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Friday, February 28, 2014

Pitt-Bradford Names New Residence Hall

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will name its new residence hall in honor of Lester Rice, chairman emeritus and former CEO of KOA Speer Electronics Inc. and the Mukaiyama-Rice Foundation, and his wife, Barbara.

The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees approved the naming of Lester and Barbara Rice House at its meeting today in Pittsburgh.

Rice House will become home to 109 students this fall. Pitt-Bradford broke ground for the $9.3 million residence hall, which is located near Hanley Library, in October.

“Les Rice, and his wife, Barbara, are tireless advocates for our campus and, by example, helped to establish a legacy of giving not only to our campus, but to this community in general,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. “We’re honored and thrilled to have their names grace our newest residence hall.”

The Rices, along with KOA Speer Electronics and the Mukaiyama-Rice Foundation, have provided substantial gifts to Pitt-Bradford over the course of many years and at critical times in the university’s development. The gifts have supported such initiatives and activities on the Bradford campus as the renovation and expansion of the Frame-Westerberg Commons, the renovation and expansion of what is now the Richard E. and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center, and the creation of an annual scholarship fund that has supported an average of 10 students each year since 1998.

In 1997, Pitt-Bradford awarded Lester Rice its highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, given to those who make significant contributions to the campus and the community.

The Rices are Detroit natives, and Lester Rice got his start in electronics in the U.S. Navy, where he attended Electronics Technician School. Later, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics engineering from the University of Michigan in 1951.

The Rices also lived in Elmira, N.Y., Pittsburgh, and St. Marys before settling in Bradford, where they raised five children, Scott, Jeff, Jody, Judy and Tim. They have 12 grandchildren.

Lester Rice’s professional career began in 1951 when he joined Westinghouse Corp., where he worked seven years with the Electronic Tube Division in Elmira before transferring to the Semiconductor Division in Youngwood, where he remained for nine years.

In 1969, Lester Rice joined Airco Speer, which was then located in St. Marys. The U.S. operations merged with KOA Corp. in 1980, and KOA Speer Electronics was established in Bradford. Today KOA is one of the largest resistor suppliers to the U.S. market and has 17 plants worldwide with distribution operations in Bradford, Germany and Singapore.

Lester Rice has been active in trade groups and the Bradford community, where he has been active in the Bradford Rotary and Exchange clubs, the Bradford Family YMCA, the Bradford Area Alliance, the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board and the board of directors of Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems.

Barbara Rice graduated from Michigan State University in 1955 with a degree in education. She then taught elementary school and flew as a TWA stewardess prior to marrying Lester Rice and staying home to raise her family. Barbara Rice has been very active in the First Presbyterian Church of Bradford, including long-term service as a Deacon. She has served on the boards of the YWCA, Bradford Creative and Performing Arts, and the Bradford Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, where her accomplishments included initiating the Surgical Liaison Function and revitalizing the resale shop.

Rice House will bring Pitt-Bradford’s on-campus capacity to 1,047.

A formal ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony will be held in the fall.

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Fire Damages Bradford House

Fire damaged a house at 4 Osborne Place this morning, but no one was hurt.

City Fire Department Captain Matt Rettger tells WESB they got the call at 8:18 a.m. He says the first fire hydrant they went to was frozen, but they were able to operate with water from their tank and it didn’t hinder the battling of the blaze at all.

“It didn’t change the outcome,” he said, adding that damage is estimated at $20,000.

They don’t know the cause of the blaze yet, but are going back to the scene this afternoon and may have a determination later today.

The house is owned by Neil Reynolds. The occupant, Vincent Reynolds, was home at the time but was able to get out safely.

Sixteen Bradford firefighters were on the scene until 10:40 a.m. Six Bradford Township firefighters were also on the scene.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Woman Jailed for Break-In

A Smethport woman is in jail for allegedly forcing her way into a man’s house, spraying him with pepper spray and stealing several items.

Police say 60-year-old Frances Herzog knocked on the victim’s door in Emerald Isle at about 11 o’clock Wednesday night and then sprayed him with an unknown type of pepper spray before going into the home and taking multiple items. She then left the scene on foot.

Herzog is charged with burglary, robbery, theft and harassment. She’s in McKean County Jail on $20,000 bail.

