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Friday, June 27, 2014

City of Bradford Police Log for 6/27/14

Besides nabbing an out-of-state homicide suspect this morning, City of Bradford Police investigated a theft on Boylston Street, a hit and run on Marion Avenue and a disturbance on Osborne Place. Officers also got complaints about disorderly conduct on Forman Street and Euclid Avenue, and harassment on Thompson Avenue and Bushnell Street. Police were also called to domestic incidents on Bushnell Street and Brookline Court.

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Eldred Fire Ruled Accidental

The fire that damaged an Eldred house Thursday night has been ruled accidental.

State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti say the fire at 25 Edson Street in the borough started at a propane grill on the back porch that was being used at the time. Damage is estimated at $140,000. The house is owned by Amanda Morrisroe.

Agosti says the fire also damaged the house at 29 Edson Street owned by Monica Lowe, and the house at 30 Bennett Street owned by Duane Stull.

There were no injuries.

Star Hose Company of Port Allegany and the Portville, New York, Fire Department assisted the Eldred Borough Fire Department at the scene.

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City of Bradford Police Log for 6/26/14

City of Bradford Police on Thursday investigated an assault on Chestnut Street and a motor vehicle accident on East Main Street. Officers also got calls about harassment on Belleview Avenue and a public drunk on Main Street.

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Bill Would Create Penn Grade Crude
Development Advisory Council

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has approved legislation introduced by Senator Scott Hutchinson that will protect and promote conventional oil production in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1310, legislation to protect the conventional oil production industry from state regulations intended for companies extracting Marcellus Shale gas, now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

“The conventional oil industry is an important part of the regional economy in northwestern Pennsylvania – an economy that is already struggling. It cannot afford to be stymied by excessive and unnecessary regulatory burdens,” said Senator Hutchinson.

Senate Bill 1310, would establish the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, a panel empowered to study existing regulations and assist the Department of Environmental Protection in making changes that better address the differences between conventional and unconventional oil and gas production.

“Technological advances that have allowed for the development of previously inaccessible formations have necessitated updates and revisions to Pennsylvania’s laws and regulations governing this new unconventional ‘shale gas’ industry. Unfortunately, many regulatory and legislative changes did not recognize the significant differences between conventional and unconventional industries,” Senator Hutchinson said. “The council created under Senate Bill 1310 would work with the DEP to ensure that the differences between the operations are taken into account as these regulations and laws are developed and implemented.”

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Highmark, UPMC Reach Agreement

Highmark and UPMC have reached a comprehensive transition agreement that covers how and where patients can receive health care after the contract between the two organizations expires next year.

The agreement between the healthcare giants addresses vulnerable populations, emergency services, cancer patients, unique hospitals and doctors, and includes a one year safety net for any existing patient who cannot find alternative doctors and services.

While the agreement is not an extension of the current contract between Highmark and UPMC, it does preserve in-network access to specialty hospitals, emergency rooms and certain treatment facilities. And, it addresses coverage for Medicare.

Senator Sean Wiley of Erie says the agreement will have a significant economic impact on the region.

"Another element of this is, UPMC Hamot is the only trauma care hospital in the area, and so when you have that element to it, it's just the responsible thing to do to make sure we have this impasse lifted."

If trauma patients could not go to Hamot, they would most likely be sent to ECMC in Buffalo.

Officials say the agreement offers a framework for a transition plan when the contract between the health system and insurer expires at the end of the year.

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Fort Hood Solider Home in Allegany

The Allegany, New York, soldier who was injured in the Fort Hood shooting April is back home.

Major Patrick Miller arrived at the Buffalo airport this morning, and greeted well-wishers before heading to Allegany, where he will serve as grand marshal of the Old Home Week Parade tomorrow.

Miller was shot in the abdomen in the incident that left three dead and 15 others wounded. After being shot he pulled fellow soldiers to safety behind a door and then called 911.

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Director of Energy Institute at Pitt-Bradford
Testifies Before Congressional Committee

A member of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford faculty testified Tuesday before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources.

Dr. Matthew Kropf is director of the American Refining Group/Harry Halloran Jr. Energy Institute and assistant professor of petroleum technology and energy science and technology.

