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Friday, September 5, 2014

Line Painting Next Week on I-80

PennDOT will start line-painting operations next week in Clearfield County.

On Monday they will be painting lines in both the eastbound and westbound lanes from mile marker 120 in Clearfield County to mile marker 139 in Centre County. On Tuesday, they plan to paint from mile marker 123 in Woodland to mile marker 96 in DuBois.

Signs and flashing lights mounted on the back of the moving equipment will warn motorists of the painting operation. PennDOT says motorists should stay eight to 10 car lengths behind the painting equipment to avoid running over wet paint. They say running over wet lines is the only way to get paint on your vehicle.

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

Man Who Burned Infant Gets More Prison Time

The man found guilty of letting his infant get burned by hot water will spend an additional 18 months to four years in state prison, on top of the seven to 20 years he was sentenced to last month for starting four fires in Bradford last winter.

22-year-old Harvey Rose put a container of hot water next to his 11-day-old son before giving him a bath. Later, the babysitter discovered the baby’s hands were burned.

The infant had to be treated at a Buffalo hospital.

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

Postmaster Sisters Get Probation

Two sisters who stole from two different Chautauqua County post offices will spend the next two years on probation.

35-year-old Amanda Elliott of Ellington and 30-year-old Tamara Elliott of Falconer were also ordered to pay back thousands of dollars when they were sentenced in federal court.

Amanda was postmaster in Lily Dale from December of 2012 to September of last year. She was order to pay back nearly $5,600. Tamara, who was postmaster in Ellington, was ordered to pay back more than $11,000. She was also sentenced to three months of home confinement.

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

Inmate Fight at FCI-McKean

A fight between several inmates at FCI-McKean this morning sent one of them to the hospital, but with injuries that were not as serious as originally reported.

Vicky Moser tells WESB five inmates got into a fight, and one had to be taken outside the facility for treatment. He is now back in the prison. The other four suffered only minor injuries.

Initial police radio reports said a man had been stabbed three times in the back and was in critical condition. A landing zone for a medical helicopter had been set up at Bradford Regional Airport, but he was taken to BRMC.

Moser says an investigation is ongoing, but at no time was there any danger to the public.

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

Bradford Nurse Practitioner Facing Charges

A Bradford nurse practitioner is charged with illegally prescribing and delivering painkillers.

The state attorney general’s office has filed charges against 53-year-old Darlene Venezia-Skaggs, who had worked for Medicor Associates, for leaving a prescription pad in the office after she was terminated so four of her patients could get refills for Oxycodone, and one for methadone.

She also allegedly wrote two prescriptions herself for another patient after being terminated because, according to court papers, she said he legitimately needed the drugs. Court papers say she wrote the prescriptions at her home and met the man somewhere else, where she gave them to him.

In the other five cases, she told agent Heather Dunkle she was concerned that her patients would not get the drugs after she was terminated because Dr. Steven Hermann would rarely write prescriptions for controlled substances.

Hermann told Dunkle he had no idea Venezia-Skaggs was writing prescriptions after her termination date, or that she left prescriptions for others to fill out. He said he neither gave her permission, nor authorized her, to do so.

She is free on unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fire Still Under Investigation

UPDATE (Friday morning): The fire is being considered suspicious, and Agosti says they are still investigating.

City Fire Department Assistant Chief Rich Zmuda tells WESB that firefighters and four state police fire marshals -- three from PA and one from NY -- left the scene of the South Avenue fire at about 9 p.m. The cause is still under investigation and he expects PSP Cpl. Greg Agosti to issue a news release either later tonight or tomorrow. The New York fire marshal was called in because he has a fire-investigating dog whose services were needed.

More than 40 firefighters from the city, Bradford Township and Derrick City battled the blaze at 103 South Avenue, starting at about 7:45 a.m. Neighbors heard an explosion shortly before that. The fire spread to 105 South Avenue, where it melted the siding and did other damage.

No one was hurt.

We'll pass along more information when we get it.

