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Saturday, December 27, 2008

County Prepares for ‘Right To Know’ Law


Potter County is taking steps to assure full compliance with Act 3 of 2008, the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law, which takes effect on Jan. 1

. By that time, all local agencies, including municipalities and school districts, must have in place an Open Records Officer who is responsible for the proper handling of requests for public information or documents. At their most recent meeting, the Potter County Commissioners designated Commissioner Paul Heimel as the Open Records Officer for the county government.

Representatives of townships, boroughs, school districts and anyone else interested in learning more about Act 3 of 2008 can access a variety of information at the website of the new Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, at Telephone number is 717-346-9903. Potter County Today

Marcellus Leasing Slows In Pennsylvania Areas

Gas leasing slows: Environmental concerns prompt new requirements

The Tribune-Democrat

Three months ago, leasing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale began falling in Cambria and Somerset counties, and part of Pennsylvania as a whole, because of a nationwide price decrease.

Now, gas leasing has come to a shrieking stop because of state requirements to study whether wastewater from natural gas exploration is hazardous to human health.

Companies would have to pay 26 times higher fees to drill into the Marcellus Shale under new state requirements, said Department of Environmental Protection spokesmen. More...

911 Goes Out For 4 Hours In Chester County

Daily Times

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Chester County's 911 system is back to normal after a failure that caused a backup system to be used for more than four hours.

The Chester County Department of Emergency Services says the backup system was put into use immediately after the main 911 system failed at 4:12 p.m. Friday. The system was working again at 8:57 p.m.

The county has asked Verizon to analyze the failure and explain what the company is doing to keep it from happening again. More...

Wellsville Woman Jailed After Police Chase

Canisteo Valley News

State Police report that there was a chase last night in Allegany County. Troopers say that the chase began in Wellsville, when a state police car attempted to pull over a 25 year old Wellsville woman for allegedly speeding.

The woman tried to flee the troopers, but was caught in a dead end street in Alma.

She was remanded to Allegany County Jail.

Lancaster Records Minor Earthquake Today

Earthquake in Lancaster, Pa.

More than 1,000 people called the Lancaster County 911 center after a minor earthquake shook the area early this morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.4 magnitude quake hit just after midnight and was centered just outside Lancaster.

Many who called 911 thought there had been an explosion nearby, but there were no reports of injuries or severe damage. 1490NewsBlog

Area Obituaries

EMPORIUM — Jeanene M. Wheatley, 77, of 6106 Rich Valley Road, died Wednesday, (Dec. 24, 2008) at Elk Haven Nursing Home, St. Marys. Barnett Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Norma M. Burton, 67, Harrison Valley, PA

Norma M. Burton, Age 67, of 101 Iva Jen Rd., Harrison Valley, PA, passed away December 25, 2008 at Sweden Valley Manor, Coudersport, PA.

She was born February 25, 1941 in Tuscarora, NY, the daughter of Harry and Louise House Hallett.

She was a Licensed Practical Nurse.

She is survived by her husband, William J. Burton; son, Francis Burton, Harrison Valley; daughters, Marie (Charles) Zinck, Middlebury Center, PA, Annabelle (Tim) Ervin, Milesburg, PA, and Adelle (Bob) Husted, Osceola, PA; five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; brothers, Harry (Nora) Hallett, Middlebury Center, Robert (Sharon) Hallett, Georgia, and Richard Hallett, Cresco, PA; a sister, Virginia Potter, Palmyra, NY; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her son, William; and sister, Barbara.

Friends are invited to a memorial service for Barbara on Sunday, December 28, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. at the Kenyon Funeral Home, 222 W. Main St., Westfield, PA. The Rev. Larry O'Dell officiating. Burial will be in Union Cemetery of Farmington.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chinese Auction Helps Local Charity

Auction Raises $725 For Christmas House

Members of the Spirit of Giving Committee, comprised of Potter County employees, thank the community for its generous support of this year’s Chinese auction. Each year, the committee of employee volunteers chooses a local charity to support with a holiday fund-raiser.

chrstmhouseJudy Eckert, who headed the campaign, reports that this year’s auction raised approximately $725, which was a record. The money was donated to Christmas House to support that organization’s holiday giving and its year-’round support of Potter County’s less fortunate. Many businesses and individuals donated auction items and both employees and members of the public were generous in their ticket purchases. Potter County Today

Commissioners To Open Bids For Jobs At Schools On Wednesday

Potter County Commissioners will meet Wednesday, December 31. The commissioners will open any bids received for part-time positions to supervise after-school activities for middle school students in the Galeton, Oswayo Valley and Northern Potter school districts. These are contract positions, administered by Potter County Human Services, with no benefits.

A site coordinator is sought for the Galeton program. A minimum of a bachelors degree in education, social work or related field is required. Bid range is $8.00 to $12.50 per hour. Assistants are sought for the programs in all three school districts. These individuals will help the coordinators set up and provide activities, supervise students and collect data. A high school diploma is required. Bid range is $7.00 to $10 per hour.

Anyone interested in bidding should call Potter County Human Services at (814) 544-7315 for a bid package and work specifications.

Funds are provided through the federal government’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which provides academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children,. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families.

