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Friday, March 6, 2015

Mayor, Council Salaries to Increase

Bradford City Council has voted to raise the salaries of the mayor city council members and city controller for 2016.

Mayor Tom Riel did not attend the special meeting and, obviously, did not vote on the measure. Councilman Rhett Kennedy was also absent from the meeting.

The mayor’s salary would go from $5,000 to $10,000, while the council salaries would go from $3,500 to $5,000 a year. The mayor and council members are on call 24 hours a day.

Final reading of the measure is set for the regular council meeting on Tuesday. Riel tells WESB he will not be attending that meeting either because of another engagement.

The last time salaries were raised was in 1995.

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lilly Ledbetter to Speak at Pitt-Bradford

BRADFORD, Pa. – Lilly Ledbetter, who inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, will speak at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford later this month about equal pay for women, equal rights in the workplace and leadership.

Ledbetter’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 19 in Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The event is part of Pitt-Bradford’s Women’s History Month programming.

After Ledbetter discovered that she was making thousands less per year than men in the same management position at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, she battled for 10 years to close the gap between women’s and men’s wages, sparring with the U.S. Supreme Court and lobbying Capitol Hill.

Although she won a jury verdict of more than $3 million after having filed a gender pay discrimination suit in federal court, the Supreme Court later overturned the lower court’s ruling, arguing that Ledbetter had filed her suit too late. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reading her dissent from the bench, urged Ledbetter to continue fighting to change the law.

In the end, the Supreme Court was nullified when, in 2009, President Barack Obama signed into the law the first new law of his administration, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which resets the statute of limitations for a worker to sue for discriminatory pay each time he or she receives a discriminatory paycheck.

Ledbetter was born in a house with no running water or electricity in the small town of Possum Trot, Ala. In 1979, with two young children at home and over the initial objections of her husband, Charles, she applied for her dream job at the Goodyear tire factory. Even though the only women she’d seen at the plant were secretaries in the front office where she’d submitted her application, she was hired at the management level.

Nineteen years later, she received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men working in the same position. That was when she filed her sex-discrimination suit against Goodyear. She never did receive compensation for the years she worked for less pay than her male counterparts.

Today Ledbetter is an advocate for change, traveling the country to urge women and minorities to claim their civil rights.

In addition to her public speech, Ledbetter will be meeting with students, staff and faculty on campus throughout the day. Her visit is sponsored in part by a $1,000 grant from the Walmart Community Grant Program.

The overall theme for Pitt-Bradford’s Women’s History Month Celebration is, “Owning Our Stories, Lifting Our Voices.”

Other events include an Empty Bowls and Baskets hunger awareness dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. March 19 in the Mukaiyama University Room of the Frame-Westerberg Commons, which is also open to the public.

For disability needs related to Ledbetter’s talk or the dinner, contact the Office of Disability Resources at 814-362-7609 or

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Closings and Cancellations

CareerLink in Bradford is closed for the day.

Tonight's Lady Investors of Bradford meeting at the YWCA is cancelled.

St. Francis Church has cancelled its 9 a.m. Mass tomorrow (Wednesday).

For the latest list of Closings & Cancellations go to or like our Facebook page,

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

Bradford Man Pleads to Catt County Drug Charge

A Bradford man has pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Cattaraugus County.

Prosecutors say 42-year-old William Cabisca attempted to possess a controlled substance on June 11 in the Town of Cold Spring.

He is scheduled for sentencing on May 11.

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

Bradford Man Sentenced in Catt County

A Bradford man who lunged at another man’s throat with a knife has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court to time served and five years’ probation.

37-year-old Dana Jimerson attacked the man on Thanksgiving Day in Great Valley.

He was convicted of attempted assault.

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

Man Pleads Not Guilty in Connection to
Motorcycle Crash That Killed His Wife

A man accused of driving drunk in a motorcycle crash that killed his wife has pleaded not guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

51-year-old Michael Baker of Machias, who was critically injured in the crash, is charged with vehicle manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and related offenses in connection to the accident that killed 43-year-old Dianne Baker on August 11, 2013.

Police say Michael Baker failed to negotiate a curve on McKinstry Road in Machias and lost control of the motorcycle. Both of the Bakers were thrown from the bike.

Dianne was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Baker was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC in Buffalo. His case has been adjourned for motions.

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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Disaster Declaration Lifted;
Boil Water Advisory Still in Effect

The Disaster Declaration for the City of Bradford has officially been lifted, but we are still under a Boil Water Advisory until further notice.

Kim Benjamin says it's OK for people to go back to "normal" water use. He adds that, "it's always smart to conserve water, that just makes sense. It's good common sense."

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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Water Update

The Bradford Water Authority’s system is continuing to recover from last Monday’s break and subsequent leakage which drained the entire system. At present, all storage tanks have been stabilized with no alarms. Storage levels are at about 75 to 80 percent of capacity and rising. The system has not yet fully recovered. BWA crew members worked throughout the weekend to continue to resolve problems related to the recent water crisis.

Frozen main lines have been reported in the areas of Petrolia, Oxford and Lincolndale. Residents who are still without water due to frozen service lines or lines in their homes need to contact a local plumber.

BWA customers are asked to continue to conserve water as much as possible. The “Boil Water Advisory” continues to be in effect. Testing on BWA samples will begin Monday with hopes of lifting the advisory later in the week.

A press conference will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in City Council chambers, 3rd floor City Hall, followed by a noon special meeting of City Council. The special meeting has been called for the purpose of lifting the Declaration of Disaster (State of Emergency). Leaders of larger business and industry in the area have been contacted and told that they are allowed to resume business as usual on Monday.

On behalf of the City of Bradford, I would like to thank everybody who helped out in any way during this crisis, large or small. The list of all who pitched in and stepped up would be too long to even start to compile without missing somebody. Please know that all efforts given are most appreciated and show that we truly are one Bradford community. Of the many heroes this past week, I feel the need to recognize one group in particular. As usual, the dedication and commitment of the Bradford Water Authority employees was beyond exceptional and amazing. Your tough work ethic and professionalism are something we should all be proud of and inspired by. Thank you for all that you do every day!

Mayor Tom Riel

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