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Friday, May 16, 2014

Bradford Burglary Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

A Bradford man charged with committing two burglaries in the city has pleaded not guilty.

28-year-old Daniel Colella is accused of breaking into the Walker and Cole avenue homes on December 2 while the owners were home.

A trial has been scheduled for August 25 in McKean County Court.

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

Accused Arsonists Enters Pleas in Other Cases

The Bradford man charged with setting several fires in the city has pleaded guilty to unrelated drug and theft charges, but not guilty in connection to an incident that seriously burned his 2-week-old baby.

21-year-old Harvey Rose admitted to stealing a cell phone and also to having 10 dime bags of marijuana when police arrested him for assault after the incident with the baby. In that case, he claims he left the infant next to a container of hot water and, when he came back into the room the water had somehow spilled onto the baby. The trial in that case is scheduled for August 25 in McKean County Court.

Rose is also charged with arson in connection to four house fires in Bradford in December and January.

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

Cops: School Librarian was Drunk in Classroom

An elementary school librarian is accused of being drunk in a classroom.

50-year-old Denise Whiteman of Eldred is the librarian at Otto-Eldred Elementary School and courts records say that on March 31 she was so drunk she was staggering in the hallway and slurring her words when confronted by Principal Terry Stanley. The staggering was captured on surveillance video. She was in contact with about 100 students that day.

Whiteman is charged with endangering the welfare of children, public drunkenness and related offenses. She’s free on $5,000 bail.

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

Man Admits to Assaulting Grandfather

An Eldred man has pleaded guilty to assaulting his grandfather.

21-year-old Tyler Prescott shoved his grandfather into a desk, threw him onto the floor and punched him several times, breaking some ribs.

Prescott is scheduled for sentencing on May 22 in McKean County Court.

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

Hearing Set for Second Alleged TJ's Burglar

A hearing has been scheduled for the second man facing charges for the burglary at TJ’s Corner Store in April.

33-year-old Timothy Bottorf of Bradford is charged with burglary, aggravated assault and conspiracy for breaking into the store in the early morning hours of April 14 with a crow bar, damaging the cash register and stealing cigarettes.

When Bottorf came out of the store a neighbor tried to stop him but his accomplice, 49-year-old Jonathon Reck of Rew, drove his speeding car toward him, according to court papers.

Bottorf’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 2. Reck waived his hearing earlier this month. The men are in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail each.

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

Crash in Corydon Township Thursday

A pickup truck crash on Route 59 in Corydon Township Thursday morning sent a Warren man to the hospital.

Police say 23-year-old Joseph Madigan was about 400 feet west of Klondike Road when the truck went out of control and off the road, where it crossed a driveway, side-swiped a tree, hit numerous small trees, and then a large tree and rolled onto its roof.

Madigan said he wasn’t hurt but after being checked by Lafayette Township EMS personnel was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and he may have had a head injury.

Madigan was charged with driving on roadways not laned for traffic and cited for not wearing a seat belt.

State police were assisted on the scene by Corydon Township Fire & Rescue, Lafayette Township Fire & Rescue, Bradford City Ambulance and Fox and Sons Excavating.
Photo from Lafayette Township VFD

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

Superheroes Wanted for Miles for Smiles

It’s not too late to be superhero. At least as far as organizers for Miles for Smiles go.

“Everyone who participates in our event is a superhero in our eyes,” said event coordinator Rhonda Race. “And this year, we’d like all participants to dress as their favorite superhero, if they are so inclined. We wanted to add another element of fun to our race.”

In its third year, Miles for Smiles is a 5K, two-mile walk and Kids Fun Run. Registration will start at the McDowell Fitness Center at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford at 8 a.m. Sunday. The race begins at 9 a.m.

The entry fee is $15; kids can do the Kids Fun Run for free if accompanied by an adult.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit McKean County Special Olympics and the McKean Unit of the American Cancer Society.

