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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

OECD Main Topic of Much More Sedate
Bradford City Council Meeting

Most of Tuesday’s City Council meeting consisted of defending the Office of Economic and Community Development, which has added $8 million to Bradford’s real estate tax base alone since its inception in 1987.

This does not include the new retail development and the Zippo/Case Museum along Chestnut Street (constructed by the OECD), which has generated several million more in new real estate taxes, along with many new businesses and jobs, OECD executive director Sara Andrews said in a prepared statement.

She made the statement – which was mainly addressed to mayoral candidate Paul Berg – because of accusations he made against her and the OECD on his Facebook page.

She called his statements “non-fact based” and “nonsense” before explaining the OECD’s contributions to the city, townships and Lewis Run – not the least of which was facilitating the sale of the refinery to American Refining Group when it was on the verge of closing in 1997. Among the other business OECD helped to recruit are Bradford Forest Products, Keystone Powdered Metal, Microtech, Holiday Inn Express and Luminite. They have also helped to create many new small businesses through their incubator program and the availability of low-interest loans.

She also explained the neighborhood revitalization projects and improvements made, and in the works, for the city’s parks, the Tuna Valley Trail System and more.

“Mr. Berg,” she said, in concluding her statement, “you can continue to write on your little social media pages and websites your imaginary comments and hearsay information that you get from who-knows-where, but I’m going to tell you one thing: you are never going to find any dishonest activity on behalf of the OECD staff.

“If you want to continue to make us a target and smear me to try to win a campaign, I don’t think you’re going to get very far.”

You can hear the rest of Andrews’ comments by going to, clicking on the "local programs" tab and scrolling to #54.

The other main issue visitors asked about was the proposed stormwater fee, which Mayor Tom Riel thoroughly explained during the last council meeting two weeks ago.

However, Riel explained again that it is only a proposal and that public work sessions and public meetings will be held before council even considers going ahead with the plan.

When the public comment portion of the meeting was over and the business portion had started, Riel had to tell several people in the back of the room to quiet down.

“We ask that you still remain orderly during this part of the meeting,” Riel said, adding that if what happened last time – disruptive behavior – happened again people would be removed from the room.

Later, when Riel skipped past a couple of ordinances in the agenda, he apologized, saying was “distracted by the people in the audience who were talking.”

One of the matters addressed in the business portion of the meeting was the emergency demolition and clean up of the property at 3-5 Main Street that crumbled earlier this month. The ordinance council approved also says other work may be necessary to not affect the Players Downtown building, which is partially connected to the building owned by Joseph and Edna Hallock.

Immediately after the meeting Berg claimed he has no intention of “getting rid of the OECD.” Also, when the meeting was over, a woman whose address Berg posted on his Facebook page confronted him about not deleting it after she asked him to do that. Former county commissioner John Egbert told her she can make him do it and she said, “Oh, I know I can.” She and Berg were told to take their argument outside of council chambers, which they did. Shortly after that, Police Chief Chris Lucco ran out of the room to stop a fight that had broken out.

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City Council Meeting

Bradford City Council meets at 7 p.m. today in city council chambers, city hall, on Kennedy Street.

If you can't make it to the meeting, we will provide uncut, unedited full audio and video afterward.

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

Warrants Issued for Robbery Suspects

UPDATE: Stephanie Berg and Robert Gould have been apprehended. Troopers are still looking for Shad Gutshall. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call them at 778-5555.

Arrest warrants have been issued for three people accused of robbing a Port Allegany man at gunpoint Sunday night.

Police say 24-year-old Jacob Borowsky was walking in Crosby when 23-year-old Stephanie Berg of Eldred pulled her Jeep Cherokee into a driveway. She and her passenger, 25-year-old Richard Gould III of Eldred, told Borowsky to get inside and, because he knew them, he did. But then 31-year-old Shad Gutshall of Warren put Borowsky in a choke hold, put a gun to his head and demanded all of his money. After he gave them about $100, they let him go.

Anyone who knows where to find Gutshall, Berg or Gould is asked to contact Kane-based state police at 814-778-5555.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Special Olympics Track & Field Meet May 6

Special Olympics athletes from throughout McKean County will travel to Kane Area High School on Wednesday, May 6, to compete in the annual Special Olympics/Zippo Track & Field Meet.

