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Friday, December 19, 2014

Pitt-Bradford Nursing Students Achieve
90 Percent Pass Rate on Licensure Exam

Students in the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s associate of science in nursing program scored a 90 percent pass rate on the national nursing exam – eight points higher than the national average.

The Pitt-Bradford pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam – or NCLEX, as it is commonly referred to – was also seven percentage points higher than the pass rate at other programs in Pennsylvania.

Most programs have seen a decline in scores this year, explained Dr. Tammy Haley, associate professor of nursing and director of the nursing program, because the test is changed every three years. This was the first year for students to take the new test, but Pitt-Bradford students continued to outperform state and national averages.

For the previous three years, Pitt-Bradford students averaged a pass rate of 98 percent compared to a national average of 87 percent.

“We’ve done a good job preparing our students and helping to maintain a high pass rate,” Haley said. “But it is truly the success of the students, who have done the hard work.”

Nursing is one of the most popular majors at Pitt-Bradford, which offers a 2-year ASN leading to the NCLEX and a four-year BSN degree.

Many of Pitt-Bradford’s nursing graduates have stayed in the area to work at health care facilities in the region, according to figures from the Economic and Community Impact Survey conducted by officials from the Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh. From December 2000 to August 2010, 548 Pitt-Bradford nursing graduates were employed in the six-county region of Cameron, Elk, McKean, Potter and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, and Cattaraugus County, in New York. Additionally, of the total number of nurses employed in the region, 55.6 percent were Pitt-Bradford graduates.

Pictured, Martha Dibble, instructor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, right, works with a student during a lab.
Pitt-Bradford photo

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Students' Work on Display in
Pitt-Bradford's Spring Spectrum Series

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s spring Spectrum Series will showcase student talent as well as regional musicians and an artist’s view of Iceland.

Events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.

The season begins with the unveiling of the 2015 edition of Baily’s Beads, the award-winning student-run literary magazine. The annual celebration will take place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, 2015, in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons.

The latest issue will be revealed with refreshments, prizes, readings by Baily’s Beads contributors and an open mic for anyone who wants to share original work.

February will begin with an art exhibition by Burke Jam, “From a Black Shore: FRACTURE,” that examines how sound informs our perception of place.

An opening and gallery talk by the artist will take place at noon, Feb. 6, in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall. The exhibition will be on display from Feb. 6 through March 6. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Art lovers will have two chances to take in Jam’s exhibition and catch a Noon Tunes concert. At noon Feb. 10, singer-songwriter Ade Adu will play in the Studio Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Adu lived in West and South Africa before relocating to Western New York. His travels are reflected in the range of genres he plays, which include dance, hip-hop, reggae and rock.

On Feb. 24, the music trio Strings and Hammers will present music for piano, violin and double bass at noon in the Studio Theater.

Student artists will be next to exhibit in the KOA gallery when the annual “Affairs of the Art” exhibition opens at noon March 20. The exhibition will feature distinguished student artwork, including paintings, drawings, digital graphic designs, digital photographic prints and ceramics. The exhibition will be on display in the gallery through April 17.

During the first week in April, the last production of Pitt-Bradford’s year-long celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday will take the stage.

“Lear” by Young Jean Lee and directed by Dr. Kevin Ewert is “King Lear” from the perspective of his three children. Shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 2, 3 and 4 and at 9:30 p.m. April 3 in the Studio Theater. Tickets are $6 for the public; $2 for all students. The show contains adult content and language.

Finally, vocal students, directed by John Liberatore, will close out the semester with a concert at noon April 14 in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby of Blaisdell Hall.

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BACC Extends Hours For Holiday Shopping

The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce will offer extended hours on Monday, December 22nd and Tuesday, December 23rd for holiday shoppers looking to purchase Bradford Gift Certificates. The office will be open Monday, December 22nd from 8am to 6pm, and Tuesday, December 23rd from 8am to 4pm for shoppers’ convenience.

Bradford Gift Certificates are available in $5, $10, $25, and $50 denominations, and can be combined for any multiple of $5. They are accepted at more than 100 Chamber member businesses. Anyone wishing to pre-order their gift certificates may call the Chamber at 814-368-7115 and their order will be prepared in advance

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St. Bonaventure University to
Offer Major in Environmental Studies

St. Bonaventure University will offer a new major in environmental studies beginning in fall 2015.

The New York State Department of Education approved the bachelor of arts degree program earlier this month.

Dr. Ted Georgian, biology professor and longtime instructor in St. Bonaventure’s environmental science program, will serve as program director. The environmental science program will be phased out May 31, 2015.

Unlike environmental science, which is meant to provide substantial depth in the technical aspects of the discipline, the environmental studies program gives students the flexibility to select courses that approach environmental issues from a perspective of interest to them, from business to natural resources conservation to philosophy and theology.