Shinglehouse Man Jailed in Allegany County

A Shinglehouse man is facing drug and other charges following a domestic dispute in the Town of Andover last month.

State Police charged 32-year-old Jared Clark with harassment, criminal mischief, unlawful possession of marijuana and possession of a hypodermic needle.

He was sent to Allegany County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 9/4/14

Besides the assault on Bushnell Street this morning, City of Bradford Police dealt with reports of a burglary on Merrow Avenue and a theft on Brennan Street. They investigated a motor vehicle accident on Main Street, and were called to disturbances on Chautauqua Place as well as York and High streets. Officers also assisted with traffic control and other duties related to the fire on South Avenue.

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

Teen Accused of Stealing Car from Dealer's Lot

A 17-year-old boy is accused of stealing a car from a car dealer’s lot in Jamestown.

State police say they stopped a car in the city at 2 o’clock this morning because it didn’t have headlights on. When the teenager couldn’t tell them who owned the car, they did some investigating and learned the car been stolen. Also, there was only one plate on the car. It was stolen, too.

The boy was scheduled to appear in City of Jamestown Court and then released to the custody of his father.

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

Woman Jailed for Trying to Assault a Cop

A woman who stole a phone to get pornographic images of herself off of it is now in jail for trying to assault a police officer.

Police say they went to Bushnell Street this morning to speak with 47-year-old Nora Buterbaugh, who said she took a man’s phone because he had the images and she wanted to delete them. She called police because she wanted to return the phone to its owner.

But when police told Buterbaugh she may be charged with theft she screamed obscenities and, as the police officer was leaving, threw a large heavy handbag at him. When she was being taken into custody for that she screamed louder, tried to punch the officer and continued to fight and struggle, even after being told repeatedly to stop.

Buterbaugh is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

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

Joan Rivers Dies at Age 81

Comedian Joan Rivers has died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, according to her daughter, Melissa Rivers.

She was 81.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a prepared statement. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends."

Watch Lester Holt's report here.

Two House Fires on South Avenue

The house a convicted felon was accused of trying to have burned downed two years ago was destroyed by fire this morning, and the house next door was heavily damaged as well.

The blaze at 103 South Avenue was reported at about 7:50 a.m. after several neighbors heard an explosion. The house is owned by Tracy Panighetti and 56-year-old Edward Panighetti Sr., who was sentenced last year to six to 16 years in state prison for a number of convictions. Two years ago he was charged with several arson-related offenses, but all but one of those was dismissed. One of the charges that was dismissed dealt with Panighetti allegedly hiring someone to set a fire at 103 South Avenue.

As for today’s fire, people on Elm Street said they heard an explosion and thought someone in the Congress Street area had dropped a piece of heavy equipment, but then went outside and realized it was a fire. He said by the time he got to the corner of Elm and South Avenue flames were already shooting through the roof and he estimated that some of them were 10 feet in the air.

A Tibbetts Avenue resident said the first explosion shook his home, and his neighbors’.

No one was living at 103. We don't have information yet on who lives at 105.

The fire at 103 South Avenue melted the siding on 105 South Avenue and also sparked a fire in the attic of that house. We don’t have reports of any injuries.

We’ll have more information when it becomes available, but that may not be for several more hours.

Besides City of Bradford firefighters, Bradford Township and Derrick City are on the scene. Rew is on standby. Lewis Run and Corydon townships are covering Bradford; Lafayette Township is covering Lewis Run.

Bradford City Police and DPW personnel are on the scene as well.

City firefighters have also received several unrelated EMS calls while battling the fires.

Note: The background information is just that: Background information on the history of the house and its owner, which is ironic.

Photos by (from top to bottom) Jacquie Schwindler, Anne Holliday (WESB), Kim Wright, Anne Holliday (WESB)

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Two Jailed for Running Meth Lab

Two men are in jail without bail for running a meth lab in Olean.

The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says 44-year-old Richard Wall and 37-year-old Carey Peden were operating the lab in a house on Riverside Drive, which the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force raided late Tuesday afternoon.

