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Friday, May 30, 2014

Scarnati 'Grateful' Corbett Asked
Feds for Disaster Declaration After Flood

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) has issued the following statement regarding disaster assistance for Elk County flood victims:

I am grateful that today, Governor Corbett has sent a letter to the United States Small Business Administration to request a disaster declaration for local areas that were impacted by the severe flooding that took place on May 21 and 22, 2014.

This disaster declaration would enable residents and business owners with property damaged by the massive rains to be eligible for low interest loans through the US Small Business Administration. If the request is granted, counties that are contiguous with Elk will also be eligible for the loans, including Cameron, Clearfield, Forest, Jefferson, McKean and Warren counties.

As this process moves forward, I will continue to work with Governor Corbett and PEMA to find ways to best help our community and local residents with clean-up and recovery.

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St. Marys Companies Receive ImPAct Awards

Several Elk County companies have received Governor’s ImPAct Awards.

GKN Sinter Metals, which has facilities in St. Marys and Kersey, as well as Emporium in Cameron County, received a Community Impact Award. Penn Pallet in St. Marys received an Entrepreneur Award. Metco Industries of St. Marys received a Jobs First Award. St. Marys Carbon received a Small Business Impact Award.

American Refining Group, Kessel Construction, Luminite and B&T Contractors in Bradford, as well as Zook Motors and Flickerwood Wine Cellars in Kane were finalists for the awards.

Governor Tom Corbett today recognized 50 outstanding Pennsylvania companies and entrepreneurs for creating jobs, developing ideas, reaching new markets and making positive contributions in local communities. The awardees were chosen by an independent judging panel selected by the state’s partners, Team Pennsylvania Foundation (Team PA) and Journal Multimedia.

For more information, visit

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Man Pleads Guilty to DUI in Crash
That Critically Injured Passenger

A man who was driving his motorcycle drunk in a crash that critically injured his passenger has pleaded guilty.

39-year-old Jeffrey Stack of Bradford admitted to being under the influence of alcohol on September 15 of last year when he hit a vehicle that was backing out of a driveway at 200 East Main Street. 30-year-old Mildred Pressler of Bradford was thrown from the bike and was found in the shrubbery surrounding Wright Monumental Works at 212 East Main.

Stack is scheduled for sentencing on July 3 in McKean County Court.

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Bradford Burglar Pleads Guilty

A Bradford man has pleaded guilty to breaking into two churches, a school and a restaurant.

19-year-old Derek Steck broke into The Learning Center, the Farm Family Restaurant and St. Bernard’s as well as the First Presbyterian churches back in January.

Steck is scheduled for sentencing on June 12 in McKean County Court.

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Attempted 'Suicide by Cop' in Kane

Police believe a man was attempting “suicide by cop” when he told a Kane Borough Police officer to shoot him Thursday night while he was holding two knives.

Officer William Nichols says he was called to Janeway Street at 7:10 p.m. for a report of a person breaking windows out of the house. When he got there, he saw the broken windows, heard a man inside screaming and saw a blood trail leading from the porch to the door. Then 42-year-old Larry Walker II walked out with two knives in his hands, according to papers faxed to WESB by District Judge David Engman’s office.

Nichols immediately called for backup, and repeatedly asked Walker to drop the knives while walking backward and keeping about 15 feet between himself and Walker. The incident moved from Janeway, to Welsh Street, then to Moffit Avenue and onto Hacker Street. Steve Hale of the Mount Jewett Police Department was eventually able to use a stun gun on Walker.

At Kane Community Hospital Walker made threats to people who were there, and others who were not there. He also spit on hospital personnel while being treated.

Charges of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person have been filed in Engaman’s office. He has not been arraigned yet.

Image from Google Earth ©

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City of Bradford Police Log for 5/29/14

City of Bradford Police looked into reports of drug offenses on Bushnell Street and DUI on Homestead Avenue and Congress Street. Officers got calls about an animal on Calvin Court, a disturbance on East Main Street, criminal mischief on North Center Street and careless driving at Interstate Parkway and West Washington Street. Police also got a call about a suspicious person on Williams Street.

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Newspaper's Computers Stolen

Someone broke into the Ridgway Record newspaper’s building on Laurel Hill Road Thursday and stole some computers.

Police say between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. someone pried a door knob to get into the building, and then took a Mini Mac laptop and two MacPro desktop computers.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Ridgway-based state police.

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Man Threatens Kane Cop with Knives

A man armed with two butcher knives ran after a Kane Borough police officer, who was able to hold him off until backup arrived.

The suspect, 42-year-old Larry P. Walker II of Kane, was stopped when Mount Jewett Police Chief Steve Hale fired a stun gun at him.

Officer Bill Nichols was not hurt in the incident Thursday.

A felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person have been filed in District Judge David Engman's office, but Walker has not been arraigned yet.

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Florida Man Charged for Killing State Trooper

A Florida man is charged with one count of Murder 1st degree after intentionally striking a New York State Trooper along I-81 in Broome County.

