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Friday, October 10, 2014

Restaurateur, Businesswoman Dorothy Chirillo
Passes Away at Age 77

Dorothy J. Chirillo, 77, of 130 Kennedy Street, Bradford, passed away on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at UPMC Hamot, Erie surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on November 28, 1936, in Emporium, a daughter of the late Anthony and Mabel Striech Gennocro.

She was a graduate of the Cameron County High School, Emporium.

On June 28, 1958, she married Egidio D. “Gino” Chirillo who preceded her in death on January 11, 2001.

She was a member of the St. Bernard Catholic Church. She loved spending time with her family and she also enjoyed cooking.

Mrs. Chirillo and her husband were the former co-owners of the Colonial Hotel, Smethport. In Bradford they were the former co-owners of various restaurants including: The Brook Club, Togi’s Drive-in (which they started), Togi’s Old Barn, Dante’s at the Bradford Mall, Gino’s at the former Howard Johnsons, Gino’s Steakhouse and Gino’s at the DeSoto Motel.

She is survived by one son, Anthony Chirillo of Bradford; three daughters, Anna Marie (John Matthews) Chirillo, Gina Chirillo all of Bradford, Angela (Thomas) Shearon of New Kensington; three brothers, Jim (Dolly) Gennocro of Emporium, Mick (Jan) Gennocro of Tennessee, Sam (Paula Ellsworth) Gennocro of Duke Center; one sister, Margy Putt of Emporium; six grandchildren, Elizabeth Grohe, Andrew and Joseph Reap all of Bradford, Spenser and Parker Shearon of New Kensington and Michelle Chirillo of Georgia; five great-grandchildren, Steven Knowlton, Gabriella and Taylor Anderson all of Bradford, Jaelyn and KyRihanna Chirillo of Georgia; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband she was also preceded in death by one brother, Butch Gennocro and two sisters, Gloria Berry and Sharon Geci.

Visitation will be held on Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 and 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Mascho Funeral Home, Inc. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Bernard Catholic Church on Monday at 10:00 AM with the Rev. Raymond Gramata as celebrant. A Christian wake service will be held at the funeral home at 3:00 PM Sunday in the funeral home.

Committal services and entombment will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in her name can be made to the American Cancer Society, 95 Main St., Bradford, PA 16701.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Mascho Funeral Home, Inc.

Online Condolences can be expressed at www.maschofuneral.com.

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

Local Hospitals Following Ebola Protocol

Olean General Hospital (OGH) and Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC), member hospitals of Upper Allegheny Health System (UAHS), are following the protocols recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The potential for seeing an Ebola patient here in our region is very small, but our first obligation is to protect the public and make any and all preparations.

Since early August, all CDC information regarding Ebola has been shared with medical staff and Emergency Department staff, including online educational programs for clinical staff. Since the confirmation of the first Ebola patient in the United States on September 30, hospitals across the country, including OGH and BRMC, have been working closely with public health officials, including CDC, and have been providing important information to physicians and clinical staff.

UAHS recognizes that the health threat posed by Ebola commands media interest and public attention because the disease is life-threatening and there are currently no medical interventions (vaccines, medicines, etc.) to prevent or cure it. Public health officials have repeatedly stated, the threat-level of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is extremely low because Ebola is not as easily spread as colds or flu and the U.S. has public health and medical resources and infrastructure to identify, isolate, and contain it.

As part of preparedness at OGH and BRMC, unannounced internal drills have been conducted simulating the arrival of a suspected Ebola patient. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and Ebola kits have been obtained by both hospitals. These kits include a new Isolation precautions sign that lists standard, contact and droplet precautions for any Ebola patient.

Educational materials have been developed and made available to the Emergency Department and nursing staff. Since September 22, patients presenting in the Emergency Departments of both hospitals have been asked about any recent travel history as per a directive of the New York State Department of Health.

Signage has been placed in the Emergency Departments at OGH and BRMC and physician offices stating: Please advise us immediately: if you traveled in the past 21 days to Africa OR had direct contact with any blood or body fluids from a patient with confirmed or suspected Ebola.

