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Friday, July 11, 2014

Bacha Joins Local Unted Way

The United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Sonja Bacha as Administrative Assistant. Sonja began her position at the office on Monday.

“I am proud to welcome Sonja to our office,” said Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “I know she has a strong passion for our local community, having grown up here and raising her family here, and I feel this is the perfect fit for both sides. “She’s already presented a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm, and we’re excited to get Campaign 2014 off and running!”

In the newly-created position, Bacha will be responsible for helping to maintain the business and financial affairs of the office, as well as preparations for the annual campaign and fundraising efforts. She was previously the Office Manager for SuperUser Technologies in Bradford.

Sonja lives in Bradford with her husband, Barry, and children Erika and Andrew.

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

Wallace Elected County GOP Chairman

The McKean County Republican Committee has unanimously elected Stacy Wallace of Bradford as chairman of the McKean County Republican Committee.

Wallace succeeds state Rep. Martin Causer of Turtlepoint, who has served as chairman for the last four years. He chose not to run for re-election because he felt the goals he set when he was elected had been reached.

Upon her election as chairman, Wallace resigned her position on the Republican State Committee. Lyle Stewart of Bradford was appointed to replace her.

The committee also re-elected Ken Kane of Kane as vice chairman and Gayle Bauer of Bradford as treasurer.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 7/11/14

City of Bradford Police on Friday investigated an assault on Pike Street, a motor vehicle accident on Davis Street, vandalism on Congress Street and criminal mischief on Laurel Drive and Main Street. Officers were called to domestic disturbances on York Street and Harding Avenue and other disturbances on West Corydon and Summer streets, Belleview Avenue and Walker Place.

They were called about fraud on Constitution Avenue and harassment on Hobson Place. Police also dealt with traffic issues and East Corydon and Elm streets, at Williams Street and Rosedale Avenue and on Route 219. Officers also arrested one person for driving under the influence of drugs and another for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Search Continues for Attempted Carjackers

The search is continuing today for a black man and white woman who tried to rob and a man carjack a vehicle early Thursday morning near Randolph.

State police say a man came upon the scene of what appeared to be a disabled van on near the intersection of Cold Spring and Ireland roads at just after 6 a.m. When he asked if the people needed help, the man pulled a knife on him and demanded his wallet and car keys. The victim fought back and was able to get away with only a couple of minor abrasions.

The suspects are both believed to be in their mid-30s. The man is thin and was wearing a New York Yankees cap. The woman is heavy set with long brown hair.

The van they were driving is a fairly new Dodge with a red “peace” sign on the back. It has a Pennsylvania license plate.

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

Bradford Architect, Artist Preston Abbey
Passes Away at Age 90

Designed Kendall, Zippo, Fretz buildings

Preston Roger Abbey, 90, of 670 East Main St, passed away July 10, 2014 at the Bradford Ecumenical Home following a brief illness.

Born on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1924 in Smethport, he was a son of William Hugh and Geneva Belle (Owens) Abbey.

On June 24 1950 in Port Allegany, he married Lois A. (Hanna) Abbey.

Preston graduated from Port Allegany High School and entered the U.S. Marine Corps where he served on the USS Guam during WW2. Upon returning from the War, he studied architecture at Williamsport Community College for two years. After completion, he did an internship with Raymond Hall Archetects.

Once Preston passed his architectural boards, he decided to move to Bradford with his young family and worked for Earl Wheeler. He later established Abbey, Hemingway and Coatsworth and in 1980 renamed the firm Preston R. Abbey and Associates Inc. He designed numerous banks, schools, churches, and hospitals. Among his accomplishments were the buildings for Zippo, Kendall, Floyd C. Fretz Jr. High School, the Bradford Club, Fisher Price, Little Tykes, and several of the buildings for the University of Pittsburg at Bradford. One cannot help but pass by one of the numerous buildings that Preston designed when driving around his home town.

After retiring in 1988, Preston pursued his love of nature by painting wildlife landscapes. His work was exhibited at several locations in Bradford but he was particularly honored when his entire collection was displayed at the Pitt Bradford Benefit Auction a few years ago.

