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Friday, January 9, 2015

Congressman Thompson:
It's Time for President to Appove Keystone XL

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson (PA-5) today released the following statement regarding his vote in favor of H.R. 3, a measure approving the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. The legislation passed the House by 266 to 153.

"Today, the House passed legislation approving the Keystone XL Pipeline with broad bipartisan support. This is an energy and infrastructure project that over its lifespan will inject billions into the U.S. economy,” stated Rep. Thompson. “Despite bipartisan support, the President has announced his intention to veto this common sense proposal.”

“It’s been 2,303 days and counting since the Keystone XL pipeline was first submitted to the State Department for approval. Since then, the project has been found it to be environmentally sound and a certified job creator, including contracts for Pennsylvania based firms. It is time for President Obama to set aside politics and act in the best interest of the country by allowing this project to proceed,” Rep. Thompson added.

“At a time when job creation should be a top priority, the Keystone XL pipeline project will put Americans back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the economy,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ President Edwin D. Hill. “From pipe manufactured in Arkansas, to pump motors assembled in Ohio and transformers built in Pennsylvania, workers all over the United States will benefit from the project.”

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government.

According to the U.S. State Department, under the Obama Administration, construction of Keystone XL would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the U.S., and pose no significant environmental impacts.

The total estimated property tax from the project in the first full year of operations would be approximately $55.6 million in 27 counties across the country. Furthermore, the project will generate over $65 million in sales and use taxes during construction alone.

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Pharmacy Burglar Behind Bars

The man who says he robbed the Dan Horn Pharmacy in Olean Tuesday is behind bars.

Police 27-year-old Shawn Deahn of Olean confessed to the crime. He was sent to jail on $5,000 bail.

Deahn did not show a weapon during the robbery, but gave the clerk a note demanding Suboxone pills. After getting four pills, he ran away, but turned himself in on Thursday.

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Bradford Man Admits to Burglary

A Bradford man has admitted to breaking into a convenience store and assaulting the witness to his crime.

34-year-old Timothy Bottof went into TJ’s Corner Store in the early morning hours of April 14 and stole two cartons of cigarettes. He tried to break into the cash register with a crow bar. Outside the store he assault a neighbor who was trying to stop him.

Bottorf is scheduled for sentencing on January 22 in McKean County Court.

His co-defendant, Jonathon Reck of Rew, has already been sentenced to up to three years in state prison for driving the getaway car and trying to hit the witness with his car.

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City of Bradford Police Log for 1/08/15

City of Bradford Police are investigating two reported sexual assaults, one on South Center Street; the other on Cornen Street. Also Thursday, officers were called to reports of disorderly conduct on Lincoln and Bushnell streets, harassment on Mechanic Street, and trespassing on Bushnell Street.

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National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

As of this hour, the rally/walk starting at Bradford High and going to Veterans Square is still on. Meet at Bradford High (auditorium door) at 6 p.m. The walk will start at 6:30. Hot beverages and a warm bus will be available in Veterans Square. The bus will take you back to the high school if you'd rather not walk.

Dress warmly. If you thinks it's too cold -- remember that police officers don't get to choose to stay home when it's too cold.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Three Crashes on Icy Roads

State police reported three accidents on icy roads – all involving vehicles that went out of control and slid off the road.

In Potter County, neither 78-year-old Martin Sweigart of Galeton nor 21-year-old Kira Sutton of Austin was hurt. Sweigart was cited for not staying in his lane; Sutton for driving too fast for conditions.

In Elk County, 31-year-old Holly Hutchins of Johnsonburg suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands Elk. No charges were filed.

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Drug Suspect Waives Hearing

A Bradford man arrested on drug charges after police were called to a domestic incident at his home has waived his preliminary hearing.

21-year-old Justin Herbstritt was charged on New Year’s Eve after police went to his South Center Street home for the domestic incident and then smelled marijuana. They eventually found 30 grams of marijuana, two grinders, a digital scale,l a small baggie of marijuana and two glass bowls.

