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Friday, August 8, 2014

One Dead, One Hurt in East Main Street Crash

Police have released the names of the people involved the fatal motorcycle accident Thursday night on East Main Street near Futures Way.

They say the motorcycle driver, 59-year-old Louis Tantalo of Bradford was pronounced dead at the scene by McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill. His wife, 52-year-old Deborah Tantalo, was first treated on the scene by EMS personnel, and was then flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie for treatment of serious injuries.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. If you witnessed the accident, or have pertinent information in regard to the investigation, you are asked to contact City of Bradford Police.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DEP: Managers to Blame for Fatal Blast

Investigators say site managers are to blame for a natural gas well fire that killed a Warren native in February, according to a report released today.

The Department of Environmental Protection says in the report a contract worker with no oil field experience worked on the well, contrary to company policy, but did not identify a specific cause for the fire.

The report also says Chevron's well site managers did not always provide enough oversight to contractors at the site about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.

The blast killed 27-year-old Ian McKee, a field service technician for Houston-based Cameron International. DEP previously said Chevron improperly restricted state access to the well site for the first two days. A Chevron spokesman says they are reviewing the DEP report.

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Zippo/Case Museum Hosts
Italian Lighter Art Exhibit

The Zippo/Case Museum celebrates Bradford’s Italian heritage with an exhibit featuring the Zippo lighter art of Italian master of photography and airbrush, Claudio Mazzi.

The collection, on display now through August 15, has been loaned to the museum by a special arrangement with a private collector and features six hand-painted, individually numbered Mazzi designs created specifically for the members of Zippo Club Italia.

“The Zippo/Case Museum is honored to have the chance to showcase these beautiful Italian masterpieces,” said Linda Meabon, Zippo/Case Museum Curator and Historian. “I have had the distinct pleasure of watching Maestro Mazzi turn a Zippo lighter case into a unique piece of art. His works are so vividly realistic and dimensional; sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s not a photograph.”

Mazzi, who lives and works in Modena, Italy, began airbrushing original works of art onto Zippo lighters in 1996, after a chance meeting with the president of Zippo Italia, Zippo’s exclusive distributor in Italy.

His designs caused a sensation in the Zippo collector community, winning first place at the 1996 Zippo Swap Meet Design competition and setting record high bids at the swap meet auction.

At the swap meet in 2000, Mazzi came to Bradford to give live demonstrations, proving that the meticulous work was indeed created with his nimble hand and airbrush tools alone. Mazzi has returned to Bradford on several occasions, in addition to attending international lighter swap meets, and is an avid Zippo collector.

Mazzi has been a highly active member of Zippo Club Italia, an international group for Zippo lighter enthusiasts, since the club’s founding in 2001.

In 2006, Mazzi signed an agreement with Zippo to begin reproducing a few select designs using Zippo’s state of the art color printing process.

Officially licensed Mazzi lighters are sold at the Zippo/Case Museum. Mazzi lighters are among the most frequently purchased lighters, which Meabon said gave her the idea for the exhibit.

The currently available designs include an American flag-draped bald eagle, a pair of wolves in the Arctic, a sailing tall ship on the high seas, and new for this year a black widow spider creeping across a skull, all detailed reproductions of the original Mazzi airbrush designs.

Mazzi, in addition to his Zippo lighter pieces, has also done works for the brands Ducati, Maserati, and Ferrari, as well as British and Saudi Arabia royalty and other heads of state and motorcycle racing stars.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

National Night Out Postponed

The event has been postponed because of the weather, but Elm Street Manager Lisa Keck says they hope to put a similar event together soon in conjunction with the 2nd Ward NPP.

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Boil Water Advisory for Pithole Customers

Customers of the Pithole Water Company are being advised to boil their water until further notice.

The well that serves the 35 to 40 customers is down, and work is not expected on the new well until tomorrow.

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Shooters Grill & Bar Fined

Shooters Grill & Bar in Port Allegany has been fined $200 for not maintaining complete and truthful business records from March of 2012 to March of this year.

An administrative law judge imposed the penalty last month, according to the state police bureau of liquor control enforcement.

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Car Hits Cluster of Mailboxes

A car hit a cluster of mailboxes during a crash last night in Elk County, but the teenage driver wasn’t hurt.

Police say 16-year-old Mitchell DeCecchis of Johnsonburg was on Long Level Road in Jones Township at 10:20 p.m. when his car went off the road, flew through the air after going up a side of a driveway, hit the cluster of mailboxes and then landed in a ditch.

