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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy 47th Birthday Brad Jones

If you see Brad Jones in West Palm Beach today, wish him a happy birthday.

Crash Reported At Shinglehouse

Shinglehouse Firemen and Medic 6 have just been dispatched to a reported 2 vehicle crash on the Ceres Road, Route 44, just north of the boro, at 3:40 pm.

Rick Barkley's Journal--Kayaking The Allegheny-Part 8

Rainy Day Paddle

Day 9 dawned with rain, not quite pouring, but steady. Bev was great helping tear down camp and get it packed in the kayak, so I could push off by 7:30. the locals had told me I’d need 8 to 10 hours to reach the Dam, as it was supposed to be 25 to 28 miles, and no help from the water. Zipped up in the skirt, I left in a thick mist, but the landscape was visible at water level, and I didn’t have to worry about anything in my way. Most of the way, rain came down heavy, but it wasn’t any problem for me, and was kind of cool to see all that splashing out in front of me, and I imagined it would all make for easier movement below the dam for a day or two.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the split in the land in front of me, meaning the Wolf Run Marina was on the left, and the Dam wasn’t far away. At noon, I was in view of the dam, and my first hurdle, the trash boom. Looking like a Pop-Apart chain, large orange vinyl pontoons, about three feet in diameter, and about 10 feet long, were strung all the way across the reservoir, and the only way is up over. I found a place to stand in the water, a little more than knee deep on the rocky edge, and began pulling the kayak up in between two pontoons. It was still raining, but there’s nothing could be done about it, so the skirt was off, lying behind the cockpit. When I lifted the front of the kayak up onto the boom, part of the skirt flipped over backwards, and some went into the water at the back of the boat.

I knew my phone was in one of the mesh pockets on the skirt, but it was in a Ziploc bag, so I didn’t worry. I finished getting the kayak up on the boom, moved ahead in the water, and pulled the Murlene off the boom, back in the water. I still had 150 yards or so to paddle to the Corps’ boat launch, so I climbed back in and headed over. When I reached it, I decided, being almost five hours early, to walk to the top of the breast to try calling Carolyn Spilka, my contact to help the portage over the Dam. Carolyn, from the Warren Chamber of Commerce, kindly agreed to help after I got to know her in an early recon trip. She sent maps and information on the area, and I reeled her in when she found out what I was in for getting over the Dam.

It was about 120 yards from the launch to the top of the breast, but it didn’t matter in comparison to what I found when I opened the bag to get the phone. All I saw on the display screen were bubbles, and the phone was a goner. You can imagine how I felt at that moment. Standing in the pouring rain, boat taking water, looking up at the top of the hill, no more contact with anyone, no sling or duffel to help with the portage until 5 p.m., and another half mile down over the other side to the water.

It only took a second to realize I had no choice but to portage the hard way. I took a double armload of gear, and trudged up the concrete ramp to the top. I realized it wouldn’t be good enough to get to the top with the gear, because there was too long a walk down over and around the other side on the access road. I walked down around the hill, and figured I could leave the gear on the access road, most of the way down, and no one would be able to see it from the public road along the river. Three trips got all the gear transported, but there was a casualty.

On my way from Salamanca to the Marina, I found, believe it or not, a volleyball. A Wilson volleyball. I was pretty tickled at the prospect of having the same mascot as the Tom Hanks character in the movie Castaway. Paddling along, I thought about whether I’d put a face on him, and what kind. Carrying gear down over the access road, he popped out of my arms, and bounced left down over the hill into a gorge. I thought I’d walk back up in from the bottom and find him, but not until after I had everything else transported.

Once all the gear was on the access road, I decided to move the kayak all the way down the hill to the edge of the fish hatchery, some hundred yards from the water’s edge. Steve Lauser had granted me permission to put back in there, which is a good quarter mile above where signs restrict access to the river. There was only one way to get it to the top: pick it up and carry it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought, because I was able to turn it sideways across my back, walk bent over, without problem. Once over the top, I realized the grass strip along the side of the access road was a lot nicer for the boat to ride over, than much of the terrain it had navigated further upriver. I led it down the hill, around the curve in the access road, and then straight down a grassy hillside, to the lower part of the access road, and down a path toward the river.

The last part of the portage was an interesting section of combined mud path, steep downhill over large rocks, and a weedy trail to the edge of the river. Once the kayak was there, I made three trips with the gear, and everything was moved, by about 3 p.m. At that point, I had had plenty of time to think about how bad I felt for Carolyn, who would drive out to the base of the access road, and wait for me, while I was already downriver and gone. I’d put in here in May, so I knew it was about an hour or a little more into Warren. It hit me I could make the Glade Bridge in Warren by a little after 4. Allegheny Outfitters, the Lindells’ other canoe livery, was on the right bank, and I could tie up there, walk up onto Hemlock Road, which is the only route out to the Dam on the West side, and perhaps I could catch her on her way out.

By now the rain had stopped. I had drained all the rainwater out, at the boat launch, and again before I packed it, so I was as light as I could be. I got moving, and paddled with a purpose along the scenic stretch into the city. I made it by 4, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and a granola bar, and hurried up to Hemlock Road. I kept looking at my phone as I stood there, partly because I wanted so much for it to recover, and partly because Salamanca was still in my mind, and I wanted people to see I had one. The more I looked at it, the more I knew it wouldn’t ever work right again, as the light for the camera flash was on bright and steady, and wouldn’t shut off.

At a couple minutes before 5, I saw Carolyn and her boyfriend, Scott Anderson, go by, and I was able to flag them down. It really made me feel better to know they weren’t going to sit out there for nothing, and they were as surprised to see me, as I was happy to see them. After exchanging pleasantries and some stories, they took the phone to try to dry it out, and since I had passed by the islands I had planned to camp on, they suggested Betts Park, at the other end of town. We said goodbye, and I paddled through town to find my home for the night.

The rapids at the refinery were in fine form, and I had gotten a tip from Teresa, to try to approach them from the left side. I managed it, and the water was a lot more manageable than it had been in May, when I took them head on. With an empty kayak or canoe, the middle would be more fun, but loaded down as I was, I was happy to get through with minimal turbulence. Past Grumpy’s Bar, under the trestle, and there was the park on the west bank. It was good camping, but I have to admit I felt uneasy as a guy and his son came walking along. They had fishing rods, and it turned out to be a pleasant conversation, but I was on edge now, and was pretty sure I’d stay that way throughout the remainder of the trip.

I ran a clothesline, and did the best I could to get some things dried out. Pretty much everything that hadn’t been bagged was soaked, and even some things in bags were damp from condensation. It’s one reason not to try to paddle more hours a day. It’d change the schedule greatly, inconvenience people set to meet me at certain places and times, and make it even harder to get the tent and gear somewhat dry. It only takes about an hour to get the tent dry after putting it up, but overnight, it gets damp again, and stays that way all the next day. Even though no condensation actually gets into the tent to make anything inside damp, it does get through the rain fly, so the walls are damp when it gets rolled and folded up for the day, and what runs down the side gets the bottom wet on the outside, which further dampens the body when folded up tightly in the bag.

Indianwaters at Last

I was looking very forward to getting to Indianwaters, the canoe livery on the river, about 4 miles north of Tidioute. My first layover day had been rather stressful, and I wanted to relax. I knew I would be on familiar and friendly ground there, and my PA fishing license would kick in, letting me spend some downtime, as well as having good conversation with Piper and Josh.

I said a little Happy Birthday to me as I pulled in, as Day 10 was my 59th. I was welcomed first by Josh, and after some chat, I set about putting up the camp for a drying time. Intermittent showers slowed the drying process on the 11th, but I was able to hang stuff in their shop, to keep it from getting wetter.

Piper came out to let me know there would be homemade lasagna for dinner tonight; music to my ears. If it was anything like the chili she served me in May, I could happily leave the camp stove in its place of rest. Having stayed on the west side of Warren the night before knocked almost two hours off the trip to Lindells’, compared to camping on an island just down from the Dam, so I got there just after lunchtime. I checked my watch when Josh offered me a beer, and he assured me with a smile it was legal. I tried a can of Piper’s corn for bait later that afternoon, but with no luck. Josh gave me a few night crawlers, but nothing doing there, either. The water’s not real deep right at the livery, but I didn’t care. I was sitting, sipping Yuengling, and fishing. I discovered Josh had golf clubs in the shop, and he told me a ball couldn’t be hit across the river from the front yard. I gave it a shot, but he was right. At least, this old body couldn’t git ‘er done.

