Showing posts from March 13, 2011

'Perigee Moon' Tonight

Saturday's full moon will be a super "perigee moon" -- the biggest in almost 20 years. ...

"The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," said Geoff Chester with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. "I'd say it's worth a look."

For the full story, go to

Dirt Bikes on Bedford Street

Nice weather means dirt bikes hitting the streets in Bradford, and city police got a report of people riding them on Bedford Street Friday. Officers also got a report of a disabled vehicle on West Washington Street, harassment on Bushnell Street and a dispute on Main Street, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Also on Friday, police stopped someone for driving under the influence on Mill Street and got a report of a violation of a city ordinance in Veterans Square.

Early this morning, there was an animal complaint on Elm Street and a noise complaint on Brookline Court.

Accused Robber Facing More Charges

One of the men accused of robbing a pizza deliveryman, who is also a National Guard solider, is facing additional charges.

19-year-old Hilario Maldonado Waskiewicz Jr. of Olean is charged with burglary in connection with a March 2 incident in Olean.

Waskiewicz, 19-year-old Travis Satterfield and a 17-year-old, are charged with robbing Matthew Balcerzak March 8 on Smith Hollow Road in Allegany. They got $28.

Waskiewicz is also charged in a menacing case that happened earlier on the night of March 8 in Olean. State Police say he showed up at a man's house on McDuffy Road wearing a hoodie, a ski mask and displaying a handgun.

UPB's Pascarella is Hitter of the Week

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball player Michael Pascarella was named the National Hitter of the Week Friday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Pascarella hit .714 in nine games during the team’s Spring Break trip to Arizona last week. He finished with 25 total hits, including nine that went for extra bases. He drove in a team-high 15 runs and mashed four homeruns for the week. He recorded a slugging percentage of 1.286 and had an on-base percentage of .744. The Bradford native scored 18 runs and added a stolen base as well.

Pascarella currently leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, total hits, triples, homeruns, and total bases.

Pitt-Bradford returns to action this weekend with four games against Penn State Harrisburg.

Kane Man Allegedly Took Cops on Chase

A Kane man is accused of leading Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase along Route 417 in Allegany this morning.

Deputies say they tried to stop 24-year-old Jerome Hays for speeding, but he drove away. He was picked up after a brief car chase, and a foot chase through the parking lot at the Country Inn and Suites.

Hays is facing charges of DWI and fleeing from police.

Man Indicted on Homicide Charge

A Sheridan man has been indicted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in connection to death of another man last October.

53-year-old Thomas Rell is accused of shooting and killing Alan Kilburn in his home on October 17, 2010.

Rell is in Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Corbett Tours Gas Well Service Company

Governor Tom Corbett today toured Nu-Weld, Inc., a complete gas well service company in Trout Run, highlighting his commitment to growing the commonwealth’s economy and helping businesses create jobs for hardworking Pennsylvanians.

“My budget is a commitment to Pennsylvania’s workers. It supports our future by making sure workers, whether they own their business or work for someone else, have a share in the economy we are looking to build,” said Corbett.

Corbett’s proposed budget contains no tax or fee increases and cuts government spending by 3 percent, most of which is done by consolidating programs, targeting inefficiencies and reducing or eliminating discretionary financial grants.

The budget refocuses and streamlines the state’s support of free enterprise by supporting programs that will encourage economic growth and job creation, streamlining a multitude of business incentive programs and awarding tax credits as incentives for new and creative ideas to improve business and industry…

Bath Salts Found in Vehicle of Dead Men

The synthetic drug “bath salts” was found in the vehicle of two Warren men whose bodies were discovered Thursday in the Allegheny National Forest.

Police say along with empty containers of bath salts, they found a partially filled container, hypodermic needles, spoons and a marijuana pipe.

Earlier today, Warren County Coroner Jeremiah Borden said 29-year-old Troy Johnson and 28-year-old Terry Sumrow died of exposure-hypothermia.

To watch a video about bath salts that we posted in February, go here. Senator Bob Casey is also calling for bath salts to be added to the federal list of controlled substances.

Smoke Shop Burglar Gets Probation

A Salamanca man will spend 5 years on probation for his part in a burglary last summer when more than $8,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from a Salamanca smoke shop.

20-year-old James Porter, along with a Salamanca woman and a 17-year-old, broke into the Across the River Smoke Shop on July 11.

In January, 20-year-old Alexa Knoxsah was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in prison for her part in the burglary.

Coroner: Warren Men Died of Exposure

The two men found dead near the Kinzua Reservoir in the Allegheny National Forest on Thursday died of exposure-hypothermia, according to Warren County Coroner Jeremiah Borden.

Borden ruled the deaths accidental and said no autopsies would be performed on 29-year-old Troy Johnson and 28-year-old Terry Sumrow.