Bill Walb from the American Cancer Society explained that the proceeds from this event goes to the Road to Recovery. This program provides rides for cancer patients whether it’s in Bradford or out of town, such as Roswell Park Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., or hospitals in Cleveland, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

“They just need to have cancer and be able to walk,” he said.

The other part of the money is earmarked for the local Special Olympics. Jan Knight explained that the money they receive from Miles for Smiles pays for T-shirts, drinks and snacks for about 300 athletes that participate in the local Olympics. It also pays for the approximately 30 Special Olympians who qualified for the state Olympics.

Race said these two organizations were chosen because “they are near and dear to my heart. I have a sister who has benefited greatly and enjoyed participating in the Special Olympics. And, unfortunately, I also have had family member who have fought cancer. Some are still fighting while others have won.”

“Last year with the support and generosity of businesses, participants and volunteers, we were able to raise $4,800, which was split equally between the two organizations. We are hoping that this year’s event is even bigger and better.

“We hope that people their inner superhero come to the surface to help two great organizations and have a great time in the process.”

The walk/run will be followed by an awards presentation, Chinese auction and refreshments. People are also encouraged to come and cheer participants along the race route, which includes Campus Drive and around the loop at Pitt-Bradford.

“We have had one Special Olympian who used braces to walk participate in the past,” Race said. “It was an amazing sight as everyone comes together to raise money for these causes. Everyone walks away with a smile on their faces – or maybe a tear in their eyes.”

More information and registration forms are available on the organization’s website Any questions about participating in the race or lending a hand financially can be directed to Race at

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

Rapp Joined by Towing Operators at Hearing to
Vent Concerns over PSP Emergency Pilot Program

HARRISBURG — On Wednesday, Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) was joined by several local tow truck company operators during a joint House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and Judiciary Committee hearing to examine the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Emergency Towing pilot program that began operating throughout portions of western Pennsylvania last fall.

The program currently requires troopers to contact AutoReturn, a California-based service provider under contract by the state to dispatch participating towing companies to clear vehicles from accident scenes. The goal of the pilot program is to increase the safety of travelers and emergency crews and allow for travel lanes to more quickly re-open following an accident.

Throughout Wednesday’s hearing, which lasted nearly five hours, Rapp extensively questioned several high-ranking members of the state police and AutoReturn CEO John Wicker, who all share direct oversight of the pilot program’s implementation in order to address the various concerns previously expressed to her by the local tow truck operators in attendance.

“I am pleased that this hearing afforded the opportunity to ask many important questions about this pilot program and find out if the results are truly reflective of our citizens’ best interests,” said Rapp, a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

In addition to requesting details about the individual fees assessed for AutoReturn’s administrative services, Rapp asked questions regarding whether any specific towing companies have ever been removed or excluded from the towing operator list maintained by AutoReturn due to limited cell phone access in rural areas, and more specifically, if this is the reason why Warren County has yet to be included in the pilot program.

Wicker indicated that the program is not structured to expand into new regions without reaching a certain enrollment threshold among operators in any particular area in order to ensure adequate coverage. He also confirmed that no towing operators meeting PSP requirements have ever been denied access to the pilot program.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 5/15/14

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated a motor vehicle accident on South Avenue, a burglary on Brookline Court and a disturbance on Walker Avenue. Officers were also called to domestic disturbances on Kiwanis Court and Jackson Avenue, harassment complaints on Chautauqua Place, Pearl and Boylston streets, and fighting in Hanley Park. They also got calls about an animal and a public drunk, both on High Street.

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lynne Cheney on 'LiveLine'

It's not very often that a reporter from Bradford, PA, gets a chance to interview the wife of a former vice president of the United States, so I was thrilled and honored to speak with Lynne Cheney earlier this week about her new biography of the fourth president of the US.

You can listen to our conversation by going to, clicking on the "Local Programs" tab, and scrolling down to today's date (05-15-14).

