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Friday, November 28, 2014

Bomb Threat at Elk County Wal-Mart, Others

On the busiest shopping day of the year several Wal-Marts – including one in Elk County – have had to close because of bomb threats.

A criminal investigation is underway at the Fox Township store. Bomb-sniffing dogs were called to the scene.

Wal-Marts near Philadelphia, as well as in Florida, Virginia, Texas, and the company’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, were also closed because of bomb threats.

All the stores were evacuated and employees were sent home. Customers were reportedly told to leave their carts and get out.

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

Two Crashes on Bolivar Drive This Morning

Bad weather is being blamed for two one-car accidents early this morning on Bolivar Drive.

Derrick City firefighters were called at 4:40 a.m. and at just after 6 a.m. with reports of cars into a ditch.

They say neither driver was hurt, and both vehicles were able to be driven away after being pulled out.

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

Man Jailed for Sexually Abusing Girl

A 41-year-old man is in McKean County Jail after being accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl.

Police say Joseph Allen Snyder of Kane sexually abused the victim between Sunday and Monday at a home in the borough.

Snyder is charged with felony counts of indecent assault of a person younger than 13 and corruption of minors. His bail is set at $200,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Usually I don’t have trouble coming up with things I’m thankful for. This year, though, I’m having a hard time. But, here are a few, in no particular order:

All of my “Bona Girls”
Pat & Sandy
All of the people who think I do a good job
Downtown Bradford coming back to life
Wireless Internet at home
TSA Precheck
Brad Christman
Seeing Clarence Clemons live and in person
James Patterson and “Alex Cross”
Random Acts of Kindness
The Beatles

What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

St. Bonaventure to Offer New Major

St. Bonaventure University has unveiled a new undergraduate major that combines the imaginative power of creative writing with the technical skill of professional communicators.

Classes in the new Professional and Creative Writing major begin in fall 2015.

“The landscape for writers has changed dramatically in the past decade and a half,” said Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, dean of St. Bonaventure’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “Writing isn’t just ink-on-paper any more. Technology has dramatically changed the way writers write and the way readers read. It has also changed the way we deliver our writing. Our new major will give students the tools and insights to thrive in that professional environment.”

The Professional and Creative Writing major is a collaborative effort between the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Department of English. The course of study, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree, builds upon existing and new course offerings in both programs.

The new major will train students to write effectively in different genres and in multiple media to respond to a variety of professional and creative needs.

“The major will give students the perspective and skills in multiple media and modes so much in demand by employers and so essential for effective creative expression in professional and creative environments,” said Dr. Patrick Panzarella, chair of the Department of English.

The new major will sharpen students’ creative and professional writing abilities, while always drawing on the creative impulses that led them to the writing major in the first place.

Panzarella says the “focused and intensive education” has two aims: “We want students to perfect their craft, and we want them to understand the publication process and the process of joining and sustaining creative communities,” he said. “We want to prepare students to fulfill their roles as writers in the larger world.”

Opportunities for writers are everywhere, including media, business, entertainment, non-profit, and publishing industries.

Aside from exploring more traditional areas of creative writing like fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, St. Bonaventure’s program offers students opportunities to explore newer areas, like video game scripting and blogging. An emphasis on digital technology is woven throughout the curriculum.

The program also has built-in a significant experiential learning component to give students real-world skills and experience in writing- and publishing-related fields. Students will have the opportunity to work in on-campus media, professional internships and the senior-level Writers Project. Students will serve as the editorial staff for an online literary magazine that will service not only the university, but the wider Western New York community as well.

“This will allows students to balance the art and the craft of writing in a way that allows them to really understand what it means to be a working writer,” said Hoffmann.

The Professional and Creative Writing major draws on a St. Bonaventure tradition of writing that includes six Pulitzer Prize winners and alumni in all facets of writing and communications careers, from sportswriters and bloggers to magazine editors, public relations practitioners, news anchors, publishing executives and college professors.