Piper’s lasagna was everything I hoped, and I went back for seconds. I spent the evening getting caught up noteswise, looking at the map, and reflecting on the first half of the trip. I mentioned to Piper about how the journey had been so much different than I had anticipated, and she reassured me that I was on the real river now, and could begin to relax and enjoy it.

The next day, I accompanied Piper, Phoenix, and Lily to Warren, to pick up some water, Gatorade, and hopefully, a pair of cheap shoes. I needed something I could walk in, to let my feet stay dry, and let the blisters start to heal more. I had brought flip-flops and water shoes. The shoes stayed wet up to then, and would still start out every day that way, between dewy grass and having to stand in water to push off. Flips are worthless when wet. They’re actually a good way to injure yourself, as the surface of the sandal is very slippery, and your ankle spins out on you at every possible slope. I found what would work at Wal-Mart, and convinced Piper to let me repay them for their kindness with steaks to grill for dinner. She’s tough, but I held my ground.

Josh did a nice job with the meat, and dinner outside on the picnic table, with all three kids, Ash, Lily, and Phoenix, was a pure joy. Josh introduced me to a honey wheat beer with a name longer than train smoke. Had I written it down, I might be able to let you in on it. As it is, it’s his secret.

We shared one particular laugh around the table; in the morning, Josh came over to the tent to talk. I was going on about how without wildlife or people to see along the river, there are parts that can become a little boring, as it’s the same vista from one end of your view to the other, hour after hour. I spread my arms to illustrate the length of the vista, and then demonstrated piece after piece of the same thing. Piper got a quizzical look on her face, then told me she was going to come out and talk, but Josh was hunkered down, she couldn’t see him, and she thought I was looking out over the water, doing yoga. If you know me, the only way I could achieve yoga positions, would be with the help of a couple strong guys to bend me in position. The thought of me doing yoga made me laugh out loud, and I soon had company when the visual caught on.

In the tent that night, I thought about how I was a little torn between the desire to get on down the river, to complete the journey, and the feeling of complete contentment where I was. I was lucky to have gotten to know these folks, and this respite came at the perfect time in the trip. I must say, for historical importance, and to visit a great little city, go to Coudersport. Enjoy the people, the triple divide, the countryside. For a wide open paddle, with some great views and good hospitality, camp out of the Onoville Marina, and paddle the Kinzua Reservoir. To really enjoy the river, however, as it should be experienced, start thinking about where to put in, at Warren or below.

The Lindells can set you up with everything you need for a day or overnight paddle. They can take you up to Warren or to the dam, or you can start at their place, and paddle down. This is the area where the river matters to the people on it, and they appreciate what they have. It’s no wonder this stretch of the Allegheny is known all over the USA as a classic paddler's dream.

You might have a little trouble getting to sleep, as I did my second night there, as the neighbor dog was reading the riot act to some deer that came down off the mountain, across the road, and into the river near my tent. All I have to say is, had I taken my bath ten minutes later than I did, it would have been a little crowded in the river for a few seconds. I wonder who would have jumped higher, me or them.

Eighth Installment: Rick Barkley kayaked the Allegheny River from it's beginning near Gold, PA to it's end at Pittsburgh this summer. Solomon's words chronicled that trip from Rick's brief reports from the river. This is Rick's in depth journal of this adventure of a lifetime, presented in installments, as it is quite lengthy. I think you will find it very interesting. Editor.

Canadian-US Border Plans Eased

WESB News: 11/16/07 - Enhanced Driver's Licenses OK at Border

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says enhanced driver's licenses will be accepted as passport alternatives at the US-Canada border.

Canada has been pushing hard to give travelers a choice, saying passports are expensive, harder to get and most people need licenses anyway.

Homeland Security officials have become increasingly comfortable with high-technology driver's licenses that will contain proof of citizenship like passports do.

But Canadian officials still want the US to wait until 2009 to implement the measure, saying no one will be ready next year and it will cause havoc at the border.

Area Obituaries

PORT ALLEGANY — Mary C. Blackman, 36, of Port Allegany, died Friday (Nov. 16, 2007) at her home following a long illness. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes Inc., Port Allegany.

New Hotel, Restaurants. Condominiums Planned For Lock Haven


Shaner Investments of State College will pay $1.25 million for Painter Stadium in Lock Haven that also includes Hanson field.

The group intends to invest an estimated $18 million to build a 60-room Fairfield Inn, two restaurants and 12 to 15 condominiums.

More units could follow later.

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Leads In Murders Despite $120,000. Reward Offer

The Keeffe Murder: One Year Later
Ted Fioraliso--WENY News

November 16, 2007

ATHENS -- Saturday marks a year since a Northern Tier lawyer and his wife were shot to death. A year later, and no arrests have been made.

Last November, police found David and Carol Keeffe dead in their garage in Athens. The couple was planning to go to cape cod for the weekend -- but never made it. Police say both were shot with a shotgun.

David was a lawyer at the DeSisti and Keeffe Law Firm in Sayre, and was president of the Bradford County Bar Association.

“I miss the meetings the meetings we would have with the bar association. And even meetings I had with him discussing various cases. Just getting that feedback from him that he would very thoughtfully dissect the problem and then come up with a solution,” said Jonathan Foster, a friend and fellow lawyer.

The Bar Association and Keeffe's law firm are offering a $120,000 reward. Foster says he's sad there are no solid leads yet.

“When we went out and raised the money, there were hopes that if there was a reward fund out there, it would bring a lot of leads and tips to the police that would lead to an arrest. And that's a disappointment,” he said.

Foster says in January, the Bar Association will give an award to and outstanding member of the bar in honor of David -- and another award to a community member in honor of Carol.

Icy Roads Cause Car Crashes

Icy roads have kept area emergency services busy tonight.

Locally, Roulette firemen were called to the West Branch of Fishing Creek about 10:15 pm where a car was over the bank into a telephone pole. No one was found in the car as the occupant must have left the scene. The car and scene were covered in snow indicating it happened quite some time before the call.

Shortly after that, Coudersport emergency services were called to the Port Allegany Road where there was a two car accident in front of the Northwoods Tavern. No serious injuries were reported in that crash. Coudersport police handled that call as all State Police units were tied up on another incident.

Scanner reports from New York State and the Bradford PA area were busy with accidents there also with dispatchers warning of slippery conditions.

Computer Theft
Stay Warm

Woman Arrested For Killing Her Baby

A 25-year-old Elmira woman has been charged with killing her 2-month old son.

Elmira police today charged Teressa Penird with second-degree murder in the death of her son, Tysere J. Boles. She was arraigned and was in the Chemung County jail tonight.

Investigators said emergency units were called to 438 Broadway at about 3 a.m. today because of an unresponsive child. The infant was taken to Arnot Ogden Medical Center for treatment and was pronounced dead there. "From Star Gazette

Rendell Wants To Merge PEMA And Homeland Security

WESB News: 11/16/07 - Rendell Proposes PEMA, OHS Merger

Governor Ed Rendell has proposed a merger of the state Office of Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The merger was one of the recommendations in a report by James Lee Witt Associates, part of Global Options Group Inc., on Pennsylvania�s emergency preparedness.

The new cabinet-level agency would be called the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and would be headed up by a secretary confirmable by the Senate.

Student Put Tacks In Mayonaise

WESB News: 11/16/07 - Police: Student Spiked Mayo with Tacks

State police say a Warren Area High School student spiked a school cafeteria mayonnaise jar with thumbtacks.

Police say a 16-year-old boy from Sugar Grove has been charged with aggravated assault and other crimes in juvenile Court.

Police say an 18-year-old student found a tack in his sandwich on Nov. 2, but only after it jabbed him in the mouth as he bit into a sandwich. Police say the other student put the tacks into a jar students use in the cafeteria. Police say the tacks were stolen from a classroom.

Sign Thief Gets Probation

20 year old Justin Fuhrer of Harrison Valley was placed on probation for a period of 20 months for receiving stolen property.

DA Dawn Fink said during 2005 and 2006, Fuhrer stole various traffic signs throughout Harrison Township and the signs were found in his possession at his home. From WFRM

Coudy Man Sentenced For Indecent Assault

In recent Potter County Court action, 22 year old Robert Butler of Coudersport was ordered to spend one to 23-1/2 months in jail, pay a $250 fine and all costs and fees and to perform 25 hours of community service for indecent assault.

