Showing posts from July 3, 2011

Bob Harris Talks About Giant Hogweed

Earlier this week we told you about the return of the giant hogweed plant. This morning on "Around the Home," Master Gardner Bob Harris talked more about the plant and also wanted to make sure people know that it can live for quite a long time before growing the large umbrella-sized leaves it's known for.

Listen to Around the Home by clicking here, then clicking on the "Giant Hogweed" show.

Photos provided by the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Teens Unhurt in Separate Crashes

Two teenagers escaped injury in separate accidents in Potter County Thursday, but they’re both facing charges.

Police say at 3:15 Thursday afternoon a 16-year-old girl from Genesee was driving a pickup truck on Ridge Road, about half a mile south of Route 449, when a deer walked onto the road. She swerved to avoid the deer, but then left the road and hit an embankment, where the car was hit by a fallen tree.

At 9:15 Thursday night a 17-year-old boy from Port Allegany was driving on Route 6 about a mile west of Coudersport when his car went out of control, traveled through a yard, hit some blueberry bushes and came to rest straddling a culvert and a small stream.

Neither teen was hurt, but they will both be charged with driving at an unsafe speed.

Hit-and-Run Causes Power Outage

A hit-and-run driver caused a power outage in Cross Fork early Friday morning, and as of this morning the village is still without power.

State police say at 3 a.m. Friday a red passenger car or minivan was attempting to turn onto Main Street from Stewart Hill, but was going too fast to make the curve, slid through the intersection and hit a utility pole, causing it to break halfway up.

The top portion of the pole fell to the ground, pulling the attached wires with it. The car backed away from the pole and fled the scene.

Crews with Tri-County Electric are on the scene repairing the pole.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Coudersport-based state police at 274-8690

Police Investigate Assault, Theft

Bradford City Police are investigating an assault on West Washington Street, a theft on Congress Street and a motor vehicle accident at Davis and Boylston streets, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Also late Thursday and Friday officers were called about a disturbance at East Main and Mill streets, harassment on Jackson Avenue and Interstate Parkway and a suspicious person on Congress Street. They were called about a parking problem on Belleview Avenue and an erratic driver on Interstate Parkway. They also did a traffic stop on Main Street and assisted a motorist at Davis and Elm streets.

Police were called about juveniles on West Washington Street, an animal on Rochester Street and noise on East Avenue. And, people with leftover fireworks prompted calls to police from Pearl and Pike streets.

Thompson Holds Hearing on
Horizontal Drilling on Federal Land

Washington, D.C. – Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson on Friday held a Joint Oversight Hearing, “Challenges facing Domestic Oil and Gas Development: Review of Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Forest Service Ban on Horizontal Drilling on Federal Lands.”

The hearing was held in conjunction with the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

The panel received testimony from a number of experts regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed ban on horizontal drilling in the George Washington National Forest, as well as the Interior Department’s possible regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Horizontal drilling provides significant benefits by reducing the footprint of oil and gas production and allowing for directional drilling in order to leave areas of environmental concern undisturbed.

“Through effective management practices, these resources have been successfully produced for decades and these tech…

Disabled Iraq War Vet
Falls From Roller Coaster, Dies

A veteran from Gowanda who lost both of his legs in the Iraq War three years ago died Friday evening when he fell off a roller coaster at Darien Lake.

Sgt. James Hackemer came out of the Ride of Steel roller coaster and died at around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, according to a statement from Darien Lake.

The theme park is investigating, but believes all safety precautions were taken. The Ride of Steel will be closed until the investigation is complete, according to Darien Lake’s website.

Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies

(CNN) --Betty Ford, the widow of President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93.

Elaine Didier, the director of the Grand Rapids, Michigan, museum, confirmed Ford's death to CNN. Ford died Friday evening with family at her bedside, according to a family member.

The family is expected to release a statement later, Didier said.

For more on this story go to

University of Pittsburgh Raises Tuition

The University of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees this morning approved an 8.5 percent tuition increase for in-state students.

The increase is 4.0 percent for both in-state and out-of-state students enrolled in the programs of the Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville campuses.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg blamed a 19 percent reduction in state funding that took $40 million from the university's $1.94 billion operating budget.

