My phone rings off the hook, here are some random things from my journalist’s notebook!


State Troopers Back Kress Over Guy

Lodge 47 of the Fraternal Order of Police, representing over 500 active and retired members of the Pennsylvania State Police in southwestern PA, endorsed Wayne Kress for Beaver County Sheriff last week.

The union was apparently itching to issue its endorsement, with their letter coming out before candidates’ nominating petitions to appear on the ballot are even due to be submitted.

The endorsement will be the only one issued by the lodge for Beaver County sheriff this election year and is meant to cover both the primary and general elections.

Kress is expected to face off against George David in the Democratic primary election. The winner of that race will run opposite Sheriff Tony Guy in the general, who is expected to be unopposed in the Republican primary.

Tony Guy had touted his endorsement by this same lodge when he ran against Kress for sheriff the first time four years ago, but since then Guy’s management of the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office has apparently soured its opinion of him.

Endorsement letter by Lodge 47)

George David yard sign in front of Bobby Williams’ house / submitted photo

Spring Has Sprung? First Georgie Yard Sign Blooms

The above dark, blurry, pixelated image that looks like it should be of a UFO or Big Foot sighting, is actually evidence of the very first George David for Sheriff yard sign to bloom this season.

The image was submitted to us last week, depicting the property of Bobby Williams on Old Brodhead Road in Center Township.

If you ever wondered how BeaverCountian.com manages to keep on top of political happenings so well, I’m about to let you in on a major secret of our tradecraft: Very little actually changes in Beaver County and we are often able to just copy/paste old articles and publish them as new stories.

Here’s from our coverage of the sheriff’s race back in 2015:

Campaign signs supporting George David for Sheriff … litter the home of Bobby Williams on Old Brodhead Road in Center Township.

Bobby Williams was convicted of perjury under the election code in March of last year after an investigative report by the Beaver Countian revealed he had lied about where he lives when filling out paperwork to run for Aliquippa City Council. Williams had conspired with George David to run for a seat on Aliquippa’s Council even though he is a resident of Center Township. The Beaver Countian’s investigation revealed the address he claimed to be living at in Aliquippa was in fact an uninhabitable, dilapidated old abandoned building.

After refusing to accept a plea agreement offered by prosecutors that would have seen him serve a period of probation, Williams was subsequently convicted at trial. Beaver County Judge Harry Knafelc ruled that Williams would face no punishment as a result of his conviction — no confinement, no probation, no fine. Williams had faced a possibility of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Not everyone follows government as closely as we do, and I think it’s important we use our institutional memory to help educate voters.

Here’s another example of how we at BeaverCountian.com can recycle content from the past into relevant and timely news. This time from our coverage of the 2013 election for state representative:

“I’ve been getting text messages and phone calls all weekend,” said Bobby Williams. “They were calling me a racist, and said that my wife is a racist too!”

That is a quote from an article we published in 2013 titled, “Editorial: No, Not THIS Bobby Williams – The OTHER Bobby Williams.”

At the time, Bobby Williams of Hopewell Township was the Democratic candidate for state representative who was running against then incumbent Jim Christiana. Voters were confusing Bobby Williams of Hopewell with Bobby Williams of Center causing him (the Hopewell Bobby Williams) all sorts of interesting problems.

This time around, Bobby Williams of Hopewell is running for Beaver County Recorder of Deeds while the Bobby Williams of Center is out and about acting as a de facto campaign staffer for George David’s sheriff run.

Although I was able to recycle a lot of content for this week’s edition of my notebook, it was still important I got my hands on the new photo I published above. Here’s what (Center) Bobby Williams’ house looked like back in 2015 (apparently someone’s slacking this year):

Bobby William’s house decorated in support of George David in 2015 / photo by John Paul

Card from the Pannell campaign

AKA Jesus’ Disciple For County Controller

Republican candidate for county controller Sarah Pannell has found a prominent name to help bolster her political campaign… Jesus.

A campaign card being handed out by Pannell lists an alternative moniker of “Jesus’ Disciple” and provides an email address of “TellMeTheStoryOfJesus@Gmail.com.”

The card also features a number with a 662 area code (serving northern Mississippi). Originally from the south, Pannell has a notable southern accent.

A couple of cynical politicos had suggested to me that perhaps Pannell had devised a Jesus Gmail account for purely political purposes, but I quickly found she has been using it for years. Back in 2017, Pannell’s “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus” email was used to help gather together items for care packages to send to troops stationed overseas.

Pennell is expected to face off against Maria Longo in the Republican primary for controller. Longo previously ran a company that operates a cafeteria in the Beaver County Courthouse.

Controller David Rossi is expected to face off against challenger Candice McMunn of Beaver in the Democratic primary.

Here’s an interesting random fact: McMunn is Vice President of Faith Restorations, a group that offers spiritual support, runs a food pantry, and provides home repairs for families that include an active military member or veteran.

Reverse of card from the Pannell campaign

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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Truthful
Guest
Truthful

SMH. Here’s a novel idea. Stop calling yourself “Bobby” when you turn 18. An adult uses Robert.

Move on……

Guy – you fooled the real Conservatives last time. Game over.

wind
Member
wind

Hard pass on the Jesus freak. People who wear religion/Jesus on their sleeves just talk the talk but I’ve seen no instances of any of them truly walking that walk, in fact I’ve seen quite the opposite. Bible in one hand, knife in the other.

Accordingtome
Member
Accordingtome

Gee whiz, Tony, your fellow trooper brothers must think that you are a total douchebag and a flaming failure as sheriff for them to abandon their previous endorsement of you. Afterall, weren’t you the one who supposedly rose in rank during your career with the PSP?

Losing their endorsement is a much louder statement than is having originally received it. This isn’t about politics; it’s not about the people who read “that online blog” as you like to call it. Rather, it’s about your peers evaluating the job that you’ve done and collectively saying as quickly as possible that it’s been far below the professional standard that they find acceptable as providers of public safety.

That says a lot about you; and none of it is good.

PS – Nobody cares what you think, Sylvia.

SpeakTheTruthToo
Guest
SpeakTheTruthToo

Giving lie detector tests is hardly rising in rank during his career with the PSP.

Raven
Member
Raven

So pedestrian. So bizarre. So utterly stupid. The compost heap is being turned over again.

Raven
Member
Raven

The current life cycle of corrupt people in Beaver County began in the steel mills and surrounding towns of the 1930’s and ‘40’s. They flourished in the 50’s and 60’s. The mere fact that a candidacy by the specter of George David is possible is a sure sign that we have entered “old age” in local politics, and that any new birth is only a fiction shared by those who think that running now will make any difference.

It won’t, my starry-eyed friends.
Not until the geezers are all dead and buried.

Even now, the rising “talent” in town governments and the Courthouse falls far short of any kind of hope or legitimacy.

Cebran Netherland?! Luke Berardelli?! The Walkers?! C’mon, now. Get serious.

So, get excited about a new election, but the truth is that nothing new will happen for at least another 20 years.

Forget about politics. Think positive — like donating to an expansion of the Heritage Valley hospital respiratory and cancer wings to accommodate the new Shell emissions.

WTF2:
Guest
WTF2:

Oh, for fuck’s sake! Stop it with the cracker plant BS already! It is happening. It is being built. Get over it or move the fuck out of the area already!