“St. Bonaventure, with its Catholic Franciscan tradition, mission, and value of the care for Creation, is singularly called to initiate such a degree,” Georgian said. “The program will also put to good use the natural setting of the campus and surrounding areas, as well as their built environments.”

Students who are passionate about sustainable development can combine this major with a minor or even a second major in an area that reflects their skills and career interests.

The breadth of this program will prepare students for a wide range of careers, such as “green” business initiatives, environmental law and policy, natural resource conservation, environmental education, environmental journalism and marketing, and work with governmental and other organizations working to build a more sustainable future.

Although housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, St. Bonaventure’s environmental studies program will be interdisciplinary, with the degree built upon existing and new courses in the schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Journalism and Mass Communication.

The major will require 33 to 35 credit hours, depending on lab components.

The program encompasses and integrates study in three core areas: principles of ecology and environmental sciences; environmental ethics and aesthetics; and environmental social policy and science.

For more information, visit

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A Season for Giving

A donation from the American Legion was delivered to Destinations-Bradford on Friday, December 19th. Picture from left to right are Commander Pete O'Donohoe; Destinations Director Becky Plummer; Club President Shelly Pugrant; and Club Manager Darcy Rau.
Photo provided by Destinations-Bradford.

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Fire Damages Cameron County Motel

The Lakeview Motel in Sinnemahoning was heavily damaged by fire early this morning.

The fire was reported at about 2:45 a.m. and volunteers from Sinnemahoning, Emporium, Coudersport and Austin were on the scene for about four hours.

Although the roof caved in, most of the damage was confined to the hotel area and not the storefront.

When they got this call, firefighters had just gotten back from battling a blaze in Coudersport that did $175,000 worth of damage to a house on Crandall Street. Coudersport fire Chief Bryan Phelps says the house is a total loss and very little personal property could be salvaged.

A state police fire marshal was called in to investigate, and could not determine a cause.

Port Allegany, Roulette and Galeton firefighters also responded.

Austin Volunteer Fire Department photo

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Man Hurt in Morning Crash

A Kane man was hurt when his pickup truck went off an icy road and hit a tree this morning.

Police say 65-year-old James Shay was on Route 66 in Highland Township at 11:45 a.m. when the truck went out of control on curve, left the road and hit a tree.

Shay was taken by ambulance to Kane Community Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.

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Bradford Man Charged With Indecent Assault

A man is facing a number of charges for having inappropriate contact with a child.

32-year-old Paul Hensley of Bradford is accused of being in a bed with a boy younger than 13 while they were undressed and their genitals were touching.

The alleged incident happened on January 9 in Hensley’s Elm Street apartment. Charges were filed after the child was interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Smethport.

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Sex Offender Pleads Guilty

A man has pleaded guilty to not registering with New York’s sex offender registry.

Hector Correa of Portville was supposed to register by September 11 in Olean, because he had changed his address.

Correa is scheduled for sentencing on February 23.

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Hearings for Accused Assailants Set

Hearings for one man accused of punching a nurse and a doctor, and another man accused of chasing his brother with a machete, have been scheduled for next month.

23-year-old Chad Reed and 19-year-old Weston Rick, both of Bradford, are set to be in court on January 14.

Reed is accused of punching the nurse and doctor, and threatening another nurse, at BRMC early Saturday morning. Rick is accused of threatening to cut his brother’s arms off during an argument about a stolen phone last week.

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United Way at 99 Percent of Goal

The United Way of the Bradford Area is at 99 percent of its goal.

Co-chairs Jeannine Schoenecker and Lisa Minich are confident that the community will come through with the last $5,000 – and more.

Both women are hoping to reach the goal by Christmas, saying that would be a great gift for the entire community.

For more information you can go to

To listen to Schoenecker and Minich on today's LiveLine by going to

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Four Hurt in Two-Car Crash

Three Raleigh, North Carolina, residents and another person were hurt in a two-car crash last week in Elk County.

Police say 18-year-old Jairo Suarez-Miranda of Columbia, Maryland, was on Route 153 in Fox Township when his car went out of control while rounding a curve and hit a car driven by 40-year-old Robert Marrow of Raleigh.

Marrow and a passenger, 24-year-old Christy Lollis, also of Raleigh, both suffered major injuries. Another passenger 29-year-old Dennis Bullock of Raleigh suffered a moderate injury.

Suarez-Miranda suffered minor injuries and was cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

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Man Sent to Prison for Sucker Punch

A man who sucker punched another man at Wolf Run Marina in August of last year will spend the next eight months to two years in state prison.

David Boylan of Johnsonburg must also pay nearly $5,000 in restitution to the victim, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when his head hit the concrete during a fall after the punch.

The victim told the court doctors have told him he will never be able to taste or smell again. The brain injury also caused other permanent damage.

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Band Booster Accused of Stealing Money

A member of the Warren Dragon Band Boosters is accused of stealing $12,000 from the organization over the past several years.

