Targeted Grants:

• Brockway Area School District – Jefferson County
• Brookville Area School District – Jefferson County
• Clearfield County Career and Technology Center – Clearfield County
• DuBois Area School District – Clearfield County
• Otto-Eldred School District – McKean County
• Saint Marys Area School District – Elk County
• Smethport Area School District – McKean County

Scarnati noted that the program is administered by PDE through The Office of Safe Schools. Across Pennsylvania a total of $2.6 million was awarded to 110 public schools throughout this round of funding. This latest announcement completes the School Safety Grant Program awards for 2013-2014. The other portion of school safety grants for School Resource Officer (SRO)/School Police Officer (SPO) funding was announced last month.

“Providing the greatest level of security possible at our schools is something that parents, teachers and children expect and deserve,” Scarnati stated. “As we begin to work through Pennsylvania’s annual state budget process for the upcoming fiscal year, I will continue to be a chief advocate for the School Safety Grant Program. Our children are our future and keeping them safe is of the greatest importance.”

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

Corbett Signs Execution Warrant for
Man Who Killed Clearfield Co. Toddler

Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant ordering a man be executed for the rape and murder of a 2-year-old Clearfield County girl in 1988.

55-year-old Stephen Rex Edmiston has maintained his innocence since he was convicted in 1989 in the abduction of Bobbi Jo Matthew from her home.

The death warrant sets the execution for April 16, but more appeals are likely and that would push the date back.

News Details

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Tuesday is 'World Spay Day'

In bringing greater attention to the issue of pet overpopulation, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) is reminding pet owners about World Spay Day on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

“Spaying and neutering pets has proven to be an effective means to control the pet population,” said Pickett. “The costs of managing the pet overpopulation have risen for both local governments and animal welfare organizations. The more we can raise awareness of making sure our pets are spayed or neutered will help control this population in the longer term.”

The House is expected to formally recognize the day with House Resolution 650, which was introduced in the chamber on Feb. 18.

World Spay Day is an effort by veterinarians, animal care and control organizations, national and local animal welfare organizations, and private individuals to raise awareness and encourage pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered and/or to support programs in the community to offer accessible services.

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bradford Burglary Suspect Behind Bars

The Bradford man charged with the burglaries at St. Bernard’s Church and The Farm Family Restaurant is behind bars.

On Monday city police released 19-year-old Derek Steck’s name and picture, after filing burglary and other charges against him for those burglaries, as well as break-ins at the First Presbyterian Church and The Learning Center

Steck was arraigned late this afternoon and sent to McKean County Jail on a total of $150,000 bail.

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Allegany County Students to Benefit
From Joyce Family Gift to St. Bonaventure

By Susan Anderson

Charles and Lorraine Joyce embodied the meaning of commitment. Married for nearly 64 years until Charles’ passing in June 2013, they worked hard and helped countless others. Now their strong legacy will live on at St. Bonaventure University through a newly established scholarship that bears their names.

Beginning this fall, the Charles H. and Lorraine Hyland Joyce Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving student from an Allegany County school district.

The Joyce family has donated the funds to establish the endowed scholarship. They are committed to continuing their parents’ tradition of offering a helping hand where needed and giving back to the place the couple loved most — Allegany County.

“We are all very emotionally connected to, strongly grounded in, and committed to Allegany County and want to help others who grew up there,” said daughter Teresa Joyce, who is a 1981 graduate of St. Bonaventure and a former faculty member in the School of Business. Other Joyce family members who have attended St. Bonaventure include son Richard, daughter-in-law Sherry Walton, and granddaughter Molly Jackson Turner.

“My parents grew up at a time when, and in an area where, it was quite rare for people to attend college. My dad worked on the family farm and in the oil fields from a very young age. My mom and dad worked hard to raise a family and grow a successful business, and to make sure that my siblings and I had opportunities that they did not have,” she said.

Her parents shared a love of learning, which is why a scholarship named in their honor seemed such a fitting way to remember Charles and pay tribute to Lorraine.

Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., president of the University, said, “The Joyce family is making sure that we receive critically needed resources to meet the needs of struggling families and college-bound students in Allegany County. This is an area where the damage of the current economic downturn is pervasive. Their scholarship will be a ray of hope in hard times.”

