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Friday, October 3, 2014

For Mental Health, Hope is the Message

Hope will be the message from a mental health professional – and former state hospital patient – who will be speaking in Bradford next week.

Gina Calhoun is the national director of Wellness and Recovery Education at the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and she says she’s going to try to be a stigma-buster during her talk.

She says even some mental health workers need to abandon their way of thinking about people with mental illnesses.

“We don’t know how far people are going to go. We don’t have a crystal ball, so our job is not to categorize those who are going to make it and those who are not,” she said. “Our job is to believe all people can learn and grow, and all people can be active community citizens.”

Calhoun will be speaking at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Harriet B. Wick Chapel at Pitt-Bradford as part of a program presented by Rays of Hope. It’s free and open to the public.

You can hear my conversation with Gina by going to WESB.com/listen, going to the "Local Programs" tab and scrolling down to "LiveLine 10-03-14 Gina Calhoun Rays of Hope."

Copeland Center photo

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Sexual Assault in Cameron County

Police in Cameron County are investigating a report of sexual contact between a man and a child.

They say the aggravated indecent assaults happened at a season residence in Shippen Township on various dates between 2009 and 2011.

Police did not release the name of suspect, although their news release says he is a “known adult male.”

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Couple Picked Up for Having Crack Cocaine

A couple from Buffalo is facing charges in Cattaraugus County after drugs were found in their vehicle during a traffic stop last night in Salamanca.

27-year-old Otis Williams Jr. and 24-year-old Brittany Copeland are each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force charged them after a small amount of crack cocaine was found in their vehicle.

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Jeep Hits House, Tree

A Jeep hit a house, a parked car and a tree last night near Kane.

Police say 31-year-old Brent Haines of Kane was on Route 6 at about 9:45 p.m. when his Jeep went off the road and hit the tree, the car, the house and a carport.

He was treated for minor injuries and charged with not staying in his lane.

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Bradford Y Gets Grant for After-School Programs

HARRISBURG – The Bradford Family YMCA has been awarded a $386,429 grant for after-school programs for students in the Bradford Area School District, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) announced today.

The three-year grant was awarded by the state Department of Education through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program. It is a three-year grant.

“This is another great example of what can be accomplished when people and organizations work together,” Causer said. “I commend and congratulate the leaders at the Y and the school district for taking the initiative to offer programs that will better prepare our students and ensure their academic success.”

More than $23 million was awarded to 64 school districts and community-based organizations in 29 counties across the state. The funding supports educational resources to help increase student academic achievement.

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Kane Man Pleads in Two Cases

One of the men who broke into a gatehouse at the Kiasutha Campground over 4th of July weekend has pleaded guilty to that crime, and another, in McKean County Court.

18-year-old Taylor Dyne of Kane and his co-defendant broke a window to get into the campground gatehouse, where they stole several items, which were later recovered at a fire pit the men used. In a separate incident in February, Dyne went to a Kane home where he was not wanted, pushed a man into the garage, punched him and kicked him.

Dyne is scheduled for sentencing on October 30.

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Stabbing-Related Charges Withdrawn

Charges related to a stabbing against a Bradford woman have been withdrawn, but she will spend some time in McKean County Jail for tampering with evidence.

35-year-old Cristy Duane Curtis has already spent 24 days in jail, and could be there for up to 24 more. She has also been sentenced to a year-and-a-half of probation for hiding a knife after a stabbing on Rockland Avenue last spring.

After the fight between four people she hid the bloody knife in a bush near her Fisher Court home.

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Man Charged for June Motorcycle Crash

A motorcycle crash that critically injured an Olean man has led to charges of vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated.

Police say 36-year-old Scott Matya crashed the bike on the afternoon of June 17 on Route 16 near Godfrey Hollow. He was thrown from the motorcycle, suffered severe head trauma and was sent to ECMC in Buffalo for treatment.

His passenger, 22-year-old Salena Hare of Randolph suffered non-threatening internal injuries and was also treated at ECMC.

He is being held in Cattaraugus County Jail on cash bail.

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Elk County Mailbox Blown Up

A mailbox was blown up last night in Elk County.