Police say 46-year-old Michele Bova of Warren took the money between January 1 of 2009 and September 19 of this year by writing 16 checks to herself that were not authorized. They say another member of the band boosters discovered that a savings account had less money in it than was reported.

Bova is free on $30,000 unsecured bail.

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Smethport Sex Offender in Jail

While investigating a property dispute in Smethport state police learned that one of the people involved was a Megan’s Law sex offender and required to register with them.

52-year-old Lawrence Meyer was arrested on a warrant and then sent to McKean County Jail on $10,000 cash bond.

In 2007, Meyer was convicted of sexually abusing a child.

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Robbery Suspect Still at Large

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the armed robbery at the Kwik Fill Store / Gas Station on Route 60 I Kiantone at around 7 o’clock last night. Anyone with pertinent information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (716) 664-3100 or WeTiP at (800) 782-7463. (

You can see video on our Facebook page,

Photo & video provided by Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.

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Look for Higher Sewer Bill in 2015

Bradford City Water customers will not see an increase in their water rates, but sewer rates are going up in 2015.

The increased will raise sewage rates by $2 a month. Despite the increase, the city’s rates are still the second lowest in the Tuna Valley. Lewis Run’s are the lowest.

An average water bill will remain at $28.50 a month.

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Martial Arts Swords Stolen

Two martial arts swords have been stolen from a Lewis Run home.

Police say besides the swords a knife, boxes of .357 ammo, a chainsaw and cash were taken from Ash Court.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Kane-based state police.

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Coroner's Office Needs Help

The McKean County Coroner’s Office needs your help.

Coroner Mike Cahill says he is looking for relatives of Michael Spilak, who was born June, 3, 1933, maybe in Smethport.

He says Spilak worked in sheltered workshops all his life and may have at least one brother.

Anyone with information on heirs of Michael Spilak is asked to call Cahill at 814-362-6643.

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Some Nurse Practitioner Charges Dismissed

Some of the charges against a Bradford nurse practitioner accused of writing prescriptions she wasn’t authorized to write have been dismissed by the McKean County District Attorney’s office.

54-year-old Darlene Venezia-Skaggs had been charged by the state attorney general’s office for leaving a prescription pad in the office of Medicor Associates after she was terminated so her patients could still get prescriptions for controlled substances.

Court papers say she told agent Heather Dunkle she was concerned that her patients would not get the medication they needed after she was terminated because Dr. Steven Hermann would rarely write prescriptions for controlled substances.

She had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday. The charges were dismissed today.

District Attorney Ray Learn tells WESB this set of charges was withdrawn as part of a plea agreement in another case, where she is accused of writing a prescription for a former patient and then delivering to him.

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No Fracking in New York

No fracking in New York State.

That’s the decision from Governor Andrew Cuomo after the state’s acting health commissioner and the head of the department of environmental conservation said they couldn’t support fracking because of possible public health risks.

During his entire time in office, Cuomo had been waiting for a report from the health commissioner before making a decision a whether to lift the moratorium on fracking in New York.

Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council says, “This is the wrong direction for New York,” adding that Pennsylvania has gotten $2.1 billion in state and local taxes from fracking, which has gone toward improvements to roads, bridges and public works systems.

Congressman Tom Reed says the decision is devastating for the Southern Tier economy.

"I am extremely disappointed in today’s announcement from Governor Cuomo which bans hydraulic fracturing. This move effectively blocks the development of natural gas and oil resources in New York State. This is devastating news for the Southern Tier economy and its residents who are struggling every day. This decision makes it even more difficult to replace the good jobs that have already left due to New York’s unfriendly business climate. Once again Albany shows that it wants to enact an extreme liberal agenda rather than care about individual property rights and job opportunities. I care about Southern Tier residents and will fight for them every day. Simply put this extreme liberal agenda is not right and not fair for our future," reed said.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have a Joyous Holiday!

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Woman Accused of Hurting 6-Year-Old

A 35-year-old woman is accused of hurting a 6-year-old boy who was trying to leave her house while she and a man were arguing.

Police say Nicole Harvey was arguing with a man inside her Driftwood home last Tuesday night when the boy got scared and tried to leave. Police say she repeatedly grabbed him to keep him from leaving the house, and caused injuries when she did.

Harvey was charged with simple assault and sent to jail lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

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Hiker Rescued from Letworth Gorge

Police at Letchworth State Park had to rescue a hiker who fell 60 feet into the gorge Sunday afternoon.

At about 4:45 p.m. they rappelled into the gorge and, about two hours later, brought up 22-year-old Timothy Mazurczak from Cheektowaga. He wasn’t hurt, but was cited for failure to use designated trails.

This is the latest in a series of incidents at the park this year.

In February, a 21-year-old North Tonawanda man died after falling into the gorge near the lower falls. In October, a 14-year-old Penfield boy died after leaving a trail and falling into the gorge near the Great Bend Overlooks. In August, a Seaford, New York, couple was hurt by a falling tree after leaving a designated trail.

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