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Drug Suspect Waives Hearing

One more person picked up in the New Year’s Eve sweep by the McKean County Drug Task Force has waived his preliminary hearing.

34-year-old Franklin Howard of Bradford is charged with delivery and possession of a controlled substance in connection to an incident on November 5.

He’s free on bail.

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Toddler Hospitalized, Woman Charged with Assault

A 19-month-old baby is hospitalized in critical condition and a woman is in jail on assault charges.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s say they were contacted by staff at Bradford Regional Medical Center after Limestone Ambulance brought the child in with “a very serious unexplained head trauma.” The child was transferred to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, where the medical staff determined the trauma was “most likely caused by recklessly shaking the child.”

22-year-old Jessica Courteau of Bradford was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child and was sent to jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The baby is Corteau's boyfriend's child.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Convicted Drug Dealer, Parole Absconder
Picked up at Hotel Holley

One of the Buffalo men convicted of dealing drugs in McKean County a couple of years ago was at it again in Bradford – until city police caught up with him early Tuesday morning.

52-year-old Donald Gadley, who had absconded from parole in May, was found in the Hotel Holley with suspected drugs and paraphernalia after police were called for a domestic disturbance.

Gadley also gave police the name of his brother when they asked for identification, even after they told him he’d be charged when they confirmed who he was.

Gadley is charged with flight to avoid apprehension, giving false identification to law enforcement, possession and use of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. He’s jailed on $40,000 bail.

The white powdery substance police found in bags have been sent to a crime lab for positive identification.

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Woman Charged with Stalking Smashes Jail TV

A woman who had already been warned to stay away from another person is now charged with stalking after trying to get into the victim’s apartment Tuesday morning, and then in the afternoon causing some commotion at the county jail.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Silver Creek home, where 30-year-old Stephanie Hart was allegedly trying to get in. Deputies say over the course of a month several reports have been filed stemming from Hart making unwanted contact with the victim.

She was charged with stalking, criminal trespass and harassment and sent to Chautauqua County Jail, where she smashed a television in her cell during an outburst yesterday afternoon. She’s now charged with criminal mischief as well.

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Drug Defendants in Court

Several people waived hearings on drug charges today in district court.

Matthew Howard is accused of selling cocaine to a confidential informant of the McKean County Drug Task Force on two occasions in Bradford.

Kelly Hess is accused of selling marijuana to an informant on two occasions on South Center Street.

Justin Jones is accused of selling Suboxone to a confidential informant from his Hedgehog Lane home.

Charges against Kevin Armstrong were bound to court following a hearing in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone. Armstrong is also accused of selling cocaine to a confidential informant on two occasions.

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Man Allegedly Assaulted, Threatened Woman

A man accused of threatening to a kill a woman and a couple of her family members has waived his preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone.

On November 8 police were called to a domestic disturbance, but were told by the couple involved that the argument did not turn physical, and attributed an injury to 32-year-old Ryan Forsythe to his tripping over a toy.

Later that day, the woman went to the police station saying Forsythe had assaulted her but she was afraid to say anything in front of him. She also said he threatened to kill her, her brother and her father.

Forsythe is free on bail.

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Toomey to FCC: Don't Stifle Freedom of the Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to explain its inappropriate attempts to police news rooms nationwide. Senator Toomey and all of his Republican Senate colleagues signed a letter to the FCC Chairman asking him to explain the federal government’s intrusion into newsrooms.

In recent weeks, Americans learned that the FCC was attempting to move forward with a Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN Study), which would investigate how news rooms select stories, “perceived station bias,” and even about why news stations do not spend more time reporting stories the Administration deems “critical.” After the study received national condemnation, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler suspended it and indicated that the survey would be subsequently “revised.”

“It is impossible to imagine a rationale for the Commission to consider using the CIN Study under any circumstance given its flagrantly unconstitutional implications,” Sen. Toomey and the other Senators wrote. “We demand an explanation of how the Commission internally justified the CIN Study as fulfilling its statutory requirement to report on market barriers to entry, as well as the costs incurred by the Commission on this blatantly inappropriate study. We also insist all commissioners be involved in future statutorily required studies in order to guard against the clear potential for abuse.”