Ebola information has been added to the websites (public) and intranet sites (employees) of OGH and BRMC, which includes information from the CDC.

A UAHS committee continues to monitor preparation and advise regarding further decisions. The committee includes medical staff, infection prevention personnel, clinical staff, registration, environmental services.

As with any potential public health threat UAHS will continue to work in close cooperation with public health agencies to offer calm, clear and consistent information to the public. We will continue to prepare responsibility for any potential public safety threat to our community.

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

Hunting Seasons Restored in Parts of Pike County

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has lifted the temporary prohibition on hunting and trapping within some portions of Pike County that previously were closed due to the ongoing search for a fugitive wanted in the shooting death of a state police trooper.

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough today amended the executive order he issued last week, providing for the immediate reopening of all hunting and trapping seasons in all of Lehman Township, and the eastern portions of Blooming Grove and Porter townships, all of which are in Pike County.

The amended order also reopens to public use most of the previously closed portion of State Game Lands 180 within Pike County. The State Game Lands 183 shooting range in Palmyra Township, Pike County, also has been reopened to public use.

Meanwhile, hunting and trapping remains closed within all of Greene Township, Pike County, as well as all of Price, Barrett and Paradise townships in Monroe County. Portions of State Game Lands 183 and 221 remain closed to the public, as does the western tip of State Game Lands 180.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti said state forest lands in the portions of Pike County noted by the Game Commission also will be reopened to hunters and other recreational users. State forest lands in the areas impacted by the Game Commission closure will remain off limits to forest visitors.

The amended executive order also creates special requirements for hunters within the previously closed areas in Pike County.

All hunters – including those taking part in the waterfowl or archery deer seasons – must wear a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material while moving. Waterfowl hunters may remove fluorescent orange material when settled into a stationary hunting position, but archery hunters must continue to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange, even while stationary.

The 250 square inches of fluorescent orange is a combined total of orange material that must be worn on the head, chest and back, and be visible from 360 degrees.

The areas of Pike and Monroe counties that are part of the area initially closed to hunting and trapping all are within Wildlife Management Unit 3D.

The area that has been reopened is most easily defined by existing roads. All of Lehman Township has been reopened to hunting and trapping, and so are the portions of Porter Township east of state Route 402.

In Blooming Grove Township, starting from its northern border of U.S. Route 6, portions east of state Route 739, south of U.S. Route 84 and east of State Route 402 are now open to hunting.

A map of the open and closed portions of these townships is available at the Game Commission’s website.

In the areas where the hunting and trapping seasons have been closed, the seasons will remain closed until the executive order is lifted, which will be announced by the Game Commission in a statewide news release that will be posted on the agency’s website at the time it is issued.

The closure was initiated after the Pennsylvania State Police advised last week that troopers who are part of the search for fugitive Eric Frein had uncovered explosive devices that apparently were left behind in wooded areas by the fugitive, and would pose an obvious danger to anyone who would encounter them.

The Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife Code authorizes the Game Commission to close any hunting or trapping season to assure the purposes of the code, including assuring the health and safety of the persons who hunt or take game and wildlife.

Today’s decision to reopen the seasons was made in consultation with Pennsylvania State Police.

Hough said the ongoing police investigation and search for Frein has provided no indication it is unsafe for hunting activity to resume in the previously closed area that was reopened today. Still, he urged hunters in the area to remain cautious and to report any suspicious activity to police.

“While the area that has been reopened is separate from the active search area, we want our hunters and trappers to be safe and alert, and if they see any activity that strikes them as suspicious, we need them to report it immediately,” Hough said.

Frein is wanted in the Sept. 12 ambush-shooting death of Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County. Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in the attack. The search for Frein has continued since, with the active search area located in Monroe County.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity or discovers possible evidence related to Frein or this investigation is urged to call the Pennsylvania State Police TIP Line at 1-866-326-7256.

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

Man Pleads Guilty to Punching Another Man,
Firing Shots Into His Pickup

A man who punched another man in the head and then fired a gun into his truck has pleaded guilty to assault and criminal mischief in McKean County Court.