Pitt cost-cutting would cover about 60 percent of the state reduction with the tuition increase picking up the rest.

The tuition increase will take effect in the fall.

Ten-County Study in PA to Look at
Health Effects of Marcellus Shale Drilling

State Sen. John P. Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) on Thursday joined the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at Lackawanna College to announce a $75,000 state grant to conduct a health survey in the areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania affected by Marcellus shale drilling operations.

The study, which will be conducted by Cancer Institute researchers, will determine the current health status of the population in Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Pike Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties and establish an important baseline of data for future comparisons and research regarding public health in the areas impacted by Marcellus operations.

“Research is one of the most important tools in the fight against all cancers and this grant shows the state’s faith in the quality of research being conducted here in Scranton,” Blake said. “It is imperative that the health and well-being of Pennsylvania residents be the number one priority as the Marcellus industry expands in…

Woman Falls Asleep, Car Hits Utility Pole

A Clymer, New York, woman was taken to the hospital after she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and hit a utility pole.

Sheriff’s deputies say the accident happened Wednesday night on Main Street in Findley Lake.

53-year-old Leslie Oster was not wearing a seatbelt and was taken to a hospital in Corry as a precaution.

Senator Working on 'Caylee's Law'

The Casey Anthony trial is sparking a legislative effort in Pennsylvania.

State Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) plans to introduce “Caylee’s Law”, named after the Florida girl who was missing a month before her disappearance was reported. The 2-year-old was later found dead.


United Way Sets 'Day of Action'

United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. and partnering community organizations are gearing up for a busy day Sept 17th! The “Day of Action” is a day where volunteers from all walks of the community will join together to advance the common good on issues of education, income, and health. The “Day of Action” can help people make the connection on how their efforts will lead to a stronger community, whether it is reading to children, improving financial literacy, or cleaning the streets.

“This is a great day for community members to give back through volunteerism to the non-profits the Bradford Area,” state Megan Minich, Executive Director.

The United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. has partnered with the following community organizations and agencies to make this a joint effort: YWCA of Bradford, Olean-Bradford YMCA, CARE for Children, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, RSVP, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services, the Bradford Ecumenical Home/Chapel Ridg…

Man Dies When Car Hits Building

A Fredonia man is dead after his car crashed into a building early this morning.

Police say 48-year-old Robert Swank was apparently speeding at just after midnight when his car hit the One Park Place building at Center and Church streets.

Police are still investigating.

Fire Damages Coudersport Building

A fire damaged a Coudersport apartment building on Tuesday.

A state police fire marshal says the fire started on an outside porch leading into an apartment, then spread to an exterior wall. The fire put itself out, but was discovered by the renters.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.

The building is owned by Branch Property. Damage is estimated at $500.

Woman Pleads Guilty to Stabbing

An Olean woman who stabbed a Smethport man in the neck during a disagreement over a parked vehicle has pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court.

25-year-old Niki Stovall stabbed the 22-year-old on May 4, and he had to get 27 stitches.

Stovall will be sentenced September 12.

Car Runs Over Woman's Foot

A Roulette woman was hurt in a one-car accident Tuesday morning on Reed Run Road about a mile south of Railroad Avenue.

State police say 79-year-old Ruth Robski was parked in a pull-off area and was trying to get out of the car when it starting rolling forward, ran over her foot and knocked her to the ground.

Roboski was taken by ambulance to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.

Her car traveled down a small embankment and hit a tree, and was towed from the scene.

Dina DeSantis Hired by United Way

Dina DeSantis has been selected as the Community Relations Specialist for the United Way of the Bradford area, according to John Peterson, president of the United Way’s board of directors.

“The Board of Directors is excited to welcome Dina to the United Way organization,” says John Peterson, Board President. “Her qualifications, education and commitment to the area will be an asset to the organization as we move into the 2011 LIVE UNITED campaign.”