Preston grew up loving the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and bird hunter. Depending on the season he kept either his fishing tackle or hunting gear at the ready in his car. Often he would stop on the way to or from business meetings in the area to throw a fly or look for a grouse. He also loved golf and fit in a round whenever he could. His short game was renowned. Always an able athlete, he taught the valuable lesson of losing and winning with grace and dignity. He was a patient teacher to anyone who wanted to learn about his hobbies. He went to great lengths to help everyone. He cared deeply for his community and showed it by giving generously of his time and talents. He was often an anonymous donor to charitable causes.

Preston was a member of The First Presbyterian Church and many clubs and organizations, including: The Pennhills Country Club, The Bradford Club, F&AM Lodge 749, Zem Zem Shrine of Erie and The American Institute of Architects

In addition to his wife of 64 years, he is survived by one son, Paul (Connie) Abbey of Cleveland, OH, and three daughters, Lisa (Steve) Bastedo of Atlanta, GA, Lynne (Jim) Gokey of Cincinnati, OH, and Leslie (Randy) Yokeley of Atlanta, GA. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Lindsey (Eric) Lane, Kendall Abbey, Palmer Abbey, Dru Bastedo, Wesley Bastedo, Kendra Gokey, Ryan Gokey, Hanna Yokeley, and Maddie Yokeley; a brother, William H. (Barbara) Abbey of Marshburg; a sister; Mary Lou (the late Cy) Dann of Port Allegany and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, June (the late George) Howard.

Friends are invited to call from 3-6 PM, Sunday, July 13, 2014 in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc., South Avenue. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Monday, July 14, 2014 in The First Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Robert Klouw, Co-pastor, officiating. Military honors will be accorded in the sanctuary following the service. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Port Allegany.

The family requests that memorial contributions, if desired can be made to the Preston R. Abbey Scholarship Fund at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 300 Campus Drive or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences can be made at

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

City of Bradford Police Log for 7/10/14

City of Bradford Police on Thursday stopped someone who was driving under the influence of drugs on North Center Street, dealt with traffic/parking problems on Seaward and Euclid avenues and looked into reports of suspicious activity on Chambers and Barbour streets.

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Power to be Out in Little Valley Saturday

There will be a village-wide power outage in Little Valley from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday so crews can do maintenance on the lines.

All village residents will be effected.

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Teen Girl Charged with Assault

A 13-year-old is accused of assaulting a staff member at the Randolph Children’s Home Monday night.

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office says the girl hit a staff member in the mouth causing injury, but not requiring medical attention. The incident happened at about 9:45 p.m. Before police arrived, staff members had restrained her in an effort to calm her down.

The girl was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree criminal contempt. She will appear in Cattaraugus County Family Court.

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Tack's Inn Robbed

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Corbett Vetoes Budget Line Items

Today was the deadline for Governor Tom Corbett to make a decision about signing the state budget, or not. During a news conference in Harrisburg this morning he said he’s decided to use his power of line-item veto to cut out about $65 million in Legislative spending.

He said he made the move because of lawmakers’ failure to come up with a public pension reform plan. Corbett addressed Pennsylvania citizens during the news conference, encouraging them to tell their representatives in Harrisburg to stop bowing to unions and get pension reform done.

Top GOP senators say they are disappointed that Corbett has not been able to work effectively with the Republican majorities in the Senate and House to address important fiscal issues in the state.

Senators Joe Scarnati, Dominic Pileggi, Jake Corman and Pat Browne, in a joint statement, said, “Reforming public pension benefits is an important goal that Senate Republicans have been engaged in for months.”

The statement goes on to say that they unanimously passed a bill on June 30 that takes an important first step to move all elected officials out of a defined public pension plan.

They add that they are concerned about Corbett cutting or withholding money for items, including hospital programs for people with low incomes, job training programs and cultural programs.

The senators say the state budget process is not a game, and vital programs should never be placed in jeopardy.

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

Attempting Carjacking in Catt County

Police are investigating an attempted carjacking early this morning in Cattaraugus County.

They say at around 6 a.m. on Cold Spring Road a man came upon the scene of what appeared to be a disabled minivan. When the man got out of his vehicle to check on the people in the van, a black man and white woman got out and the man pulled a knife on him. The victim was able to get away.

He says the suspects are both about 30 years old. The van had a red “peace” sign on the back and a Pennsylvania license plate.