40-year-old Damin Parris of Smethport punched the man after he had been joking around with Parris’ dog. When the man said he was going to leave, Parris yelled, and then fired two shots into the man’s truck. The man ran into the woods. Parris then walked toward a woman’s car and, when she asked him to give her the gun, he started to point it toward her. She grabbed it, drove away in her car and met state police in the parking lot of District Judge Bill Todd’s office.

Parris is scheduled for sentencing on October 30.

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

CASA of McKean County
Launches Fundraising Campaign

Representatives from CASA of McKean County have launched a fundraising campaign to raise money to provide much-needed stability and support for neglected and abused children in the county.
Officials with CASA of McKean County, which stands for court-appointed special advocates, hope to raise $150,000, which will be used for the next three years to operate the program. CASA of McKean County representatives will be sending letters and making personal contacts to raise the funds in the hopes of reaching their goal by the end of November.

While a CASA program is new to McKean County, it’s not new to other counties in Pennsylvania or other states in the nation. CASA programs are comprised of trained community volunteer members who are appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children during a dependency case.

Children in placement often experience significant and potentially disruptive changes. They may have multiple human service and child welfare professionals in their life, and experience transitions that add additional trauma. Recognizing that all children need stability, a CASA volunteer can help provide consistency and advocate for the best interests of the child.

“This program is desperately needed in our county,” said Bob Esch, CASA of McKean County board president. “As a society, we share a fundamental obligation to ensure that the basic rights and needs of every child are met. For many neglected and abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only consistent adult present in their lives, and that single volunteer can often be enough to break the cycle of violence and neglect.”

Last year in McKean County there were 915 reports of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. Currently there are 82 children whose parents or caretakers have struggled with managing their behaviors or, in extreme instances, have abused them. The goal is to provide those children with needed stability by either improving how parents and caretakers provide safe and adequate care, or to identify a permanent family who can provide that care. This is often a long and difficult task, and CASA can help navigate the way for children.

“Every child who cannot live safely at home deserves a CASA volunteer. This voice is needed for our most vulnerable children. They need a safe and stable environment in which to live.” Esch said. “These children need our help.”

One child who bobbled through the system was a girl named Danielle, who was 2 years old when she first entered the foster care system. She experienced 35 different placements, bouncing from home to home, until she was permanently adopted nine years later.

“Perhaps if Danielle had had a CASA volunteer, she might not have struggled with so many life disruptions and may have had improved outcomes.” Esch said.

Less time in foster care is one of several tangible advantages children experience when they have a CASA volunteer. According to the National CASA Association, children who have a CASA volunteer on average spend about eight fewer months in foster care. Additionally, those children are more likely to find a safe, permanent home; receive needed therapy, health care and education; and behavior better in school and pass all their courses.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact CASA of McKean County at 887-4020 or visit www.mckeancountypa.org/casa.aspx.

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

Scarnati Amendment Would Increase Penalties for
Impersonating a Doctor in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – Legislation that now includes an increase to penalties for impersonating a physician in Pennsylvania, was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati explained that House Bill 1357 was originally introduced to increase the penalties for impersonating public officials. Scarnati then offered an amendment to the bill to also increase violations for impersonating a physician.

“Impersonating a physician can have dire consequences for individuals who unknowingly place their healthcare in the hands of someone who is not properly trained,” Scarnati said. “My amendment was aimed at helping to protect those seeking medical advice and treatment.”

According to Scarnati, his amendment increased the offense from a second degree misdemeanor to a misdemeanor of the first degree. A measure to make this change was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Matt Baker.

“I commend my colleague in the House, Representative Matt Baker on his work to advance this protection measure,” Scarnati stated. “In 2011, a Philadelphia Grand Jury brought to light instances of physician impersonation while investigating the Abortion Clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. My hope is that with making these changes, we will decrease the likelihood that these crimes will recur.”

House Bill 1357 has been sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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

I-86 Reopening Ceremony Held This Morning.

