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Friday, May 2, 2014

Accidental Death in Potter County

A Columbia, PA, man is dead following a UTV accident early this morning in Potter County.

State police say 53-year-old Aldus Baum was operating the Polaris UTV on private property along Bailey Hill Road when the vehicle rolled on top of him, causing the fatal injuries. A passing motorist discovered the crash scene.

Baum was later pronounced dead by Deputy Coroner Ken Wingo.

Police say Baum was not wearing a helmet.

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

Partial I-86 Closure Starts May 12.

You knew it was coming; you just didn’t know exactly when. The New York Department of Transportation announced today that the closing of Interstate 86 between exits 21 and 23 will start May 12.

Both eastbound and westbound traffic will be directed to follow a detour using Route 417. Temporary traffic signals have been installed at the intersection of Route 417 and Business Route 219 at Exit 23, and also at the intersection of Route 417 (Wildwood Avenue) and Route 219 (Central Avenue) in the City of Salamanca.

Motorists should expect delays.

The $2.1 million projects started in March and includes rehabilitation of the road surface, minor bridge rehabilitation and the rebuilding of the eastbound on and off ramps at Exit 20 near the Seneca Allegany Casino. Construction is expected to be finished in October.

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

DA: Sheffield HS Threat Not Credible

A Sheffield High School student who, yesterday, started telling people they should wear blue clothes today so they – "don’t get hurt" has been questioned by police, who are continuing to investigate.

Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene says the rumor progressed throughout the day on Thursday and “got bigger and more graphic, as rumors do.”

Greene added that he can say with confidence there is no credible threat to any of the students or staff.

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

Thursday, May 1, 2014

United Way Recognizes Volunteers

The United Way of the Bradford Area hosted the annual Red Feather Volunteer recognition luncheon on Thursday, honoring Lisa Minich.

The event, which took place at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is held to honor outstanding individuals and/or businesses who have made an impact on the United Way of the Bradford Area, and the local community as a whole, through their day-to-day selfless attitudes and commitment to exemplifying the organization’s mission of enhancing the quality of life in the greater Bradford Area.

Minich was presented her award by close friend, Jeannine Schoenecker, and her son, Dan Minich.

“Over the last three years, Lisa has been the driving force behind the success of the leadership division, during which time giving in this category went from a little more than $40,000 in 2011 to more than $57,000 in 2013,” said Schoenecker.

Dan Minich referenced his grandfather - Lisa’s father - as being her philanthropic inspiration. “My mom would tell me stories about my grandfather and how he persevered to provide for his wife and eight children almost entirely on his own, but how he always made sure to help someone in need. That mentality has been her driving force in the ways in which she gives back today.

“And, although my mom has made financial contributions to impact local organizations, the power isn’t always just in the pen, and how many checks one can write. I’ve seen her dedicate endless hours to volunteerism, always placing her personal time aside to benefit the many needs of this community which she loves,” he said.

Lisa said that while she was truly appreciative of the recognition, she feels more comfortable being the behind-the-scenes volunteer.

“I am so proud to be part of this community, because it’s true what they say – we are a small town with big hearts,” said Minich. “But, I know there’s a lot of work that can still be done, and I am confident that by working together, we’ll achieve those goals and make this an even better place to call home.”

Minich also congratulated the Excellence in Representation recipients; Tom Miller, Ashley Peterson and Mike Walter.

“I am so honored to be sharing this day with these three wonderful people, who are true representatives of the power of paying it forward.

In accepting his award, Miller said that volunteering his time for the UWBA’s Speaker’s Bureau is one of his favorite things to do.

“I really enjoy talking to all of the people about Futures and about the United Way, and I can’t wait to do it again!”

For her part, Peterson thanked everyone for taking time out of their day to celebrate with them. “And, I thank you all for your support of the United Way,” she said.

Walter talked about the 20 years he has spent volunteering for the Speaker’s Bureau, and said he’ll be doing some “arm twisting” come the fall to make sure that the annual campaign meets its goal.

