Did You Experience Water Damage?

State Representative Martin Causer (R - Turtlepoint) reminds residents of McKean, Potter and Cameron Counties to notify your local municipality if you experienced, or are still experiencing, flood damage due to heavy rains on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 1.  If you have additional questions, contact your county emergency management agency: Potter County, 814-274-8900; McKean County, 814-887-5070; or Cameron County, 814-486-1137.


Actor To Turn Self In To FCI-McKean Within A Week To Serve 156-week Sentence - ORLANDO, Fla. — Actor Wesley Snipes was ordered this week to turn himself in to a federal prison in western Pennsylvania to serve his sentence for tax-related crimes, according to a court document made public Wednesday.

The U.S. Marshals Service, in a letter dated Tuesday, said Snipes must report to Federal Correctional Institution McKean, in Lewis Run, Pa., no later than 12 p.m., Dec. 9.

Federal prosecutors in Florida argued Snipes obstructed the Internal Revenue Service and attempted to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes.

Snipes, the Orlando, Fla.-born star of the "Blade" trilogy, "White Men Can't Jump" and "Jungle Fever," was convicted in 2008 of three misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file federal tax returns.

He was ordered to serve three years in prison.

Last month, a federal judge rejected Snipes' demand for a new trial and ordered him to surrender to federal authorities.

The Marshals Service's letter to Snipes said failure to report to the federal prison on time may result in additional criminal charges.

FCI McKean is a medium-security facility for men about 90 miles south of Buffalo, N.Y.

Source:  Boulder Weekly



Rising Water Causes Campus Class Closures - BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford evacuated about 160 students from on-campus housing along the Tunungwant Creek early Wednesday morning after hours of steady rain caused the creek to flood.

Pitt-Bradford also canceled classes for the day and asked about 100 students to move vehicles from parking areas along the creek.

About 100 students spent the night in the Frame-Westerberg Commons, said Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs. “We had some students playing cards, some watching TV and some playing board games,” he said. Some students rolled up their socks and started a game of baseball in the Mukaiyama University Room, which became their diamond for the overnight.

Around 3:00am, Dan Howard, general manager of dining services, came in and opened up the KOA Dining Room for bagels, ice cream and cereal.

Students slept on couches and in corridors.

“They were pretty much all over the building,” Evans said. “The students have been just wonderful. They saw it as an adventure.”

With colder temperatures turning precipitation to snow and water levels falling by mid-morning, students were allowed to return to their residences at 9:45 a.m.

Evans said the students were evacuated when water was within a few inches of the tops of the stoops of the townhouse-style residences.

“We always evacuate when the water’s that high,” he said, as a precautionary measure. Water did not reach the first floor of the buildings.

Peter Buchheit, director of facilities management, said that although water reached crawl spaces, none reached the occupied areas of buildings. Maintenance crews will spend their day pumping out crawl spaces, clearing logs and other debris left by receding floodwaters and keeping sidewalks and roads clear as rain turns to snow.

Early in the morning, campus police jumped into action to contact about 100 students whose vehicles were endangered by flood waters. If a student could not be reached, police had his or her vehicle towed to safety.



Governor Rendell Announces Nearly $500,000 in Flood Protection Grants to Benefit 19 Communities - HARRISBURG -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today stressed the importance of protecting communities and citizens from flooding threats -- and especially since Pennsylvania is among the most flood-prone states -- as he announced the latest round of flood protection grants for projects in 15 counties.

The Governor said this latest investment totaling $477,934 builds on the commonwealth's commitment to improve and reinforce Pennsylvania's flood-control measures and water infrastructure.

“We regularly see the devastating effects floods can have on our communities. When floodwaters rise, they can destroy homes and businesses, creating incredible hardships for people that disrupt their lives,” said Governor Rendell. “That’s why it’s so important that we invest our resources to help communities protect against this threat.