For more information about the major in Professional and Creative Writing, contact the university’s Office of Admissions at 1-800-462-5050 or visit

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

Car Hits Bear on Route 219

One woman got a bear last night, but it wasn’t included in the game commission’s statistics for bear season.

Police say 56-year-old Clara Avenali of Kane was on Route 219 in Ridgway Township at around 6:40 p.m. when her car hit a bear that was in the middle of the southbound lane.

Avenali wasn’t hurt, and police didn’t give the bear’s condition.

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

Teens Charged for Stealing from Wal-Mart

Two Elk County boys did a little early Christmas shopping – or, rather, shoplifting.

Police say at just after 8 o’clock Monday night a 16-year-old acted as a lookout in the electronics section of the St. Marys Wal-Mart while a 15-year-old took an HP Stream Notebook that was on display and put it down his pants.

They’re both charged with retail theft. The 16-year-old is also charged with criminal conspiracy.

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

PSP: Teenager Punches Man

A 16-year-old Weedville boy is accused of punching a man in the face Tuesday morning.

Police say the boy and a 55-year-old Weedville man were arguing at a home on Hickory Avenue at just after 6 a.m. when the boy punched the man.

Harassment charges are pending.

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

Two Men Jailed for Calling 911

A Randolph man is accused of phoning the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center numerous times Tuesday night for no legitimate reason.

59 year-old James Fleblekorn is facing a harassment charge after calling 911 but not having an emergency. Fleblekorn was jailed on $1,000 bail.

An Ashville man was sent to jail for the same reason on Monday.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say 56-year-old Randall Lawegren was told numerous time to not call 911 unless there was an emergency. When he kept calling, they charged him with harassment and sent him to jail.

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

Men Plead Not Guilty to Murder

Two men have pleaded not guilty to shooting an Olean man and dumping his body off the Route 16 overlook.

28-year-old Gary Maull and 53-year-old Thomas Turtle Hall are charged with first degree murder in connection to the death of Otis Lamont Parks, who body was found August 8 on an embankment at the overlook.

Parks, who was also known as Lamont Clemens, was executed, according to Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb. Maull and Hall are jailed without bail.

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

Bradford to Celebrate 'Small Business Saturday'

The City of Bradford’s Downtown Historic District will put out their welcome mats on Saturday and recognize the national ‘shop small’ movement by celebrating ‘Shop Small Business Saturday’ on Saturday, November 29th.

“This initiative began several years ago,” said Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan, “and we have always promoted the ‘shop local’ theme for the holiday season”. The holiday season is the time of year when many retail businesses bring in the bulk of their revenue for the year. “This is the first time that downtown Bradford has dedicated a specific day to shopping locally,” added Dolan.

Many of Bradford’s downtown merchants will host in-store specials, sales and refreshments. Dolan said “We have had several new businesses open within the past year. There really is something for everyone!” Participating businesses include the Main Street Mercantile, Tin Ceiling Gift Shoppe, Graham Florist, Main Street Antiques, Man’s World, Orris Jewelers, Timeless Treasures, Little Fabric Garden, Wright’s Music Shed, Main Street Outlet, Janet’s Boutique and How Ya Brewin’. Dolan also would like to remind people that gift certificates are available from the downtown restaurants, hair salons and nail salons.

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

Truck Hits House in Foster Township

A pickup truck crashed into a house next to the Perkins restaurant parking lot at just before 11 o’clock this morning.

The driver was able to get out of the truck with some help from Derrick City firefighters, and wasn't hurt.

There is significant damage to the house that was hit but no people were hurt. The crash ruptured a water main and all utilities to the house were shut off as a precautionary measure.

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

GT Thompson Thanksgiving Statement

Bellefonte, PA - U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson (PA-5) today issued the following statement in recognition of Thanksgiving Day 2014:

"In 1621, the early settlers of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag Tribe broke bread together to celebrate the blessings received from the previous year, including a successful harvest. The gathering is the origin of our modern Thanksgiving Day tradition. Since that historic meal, generations of families across the country have gathered around the dinner table to celebrate our many blessings. During this time, we also pause to thank the men and women of America's Armed Forces, most especially those serving overseas and away from their families here at home. My wife, Penny, and I, along with our entire family, wish the residents of Pennsylvania’s 5th District a happy, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving."