The Joyce family hopes the scholarship will provide support for Allegany County students to reach their full potential.

“St. Bonaventure had a major impact on the direction of my life, and I can say the same for friends and relatives who attended St. Bonaventure,” said Teresa Joyce. “All of us know people who wanted to attend college, but could not because they lacked the resources to do so. We hope this gift can provide at least some support for students who face financial hurdles in pursuing a college degree.”

For more information about the Charles H. and Lorraine Hyland Joyce Endowed Scholarship at St. Bonaventure, interested persons can contact Kate Dillon Hogan, associate vice president for Enrollment, at (716) 375-2128 or via email at

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

Senior Judge John Cleland to Deliver
Pitt-Bradford Commencement Address

Senior Judge John M. Cleland, who has earned a reputation in the region and throughout Pennsylvania for his unwavering fairness and strong commitment to juvenile justice during his 30 years on bench, will address the graduating class at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in April.

Cleland, who is also a member and past chairman of the university’s Advisory Board and a Kane native, will deliver the keynote address during commencement exercises Sunday, April 27, in the KOA Arena in the Richard E. and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center.

“It is a distinct honor for our university to have John Cleland address our graduates, particularly during this milestone year as we celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford’s president. “Though he is well-respected throughout Pennsylvania, he has never forgotten his small-town roots, which will enable him to offer practical and valuable advice to our graduates and their families.”

Cleland earned a juris doctor with honors from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1972. After serving a clerkship in the federal courts in Pittsburgh, he returned to Kane in 1974 and practiced with the firm of Woods, Baker and Cleland.

After spending 10 years with the firm, he was installed on Oct. 5, 1984, as president judge of McKean County following a merit selection nomination by then-Gov. Richard Thornburgh and confirmation by the Pennsylvania Senate. He was subsequently elected to three terms as the county’s president judge.

In 2008, then-Gov. Edward Rendell nominated Cleland to be a judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, where he served until December 2010. Cleland is currently a senior judge of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.

While Cleland spent many years on the bench in his native McKean County, his judicial impact has extended far beyond the boundaries of McKean County.

In 2009, he was appointed by the chief justice of Pennsylvania to chair the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which was charged with investigating corruption leading to the breakdown of the juvenile justice system in Luzerne County.

The commission reviewed what became known as the “Kids for Cash” scandal, which unfolded in 2008 in Wilkes-Barre where then-Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan were accepting kickbacks in connection with the development of a private juvenile detention facility. Both judges were convicted and sent to prison.

In 2011, Cleland was assigned to preside over the criminal trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky after all of Centre County’s judges recused themselves because of their ties to Penn State. The case and subsequent trial made Cleland, who was already well known in his home county, a familiar figure throughout the rest of Pennsylvania as well as the nation and the world as the high-profile case unfolded.

From 2008 to 2011, Cleland, along with 30 judges, court executives, law professors and journalists, participated in an executive session for state court leaders in the 21st century at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Cleland has also taken a role in public health emergency legal preparedness, publishing papers, giving presentations, and co-chairing committees to ensure that Pennsylvania judges and courthouse employees are prepared for any bio-hazard emergency.

During his career, Cleland has amassed a long list of awards, including the Heavy Lifting Award from the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in 2012, the Robert I. Shadle Legal Excellence and Professionalism Award from the Herbert B. Cohen Chapter of the American Inn of Courts in York in 2010, the Community Collaboration Award from the Bradford YWCA Victims’ Resource Center in 2005, the Golden Crowbar Award from the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in 2003, the Clarity in Writing Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association Plain English Committee in 2001, and the President’s Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in 2000. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Pitt-Bradford, the university’s highest honor.

In addition to his service with Pitt-Bradford’s Advisory Board, he has served on the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees, the Board of Visitors of the Graduate School of Public Health, and the Advisory Board for the Center for Rural Health Practice.

Cleland is also active in his community. He serves as an elder and trustee at the Presbyterian Church of Kane, was a member and chairman of the FCI-McKean Community Advisory Board, was a member and past president of the Kane Area Industrial Development Corp. and the Kane Rotary Club, was a former chairman of the Kane Area Recreational & Cultural Commission, and was president and director of the Kane Area Historical Society.