State police say someone detonated an explosive device in a mailbox on Mefferts Run Road in Jones Township at about 7 p.m.

Anyone with information on this incident should contact Ridgway-based state police.

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Port Allegany Singers to Perform at Carnegie Hall

The Port Allegany High School Chamber Singers have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall.

They will be singing during the 9th Annual Performing Arts Educators Invitational in New York on January 17.

The concert will feature invited choirs in representative performances as well as a combined finale under the direction of Dr. Peggy Dettwiler of Mansfield University.

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United Way at 60 Percent of Goal

Yesterday we told you on the air that the United Way of the Bradford Area was at 53 percent of its campaign goal. Well, that news is outdated already.

Bradford Area School District, Zippo Manufacturing Co., American Refining Group Inc. and Northwest Savings Bank have so far been the champions of the United Way of the Bradford Area’s latest campaign.

Officials announced Friday that, just more than a month into its 2014 Be a Champion campaign, they have already raised 60 percent of the $345,000 goal. School district staff members increased their contributions by nearly 50 percent, while both Zippo and ARG also recorded significant increases in their employee campaigns.

The campaign has been structured differently this year under the leadership of co-chairs Lisa Minich and Jeannine Schoenecker, who have stressed the importance of having plenty of volunteers and making more-personal appeals.

“Our goal with this year’s campaign was to re-energize the volunteer base and bring back the structure and organization of earlier campaigns,” Minich said. “We couldn’t be happier with how the volunteers have embraced our philosophy of raising awareness, leading by example and making a personal ask.

“The result has been overwhelmingly positive,” Minich continued, “but our work isn’t done. The increased goal, although aggressive, was done out of necessity. We urge anyone who hasn’t made a pledge to do so now. The need is clear; please join us by making an investment in the Bradford community.”

United Way of the Bradford Area Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis added, “We are so pleased to see our contributors increasing their gifts to make reaching the increased overall goal a little easier. We have also seen a number of new contributors this year, which is always an achievement.”

United Way staff and agency representatives have been busy visiting local workplaces to make presentations regarding how the annual appeal impacts the community.

“We are so appreciative of local companies that support United Way not only through their donations, but also with time given to us for employee presentations,” Davis said.

The business division will hold its annual Business Blitz on Oct. 10. WESB's Dan Griffin will be broadcasting live from the United Way office from 10 a.m. to noon. Incorporated this year is the revival of the Soup Lunch, featuring four kinds of homemade soups and desserts available for pickup or delivery.

More information regarding the 2014 campaign can be found on the United Way’s website, www.uwbanews.org.

Pat Ryan, Director of Operations and Margie Kibby of Futures post the status update on the United Way of the Bradford Area's campaign thermometer Friday. Ryan and Kibby, along with campaign co-chair Lisa Minich, were celebrating the announcement that 60% of the $345,000 goal has been raised to-date.
Photo courtesy of UWBA

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

City of Bradford Police Log for 10/02/14

City of Bradford Police are investigating a rape that was reported Thursday afternoon on East Main Street. (No further information is available yet.) Officers were also called to a domestic incident on Congress Street a disturbance on South Center Street and disorderly conduct on Mill Street. They also checked out suspicious activity on West Washington Street.

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Screenwriter , Filmmaker to Visit Pitt-Bradford

Sam Zalutsky, screenwriter and filmmaker, will visit the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford next week to talk about his work, which includes short films, web series and the psychological horror film “You Belong to Me.”

Zalutsky will speak at noon Oct. 9 in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. His presentation is part of the Spectrum Series that is free and open to the public.

During his presentation Zalutsky will showcase some of his works including video clips, art pieces and writing examples.

Zalutsky has screened films at the Palm Springs International Film Festival as well as 15 LGBT festivals on four continents, and his previous short films “Silver Bell” and “Smear” screened at various film festivals worldwide.

In addition, he is also the creator, director and producer of the comedy web-series “The Go-Getters,” which can be viewed online at thegogetters.net.

“You Belong to Me, ” his first feature film, was shortlisted for the Independent Spirit Award’s “someone to watch award,” and can be viewed on both Netflix and Amazon.com.

Zalutsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art from Yale University and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. He has previously taught at Bennington College, NYU’s Tisch School of Art, the New York Film Academy and Tec de Monterey in Queretaro, Mexico. He currently teaches screenwriting at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.

For more information about Zalutsky and to see examples of his work, visit sazamproductions.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @zalutsky.

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One Jailed, One Hospitalized After Stabbing

An early morning stabbing has landed one man in jail and another person in the hospital.

Police say 58-year-old Robert Stanek of Wellsville stabbed the other person at least five times at around 2:30 this morning. He is charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He is in Allegany County Jail on $20,000 bail.

Police say the victim is in stable condition at Jones Memorial Hospital. They are continuing their investigation.

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Ruptured Gas Line Causes Fire, Power Outage

A contractor hit and ruptured a natural gas line in Bemus Point this morning, igniting the line, sending flames shooting into the air, damaging utility poles and leaving parts of the village without power.

Sheriff’s deputies say a vehicle was destroyed but no homes were damaged and no people were hurt. The fire started at about 8:45 a.m. and last for about 45 minutes.

About 200 people were without power at one point. Most of it was restored at about 4 p.m.

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Scarnati: Efforts to Combat Drug Addiction
Continue in the Pennsylvania Legislature

HARRISBURG – Legislation to further address substance abuse problems within communities across Pennsylvania will soon be introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati, who circulated a co-sponsorship memo today, explained that he intends to introduce legislation to provide for better utilization of FDA-approved medications for the prevention of relapse for individuals with an opioid dependence.

“Unfortunately the drug epidemic is becoming more widespread in all parts of Pennsylvania, particularly in our rural areas of the state,” Scarnati said. “We must make sure that we are doing all that we can to combat this growing problem and protect our communities.”

According to Scarnati, his legislation will be a continuation of efforts to prevent and treat drug abuse. Currently, Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation behind California and Illinois for heroin use, the most commonly cited drug among drug treatment admissions in Pennsylvania.

“The Center for Rural Pennsylvania recently released a report summarizing the findings of four statewide hearings held to examine the growing numbers of heroin and opioid related deaths and arrests across Pennsylvania,” Scarnati said. “Senator Yaw who serves as Chairman of the Board for the Center has done an outstanding job bringing this issue to light. The hearings have made it clear that education, availability of treatment and providing law enforcement with needed resources will help eradicate heroin from our communities.”

Scarnati also emphasized that earlier this week, Act 139 by Senator Pileggi, was signed into law, to provide Good Samaritan protections from prosecution for lower-level drug violations for someone who helps an overdose victim. In addition the legislation, supported by Scarnati, allows for greater availability of the drug naloxone which has proven extremely successful in saving the lives of those who overdose from opioids.

“Recent passage of Act 139 of 2014 was a tremendous accomplishment to help prevent heroin related deaths,” Scarnati said. “However, we must continue to fight to stop all types of opioid drug abuse across our Commonwealth. Individuals who have a drug problem very clearly need treatment.”

Scarnati explained that his legislation will also help provide education and training to law enforcement officials regarding non-narcotic, non-addictive FDA approved medications for the treatment of opioid dependence, ensure access to these medications and require a multiple county jail re-entry project utilizing effective comprehensive treatment, case management and non-narcotic medication.

“This Fall and in the upcoming legislative session I look forward to engaging in discussions with my colleagues in the legislature and experts in the drug prevention field as we work together to try to save lives.”

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

Bradford Senior Center Earns Grant

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today announced the Greater Bradford Senior Activity Center was awarded a $28,375 grant through the state Department of Aging’s Senior Community Center Grants Program.

“The Bradford Senior Center provides a great service to the senior citizens in our community by offering meals, activities and the opportunity to socialize with their peers,” Causer said. “I was pleased to support the center’s grant request and encourage more area seniors to take advantage of this service.”

The grant funds will be used for a new furnace and air conditioning system, as well as new carpeting.

In Elk County, the Jones Township Senior Center will receive $44,000 for capital improvements and the Bennetts Valley Senior Center will receive $3,700 for computer upgrades and a sound system.