UPDATE from our listeners/readers: I-86 eastbound (toward Bradford/Limestone) is open, but westbound (to Salamanca) is still closed.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder, Sr. today announced the re-opening of Interstate 86, the Southern Tier Expressway, between Exits 20 and 23 on the Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation in Cattaraugus County. Interstate 86 had been closed to traffic since early May as part of a $21 million reconstruction project.

“Interstate 86 reopens today a more resilient roadway that will better serve residents and facilitate commercial activity in the Southern Tier," Governor Cuomo said. “This administration is committed to improving the quality of life for New Yorkers, and making smart investments in our infrastructure is absolutely critical.”

The Interstate 86 improvement project included the major rehabilitation of approximately seven miles of road surface between Exit 20 and three miles west of Exit 23, and minor rehabilitation of eight highway bridges. The eastbound ramps from Interstate 86 to Exit 20 were reconstructed and realigned to provide more developable land, and the westbound ramps at Exit 20 and the ramps at Exit 21 were rehabilitated. In addition, enhanced snow fencing, new traffic signs and drainage and new guide rail was installed on Interstate 86.

Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder, Sr. said, “We’re pleased to join in the reopening of the Southern Tier Expressway to the public traveling through our Allegany Territory. The investment in these roadway improvements follows our significant investments in the area it serves, including Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, the Seneca Administrative Complex and several projects in the West End Commercial District. Combined, they provide a welcoming gateway to the attractions offered in the Southern Tier.”

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the Department continues to partner with the Seneca Nation and elected officials to improve the transportation infrastructure on the Interstate 86 corridor. This project has restored the ride-ability of the pavement and structural integrity of the bridges on the Sothern Tier Expressway, while providing a safer and more comfortable riding surface for its users.”

Interstate 86 was closed in both directions to facilitate highway and bridge reconstruction due to the physical constraints of the site and the proximity to the Allegheny River. Traffic was detoured on NY Route 417 but will now return to Interstate 86.

Congressman Tom Reed said, “The Expressway re-opened to the public with the assistance of both federal and state dollars. This is a prime example of working together to fund projects that can truly save lives while repairing our infrastructure to promote jobs in our area.”

Senator Catharine Young said, “It's a huge relief to finally have I-86 fixed and reopened. That stretch of roadway was treacherous because it had needed repairs for quite a while. By working together, an agreement finally was reached between the state and Seneca Nation, and the State Legislature appropriated the funds to move the project forward. The detour has been an inconvenience for many months, but the end result is fantastic. Travelers will be much safer now and traffic headaches have been cured.”

Assemblyman Joseph Giglio said, “The Southern Tier Expressway is a major transportation corridor vital to the residents and businesses of the Southern Tier and throughout the state and country. I'm truly pleased that the State, along with the Seneca Nation, has made the necessary and badly needed improvements to the highway. It is also important that we show our appreciation to those who were impacted by the I-86 detour during the last several months. Shutting down the Expressway and detouring all traffic allowed the reconstruction project to be completed in a safe, timely and cost efficient manner. I, along with many others, am thrilled to have the highway re-opened to motorists."

The project was one of several construction projects designed to improve the Interstate 86 corridor that has been completed over the last several years. The contractor on the project was Union Concrete and Construction Corporation of West Seneca, Erie County.

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

Man Jailed on Rape, Burglary Charges

A panic alarm in a Warren woman’s house helped police catch a man who is now charged with attempted rape.

They say the alarm went off at 3:30 Tuesday morning and, when they got to the woman’s house they heard her screaming and found 41-year-old Martin Chambers of Warren inside. Police say he had been lying in wait and forced his way into the back of the house.

Besides attempted rape he is charged with aggravated indecent assault, burglary and related offenses. He is in Warren County Jail on $100,000 bail.

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

Searching for Peeping (& Filming) Tom at ASP

State police are investigating an incident where a man videotaped a woman in a shower at Allegany State Park.

In an email to several media outlets, a woman says she was showering in a bathhouse in the Quaker Area of the state park early on the morning of September 21 when she looked up and saw a man in the stall next to her filming her.

Park police later told her they had a similar report from 2010, and that suspect matched the description she gave them.