He was one of six educators who testified before the subcommittee on energy and mineral resources during a hearing titled “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Education.”

The hearing was part of a series being held to explore opportunities related to changes in the production and consumption of American energy. The hearing on Tuesday focused on the skills and education required to fill future energy-related jobs and how community colleges and colleges and universities are working to fill the need for expanded geology, engineering and energy programs.

Pitt-Bradford has two multidisciplinary energy-related programs: an associate of science program in petroleum technology and a new bachelor of science program in energy science and technology.

Kropf developed the curriculum for the four-year degree. He said that while he was developing the curriculum for the program, which was launched last year, he recognized two opportunities.

He testified that the first opportunity is basic energy competency at the college level. “There is an inherent need to teach about the complex interplay between energy resources, economics and environmental outcomes in order to create a rational and informed public capable of understanding energy policy.”

Kropf said that to encourage students of all majors to become more well-versed in energy matters, he created a new general education elective, Introduction to Energy Science and Technology, which he began teaching in 2011.

He said that the second educational opportunity is to increase student proficiency in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “Energy production – whether drilling gas wells or installing solar panels – is a multidisciplinary endeavor,” he said. “It is STEM skills that drive innovations in energy production and efficiency, and it is STEM education that will be the only means of achieving and maintaining energy independence for future generations.”

Kropf went on to say that a common thread he has found throughout energy fields is the integration of sensors and computers for automated monitoring and processing. He told the subcommittee that he has developed a multidisciplinary curriculum to emphasize the use of sensors and computers for energy applications.

Video of Kropf’s testimony and the full text of his comments are available on the Committee on Natural Resources’ website, www.naturalresources.house.gov. In the video, Kropf’s testimony begins at 1 hour and 9 minutes.

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Ribbon Cutting for Born Learning Trail


City Parks Director Chip Comilla (center) cuts the ribbon on the Born Learning Trail, installed by volunteers for the United Way of the Bradford Area. The signs along the trail at Callahan Park direct young children and their parents through a variety of activities, including hopscotch, making up songs & stories and looking for wildlife. Comilla says the trail is a great addition to the park. Also pictured are, board members Debbie Curtin and Steve Williams and UWBA Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis.

The project was funded by American Refining Group, the Blaisdell Foundation and the United Way, with several businesses providing in-kind contributions. About two dozen volunteers helped install the trail on Saturday. Davis said Comilla, Mayor Tom Riel and Bradford City Council members have been supporting the project since she first approached them with it.

The trail starts at the Bradford High-area entrance to the park, loops around the splash pad, goes past the basketball courts and ends at the footbridge before baseball fields 2 and 3.

WESB photo

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Homicide Suspect Captured in Bradford

A Columbus, Ohio, homicide suspect is in McKean County Jail after City of Bradford Police found him on Mechanic Street this morning.

Chief Chris Lucco says the United States Marshal Service contacted city police this morning and asked for help in finding 37-year-old Robert Tucker, who was believed to be in the area. City police and marshals checked numerous locations in the city before finding Tucker at 96 Mechanic Street.

Tucker allegedly shot and killed a man during a robbery in Columbus, and then fled to West Virginia, where a female co-defendant was apprehended. Law enforcement had information that Tucker then came to Bradford, then traveled to Buffalo and back to Bradford.

Tucker was taken into custody without incident and charged by city police as a fugitive from justice. He was taken to McKean County Jail without bail and is awaiting extradition to Ohio.

Pictured, City of Bradford Police Officer Greg Boser puts homicide suspect Robert Tucker into a car this morning after he was captured on Mechanic Street.
City of Bradford Police photo

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Senate Law & Justice Committee
Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

State Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny), Democratic Chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, announced that the Committee passed Senate Bill 1182 establishing access to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“After hearing so many moving and deeply personal stories on the issue of medical cannabis, I am proud that the Law & Justice Committee passed legislation today that meets the needs of patients in our Commonwealth. The number one priority of Senate Bill 1182 is patient care and compassion, and the bipartisan bill that we crafted certainly reflects that,” Senator Ferlo said.