They are each charged with manufacturing meth. Peden is also charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, resisting arrest and false personation.

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

Woman Sentenced on Drug Charges

A woman who sold drugs in Salamanca a year ago will spend the next five years on probation.

35-year-old April Kuhn of Salamanca was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Her two co-defendants from Buffalo have not been sentenced yet in Cattaraugus County Court.

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

Accused Trespasser Sent to Jail

A man accused of trespassing in an apartment house is now housed in McKean County Jail.

Police say they saw someone in the High Rise parking lot early Saturday morning who looked as if he may be hiding, and soon that person ran away, according to court papers. As police were looking for him on foot on Chautauqua Place they heard a man yell to someone else to get out of his home. Police soon learned 28-year-old Adam Quigley was the trespasser, was drunk and had tried get into another apartment in the building.

Quigley is charged with criminal trespass, flight to avoid apprehension, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

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

Man Admits to Sexual Contact With Child

A 31-year-old man has admitted to having sexual contact with a child.

John Cutler of Machias had sexual contact with a child younger than 15 between 2010 and 2012 in the Town of Machias.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 3 in Cattaraugus County Court.

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

Parole Absconder Said He'd Rather Be in Jail

A man who tried to hide from area police officers because he said he’d rather be in jail than the state parole program he was in, got his wish. For now, anyway.

55-year-old John Crocker got into an argument with his daughter at about 6:30 last night on Seaward Avenue near 6V Sales and Service. Police were called to the scene, but by the time they got there Crocker had gotten out of the car and was running toward the wood line near Route 219, according to court papers.

Bradford City Assistant Police Chief Mike Ward had officers from Bradford, Foster and Bradford townships set up a perimeter, while others searched the wooded area, which is about 50 yards by 100 yards. About half an hour after the original call, Bradford Township Police Officer Jeff Shade found Crocker lying on the ground trying to hide, and took him into custody.

Police say he was slurring his speech and smelled strongly of alcohol when he told them he absconded from parole because he couldn’t stand the program he was in, and would rather be in jail.

Court papers say the argument between Crocker and his daughter started when she told him she was going to take him back to Erie so he could turn himself in.

In 2012, in Potter County, he was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison on drug charges. The last case in McKean County was in 2010, when he was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months to 5 years in prison, also on drug charges.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 11.

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

Cops: 9-Year-Old Behind Shooting Hoax

A 9-year-old is behind the hoax about a school shooting in St. Marys Tuesday afternoon.

St. Marys City Police and State police determined that the child, from Elk County, was on a school bus when the calls were made. Police say they are convinced that the child was not aware of the consequences of his or her actions.

Several calls were made to the Elk County 911 Center at just after 3 p.m. saying a shooting had taken place at the high school. Emergency responders from all over Elk County, as well as McKean, Jefferson and Cameron counties raced to the scene. Students who were at the school for after school activities were taken to the elementary school.

Police say the child’s age prohibits criminal prosecution so authorities are reviewing other methods to address the problem.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cedar Point's Mantis to Shut Down

SANDUSKY, Ohio – It’s the “last stand” for one of Cedar Point’s steel scream machines. Earlier today, the park announced that the Mantis roller coaster will soon give its final rides.

Mantis was billed as the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up roller coaster in the world when it opened on May 11, 1996. Featuring trains that secure guests in a standing position, Mantis provides its passengers with a unique ride experience. Mantis was built by the same legendary manufacturers that brought guests the Raptor and GateKeeper roller coasters – Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), Monthey, Switzerland. In its 18-year history, Mantis has given more than 22 million thrilling rides.

“It’s time to say goodbye to one of the park’s coasters, and it’s certainly been a different kind of ride for our guests,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “But we’re extremely excited about what the future holds here at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World™.”

Guests still have time to give Mantis a “standing ovation” before it shuts down permanently on Sunday, October 19 at 8 p.m. Additional plans for the 2015 season will be announced at a later date.