The man is described as white, in his mid- to late 30's, 6' 2” tall and weighing 220 pounds. The suspect is believed to be driving a maroon/burgundy colored Dodge Intrepid with a yellow license plate.

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

Convicted Sex Offender Behind Bars Again

A level three sex offender is back behind bars after allegedly being too close to a school in Dunkirk Wednesday afternoon.

Police say 66-year-old Richard Conti was on a street corner watching students leave Dunkirk Middle School when there is a valid order of protection against him, saying he is not allowed within 150 feet of any school.

Back in 2002 he was convicted of sexually abusing three children – ages 5, 6 and 8 – in 2001.

He’s being held without bail.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Weekend Full of Fall Festivals, Colors


This weekend promises to be practically perfect for leaf peeping and all the other planned festivals and activities. To find out what's happening in the Twin Tiers go to: http://www.wesb.com/news/comcal/

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

Pitt-Bradford Professor Takes on
Bradford's L. Frank Baum Legend

Was L. Frank Baum, the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a Bradfordian? Did Bradford’s oil boom of the 1870s and ‘80s inspire Baum’s vivid imagination? Many people think so.

One Pitt-Bradford professor claims to have the answers and will share them in a presentation titled “Case Closed: L. Frank Baum in Bradford,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The event is sponsored by Pitt-Bradford’s Friends of Hanley Library and is free.

For decades, scores of Bradfordians have debated whether Baum lived and worked in their northwestern Pennsylvania town before he published his iconic work. Some speculate that he wrote for -- even founded – The Bradford Era.

But was Baum really in Bradford circa 1879, starting or writing for a newspaper, before he went on to produce America’s greatest fairy tale?

Tim Ziaukas, professor of public relations, claims to have tracked down the evidence. He published his results this summer in Western Pennsylvania History in an article titled “Oz in the Oilfields? Searching for L. Frank Baum in Bradford.”

Ziaukas is director of the public relations program and teaches courses in PR, journalism, communications and popular culture. His scholarly work has appeared in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Quarterly and American Journalism: A Journal of Media History, among other publications. In addition to teaching at Pitt-Bradford, he serves as marketing consultant for the Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center.

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

Bona Fan Jam Set for Oct. 25

St. Bonaventure will kick off the 2014-15 basketball season with a new event, Bona Fan Jam, on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The event, which will be free, will begin at 5 p.m. with an outdoor fan fest on the basketball courts between the Reilly Center and Richter Center. The fan fest portion will include local food vendors who will offer sample dishes priced between $1 and $5, meet-and-greets with the Bonnies basketball players and coaches, sports contests run by the St. Bonaventure teams and games and activities for kids of all ages. Local band Diggin’ Roots will play from 5-7.

At 7:00, the action will shift inside the Reilly Center where the Bonnies will be introduced during a midnight madness-style event. The Bonnies cheerleaders and dance team will perform, and there will be a student dunk contest to benefit the Brian Moretti Scholarship Fund. Finally, both the men’s and women’s teams will play 15-minute scrimmages and compete in 3-point shooting contests. There will be a number of giveaways and promotions throughout the evening.

SBU students who attend Bona Fan Jam will receive vouchers for the traditional Wolfpack t-shirts, which they can redeem on Nov. 14 at the women’s season-opening game against Canisius.

The St. Bonaventure ticket office will be open from 7-8:30 p.m. during Bona Fan Jam. Men’s basketball single-game tickets go on sale Oct. 22 and season ticket packages are also available starting at $160. Women’s basketball season tickets are $50 for adults and $30 for children age 17 and younger.

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

City of Bradford Police Log for 10/08/14

City of Bradford Police on Wednesday investigated an assault on Bolivar Drive and a motor vehicle accident on East Main Street. They also looked into reports of harassment on Williams and Davis streets, and criminal mischief, also on Williams Street.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Woman Hurt in Rollover Crash

A woman suffered neck and back injuries after her car flipped over several times Tuesday afternoon on Route 59.

Police say 21-year-old Vanessa Kelly was south of Eagle at about 3 p.m. when her car went out of control while rounding a curve, hit an embankment, flipped over and came to rest on its roof in the opposite lane of travel.