Johnson and Sumrow were found during a search by law enforcement and volunteer firefighters on Thursday afternoon that started after a US Forest Service law enforcement officer found a vehicle they were looking for in connection with a missing person investigation.

Bradford Beat Cleveland!

Bradford has moved on in's America's Toughest Weather City tournament.

We're going against Nantucket, Mass., in the next round.

Voting will begin on the "Sweet 16" round Monday, March 21 at 6am EDT, continuing until Wednesday, March 23 at 5am EDT.

Go here to vote on Monday.

Drunk, Disturbing People in Bradford

Bradford City Police on Thursday dealt with a couple of people who apparently couldn’t handle their green bear. They were called about an intoxicated person on South Center Street and a public drunk on Mechanic Street.

Officers were also called to a fight on Mechanic Street, disturbances on State and South Center streets and a report of terroristic threats on Bradford Place. They also looked into a report of a suspicious vehicle on Poplin Avenue, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Two Bodies Found on ANF

The bodies of two Warren men who had been missing for two weeks were recovered Thursday afternoon in the Allegheny National Forest.

The cause of death of 29-year-old Troy Johnson and 28-year-old Terry Sumrow has not been determined yet, but officials say initial reports indicate foul play was not a factor.

On Thursday afternoon, a Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer located a vehicle on Forest Road 262 near the upper reservoir of the Kinzua Dam that they were looking for in connection with a missing person investigation in Warren.

A search of the area by law enforcement officers and volunteer firefighters led to the discovery of the two bodies, according to a news release sent to WESB and The HERO by the Forest Service.

The incident remains under investigation by the Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations, Warren-based state police, the Warren County District Attorney and the Warren County Coroner.

The search was led by the Warren County Sheriff's Department, Assisting we…

Mezzo-Soprano to Perform at UPB

Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Sullivan, an internationally recognized soloist and professor will perform Friday, March 25, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

She and pianist Kirk Severtson will take to the stage of Bromeley Family Theater of Blaisdell Hall at 7 p.m. The concert is free and is an offering of the university’s Spectrum Series.

Sullivan’s program includes songs by Georges Bizet, Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Richard Strauss, as well as Benjamin Britten’s “A Charm of Lullabies” and “Cabaret.”

“I’ve seen Dr. Sullivan perform on several occasions, and she’s captivating,” said Dr. John Levey, assistant professor of music at Pitt-Bradford. “She’s selected some fantastic repertoire for her recital, and it will be a treat to hear her with a pianist as accomplished as Dr. Severtson.

“It’s also fitting that she’ll be here just a few weeks before Marilyn Horne returns to campus as commencement speaker,” Levey said. Bradford native Marilyn Horne is a world-r…

NY Pair Jailed on Drug Charges

An Olean man and a Wellsville woman are facing charges following an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in and around Wellsville.

19-year-old Christopher White is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He is in Allegany County Jail, and police say additional charges may be filed.

19-year-old Jennifer Elliott is charged with criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance, as well as petit larceny. Police say she supplied narcotics to another person on several occasions in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.

She is also in Allegany County Jail.

Pitt-Bradford's Sister University
Weathers Earthquake, Tsunami

By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

For Dr. Fumio Kobayashi, visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, being away from his home in Japan in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami is difficult.

He is comforted by the knowledge that his family, city and school, Pitt-Bradford’s sister school in Japan, Yokohama College of Commerce, made it through the crisis relatively unscathed.

Yokohama, where YCC is located, is part of the Tokyo metropolitan area, a half-hour train ride from the capital. It’s about 200 miles from the areas of Japan that have been dealing with the effects of a 34-foot-high tsunami and problems with nuclear reactors.

Friday morning’s quake, however, did hit Yokohama and continues to. Kobayashi said there has been little damage in the city because most buildings were constructed after the destruction of World War II to withstand an earthquake, but aftershocks contin…

Area Code Change Put On Hold

The Public Utility Commission has delayed a decision to split the state's 814 area code because it probably won't run out of phone numbers until 2015.

The PUC approved a plan in December to switch the area code to 582 for the northwestern part of the state, but in January commissioners said they would revisit the issue after receiving a number of petitions and complaints.

The other option is an overlay, which would give all new numbers in the region the 582 area code but allow current customers to keep 814.

The commission is still planning to hold public hearings on the matter.

AG: Waste Hauler Illegally Dumped
Millions of Gallons of Drilling Waste

A Greene County man has been charged with illegally dumping millions of gallons of wastewater across southwestern Pennsylvania – including water from gas drilling operations, sludge from sewage treatment plants and grease water from restaurants.