Grants totaling $2 million were awarded to 67 senior centers statewide. The grants, which are supported by state lottery funds, will be used to modernize, encourage technology improvements, expand innovative programming and better meet the needs of current and future participants.

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Seneca Nation to Demolish Erie Rail Depot

The Seneca Nation of Indians has confirmed it will be demolishing the fire-ravaged former Erie Rail Depot in Salamanca by the end of the year.

The building is on 3.1 acres of Seneca land between Atlantic Street and the railroad tracks.

A 14-year-old Salamanca boy set the building on fire in late July. He is going through the Cattaraugus County Family Court system.

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Illegal Seller of Guns Sentenced in Federal Court

A Bradford man who illegally sold guns to a Buffalo criminal won’t spend any more time in jail, but he will be on parole for two years.

49-year-old Robert Reed was one of several Bradford residents who bought guns for convicted felon Juan Lopez in exchange for cocaine and money.

The US Attorney’s Office says Lopez took Reed and the others to stores and told them which guns to buy for him. He then took the guns to Buffalo where he used them in drug deals and other crimes.

Six of Reed’s co-defendants have already been sentenced. Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Buffalo on November 5.

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Alleged Child Pornographer Hearing Re-Scheduled

A hearing for the accused child pornographer who was picked up in Bradford by the state attorney general’s office last week has been moved to later this month.

36-year-old Steven Hurd was scheduled to be in McKean County Central Court this morning, but his hearing date has been moved to October 22.

Court papers say Hurd had dozens of sexually graphic images of children on his computer, some of pre-pubescent girls with their genitals exposed. Special Agent Matthew Zahm of the Computer Forensics Unit removed 42 images from Hurd’s computer but noted that was just a sampling of what was there.

Hurd remains in McKean County Jail.

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Accused Uni-Mart Robber Waives Hearing;
Alleged Accomplice Hearing Moved to Next Week

The man charged with trying to rob the Chestnut Street Uni-Mart last week waived his preliminary hearing, but his co-defendant’s hearing has been moved to next week.

54-year-old James Munson of Bradford went into the store at around 1:40 last Wednesday morning and tried to get the clerk to give him money from the cash register. When she wouldn’t, he left. Munson remains in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail.

35-year-old Jennifer Tessena, also of Bradford is accused of going into the store before Munson did to scope it out. She turned herself in later that day, and also identified Munson. She remains jailed on $10,000 bail.

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

Gerace: Beware of New Online Scam

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Author Returns to Route 6

You may remember a few years ago that a man walked along Route 6 from Cape Cod to Long Beach California.

Well, Joe Hurley is making another trip another the historic highway, and this time he’ll be stopping at libraries along the way. Among the places he’ll be stopping are Bradford, Smethport and Port Allegany in McKean County and Coudersport and Galeton in Potter County.

We’ll be talking with Hurley on an upcoming LiveLine about his trek, and the book he wrote following his last journey – “Ten Million Steps on Route 6.”

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Cookbook Sales to Help Pet Rescue Program

Try one of the 650 tasty dessert recipes printed in the “DELICIOUS DESSERTS COOKBOOK” published by Cole Memorial’s rehabilitation services department. The 438-page cookbooks are available for $20 each to benefit the Teacher’s Pet Rescue program in Potter County.

When the rehab services team decided on a community charity project, they compiled all their favorite recipes and published a cookbook to support Teacher’s Pet Rescue. The rescue center is a non-profit, volunteer-operated organization that is challenged by the many financial burdens required for the care of lost or abused dogs. Adoption opportunities are coordinated once the dogs are ready for a new family.

To purchase a cookbook, stop by the Falling Leaves Festival tables located near the Coudersport Ambulance Hall on Saturday, October 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or the Courthouse Square, all day, Friday and Saturday. Orders are also being accepted by calling Kathy at 814-558-4728, Aleisha at 814-558-2332 or emailing delicious.desserts.cookbook@gmail.com.

For more information about Teacher’s Pet Rescue, call 814-274-0383 or email blackberrylane2002@yahoo.com.

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