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

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Sex Offender Sent to Prison

A 24-year-old Cattaraugus County man will spend the next 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison after being sentenced as a repeat felon.

Derrek Eschenbach of Freedom was convicted of attempted to promote a sexual performance by a child.

The incident happened in June of 2013 in the Town of Allegany. Prosecutors didn’t release any further information.

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Portville Man Sentenced

A Portville man originally charged with attempted murder will spend the next 20 years in state prison for assault.

46-year-old Anthony Nevone was indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury on both charges, as well as reckless endangerment in connection to an incident in mid-July of last year, but pleaded guilty to the assault charge in June.

Prosecutors say Nevone acted with intent to disfigure a person seriously and permanently, or to disable that person during the assault, and showed depraved indifference to human life, according to previous WESB reports. They say he used a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, but did not specify what it was.

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Explosion at Goodman's; One Hurt

UPDATE: Vapor build up in an old crude oil tank caused the tank to explode when it was being cut open this morning at Goodman’s Recycling on High Street, according to Bradford City Fire Department Assistant Chief Rich Zmuda and State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti. The injured person, 52-year-old Thomas Rounsville of Bradford, was treated at BRMC and then released.


One person was hurt when a tank exploded at Goodman’s Recycling on High Street at around 11:20 this morning.

Bradford City Fire Department Assistant Chief Rich Zmuda tells WESB when they arrived a large tank was in the middle of the yard and it was apparent it had exploded.

Injuries to the person involved were reported as minor, and he was taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment, but Zmuda said he couldn’t say anything else because of HIPPA regulations.

Zmuda says a state fire marshal will be on the scene this afternoon and more information will be available late this afternoon.

The explosion was felt all over town.

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Minard Run Oil Expands to OK

Minard Run Oil Company now has operations in Oklahoma.

Company president and CEO Frederick Fesenmyer says Minard Run Oklahoma LLC was officially formed on Friday. The operations in Osage County include crude oil and natural gas production from six horizontal wells. They also have more than 16,000 acres for further development and exploration.

Minard Run Oil Company of Bradford is the world's oldest family owned independent oil company under the continuous management of one family. Fesenmyer is the great-grandson of Senator Lewis Emery Jr., who founded the company in 1875.

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Allegany Meth Lab Operator in Jail

A man on probation for running a meth lab in Allegany is back in jail.

33-year-old Joshua Safford of Allegany was sentenced in January to five years’ probation for operating the meth lab on South Seventh Street with two other people. The house was raided in March of last year.

Safford was arrested at 12:30 this morning on Five Mile Road, and was sent directly to Cattaraugus County Jail.

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Man Jailed for Theft -- Again

A man who was seen putting a leather jacket and two pairs of work boots under his jacket, and then tried to walk out of a store without paying for them, is behind bars.

49-year-old Robert Bargy of Falconer was seen shoplifting by numerous witnesses at the Stagecoach West in Irving. The jacket is valued at $150. Each pair of boots is valued at $205. The incident happened on February 14, the day after he allegedly stole $150 worth of cigarettes from the Iroquois Smoke Shop in Gowanda. He had been in the Erie County Holding Center on $5,000 cash bail on that charge.

On this charge, Bargy was sent to Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

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Woman Violates Order of Protection

A woman accused of violating an order of protection is now charged with criminal contempt.

Police say 59-year-old Mereline Pegelow of Fredonia went to a protected person’s house, parked in front of it and knocked on the door and front window while the person was there.

She was arraigned in Village of Brocton Court, released on her own recognizance and then scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Man Charged for Poking Woman

A man is charged with harassment after being accused of poking a woman in the buttocks.

The alleged buttocks-poking happened back on July 16 in Burkes Home Center in Fox Township when, according to police, 51-year-old Kevin Straub of Brynedale poked a 41-year-old Weedville woman with a tomato stake while going through the merchandise line.

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St. Bonaventure's Sister Margaret to Receive
Business First Lifetime Achievement Award

St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., is being recognized for her professional success and community involvement as the 2014 recipient of Buffalo Business First’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Sr. Margaret personifies a college president who does it all, from fundraising to campus construction to community involvement,” said Jack Connors, publisher and president of Buffalo Business First. “As the 20th university president and the first woman president, Sr. Margaret exemplifies the successful CEO in today’s world.”