“The funds we’re announcing today will do just that. Whether it’s purchasing new equipment that help municipalities maintain their existing flood-protection measures, making structural improvements, or developing the plans to make sure communities and residents are prepared, these grants—and others we've made in the past eight years—are an important investment in public safety.”

Since 2003, the Rendell administration has made improving the state’s flood-related infrastructure a priority by making critically needed flood control and prevention investments in 60 Pennsylvania counties. All told, the commonwealth has invested almost $200 million in more than 600 projects that have been completed or will be finished within the next few years. Projects include maintaining and rehabilitating existing projects, building new flood protection or stream improvement measures, and removing dams that contribute to flooding or pose a safety risk.

To review the Department of Environmental Protection’s investments through the flood protection grant program, and Growing Greener II dam safety and watershed protection programs, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on “Grants and Loans,” then on “DEP Grant and Loan Programs.”

The state’s total financial support for communities battling floods includes $14 million for seven flood control projects through the H20 PA program, which Governor Rendell signed in 2008. The $800 million H20 PA package dedicated $85 million to flood-prevention measures. To see the list of grant recipients through the program, visit www.dced.state.pa.us/investmenttracker.

Flood protection grants like those announced today are awarded annually to municipal and county governments that sponsor existing projects authorized by DEP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service. The grants allow communities to ensure flood protection projects are properly maintained and function as designed during high-water events. Grants reimburse sponsors up to 65 percent for project improvements and non-routine maintenance, and up to 50 percent of the costs to purchase specialized equipment for monitoring, operating and maintaining the project.

The maximum grant award for project improvements and non-routine maintenance is $65,000, and the maximum for specialized equipment is $50,000. Grant amounts are based upon expected benefits of the project in terms of improving emergency response and extending the life and functionality of the infrastructure.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

Area Counties include:

    Bradford District Flood Control Authority - $29,172 for gravel bar removal, slope restoration, sediment removal, concrete repair, foundation repair, sealing concrete slope walls, and tree removal.

    Genesee Township - $1,000 to purchase 100-gallon skid sprayer.
    City of Williamsport - $15,365 to purchase new slope mower.
    Lawrenceville Borough - $24,608 to cut trees, shrubs and vegetation on the levees, spray vegetation and eliminate animal burrows.
    City of Warren - $14,524 to remove vegetation, trees and brush and cut stumps to ground level for Indian Hollow Run flood protection project; remove vegetation, unwanted growth, and steps and railings from the levee's land side at the Glade Run FPP and spray Japanese Knotweed.



Two Killed In McKean County Crash Early Monday Morning - State Police have released the identities of two people who were killed in an early Monday morning one car crash on Route 6 between Port Allegany and Smethport at 1:42am.

Angela R. Loncosky, 30, of Olean, NY, and Lawrence E. Kelley, 24, of Port Allegany, PA were pronounced dead at the scene by McKean County Coroner Michael Cahill.

The crash, about a quarter mile east of Pierce Brook Road in Keating Township, occurred as the eastbound 2004 Volkswagen Jetta, driven by Loncosky, had just finished negotiating a right curve.

Loncosky lost control of the Jetta for unknown reasons, and crossed over the westbound lane of Route 6, subsequently impacting the embankment, then rolling over and impacting a tree with the top of the vehicle. The car ultimately came to rest upright off the roadway in a wooded area.

Both occupants were wearing seat belts. Route 6 was closed for an extended period during the night.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by PennDOT, Smethport Fire Department, and Priority Care EMS. The vehicle was towed from the scene by McKeirnan's towing service.


The victims were pronounced dead at the scene by McKean County Coroner Mike Cahill.  Both had been wearing seatbelts. Authorities say speed was a factor in the crash. That section of Route 6 was reportedly closed to traffic for a time following the crash.


Editor's Note:  A Facebook page has been created to honor Kelley and Loncosky.  It can be found here.  A complete obituary for Angela can be found here.  An obituary for Lawrence will be posted as soon as we receive it.  Our deepest sympathies to both families in their time of need.