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

Bona Students 'Goin' Bald for Bucks'

The officers of St. Bonaventure University’s sophomore class are Goin’ Bald for a good cause and encouraging on and off campus communities alike to join them.

The class of 2017 will participate in the Goin’ Bald for Bucks campaign in partnership with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Teens Living with Cancer organization from 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on campus. All proceeds from the event will accelerate the start of new research needed to save lives and also will support programs run by the Teens Living with Cancer organization in Rochester.

“We all know someone directly or indirectly who has lost their battle with cancer, so what a better way for our campus to come together in unity so support such a valuable cause,” said sophomore class president James “JW” Cook, a political science major from Brockport.

He stressed that participants are not required to shave their head and there are several ways to get involved:

(1) Join the SBU Team and ask for donations on your behalf: bit.ly/1pmSvlv.
(2) Make a general team donation
(3) Attend the event on October 18 and receive a $10 haircut from a professional barber or hairdresser or shave your head for free. Reserve your spot in a chair here: bit.ly/1C7e11N
(4) Name your price and offer to go bald in honor of those battling cancer! Several students, faculty and staff have accepted this challenge, and organizers hope to spread the message even more!
(5) Join the event on Facebook for the latest information regarding the event and invite friends/colleagues to support the cause: on.fb.me/1u1fdhM.

Cook and his fellow class officers, David Bryant, vice president, a journalism and mass communication major from Utica; Jessica Laursen, secretary, a journalism and mass communication major from Caledonia; and Lawrence Hayes, treasurer, a business major from Perry, hope to empower 100 people to join the SBU team.

The Goin’ Bald for Bucks fundraiser began in Western New York when a cancer patient’s brother vowed to keep his head shaved until his sister’s hair grew back. More than 10 years after its conception, more than $2.4 million has been raised through Goin’ Bald for Bucks, with 72 and counting schools and organizations across New York state participating.

For more information, visit any of the event webpages or contact Cook at cookjw13@bonaventure.edu.

Arts Offerings from Classics to the Cutting Edge
Available Through Pitt-Bradford's Spectrum Series

The fall semester of the Spectrum Series at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will bring an edgy film writer, a novelist, a sculptor and more to the university and the community.

Events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted. For more information or tickets, contact the Bromeley Family Theater box office at 814-362-5113 or showtix@pitt.edu.

Spectrum, the longest running of the university’s three arts series, will open its theater season Sept. 19 with a rollicking look at Shakespeare, the first in a three-part celebration of the Bard of Avon’s 450th birthday. Tickets for all of the stage productions are $6 for the public and $2 for all students.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company will create a Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Each of the players has brushed up on his “thees” and “thous” for an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of the great playwright.

Improvised Shakespeare has been named Chicago’s best improv group by both the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Examiner, has been honored by the Chicago Improv Foundation and has received a New York Nightlife Award for “Best Comedic Performance by a Group.” For more information, visit improvisedshakespeare.com. Due to its improvised nature, this show may contain some adult content.

The Shakespeare 450 celebration will continue with a Division of Communication and the Arts presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Dr. Kevin Ewert, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-22 and 2 p.m. Nov. 23 in the Studio Theater in Blaisdell Hall. This night in the woods is a riotous anarchy of multiple plots: impatient and interchangeable lovers, vengeful but bumbling fairies, and a group of rude manual laborers. Tickets are $6 for the public and $2 for all students.

The Spectrum writers’ series begins with screenwriter and filmmaker Sam Zalutsky at noon Oct. 9 in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Zalutsky is a creator, director and producer for the comedy web series “The Go-Getters.” For his first feature, the psychological horror film “You Belong to Me,” he was shortlisted for the Independent Spirit Award’s Someone to Watch Award. For more information, visit sazamproductions.com.

Novelist Karen Gettert Shoemaker will visit at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Mukaiyama University Room. She has published stories in Prairie Schooner, the London Independent, the South Dakota Review, Fugue, Kalliope and other literary magazines. Her stories and poems have been anthologized in “A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers,” “Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace,” “An Untidy Season,” and “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.” For more information, visit her website, www.karenshoemaker.com.