Sr. Margaret has served as university president since 2004. Prior to being inaugurated, she served as the dean and director of the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure. Her early work included years of secondary education, leading administrative positions in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and her religious order. In addition to these full-time commitments, she lectured extensively in the United States, Ireland, England, the Philippines and Europe.

“The university’s Board of Trustees is thrilled to see Sr. Margaret’s leadership and extraordinary accomplishments recognized by Buffalo Business First,” said Raymond C. Dee, chair of St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees. “She has selflessly shared her gifts not only with St. Bonaventure University, but also with the entire Western New York region for more than a decade, and we are grateful to the selection committee for recognizing her with this tremendous honor.”

During her term as president, Sr. Margaret has been responsible for major initiatives in academic assessment, new construction and renovations on campus totaling more than $40 million dollars. Her presidency has focused on the centrality of the Franciscan mission and the university’s role as a leading international resource for the Franciscan order, the importance of improving trust and integrity in relationships of all sectors of the campus community, and the transformation to a learner-centered pedagogy and the maturation of a surge of service-learning activities.

Sr. Margaret will be honored at a Sept. 16 luncheon at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. Also being recognized at the luncheon are 26 Western New York women who are being honored with the Women of Influence Award.

A panel of past Women of Influence winners selected the honorees.

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Triathlon Raises More Than $40,000 for Local Vets


When Micah Irwin crossed the finish line of Saturday's Willow Creek Triathlon, he was not alone. Actually far from it.

There was the announcement over the PA system, "Welcome to Willow Creek." There were the two lines of veterans clapping and eagerly waiting to shake his hand. And then there was the image of Irwin's grandfather on the front of the 24-year-old's T-shirt.

"I did this in memory of my grandfather (Ralph French) who was a World War II veteran," the Bradford man said. "He passed away a few years ago. Irwin was one of 290 who participated in the ninth annual triathlon that this year raised $40,139 for the transportation funds of the Disabled American Veterans of Mckean and Warren counties. This year's event surpassed last year's donation by more than $10,000. The nine-year total is more than $151,000.

All of the proceeds help local veterans. The funds are earmarked to help with transportation - making sure veterans can get to their doctor's appointments, which are generally in Erie, Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland or Pittsburgh.

But as Irwin pointed out, helping the veterans is one of the many reasons people do the triathlon, which this year added a duathlon.

"It's great to see everybody help each other out," he said, referring to a woman who saw another struggling and turned around to help even though they were strangers.

But in an event such as this, there are no strangers.

"It's all the encouragement."

That was also one of the things Carolyn Boser Newhouse referred to as a "trifecta" of a great event.

Newhouse, who participated in the team triathlon with her husband, Jim Newhouse, and son, Garrett Newhouse, said the event displays what is great about the area.

"Let's talk about it from a tourism standpoint," said the Bradford woman who is deputy secretary for Innovation and Investment in the state. "This is great for the area. It showcases Pennsylvania's assets. Our community comes together with such hospitality and for a great cause."

These efforts were not lost on those the veterans either.

Guest speaker Walt Simpson, senior vice commander for the state DAV, said the money has put to good use in Warren County.

"We have five vehicles on the ground," he said. "and you don't have to be a disabled veteran, just a veteran."

Warren County ranks rights number one in the state in helping its veterans. "It takes a state (Oklahoma) to beat Chapter 75, but we can't do it without everyone here."

And some who weren't such as George Duke, Chairman of the board for Zippo Manufacturing Co. and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, who donates the trophy each year that is given to the top male and female finishers.

Doug Yohe, one of the triathlon's founders, spoke of Duke's generosity.

"Without him and his generosity, this event, this community wouldn't be what they are today."

This year's top finishers, who receive the Thom Maholic Award given in memory of the Bradford man who died in Afghanistan in 2006, were Dan Snyder of Cander, N.C., (1 hour, 8 minutes and 30 seconds) and Melinda Lawson-Crabtree of Frewsburg, N.Y. (1 hour, 15 minutes, 22 seconds).

And while they received a hearty applause, so did the last person to cross the finish line as they were escorted with style by Team RWB from Buffalo, N.Y, who travels to events like this and encourages the last person to finish with words of encouragement and American flags.

"Nobody's left behind. Nobody at all."

All of Saturday's results are posted on

Pictured, Micah Irwin is greeted by veterans at the finish line at Saturday's Willow Creek Triathlon that raises more than $40,000 for the Disable American Veterans of McKean and Warren counties.