The state attorney general’s office say 50-year-old Robert Allan Shipman’s company illegally disposed of the wastewater between 2003 and 2009.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan says, "This was a calculated and long-running scheme to personally profit by illegally dumping waste water, regardless of the potential for environmental damage.”

Investigator: Methane Gas Migration in
Water Well is Possible Cause of Explosions

Methane gas migrating through a water well is being investigated as a cause in explosions that destroyed an Interstate Parkway home in December and a Helen Lane home last month.

That’s according to an investigator for Olean, New York, lawyer Ethan Lyle, who represents one of the homeowners.

The investigator attended Tuesday’s meeting in Bradford Township when government and emergency officials discussed the possible cause or causes of the explosions.

When speaking with WESB and The HERO this afternoon, Lyle said his client has asked that he not comment any further.

Methane gas migration is what led to the problems with tainted water in Dimock. More than a dozen homes in the tiny town in Susquehanna County, where one house exploded on New Year’s Day in 2009, still don’t have safe drinking water.

Steven Rebert Asks for New Judge

The Emporium man accused of killing a Brockway-area couple last year has asked for a new judge in his trial.

Steven Rebert says he wants a new judge because John Foradora is from Brockway, where murder victims Wayne and Vicky Shugar owned a flower shop.

Foradora said although he lives in Brockway he did not know the Shugars, and will not recuse himself.

The Shugars were found shot to death in the basement of their home just south of Brockway in April of last year.

Jury selection for Rebert’s trial is scheduled for January 9, 2012.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


DEP Still Investigating Explosions

The state Department of environmental protection is still looking into the source of the apparent gas migration that caused two Bradford Township houses to explode.

“DEP is conducting an ongoing investigation with a number of other agencies with the goal of ensuring public health and safety,” DEP spokeswoman Freda Tarbell told WESB and The HERO today. “The department is working to identify the source of the problem that has resulted in the incidents in Bradford Township, and we are still at it.”

She said they are collecting new information all the time so she “really can’t make any blanket statement about what the cause of the situation might be and say this applies to every instance.”

Government and emergency officials attended a closed-door meeting last night to discuss the issue.

Tarbell said the meeting was productive and that the people who attended were “exchanging information and trying to bring each other up to date about where all our investigations are.”

Senator Bob Casey’s offic…

EMA Expected to Release
Information on Gas Migration Issues

The McKean County Emergency Management Agency is expected to release information “in the very near future” about the apparent gas migration that caused two houses in Bradford Township to explode recently.

Government and emergency officials attended a closed-door meeting last night to discuss the issue.

Senator Bob Casey says he is concerned about these situations and stands ready to assist local and state officials with any help they may need from the federal government. Casey says he is continuing to monitor the investigations and urges that a resolution be achieved for the safety of McKean County residents.

Bradford vs. Cleveland: Vote!

Bradford has made it through the first round of's Toughest Weather City Tournament by beating out Philadelphia (No brainer, right?)

We're facing Cleveland in the next round.

Go to to cast your vote.

Second round voting ends on Friday.

'Gasland' at St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure University’s Sustainability Committee and Clare College will host a free screening of “Gasland,” an award-winning documentary about the impact of natural gas drilling. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building. The public is invited.

When former New York Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order banning horizontal hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) until July 2011, human health and environmental safety were key concerns. These concerns are the focus of Josh Fox’s groundbreaking film “Gasland.” The film takes viewers on a 24-state journey to investigate the safety and risks of fracking and the natural gas drilling boom sweeping across America.

On the way, the film highlights moving and powerful stories of farmers, ranchers and other residents whose water, health, and livelihoods have been affected by fracking and other forms of natural gas drilling.

The journey begins near Fox’s family home in…

Meeting About House Explosions

Representatives of local, state and federal governments met last night to discuss two house explosions in Bradford Township, and what caused them.

Kyle Hannon of Senator Bob Casey’s office told WESB and The HERO he could not comment specifically on what was discussed at the meeting, and referred questions to the senator’s press office.

DEP spokeswoman Freda Tarbell said she didn’t know about the meeting until we contacted her this morning, but said she will get back to us.

The meeting was closed to the public and the media.

I'm still working on it.

ANF is 'Best Kept Secret in Pennsylvania'


When David Imschweiler talks about Allegheny National Forest, he gets all mushy. That’s because this dog musher has discovered the Forest to be the best place to train his sled dogs.

“It’s the best kept secret in Pennsylvania,” Imschweiler said.

Imschweiler, owner of an Erie Insurance agency by day, has a passion for the outdoors and the ANF. His first exposure to the ANF was when he raced in the Lobdell Mid-Distance Sled Dog Race during Warren County’s Winterfest.

“I am in love with the (Allegheny National Forest),” Imschweiler said. “It is so beautiful and majestic ... this is a gem out here.”

The New Tripoli man is not alone.