The United Way of the Bradford Area is a non-profit organization with the mission of raising and distributing funds for the purpose of community building and enhancing the quality of life in the greater Bradford area.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve the United Way and the Bradford community in this capacity,” says DeSantis. “The United Way is vital to enhancing the well-being of the Bradford community.”

DeSantis will manage external communications, fundraising, community involvement as well as volunteer management for the United Wa…

Geocachers Converge on Forest Region

Thousands of people from throughout the world descended on the Allegheny National Forest Region for GeoWoodstock IX at the Warren County Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 5.

The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, the tourist promotion agency for McKean County, was on hand to distribute local tourism information, to share information and listen to stories of the geocachers adventures as they searched for caches hidden here.

Geocaching, a relatively new phenomenon that has been around for about 10 years, involves people using GPS units (Global Positioning System) to find caches – or treasures. In many of the caches, a stamp or passport system leads to participants acquiring a uniquely numbered, traceable geocoin. It is the perfect sport, balancing technology and the outdoors, and has grown to be an international phenomenon.

Participants in Saturday’s event found treasure just be visiting the region, and enjoying the natural beauty of northwestern Pennsylvania. Visitors came from as…

Speed Disply Sign on Minard Run Road

In an effort to improve highway safety, PennDOT today placed a radar-controlled speed display sign along Route 770 (Minard Run Road) in Bradford Township, McKean County.

The sign faces eastbound traffic on Route 770, near the intersection with Foster Hollow Road. This area is posted with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour.

The speed display signs will remain on location for up to three weeks and will register the speeds of vehicles traveling along that section of roadway.

The speed display sign uses radar to determine the speeds of oncoming traffic. Those vehicle speeds are then posted on the lighted section of the sign. Above the speed display is a speed limit sign showing the posted speed limit for that section of Route 770.

PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions before heading out.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at

NY Fighting Giant Hogweed

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is warning people about a monster plant with flowers the size of umbrellas and sap that causes blisters, and could cause blindness.

The giant hogweed is spreading across the area and the agency is asking people to report any sightings of the invasive plants. Call 845-256-3111.

They are also warning people to not touch it.

Photo provided by

In McKean County, PA, call 887-5613.

Two Flown to UPMC Hamot After Crash

Two people were flown to UPMC Hamot following a crash at 1:20 Tuesday afternoon on Route 446 in Eldred Township.

Police say a car driven by 21-year-old Chelsie Dahlke of Port Allegany went out of control after the tires went onto the gravel berm. The car spun across both lanes and hit an embankment.

Mercy Flight and Stat Medevac flew Dahlke and her passenger, 78-year-old Frank Albany of Eldred, to Erie for treatment of what police described as moderate injuries.

Police say neither of them was wearing a seatbelt.

Two New Priests Coming to Bradford

Two new priests are coming to Bradford.

On July 29, Father Raymond Gramata will be replace Father Leo Gallina as pastor of St. Bernard’s Church. Gallina is retiring.

Gramata is currently pastor of St. Agatha’s Parish in Meadville.

Father Stephen Collins will be coming to St. Francis of Assisi and Our Mother of Perpetual Help churches to fill in for Father Sam Slocum, who was suspended in April after criminal charges were filed against him.

Collins is currently the administrator at St. Anthony’s Parish in Sheffield and chaplain at Warren State Hospital.

Burglar Sentenced to Probation

A man who asked a plain clothes detective for directions to the house he was planning to rob has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court.

21-year-old Brett Giambelluca of Buffalo will spend the next 5 years on probation.

Giambelluca and two other people were picked up on the morning of September 13 shortly after they asked the detectives for directions to a building in the Town of Conewango. The detectives were doing surveillance in the area because it had been targeted by burglars.

Police found more than $3,000 worth of stolen property in Giambelluca’s vehicle.

Ross McGinnis to be Inducted into
Little League Hall of Excellence

A western Pennsylvania soldier posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of four comrades in Iraq will be inducted into the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence at this year's Little League World Series.

19-year-old Army Pfc. Ross McGinnnis of Knox died in 2006 after he dove on top of a grenade that had been thrown through the gunner's hatch of a Humvee on patrol outside of Baghdad.