“Tom’s personality is as infectious as they come, and I personally enjoy watching his love and excitement in everything he does,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “Ashley’s professionalism is to be commended. She truly loves public speaking, and it shows.

“And, Mike and I go way back. We became friends in 1997, and have remained friends since. No one has a heart like Mike’s,” said Davis.

The United Way is preparing for the 4th annual Day of Action, scheduled for June 21st, as well as the 2014 campaign, which will kick-off in 107 days.

Temporary Signals Going Up on Route 770

Work to replace two bridges on Route 770 in Bradford Township is continuing, with temporary traffic signals scheduled for installation next Wednesday, May 7.

The bridges span Minard Run about a half-mile apart near the village of Aiken. They carry an average of more than 3,000 vehicles daily. Originally built in 1927, the bridges will be replaced one side at a time.

Beginning Wednesday, May 7, temporary traffic signals will be in place, enforcing an alternating traffic pattern at each bridge. Traffic will be controlled in this manner until the completion of the new structures sometime this fall. Under the traffic signal control, work to build the new bridges will continue one side at a time.

Overall work includes replacement of the bridges, roadway and approach paving, guide rail updates, pavement markings, and miscellaneous items. The contractor for this $2.5 million job is L. C. Whitford of Wellsville, New York. All work is weather and schedule dependent.

Drivers are reminded to proceed through all work zones with caution, obey posted speed limits and always buckle up.

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

Brooklyn Men Had Untaxed Smokes on 219

Two men were picked up on Route 219 in the Town of Carrollton Wednesday after being found with nearly 500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

Sheriff’s deputies say 21-year-old Muad Almontaser and 19-year-old Gehad Almontaser, both of Brooklyn, New York, were transporting 490 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from Virginia to New York. The tax value on the cigarettes is more than $21,000.

The men were each charged with criminal taxation fraud and were sent to Cattaraugus County Jail on $10,000 bail each.

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

Heroin, Cocaine Ring Dismantled

32 people, including a Jamestown man, have been charged with running a drug ring that brought heroin and cocaine into western New York.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico announced this afternoon that a 13-month investigation known as “Operation Crazy Train” dismantled the operation.

The suspects were arrested during a series of overnight raids. Bryan Moore is the Jamestown man who was arrested.

Schneiderman says over the course of the investigation authorities seized nearly $1 million worth of heroin, several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of cocaine and tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

Pictured, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico (right) with Canine Handler Trooper Eric Harper and K9 J.D., who played a major role in the operation. This is police dog appreciation week. New York State Police photo

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

Corbett Reverse Course on Medical Cannabis

Governor Tom Corbett has changed his mind about medical marijuana, and is now supporting the responsible use of medical cannabis to help children with severe seizure disorders.

Senator Joe Scarnati says he applauds Corbett’s decision to allow access to this drug, which is an oil derivative of cannabis that is taken orally.

Scarnati adds that as a medical marijuana bill makes its way through the Legislature, he will continue to work to support the children who need it, while ensuring the public safety.

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

Power Outage in Bradford Area

Several hundred Penelec customers are still without power after an outage that affected much of the Bradford area at just before 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Penelec expects to have all power restored by 4 o’clock, but hasn’t determined yet what caused the outage.

We’ll have more information as soon as possible.

Image from Google Earth ©

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

Natural Gas Leak in Kane

Firefighters were called to a natural gas leak in Kane at just before noon today.

People in the vicinity of 1 Oak Street were being evacuated and nearby Route 6 was closed.

After the gas company arrived and turned off the gas, the evacuations were halted at about 12:30 p.m., and people were allowed to return to their homes.

A motor vehicle accident caused the leak. We'll have more information on that as soon as possible.

Image from Google Earth ©

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

Accused Trespasser Waives Hearing

A Bradford man accused of violating his bail conditions and a protection from abuse order by breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and threatening a person inside has waived his preliminary hearing.

27-year-old Christopher Bishop got into the apartment at just before 11 o’clock on April 18 and then told Dudley Griswold he was going to stab him, according to court papers.