Herbstritt is free on unsecured bail.

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Accused High Rise Assailant Out of Jail

The man accused of assaulting a security guard at the High Rise on Bushnell Street is out of jail following proceedings in McKean County Central Court.

43-year-old Charles Sisler of Bradford had been jailed on $10,000 cash bail, but was released when the judge changed it to unsecured bail. Also, Sister waived his preliminary hearing.

Sisler is accused of assaulting, choking and threatening to kill the security late Saturday night. After being taken into custody, he told police he had been drinking heavily and using illegal drugs.

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Split Verdict in Probation Officer Trial

A jury came back with a split decision in the trial of a probation officer accused of making sexual advances toward at least three women he was supervising.

38-year-old Jeffrey Collins of Kane was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault, two counts of official oppression, and one count of harassment. He was found not guilty of one count of indecent assault and count of harassment. The jury was deadlocked on another count of indecent assault.

While working as a probation officer in Warren County, Collins was accused of exposing his genitals and engaging in sexual activity in front of one of the women while she was in his office. He also allegedly asked them to take photos or videos of themselves having sex in exchange for favorable consideration involving their probation.

Collins’ lawyer argued that the women – quote – wanted it until it became inconvenient. He also compared the situation to that of former President Bill Clinton, saying he was never charged and obviously had more power than Collins did.

The attorney general’s office hasn’t said yet if they plan to retry Collins on the indecent assault charge the jury couldn’t decide on.

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Three-Vehicle Crash on Route 219

Three people escaped injury in a three-vehicle crash on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass Wednesday afternoon.

Police say a car driven by 22-year-old Tyler Mix of Smethport hit the median in the northbound lanes just off the North Kendall Bridge and ended up facing the wrong way on the expressway.

A Jeep driven by 27-year-old Staci McCord of Bradford then stopped on the expressway and was hit by a pickup truck driven by 43-year-old Paul Kelly of Lewis Run, pushing it into the Mix car.

All three vehicles had disabling damage.

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Three Dead After Clarion County Crash

Three people died in an 18-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 80 in Clarion County.

State police say two people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a third died on the way to the hospital. Two of them were hit after getting out of their vehicles.

The list of injuries is in double digits.

Nine trucks, including several tractor-trailers were involved in the crashes that happened during heavy snow and near-zero visibility.

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2015 Butter Sculpture Unveiled

The butter sculpture for the 2015 Pennsylvania has been unveiled.

The sculpture, called “Fill a Glass with Hope,” shows a food bank worker pouring milk into a glass held by a little boy next to his mother. A dairy farmer and cow stand close by, next to a case filled with gallons of milk.

This year, the Farm Show will be collecting milk – and money – to provide milk to food banks. Milk is the most needed, but least donated item at food banks.

This year's sculpture took sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Conshohocken 10 days to complete. After the farm show, the 1,000 pounds of butter will be taken to a local farm, where it will be converted into energy.

The Farm Show starts Saturday in Harrisburg, and runs through January 17.

Photos via Twitter

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Bradford Police Looking for Assault Suspect

City Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted for assault and harassment.

34-year-old Timothy Michael Mihalko is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and is often wearing a bandana.

He has been charged in connection to an incident on October 12, and all attempts by police to reach him have failed.

If you have any information about Mihalko’s whereabouts, please contact city police by calling 887-4911 or leaving a message on their tip line.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Speed Reduced to 45 on I-80, I-90

If you'll be traveling on I-80 (or know someone who is) the westbound lanes are closed between Exit 70 (Route 322 -- Strattanville) and Exit 60 (Route 66 North -- Shippenville) because of a multi-vehicle fatal accident.

Clarion-based state police did not give a time frame on when the road would reopen, and are still on the scene so could not provide us with more information.

Police did not say the crash was weather-related, but PennDOT has temporarily reduced the speed limit on I-80 to 45 mph because of the severity of the storm, and is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel. The speed limit has been reduced to 45 on interstates 90 and 79 as well.