Little League president Stephen Keener calls McGinnis a true hero. McGinnis played second base and the outfield for six years in Little League.

His mother, Romayne, says baseball taught her son teamwork and a commitment to achieving common goals.

For more on this story go to

Emporium Man Hurt in Monday Accident

An Emporium man was hurt in an accident Monday on Route 120 in Shippen Township.

State police say 28-year-old Dave Hammersley of Greensburg accelerated at a speed too high for him to control his vehicle, causing it to spin and hit an embankment.

His passenger, 25-year-old James Cooney, suffered minor injuries.

Man Charged with Drunk Boating

An Orchard Park man is charged with boating while intoxicated following an incident Monday evening at Sunset Bay.

Sheriff’s deputies say their navigation division saw an unmanned personal watercraft adrift off Sunset Bay, and a man attempting to swim up to it. He eventually did get back on to the jet-ski.

Deputies later learned that 20-year-old Ryan Wagner had a blood-alcohol content above .08 percent and was operating a personal watercraft without taking a boater safety course.

St. Marys Couple Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

Two people were hurt when a deer ran in front of their motorcycle Friday night on Route 120 about a mile east of Driftwood.

State Police say 52-year-old Stephen Brunner of St. Marys was traveling west when the deer ran in front of his bike and he couldn’t keep from hitting the animal, causing the motorcycle to fall onto its side.

Brunner and his passenger, 50-year-old Deborah Brunner, also of St. Marys, were both taken by ambulance to Elk Regional Health Center for treatment of moderate injuries.

Police Investigating Sexual Assault

Bradford City police are investigating a sexual assault that was reported Monday afternoon in the city, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Also Monday, officers got reports about a suspicious package on West Washington Street and a theft on Elm Street. They investigated a motor vehicle accident on Main Street and looked into reports of harassment on Poplin Avenue and a disturbance on Thompson Avenue.

Police also got complaints about fireworks-related noise from Bank Street and Charlotte Avenue and unspecified noise from Kiwanis Court.

Man Cited for Fireworks Violation

A Tonawanda, New York, man is facing charges for shooting off an M-80 firecracker at the Sunset Bay Beach Club parking lot.

Sheriff’s deputies were on patrol when they saw 24-year-old Kevin Mayer light fireworks near parked cars. After they heard an explosion, they stopped Mayer and found out he set off the M-80.

He was cited for unlawfully dealing with fireworks and will appear in Town of Hanover Court at a later date.

Boaters Rescued from Lake Erie

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Navigation Division rescued a boat from the Van Buren Point area of Lake Erie late Monday night.

They got a call from the US Coast Guard at around 11:44 p.m. saying a boat was disabled. The Navigation team was able to find it and tow it to Dunkirk Harbor.

Four people, including a 1 year-old and a 3-year-old, were all OK. They are all from Fredonia.

Two Seriously Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

A motorcycle driver and his passenger are in serious condition at UPMC-Hamot following a crash Monday night in Bemus Point.

Sheriff’s deputies say 23-year-old Joshua Lacki of Sinclairville was speeding when his motorcycle rear-ended another vehicle at just before 9 o'clock.

Lacki and 19-year-old Erika Campbell of Bemus Point were taken by Starflight to Erie. The other driver, 47-year-old Gerard Whiteford of Watertown was not hurt.

Deputies say Lacki will be charged with speed not reasonable and prudent and following too closely.

Driver Falls Asleep, Hits Two Buildings

A driver fell asleep at the wheel Saturday morning in Coudersport and his pickup ended up hitting a Mack truck and two buildings.

Police say 18-year-old Carter Nolan was traveling east on Route 6 at 6:45 a.m. when he fell asleep, causing his pickup truck to veer into the opposite lane and hit the Mack truck, driven by 63-year-old James McKinney of Smethport. The front driver’s side tire on the pickup flew off, and Nolan was not able to control the vehicle, which then hit the Hair to Please and WFRM Radio buildings.

No one was hurt. Nolan was charged with careless driving.

4-Year-Old Hurt in Two-Vehicle Crash

Three people, including a 4-year-old girl, were hurt in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning in Chautauqua County.