Almond Upton, 60, Melrose, Florida was arraigned in Town of Chenango Court on one count of Murder 1st degree after he intentionally struck Trooper Christopher G. Skinner along I-81 in Broome County.

Just after 12:00 p.m. on May 29, 2014, Upton was traveling on I-81 when he intentionally hit two cars driving north. One driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at Wilson Hospital.

After traveling approximately one mile, just north of exit 6, between Chenango Bridge and Castle Creek, Upton spotted Trooper Skinner conducting a traffic stop, traveled from the passing to driving lane intentionally striking Trooper Skinner and sideswiped the car he stopped.

Trooper Skinner was killed instantly.

Upton's vehicle continued on a short distance before stopping and he ran into nearby woods.

He was taken into custody approximately an hour later.

Upton was sent to the Broome County Jail with no bail.

The investigation into the death of Trooper Skinner continues.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Museums, HIstorical Societies Get Money

HARRISBURG - Museums and historical societies in Pennsylvania have been awarded a total of $2 million for 130 grants, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-66).

Scarnati explained that the grants were awarded as part of the state’s Cultural and Historical Support program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The goal of the program is to strengthen the Pennsylvania museum community through providing general operating support to museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.

“Our Commonwealth is fortunate to have outstanding museums and historical societies across Pennsylvania,” Senator Scarnati said. “I am glad that these grants will help offer assistance to historical sites so that they can continue to provide excellent educational opportunities within our communities.”

“Museums inspire curiosity and allow people to interpret works of art, history and culture,” Speaker Smith stated. “For the public good, they collect, safeguard and hold in trust valuable artifacts.”

According to Speaker Smith, this is the second year that legislative leaders have worked to ensure funding for museum grants was included in the state budget appropriation. This year’s program furthered the efforts of last year’s program, which allotted just over $1 million in funding for the grants in the 2012-13 state budget.

“We are pleased that this year’s program was able to expand upon the success of last year, and now provide aid to some of our smaller, local museums and historical societies,” Scarnati and Smith stated. “These grants are an important investment in helping communities across our state to preserve history for future generations to learn from.”

Local Museums and Organizations receiving awards include:

• Cameron County Historical Society (Cameron County) - $2,500
• Clearfield County Historical Society (Clearfield County) - $3,000
• Clinton County Historical Society (Clinton County) - $4,000
• Piper Aviation Museum Foundation (Clinton County) - $3,737
• Jefferson County Historical Society (Jefferson County) - $4,000
• Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center (Jefferson County) - $3,000
• Eldred World War II Museum (McKean County) - $3,000
• Elk County Historical Society (Elk County) - $2,500
• Tioga County Historical Society (Tioga County) - $4,000

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

Drug Drop Box Installed in Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace announced today that a drug drop box has been installed in the lobby of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office in Mayville, NY.

The drop box was acquired at no cost to the taxpayers through a grant provided by The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI). The drop box is available to the public 24 hours a day; its use is anonymous and free of charge.

Sheriff Gerace stated, “The proper disposal of prescription drugs will help prevent these substances from falling into the wrong hands and is also much safer for the environment than to have the drugs flushed down the toilet or placed into the landfill”. Both prescription drugs and illegal drugs will be accepted at the drop box. No needles or other “sharps” will be accepted.

The Sheriff’s Office also has received funding for a second drug drop box which is slated for deployment in a location in the north county in the near future.

Photo of Sheriff Gerace provided by his office.

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Two Arrested on Drug Charges

Two people were arrested on drug charges after state police got a report about unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Troopers found the vehicle in Randolph on Wednesday and arrested the driver, 31-year-old Bridget Bardo of Conewango, for aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. She was released on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear in Town of Randolph Court.

Her passenger, 28-year-old Andrew Jaquish of Salamanca, was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police also learned there was an active warrant against him from City of Jamestown Court. He was sent to Chautauqua County Jail on $1,000 bail.

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Ulysses School Bus Damaged

Someone damaged a Ulysses school bus over the weekend.

Police say the bus was parked in the Ulysses Motors parking lot when several windows were broken out. The vandals also got into the bus, where they damaged a mirror and a fan.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Coudersport-based state police.

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Poorly Planned U-Turn Injures Several

Minor injuries were reported after two vehicle collided while one of them was making a U-turn.

Police say at 11:30 Sunday morning on Route 872 in Potter County 75-year-old Ellis Crowl of Airville was making the U-turn, but didn’t check to see if the other lane was clear, and his vehicle was hit by a vehicle driven by 33-year-old Gregory Claypoole of Kittanning.

The drivers and their passengers – including two adults and three children – were taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for treatment.

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Woman Escapes Injury When Car Flips

A Galeton woman escaped injury when her car flipped over off Gross Road in Potter County late Friday night.

Police say 53-year-old Hilda Frith was traveling too fast for conditions when the car went out of control on the dirt road, went over the embankment, hit a tree and flipped over, coming to rest on its driver’s side.

