Jake Mott is a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Photo provided

In a presidential election year, voting may be the most visible way to try to create change.

But it's not the only way. In a three-part series from America Amplified, residents of McKean County share how they are making a difference, where they live, and beyond the ballot box.

Jake Mott, 23, has always felt like he’s not a part of his hometown, Bradford, Pennsylvania. 

A video surfaced of Police Chief Hiel Bartlett and another officer, Patrolman Matthew Gustin, making an arrest in which some Bradford, Pa. residents say they used excessive force.

Bradford, Pennsylvania is a town of 8,000 near the New York border in rural McKean County.

It’s a place where people typically hold police officers in high regard.

“Most people know all the police officers at least personally in some way,” said Bradford native Jake Mott, 23, who studies psychology at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Mott said the downside of that close relationship with officers is “that really makes people afraid to be critical of them.”

Yolanda Chiodo

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the residents of Bradford sprang into action early.  A busy Bradford Facebook group is connecting volunteer helpers with those in need.

Many business owners who have applied for federal and state loans are still waiting for help to arrive.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke


Fred Graham, owner of Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping in Bradford, Pennsylvania, put in an application for the federal Paycheck Protection Program as quickly as he was able to, on the second day applications were accepted.

Centre County voted on Tuesday to cut staff because of financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
Min Xian / WPSU

With projected revenue losses in taxes and the responsibility to continue providing services, many Pennsylvania counties are finding themselves under tremendous financial stress. On Tuesday, Centre County Commissioners voted to cut staff, a decision that affects about 100 positions across dozens of departments.

BookMark: "Hidden Tapestry" By Debra Dean

Jan 9, 2020

Recognizing the author’s name led me to “Hidden Tapestry” by Debra Dean. Her debut historical novel, “The Madonnas of Leningrad,” is one of my favorite WW II novels.

“Hidden Tapestry: Jan Yoors, His Two Wives, and the War That Made Them One” was like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s a historical biography, but it reads like an unbelievable novel. It’s the biography of Flemish-American artist Jan Yoors, who was known for his giant tapestries.

Nancy VanLandingham

Saturday, July 20th is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

Nancy VanLandingham of Warrior’s Mark was 14 years old in 1969.

“To me, it felt like it was pretty much the most important thing that had happened in my lifetime,” VanLandingham said.

As she remembers it, everyone back then was focused on space travel.

BookMark: "Roads" By Marina Antropow Cramer

Dec 27, 2018

Marina Antropow Cramer’s debut novel, “Roads,” centers on a family living happily in the beautiful coastal city of Yalta, Crimea, in the early 1940s. But with the arrival of WWII, things quickly take a turn for the worst. Unforgettable characters and a plot that takes many twists left my stomach in knots as I tried to imagine how anyone survived at all.