Pharmacy Robber Still at Large

Olean Police have release a surveillance camera image of the man who robbed the Dan Horn Pharmacy Tuesday morning.

The white man is 18 to 28 years old. He walked into the Greene Street store at just after 9 a.m. and handed the clerk a note demanding Suboxone. After the clerk gave him the drug, he left the store on foot headed toward the intersection of East Greene and South Barry streets.

He did not display a weapon.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Olean Police.

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Three Bradford Incidents Land Man in County Jail

Vulgarity-laced incidents Tuesday at Advance Auto on Elm Street and another incident early this morning at McDonald’s landed a DuBois man in McKean County Jail.

According to court records 53-year-old Patrick McGarvey became irate and kicked at glass windows at Advance Auto Tuesday morning when employees couldn’t provide him with an allen wrench so he could open the battery box on his scooter. He called one employee a "lazy, fat c***s****r," and "began going after the employees."

Police took him to the station, charged him with disorderly conduct and released him.

But, he went back to the store at just after 2 in the afternoon and, after being told he wasn’t allowed in the store, yelled and cursed at employees before leaving. He came back a few moments later and yelled, "F*** you, mother f******! I am calling the CEO of this f*****g place ..." At this point, employees walked toward the front door and McGarvey "took off. Police found him on Chestnut Street behind the Comfort Inn, and later released him to family members.

Then at around 12:45 this morning police were sent to McDonald’s, where McGarvey had been in the restroom for an extended period of time and and refused to leave. The inside of the restaurant closes at midnight. Only the drive-thru is 24 hours. McGarvey only left the restroom when police arrived. They found several garbage bags full of McGarvey’s belongings inside the restroom, and say it appeared as though he was planning to spend the night there.

He’s also charged with defiant trespass, and is jailed on a total of $5,000 bail.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Man Who Traded Weed for Guns Sent to Prison

A Freedom, New York, man who used marijuana to buy three stolen guns will spend some time in state prison.

27-year-old Christopher Lund has been sentenced to 2 to 4 years each for criminal possession of stolen property and criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon. The sentenced will be served at the same time.

Lund made the transactions – which also included some cash – in December of 2013 and January of 2014 in the Town of Freedom.

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United Way Finishes Over Goal

The United Way's campaign goal was $345,000. They raised more than $357,000. That's 104 percent of goal.

Campaign co-chairs Jeannine Schoenecker and Lisa Minich say the success of the campaign was due to a combination of longtime donors, some of whom increased their contributions, and people who donated for the first time, as well as dedicated volunteers.

Schoenecker, Minich and United Way Executive Director Mandi Wilton Davis made the announcement on today's LiveLine. You can listen to that at

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Drug Dealer Sent to Prison -- Again

A man who has been convicted on drug charges before will spend the next two years in state prison.

This time, Demario Watkins of Buffalo was sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court for selling a controlled substance in Salamanca on December 19 of 2013.

In March of last year, Watkins was sentenced for selling narcotics in Salamanca on November 10, 2011.

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Thompson Sworn In in Washington

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) today issued the following statement upon being sworn in as the United States Representative for Pennsylvania's 5th District in the 114th Congress. Rep. Thompson, who will begin serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, also announced his appointment to three committees for the upcoming legislative session.

“It continues to be a great honor to serve the people of Pennsylvania’s 5th District in Congress,” stated Rep. Thompson. “In the 114th Congress, I will remain committed to policies that will support stronger economic growth and upward mobility for individuals and families.”

Rep. Thompson was appointed to a third term as Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, where he will continue to play a leadership role on policies and regulatory issues surrounding the nation’s family farms, forests, watersheds and conservation efforts. In addition, he will continue his membership on the Committee on Natural Resources and the Education & Workforce Committee.

Rep. Thompson will again serve as Co-Chairman of both the Congressional Career & Technical Education Caucus and the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus.

“Providing our children with the skills and education to succeed in today’s economy, promoting energy security and affordability, and encouraging job growth through commonsense regulatory policies continue to be among my top priorities," stated Rep. Thompson, in reference to his committee responsibilities.