Kelly was taken by ambulance to Warren General Hospital, and cited for not staying in her lane.

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

PA, NY AGs Announce Multi-State Task Force to
Combat Northeast Heroin Crisis

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the creation of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force (NEMA-HTF), a multi-state heroin task force that will marshal the resources of top law enforcement officers across Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, which will co-chair the effort, New Jersey and Massachusetts have also joined the coalition; additional states are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. NEMA HTF will bring together state attorneys general in an unprecedented law-enforcement collaboration to combat the growing problem of heroin distribution and abuse in communities throughout the region.

In the last two years, over 98% of the large-scale heroin trafficking cases prosecuted by the New York Attorney General’s Office have involved heroin flowing between New York and either Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Massachusetts.

“For too long, drug organizations have tried to outmaneuver law-enforcement agencies by crossing state lines. This task force will ensure that our borders do not become our boundaries,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “By joining together, we can prevent defendants from using state borders as a shield from law-enforcement and allow us to shut down the pipelines and cut off the heroin supply.”

“The drug dealers don’t stop at the state border, and with this partnership, neither will law-enforcement,” said Attorney General Kathleen Kane. “By sharing intelligence and other resources, we are taking this war to them, not waiting for them to infiltrate our communities. Today we are putting them on notice – we’re here and we are working together. You can’t hide by crossing the state line.”

“We know all too well how heroin is devastating communities and families,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “We must find innovative ways to stop illegal drug trafficking and prevent these sophisticated networks from moving across state lines. This partnership strengthens our commitment to sharing information and resources.”

“New Jersey is in the midst of an opiate crisis affecting countless numbers of our young citizens who are falling victim to addiction. In addition to our prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, we are executing major drug busts, in which a constant theme is that the dealers we are arresting are suppliers of heroin to other dealers in New York and Philadelphia, or they are getting their heroin from those cities,” said New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “In New Jersey, all levels of law-enforcement already are collaborating to target those trafficking this poison. The NEMA Heroin Task Force will maximize this collaboration across state borders.”

Heroin abuse is one of the most significant drug problems facing law enforcement and public health officials in the United States. Reports of first-time heroin use have nearly doubled since 2006, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. States across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are struggling to cope with the drastic influx of the drug into their communities. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, over half of law-enforcement agencies in these two regions reported “high heroin availability” in their jurisdictions in 2013. Skyrocketing demand for the drug and higher profit margins for traffickers are driving the flow of heroin. Using a sophisticated network of narcotics distributors, interstate drug rings are able to traffic large quantities of heroin with increased effectiveness.

The two largest cities on the East Coast with a combined population of about 10 million people, New York City and Philadelphia are the two primary nodes for heroin trafficking in the Northeast. As the head of the DEA’s New York Division recently noted, New York City is “ground zero of heroin distribution networks supplying the Northeast” and a prime market for Mexican cartels given both the large customer base and easy access to the Eastern seaboard. Similarly, Philadelphia has become a source city for pure, cheap heroin, which enters the city by land, sea and air. Heroin is then distributed from Philadelphia to the largest drug market in the world, New York, as well as New England, western Pennsylvania and down the eastern seaboard to Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and southward. Intelligence and ongoing investigations show direct links to at least three Mexican cartels responsible for trafficking heroin in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey and Massachusetts are also confronting sharp increases in heroin trafficking and addiction problems. In New Jersey, the number of people seeking treatment for heroin abuse hit a five-year high of 25,442 in 2012. In 2013, there were 559 heroin-related deaths in New Jersey. Massachusetts declared a public health emergency in March in response to heroin overdoses and opioid addiction. State police there report almost 200 deaths from suspected heroin overdoses in the last year.

The foremost goal of the NEMA HTF is the collaboration, coordination and information-sharing between state attorneys general and other law enforcement officials designed to combat narcotics enterprises whose sophistication and organization make them so much more effective at flooding our streets with heroin. Each participating agency brings unique experience, methodology, analytical techniques and technologies; joining forces will allow for more targeted investigation and prosecution of these drug rings and pipelines.