He must also take part in an approved program of counseling at his own expense and successfully complete all recommended treatment.

According to Potter County DA Dawn Fink, Butler, while 14 years of age, committed the crimes repeatedly against his nine year old adopted sister between December 1, 1999 and June 1, 2001.
From WFRM news

Chamber Asks Penneys To Stay

The Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has written a letter to the JC Penney Company asking officials to reconsider the decision to close the Coudersport store this coming February.

"The letter says the store is a vital part of a community which has begun rebounding since the Adelphia bankruptcy. "

From another angle, the 500 to 600 new hires for Empereon, may have to go out of the area to purchase the business clothing required by their employment if the Penney store closes. Add to that the 176 county and human services employees who will be working within a stone's throw of the store, in the new county office building. And that doesn't count the 275 potential employees that the Taj Mahal could house if the new owner is an employer.

Coudersport and the Potter County is about to embark on a new wave of prosperity and employment. If JC Penney doesn't want to be a part of it, there are plenty of big retailers who would love to locate in this area where they would have all the business to themselves. The void will soon be filled with a big chain store or a local entrepreneur.

Our new Potter County Commissioners have pledged to move Potter County forward. All three are active participants in promoting Potter County economically and esteticlly. When they take office in January, we can look forward to things moving and shaking in the County.
Some information for this story is from WFRM.

Norfolk Southern To Pay $200,000.00 Fine

The civil liability settlement is separate from the criminal charges filed against Norfolk Southern and the derailed train’s conductor by the McKean County district attorney and the Pennsylvania attorney general.

According to today’s BRADFORD ERA, the railroad has pleaded no contest and will pay a $200,000 fine for the criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the train engineer who was at the controls when the speeding train derailed is arguing that the charges don’t fit the circumstances.

Michael Seifert, 46, of West Seneca, NY is charged with two counts of unauthorized discarding of hazardous wasted along with unlawful conduct of violating rules and regulations protecting a water supply. Information from WFRM News.

Attorney Paul Maliza of Emporium says at the time of the derailment, a viable chemical, sodium hydroxide was what spilled, not a hazardous waste.

Seifert is believed to have been under the influence of drugs when the train was clocked doing 76 miles per hour down a hill in a 35 mile per hour zone.

$9 Million School Project Ready To Go

The Coudersport School Board is confident in the bright future of the Coudersport area and are moving ahead with several projects to improve the schools and make room for more students as the economy prospers and more families move here to work.

Contracts for three major improvement projects could be awarded as soon as next Tuesday night by the Coudersport Area School Board.Board members are meeting this afternoon to open bids for projects that include:

• replacing the track and bleachers, improving drainage, and making other changes at Coudersport Area Recreation Park (CARP).

• adding eight classrooms, air conditioning and security at the elementary school;

• renovating and expanding the high school cafeteria and kitchen;

Only the elementary school work, estimated to cost $4.6 million, will qualify for state reimbursement.

Work could be completed in time for the opening of school next August.

A new fieldhouse is planned at CARP, containing locker rooms, public rest rooms and a storage area. Plans also call for a new press box, lighting and sound system. Another major component of the CARP plan is a new drainage system.

Construction costs are estimated at $5.9 million for the three projects. Another $1.2 million is budgeted for architectural and engineering services, regulatory reviews and other administrative costs. Funding is coming from a $9.2 million bond issue.

Information from WFRM News.

Fake IRS E-mail Scam Targets Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service posted a notice on its Web site warning individuals of an e-mail scam claiming to come from the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service -- a genuine and independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers with unresolved tax problems.

The e-mail says that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund and directs the recipient to click on a link that leads to a fake IRS Web site. The IRS recommends that recipients do not click on links in, or open any attachments to, e-mails they receive that are unsolicited or that come from unknown sources.

The scam comes in the wake of a recent IRS announcement that hundreds of taxpayers in New York and Pennsylvania are due refund checks.

In a press release, Michael Hastrich of CASH, a program the provides free tax assistance for the community in conjunction with local partners led by the United Way of the Southern Tier, says that efforts to obtain these legitimate refund checks should be done through the proper channels.

"All attempts to find out about available refunds need to go directly to the IRS Web site at or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-1040," Hastrich said.
From Elmira Star Gazette.

Baby Boy Abandoned On Porch

Last night, a baby boy was abandoned on a porch in Abingdon, in Montgomery County with a note that the mom was unable to care for the child. Click the title to see video of the child.

On Nov. 10, a newborn baby boy was found on the porch of a home in
Penbrook, Dauphin County. According to police, the mother - a teenager
who was later identified - had no connection to the home where she left
the baby.

Department of Public Welfare Secretary
Estelle B. Richman recently reminded expectant parents and parents of
newborns that Pennsylvania's safe haven law allows them to
confidentially turn over unwanted infants, up to 28 days old, to any
hospital as an alternative to abandonment.

"While we are greatly relieved to learn that the boy was unharmed,
it is important to note that this is exactly the kind of situation that
Pennsylvania's safe haven law was designed to prevent," said Secretary

"When young women are not prepared for the responsibilities of
parenthood, they may be afraid and are unsure of where to turn for help.
We want them to know that there is a safe, legal and confidential option
for them and their child."

There are nearly 270 hospitals in Pennsylvania where parents may
safely surrender a baby if they fear they cannot care for the child.
Babies can be handed over to any hospital staff member. If the parent is
unwilling or unable to wait, they should look for signs instructing them
where to place the baby. As long as the child is unharmed, the parents
will not be asked any questions.

It is recommended, but not required, that the parent provide
medical information for the child. A baby turned over to a hospital will
receive necessary medical care. The county's child and youth agency will
work to find the child a family through the state's foster care system.

Pennsylvania is one of 48 states with a safe haven law. To date,
five babies have been saved through the program.

To learn more about the safe haven program, visit <> or call toll-free,
1-866-921-SAFE (7233).

Bomb Threat At School Today

A bomb threat this morning had the Wellsboro High School on lockdown.

Wellsboro High students were taken to the middle school for their safety. Bomb sniffing dogs were brought in and the school was searched. It was reported at 11:30 am that nothing had been found and that officials were planning to return students to the building.

From Star Gazette

Area Obituaries

EMPORIUM — Leroy J. Skinner, 65, of 8547 Route 120, Emporium, died Wednesday morning (Nov. 14, 2007) at his residence. Arrangements are under the direction of the Barnett Funeral Home.

SMETHPORT — Milton H. Wright Jr., 79, of Smethport, died Thursday (Nov. 15, 2007) at his residence after a lengthy illness. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes Inc. in Smethport.

SMETHPORT — Eleanor E. Pierotti, 87, of 20 Rosehill Ave., died Tuesday (Nov. 13, 2007) in the Lakeview Senior Care and Living Center. Arrangements are under the direction of the Switzer Funeral Home in Port Allegany.

Falling Tree Causes Power Surges

By Martha Knight
Bradford Era Correspondent

PORT ALLEGANY — A tree fell across a power line, east of Port Allegany in the Old Route 6 vicinity on Nov. 6, and brought down lines and business and office processes, and dozens of pieces of equipment, and even appliances.

When a large evergreen toppled in the wind, not only did it cause an interruption in electrical service to some 150 GPU/FirstEnergy/Penelec customers, it also sent a powerful high voltage surge through lines serving customers, and some experienced damage ranging from dead surge suppressers or even uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) to damaged copiers, printers and computers, to disabled household appliances and entertainment gear.

While Penelec crews scrambled to cope with the damage and restore power, customers tried to cope with the unusual effects. Although power outages do occur during some storms, the locals were at a loss to understand why there had been such a powerful surge.

Click the title to read the entire article in today's Bradford Era.

Commissioners Allow Wind Turbines

The Lycoming County commissioners Thursday unanimously approved the amendment, which will allow electricity-generating wind turbines by right in resource protection, countryside and agricultural zoning districts.

The amendment goes into effect immediately. Click the title for the entire story from Sun-Gazette.

New Cell Tower May Be Lethal

A Mill Hall, Pa woman living next to a proposed Verizon cell phone tower there brought her concerns to the attention of the Boro again yesterday that the new tower could kill her. Her concerns, if valid, could affect others in communities like Coudersport where Verizon has recently erected a similar cell phone tower.