Recognizing Rep. Rapp

State Rep. Marty Causer presents State Rep. Kathy Rapp with a plaque recognizing her years of service to McKean County. Because of legislative redistricting Rapp will no longer be representing the four townships in McKean County she had been.
WESB photo

Phylis Popiel Dickinson

Phylis B. Dickinson, 55, of 22 Merrow Ave. Bradford, passed away, Thursday, May 15, 2014, at the Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born April 8, 1959, in Bradford she was a daughter of the late Lester D. and Rose R. (Cooper) Popiel.

She was formerly married to Richard Dickinson. She and her loving companion David Manion have spent 20 years together.

Phylis was a 1977 graduate of Bradford High School. She had been employed at Burger King and McDonalds for over 20 years. She enjoyed showing her 76 Cadillac Fleetwood in area car shows. She loved going to the Country Fairs in the summertime and was devoted to her animals.

She attended Temple Beth El.

Surviving is a son, Ryan P. (fiancee' Kristin Johnson) Dickinson, of Bradford, two sisters, Michele Popiel, of Pittsburgh, and her twin, Harriet Powers, of Bradford, 2 grandchildren, Ryan Dickinson and Cameron Dickinson, one niece, Angel Simmons and one great niece, Haylie Rose Simmons. She was preceded in death by her parents and one daughter, Lindsay Dana Dickinson who died February 15, 2001.

Family will be receiving friends Sunday, May 18, 2014, from noon to 1:00pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, 33 South Ave., at 1:15pm committal services and burial will be held in Beth Israel Cemetery with Joe Brauser officiating.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to McKean County SPCA, PO Box 113, Bradford, PA 16701.

Online condolences may be made at

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

Whitcomb Delivers Address at Memorial Service

Today is Police Memorial Day, and Bradford Area High School hosted a service honoring police officers in both Pennsylvania and New York.

The keynote speaker was Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, who talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He started by talking about his friend, former Sheriff Dennis John, who took his own life in August of 2009. He then talked about some of the threats police officers face every day including natural disasters like floods and other weather events. He said while the general public is told to stay inside and be safe, emergency responders are out making sure everything is safe. Whitcomb also mentioned traffic accidents, and people who try to harm or kill police officers.

He told the police officers in the auditorium that to protect and serve the public, they need to protect and serve themselves, and their brother and sister law enforcement officers, and said sometimes a person who needs help is closer than they think.

Fallen officers from McKean, Elk, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties were remembered, including Bryson, the K9 officer who died in 2003 during a crash on Interstate 86.

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

Man Charged with Identity Theft, Forgery

A Florida man accused of stealing his brother’s identity to get out of a traffic ticket in Bradford has waived his preliminary hearing on a couple of felony charges.

Daniel Bley of Tampa was stopped for driving at an unsafe speed and careless driving on East Main Street back on August 16. He told police he didn’t have his driver’s license and, when asked for his identifying information, gave police the name and information of his brother, according to court papers. A couple of months later Bley’s brother called the district judge, asked why he had a traffic citation on his record, and said he’d never been to Bradford.

Ten days later police learned Daniel had used his brother’s information, and then charged him with forgery and identity theft, as well as obstruction and giving false information to police. He’s free on bail.

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

Free Camp for Bradford Kids

Camp Penuel East is opening up a week of camp to reach the Bradford community.

Camp Penuel is a Christian, non-denominational, non-profit camp located in Eldred, Pennsylvania. The goal of the camp is to reach inner city kids from the entire United States northeast region and teach Biblical principals while providing children with a standard camp experience. Camp Penuel has been in existence for over 4o years, it serves 600- 700 children each summer.

There is no charge for this camp. Children must be ages 7-11 and have appropriate paperwork filled out to attend and bring own sleeping bag and personal supplies. Camp experience includes accommodations in well maintained cabin with counselor, meals, hiking, boating, swimming, crafts, skits, puppets, singing, basketball, volleyball, group games, camp fires and devotions.