Decades After Losing Thousands Of Acres Seneca's Announce Intent To Operate Power From Kinzua Dam - Nearly 50 years after Seneca Indians saw about 10,000 acres of their Allegany Territory flooded in order to construct the Kinzua Dam, the Seneca Nation will announce its intention to operate electricity generated from waters at the dam.

The plan is expected to face opposition from the current hydroelectric power operators, however, as both bids to operate are considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in upcoming years.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam in 1964 to prevent flooding in the Pittsburgh area. In order to do so, Seneca land was condemned and flooded. About 600 Senecas watched homes burned or bulldozed in order for the dam to be constructed. Senecas received about $15 million for the land they considered sacred. Some of that money was used for education.

A newly elected administration, the first ever that includes its three highest-ranking officials being college educated, will announce plans to benefit from the waters at the dam at a news conference today.

Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter, along with Wendy Huff, Kinzua Dam Re-licensing Commission executive director, will discuss the nation's application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate the Seneca Pumped Storage Project at the dam. Porter is expected to provide an overview of the re-licensing process and review the dam's history and impact on the nation.

The Seneca Pumped Storage Generating Station began operations in 1970 as a hydroelectric power plant. The 451-megawatt power plant uses water to generate electricity to accommodate peak electric use. It stores energy in the form of water so when there is high electric demand, the water is released through turbines. The station is located near the dam in Warren. It is operated by the First Energy Generation Corp. of Akron, Ohio.

Celeste Miller, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission spokeswoman, said First Energy's license to operate the facility will expire Nov. 30, 2015. Notices of intent to apply for a license to operate are due five years prior to the current license's expiration, meaning any notices of intent for the project would be needed today.

Mark Durbin, spokesperson for First Energy, said it filed a notice of intent Nov. 24 to reapply for its license to continue hydroelectric operations. Ms. Miller confirmed that the notice has been received by federal officials.

"We believe we're the strongest operator for this," Durbin said about why First Energy filed its intent for license renewal.

He said the company has experience operating the hydro-electric project since it began and "has every intention of continuing to do so." He said it has invested millions of dollars in the facility to make power available for purchase by a number of entities to whom he said First Energy sells. As part of its application, it had to make other area governments aware of its filing, including Seneca Nation officials.

During the three years until First Energy's permit expires, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will determine who is best suited to operate the Warren facility.

Warren County and the Warren County School District had been working to collect back taxes of almost $1 million for 2004 to 2006 on the power station reservoir from FirstEnergy until settlement was reached in April. The power reservoir was assessed at $3,753,230, according to the county treasurer's office. The amount of taxes owed was $893,393. Possible penalties and interest bumped that number close to $1 million.

The reservoir, built in 1966, was not taxable until an act by the Pennsylvania state legislature removed its tax exempt status in 1999. First Energy protested the taxes on the basis that the reservoir is located within the Allegheny National Forest, and that a current appraisal of the property was needed. The company began making payments in 2007 "under protest."

Source:  Warren Times Observer


County Backs Airport Loans                                  By Martha Knight

SMETHPORT—McKean County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to back Bradford Regional Airport (BRA) as it seeks loans to help finance construction of a multi-tenant facility.

According to one of two resolutions commissioners adopted concerning the project, the county will provide a loan guarantee assuring repayment of up to $400,000.

BRA will solicit loan offers from a number of private lenders, according to commissioner chairman Joe DeMott. The loan probably will have a 20-year term. The county’s guarantee will expedite BRA’s efforts to secure a loan at favorable terms.

In the second resolution concerning financing of the 30,000 square-feet facility, the commissioners also agreed to guarantee short-term borrowing of up to $750,000, which would be used for cash flow during the construction period. That borrowing could be thought of as a line of credit, commissioners said.

Both loans are based on the understanding that “the facility will be funded in large part by state and federal grants.” The county’s guarantee must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The up-to-$750,000 guarantee is contingent upon DCED approval of the $400,000 one, and upon the project receiving grants from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation, Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other sources.