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

Gone Fishin'

4-year old Jimmy Otto shows off the rainbow fish he created Wednesday during the United Way's monthly First Chapter program at the Bradford Area Public Library. 18 kids heard the story "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister, and the lesson centered around sharing, friendship and making their own fish. Jimmy is the son of Bill and Kim Otto of Bradford.
United Way photo
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

11 Counties Get Disaster Declaration

Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Allegany and 8 other New York counties have been approved for a federal major disaster declaration following severe storms and flooding in May that caused serious damage.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s pleased that President Obama has responded to his request, and that the declaration will bring much needed federal financial aid to communities that saw some of the worst flooding they’ve seen in decades.

More than 6,500 homes and businesses were without power and more than 130 families experience significant property damage during the storms that started May 12. A state of emergency was declared the Village of Gowanda.

FEMA’s preliminary damage estimate shows that the state and counties spent more than $28 million in response and recovery efforts.

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Troopers Still Looking for Van That
Hit Amish Buggy; Injured People, Horse

Police are looking for the person who was driving a minivan that hit an Amish horse and buggy, injuring the people in the buggy as well as the horse.

The incident happened on Route 16 in the Town of Ishua about about 3:45 Monday afternoon, when the buggy was hit from behind by the dark blue Chrysler van, sending the horse and buggy into at ditch.

The operator of the buggy and his two sons were taken by Hinsdale ambulance to Olean General Hospital, where they were treated for scalp lacerations and other non-life-threatening injuries. The horse sustained internal injuries, but was able to walk, and was taken by trailer back his owner’s home. The buggy was destroyed.

Troopers say the van is an older model with some rust and dark tinted windows, and it has the gold New York license plates. They say it will have heavy passenger side damage and, possibly, a broken windshield.

Anyone with pertinent information is asked to call New York State Police.

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Cannon Named Acting City Administrator

Teri Cannon has been named acting city administrator for the City of Bradford.

City council made the appointment during its meeting Tuesday. She replaces city clerk John Peterson, whose resignation will become official on July 29.

Also during the meeting council officially did away with the city clerk position, replacing it with city administrator.

Also Tuesday council voted to reject all bid submitted for Phase II of the city fire station renovation projection, and agreed that the project could be re-advertised. In another fire department item, council accept of bid of $64,050 from Sutphen to refurbish the city’s tower fire truck.

Council authorized the filing of a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program Grant that will be used to extend the Community Parks Trail to Hanley Park.

The grant would be for $100,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Agency.

Council approved a $10,000 payment to Hennard Construction for repairs to the Pearl Street wall. Hennard’s was the lower of two quotes received.

City DPW and Parks Director Chip Comilla explained that the wall was damaged by an IA Construction vehicle during the last road resurfacing project. IA’s insurance company has made restitution.

Council approved the sale of five properties that are currently in the McKean County Tax Claim Repository.

They are 16 Thompson Avenue, 12 Park Street and a property at Park and Jefferson streets to Harry Solarek; 18 Charlotte Avenue to Burt Hitchcock; and 233 High Street to Charles Furterer.

Council also approved at special events waiver to The Lighter Side for July 19 during the Kids & Cancer event so people can drink beer outside on their property.

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Man Arrested for St. Marys Stabbing

An arrest has been made in the stabbing of a Ridgway man late last month, and the suspect is also charged with running from police who wanted to question him on Tuesday.

St. Marys police say they were looking for 22-year-old David Charles II of Benezette so they could question him about the stabbing and, when he noticed that an officer spotted him near Ash Street at around 2 p.m., he ran. Police found him about an hour later in the Rock Street area and took him into custody. For that incident he’s charged with resisting arrest and fleeing from police.

He is accused of stabbing or cutting 33-year-old Gary Jones with a knife in the early morning hours of June. For that incident he’s charged with assault and recklessly endangering another person.

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Brad Mason Resigns as Warden

County Commissioner Al Pingie confirms to WESB that Brad Mason has resigned as warden at the McKean County Jail. His resignation is effective Thursday, July 10.

The commissioners oversee Mason in his role as warden. However his sheriff's position is an elected position.

Pingie says he has not seen the resignation letter yet because he and commissioner Cliff Lane were out of town today, but Commissioner Joe DeMott informed them of Mason’s plans to resign.

Speculation has been rampant as to why Mason took an extended vacation and leave of absence but Pingie says, as far as he knows, none of that was addressed in the letter.

We’ll bring you more on this developing story later this evening.