News From

Gerri Miller News

The National Weather Service has posted a Freezing Rain Advisory for Potter, Tioga and Northern Clinton Counties in effect from 4:00 p.m. Friday to 7:00 a.m. Saturday.

December 26, 2008

Thursday's High: 26, Overnight low, 27 trace of flurries
Copyright: 2008 G.R. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Volunteers Respond to Christmas Eve Gas Leak
Disaster was averted Christmas Eve when area firefighters responded to a gas leak at a well-head along Route 6 in Roulette Township. Potter County EMA Director Jim Steiner told Black Forest Broadcasting that the Roulette Fire Department "did a heck of a job" in handling the situation. There were no injuries and no damage was reported. Route 6 was closed to traffic for about an hour. Steiner added that he has been trying to obtain funding to help train volunteers to respond to such events due to the natural gas boom underway in the region.

Port Allegany Area Resident Victimized by Scam
Kane-based state police say a Port Allegany area resident has been victimized by a “lottery” scam. Authorities say the victim, whose name was not released, received a letter earlier this month advising that he or she had won a lottery but was required to pay certain fees and taxes prior to receiving the prize. The victim sent payments totaling more than $19,236 prior to realizing the scam which included frequent phone calls to the victim from foreign phone numbers.

Several Smethport Area Thefts Probed
Troopers at Kane are also probing several thefts and burglaries in their district over the past days. Thieves took a handmade 30.06 rifle with scope and sling from the home of Elnora Snodgrass in Smethport Borough between 6:00 p.m. last Friday and noon Saturday. The gun is valued at $500. Thieves entered the Cottage House Restaurant in Smethport between 1:00 and 1:25 a.m. Christmas morning and forced open the cash register drawer but left the loose change there. Entry to the restaurant was not forced but police do not know if the door was left unlocked when employees departed . Thieves also entered St. Elizabeth’s Church between 1:00 and 8:00 a.m. and took $10 from a cabinet before leaving the building. And, someone took two “No Trespassing” signs and their posts and six cement blocks from property owned by Todd Vansickles near the intersection of Annin Creek Road on Route 155 Annin Township between 11:00 p.m. Tuesday and 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Judge Says No To New Indian Cigarette Tax Law

WESB News: 12/26/08 - Temporary Ban on New Indian Tax Law

A New York State Supreme Court judge is temporarily barring officials from enforcing a new law requiring the collection of taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian retailers to non-Indians.

The judge's order tells government officials to appear in court next month to show why she shouldn't issue a permanent injunction against the tax collection. The new law scheduled to take effect in February will prohibit manufacturers from selling tobacco products without a state tax stamp to any wholesaler that doesn't certify the cigarettes won't be resold tax-free.

A spokesman for Governor David Paterson says the state will comply with the judge's order.

Wild Turkeys Arrested In Bristol Twp. Near Philly

Turkeys find a place to roost

Will eventually be transferred to Tioga County

Bucks County Courier Times

After avoiding traffic and stone-throwing strangers in the parking lot of a veterinary hospital on Bristol Pike, four friendly turkeys are finally going home — and not just for the holidays.

Bristol Township animal control officer Bill Kurko said Tuesday that he recently picked up a Pennsylvania wild hen and three males that were hanging out at Pet's Best Friend Veterinary Hospital on Route 13 in the township.

Kurko said he will temporarily take the birds to his personal pen at his home on Woodside Road in the Edgely section of Levittown to make sure they're safe and healthy. Then, he'll transfer the turkeys to his friend's private, 200-acre farm, a former cattle ranch in Knoxville in Tioga County, where they'll be able to roam free, according to Kurko. More...

OTC Drugs Can Cause Dangerous Interactions

A prescription for problems

Bucks County Courier Times

Most people know prescription drugs can be dangerous, but fever reducers, cold and flu medications and even pain relievers sold in supermarkets and drug stores can be potential killers, too.

Dr. Daniel Haimowitz suspects an over-the-counter sinus medication may have contributed to the heart failure of a patient last week.

The Bristol Township geriatrician also has patients on prescription blood thinners who've developed stomach ulcers after taking over-the-counter pain relievers. He said he had trouble thinning the blood of another patient — until she stopped taking her daily vitamins. More...

Smethport Reports Break-ins

WESB News: 12/26/08 - Break-Ins at Borough Church, Restaurant

Police are looking into Christmas Day break-ins at The Cottage House Restaurant and St. Elizabeth's Church in Smethport.

They say someone broke into the church sometime between 1 and 8 a.m. and broke a window on the church's basement door, took $10 from a cabinet and fled in an unknown direction.

Sometime between 1 and 1:25 a.m. someone forcibly opened, and broke, the cash register drawer at The Cottage House. Police say there was loose change in the drawer but it wasn't taken. Police say they're not sure if the door was locked and secured by employees before they closed the restaurant, but no force was used and the door was not damaged.

Star Hose Company Firefighters Earn Certifications

Over the last few months FF-EMT-P Joel Anderson, Lt. Lucas Johnson, Lt. Alex Johnson and FF-EMT Andrew Johnson have been commuting to Johnstown PA to attend an Education Methodology class and today, they finally got the good news they've been waiting for...they had all passed the course and have become Pro Board certified to the level of Fire Service Instructor 1.