Applications for camp are available at Destinations-Bradford, 1 Main Street in Bradford. All Applications are due July 1st. Transportation to camp will be by bus on Monday, July 7th approximately 3 PM and will return Friday the 11th approximately 4 PM.

Also accepting applications for counselors for the week. Counselors must be at least 16 years of age, be mature and responsible, willing to supervise children, and have appropriate recommendations. Counselors are volunteers for the week.

Contact Destinations-Bradford by phone at 331-4551 or email or visit to view more information.

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

Man Jailed for Stalking in Catt County

A man was sent to Cattaraugus County Jail for harassing a woman at her place of employment, and stalking her.

State police say 40-year-old Daniel Hackett of Strykersville harassed the woman at her workplace twice, and then on Saturday followed the woman around the Yorkshire Walgreen’s for no reason.

Hackett is charged with a felony count of stalking and was sent to jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

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

Man Who Assaulted Baby Headed to Prison

A man who assaulting an 11-month-old baby is on his way to state prison.

30-year-old Timothy Maben Jr. of Port Allegany has been sentenced to 5 to 10 years for the assault that permanently injured the little girl. He and the child’s mother waited 10 days before taking her to a hospital.

Maben had been convicted in 2005 for assaulting another child.

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

McKean County Burglars Plead Guilty

Three of the men involved in a McKean County burglary have pleaded guilty.

20-year-old Trevor Elder of Smethport, 19-year-old Cameron Causer of Crosby and 19-year-old Mark Schneider of Port Allegany stole ATVs, chainsaws and dirt bikes from several places in McKean County, and then sold them.

The three entered into plea agreements in exchange for their testimony against ringleader Garrett Hoy. Three other men were also involved in the ring.

Schneider, Causer and Elder are scheduled for sentencing on June 19.

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

Toomey: It is Time to Provide Justice for
Victims of Child Pornography

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is working to help victims of child pornography obtain full restitution for their suffering.

Last month, the Supreme Court limited the remedies available to victims of child pornography under federal law. The case concerned Pennsylvania resident “Amy,” whose childhood was shattered when, at ages eight and nine, her uncle raped her and then traded the images. The Supreme Court ruled that Amy would have to find each of the tens of thousands of people who have viewed the images in order to obtain full restitution—something the Court acknowledged was not feasible.

The Supreme Court called on Congress to fix the law. Today, Sen. Toomey responded by introducing the “Justice for Amy Act.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a demoralizing setback for victims of child pornography. It perversely disadvantages those most in need of help. Under the Court’s decision, the more a child has been sexually abused, the harder it is for that child to obtain justice,” said Sen. Toomey. “We should help victims of child sexual abuse, not place obstacles in their way. The Supreme Court called on Congress to act. Today, I have responded by introducing a solution: The Justice for Amy Act. Child pornography is a heinous crime with lifelong effects. Its victims deserve nothing less than full compensation for the harm they suffered.”

To help victims of child pornography obtain full restitution, Sen. Toomey’s bill would amend the federal restitution statute to provide that all defendants who produce, traffic, or possess child pornography of a victim are jointly and severally liable for all of that victim’s damages, and may sue one another for contribution. Sen. Toomey’s bill takes the burden off of the child victim, and places it on the child pornographers: Once one defendant is found guilty, he is held liable for the full damages and the burden is on him to sue all other wrongdoers to help pay the restitution award.

Sen. Toomey’s bill has been endorsed by the National Children’s Alliance and Concerned Women for America.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vehicle Fire in Eldred Township

An SUV caught on fire this afternoon in Eldred Township, but no one was hurt.

Police say the driver, who they did not identify, told them he smelled smoke in the cabin of the vehicle and then pulled on the berm of Route 446, got out and tried to open the hood. The hood would not open, but then he noticed that the vehicle was on fire.

The SUV was towed from the scene.

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

NY Democrats: Keep Fracking Waste Out of State

Democratic senators in New York have introduced legislation to ban fracking waste from the state.