The car had to be towed from the scene. Frith was cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

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State Trooper Dies When Hit by Passing Vehicle

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico is saddened to announce the death of Trooper Christopher G. Skinner. Trooper Skinner was last assigned to the Traffic Incident Management Unit (TIM Detail), Troop C, Delaware County.

Around 12:00 p.m. on May 29, 2014, Trooper Skinner was outside his marked State Police car conducting a vehicle and traffic stop on I-81 north of exit 6, between Chenango Bridge and Castle Creek, Broome County, when he was struck by a passing vehicle. Trooper Skinner was killed instantly.

The driver continued on a short distance before stopping and running into nearby woods. The operator was taken into custody shortly after 1:00 p.m. following a search.

Trooper Skinner was a 13 year veteran of the New York State Police. He worked in Troops C, E and G. He was assigned to the TIM detail in June 2008.

Trooper Skinner is from Binghamton, NY and is survived by his mother, Sharyn, brother, Shawn, fiancé, Surrena, and two children, 15-year-old Kyle and 12-year-old Erin. Trooper Skinner was 42 years old.

Funeral arrangements will follow.

State Police would like to thank the Broome County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Marshal Service, Castle Creek Fire Department, and other federal and local first responders for their assistance.

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Schools Receive Grant for Collaborative Study

The Teagle Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved a grant of $230,000 to Hilbert College, St. Bonaventure University, Erie Community College, and Jamestown Community College for the project “A New Structure for General Education.” The grant will be funded over three years.

This collaborative proposal brings together four Western New York institutions for the purpose of revising general education requirements that will help improve learning outcomes and processes for all students, including those who transfer between these institutions. The project seeks to rework the general education curricula to reflect a common set of learning outcomes and create a more coherent experience for all students.

National and regional trends are expected to affect enrollment within institutions of higher learning across Western New York. Consequently, institutions in Western New York must re-think how higher education functions and develop initiatives aimed at collaborative efficiencies.

This initiative will be a faculty-led rethinking of how learning objectives can help ensure student success. In addition, this innovative partnership between public and private, two-year and four-year institutions will be able to serve as a model for additional collaborations.

The Teagle Foundation was established in 1944 by Walter C. Teagle, longtime president of Standard Oil Company (now Exxon Mobil Corp.). It has a broad mandate “to advance the well-being and general good of mankind throughout the world” and over the years the foundation has made grants in many areas, always with an emphasis on the aid Teagle envisioned for “institutions of higher learning and research.”

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Copper Stolen from B&P Railroad

Police are investigating a theft from a section of railroad tracks in Elk County over the weekend.

They say sometime Sunday morning $127 worth of copper bonds were taken from the tracks that go from Long Level Road to Clarion Street in Jones Township.

The tracks are owned by the Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad in Bradford.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact Ridgway-based state police.

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Cyclist Hurt on Chicken Hill Road

One person was hurt in a crash Wednesday night on Chicken Hill Road in Elk County.

Police say a car operated by Jack Smith of Kersey was stopped at a stop sign when a motorcycle driven by Gregory Catalone of Kersey was turning onto Chicken Hill and the front wheel of the bike went off the road. When it went back onto the road, it hit the car.

Catalone, who was wearing a helmet, was taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands Healthcare.

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Charles Cole's Ed Pitchford Honored

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School Bus, Farm Tractor Accident in Catt County

One student complained of neck pain after a school bus and a large farm tractor collided on Mosher Road just south of Route 39 this morning.

The accident happened at just before 7 a.m. when the bus owned by the Gowanda School District encountered the tractor that was towing a large ripper. A 17-year-old girl was taken by ambulance to Lake Shore Hospital with neck pain. The nine other students on the bus were not hurt. 67-year-old Ronald Warrior of Brant was driving the bus.

The tractor is owned and was operated by 48-year-old Nelson Nobles of South Dayton.No charges have been filed. Sheriff’s deputies are continuing their investigation.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arrests Made for Alfred State Drug Deals

Four people have been arrested after a months-long investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force into cocaine and marijuana sales on the Alfred State campus.

Of the four, only an 18-year-old from Jamestown is accused of selling cocaine.

Marcus Thomas is charged with criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.

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Gabler Returns from NATO Trip

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) is back in the United States after spending most of the month of May in France on military orders with the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Following nearly 3 weeks of training with multinational partners, his division staff took a staff ride Memorial Day weekend to trace the steps of their “Iron Division” predecessors from World War I. He is pictured here at the Pennsylvania Memorial in Varennes-en-Argonne, France, where a ceremony was conducted to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Photo provided by Gabler's office

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Allegany Man Facing Drug Charges

One person is facing drug charges, and more charges are pending, following an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

21-year-old Alexander Carpenter of Allegany was arrested Tuesday afternoon on Fulton Street in Olean and charged with felony counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.

He was sent to Cattaraugus County Jail on $200 bail.

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