This now brings the total number of Pro Board certified fire instructors in the Star Hose Company to eight (8), no small feat for any department! The next logical step in the process for these four new instructors, will be to receive their National Pro Board certification and apply to the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy to become Local Level Instructors, and then ultimately Local Level Suppression Instructors.

Additionally, and by shear coincidence, along with receiving his Fire Service Instructor 1 certification, Lt. Lucas Johnson had the added bonus of also receiving his Pennsylvania Department of Health EMT-B certification today as well, along with his fellow classmates; new FF-EMT Kent Dates and JrFF-EMT William Bigley. More at Star Hose Co. website

Thursday, December 25, 2008

GIS Will Improve County Operations

GIS Will Improve County Operations

gisPotter County officials recently gathered for a half-day workshop on the potential uses of Geographic Information Services (GIS) to improve county operations. Aerial photography, mapping and database capabilities of GIS give the county a valuable tool that could streamline operations for its Emergency Services, Tax Assessment, Recorder of Deeds, Planning and other departments. GIS images could also be of value to the private sector.

Potter County Department of Emergency Services has been spearheading the project in partnership with Tioga County. The exhaustive database work will continue well into 2009.

The recent workshop, organized by the Potter County Commissioners, focused on the technological and operational changes that will be necessary to make full use of GIS. Potter County Today

Potter County Offices Closed Until Monday 12-29-08

The rest of the holiday schedule for ALL of the Potter County offices is as follows:

12/26 Closed
12/29 OPEN
12/30 OPEN
12/31 OPEN
1/1 Closed
1/2 OPEN

One Book Bradford receives grant from council

One book presentation
Members of the One Book Bradford committee, from left, Bradford Area Public Library director Linda Newman, Ann Gannon and chairwoman Pat Shinaberger, present Pa. Rep. Martin Causer, R.-Turtlepoint, with a copy of this year’s One Book selection, “The Children’s Blizzard” by David Laskin, in appreciation for his support of the arts.

Bradford Area Public Library and its One Book Bradford Committee has received a grant for $2,883 from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council as part of its Our Stories, Our Future initiative on American History.

The grant was received to support the February 9, 2009, visit of author David Laskin at Pitt-Bradford's Bromeley Family Theater.

One Book Bradford is a collaborative venture among local book clubs, the Friends of the Bradford Area Public Library and the Spectrum Series of Pitt-Bradford.

“This year’s selection, ‘The Children’s Blizzard,’ by David Laskin, was chosen with care and understanding of the residents of the local area who identify with fierce independence and family loyalties of the early settlers of the American prairie,” said Linda M. Newman, director of the library.

“The author’s visit will offer a unique opportunity for a rural audience to interact with a published author who has made a meaningful contribution to the field of literature.”

Other funding for Laskin’s visit comes from One Book Bradford, Spectrum and the Pitt-Bradford writing program and the Division of Communication and the Arts.

Our Stories, Our Future, is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of We the People, a national initiative exploring the history of the United States.

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s mission is to inspire individuals to enjoy and share life-long learning. Since 1973, the PHC has empowered local groups to offer high-quality public programs that have a positive impact on the everyday life of their communities. PHC represents the federal-state partnership of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Soriano reviewer for 'Drugs and Society' textbook

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Soriano Dave

Dr. David Soriano, associate professor of chemistry, is among 22 professionals who reviewed the newest edition of a textbook for college courses on drugs and society.

The 10th edition of “Drugs and Society” is the only introductory text of its kind co-authored by two pharmacologists and a criminologist, Soriano said. The authors are Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., DDS; Peter Venturelli, Ph.D.; and Annette E. Fleckenstein, Ph.D.

The new text, published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, illustrates the impact of drug use and abuse on the lives of ordinary people and provides students with a realistic perspective of drug-related problems in our society.

“I consider it an honor to be selected as one of the reviewers for the newly released 10th edition of this highly regarded text,” Soriano said.

“The publishing company and authors asked me to review the new ediditon because they are aware of the number of students taking the Drugs and Society class on our campus. I have been teaching the course since Fall 2001 and it was the first on-line course taught on our campus.”

Soriano teaches Drugs and Society at Pitt-Bradford, where it is a required course for three Pitt-Bradford majors. The lab is taught from a chemist’s perspective and involves formal lab courses and field trips to the New York State Crime Lab in Olean, N.Y., Federal Correctional Institution – McKean and the Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted unit of Bradford Regional Medical Center.

“There are still a significant number of undergraduate campuses not offering such a course on drugs of high use/abuse potential, but the situation is rapidly changing,” Soriano said. “In my estimation, all college students should have a course in drug education and awareness while at the undergraduate level.”

Soriano earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J., and earned his doctorate from the University of Nebraska. He has taught at Pitt-Bradford since 1984 and teaches general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry.

His research interests include the evaluation of drugs and the design of potential new drugs using computer graphics.

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Awards Scholarship Funds For Area Students

Several area students were recently awarded scholarship funds from Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.

Funds are awarded to students pursuing nursing and allied health careers. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients agree to work at CCMH for a minimum of two years.

“The hospital looks to its scholarship program to help with recruiting the next generation of heath care workers. Today, we have over 40 past recipients working at Charles Cole,” said Tom Noe, executive director, corporate support services at CCMH.