Bishop is charged with a felony count of criminal trespass, along with a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats, He’s in McKean County Jail on $25,000 bail.

The previous case is also a felony criminal trespass from December. A Last Day to Plea in that case had been scheduled for May 29 in McKean County Court.

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

Bradford Woman Waives Hearing on Drug Charges

The Bradford woman accused of selling 720 painkillers to an informant with the McKean County Drug Task Force has waived her preliminary hearing in Central Court.

53-year-old Kim Giordano is accused of selling the pills for $6,000 in a parking lot at the intersection of Route 346 and Stickney Trail.

She’s charged with felony counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility.

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

Burglary Conspirator Waives Hearing

The man accused of driving the getaway car after a burglary at TJ’s Corner Store last month, and trying to run over a person who was trying to stop his accomplice, waived his preliminary hearing this morning in McKean County Central Court.

49-year-old Jonathon Reck of Rew is accused of driving to the store on Route 59 in the early morning hours of April 14, dropping off a passenger – who has not been identified yet – and then waiting for the man at Tack’s Inn.

When his accomplice came out of the store with two cartons of cigarettes and a crow bar he tried to use to break into the cash register, neighbor Dillon Pennel saw him and tried to stop him. Court papers say Reck then sped across the road toward Pennel and almost hit him.

Reck is charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass, as well as several misdemeanors and summary offenses. He remains in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Albert "Abbie" Montecalvo

Albert N. "Abbie" Montecalvo, 92, of 5 Irvine Street Lewis Run, passed away Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at the Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

Born in Lewis Run, on January 12, 1922, he was a son of the late V. James and Theresa (Capozzi) Montecalvo.

On September 18, 1948 in Custer City he married E. Jean (McGraw) Montecalvo, who died, February 4, 1975. Abbie was a 1940 graduate of St. Bernard High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy on September 15, 1943, served during World War II and was honorably discharged on March 2, 1946. Later he attended Edinboro.

He had been employed with Penelec for 30 years. He worked as a bartender at the Bradford Club and the Pennhills Club where he also served in the past as assistant General Manager.

He was a member of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church.

Surviving are his longtime companion Tilly Smith with whom he resided; a daughter, Christie (the late John) Whitlow, of Lewis Run, two grandchildren, John N. (Krista L.) Whitlow and Jean M. (Sam Tsepelis III) Whitlow, 5 great grandchildren, Morgan Whitlow, Mallory Whitlow and Jake Whitlow, Matthew Tsepelis and Holly Tsepelis, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, one daughter, Natalie J. Montecalvo who died May 13, 2002, one brother James J. Montecalvo, three sisters, Antonette Montecalvo, Josephine Montecalvo and Mary Montecalvo.

Family will be receiving friends on Sunday, May 4, 2014, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., 33 South Ave. Friends are also invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am on Monday in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church with Rev. Steven Collins, pastor as Celebrant.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to Mary Ann Montecalvo Memorial Fund % Mrs. Sharon LeRoy, Office of University Development, Penn State, 1 Old Main Bldg. University Park , PA 16802, or the Natalie Montecalvo Memorial Fund, % McKean County SPCA, PO Box 113, Bradford, PA 16701

Online condolences may be made at

Abbie Montecalvo Has Passed Away

Longtime Lewis Run Mayor Abbie Montecalvo has passed away.

Montecalvo started his life of public service to the borough more than 60 years ago as a council member, and then served as Mayor for 56 years, stepping down last year.

Montecalvo decided not to run for another term has mayor after his lifelong friend and former borough council president Frank Langianese died in May of 2012.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes and will be announced later day.

Pictured, State Rep. Marty Causer presents Montecalvo with a proclamation recognizing his many decades of service to Lewis Run.

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

National Fuel Raising Rates

National Fuel will be raising it rate by 7.3 percent starting tomorrow.

The increase will raise the monthly bill of a typical residential customer from $76 to $81.