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Father of Burned Infant Waives Hearings

The Bradford man accused of allowing his infant to be burned with scalding bath water has waived his preliminary hearing in that case as well as two others.

21-year-old Harvey Rose told police he was getting the 2-week-old ready for a bath, left a container of steaming hot water on a table next to the infant and then left the room. He said when he returned, the water had spilled onto the baby. Later, a caregiver noticed the baby had second-degree burns. The infant was eventually taken to Buffalo Children’s Hospital for treatment.

In another case, Rose is accused of stealing a cell phone from a customer at a bank. According to court papers, the customer left the phone on a counter and Rose took it. He told police he planned on reported that it had been stolen and hoped to get a reward, but he never did report it.

In a third case, while police were investigating an unrelated burglary they found Rose with marijuana. Rose, who is also charged with arson in several cases, remains in McKean County Jail.

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Accused Bradford Burglar Appears in Court

Charges against man jailed for going on a burglary spree late last year in Bradford have been bound to court.

27-year-old Daniel Colella is accused of going into several homes and taking items, sometimes when the residents were home. One of those residents picked him out of a photo lineup, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office.

Colella is also accused of selling or trading his boots and clothes he was wearing during the alleged burglaries to other people to throw police off his trail.

In a separate case, Colella is accused of breaking into an apartment and stealing a large container of change and a class ring.

He’s in McKean County Jail.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Casey: DoD Cuts Would Hurt PA National Guard

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has weighed in with the Department of Defense about proposed budget cuts which could impact members of the National Guard across Pennsylvania.

Casey released a letter that was joined by a bipartisan group of 12 Senators that expressed concern about the impact that budget cuts would have on our national security and readiness. Currently the Department of Defense is considering a plan that would move assets like Apache helicopters away from the National Guard to the Active component. Casey also spoke to Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox to emphasize the importance that the National Guard has across Pennsylvania and the critical need to maintain a robust role for the National Guard in the nation’s defenses.

“The women and men of Pennsylvania’s National Guard have made incredible sacrifices on behalf of our nation and contributed to keeping our country safe,” Senator Casey said. “As we drawdown in Afghanistan and consider the future shape of our armed forces it’s important that the National Guard continue to play a significant role in our national defense. The Guard has proven over and over again that its force is efficient and effective. I’ll continue to press the Administration to maintain a robust role for the National Guard in our national defense and in responding to disasters here at home.”

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Community College Initiative Gets House Hearing

HARRISBURG – A House Education Committee public hearing Tuesday on proposed legislation to bring community college programs to rural Pennsylvania identified both support for and concerns with the concept, said Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Kathy Rapp (R-Warren).

House Bill 1701 seeks to create a rural community college pilot program serving an 11-county region of northwest and northcentral Pennsylvania.

“Two things became very clear during today’s hearing,” Causer said. “One, every single person who testified recognized the need for additional education and training opportunities in our region. And two, some in the education establishment see my proposal as one that infringes on their turf and their funding.

“That’s unfortunate, because the discussion really should be about our students in rural Pennsylvania and ensuring accessibility to affordable education and training programs,” he added.

“This is about providing the students of rural Pennsylvania with the same educational opportunities as students in other parts of the state,” Rapp said. “Our high school graduates need options. Our workers need resources to grow their skill set. Our employers need facilities that can quickly adapt to meet their workforce training needs. This is what a community college can do for our region.”

Testifying in support of the legislation were Duane A. Vicini, president of the Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny, which has been a leader on this issue for several years; Kate Brock, executive director of the Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties; Pam Streich, director of planning for the North Central Workforce Investment Board; and Dr. Randy Smith, president of the Rural Community College Alliance.

Vicini, Brock and Streich testified together as a panel, highlighting the challenges of meeting both student and employer needs in the region without the benefit of a community college. Streich noted that of the 116 high-priority occupations in the North Central Workforce Investment Area, only 29 require a bachelor’s degree or higher, while the remaining 87 require anything from prior work experience to certificate programs and associate degrees commonly offered by community colleges.

Vicini pointed to the high percentage of students in rural areas who graduate from high school and head off to a four-year college, only to leave within the first three semesters. This may be for financial reasons or because it is simply not the right environment for them; either way, a community college may have been a better option for these students had it been available to them.