Senate Bill 1182, sponsored by Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), was amended in the Law and Justice Committee with language to improve the bill and to include best practices from other states with legal medical cannabis. Medical uses would include using extracted oil, edible products, ointments, tinctures, and vaporized medical cannabis.

The proposal passed by the committee would allow for growth, processing, and dispensing of cannabis-based treatment products. The legislation would also create an eleven-member State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing under the Department of State. The Board would oversee all regulations of the cannabis industry, investigate applicants for licenses and occupation permits, and all powers to deny, revoke, or suspend a license.

Three types of licensee are generated under the bill: medical cannabis growers, medical cannabis processors, and medical cannabis dispensers. Growers could grow cannabis on Board-approved land or facilities, and must test, package, and transport their products to testing laboratories, medical cannabis processors, or dispensers. Processers would be tasked with extracting cannabis oils to create products for sale to medical cannabis dispensers. Dispensers would sell medical cannabis through a registered nurse. Each license requires a licensing fee, an annual renewal fee, and any other fees determined by the State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing.

In order for a patient to purchase medical cannabis, individuals must get an access card from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department must validate that the individual has a practitioner-patient relationship, and also acquire written confirmation of a qualified medical condition which can be treated with medical cannabis. Access cards will cost patients $100, and patients must be Pennsylvania residents.

In addition, all license applicants must submit to a background check conducted by the State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing. They must also provide information on their proposed location and facility, criminal history, and financial sources.

“I truly believe that this legislation is a step forward for Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 1182 establishes proper oversight of medical cannabis, and patients who desperately need this treatment will now be able to access it safely and without stigma,” Senator Ferlo said.

The bill passed out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee unanimously.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fatal Stabbing in Alfred, New York

One man is dead and another is in jail for stabbing him early this morning in Alfred.

Police say they were called to a trailer park on Waterwells Road at around 3:40 this morning and found 29-year-old Jacob Gray of Farmington, New York, dead of stab wounds.

26-year-old Roy Martinez is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter and is in Allegany County Jail without bail.

Police say Gray and Martinez met in a bar Wednesday night and, later, they and a group of other people left the bar and went to the trailer, where Gray and Martinez started fighting. Investigators say other people were in the trailer when the fight started.

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Work to Start on Two Elk County Bridges

Work to repair a bridge on Route 219 about a mile north of Wilcox will get under way Tuesday.

The bridge spans Rocky Run in Jones Township.

In the work area, lanes will be shifted, making use of the northbound lane and northbound shoulder in order to allow sufficient room for the repair crew. A concrete barrier will be in place and two 12-foot lanes will keep two-way traffic moving through the work zone. The speed limit in the area will be temporarily reduced from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour.

The repairs to the bridge are necessary due to damage caused by a truck crash in December of 2013. The hauler is responsible for the cost of repairs.

The work should be finished by early September.

A detour will start July 7 as crews work to replace the Johnsonburg Water Dam Bridge. While the bridge is closed the detour will use Silver Creek Road, Route 219 and Montmorenci Road.

Work is expected to be finished July 12.

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Men Jailed for Stealing Truck from Used Car Lot

Two Bradford men are in jail for stealing a pickup truck from the Edmond Chevrolet used car lot.

19-year-old James Peters told police that he and 18-year-old Michael Troupe were waiting for a friend Tuesday afternoon when they noticed vehicles in the lot had keys in them, so they decided to take a set and come back later for the truck.

After meeting up with their friend and two teenage girls they waited downtown until dark. Peters and Troupe then stole a license plate from a truck in the city and walked back to Edmond’s. Peters drove out of the lot, then they picked up the girls, went to Byllye Lanes and put the stolen plate on the truck. Troupe then drove the truck to the Lewis Run Crosby’s, where they got gas, and then drove to Kane.

State police caught up with them Wednesday afternoon, then let Foster Township Police and Edmond’s know the truck had been stolen.

Peters and Troupe are both charged with theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy to commit theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving without a license. They are jailed on $30,000 bail each.

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Accused Cop Kicker Waives Hearing

The Port Allegany woman accused of kicking a police officer and damaging a police car earlier this month has waived her preliminary hearing in McKean County Central court.