Noe said that $75,000 in scholarship funds will be awarded this year

Those receiving scholarship funds include:

Carol Strawderman of Port Allegany is attending the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. She is married to Michael Strawderman and is a daughter of Gloria Kelly of West Virginia and Ron Kelly of South Carolina.

Megan Woods is attending UPB and is a daughter of Dan and Kim Woods of Smethport.

Amber Gardner of North Bend, Pa., is attending Lock Haven University’s Clearfield Campus. Gardner, a daughter of Robert and Cheryl Gardner, received the Brenda A. Ross Memorial Nursing Scholarship which was established in memory of Ross, who was a nurse at CCMH until her untimely death in 1987.

For additional information on scholarship opportunities, call 814/274-5431 or e-mail

Battle Continues For Tourism Funding





Action continues on several fronts in an attempt to restore state funding for tourist promotion for many rural Pennsylvania counties. State Senator Joe Scarnati and Rep. Martin Causer are pushing for action. The Potter County Commissioners are lobbying their counterparts in other rural counties to join the move. Meanwhile, the Potter Leader-Enterprise has been encouraging its readers to help. Unless state officials relent, Potter County Visitors Association (PCVA) will take a big hit next year, due to a new formula for distributing state funds. PCVA funding has been cut from $34,652 this year to $13,355. That’s a 61 percent decrease, largest proportional reduction in the state.

Under Pa. Act 50 of 2008, tourist promotion agencies are awarded funding based on a formula that weighs the agency’s eligible expenses (i.e. spending on promotion, etc.), hotel room tax revenues and an evaluation of a marketing plan.

Those changes have a negative impact on smaller tourist promotion agencies with relatively small room tax revenue and promotional spending. In the case of Potter County, the marketing plan received a favorable rating, but the other two factors have more than outweighed that high score.

Sen Scarnati said that week that if the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development doesn’t re-evaluate its guidelines, he will seek to correct the inequities through the legislative and budgetary process. Potter County Today

NWS Weather Forcast From Potter County EMA



Mostly Cloudy
Lo 18°F


Chance FzgRn. Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Hi 34°F


Freezing Rain. Chance for Measurable Precipitation 90%
Lo 34°F


Chance Showers. Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Hi 50°F


Showers Likely. Chance for Measurable Precipitation 70%
Lo 34°F


Showers Likely. Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Hi 44°F

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Light north wind.

Friday: A chance of rain or freezing rain after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. Southeast wind between 6 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after 1am. Low around 34. South wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Saturday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 50. South wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Saturday Night: Showers likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunday: Showers likely before 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21.

New Documants Filed In Lawsuit Over Wind Farm Noise

Wind experts duped local officials,

Blue Knob couple’s lawsuit claims

The Tribune-Democrat

HOLLIDAYSBURG — New documents filed in an ongoing civil lawsuit by a Portage-area couple against the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm say that wind energy experts duped local officials into believing the turbine sound was insignificant.

Todd and Jill Stull of the Blue Knob area say that developer Gamesa Energy USA and owner Babcock & Brown misled local officials by supporting development of an ordinance addressing higher noise levels.

The Stulls filed an amended suit Tuesday. The ordinance establishes a maximum sound level of 45 decibels and does not address the lower frequency noises, including turbine vibration that is said to cause health and other problems suffered by the Stulls. More...

Rifle Stolen

WESB News: 12/25/08 - Rifle Stolen From Smethport Home

A rifle was stolen from a Smethport home sometime last weekend.

State Police say the 30.06 owned by Elnora Snodgrass was taken from her residence. The rifle and scope are valued at $500.

Two Injured Firefighters Home For Christmas

WESB News: 12/25/08 - Cuba Firefighters Released From Hospital

Two Cuba Volunteer firefighters have been released from a Buffalo hospital after suffering injuries battling an early Sunday morning fire at a pizza shop in Friendship.

The Cuba Volunteer Fire Department says that firefighters Nick Sweet and Bryant Hughes were released from the hospital Wednesday.

The two suffered back and neck injuries after a brick wall collapsed on them while they were battling the fire which 12 fire companies responded to. A car carrying Hughes and Sweet was escorted by fellow firefighters to the fire hall for a welcome-home celebration.

Natural Gas Production Royalties Tied To Pipeline

Excitement over gas drilling turns to ‘guarded optimism’

Sun Gazette

COGAN STATION - Excitement ran high when a natural gas well was drilled on the Lycoming Township property of Garry Ulmer.

Ulmer and several of his neighbors pooled about 485 acres of land - half of which is owned by Ulmer and his neighbor Ted Barbour - and leased them to Range Resources, a Texas-based natural gas exploration company, in June 2006.

Ulmer said he was certain gas would be found on the property. As recently as 1998, a well had been drilled that struck gas, but the group of investors who drilled the well decided not to connect it to a pipeline, he said. More...

Area Obituaries

SEDALIA, Mo. — Robert “Bob” Thomas Rialti, age 70, of Sedalia, died Tuesday (Dec. 23, 2008) at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, following a long illness. He was born in Port Allegany, Pa. McLaughlin Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Area Volunteer Firefighters

While Roulette firefighters were coping with a natural gas leak Christmas eve, Austin firefighters were toned out to a mutual aid call for a tanker to a house fire.

In the confusion, I didn't catch the location of the fire.

