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Friday, February 20, 2015

Fire Destroys Pearl Street House

No one was hurt but a house is destroyed after a fire that started when a resident was thawing frozen pipes.

City Fire Captain J.D. Tehle tells WESB the owner was using a heat gun to thaw the pipes at 11 Pearl Street, and thought everything was fine but there was a spark in the blown-in insulation, and the fire quickly spread throughout the house.

He explained that blow-in insulation is like “finely ground paper. It gets a spark and just takes off.”

He added that while they were looking in the crawl space, smoke was coming from the eaves.

“It just travels that fast," Tehle said.

The fire eventually spread to an apartment at 9 Pearl Street, which ended up with minimal damage.

Anita Hubbart and her three children were able to get out of 11 Pearl Street safely. The Red Cross is helping them and the resident of 9 Pearl Street.

Taylor Roofing owns the buildings, which are insured.

Tehle said there were no problems with the cold – it was 5 degrees when they were called out at 12:40 p.m. – and they had enough water and manpower. They were there until about 4:40 p.m.

Besides city firefighters, Bradford Township, Derrick City and Salamanca firefighters were on the scene. Tehle said they called Salamanca because they thought the second building might go and they wanted their ladder truck and crew “just in case it got worse.”

“We weren’t going to take any chances," he said.

Lewis Run was on standby at the Central Station.

“The gang did a great job,” Tehle said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

You can see more pictures at facebook.com/1490wesb.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

AG: Olean Man, Others Tried to
Deliver 85 Pounds of Marijuana

Four people, including an Olean man, have been arrested by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office for trafficking a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of marijuana.

The AG’s office says 33-year-old Andrew Kubiak of Olean, 31-year-old John Nelson and Meadville, 39-year-old Jessica Clark of Erie and 29-year-old Nicole Nelson of Santa Rosa California, conspired to buy bulk quantities of marijuana and take it to Meadville.

According to the grand jury’s presentment, Nicole Nelson bought a car in Erie that she and Clark drove to Santa Rosa, where it was packed with 85 pounds of marijuana. Kubiak met the women in Sacramento. He and Clark were going to deliver the marijuana to Nelson’s brother, John, but they were picked up by police in Kansas.

John Nelson is in Crawford County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Kubiak and Clark were released on $25,000 unsecured bond. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Nicole Nelson.

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

Two Hurt in St. Marys Head-On Crash

Two people had to be freed from their vehicles and then be flown to an out-of-town hospital following a head-on crash in St. Marys this morning.

City police say a car driven by Brenda Placer of Ridgway and a pickup truck driven by Anthony Gerg of St. Marys were on State Street near the Laurel Run Reservoir when they collided at around 6:20 a.m.

Crystal Fire Department personnel freed them from their vehicles. They were first taken to Penn Highlands Elk, but then flown by Stat Medevac helicopter to another hospital.

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

Missing Vulnerable Adult


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simulation Brings Facts to
Measles Outbreak, Vaccination Debate

To bring facts and clarity to the public debate about immunization in light of the recent measles outbreak, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health today unveiled a computer simulation that explores the impact of measles outbreaks in cities across the U.S. Users can see how an outbreak would play out if their city had high or low vaccination rates.

The simulation – which is easily accessible from mobile devices – is an adaptation of the popular Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), a free resource created at Pitt. By visiting fred.publichealth.pitt.edu/measles measles, people can select cities they’re interested in and watch short animations that play out an outbreak with either high or low vaccination coverage.

“FRED users can see on a map of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. how one case of measles can turn into a major outbreak or be quickly quashed, all depending on the vaccination rates of a community,” said Donald S. Burke, M.D., Pitt Public Health dean and UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair of Global Health. “Our hope is that people will use this to have informed discussions about the value of vaccination and its role in preventing epidemics.”

Examining the impact of high and low vaccination rates allows people to grasp the concept of herd immunity, explained Dr. Burke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that when 95 percent of a community – or the “herd” – is vaccinated against measles, the 5 percent who can’t be vaccinated because they are too young or have compromised immune systems, as well as those whose immunity wore off or never took hold, should be protected because the virus can’t gain a foothold and spread. When vaccination rates dip too low, the herd isn’t protected and measles can sweep through a community.

Measles is a highly contagious virus. If someone with measles is in a room, nine out of 10 unvaccinated people in that room will contract the virus. For two hours after the infected person leaves, the room’s air will harbor the virus.

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

Veterans Square to Get New Benches

As part of their ongoing downtown improvement efforts, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Program are working on the next phase of rehabilitating Veteran’s Square, with plans to purchase and install eight steel eight-foot park benches.

The benches are being made my Swanson’s Fabrication of Bradford, a local company specializing in structural steel and aluminum, including custom design and engineering. “It was important to us to use a local manufacturer for this project,” said Anita Dolan, Main Street Manager, “and Swanson’s Fabrication has an excellent reputation for working with their customers to achieve high quality, professional results.”

Each bench will have a bronze plaque signifying who donated the bench. Wright Monumental Works, also of Bradford, will be creating the plaques. “This is a hometown effort with the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street program working together with local companies to achieve a positive visual impact in Veteran’s Square,” said BACC Executive Director Ron Orris. Each bench will have a cost of $1750, which includes engraving the plaques. Companies, organizations, or individuals interested in purchasing a bench in memory of or in honor of someone should contact the Chamber office at 814-368-7115.

In addition to installation of the benches, the Chamber and the Main Street program will also be holding a clean-up day for Veteran’s Square later this spring and planting dozens of roses in the area where the tree came down last year. The expected timeline for completion of these efforts will be late April or early May, so that the improvements are all in place before the Memorial Day parade and services.

As Dolan noted, “In an effort to keep improving the look of our historic district, the purchase of the new benches will complement the work that was done on the gazebo last year, therefore improving the overall appearance of Veteran’s Square, which is a significant part of our Main Street’s history.” In 2014, the two organizations worked together to give the gazebo a freshly-painted new look, while the Chamber provided patriotic decorations throughout the summer months and holiday lights and greenery during the Christmas season. “Veteran’s Square is a downtown landmark that deserves our attention and care, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Main Street program to help keep it at its best,” said Orris.

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