They introduced four bills today that would keep the waste from being shipped into the state for treatment or disposal; eliminate the waste from being used to melt ice off of roads; and bar treatment facilities and landfills from accepting the byproduct.

The state health department is currently reviewing whether fracking should be allowed in the state.

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

Homicide by Vehicle Hearing Moved

The Smethport man accused of careless driving in a crash that killed an 8-year-old Shinglehouse boy was scheduled to be in district court today, but his hearing has been moved to June 3.

21-year-old Tieler Raymo is charged with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle and recklessly endangering another person.

The crash happened on the afternoon of February 8, 2013, on East Valley Road in Smethport. Police say Raymo was speeding on the wrong side of the road that was covered with slush. Charges were filed in February of this year. Raymo is free on $20,000 unsecured bail.

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

Fire in Liberty Township This Morning

Firefighters were called to a house fire on Pleasant Drive in Liberty Township early this morning.

Star Hose Company firefighters say the driveway was softened by rain and made access to the house difficult. They had to hand stretch 900 feet of 3-inch line for a leader line to put out the fire.

Port Allegany, Smethport, Eldred Borough and Roulette firefighters were on the scene for about three hours.

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

Bookshare Program Starting in Bradford

As part of the Leadership McKean program, our team is working with the Bradford Area Public Library to develop a book-share program for local children and their parents. Our goal is to encourage rising literacy rates in Bradford by providing great books, reading tips, and fun reading exercises at various sites around the city to help parents and their kids get excited about reading. To get the program started, we need good books! If you'd like to donate your gently-used children's books for readers up to age 12, here are two easy ways to do so:

1. Just email the library We’d be delighted to pick up your used children's books at your convenience.

2. While at the Bradford Public Library, drop your gently-used children's books in the box labeled Leadership McKean, located in the circulation-desk area.

We think that literacy begins with leadership. Thanks in advance for yours; we really appreciate your support!

Team B, Leadership McKean Class of 2014

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

Some Catt, Chautauqua County Roads Closed

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Route 62 is now open northbound and southbound from Route 353 in the Town of Dayton to Route 39 in the Village of Gowanda, Cattaraugus County.

UPDATE: The Village of Gowanda is under a state of emergency because of the flooding.

UPDATE: Route 39 eastbound and westbound is closed from North Road in the Town of Perrysburg to Route 62 in the Village of Gowanda due to flooding at 9:30am for up to 6 hours, Cattaraugus County.

Sheriff’s office says No Unnecessary Travel in western Cattaraugus County due overflowing culverts and flooding on roads. Route 242 from Little Valley to Cold Spring

Route 62 in Dayton

Route 353 north of the Village of Cattaraugus

Route 394 eastbound and westbound is closed from Waterboro Hill Road to Ellington Street due to flooding at 6:20am for up to 4 hours in the Town of Poland, Chautauqua County.

The Catt County roads could be closed for up to 6 hours.

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

GGB's Jones Plans to Retire

The Bradford Area School Board is expected to approve the resignation of one of the district’s principals during its meeting tonight.

GGB Elementary School Principal David Jones plants to retire at the end of the day on June 30, according to the school board agenda for tonight’s meeting. He has been with the school district for 33 years.

No replacement has been named yet.

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

No One Hurt in Rollover Crash

No one was hurt in a rollover crash on Route 155 between Eldred and Turtlepoint on Friday.

Police say 21-year-old Chad Kitchnefsky of Tunkhannock was traveling north when his car went off the right side of the road, hit the guide rail and then rolled over in a ditch.

He was gone before police arrived, and is facing charges.

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

Roulette Man Charged with Rape

A Roulette man is accused of raping a woman Sunday.

Police say 31-year-old James Baughman raped and injured a 26-year-old woman in Hester Avenue home.

He is also charged with terroristic threats, aggravated assault and unlawful restraint. Baughman was sent to Potter County Jail on $10,000 bail.

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