Maggie Mayes-Eggler, who lives across the street from the fire hall next to the lot in question, again addressed council about her health concerns. She has an electronic implant that she says is not compatible with a cell tower in the neighborhood.

“I’d really like you to examine the documents from the manufacturer of the appliance that helps me live my life,” she said.

Medtronics has stated cell tower electromagnetic radiation “can be lethal to me,” she said.

Click on the title of this article to see the article in its entirety.

Burglar To Be Sentenced

WESB News: 11/16/07 - Texas Man Pleads to Three Break-ins

A Texas man pleaded guilty Thursday in McKean County Court to three different break-ins in Bradford, Eldred and Annin Township.

21 year-old Darryl Grimes of Kingsville, Texas is charged with burglary and theft. Grimes allegedly participated in a break-in at the Army-Navy Store in Bradford and Dave's Gun Shop in Eldred.

He'll be sentenced on December 13th.

Lake Effect Snow Possible Today

Statement as of 4:37 AM EST on November 16, 2007

.A deep layer of cold air blowing across the Great Lakes will be
lifted by the higher terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania and the
Laurel Highlands to produce frequent lake effect snow showers and
locally heavier squalls today.

... Lake effect Snow Advisory now in effect until 6 PM EST this

The lake effect Snow Advisory is now in effect until 6 PM EST
this afternoon.

Frequent snow showers and areas of locally heavier lake effect
snows squalls will deposit 2 to 5 inches of snow by this evening.
The heaviest amounts will fall over the traditional snowbelt of
northwest Warren County... from Bear Lake to Columbus and
Lottsville. The lightest accumulations will be in the deeper
valleys... where elevations are below 1500 feet.

Travel may be difficult in some areas... mainly over the higher
terrain. Lake effect snow showers typically align themselves in
bands and will likely be intense enough to drop several inches in
localized areas. Use caution when traveling.

Sausage Roll Products Recalled

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2007 - Double B Foods, Inc., a Meridian, Texas, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 98,000 pounds of frozen sausage roll products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Click the title of this article to see the complete list of recalled products.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rick Barkley's Journal--Kayaking The Allegheny- Part 7

The Day After

I decided to stay in Buffalo the next day, Friday the 7th, clean out the crap from the kayak, repack the gear, get my head on straight, and prepare to go right back down there Saturday morning. I convinced Bev that kind would be fast asleep, and I could get into the water and gone with no problem. She had intended to meet me in Onoville at the Marina that day anyway, so I let her carry the gear, and she drove to Jamestown to spend the day, while I paddled to the Marina. As it turned out, I could have paddled about an hour and a half, to what was a beautiful wide open valley, with plenty of good camping on grassy islands. With a seven hour paddle to Onoville though, I couldn’t take a chance on not finding anyplace to camp, Thursday evening, so I believe I made the right decision.

I was right thinking there wouldn’t be a soul around Saturday morning, and I got in the water and out of Salamanca without further problem. It was a rainy morning, and soon the water deepened, as I came into the reservoir, making for a calmer period of time where I could relax a little, and just paddle. I saw many osprey in the air, and a couple having a tussle over breakfast on an island, but even though it’s technically the Kinzua Reservoir shortly after leaving Salamanca, it still ran about two feet deep for more than two hours.

As I planned this trip in months past, I was excited at the prospect of paddling under the bridge that carries route 219 over the river, north of Bradford. I’d crossed that bridge so many times going back and forth to PA, and every time, I looked forward to the moment I’d actually go under it, on my way to fulfilling a dream. Who would have ever predicted that day would be as disappointing as it was, not only because the water was still shallow enough to have to get out and drag some, but to have the memories of Thursday to deal with. I strained my eyes at every turn, and searched the banks all the way along, hoping for a sign of wildlife that would help replace the thoughts I couldn’t easily shake. The one thing I kept saying to myself that whole day was, “I may have a mark or two, but I didn’t lose the fight, and I didn’t let him or them stop me.”

My Wife, the Camper

I reached Onoville at 2 p.m., after a 7:30 start to the day. There was a little chop to the water, and a slight headwind, but I didn’t mind, as I finally could sit back and paddle without worrying about getting flipped. Bev was there to meet me, and had already talked to the folks at the Marina. She had the scoop on where we could camp, courtesy of Jeff Davis and the Marina. We picked a spot, got the tent up, carried the gear to the campsite, and secured the kayak for the night. I went up to meet Dan Kartman, the gentleman who’d spoken to Bev when she first drove in. Dan’s a great guy, a retired teacher, and he knew where I was coming from, dealing with troubled kids. I really enjoyed talking with him, and he gave us a tip on where to have dinner.

We were back at the campsite, as I got ready for a shower and change of clothes, when Dan drove through just to make sure we were settled okay before he went home. We chatted some more, and then I got myself ready for a nice evening with my soul mate. It was a quick hop to the Horseshoe Inn, where the food was good, the beer was cold, and the conversation helped Bev understand more about why a guy like me would want to keep going, after Salamanca. It was a split between not wanting to have to admit failure to complete the trip for Roswell, and not wanting to let ANYTHING beat me in my quest.

Rain began falling as we came back to the Marina, and we spent some time in a picnic shelter, as I worked on a few stubborn leg cuts that didn’t want to dry up. Bev also is a pretty good minor triage nurse in addition to her other abilities brought out in the open by this trip, and between us, we at least felt sure I wouldn’t be painting the inside of my sleeping bag. She fell right in line with the cramped space of a 7X7 dome tent, and we talked more as the rain fell on our nylon condo.

Seventh Installment: Rick Barkley kayaked the Allegheny River from it's beginning near Gold, PA to it's end at Pittsburgh this summer. Solomon's words chronicled that trip from Rick's brief reports from the river. This is Rick's in depth journal of this adventure of a lifetime, presented in installments, as it is quite lengthy. I think you will find it very interesting. Editor.

Genesee Man To Be Sentenced For Pot

December 12 is the sentencing date for a Genesee man who pleaded guilty last week in Potter County court to possession of a small amount of marijuana.

According to DA Dawn Fink, 50 year old Jackie Bracey was arrested by state police this past May 18 when troopers were called to the village of West Bingham because of Bracey operating an ATV on a public road.

While he was being questioned by the responding officer, Bracey tried to hand off marijuana and drug paraphernalia to a neighbor but the items were immediately seized by the trooper.
Information from WFRM.

Driver Sentenced In 2004 Pedestrian Accident

A Coudersport man has been sentenced in Potter County court for simple assault and reckless endangerment. Gary Meacham, Jr., 35, drove his car across the intersection of Water Street and North Main Street on the afternoon of October 9, 2004 as a crowd lined the street for the Potter County Bicentennial parade.

His car continued up onto the sidewalk and struck a 15 year old Coudersport girl propelling her into the Allegany River Channel, several feet below causing severe life-threatening injuries.

According to District Attorney Dawn Fink, Meacham’s conduct was “reckless in that he regularly suffered from debilitating seizures and knew or should have known that his operation of a vehicle placed others at risk for death or serious bodily injury.”

Meacham as placed in the Intermediate Punishment Program for 23-1/2 months; the first three of which will be spent in the Potter County jail. At the end of three months, he will be released on Electronic Home Detention for another 60 days.

He was ordered to pay all costs and fees, and to make restitution of nearly $7,000 plus perform 50 hours of community service.

The DA explained that as a special condition, Meacham will take medication as required and will not hold a Pennsylvania Driver’s license under any circumstances.

From WFRM News

Norfolk Southern Pays Through The Nose

WESB News: 11/15/07 - Norfolk Southern to Pay $7.35 Million

Norfolk Southern Corporation will pay 7 point 3-5 million dollars to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a settlement reached over the June 30, 2006, train derailment that caused more than 40 thousand gallons of lye to spill into the Sinnemahoning Portage Creek.

Three million dollars will go to McKean, Cameron, Potter and Elk counties, primarily to improve the waterways that were affected by the spill.

Norfolk Southern pleaded no contest to three pollution charges today in McKean County Court. McKean County District Attorney John Pavlock says this area of the state doesn't have major attractions like shopping malls or the Statue of Liberty, but it does have clean-flowing streams.