Coudersport dispatched a tanker to Austin for mutual aid standby.

Austin to station 16 in elk county, 44-2 at station tanker 44-15 on scene. Structure Fire With Flames showing. Chief 44-10/44-20 as well responding
Station 48 (Engine 48-1 and Chief 48-30 at Station 44
engine 44-2 to scene at 2215
Thank you

Route 6 Reopened After Natural Gas Leak Stopped

Major Natural Gas Leak Stopped
by James Jones

Shortly after 6:00 pm this Christmas Eve, Roulette's Fire Chief, ordered Route 6 closed from the Eastbound Roulette Main Street exit to the Fishing Creek exit. Traffic was detoured by way of Main Street in the Village and Railroad Avenue to the Reed Run Road.

A major natural gas leak where the new Marcellus gas wells drilled in the area are connected into the main gas company lines was spewing natural gas into the area in heavy concentrations.

mes in the area were alerted. A wind from the West was carrying most of the gas away from the main portion of the village.

Firefighters had to access the natural gas wells with 4 wheel drive vehicles and turn off the valves at several of the gas wells in order to stop the flow o
f gas.

Guardian Exploration, of Texas, the owner of the wells had a representative on the way to the scene. The leak was stopped and turned over to the company r
epresentative. Guardian Exploration has a local office on Dean Hollow in Shinglehouse, PA.

Quick action by the volunteer firefighters saved the community from a potential major disaster.

At 7:16pm, the chief terminated the command, and the units returned to the hall.

James Jones can be reached at

Please note Jon's comment was left in response to a previous posting in comments.

Jonathan Huff has left a new comment on your post "Route 6 Reopened After Natural Gas Leak Stopped":

So that the facts are straight... I do have the cell numbers of the two local tenders that take care of these wells. When I got no response from either of them, I called the cell number of the owner of the company in Texas. He made several calls and, due to the Holiday (Christmas Eve)the nearest representative that he could get ahold of was coming in from Shinglehouse. I,and several others from Station 46, have had pipeline safety training. I have been around these local wells with Guardian. I was given permission, by the owner, to go to the three wells that were tied to this line and shut down the main valves at all 3. These locations were no where near the leak or threat. This eliminated the leak and the immediate threat. Once that had been done, it was only a matter of minutes until the local representative that had been contacted arrived to shut down the comressor that was trying to compress nothing. Nobody was injured. Nobody was put in harms way. Chief 46 acted accordingly and has requested that I set up a meeting with the local representative of Guardian Exploration for some informal training on their local wells in the event of another emergency. It should also be noted that UGI gas had a representative on hand, at the scene for, guidance and recommendations.
Please don't be so hasty to think that our Chief would think to intentionaly make a bad situation worse. Usually, asking questions will get you answers. With educated answers you can form an educated opinion.

Please note that this is my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the RVFD or Guardian Exploration.

Posted by Jonathan Huff to Solomon's words at Thursday, December 25, 2008 2:15:00 PM EST

Major Natural Gas Leak In Roulette Closes Route 6

BREAKING NEWS:6:16pm-12-24-08

The Roulette Fire Chief has closed Route 6 in the Roulette area for a major natural gas leak.

There is reported to be heavy concentration of natural gas in the air. A representative from the gas company is being summoned to the scene.

Structure Fire Reported On Dogtown Road In Genesee

BREAKING NEWS:5:08-12-24-08
Genesee Department 37 is being dispatched to a reported structure fire on the Dogtown Road.

PennDOT Urges Caution On Roads

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued an advisory urging motorists to use caution through tonight and tomorrow morning and watch wet roads and areas that might refreeze after the sun sets.

Wet roads and excess speeds can lead to hydroplaning, and as temperatures fall after darks, icy areas can be expected. Motorists are urged to watch for black ice tonight and into Thursday. If they believe conditions are deteriorating, the best course of action is to reduce speed and not tailgate.

Motorists also are reminded that when driving in fog, they should use their headlights on low beam.

For road and travel information, visit

Santa Reported To Be On His Way

Santa is reported to have begin his rounds around the world. Norad is tracking him on his journey.

Click here to see where he's at at this time.

GerriMiller.Com News

December 24, 2008 Christmas Eve

Tuesday’s high: 21, Overnight low, 20 before going up to 29 at 7:00 a.m. Mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain

Day off for Gerri Miller

Your editor will be taking Christmas Day
off to spend time with family and friends.

Wet Ride in the Forecast
A winter-weather advisory posted by the National Weather Service yesterday was upgraded to an ice storm warning late in the day. A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain did fall in the region throughout the night but widespread power outages did not occur and even though holiday traffic is filling area roads, apparently there were no serious crashes. Santa, will however, have to take an umbrella tonight when he makes his rounds as rain is in the forecast through much of the day and evening. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast for Christmas Day.

Camp Burglary Investigated
Coudersport-based state police here are probing a camp burglary taking place at Bailey Hill Lodge in Hector Township over the past several months. Sometime since mid-may thieves entered a storage unit owned by Tony Bylina of Lawrenceville and removed numerous items. No value was given.