Men Charged After Gas Drive-Off

One man is charged with petit larceny for driving off without paying for $50 worth of gas, and the guy who was planning to pick him up at the state police barracks is facing charges, too.

Police say 43-year-old Michael Orazio of Falconer left the gas station in Gowanda on Friday without paying, and they caught up with him on Route 62 in Kennedy after another customer at the gas station witnessed the drive-off and followed him.

While Orazio was being booked his ride, 46-year-old Anthony Boris of Eden, came to pick him up. Troopers smelled alcohol and then found an open car of beer in his vehicle and learned his driver’s license had been suspended. He’s charged with driving while intoxicated.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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Man Charged for Choking Another Man

A fight between two men in Cattaraugus County has led to charges against one of the men.

Police say 38-year-old Paul Stender of Delevan got into a fight with the other man and then, when the victim tried to leave, Stender choked him and ripped his sweatshirt.

Stender is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, harassment and criminal mischief. He will face the charges in Town of Yorkshire Court.

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Cash, Checks Stolen from American Legion

More than $3,000 in cash and checks has been stolen from the American Legion in Sugar Grove.

Police say someone broke a window in the back of the building between 1:30 and 1:50 Sunday morning. Surveillance video shows that the person made his way to the safe, where he used a tool to cut the hinges off, grabbed the cash bags that were inside and then left through the window he had broken to get in.

The suspect was wearing a Halloween-like mask and hood covering his or her face, and was carrying a red case. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact state police or Warren County Crime Stoppers.

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Mother, Daughter Charged with Assault

A mother and daughter are facing assault charges after an incident in their neighbor’s yard.

Police say 43-year-old Elizabeth Crouse and 24-year-old Raquel Crouse went to their neighbor’s house on Burning Springs Road in Versailles and confronted the victim’s 22-year-old daughter in the yard. The victim told the Crouses to get off the property and, when they didn’t, the victim stepped in to break up the fight and was assaulted.

The victim was taken to Lake Shore Hospital for treatment. The Crouses were each charged with assault and trespassing, and are scheduled to be in court later this month.

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Man Facing Harassment Charge

A 36-year-old is accused of sending threatening text messages to a Weedville man Saturday night.

Police say Jason Bricen of Penfield sent messages to 33-year-old Joseph Tomaski threatening to hurt him.

A harassment charge is pending against Bricen. Police are continuing their investigation.

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Several Crashes Reported

Minor injuries were reported after a three-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon near Tack’s Inn.

Police say 51-year-old Alice Valenti of Austin was at the intersection of routes 219 and 59 when she didn’t yield the right-of-way to 46-year-old Diana Rankin of Mount Jewett and the cars collided. The impact caused Rankin’s car to cross lanes, where it was hit by a vehicle driven by Fred Angell of Bradford.

Rankin suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Bradford Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Valenti was cited for not stopping at a stop sign.


A Hinsdale woman was charged after a one-vehicle crash Saturday in Lafayette Township.

Police say 32-year-old Jody Kenjocketty was traveling north on Route 219 when she lost control of her vehicle and drove off the road. The vehicle came to rest in a ditch.

Kenjocketty and her three unnamed passengers suffered minor injuries and were taken to BRMC.

Kenjocketty was cited for driving too fast for conditions.


An Emporium man was hurt in a motorcycle crash Thursday on Route 120 in Portage Township, Cameron County.

Police say 21-year-old Jacob Brown was going down a hill when his bike went off the road, traveled about 45 feet and hit the ground.

Brown suffered minor injuries and was issued a traffic citation.


Charges are pending following a crash on Route 120 in Shippen Township, Cameron County.

Police say 37-year-old Tim Vaughn Jr. of Eldred was traveling east when his car left the road, hit a guide rail. He left the scene, but was found at a Fuel-On store in Emporium. Police say he was under the influence.

Vaughn was issued a traffic citation.


A Sheffield woman had to be flown to UPMC Hamot after a one-car crash in Forest County.

In a report released Sunday, state police say at 3 a.m. on July 18 43-year-old Amy Markey was traveling south on Route 66 when her car drifted off the side of the road and then down an embankment, where it hit a large tree and some shrubbery.

Markey was first taken by ambulance to Clarion Hospital, but was later taken by Life Flight to Erie for treatment of moderate injuries. She was not charged.

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