The Task Force will expand the exchange of information between various agencies. Information that can be shared might include specific subjects, phone numbers, addresses, distribution routes and stash houses used to store heroin pending street level distribution. Information shared, coupled with active enforcement collaboration within the NEMA-HTF, will lead to larger and stronger criminal cases targeting large scale distribution operations spanning multiple states, which are funneling heroin into our communities.

For example, during the course of wire investigations, an agency in one state might identify heroin suppliers and their related networks operating in other states. The NEMA Heroin Task Force will provide the framework for interstate coordination, allowing other states to pursue subjects who might otherwise remain at large. Additionally, authorities often identify informants who have information about heroin trafficking activities in other states, and the Task Force will allow for better use of that information.

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

Unplanned Stop for Mercy Flight

A Mercy Flight helicopter on its way from Port Allegany to Buffalo made an unplanned landing in Olean this morning.

A spokeswoman for Mercy Flight says the helicopter was flying to ECMC when the pilot felt something unusual at the controls and landed at the Olean Airport. Area fire departments were called as a precaution, but the helicopter landed without a problem.

Another helicopter was brought in to take the patient to Buffalo. The person was reportedly injured during a fall.

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

Alleged Crack Dealer Waives Hearing

A man who ran from police during a traffic stop because he had crack cocaine with him waived his preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone.

Court papers say police stopped 20-year-old Tate Hallock of Bradford on August 28 for not having taillights and not using a turn signal. While he was getting out of his car Hallock shoved a police officer, trying to escape. The officer was able to maintain his grip and took Hallock to the ground, although Hallock continued to fight and struggle while the officer was trying to put handcuffs on him.

Hallock is in McKean County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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

Accused Drunk Driver Waives Hearing

A drunk driver who hit a parked car while on his way to do last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve has waived his preliminary hearing.

40-year-old Timothy McCormick of Bradford is accused of hitting an SUV that was parked on Chambers Street as it owner was picking up his family after services at the First United Methodist Church. He also almost hit children on a sidewalk near Congress and West Corydon streets.

During the traffic stop McCormick first told Officer Matthew Guthrie he loved him, but then said, “I am going to kick your f***ing ass.” Papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office say downtown surveillance cameras caught the hit and run.

McCormick is free on unsecured bail.

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

It's Official :
Pegulas Own the Buffalo Bills

NFL Owners today have approved the bid from the Terry and Kim Pegula to buy the Buffalo Bills.

Read more at WGRZ TV.com.

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No Strings Attached

Pfeiffer Nature Center to host music workshop

PORTVILLE, N.Y. - The next workshop at the Pfeiffer Nature Center is music to our ears - and yours.

Muses of the Forest: Music will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the American Chestnut cabin on the Lillibridge Road property, 1974 Lillibridge Road.

Aron Cole will be the facilitator and will show participants how to play a dulcimer, a fretted string instrument with origins in the Appalachian region of the U.S.

The cost to attend is $5 per person thanks to a New York State Arts Grant. A box lunch will be provided. Registrations must be made by 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, by logging onto www.pfeiffernaturecenter.org.

The event will take place rain or shine.

The Nature Center offers interpretative opportunities in science, nature, and art through programs and events throughout the year.

Get to know Pfeiffer Nature Center – find a spot in our woods to enjoy peace and quiet, come to our programs, become a member, volunteer, enter our film festival, or choose countless other ways to get involved.

For more information on the Pfeiffer Nature Center or the workshop, call 716-933-0187.

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

'Gino Sings' in Smethport Next Month

Gino Lucchetti, a graduate of Smethport Area HighSchool, is an environmental scientist by day and a professional singer by night. He is an avid sportsman with much musical ability.

The McKean County Historical Society proudly presents Gino Lucchetti in an afternoon of songs, “Gino Sings!”

The event is Sunday, Nov. 2, at 3:00 PM at the Court of Angels, Main Street, Smethport, Pa. $25.00 per person includes appetizers, punch, coffee, tea, and the performance. BYOB if you would like. Call 814-887-5142 to purchase your tickets.