The first Spectrum visual artist will be Ron Geibel, whose exhibition “Picture Perfect” will be in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall from Nov. 7 through Dec. 5. A gallery talk and reception will be held at noon Nov. 7 in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby of Blaisdell Hall. Influenced by the notion of the upper middle-class American family, ceramic artist Geibel investigates and explores the intersections of the public and private spheres. For more information, visit rongeibel.com.

Visitors can enjoy both Geibel’s show and the music of chamber music ensemble Gibbs and Main at noon Nov. 13 in the KOA Lobby. Gibbs and Main is five professional musicians dedicated to performing classical masterpieces side by side with Latin, pop and contemporary repertoire. The ensemble ventures well outside the traditional “chamber” of chamber music, bringing a passion of performance into schools, churches, libraries, bars, bistros and coffee shops. For more information, visit gibbsandmain.com.

Pitt-Bradford students in the Vocal Arts Ensemble, directed by John Liberatore, will present their first concert of the year, featuring holiday music, at noon Dec. 2 in the KOA Lobby. The group will also perform at noon April 14, 2015, in the KOA Lobby.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources at 814-362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu. Pitt-Bradford Arts is on Facebook and Instagram.

Pictured, members of the Improvised Shakespeare Company performs in an impromptu masterpiece in the style of the master.

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

Rep. Wants to Decriminalize 'Bootlegging'

People of a certain age may remember getting worried about bringing beer into Pennsylvania from New York because it was illegal to bring alcohol across state lines.

As crazy as it sounds, it's still against the law for Pennsylvania residents to buy alcohol outside of the state and then bring in. Police say they are worried about people who buy large amounts of alcohol out of state, then re-sell it through their bar or licensed establishment. That can lead to administrative law violations or criminal charges. Fines clock in at $25 for every container of wine and liquor and $10 per every container of beer.

But State Rep. John Taylor says he’s introducing legislation that would decriminalize the practice of buying booze for personal consumption in New York, New Jersey, Ohio – or any other bordering state – and bringing into PA.

House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin says the bootlegging regulations are another instance in which Pennsylvania’s liquor laws are “out of whack with today’s world.”

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

Heroin, Cash Seized in Raid

125 does of heroin, a large amount of cash and other items were confiscated during a raid this morning by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

The raid at 7:25 a.m. led to the arrest of 26-year-old William Rogers of Jamestown for criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance, among other offenses.

As a result of this investigation additional information was obtained and the investigation into heroin trafficking in the city will continue.

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

Prank Call Leads to School Evacuation

The St. Marys school district superintendent sent 6 News this statement regarding the police presence at St. Marys Area High School this afternoon:

"There were unconfirmed reports that shots were fired at the high school. It is believed this is a prank. However all precautions are being taken. All students and staff are safe. Emergency personnel are checking all buildings and grounds."


Thank you, Karen Strugala!

State Police Trooper Bruce Morris, communications director, has since confirmed it was a hoax.

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

Toddlers Found Wandering on East Main Street;
House Filled with Rotten Food, Used Diapers

After her toddlers were found in the middle of East Main Street with full diapers, and her house was discovered in filthy condition, a Bradford woman was charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children.

29-year-old Rheannon Bryant is in McKean County Jail on $10,000 bail.

Police say on Monday afternoon they were told that the children were in the middle of street and, when they got to the scene, learned several people had been trying to find the parents for about half an hour. After taking the children to the police station, officers learned they had severe diaper burns on their buttocks and genitals.

Police and CYS then went to 144 East Avenue, where they could smell rotten food as soon as they got out of the vehicle. Inside the house, piles of food were in every room of the house to the point the floor was not visible, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office. Also, there were flies throughout the house and two piles of about 20 used diapers. Police also discovered that the children had been sleeping on couch cushions on the floor.

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