Sandra James, Director of Corporate Communications for National Fuel says, “This increase is directly related to the increase in the market price of gas and reflects the cost of gas that has been, and will be, purchased by the company for its customers."

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Little Valley Man Returns to Court

A Little Valley man who is no stranger to the court system has pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and harassment.

Brian Blasdell admitted to assaulting another man in his home on August 1 and damaging the man’s vehicle. He’s scheduled for sentencing on June 3 in Cattaraugus County Court.

Blasdell is already on probation for attempting strangle a person in 2012 and for growing marijuana, which police found when they responded to call.

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

Matthew's Inspiring Mission

An account for Matthew has been set up at CNB Bank. Please make checks payable to: The Matthew Whelan Foundation. Checks may be dropped off at any CNB Bank location or mailed to CNB Bank, 1001 East Main St, Bradford PA 16701.

Also, if you want to donate a basket, or have items that you would like to give away to be put in a basket...CNB is collecting them too!

Windy Day in the Twin Tiers

Wind had its way with some trees earlier today.

Late this morning near Marilla Reservoir a tree fell onto West Washington Street, blocking one lane of traffic.

A tree also fell onto Pine Grove Road in Port Allegany, blocking the road.

At around 3 p.m. a tree fell on a car on Indian Creek Road in Eldred Township, causing the car to go into a ditch. No one was hurt.

In Chautauqua County, a tree fell onto the roof of a Westfield house. No one was hurt.

Tonight will be windy, too, with gusts as high as 40 miles an hour.

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

Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Homicide

A Derrick City man has pleaded guilty to attempted homicide after holding a couple against their will in their home this past September.

62-year-old Gary Patrick, armed with two handguns, entered the home of Christine and David Taylor and threatened to kill them.

After a confrontation and struggle, David Taylor was able to disarm Patrick twice.

Patrick remains in McKean County Jail on $500,000 bail and is scheduled for sentencing on May 22.

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

Not Guilty Plea in Shaken Baby Case

The Bradford woman accused of causing serious injuries to a 19-month-old girl has pleaded not guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

22-year-old Jessica Courteau is charged with assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child in connection to an incident in Limestone.

Back in February the child was taken to the hospital with unexplained head trauma. Medical staff at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo determined the trauma was mostly likely due to shaking.

The case has been adjourned for motions.

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

Possible Property Tax Elimination in PA

Eliminating property tax has been an issue in Harrisburg for years. Tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee will be holding a hearing on a bill that would do that.

Senator Joe Scarnati says the big issue in eliminating property tax is where to get money for school districts if that revenue stream is dried up.

He says the Senate will probably move some kind of bill, but he’s not sure what the final product will look like yet.

To hear what Scarnati has to say on this issue and others go to, click on the "Local Programs" tab and scroll down to #11.

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

Fake Viagra-Maker Headed to Federal Prison

A Brockport man who helped produce fake Viagara will spend the next 8 years in federal prison.

55-year-old James Volpe distributed an imprint die on August 20 of 2012 that would help in the production of counterfeit Viagara. Then in November of 2012 he was found with more than 50 marijuana plants and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine he planned to sell.

He also had a German Sports Gun pistol. As a previously convicted felon, he is not allowed to have a firearm.

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

Town Clerk Pleads Not Guilty to Theft

The former Town of Carrollton Clerk has pleaded not guilty to charges that she stole more than $3,400.

56-year-old Sandra McAndrew of Limestone had been indicted on charges of grand larceny and official misconduct, following a 2012 audit by the New York State Comptroller’s Office that showed she had an apparent shortage of $3,405.

Prosecutors say the incident happened between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2011.

The case has been adjourned for motions.

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Unlocked Vehicles Targeted by Thieves Again

For the second weekend in a row city police are investigating thefts from a number of vehicles.

Sunday morning more than a dozen vehicle break-ins were reported in the Congress Street area.

The previous weekend, dozens of thefts from vehicles were reported in the Interstate Parkway area.

Cash and high-end electronics are being taken from unlocked vehicles.

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