Two Unions and County Reach Agreement
The Potter County Commissioners must negotiate with three different unions representing jail employees, courthouse employees and Human services employees. During the December 18 meeting, the commissioners approved the contract with the Teamsters Union representing jail employees pending approval by union members. The board also approved the pact with the union representing Human Services employees which had been previously ratified by union members. Both agreements call for 4% wage increases for each of the three years of the contracts. The Potter County Human Services agreement calls for increased contribution by employees to health insurance but allows them to “bank” sick days which can be donated to a fellow worker facing a “catastrophic health event.” The commissioners commended the unions’ negotiators for their professional approach and genuine concern for county taxpayers. Commissioner Paul Heimel said it “was a smooth process

Hunters Can Soon Apply For Second Turkey License
Beginning Jan. 1, Pennsylvania hunters who would like the opportunity to harvest a second spring gobbler may apply for a second spring gobbler license. Hunters are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges. However, the special license affords those hunters interested in this additional opportunity to take a second spring gobbler. Hunters may only submit one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year.Applications for the second spring gobbler license are available on page 38 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer, or by going to the agency’s website (, and clicking on “Spring Turkey Tag App.” in the center of the homepage.Hunters also may submit applications over-the-counter at any of the Game Commission’s six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters, however, licenses will be printed and mailed later.Fees set by state law for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents. Mailed applications for special wild turkey licenses must be sent to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Special Spring Gobbler License, P.O. Box 61317, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1317. The application period closes on April 1, so that all applications can be processed and licenses mailed to hunters in time for the spring gobbler season, which is set for April 25-May 25. More news from Gerri

Fun And Fitness Festival--January 24th

Family ‘Winter Frolic’ Signups Open

snowmanPotter County Human Services is partnering with Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and Penn State Cooperative Extension for a family-oriented fun and fitness festival on Saturday, Jan. 24. Signups are now open for the Winter Frolic, to be held on the Cole Hospital grounds.

There will be a morning session at 10, a snowshoeing clinic at 12:45 and an afternoon session at 2. Participants can sign up for one, two or all three of the sessions.

Among the organizers are Chad Cowburn from Chad’s Solid Body Gym; Drs. Mary Ann Rigas and E. Khanna, pediatricians at Cole Hospital; Tom Murphy from the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources; Cooperative Extension educators and others.

Additional details on the activities are available from Donna Thomas, coordinator of the Fitness Fun 4 Families Program, at 274-5353 or Registrations are requested by Jan. 9.

Potter County Today

Mexican Company Agrees To Buy Stroehmanns

Mexican firm expected to buy Stroehmann’s parent company

Sun Gazette

Although the parent company of Stroehmann's is set to change by the end of January, daily operations will not, according to George Weston Ltd. spokesperson Lou Minella.

Earlier this month, Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican food company, signed an agreement to acquire the U.S. fresh bakery business of Weston Foods Inc. from Dunedin Holdings, a subsidiary of Toronto-based George Weston Ltd. for about $2.4 billion.

Stroehmann's is part of the George Weston Bakeries family, according its Web site. More...

McKean County Taxes Take Big Jump For 2009

WESB News: 12/24/08 - McKean County Taxes Going Up

Taxes are rising in McKean County as commissioners voted Tuesday to increase taxes by 1.5-mills.

The 2009 McKean County budget is set at $34.6 million dollars.

The new rate is 8.25-mills, up from 6.75-mills last year.

Mary E. Trout, 85, Coudersport, Formerly Westfield, PA

TROUT, Mary E., Age 85, of 808 Cartee St., Coudersport, PA, formerly of Westfield and New London, PA, passed away Monday, December 22, 2008 at her residence.

She was born June 29, 1923 in Lenover, PA, the daugher of Ralph and Dora Powers Steffy.

She was a homemaker. Mary and her late husband, Charles, attended the Jemison Valley Brethren in Christ Church, RD., Westfield, PA.

Mary is survived by daughters, Helen Zook, Quarryville, PA, Cheryl Trout, New London, Hazel Ward, Nottingham, PA, Bonnie (John) Bard, Coudersport; son, Robert (Lorna) Trout, Liberty, PA; 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, one great-granddaughter; brother, Charles (June) Steffy, Ephrata, PA; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles M. Trout; and brothers, Ralph and Horace Steffy.

Friends and family are invited to call at the Kenyon Funeral Home, Inc., 222 West Main St., Westfield, PA, Saturday from 10 - 11 a.m. Funeral Services will be conducted immediately following the visitation at 11 a.m. Rev. Ed Caster officiating. Burial in Champlin Cemetery, Westfield.

Memorial donations may be made to the Westfield Wesleyan Church, 242 Church St., Westfield, PA 16950.

Ashley Michelle Mead, 22, Westfield, PA

MEAD, Ashley Michelle, Age 22, of 1988 California Road, Westfield, PA, passed away Sunday, December 21, 2008, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, Wellsboro, PA.

She was born December 15, 1986 in Wellsboro, PA. She is survived by her mother, Gloria Baker, Elkland, PA; sister, Rochelle Lee, Utah; grandparents, Arnold and Shirley Mead, RD., Westfield, PA; one niece, one nephew, one aunt, three uncles, and several cousins.

Family and friends are invited to call at the Kenyon Funeral Home, Inc., 222 West Main Street, Westfield, PA, Friday from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. immediately following the visitation. Pastor Larry O'Dell officiating. Burial in Champlin Cemetery, Westfield, PA.