While police were investigating a fight on North Main Street in the borough 21-year-old Amanda Amell repeatedly ignored an officer’s warning to stay away from the scene, according to court records. When he tried to take her into custody, she kicked him in the shin, and attempted to kick him several more times. Later, she kicked the partition, window glass and door panels of the police car, causing damage.

Amell is free on unsecured bail.

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Bill to Honor Bucktail Regiment Set to Become Law

HARRISBURG – A Smethport bridge will be named in honor of the Bucktail Regiment under legislation sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and approved by the General Assembly.

House Bill 1929 designates the Route 6 bridge over Marvin Creek as the Bucktail Regiment Memorial Bridge.

“The members of the Bucktail Regiment saw it as their duty and responsibility to serve and protect their country,” Causer said. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to honor their dedicated service, which helped to make our country what it is today.”

The Bucktail Regiment was a group of young recruits from Cameron, Elk, McKean and Tioga counties that rose to the defense of the Union following the bombing of Fort Sumter in April 1861. It was so named because its members adopted the tail of the whitetail buck as their badge of honor and adorned their caps with it.

The 700 troops were mostly young woodsmen, lumberjacks, raftsmen, hunters and farmers. As part of the federal army, the troops became the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and served with high distinction in most major battles of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

The bill is on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature.

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Toddler Found Wandering in Wilcox;
Father Charged with Child Endangerment

After a 2-year-old girl was found wandering around outside a Wilcox house A Ridgway man is facing child endangerment charges.

Police say a Wilcox woman noticed the toddler at about 5:15 Tuesday afternoon and attempted to find the little girl’s parents. She was later told where the child belonged and tried to call her father, 31-year-old Christopher Cenni, but didn’t get a response.

The girl was eventually turned over to her grandmother.

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Man Broke Another Man's Jaw

A Little Valley man is accused of punching another man in the face, and breaking his jaw.

Sherriff’s deputies say 20-year-old Preston Quinn punched the 23-year-old man at about 7 p.m. on Monday. The victim had to be treated at ECMC in Buffalo.

Quinn was charged with assault and scheduled to appear in Town of Little Valley Court next month.

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PSP: Woman Hit Man with Hatchet

A Port Allegany woman is accused of hitting her boyfriend with a hatchet early this morning.

Police say 29-year-old Katrina Bradford hit 37-year-old Ronald Rupert in the forearm, causing a laceration and bleeding. The incident happened at about 12:30 this morning when Rupert was trying to leave the Lower Portage Road house during a fight.

Bradford is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. She was sent to McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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Lewis Run Bridge to Close

The Main Street Bridge in Lewis Run will be closed for about two weeks, starting Monday (6/30), so the new bridge can be installed.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Public Invited to Archeological Excavation

Warren, Pa. – The Allegheny National Forest will hold an open house at an active archaeological dig site at the “King Farm” near West Hickory, PA, on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Dr. Susan Prezzano of Clarion University is conducting the dig in conjunction with the forest.

The public is invited to visit the dig to witness how an archeological excavation is conducted and learn about the people who lived and used the King Farm area throughout history. The site will be open to visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The King Farm site is located in Forest County near the Allegheny River. To reach the site, from West Hickory, take Dawson Run Road (paved) south for about 2 miles. After the Allegheny National Forest motor vehicle sign (large white sign with black text), watch for the first gate on the left. There is a small dirt parking area near the gate. The excavation is about 200 yards behind the gate.

For additional information, contact Marienville District Archeologist Amanda Glaz at (814) 927-5756.

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Local Church Holding Fundraiser

Williams Insurance Agency and Open Arms Community Church's Epic Faith Youth Group team up to raise money for the youth groups Mission Trip to New York City.

"In New York City, the youth will be feeding the homeless, serving in soup kitchens, prayer stations, and working in a food bank.", says Assistant Pastor Justin Willoughby. The youth group will be washing cars as a fundraiser, hosted at The Williams-Agency, located at 509 E. Main Street in Bradford.

Dan Williams, owner of The Williams-Agency says “The Williams-Agency will pay for the car wash of any Williams-Agency client who wants to stop by.” The fundraiser will be on Friday, June 27th from 11:00a.m-1:30p.m. All money will go towards the teens' mission trip.