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

Capitol Hunger Garden Closes for 5th Season

Scarnati to Assume Role of Caucus Chair & Oversee Garden in 2015

HARRISBURG -- The Chairmen of the Legislative Hunger Caucus and various hunger advocates joined together today for a public event to mark five successful years of the Capitol Hunger Garden and to recognize the efforts of those who have made this initiative possible. Additionally, they announced a change in leadership of the caucus beginning in 2015.

During a closing ceremony, Legislative Hunger Caucus Chairs Senator Mike Brubaker (R-36) and Representative Jake Wheatley (D-19) acknowledged the five successful years served by the Hunger Garden, an approximately 1,000 square-foot area of land adjacent to the State Capitol Building. They also praised the work of the master gardeners from the Penn State Cooperative Extension and local volunteers, as well as the support from the Department of General Services, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Feeding Pennsylvania, Hunger-Free Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association.

“Today is a significant milestone for the Hunger Garden which for five years has proven to have a positive impact in providing nutrition to Pennsylvanians most in need. This event is testimony to the outpouring of support received for the garden which speaks volumes to the importance of promoting hunger awareness and addressing food insecurities throughout our communities,” said Brubaker. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to our master gardeners and volunteers for their selfless acts of kindness and helping to make this garden a reality.”

Wheatley said, “Volunteers and donors here and across the state do so much to reduce hunger, but as legislators we must never forget that state funding has an important role to play as well.”

Since its inception, the garden has annually produced between 700 to 800 pounds of vegetables for low-income residents and approximately 3,700 pounds for the five-year period. The vegetables are donated to food banks, pantries and local soup kitchens, such as the Downtown Daily Bread located in Harrisburg. The produce donations prepared 42,000 meals at the soup kitchen since 2010.

In addition to celebrating five years and recognizing the efforts of the garden volunteers, an announcement regarding the future leadership of the Legislative Hunger Caucus was shared. Beginning in January of 2015, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) will serve as the Senate Chair of the Caucus, as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hunger Garden.

“Since establishing the Legislative Hunger Caucus and Hunger Garden in 2008, Senator Brubaker has provided excellent vision and leadership for helping to reduce hunger needs in Pennsylvania,” Scarnati said. “I look forward to working with Representative Wheatley, members of the Caucus and the many dedicated volunteers who help make the garden a success. Together, we will continue to raise awareness and help fight hunger across our Commonwealth.”

Brubaker founded the Legislative Hunger Caucus five years ago and since that time has worked collaboratively with the Governor’s office and members of the General Assembly. The caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers who partner with the community to address hunger and its underlying causes.

“I cannot think of a more appropriate person than our Senate leader to continue shepherding this caucus and its mission toward raising hunger awareness and addressing food insecurity,” added Brubaker.

Immediately following the event, master gardeners and volunteers closed the garden for the season.

For more information on the Legislative Hunger Caucus or the Capitol Hunger Garden, visit http://hungergarden.pasenategop.com/.

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

This Week is Peak for
Leaf Peeping in Northern Tier

Read the full DCNR report here.

New York's weekly report will be issued tomorrow.

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

Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Burglary, Theft

A Salamanca woman has pleaded not guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to burglary and theft charges.

20-year-old Laurie Hathaway is accused of breaking into the Salamanca home a year ago, damaging property and stealing more than $1,000 worth of property.

Her case has been adjourned for motions.

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

Men Plead Not Guilty to Gang Assault

Two men accused of taking part in a gang assault in Salamanca have pleaded not guilty.

Yancy Dowdy and Jacob White, both of Salamanca, are charged with assault, reckless endangerment and gang assault in connection to the January 25 incident. Prosecutors didn’t provide further information on the assault other than to say someone was hurt.

Dowdy and White are both in Cattaraugus County Jail. Their cases have been adjourned for motions.

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

Man Pleads to Burglary, Theft

A man who broke into a Franklinville building and stole items has pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and petit larceny.

Kevin Milks and his co-defendants broke into the building on June 1.

He is scheduled for sentencing on December 8 in Cattaraugus County Court.

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