Cleland holds several professional memberships. He is a member and has held leadership positions on the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, is a member and former vice president and secretary of the McKean County Bar Association, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Bar of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

He lives in Kane with his wife, Julie. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

One Accused Napoli's Burglar Waives Hearing

One of the men charged in the burglary at Pizza Napoli early Sunday morning has waived his preliminary hearing; the hearing for the other has been moved to April 9.

20-year-old Kyle Foster Colosimo of Bradford, who waived his hearing, was allegedly found hiding inside the building. 20-year-old Alexander Pfeifer of Saylorsburg was allegedly acting as a lookout.

Both men are charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and underage drinking. They are free after posting bail.

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Seven Arrested for Having Stolen Guns

A burglary investigation spanning two counties has led to weapons charges against seven people.

State police say they recovered seven guns that were stolen as part of this investigation that started after a burglar in the Town of Alma is September. They also found two more guns from other crimes. They also recovered some electronics that were stolen. The total value of the stolen property is estimated at $3,000. 26-year-old Jamie Clark and 19-year-old Bryent Scotchmer, both of Wellsville, and 18-year-old Sara Morse of Andover, are each charged with burglary and criminal possession of stolen property for breaking into a house and stealing the guns and electronics. Clark is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon because a previous conviction precludes him from having a weapon.

25-year-old Casey Reynolds is charged with criminal possession of stolen property for selling a stolen gun to another person. 38-year-old Russell Irvin of Alma is charged with criminal possession of stolen property for having a stolen gun with a defaced serial number, and criminal possession of a weapon because he’s a convicted felon not allowed to have a gun.

18-year-old Steven Mitchell of Wellsville is charged with criminal possession of stolen property for having a stolen gun. 28-year-old Todd Lewis of Great Valley is charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon for having two stolen guns and stolen electronics.

Scotchmer is in jail. The others have been released with appearance tickets.

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

Lewis Run Man Accused of Punching Man

A Lewis Run man is accused of going into a 69-year-old man’s apartment and punching her.

State police say 29-year-old Brian Wedge was drunk at 10:30 last night when he went into the man’s apartment without permission and punched him, causing lumps on the back of his head and other small cuts and abrasions.

The assault ended in the public hallway/common area of the apartment complex when a neighbor intervened.

Wedge is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and simple assault. He’s free on $10,000 unsecured bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 6.

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

Man Missing After Greene County
Gas Well Fire, Explosion is Warren Native

State police have recovered what appear to be the remains of a man who was working at a natural gas pad in southwestern Pennsylvania when it caught on fire.

27-year-old Ian McKee, who is originally from Warren, had been missing since the fire and explosion last week in Greene County.

The remains have been taken to the county coroner’s office for positive identification.

McKee had been living in Morgantown, West Virginia. He leaves behind a fiancé who is pregnant with their child.

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

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Arrests Made for Four Bradford Arsons

Police say a Bradford man has confessed to setting two fires on December 17 and is charged in connection to two more fires last month.

21-year-old Harvey Rose, who is also facing charges after his two-week-old baby was burned by bath water earlier this month, told police he started fires at 8 Thompson Avenue and 10 Congress Place, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office.

Rose is also accused of setting a fire at 125 West Washington Street on January 8 because he was upset with a resident he says owed him money and wanted to scare her. Surveillance video from Oxley’s Service Center captured Rose riding a bicycle to and from the scene.

He is also charged in connection to a fire at an apartment building at 338 East Main Street on January 11. 25-year-old Jeremiah Smith of Bradford is also charged in connection to that fire. Smith and Rose each told police that the other man started the fire.

Surveillance video from the nearby Kwik Fill gas station shows the men walking to and from the fire scene. As they fire trucks passed by, they both stopped to watch.

During his confession Rose told Assistant Chief Mike Ward and State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti that “he was fascinated by fire. He liked to watch it burn and liked the colors.” He also told them he got uncontrollable urges to start fires and that he does not hold any regard for the safety of others outside of his family.