He says the effect of the spill was like crashing into the Statue of Liberty. Pavlock says this is the largest payment to the commonwealth for an act of environmental pollution. Prosecutors have said the train's engineer was under the influence of drugs and may have fallen asleep as the train began to speed down a steep grade, going 55 mph faster than the speed limit.

46-year-old Michael Seifert of West Seneca, N.Y., has been charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment and breaking environmental laws.

Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband says the company thinks it's a fair settlement and was better than the alternative of an extended court situation. The company spent more than $4 million on cleanup.

For more information, visit the Department of Environmental Protection Web site.

Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle Pastors In Romania

Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle pastor David Minor Jr. and youth pastor John Minor are in Romania this week, helping to put a roof on a building at one of the church sponsored orphanages there.

Pastor Dave has made over 50 trips to Romania where the Tabernacle supports three orphanages and two churches.

A group of parishioners from the Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle held services there this summer in a large circus tent purchased recently by the church.

Tabasco, Mexico After Flooding

A scene posted on a blog from Tabasco, Mexico showing the devastation in the aftermath of recent flooding there.

Port Woman Fair After Lawnmower Struck

A Port Allegany woman was in fair condition in a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital Wednesday afternoon after the lawnmower she was driving was struck by a van Tuesday morning on U.S. Route 6.

Wilma Vansickles was flown Tuesday by medical helicopter for moderate injuries to Erie County Medical Center, according to Kane-based state police. Vansickles, 76, was mowing her yard using a riding lawnmower Tuesday at 11 a.m. when the lawnmower entered the eastbound lane of Route 6, less than a mile west of Port Allegany Borough, where it was struck by a van driven by Jane Dugan, 56, of Roulette, police said.

Information from Bradford Era

Area Journalists Get Awards

Smethport correspondent Fran De Lancey earned five awards at The Bradford Era’s annual correspondent awards luncheon Wednesday at La Herradura.

Capturing one award each were Port Allegany correspondent Martha Knight, St. Marys correspondent Gretchen Rokosky, Duke Center correspondent Dorothy Shoff, Eldred correspondent Tom Freer and Johnsonburg correspondent Tim Hoh.

The contest was judged by Era staff.

De Lancey received awards for Best Feature Story for a Clermont man restoring an old barn for his home; Business News for a story on Smethport Specialty seeing an upswing in toy sales because of lead paint worries in foreign-made toys; Political Coverage for a story on U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., holding a town meeting in Smethport; and Special Coverage for his stories describing Memorial Day ceremonies in Smethport and Crosby.

Knight’s award reflected her work on Ongoing News Coverage on the Pittsburgh Corning plant in Port Allegany.

Rokosky was feted for Best Meeting Report for a Life and Independence For Today meeting where staff and an independent contractor attempted to present complaints to the board, but were denied.

Shoff was honored for Best Feature Photo for a picture of an Otto-Eldred High School teacher who planned to teach English in South Korea.

Freer received an award for Best News Photo for a picture of a house fire on Slack Hollow Road in Eldred.

Hoh was honored for Spot News Coverage for a story about Johnsonburg schools dismissing early because of a water line break.

From Bradford Era

Potter Residents Have Money Coming From IRS

From Elmira Star-Gazette

More than 50 current or former residents of the Twin Tiers are on a list provided by the Internal Revenue Service of New York and Pennsylvania taxpayers who are due refund checks.

The average refund amount is $1,204 for New York taxpayers who have unclaimed funds with the feds, the IRS said.

The IRS said that in many cases, the taxpayer has moved without updating his or her address with the U.S. Postal Service or federal tax agency.

In total, 8,722 New York taxpayers are due refund checks worth about $10.5 million, the IRS said. That's an increase of about 34 percent more taxpayers due refunds than last year, the agency said. Some taxpayers have more than one check waiting for them.

The IRS said the Telephone Excise Tax Refund is partly responsible for the increase in unclaimed refund checks because some taxpayers were able to claim the one-time payment on their 2006 federal income tax returns. The payment returned previously collected long-distance phone taxes.

Besides providing the Postal Service and IRS with a current mailing address, taxpayers also are encouraged by the IRS to use direct deposit to receive their refunds. Taxpayers can sign up for direct deposit on their tax forms.

To see the full list of current or former Twin Tiers residents due refund checks, click the link
Download: N.Y. and Pa. tax refund names

DuBois Woman On Food Network This Weekend

DuBOIS - For one area woman, winning a contest on the Food Network was a dream come true this summer.

Teresa Brownlee, formerly of Locust Street, DuBois, was a winner in the Food Network's contest entitled "Give us your Thanksgiving dilemma." Brownlee submitted her problem, "How to utilize a small kitchen to feed a crowd."

Brownlee works for the IUP Culinary School in Punxsutawney as an admissions counselor and readily admits to being a "foodie," a person who enjoys watching cooking shows. However, she never expected to be chosen to be on a cooking show.

Officials from the Food Network chose Brownlee for a surprise visit from Chef Robert Irvine, who hosts the show "Dinner: Impossible," then contacted DuBois Fire Chief Joe Bigar and enlisted his help in the surprise.

Bigar said, "The Food Network contacted me and needed 20 firefighters to eat food and act like 20 guests at Brownlee's home."

Bigar was happy to oblige, and rounded up firefighters from Volunteer Hose Company No. 1, located on East Park Avenue. Some of the firefighters are friends with Brownlee and her husband, but no one "let the cat out of the bag" by telling the secret.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Food Network called Brownlee and asked her several questions about how she would feel if she were interviewed as part of a show. Brownlee agreed to being filmed, checking her e-mail. All the while, Brownlee suspected nothing out of the ordinary. She believed she was only going to be interviewed regarding her kitchen layout, etc.

The film crew showed up - all 15 of them - including producers, cameramen and even a food stylist. Brownlee said the film crew tore her house apart and moved furniture to make room for the taping of the show. At 8 a.m. that Friday, "They showed up and watched me check my e-mail, then asked to see the garden area outside," according to Brownlee. While she took some of the crowd on a "garden tour," other workers brought in food to be used in making the surprise dinner.

Brownlee had just re-entered the home when the front door opened and Chef Robert Irvine shouted, "Honey, I'm home!" Brownlee said. "It was so shocking when Chef Irvine walked in the door."

Chef Irvine enlisted Brownlee's help in the kitchen, and together they made 16 dishes. Most were traditional Thanksgiving Day items such as turkey and mashed potatoes. Irvine also led Brownlee in making a dish of mashed turnips and carrots and "queens" pudding, known in the U.S. as bread pudding.

The kitchen in the home was so small that in order for one cameraman to film the pair cooking, he had to stand outside on the deck and film through a window.
The firefighters arrived in full force, in engines with lights flashing. Everyone enjoyed the buffet dinner and the food was delicious, Brownlee said.

Having the Food Network do this show "really puts DuBois on the map," according to Brownlee.
She and her husband recently sold their Locust Street home and moved to the Beechwoods area outside Falls Creek. Brownlee said when selling the Locust Street home, she was sure to tell prospective buyers about the famous house that once was a part of a Food Network show.

According to the Food Network Web site, the show entitled "Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving" will be aired at 4 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday; 9 p.m. Monday; noon, Tuesday; and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

From DuBois Courier Express

Lake Effect Snow Advisory Posted

Statement as of 4:03 AM EST on November 15, 2007

... Lake effect snowfall is expected later today through Friday...

... Lake effect Snow Advisory remains in effect from 6 PM this
evening to 12 PM EST Friday...

A lake effect Snow Advisory remains in effect from 6 PM this
evening to 12 PM EST Friday.

Rain showers will mix with and change to snow showers by this
afternoon as much colder air moves into the region. Light
accumulations of an inch or less are expected through late
afternoon. Additional accumulations are expected tonight through
mid afternoon Friday... with total accumulations of 3 to 5 inches
common across the advisory area.

A lake effect Snow Advisory Means Lake effect snow is forecast
that will make travel difficult in some areas. Lake effect snow
showers typically align themselves in bands and will likely be
intense enough to drop several inches in localized areas. Use
caution when traveling.

Area Obituaries

SWEDEN VALLEY-Daniel P. Boyd, 64, died unexpectedly at Charles Cole Hospital in Coudersport on Thursday, November 8, 2007.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday , November 17, 2007 at the Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church. Rev. Thomas Shatto will officiate.

Arrangements are under direction of Fickinger Funeral Home of Coudersport.

SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa. - Beverly D. Bundy, 70, of Englar Avenue, Shinglehouse, died Tuesday (Nov. 13, 2007) in her home after a long illness.

Possible Fire Reported In Honeyoye Haven

Shinglehouse Firemen have been dispatched to a reported structure fire at the Shinglehouse apartments. The person reporting smoke in the upstairs hallway said there were 18 apartments in the building and they were attempting to get everyone out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Donald Gilliland Comments On Wagner & "True Press"

Donald Gilliland is Managing Editor of the Potter Leader-Enterprise and this is this week's editorial published there and republished here with permission.

Having lost his write-in campaign for commissioner,
Robert Wagner has announced he will resume – after
nearly 20 years – the publication of his “True Press”
pamphlet to “expose the conspiracy” of those
candidates who did win.

He’s claiming his campaign was subjected to “total
censorship” and as a result he must launch the “True
Press” once more.

Potter County does not need to go down this path

The late 1980s was one of the darkest times in Potter
County history, and Mr. Wagner’s “True Press” was not
a light in that darkness.

Mr. Wagner’s pamphlet, though it claimed to “expose
corruption,” appealed in fact to the basest instincts
of our nature.

I was in college at the time. I was neither target nor
fan. But I remember the “True Press” well. It was
appalling – for many reasons and on many levels, but
ultimately because it never delivered what it
promised: proof of the alleged “corruption” it was
intended to expose.

Instead, readers of the “True
Press” were presented with sandbox name-calling and an
endless string of hints and allegations. Never proof.

It took years for the lawsuits to work their way
through the court.

It took longer for the wounds to heal.

I see no benefit to reopening those wounds.

Mr. Wagner claims to be doing what he’s doing “as the
result of the total censorship concerning (his)
campaign for Potter County commissioner.”

And here’s a lesson about Mr. Wagner.
That “total censorship” claim sounds compelling – it
conjures notions of abusive authority and suppressed
truth – but it’s bogus.

Wagner got press not only in this newspaper, but in at
least two others.

The Leader-Enterprise, the Endeavor News and the
Bradford Era all reported the fact of Mr. Wagner’s
write-in campaign during their coverage prior to the
election. The Endeavor ran Wagner’s campaign on their
front page.

That’s hardly “total censorship.”

Wagner got news coverage. His claim simply is not

Apparently he wanted MORE coverage than what he got.
But consider this: Mr. Wagner never submitted one
scrap of campaign material to us. No press release.
No brochure. No e-mail. No FAX. No phone call even.
“Total censorship” implies there’s something to

It’s hard to suppress writing that doesn’t exist...
hard to mistreat a campaign that doesn’t have the
simple gumption to submit an outline of its platform.

Not until the day before the election – long after our
last edition was on the news stands – did Mr. Wagner
make any contact with the news staff of this paper.

Apparently, he thinks as soon as we saw his campaign
signs along the road, we should have gone running to
him to find out what his message was.

Admittedly, we did not.

But that’s not censorship. At worst it’s laziness, but
in this instance it was policy: the Leader-Enterprise
does not cover write-in campaigns in any detail. We
just don’t do it. To my knowledge, we never have.

We figure if a candidate is honestly and truly
interested in the betterment of the county, he will
submit himself and his ideas to scrutiny in the
primary election. We do not believe those who try to
subvert the process by waging last-minute write-ins
merit any special treatment.

The only arguable exception might be third-party
candidates who have no opportunity to be on the
primary ballot; but that does not apply to Mr. Wagner,
who’s a long-time registered Republican.

Mr. Wagner chose the hard way. We didn’t treat his
campaign any differently than we treated other
write-in campaigns in the past.

He submitted nothing to us, and despite the fact we
included him in our election coverage, he now claims
“total censorship.”

Make note now: this launch of the “True Press” began
with a falsehood – an outright lie.

Mr. Wagner’s censorship justification isn’t merely
false, it’s a fraud – a conscious attempt to make
people believe a lie, and rely upon that lie as a
justification for further action.

The press release in which Mr. Wagner announced his
intentions begins with the claim of censorship and
ends with an ad hominem attack on the county
solicitor, calling him a drunk.

That is the alpha and the omega of the Wagner tactic:
baseless allegations and character assassination.

Potter County has been through quite enough the last
five years, we do not need a replay of the 1980s.

Any Potter Countian who lived through those years – no
matter how far removed, and no matter what “side” they
may have been on – has dark recollections of that era.
We don’t have to go down that path again; we can learn
from history.

Mr. Wagner has every right under the constitution to
print his pamphlets.

But as citizens, we have no obligation to pick them up
or read them.

If we do, we are obligated – I believe – to hold Mr.
Wagner to a standard of proof. Small town jealousies,
long-standing hatreds, conspiracy theories are all

We don’t have to like the people he writes about, we
simply have to ask ourselves, “What if this were me?”
Simply repeating an allegation does not prove it or
make it true.

If we choose to entertain Mr. Wagner’s pamphleteering,
we must question his generalizations – his claims of
“total censorship” – and examine them for what they

Are they fact? Is there proof? If not, we
throw the “True Press” in the trash and move on.

We must resist the urge to get down into the muck and

Potter County’s future depends on us listening to the
better angels of our nature.

Westfield Gun Thefts Key To Philly Burglaries

The Associated Press is reporting that the guns stolen from a Westfield, Pa gun dealer were the key to taking down 16 burglars in Philadelphia.

Sixteen people were indicted Wednesday in a $3 million guns-for-drugs ring that allegedly preyed on "mom-and-pop" pharmacies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Federal authorities were tipped off after four Philadelphia men were arrested and charged with stealing 188 guns from a Tioga County dealer in September 2005.

Investigators following up on that gun case uncovered information to file charges related to 34 pharmacy burglaries, most of them in the Philadelphia region. The thefts primarily involved two painkillers, Oxycontin and Percocet.

"This was a roving band of burglars that targeted small, 'mom and pop' pharmacies because their security systems were easy to breach," U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said.

Between December 2002 and June 2005, defendants drove around at night looking for small pharmacies with low-level security systems that would be easy to rob, authorities said. They disabled the alarms, cut the phone lines and stole the drugs, then returned to Philadelphia and sold the pills through a network of distributors, federal prosecutors said.

Investigators said the key to the indictments was follow-up done by investigators after Malkowski, Wojtiw and two others were charged in the Tioga County gun thefts in 2005, one of the largest firearms thefts ever in Pennsylvania.

Possible Fire Call in Ulysses

Firemen from Genesee, Ulysses, and Harrison Valley, and Coudersport were dispatched for a possible structure fire in the downtown Ulysses area, possibly near the library. All units except for the Ulysses engine were recalled shortly after dispatch.

Brooks & Dunn At Case Cutlery Today


Country music stars Brooks & Dunn toured the Case Cutlery plant today
– and even made their own knives – as an unofficial kick-off to the Making a Case for America campaign that will start next Labor Day.

Kix Brooks says what makes Case knives different than other products is that they're hand-crafted by people who care about the product.

Ronnie Dunn says Case knives are an American icon.

Case President Tom Arrowsmith says Brooks & Dunn are as nice as they seem, and all the Case associates enjoyed spending time with them.

Arrowsmith also says with the Making a Case for America campaign, the company expects to hire at least 73 more people – which is how many they hired this year.

Wagner Launches Another Anti-Corruption Campaign

By Donald Gilliland
Potter Leader-Enterprise

Robert Wagner, unsuccessful write-in candidate for
Potter County Commissioner, has announced he is
launching another anti-corruption campaign in Potter

Wagner attended Thursday’s regular meeting of the
Potter County Commissioners and thanked them for their
“courage” in moving county employees into the former
Adelphia headquarters building as quickly as they did.

Wagner then read a prepared press release:
“As the result of the total censorship concerning my
campaign for Potter County Commissioner and similar
censorship in the past, I have determined to begin
publication of the Potter County True Press beginning
in January of 2008.

“This will be a paid publication costing half the
weekly cost of the Potter Leader-Enterprise and
offering paid classifieds as well.

“The newly elected commissioners are still giddy over
their apparent victory, but the giddiness will be
short lived.

“I plan to once again expose the conspiracy of Tom
Bowman - Susan Kefover - Doug Morley - John Wright -
Ken Lieberman - David Minor, Jr. et. al. with their
numerous corporations, extensive real estate holdings,
misappropriation of government funds and coercive
treatment of the residents of Potter County.