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

Thanksgiving Travel Information

You can find live flight information at

For live road conditions -- including cameras in some areas -- go to:



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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

City Eyes Property Tax Increase

The City of Bradford is looking at a probable property tax increase for next year.

Before the first reading of the budget ordinance during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Tom Riel said 2014 was a rough year.

“We’ve had no tax increase for three years and I wish that could go on for a fourth year in a row,” he said. “It’s not looking like that at this point. “

He said that last week they were looking at a 4.76 mil increase, but they’ve whittled that down to 3.71 mils. But, he added, “at some point you can’t shave any more meat off the bone.”

“It’s not a pretty picture,” he said.

Riel said among the major items impacting the budget are an increase in health insurance costs as well as pension and contract obligations. Also, once every 11 years there’s a 27th pay day. That comes next year.

The final reading of the budget ordinance is at the end of next month.

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

Bloomquist Recognized for
Lifelong Contributions to the Arts

At the November meeting of Art in the Wilds, a citation from the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was read and shared with Committee members. The citation, sponsored and signed by Senator Joe Scarnati, was awarded to local artist John Bloomquist and detailed his many contributions to the quality of life of the people of the commonwealth.

The citation recognizes John’s lifetime of achievement and contributions to the arts: as an art educator for 34 years in St. Marys, as a master potter and award winning artist with his signature pottery and paintings displayed and in private collections worldwide, as a founding member of the Art in the Wilds fine arts show, and as a champion of art and artists throughout the region.

“The success of this Commonwealth, the strength of our communities and the overall vitality of American society depend, in great measure, upon the dedication of individuals such as Mr. Bloomquist who use their talents and expertise to perpetuate the continuation and enjoyment of the arts in this Commonwealth. His exemplary character and many worthwhile endeavors have greatly enhanced the lives of others.”

A letter from Senator Scarnati accompanied the citation offering his personal congratulations, deep gratitude and respect for Bloomquist’s dedication, unique abilities and for a distinguished art career and lifetime of as an artist, art teacher and advocate for artists and their art.

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

Third Man Arrested for Motor Theft

A third man has been arrested in connection with the theft of an antique Bovaird and Seyfang motor from Seneca Resources.

34-year-old Joshua Everly of Bradford is charged with theft and receiving stolen property.

Everly, along with Duane Gonzalez of Bradford and Timothy Slotta of Turtlepoint, are accused of selling the motor to Metalico Services of Bradford.

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

Cedar Funeral Set for Wednesday

Funeral services will be held tomorrow for the Derrick City man who died while trying to help out during last week’s snow storm in the Buffalo area.

30-year-old Rob Cedar died while trying to free a truck. When the truck gained traction and moved forward, he was pinned between the truck and a high lift.

A viewing for the decorated US Army veteran will be from 6 to 8 tonight in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Home on East Main Street, where a funeral service will be held at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Burial with full military honors will be in Willow Dale Cemetery.

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bradford Woman Arrested in Olean

A Bradford woman is facing a drug charge in Cattaraugus County after a raid of an Olean house over the weekend.

Police say they found heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia at the home of 30-year-old Timothy Lunn. He’s charged criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and related offenses.

24-year-old Caitlyn Stein of High Street is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. She is scheduled to appear in Olean City Court.

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

Another Attempted Luring Near Kersey

There’s been another incident of a person trying to lure a child into a vehicle near Kersey.

At around 7 o’clock this morning a man in a purple/pink four door sedan with tinted windows stopped an 11-year-old girl on Fairview Road and asked if she wanted a ride to school.

Police say a school bus then came along and the man drove the car on Route 948 toward St. Marys.

The first incident happened on the morning of October 31 on Chicken Hill Road when a man in a Chevy Silverado approached two 13-year-old girls and asked if they needed a ride.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact Ridgway-based state police.

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