Al Tarr has been coming to the ANF since 1969 when his father built a camp in Marshburg. The family had been coming to the area for hunting and fishing. Eventually, the Gibsonia man got involved in sled dog racing. He would bring his kids to Westline when sled dog races were held there.

Eventually, he spoke with Guy Waldman, formerly of the Pennsylva…

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness Plans
Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail Cleanup

The Warren-based Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) is looking for volunteers to help with a trail cleanup project in the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) over the first weekend in April. Hickory Creek Wilderness is located in southern Warren County.

In addition to FAW's ongoing primary mission to see that wilderness protections in the ANF are increased, the non-profit organization over the years has also made significant volunteer investments in wilderness stewardship. This has included maintenance of the Hickory Creek Wilderness trail, ecological restoration within Hickory Creek Wilderness, removal of refuse from the Allegheny Islands Wilderness, and other projects.

FAW's next major stewardship project will be a cleanup of the 12-mile Hickory Creek Wilderness trail on April 1st-3rd. The organization has consulted with and received approval from the U.S. Forest Service to proceed with the project. The FAW crew will leave from the Hickory C…

Fatal Crash in Ridgway

UPDATE: 23-year-old Konapiliahi Akana of Ridgway died in the crash.

A driver is dead after a car went out of control early this morning in Ridgway and hit a building.

Police say the crash happened at 2:30 a.m. on Route 219 at the bottom of Boot Jack Hill. The car hit the building at 2 Depot Street.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, but the person’s name has not been released yet, pending notification of family members.

Man Pleads Guilty to Raping Child

A Steamburg man has pleaded guilty to raping a child in October of last year.

25-year-old Marshall Jacobs had sex with a child who is younger than 17 in the Town of Coldspring.

He will be sentenced on May 23 in Cattaraugus County Court.

Sheriff's Office Looking for Two Men

The Chautauqua Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible quick change scam that occurred at the Tops Market in Frewsburg around 5:23pm on Sunday.

They are looking for 2 black men.

One appears to be in his 40s, about 5’10” with facial hair and a skinny to average build.

The second man appears to be in his 60s with grey hair, grey facial hair and a slender build.

Anyone who can identify either of the men is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 716- 753-4232, or (800)78-CRIME, (800)782-7463. Or, go to

Any information received could be used for an award for the provider through the We-Tip program. Leads which are received that result in conviction could result in a $1,000 reward for the provider.

Photos provided by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.

'Marcellus Play in PA' on March 23

The McKean County Conservation District and the Seneca Chapter of Trout Unlimited are sponsoring to have Trout Unlimited’s Marcellus Shale Field Organizer, Dave Sewak, give his “Marcellus Play in PA” presentation.

The presentation will take place Wednesday, March 23rd at 7pm at the Vo-Tech School in Port Allegany.

Dave’s thirty minute presentation explains Marcellus Shale hydrofracking; its location the process, environmental concerns, what Trout Unlimited is doing about it, the PATU Coldwater Conservation Corps, and what the future holds.

The presentation is open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Please contact the McKean County Conservation District at (814) 887-4001 or to register by Friday March 18th.

Elder Abuse Reported in Bradford

Bradford City Police on Monday investigated a report of elder abuse on Holley Avenue, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Officers also got reports of harassment on West Washington and Circle streets and on Holley Avenue, and of thefts on West Corydon and Davis streets.

Man Jailed for Punching Sheriff's Deputy

A man is in jail for allegedly punching a Cattaraugus County sheriff’s deputy in the face.

Deputies say Thomas Carlini was drunk early Saturday morning on the gaming floor at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca. He was being loud while waiting for a cab, so deputies told him to wait in an office. They say he “decided he didn’t want to cooperate and he punched a deputy” in the face.

Carlini was charged with assault and sent to the county jail on $1,000 bail.

Nuclear Crisis in Japan Deepens

For continuing coverage of the nuclear crisis in Japan, go to

Anderson Cooper reports from Japan:

Board Awards Fitness Center Contracts

WESB/WBRR News Director

Two members of the Bradford Area School Board on Monday voted against awarding contracts for the proposed fitness center at the high school, but seven voted in favor of it.

Board member Joe Troutman said with the economy the way it is, he can’t see voting for the project right now.

He added that with state funding in limbo he feels this is a bad time to spend $1 million.

Listen to Troutman's comments here.

Board member Helen Cummiskey also voted against awarding the contracts.

Later in the meeting, School Superintendent Sandra Romanowski explained that according to school code money that is put aside for projects – in this case the fitness center – cannot be taken out for other instructional purposes.

“We are all very aware that the (state) budget is going to be very difficult for all of us, and very painful this year,” she said.

Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal slashes about $1 billion from education spending.

The money for the fitness cent…