“The victory party was great and appropriate, and we
had a wonderful time. Too bad so many missed it, but
it was hard to get the word out, censorship and all.

“D. Bruce you must be getting a headache about now.
Have another drink. Do you remember the time you
called me at midnight to explain that John Smith’s
lies were ‘little white lies’ and not real ones? That
was some pretty legal work – maybe your best. You may
not recall because I think you were inebriated.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.

“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit
before a fall.”

Wagner then stood up, shook the hands of the three
current commissioners and walked out of the meeting.

This article republished here with permission courtesy of Donald Gilliland and The Potter Leader-Enterprise

Club Raided By Troopers & LCB

The state Liquor Control Board says charges are pending against The Austin Costello Sportsmen’s Club for operating an unlicensed establishment.

State troopers served a search warrant on the club Friday afternoon following a year long investigation and confiscated 45 gallons of beer, four liters of liquor and some $322 in cash.

Police Reports Via WFRM News

Troopers are looking for the vandals who tampered with the phone lines at the home of Timothy Tuttle on the Harrison Fox Hill Road in Harrison Valley sometime over the past few weeks. Two telephone lines were disconnected near the house and also were cut at a nearby telephone pole causing an interruption in service.

Unknown persons used a blunt object to smash a couple of mailboxes located along the Ellisburg Road in Genesee Township Sunday evening. The mailboxes belonged to Scott Miller and Kristine Smith. Anyone who has information about either incident is asked to contact the local barracks at 274-8690.

State police have also investigated a couple of incidents victimizing Valley Hardware in Genesee. Authorities claim Mary Knight of Coudersport wrote a bad check to the business in September for over $116 and failed to make it good. And, a known individual is suspected of failing to return a Bostich coil roofing nail gun he rented in late October. The tool is valued at $300 and was rented for $46.00.

Another PA Soldier Dead In Afghanistan

POTTSVILLE, Pa. - A soldier from Pennsylvania has died in Afghanistan, the man's family told a newspaper.

Capt. David Boris, 30, of Pottsville, died sometime over the weekend, his family told the Republican & Herald in Pottsville. He was a member of the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) and a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Boris was sent to Afghanistan in May for 15 months, his family said.

Propane May Have Caused House To Blow Up

CLARION - A Perry Township mother and her teenage son were injured when their two-story house exploded early Tuesday morning.

Shawna Corle, 38, was reportedly sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the blast occurred shortly after 5 a.m., neighbors said. Her son, 13-year-old Brandon Corle, was asleep on a couch on the first floor.

Both victims were thrown clear of the house by the explosion, state police Trooper Jamie LeVier said.

According to neighbors, Brandon Corle was found lying near a mailbox on the opposite side of Spring Road, in pain but conscious.

Shawna Corle's mother reportedly drove her and her son to Clarion Hospital before emergency crews arrived on the scene. Brandon Corle was taken by ambulance to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

A neighbor who had spoken to family members at the hospital said the boy was being treated for burns and a broken leg.

Shawna Corle was released after being treated for minor burns.

Her husband, Russ Corle, had reportedly left for work before the blast occurred.

Neighbor Susan Weckerly said she had just gotten out of bed when the early morning silence was rocked by a huge explosion.

"It was the loudest explosion I ever heard," Weckerly said. "It shook the windows."
Shawna Corle showed up at her door a few minutes later, bloody and dazed but coherent. Weckerly said what was left of the house was engulfed in flames.

"She said, 'My house blew up,'" Weckerly said. "It was like she was in a dream."
Neighbor Art Campbell said he was awakened from a dead sleep by the blast.
"I couldn't think for the life of me what hit," he said.

A state police fire marshal's investigation is focusing on a propane tank in the house as the source of the explosion, although what sparked the blast had not been determined.

Fire crews from Rimersburg, Sligo, Callensburg and Parker responded.

From the DuBois Courier Express

Precautions For Turkey Dinner

USDA Gives Advice for Safely Preparing Your Thanksgiving Meal
WASHINGTON, November 14, 2007 - The decision of choosing a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner is serious business, both for shoppers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Whether a turkey is sold at a grocery store or ordered by Internet or catalogue, check for the USDA or State mark of inspection which ensures that the turkey has been inspected for safety and wholesomeness.

When deciding on what size turkey to purchase, you should allow approximately one pound per person. If you purchased a frozen turkey it is important to safely thaw it in the refrigerator, in cold water or in a microwave oven. In the refrigerator allow approximately 24 hours for every four to five pounds. To thaw in cold water, allow approximately 30 minutes per pound. If you choose to thaw your turkey in a microwave oven, check your owner's manual to calculate minutes per pound and appropriate power settings, and cook immediately after thawing.

No matter what size turkey you purchase or what dish you prepare, it is important for consumers to heed the recommendations of the USDA's nationwide campaign, Be Food Safe. When handling and cooking a turkey, put "Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill" into practice in order to help prevent foodborne illness.

  • Clean: Always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash cutting boards, utensils, preparation surfaces and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and hot water.
  • Separate: Use different cutting boards for raw meat or poultry and other foods that will not be cooked such as vegetables. Be sure to keep the raw turkey separate from the other side dishes.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer. Every part of the turkey and the center of the stuffing should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
  • Chill: Keep the fridge at 40 °F or below to keep bacteria from growing. Perishable foods should not be left sitting out at room temperature longer than two hours. Discard food which has been left at room temperature longer than two hours.
For additional information on safely preparing your turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, you can also visit

Area Obituaries

SMETHPORT — Eleanor E. Pierotti, 87, of 20 Rose Hill Ave., died Tuesday (Nov. 13, 2007) in Lakeview Senior Care and Living Center. Arrangements are under the direction of the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany, and will be announced with a complete obituary.

Thousands Apply For Heating Help


Winter weather has yet to hit, but already thousands of people have applied for help with their heating bills.

With oil prices are on the rise and temperatures on the decline, some are looking to nonprofit organizations and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program so they will not be left in the dark and cold.

The state Department of Welfare program grant is based on household income, the number of people in the household and the type of heating fuel used.

A “crisis program” will provide those with a shutoff notice or less than a quarter of a tank of fuel with $300 to fill that need.

A family can receive assistance through the program once a season, unless they then receive the crisis grant or congress provides more funds.

The high cost of oil will lead to a particularly difficult winter. “This is the worst ... To a family on a very low income or a fixed income, they may be living paycheck to paycheck or probably close to becoming homeless because they may be using their rent money to buy oil.

The Salvation Army is another one of the nonprofit organization that may help with utility bills. Funds are limited, Pamela Hicks, social services director, said. To determine the need, “we meet with each family individually before we determine if we will help them,” Hicks said.

There are no specific guidelines to define “a need.”

“It’s subjective. Some family may have experienced a huge crisis ... It could be a number of things,” Hicks said. “There has to be a need.”

When financial help cannot be given, nonprofits often direct those in need to look to their local church, family and friends.

“We’re not able to help everybody and that’s the downside,” Hicks said.

Funds are made available to these and other agencies by federal and state dollars, utility companies, personal donations and the United Way.

According to the Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act, through the Public Utilities Commission’s Web site, electric and natural gas utility providers “shall not terminate service to customers with household incomes at or below 250 percent the federal poverty level.”

Illegal use of equipment and utilities can result in utilities being shut off without notice.

This article from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette was edited for length.

Penn Grade Crude Drops To $86.00

WESB News: 11/14/07 - ARG Drops Posted Price for Crude Oil

American Refining Group has dropped the price they pay for Pennsylvania Crude Oil to $86.00 a barrel. That’s a $3.50 drop from Tuesday’s posted price.

Western PA Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

PITTSBURGH - A western Pennsylvania soldier died Saturday in Afghanistan from wounds sustained when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire in Tagab, the Defense Department said.

Staff Sgt. Patrick F. Kutschbach, 25, of McKees Rocks, died in Bagram. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group at Stuttgart, Germany.

Woman Struck On Lawnmower On Lynn Hall Hill

WESB News: 11/14/07 - Woman Riding Lawnmower Hit by Truck

A woman driving a lawnmower was struck by a truck on Lynn Hall Hill near Port Allegany Tuesday morning. The woman was flown to an out-of-town hospital for treatment of injuries.