Sheriff’s deputies say a vehicle driven by 68-year-old Gail Matzinger of North Tonawanda went through a stop sign and hit a vehicle driven by 24-year-old Carl Shumaker of Silver Creek.

Both drivers and the 4-year-old were taken to Lake Shore Hospital for treatment of what deputies say were minor injuries.

Man Hospitalized When Motorcycle Hit

A Jamestown man was taken to UPMC Hamot after his motorcycle was hit head-on by a car Saturday morning in Frewsburg.

Deputies say 66-year-old David Evanczik was stopped at a stop sign on Frewrun Road when a car driven by 66-year-old Roberta Palmeri of Jamestown turned onto the road, hit the motorcycle and pushed it several feet.

Evanczik was taken by Starflight to UPMC Hamot, where he is in fair condition. Palmeri was not hurt.

Ridgway Man Jailed in Clearfield County

A Ridgway man accused of forcing a police car off the road during a chase is facing a number of charges.

St. Marys Police say they stopped 69-year-old Martin Hincliffe for a traffic violation and learned he was wanted on a warrant from Clearfield County. They also learned the registration he had didn’t match the car he was driving. While police were investigating, Hincliffe drove off and pulled an officer with him.

The officer was able to get free. During the ensuing chase, Hincliffe drove through several roads, highways and yards, forced one patrol car off the road and attempted to force another off the road later in the pursuit.

When they stopped him, Hincliffe was first taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test, and was then taken to Clearfield County Prison.

Teen Accused of Taking Cops on Chase

A 17-year-old Kersey boy is facing charges for taking police on a chase early Friday morning.

Police say the chase happened at around 3 a.m. on various roads in Fox Township in Elk County.

They did not release the boy’s name, but say charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police and driving under the influence were filed with the Elk County Juvenile Probation Department.

Cops: Woman Attacked Hospital Worker

A Gowanda woman is accused of attacking a staff member at Lakeshore Hospital Saturday night.

Sheriff’s deputies say they were called to the hospital for a report of an intoxicated woman and learned that 54-year-old Mary Elliott had attacked the staff member.

She was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment, and was then taken into custody by Erie County Sheriff’s deputies for an unrelated auto accident.

Man Allegedly Made Threats with Crow Bar

A Salamanca man accused of threatening a person with a crow bar is facing charges.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 41-year-old Arnold Skye Jr. following an altercation with another person, when he allegedly grabbed the crow bar and threatened to hurt the other person with it.

Skye is charged with menacing and will appear in court at a later date.

Deputies Find Man Hiding After Crash

An East Otto man accused of getting into an accident then hiding from police is facing charges.

Sheriff’s deputies say 61-year-old Regis Lilley was in an accident on Cherry Creek Hill Road in the Town of Leon, then fled on foot. Deputies found him hiding in a wooded area a short distance from the accident.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and a traffic violation. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 18.

Busy Weekend for Bradford Police

Bradford City Police have had an eventful holiday weekend so far. They were called to investigate a theft from a vehicle on Barbour Street and an attempted break-in on Leland Avenue, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

They got calls about criminal mischief on State, Mechanic, Rochester and Williams streets; harassment on Main, Mechanic and Bushnell streets and South Avenue; and disturbances on Mill, Corydon and Potter streets and North Kendall Avenue.

Officers received calls about ATVs on Oakwood and Linwood avenues, animals at Callahan Park and Street, and juveniles on Kiwanis Court, North Kendall Avenue and Jefferson Street. They also got calls about noise on Forman and Elm streets, and were asked to remove an unwanted person from West Corydon Street.

Missing Woman Found in McKean County

A Crawford County woman who had been missing for a week was found Saturday afternoon near Smethport.

State Police found 25-year-old Kelsi Breth at about 3:15 p.m. after she drove her car off Pithole Road and got stuck. She was not hurt.

Breth was reported missing June 25, when she was last seen at Robert Morris University, where she teaches.

Breth told police she didn't know how she got to Pithole Road or how long she had been there. Police say they believe Breth had been in McKean County for a few days and was living in her car. Her parents took her home on Saturday.