Don't Forget CO Detectors

Don't forget CO detectors, fire chiefs say

Carbon monoxide can kill, residents warned

By Christine V. Sulat •
Star Gazette

A simple and relatively inexpensive Christmas gift could save a loved one's life.

A carbon monoxide detector or combined carbon monoxide/smoke detector could be the gift that keeps on giving.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is insidious. It can occur over a long period or in just a few hours.

It can make you very sick or kill you.

The gas cannot be smelled, tasted or detected by human senses. It can creep up on you as you sleep ... and you may not wake up.

Carbon monoxide is the No. 1 material for poisoning in the United States, Corning Fire Chief Stephen Monroe said. More...

Phone Interruption At Human Services

Phone Interruption At Human Services

Callers using the published telephone number of Potter County Human Services in Roulette, 814-544-7315, are currently receiving a busy signal.

While Human Services awaits restoration of service by AT&T, the agency advises clients to use one of two alternative numbers which remain in service:



Pain Medication Recalled

ETHEX Corporation Initiated Nationwide Voluntary Recall of a Single Lot of Hydromorphone HCl 2 mg Tablets Due to Potential for Oversized Tablet (December 23)
Tue, 23 Dec 2008 17:36:00 -0600

ETHEX Corporation announced today that it has voluntarily recalled to the consumer level, a single production lot of Hydromorphone HCl 2 mg tablets (Lot #90219, Exp: 03/2010; NDC #58177-0620-04), as a precaution, due to the possibility it may contain oversized tablets. Hydromorphone is a drug used for pain management and is packaged under the ETHEX label in 100-count bottles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Accident On Main Street In Duke Center

BREAKING NEWS:10:21-12-23-08
Rescue and ambulance units have been dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on Main Street at the base of the hill in Duke Center. The rescue unit has been recalled.
Eldred Ambulance 4 has been dispatched to assist Ambulance 9. A medical helicopter has been requested for this accident.

Calendar Of Events From

December 24

Sweden Valley Faith United Methodist Church will have a candlelight service at 7:00 p.m.

December 24

Riverside United Methodist Church in Roulette will have a candlelight service at 11:00 p.m. A cookie exchange will be part of the program.

December 25

The Gospel Tabernacle Life Center, Route 6 Coudersport, will have a free Christmas Dinner at 2:00 p.m. Special music and drama will be presented. Everyone welcome. Persons needing a ride should call 814-558-2646.

December 28

The ministry of the Rev. Elaine Silverstrim will be honored and celebrated as she enters retirement with Holy Eucharist at 7:30 a.m. and also at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church on North Main Street Coudersport and at 9:00 a.m. at All Saints Church in Brookland. Fr.Elaine will deliver her final sermon as rector of the churches that day. A luncheon for Fr. Elaine and her husband, Lee, will follow the 11:00 a.m. service. Call 274-8391 to make a reservation.


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Today's News

December 23, 2008

Monday’s High: 14, Overnight low: 1, dusting of snow

Copyright: 2008 G.R. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Hit and Run Probed

Troopers at Kane are probing a hit and run taking place just after 12:00 a.m. Monday on the Droney Road in Lafayette Township. An unknown vehicle traveling east, went off the road and struck a utility pole causing severe damage. The unknown vehicle took off in an unknown direction and the driver failed to report the collision.

Troopers urge Caution
State police are asking drivers to be extra cautions while traveling throughout the Commonwealth over the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. To date this year, troop C based in Punxsutawney has covered 50 fatal crashes resulting in the loss of 58 lives. Investigators have determined that 58% of those who died were no properly buckled up as required by law. What’s more, in a recent survey as part of the Nov ember Click it or Ticket campaign in Trop C, troopers observed that only 73% of motorists were sing seatbelts. Troopers will be aggressively patrolling state highways over the holidays putting a special emphasis on DUI, and speeders. And, they say we’ve already experienced several episodes of adverse driving conditions this fall and winter and motors need to be prepared with good tires, windshield wipers and anti-freeze. It’s also a good idea to carry an emergency kit which contains flares, anti-skid material, blanket and shovel.

Potter County Creates New Positions
The Potter County Salary Board voted to create two positions during the December 18 meeting--An MSAG Coordinator in the Department of Emergency Services as a management position at an annual salary range of $24,000 - $28,000.00 and a position of full-time Class II Janitor at a hourly rate of $8.30 per the union contract. The board also accepted the retirement of Lucille Nicholson from the Potter County District Attorney’s office after 10 years of employment. More news from

Injured Friendship Firefighter Still Critical

Friendship firefighter

remains in critical condition

Daily Reporter

FRIENDSHIP — One of the four firemen injured when a wall fell during Sunday’s Main Street fire was in Erie County Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit today.

Friendship firefighter Thomas Torpey, who has undergone two surgeries since being admitted, is in critical condition today, ECMC officials said. He suffered damaged vertebrae in his back and neck and was partially paralyzed, Allegany County Fire Coordinator Paul Gallmann said Monday. He is currently in the ICU’s trauma wing.

Two others, Cuba firefighters, Nick Sweet and Bryant Hughes, are both in stable condition today at ECMC.

Sweet suffered damaged vertebrae in his back and neck, Gallmann said.

Hughes suffered damaged vertebrae and a punctured lung.