Over 230 special athletes, ranging from 5 to 71 years of age, are registered to participate at the 40th annual event. Starting time is 10:00 a.m. In case of rain, the meet will be postponed to May 7. Event director is Ashley Komidar, teacher at Kane Elementary School.

Up to six athletes can qualify to represent McKean County at the Pennsylvania Special Olympics State Games at Penn State, June 4-6.

McKean Special Olympics coordinator Pat Ryan noted, “The track meet is our biggest competition of the year and our athletes have been working hard in training for this event.”

Volunteers are needed to help with the meet. They should call 368-9310 or register at the concession stand on Wednesday morning.

McKean County Special Olympics is a year-round program of sports training and competition for mentally and physically challenged athletes. In addition to track and field, programs are offered in softball, swimming, basketball, equestrian, golf, bowling and skiing.

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Kinzua Dam Report

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State Park Road Work This Week

Road work on ASP Rt. 3 from the bear caves up to park entrance near Bradford toll is scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather.

No traffic will be allowed to go in or out of the park at the Bradford toll or where work is being done along ASP Rt. 3

Anyone wishing to get through the park will have to use ASP Rt. 1 or take Interstate 86 to get around.

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Horse Hurt in Overnight Crash

A horse sustained minor injuries in an overnight crash on Dutch Hollow Road in the Town of Ellery.

Sheriff’s deputies say 62-year-old Thomas Hockran was driving a vehicle that was pulling a horse trailer, when the vehicle and the trailer went off the road. Local veterinarians, the county technical rescue team and area firefighters were able to get the horse out of the trailer.

Hockran and a passenger were not hurt.

Deputies are continuing their investigation.

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Youth Raise $1,700 to Feed Hungry;
Spruce Up Community Park

About 40 young people took park in a 30-hour famine project on Friday and Saturday, and raised more than $1,700 to feed the hungry.

Their service project was to clean, weed, prune and work on the beds in the Project Pride Community Garden on Bank Street.

Participants were from the Community Life Center at Grace Lutheran Church and Open Arms Community Church.

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Hiker Discovers Remains of Two Cats

Two cats left in plastic animal carriers last year in the area of Windy City near Forestry Road 195 in Elk County, were recently found by a hiker.

State police say the cats were dropped there between March and September of last year and were undisturbed through the winter. Both cats had long orange fur. One had a blue nylon collar.

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

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Limestone Man Sentenced for Sex Crime

A Limestone man has been sentenced to one to four years in state prison for promoting a sexual performance by a child.

36-year-old Billy Dixon was also sentenced to two concurrent one-year terms for possession of a sexual performance by a child younger than 16 and unlawful surveillance.

The first incident was in March of 2013, the second in February of 2014 and the last in August, all in Carrolton.

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BCPAC Brings Starship to Bradford

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, will bring its classic rock and roll sounds to the Bradford Area High School Auditorium for a 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016 performance.

This is the seventh show announced by the Bradford Creative & Performing Arts Center (BCPAC) for the upcoming season.

The legendary San Francisco band, featuring Mickey Thomas, almost needs no introduction. They had a hand in shaping rock and roll music for nearly four decades. Many may remember Starship rose out of the shadow of their parent group, Jefferson Starship, and before that, the Jefferson Airplane.

“I’m really excited about this show,” says BCPAC executive director, David Fillenwarth. “This band is known for putting on a great performance, and it answers the plea of area residents who want to see and hear a classic rock band.” Fillenwarth added, “We’re going to hear the full catalog of hits from their storied history and a couple of added surprises.”

The band produced iconic 1980s songs including, “We Built This City,” “Sara,” “Layin’ It on the Line,” “Find Your Way Back,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “Jane.”

Thomas joined the then Jefferson Starship in 1979, after the departure of singer Grace Slick and singer-guitarist Marty Balin. The group made various personnel changes, eventually touring as Starship.

During the 1980s, Thomas served as the main vocalist, performing several duets with Slick, who rejoined in 1981. When Paul Kantner left in 1984, Thomas became the band’s solo leader.

From 1985 to 1989, Starship recorded some of its biggest hits, some with Slick, who left again in 1988. After her departure, Starship reached the Top 40 charts with “It’s Not Enough.”

In 1990, Thomas changed the group’s name to “Starship featuring Mickey Thomas,” and the group has made periodic tours since then.

Tickets are priced at $45 each and will be available for season subscribers in July, and for the general public August 3rd. Additional information will be forthcoming at the BCPAC office 814-362-2522, or online at

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