Rose, who is also facing drug and theft charges in separate cases, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on this case on February 27. He was already in jail on a total of $105,000 bail.

Smith’s preliminary hearing is also scheduled for February 27. He’s jailed on a quarter of a million dollars bail.

An arson investigation team was established to investigate the fires. It consisted of city police, state police and the McKean County District Attorney's Office. Additional assistance and cooperation was provided by the Bradford City Fire Department, Agosti says.

All investigations are continuing. Anyone with information on these or any other fires is asked to contact the city police department or the state police fire marshal unit.

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

Jo Nuzzo

Jo "Tootsie" Nuzzo, 75, a loving mother and grandmother, of 468 West Washington St. Bradford, passed away Tuesday, February 18, 2014, suddenly, in Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born October 19, 1938, in Bradford, she was the only child of the late Louis and Marian (Bizzaro) Luzzi. She was a 1956 graduate of St. Bernard School.

On April 30, 195,9 in St. Bernard Church she married Louis Nuzzo who preceded her in death.

She was employed as a tax preparer at H&R Block for 40 years.

She was a lifetime member of St. Bernard Church, a longtime member and recorder of TOPS Local #10, Jo was very involved for the last 15 years in the American Cancer Society and was the Relay for Life Team Captain for the team "A Bunch of Friends". She enjoyed knitting and crafts.

Surviving are four children, Lucy Nuzzo, of Bradford, Al (Stephanie) Nuzzo, of Waldorf MD, and twins Louis (Barb) Nuzzo of Olean and Mary Ann (Mark) Anderson of Bradford, four grandchildren: Andrew (Amy) Nuzzo, Nicole Nuzzo, Dylan Nuzzo, and Christina Nuzzo, and one great grandson Parker Nuzzo, and her aunt Josephine Petillo of Bradford.

Family will be receiving friends on Friday February 21, 2014 from 3-5pm & 7-9pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc. 33 South Ave., where a prayer service will be held at 1:30pm Saturday followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00pm in St. Bernard Church with Rev. Raymond Gramata, pastor as Celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the McKean County American Cancer Society Relay for Life or the charity of the donor's choice.

On line condolences may be made at

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DEP Fines Halliburtion Nearly $2 Million

PITTSBURGH -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is fining Halliburton Energy Services $1.8 million for 255 violations of the Solid Waste Management Act between 1999 and 2011.

DEP became aware of the violations in 2011 during an inspection of the facility, and further investigation revealed violations dating back to 1999.

“Our regulations are in place to protect the health and safety of our residents and to preserve our environmental resources,” DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “Halliburton’s repeated disregard of these regulations is unacceptable.”

The violations occurred when the company, at its Homer City facility in Indiana County, stored, treated and transported waste hydrochloric acid without obtaining proper permits from DEP.

During the 12-year time period, Halliburton transported acidic waste, which had originated from various gas well sites, without identifying the waste as “hazardous waste,” without proper hazardous waste trucking records, and without using a licensed hazardous waste transporter. In addition, the company sent the hazardous waste to an unauthorized treatment and disposal operation.

While there is no evidence that Halliburton’s handling of the hazardous waste caused any actual harm to the public or the environment; Halliburton violated state regulations governing the handling, storage, transport and disposal of hazardous waste on hundreds of occasions.

The Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty (CACP) which assesses the fine was signed by DEP and the company on Feb. 7. By signing the CACP, the company agrees not to appeal the penalty.

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

Dunham Honored by Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps this morning named a building at the Marine Corps Ground Training Center in Twentynine Palms, California, the Corporal Jason L. Dunham Memorial Mess Hall, for the Scio, New York, native who died after saving the lives of his fellow Marines in Iraq back in 2004.

Dunham was on patrol when his unit was attacked by insurgents, one of whom released a hand grenade. Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, saving several other men. He died eight days later.

A post office and a guided missile destroyer have also been named for Dunham and, in 2007, his number was retired by the Don Raabe Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic Committee. He played in the game after his senior year of high school.

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Sosic Hearing Set for Thursday

UPDATE: Hearing moved to April 9.