As a subcommittee chairman on the Agriculture Committee during the 113th Congress, Rep. Thompson played an influential role in the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which reformed federal agriculture programs saving taxpayers billions while supporting the economic strength of Pennsylvania’s number one industry, agriculture.

Also during the 113th Congress, Rep. Thompson served as a member of the House Education Committee’s Higher Education & Workforce Training Subcommittee, which was responsible for drafting the initial House version of the Workforce Training Innovation & Opportunity Act (H.R. 803). H.R. 803, which passed Congress on a bipartisan basis and was signed into law in July of 2014, is the first reauthorization and reform to the nation’s workforce development laws in over a decade.

“I look forward to building upon the legislative successes from the previous Congress and continuing to advance those policies that were not signed into law,” Rep. Thompson added.

As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Thompson will continue to pursue aggressive oversight of the Obama Administration’s federal land management and environmental policies, including efforts to promote greater transparency and accountability under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and related endangered listing decisions.

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Woman Goes After Cops With Hammer, Knife

A woman is in jail for going after a police officer with a hammer and knife on New Year’s Eve.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies say 28-year-old Jodi Semanovich of Westfield was distraught when they arrived at her home with Westfield Police. As soon as they arrived, she charged at one officer, but the officer was able to keep her away until other officers got there. She also went after a sheriff’s deputy with the hammer and knife, and then hit a sheriff’s patrol car with the hammer. A deputy used a Taser to subdue her.

She was arrested Monday and sent to jail on $50,000 cash bail.

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Scarnati Sworn In as President Pro Tem

Today at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate for 2015.

This is the ninth time Senate colleagues have elected Senator Scarnati to the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth. The Honorable Justice Thomas G. Saylor administered the Oath of Office.

Following being sworn-in as President Pro Tempore, Senator Scarnati offered remarks on issues impacting the Commonwealth.

“This year brings with it significant change and transitions across parts of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches of our government,” Scarnati said. “We will be confronted with a budget this year that will be just as challenging as the past few years. As we approach ways to balance the fiscal needs of our Commonwealth, we must ensure our schools have the tools that they need to provide outstanding educational opportunities and safe learning environments for our children.”

“Moving the State Pension System more in line with that of the private sector is one of the most significant means we have to gain more revenue, for needs like education,” Scarnati stated. “Pension Reform will be Senate Bill 1, and a top priority this session.”

Scarnati explained that it will be important to continue many policies put in place over the past several years, which are helping to reduce unemployment rates and create good family sustaining jobs across Pennsylvania.

“Our policy of fiscal restraint and smart investments is showing clear dividends with the release of employment figures for past months,” Scarnati said. “In January of 2011, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 8.2%. Four years later, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate stands at 5.1 % - the Commonwealth's lowest rate in more than six years.”

“Supporting innovative and emerging industries has clearly played a key role in reducing unemployment rates. The Marcellus Shale Industry is one industry that has been a significant part of providing for greater economic growth throughout our state,” Scarnati continued.

“In the new legislative session we must continue to enact policies and pass legislation that will improve the job market and focus on the principles that are fueling Pennsylvania’s clear economic resurgence.”

To hear Scarnati's brief comments go to Senator

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Olean Pharmacy Robbed

Police in Olean are searching for a man who robbed a pharmacy this morning.

Dan Horn Pharmacy and Health Services on East Greene Street was robbed at 9:10 a.m. Police say the robber did not display a weapon.

The suspect is white, about 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red checkered coat with a red scarf covering his face.

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Rally, Walk to Support Local Police

The high school’s Criminal Justice Club is sponsoring a rally and walk on Friday to show support for local police.

People are asked to meet at the high school at 6 p.m. City Police Officer Butch Bartlett says the club will have markers and other materials so people can make signs in support of the police that they can carry on the walk.

The walk starts at 6:30 and will go to Veterans Square, and then back to the high school. Bartlett says there will be a bus at the square for people to warm up, or to ride back to the school.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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