State Police haven’t released the woman’s identity.

Eldred Man Arrested

WESB News: 11/14/07 - Man Facing Theft and Forgery Charges

An Eldred man was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft and forgery after an incident at Walmart.

Court records show that 40 year-old Francis VanCise signed and cashed two travelers checks for $500 dollars each at the supercenter. He is facing two counts of forgery and two counts of theft by deception.

VanCise is free on $30,000 dollars bail.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PA State Police Shoot Family Pet In Yard

Pennsylvania State Police shot a family's fenced-in pet to death Tuesday.Troopers later admitted they weren't supposed to be in that yard in the first place.State troopers were in the neighborhood, trying to serve a warrant on someone. They sent a couple of extra troopers around to guard the back door. Those officers, however, cut through a neighbor's yard, and that's when they came across Sheeba, a very protective family dog, NBC 10's Tim Furlong reported.

"She was doing her job. That's what she does, she protects us," said DiQuan Dill. DiQuan and his five brothers and sisters got the bad news when they got home from school Tuesday that their Belgian shepard was killed in their back yard.

Their mom was there when it happened."I was in there laying down and, all of a sudden, I heard gunfire -- about five or six rounds," Denise Dill said.

But what disturbed the family most was that state police killed Sheeba."When I came to the door, they were actually next door, and I said, 'What's the matter? Who shot my dog?' And he was like, 'Your dog bit me.' I said, 'What are you doing in the yard?' And he said, 'We're looking for this guy over here.' I said, 'Why did you have to shoot the dog?' He said, 'She bit me.' I said, 'Why you didn't just get out of the yard?'"

Denise's fiancée was devastated, and she said the kids were even more upset."She was always happy. I don't know why they did that. She was always joyful, running around, everything," DiQuan said.

The bitten state trooper was recovering from puncture wounds to his hand.A lieutenant at his barracks admitted the trooper should never have cut through the yard in the first place. He told NBC 10 the troopers never saw or heard the dog in the yard but that, either way, troopers are not supposed to cut through private property to serve out a warrant at another house.

"He obviously panicked, you know, and messed up," Dill said.She got business cards from the troopers on scene, and she said one trooper apologized.But an apology can't bring Sheeba back to the kids who grew up with her."We got dog food and everything, and we don't have anyone to give it to. We don't got nothing," Dill said.

State police said they do apologize and will compensate the family for their loss, Furlong reported. The man they came to get was taken into custody on pretty minor charges, Furlong said.

Police Reports Via WFRM News

A Coudersport couple escaped injury Sunday afternoon when their pick up hit a deer on Route 44 about a mile and half north of the borough.

Troopers said Franklin Furman was headed north when the whitetail bounded onto the road in front of his GMC Sierra. Furman was able to drive the truck safely onto the berm. Both he and his wife, Kathlyn were wearing seatbelts.

A criminal trespass taking place between last Thursday and Saturday is under investigation by troopers here. Unknown persons entered a house on Buffalo Street in Eulalia Township owned by Jeffrey Miller of Grandbury, Texas but apparently took nothing.

Archery Bear Season Nov. 14 & 15

Hunters planning to participate in the state's archery bear season on Nov. 14 and 15, are reminded by the Game Commission they must have a general hunting license and a bear license from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The archery bear season will be held in selected Wildlife Management Units including three in the WFRM listening area-- 2F, 2G,and 3A.

In 2006, about 7,500 hunters participated in the new two-day season, according to the agency's Game-Take Survey. They took 79 bears.

In WMUs where the archery bear season and fall wild turkey season run concurrently, bowhunters when moving are required to wear a hat containing 100 square inches of solid fluorescent orange. The hat may be removed when the hunter is stationary or on stand.

WMUs affected by this requirement are 2D, 2G, 3A and 4D.

Any bear taken by a bowhunter must be checked by the Game Commission within 24 hours of the time it was killed. Successful bowhunters should call a region office for instructions. Region office staff will direct the hunter to a location where an employee will meet him or her and check the bear.

Traditional check stations will not be open during the archery bear season but will be for the regular season which takes place next Monday through Wednesday..

Telephone numbers for the six region offices are listed on page 3 of the 2007-08 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest. From WFRM News

Federal Funds Approved For Area Projects

U.S. Senators Arlen Specter, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Bob Casey, the junior senator from Pennsylvania, announced today that the full U.S. Congress has approved federal funding for several northwestern Pennsylvania health care, education, labor and defense projects.

Funding includes $90,000 for Potter County Human Services in Potter County for in-school, after school and community youth health programs that promote physical activity;

$90,000 for Kane Community Hospital in McKean County to upgrade the electronic health records system and to develop a cardiac rehabilitation program, involving exercise, education and counseling for patients and

$1.6 million for Morgan Advanced Materials & Technology in Potter and Elk Counties for the development of improved body armor.

From WFRM News

New Call Center To Hire 230 Agents

New Company Hiring in Luzerne County

Monday, November 12, 6:43 p.m.
By Sarah Buynovsky

A corporate center in Luzerne County that has seen layoffs recently is now picking up new hires.

It was last spring when 300 workers at the RCN Corporation in Plains Township got the word they were being laid off from the high speed internet and cable company.

Fast-forward about seven months and in the very same corporate center came an announcement of a different kind.

C3i Incorporated, a customer service company, is opening a call center in Luzerne County and hiring about 230 workers over the next three years.
Some people are already being trained for the center, including former RCN employees, such as Christine Dominick. She is from Pittston and said when she was laid off she was afraid she would have to leave the area.

"I do have two small children and I didn't want to take them out of school. It worked out well. I'm in the same building I was in before, so as far as the commute, it's the same, so it's great," Dominick said.

C3i isn't just hiring former RCN employees. The company is also taking over some of RCN's former office space.

"We signed a 10 year lease here to be located here. We've told all of our clients this is our new call center. We're making a big investment in terms of not only the lease but also technology here. This will be our main phone hub," said Joel Morse, CEO of C3i.

Workers said the 10-year lease is comforting. They like knowing C3i will be here that long.

"It seems like a really good opportunity for me," Dominick added.

C3i hopes to have its call center up and running by early next year. It's looking to hire 100 workers right away.

Those who wants to apply can go to the new offices at the Corporate Center at East Mountain.

Tobyhanna Army Depot To Hire 350

Tobyhanna Depot Hiring

Tuesday, November 13, UPDATED: 4:57 p.m.
By Jon Meyer

The area's largest employer is getting larger. Tobyhanna Army Depot wants to hire more than 300 people.

Click for larger image
Workers at Tobyhanna, such as this woman, repair military electronic equipment.

In the past five years, the depot has added more than 1,000 jobs. Now the military base in Monroe County is hiring hundreds more this is just the beginning.

A lot of the work done at Tobyhanna is repairing military equipment used and damaged in Iraq and Afghanistan so many of the new jobs there are in response to the war on terror.

Now, the depot wants to hire 350 people by the end of the year.

It's help from the home front. More than 5,000 workers at Tobyhanna are doing what they can to make sure soldiers overseas have proper working equipment to get the job done.

"It brings a lot of money into the area, gives people jobs, takes people off unemployment, good place to work," said worker Rich Evans.

The depot is hiring most of the 350 positions in electronics. Salaries range from $33,000 to $46,000 plus full-paid benefits.

"For the area they are very good opportunities. There are a lot of advancement opportunities at the depot and a lot of potential for folks if they're coming in at entry level," said Tobyhanna Chief of Staffing, Loretta Yearing.

Night vision technology is just one of the things workers at Tobyhanna repair. Some of the workers said they are proud to be part of the war effort.

"I take great pride in what we do because if it wasn't for us, a lot more guys would be dying over there. We help that out which is a good thing," Evans added.

"To be part of that effort, to make sure they get a quality product is what we do here and a lot of people here are veterans so it's that much better," said worker Joe Galada of Hazleton. He is one of those veterans, just back from Iraq. He saw the need for quality equipment in battle. He saw how easily it got damaged. He knows the need for these repair jobs here at home.

"You sit there and complain a little bit that it's beat up but that's no problem. You have no problem fixing it because you know what it's for," Galada added.

While most of the new jobs are in electronics, there are industrial positions and some jobs requiring a deployment overseas. Those pay a lot more.

A Tobyhanna spokesperson said there will likely be hundreds of more hires after the new year.