The short-term borrowings would be repaid as the grant funds come in. DeMott said those are expected to be paid to BRA as reimbursement for amounts spent in the course of the project.

Airport director Tom Frungillo attended the meeting. He said the future multi-tenant facility already has one tenant signed up, and foresees that the units will attract additional tenants of several kinds. Marcellus shale drilling and production activity is stimulating air travel and shipping, he noted.

John Satterwhite of Bradford was appointed to a new five-year term on the Bradford Regional Airport Authority. Frungillo said Satterwhite has the most years of service of any authority member.

The commissioners voted to authorize an intergovernmental cooperative agreement between McKean County Commissioners and Potter County Commissioners whereby McKean County’s chief assessor, Angie Tennies, will provide Potter County with tax assessment/CPE services as Potter County seeks professional staff for their tax assessment office. Tennies has been helping out in Coudersport, recently, with her qualifications and certifications being necessary for certain duties.

Commissioners approved an invoice from Mt. Jewett Borough in the amount of $2,266, representing payment for their completed Liquid Fuel Project. Future Liquid Fuel funded projects were given the go-ahead: an Eldred Borough one to cost $1,650, and an Otto Township project to cost $4,471.

Real estate refunds were approved for Jason Roth, $228.56; NW Land Development, $149.49; Bradford Rentals, Inc., $273.42; James and Margaret Fox, $110.92; Abraham Rosenberg, $89.18; and Joseph and Joni Britton, $186.14.

Real estate exemptions for 2010 were granted to Bradford School District for .09 acres of land and a building at 24 Willard Avenue, Bradford, where the district, a tax-exempt entity, will tear down the building to create parking space; and to the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, also a tax-exempt organization, for .03 acres at 39 Chautauqua Place, Bradford, vacant since a structure was demolished.

Service provider agreements were approved at the behest of the Department of Human Services: one with Perseus House, Inc., Erie, for Children and Youth Services; and one with Sugar Valley Lodge, Franklin, for Mental Health.

In a final batch of real-estate-related matters, the commissioners approved seven purchases of property from the county repository.

Kane Borough will receive title to the county’s interest in a vacant lot at 314 Chestnut Street, Kane, where the borough has spent more than $11,000 cleaning up the lot after a fire destroyed a structure there.

Three Bradford vacant lots were disposed of: one at 437 South Avenue to Marvin Race for $250, one at 31 South Kendall Avenue to Russell and Wendy Persing for $500, and one at 16 Bolivar Court to Adam Rhoades for $250.

Troy Glasgow will buy a house an lot at 105 Clay Street, Kane, for $250, and a house and lot at 402 Maple Street, Kane, also for $250. He is McKean County government’s network system administrator.

Attorney Mark Hollenbeck, Bradford, was named alternate Right-To-Know appeal officer. He will serve when the primary Right-To-Know appeal officer, Ray Learn, cannot.



Couple Announce Establishment Of Scholarship In Memory Of Daughter
BRADFORD, Pa. – Dr. V. Rao and Rajeswari Nadella of Bradford have established a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in memory of their daughter, Seetal.

Seetal Nadella graduated from Pitt-Bradford in December 2006 with a degree in economics and died in October 2008 after a lengthy illness.

Her mother, Rajeswari Nadella, graduated in 1991 with a degree in business management.

The Seetal Nadella Memorial Scholarship will benefit a student of at least sophomore standing who is majoring in a business or economic discipline and has achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to a student from the counties of McKean, Elk, Warren, Cameron, Potter or Cattaraugus (N.Y.).

The Nadellas’ pledge of $50,000 will be matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge. The Thomas Scholarship Challenge matches the amount of any gift between $5,000 and $50,000 given for scholarships.

Dr. Gautam Mukerjee, associate professor of economics, was Seetal’s professor and advisor.