Dr. Abaz Sosic was arraigned this morning on charges of indecent assault and harassment.

Sosic is accused of inappropriately touching an intern in his office last month and a patient in 2012. He is also accused of making inappropriate comments to them.

Although members of an online group supporting Sosic had planned on showing their support in person this morning in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office, none of them showed up, mostly because of the weather.

Sosic is free after posting $15,000 bail for each case. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 Thursday in McKean County Central Court.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Police Looking for Bradford Burglary Suspect

City police believe they know who broke into at least two Bradford churches, The Learning Center and The Farm Family Restaurant last month.

Warrants have been issued for 19-year-old Derek Steck, who is about 5 feet four inches tall with a thin build and weighs about 160 pounds. You can see pictures of him on our Facebook page and blog.

The burglary spree started with The Learning Center, where $200 and some personal checks were taken. At St. Bernard’s Church between $20 and $50 was missing from a donation box. At the First Presbyterian Church nothing was taken but a screen was pulled away from a small window, which was pushed open. About $700 was taken from The Farm.

Fingerprints taken from The Learning Center and The Farm matched Steck’s. During their investigation two people told police Steck had told them about the break-ins and had “wads” of cash on him.

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PSU Board Elects New President

Penn State’s board of trustees has picked a new president.

62-year-old Eric Barron will replace Rodney Erickson, who announced his plans to retire. Barron’s contract starts May 12 and runs through June 30, 2019. His salary will be $800,000 a year.

Baron comes from Florida State, where he spent four years. But he had previously been at Penn State from 1986 to 2006 and headed the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences for four years.

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

Zink Gigliotti

Richard P. “Zink” Gigliotti, 85, of Olean, passed away on Friday, February 14, 2014 at the Olean General Hospital.

He was born on October 22, 1928 in Bradford, a son of the late Peter and Catherine Brown Gigliotti.

He attended St. Bonaventure Catholic Church.

He was a United States Army veteran stationed in Germany during the Korean War.

He was employed by St. Bonaventure University as an athletic trainer for twenty five years; while working for the university Mr. Gigliotti attended various sports training clinics around the country. In 1994 he was voted into the St. Bonaventure University Hall of Fame.

He is survived by one sister, Betty (Don) Comilla of Duke Center and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was also preceded in death by two brothers and five sisters.

Visitation will be held on Monday, February 17, 2014 at the Mascho Funeral Home, Inc. from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday at the St. Bernard Catholic Church with the Rev. Raymond Gramata as celebrant. A Christian wake service will be held at 7:45 PM Monday in the funeral home.

Burial and military honors will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

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

Online Condolences can be expressed at

Pictured, Gigliotti front and center with the 1970 Final Four team that was taken in 2010.
Photo provided by St. Bonaventure University

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

PSP Looking for Burglary, Theft Victims

State police are looking for more victims of a burglary and theft ring operating in and around McKean County.

The men accused of operating the ring are Trevor Elder, Adam Bachman, Cameron Causer, Mark Schneider, Nathan Hoy, Garrett Hoy and Austin Tankersley. Police are asking anyone who bought items from any of these to contact them because there’s a possibility the items were stolen.

Among the items stolen were chainsaws, ATVs and dirt bikes, and they were taken from the Borough of Smethport as well as Keating, Liberty, Norwich and Annin townships.

Arrests have been made in some of the crimes are more arrests are pending.

Anyone who has had business transactions with one or more of the suspects is asked to contact Trooper Mary Gausman at 814-778-5555.

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

Two Jailed for Pizza Napoli Burglary

Two men are in jail for a burglary at Pizza Napoli at just after midnight on Sunday.

City police were called for a burglary in progress and found a broken window in back of the building and 20-year-old Alexander Pfeifer of Saylorsburg acting as a lookout. He ran away, but police caught up with him a few blocks away. 20-year-old Kyle F. Colosimo of Bradford was hiding inside the building, and was taken into custody as well.

Police learned the pair broke the window with a cinder block and, once inside the budding, move a safe in attempt to steal the money inside of it.

Both men are charged with felony charges of burglary and criminal trespass, as well as criminal mischief and underage drinking. Their bail was set at $10,000 each.

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