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Toomey Supports Effort to Protect ANF

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to protect the Allegheny National Forest and ensure the National Forest Service adequately manages our cherished woodlands before continuing to acquire additional property.

Sen. Toomey joined Sen. John Thune and a group of seven senators in appealing to the Chairman and top Republican on the committee that designates funding for the National Forest Service that “Congress should ensure that the Forest Service prioritize limited resources to adequately manage the lands for which it is currently responsible, rather continue to acquire additional property.”

“Our Allegheny National Forest is the gem of northwest Pennsylvania and a treasure all Americans can enjoy,” said Sen. Toomey. “The ANF, like other national forests, must be cared for and proactively managed to improve forest health before the government seeks to acquire more land with taxpayer dollars.”

Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, whose district includes most of the ANF, and his predecessor, Congressman John Peterson both lauded Sen. Toomey’s efforts.

“Active forest management is essential to healthy, vibrant forests and the strength of our rural communities,” said Congressman Thompson. “With wildfires and fire prevention activities still making up approximately 49% of the Forest Service’s budget, dollars are already stretched thin and must be targeted towards management accounts. Given the overall management crisis we already face throughout our National Forest System, it is my hope the effort by Senator Toomey and his colleagues will bring a greater focus to the Forest Service’s inability to adequately manage existing lands and the need to prioritize management activities – rather than acquiring new acres – within the agency’s budget.”

“The U.S. government has finite resources and is struggling to maintain the Allegheny National Forest. Purchasing new forest land would only lessen the ability the government has to focus on revenue generating management activities and preventing disasters such as forest fires. I appreciate Sen. Toomey’s efforts to ensure that dedicated funds for forest-related costs are being used to maintain existing forests, not purchase new land that the government that government can’t afford to oversee,” said former U.S. Congressman John Peterson.

Support for preserving the ANF has also come from members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. State Sens. Bob Robbins (R-Mercer) and Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) and State Reps. Martin Causer (R-McKean, Cameron, Potter), Matt Gabler (R-Elk), and Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) have all endorsed Sen. Toomey’s effort.

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House Committee OKs Plan to Separate
Conventional, Unconventional Oil, Gas Operations

HARRISBURG – Recognizing the significant differences between shallow well drilling and drilling in the Marcellus Shale, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today approved legislation that would require the state to adopt separate regulations for the two distinct activities.

House Bill 2350, sponsored by Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) and Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), would direct the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to separate both existing and proposed regulations for the drilling, alteration, operation and plugging of unconventional gas wells and conventional oil and gas wells in the Commonwealth.

“When it comes to regulations, it’s very important to recognize the vast differences between conventional drilling and drilling in the Marcellus Shale,” Causer said. “Conventional wells are shallow and have significantly smaller well pads. Their overall impact on the surrounding environment is far less than that of deep, Marcellus wells. Both types of drilling will continue to be regulated under this bill, but by differentiating between the two, we can protect against overregulation that could eventually drive shallow well producers out of business.”

Rapp agreed. “I am very pleased we are moving this legislation forward for the sake of our shallow well producers and all of the people they employ. The industry has been operating in northwestern Pennsylvania for more than 150 years, and I would put the quality of our environment up against any other in the state.”

“The regulations being drafted now are exceedingly broad in an attempt to encompass both types of drilling,” Gabler said. “The development of separate regulations allows the Department of Environmental Protection to go back and look at both kinds of drilling and adopt something that is reasonable, relevant and realistic for each type of operation.”

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Moose Building May be Renovated

Another downtown Bradford building may be getting a facelift.

The Loyal Order of Moose building at 14 Pine Street is currently in the county repository, but the Bradford School Board during its meeting tonight is expected to give its consent to the Tax Claim Bureau to sell the property to the Downtown Bradford Revitalization Corporation for $500.

Lee Minter has also made an offer -- $1,000 – and says he has two prospective tenants. Minter bought the former Archer’s building at the corner of Main and Congress streets two years ago.

The item on the school board’s agenda says the DBRC is making the offer because it is “concerned with the preservation of one of our most significant buildings in the city’s historic district.”

The DBRC plans to restore the building using grant money and/or by working with private investors who having a building restoration plan and resources to implement it.

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