Smith noted rural community colleges are growing faster than any other type of higher education. A 2005 study found technical programs offered by these colleges produce a 400 percent return on investment, and they help put people to work in jobs that pay a living wage.

Conversely, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) expressed concerns about the legislation and its impact on existing institutions.

Elizabeth Bolden, president and CEO of the Commission for Community Colleges, testified that her organization is concerned with the fact that the bill does not require the pilot school to have the same local match that is currently required of other community colleges. Under state law, community colleges are supposed to receive 33 percent of their funding from local government, 33 percent from the state and the rest from student tuition.

According to Causer and Rapp, the local match requirement is not realistic for the state’s rural areas. That’s why the state has only 14 community colleges, rather than the 28 originally envisioned when the law was written in the 1960s.

Bolden also testified that expanding existing colleges to new locations, rather than creating a new community college, is a better option. However, students attending those branch campuses would still be paying twice as much in tuition as students living in the sponsoring school district.

The panel of testifiers from PASSHE included Dr. Peter Garland, executive vice chancellor; Dr. Karen M. Whitney, president of Clarion University of Pennsylvania; and Francis L. Hendricks, president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. In his testimony, Garland offered a proposal to create a consortium that would comprise a group of K-12 partners including career and vocational-technical schools, community colleges, private partners and several PASSHE universities already serving the region.

Rapp questioned why, after decades of discussion about the need for better educational opportunities in rural areas, PASSHE was suddenly ready to step in and address it.

“The Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny has been doing the leg work on this for years, and now you suddenly want to step in and do something,” Rapp said. “This is not a new problem.”

Despite concerns raised during the hearing, the lawmakers say they are as committed as ever to moving forward with the goal of bringing affordable community college programs and services to the area.

“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.

House Bill 1701, along with its sister legislation, Senate Bill 1000 sponsored by Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-25), 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.

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

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Shinglehouse Woman Gets Probation

A Shinglehouse woman will spend the next five years on probation for forging checks and stealing more than $3,000.

44-year-old Tina Bellamy was convicted of grand larceny for the incidents that happened between October 3, 2012 and February 7, 2013 in Olean.

Bellamy must also do 100 hours of community service and pay restitution.

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Heroin Dealer Sent to State Prison

A convicted heroin dealer will spend six years in state prison.

Prosecutors say 57-year-old David Foster of Olean had heroin with the intent to sell it on February 1 of last year in Olean. He was also convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance for selling a narcotic drug on January 18 of last year in Olean.

Also in Cattaraugus County Court, 31-year-old Janine Heitzinger of Olean pleaded guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling a narcotic drug on February 26 of last year in Salamanca.

She is scheduled for sentencing on September 8.

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Casella to Get $7 Million in State Grant Money

Casella Waste Management will be getting nearly $7 million to build a rail siding transfer station along the Buffalo & Pittsburgh rail line at the McKean COunty Landfill.

Money for the Rail Transportation Assistance Program comes from the new Multi-Modal Fund, created by the state’s new transportation funding program.

In all, $33.4 million was approved for rail projects across the state.

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Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder

A woman accused of stabbing her ex-boyfriend and his female visitor with a butcher knife has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.

48-year-old Carol Silverheels allegedly went to the Gowanda home of her ex-boyfriend on the morning of September 6, argued with him and then punched him and his girlfriend. She then allegedly stabbed the woman in the back and hand, and the man in the chest before running away.

Besides attempted murder, Silverheels is charged with assault and reckless endangerment. The case has been adjourned for motions.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Route 219 in Town of Ashford Closed

Issued By: NYS - DOT

Route 219 is closed NB/SB between Snake Run Rd. and East Otto Rd in the Town of Ashford, Cattaraugus County, for up to 4 hours due to an accident at 1:15pm.

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Taglianetti Sentenced to 25 Years to Life

The man who killed Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed will spend 25 years to life in prison.

Anthony Robert Taglianetti was sentenced this morning in Chautauqua County Court. In November, a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Reed outside his home in August of 2012.

Taglianetti killed Reed because of a relationship between Reed and Taglianetti’s estranged wife. After the trial jurors said the most compelling piece of evidence was Reed’s blood on a gun that was wrapped in a printed-out email between Reed and Mary Taglianetti.

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