“What made Seetal truly endearing was her self-effacing quality that carefully concealed a remarkably informed and balanced outlook on life,” he said. “Those admitted to her inner circle were amazed to discover a bright and sprightly personality with a very keen sense of humor that seldom missed its mark.

“Seetal’s untimely passing leaves a tragic gap in the lives of her family and friends that is not likely to be filled in the foreseeable future.”

The first recipient of the scholarship is Colby Case, an accounting major from Youngsville.

For more information on the Thomas Scholarship Challenge, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement, at jballard@pitt.edu or (814)362-5091.



Veilleux Speaks At Rotary - Robert Veilleux, PAHS grad, Class of 1993, spoke to the Rotary Club on December 2,  Program Chair for the day was Frank Rackish (far right).  They are pictured with SHAVTS Director Don Raydo, and senior guests Julia Collver and Ricky Warnick.

ROTARY REPORT - The Port Allegany Rotary Club met December 2 at the Moose Family Center.  There were 24 Rotarians present for a reportable attendance of 80 percent. Program Chair for the Day and Vocational Service Director Frank Rackish introduced guest speaker, Robert Veilleux.  Veilleux is the Community and Economic Development Educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension/Potter County Education Council.  He is a native of Port Allegany graduating from PAHS in 1993.  His program was about the regional and local impacts of natural gas development.  

Other guests included SHAVTS Director Don Raydo and former Port Allegany Rotarain Candy Hand.  Also visiting were senior guests Julia Collver and Ricky Warnick.  

Julis is the daughter of Jennifer and Steve Causer.  She is in the college prep high school course and AP English.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Lady Gator Soccer Team, Senior High Concert Choir, Yearbook Production Staff, Track and Field Team and participates in the fall plays, spring musicals and Art Show.  Julia represented the local Rotary Club at RYLA.  She enjoys the outdoors, painting, writing poetry and having fun with friends and family.  She plans to attend college to study Art.

Ricky is the son of Tammy Warnick.  He is in the college prep course of study and AP English.  He is a photographer and member of the Yearbook Staff, the Reading Competition team, the Enrichment Program and the Mock Trial United Nations.  His hobbies include running and reading.  He plans to attend Clarion University for Library Science and teaching certificate.  

Other Rotary news discussed:  A host family is being sought for the 2010-2011 Exchange Student who is now residing with the Bayline Family.; CARE for Children Christmas gifts are due to the Borough Office on or before December 13; Tony Flint is the program chair for the December 9 meeting; CARE for Children Christmas Party will be held December 16; Joe DeMott is program chair for December 23 and Lloyd Eastman will provide the program on December 30.  

Winner of the 50/50 Raffle was Scott Bayline.




Collecting Coats

C-O-A-T-S -- C, Collecting; O - Outerwear; A - All; T - Types & S - Sizes.  The Kick-Off for a Coat Drive was held Sunday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church.  The drive is an Eagle Scout project organized by Samuel Kysor and assisted by the Mission Possible Team, Junior/Senior High Class of the First Presbyterian Church.  The coats will be distributed locally to anyone in need.  Didn't make it to the kick-off?  No problem...coats will continue to be collected at Sud City Depot (former Witter Gas and Oil Building) from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday.  Working the kick-off were (front row) Carli Johnston, Garrett Kio, Damien Fourness, Chuck Kysor; (back row) Sam Kysor, Mission Possible teacher, Kim Nelson, Rickie Bova and Brock Bricker.  For further information, contact Sam Kysor at 598-6587.  Pam Fischer Photo/Story



Big Buck - Eighteen year old Chad Austin took this 12-point, 200 pound buck with an 18"spread while hunting Monday morning in Biggins Hollow.  The deer was shot at 80 yards with a 7mm magnum.  Austin is an Eldred resident.  Pam Fischer Photo/ Story




First-Day Success - This 8-point, 175-pound buck was taken in Lafayette Township around noon on the first day of deer season.  The buck has a 20-inch spread and was shot by Chad Smith of Eldred.  Pam Fischer Photo/Story