Paris Companies Working After Sunday Fire

Paris up and running after fire
Courier Express

Despite some damage, Paris Companies is up and running following an early morning fire Sunday

Company President David Stern said a small crew of volunteers came into the building to do some cleanup and limited shift work.

"The fire marshal is almost sure it was electrical," Stern said. "They've found the box where the fire started but they're still investigating exactly what caused it to burn."

Stern said no damage estimate is available, but the company was fortunate.
"There was some smoke damage and water damage. The sprinkler system kicked on and isolated the fire to one small section of the building," he said.

He also said the company is continuing to operate and all shifts were back to work Monday.

The fire broke out at about 1:18 a.m. Sunday and fire crews were on the scene for about two hours.

One firefighter was injured after falling on ice; no other injuries were reported.

New York State Trooper Is A Hero

WESB News: 12/23/08 - Trooper Rescues Woman From Icy Creek

A New York State Trooper pulled a woman from her car that was submerged in the icy waters of Cassadaga Creek this morning.

Trooper Kevin Wozniack responded to a report of a vehicle that veered off a Chautauqua County road, and when he arrived he saw the car sinking into the water. Wozniak waded into the water up to his waist, pounded on the car's window and heard a woman inside calling for help.

He broke the window and pulled 66-year-old Lola Bennett from the car and got her safely to shore. The 66-year-old Frewsberg resident was taken to a Jamestown hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Police say Bennett's car plunged into the creek after it went out of control on the icy road.

University Of Pittsburgh At Bradford To Close



BRADFORD, Pa. — The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will close its administrative offices Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008, through Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.

Offices will reopen Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The spring term for students begins Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

Dr. Haraschak Certified by American Board of Surgery

Michael Haraschak IV, MD, MAJ successfully passed the certification examination administered by the American Board of Surgery.

Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have met standards of education, training, and knowledge, including a written and oral examination.

A member of the medical staff at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Dr. Haraschak earned a medical degree at Temple University’s School of Medicine and completed a categorical surgical residency at Geisinger Medical Center. He is a member of the American Medical Association and Pennsylvania Medical Society.

He and his wife, Tracy, have a son, Michael John V.

Dr. Haraschak sees patients at the hospital’s Irwin Medical Arts Center. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 814/274-7474.

Express Care Closed Christmas Day & New Years Day

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Express Care will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Regular hours at the walk in medical care clinic are 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

While Express Care treats urgent yet minor ailments, those with true emergencies should call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

Car Crash Reported In Gifford

BREAKING NEWS:3:44pm-12-23-08
Emergency services are responding to an automobile crash in the Village of Gifford.
On scene report indicates only minor injury.

Firefighters Stop Roulette House Fire

Photos by James Jones (c)2008

A smokey house fire at the residence of John and Nancy Gregg at 98 Burleson Avenue, in the Village of Roulette, shortly after noon on Tuesday (today) brought firefighters and equipment from Roulette, Port Allegany and Coudersport to that scene.

The alarm was dispatched as a possible structure fire.

The first Roulette chief arriving on scene, almost immediately after the alarm sounded, reported smoke around the area of the chimney and smoke coming from the eaves. Further observation showed smoke and fire in the second floor and attic areas.

A second alarm for Port Allegany and Coudersport companies to respond to the scene for a working structure fire was issued at that time. It was determined that the Greggs were not at home.

While first responding units attacked the fire with water carried on their trucks, a Port Allegany unit established a water supply in the Allegheny River at the Pomeroy Bridge and tankers shuttled water from other water sources to a portable pond located in the road in front of the residence.

Firefighters mounted an inside and outside attack from the second floor, ventilating the structure from the second floor windows and cutting an opening in the roof.

The diminishing smoke visible from a distance indicated that the attack was enjoying success.

The fire was declared under control at 1:40pm and out with units returning at around 3:00 pm.

The residence was extensively damaged in the blaze, especially on the second floor, but the fast and efficient response of the firefighters resulted in a good save of the home, although it will take extensive work to make it habitable.

A State Police Fire Marshall is on scene to determine the cause of this fire.
Photo Link

Read more at Star Hose Co. website

Roulette Structure Fire Reported Out

BREAKING NEWS:12:07-12-23-08
Roulette firefighters are responding to a possible structure fire at 98 Burleson Avenue in the Village of Roulette.

First chief on scene reports smoke showing near the chimney and from under the eaves.

UPDATE:Additional units have been dispatched from Coudersport and Port Allegany.
UPDATE: Fire declared under control at 1:40pm.
UPDATE:Fire declared OUT


HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection today extended the deadline to apply for Illegal Dump Cleanup grants to Jan. 27.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to provide communities with the tools and resources they need to restore illegal dump sites and prevent future dumping. Grant applications are available at, keyword: Illegal Dumping, or by calling DEP’s Bureau of Waste Management at 717-787-7381.

“The state’s new Illegal Dump Cleanup grants are an exciting tool communities can use to restore neighborhoods and natural areas that have been degraded by illegal dumping,” said - Acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger. “When we restore Pennsylvania’s scenic beauty and historic neighborhoods, we reinvigorate community pride and expand the potential for economic development.”

Pennsylvania is investing $500,000 in the Illegal Dump Cleanup Grant program for communities and nonprofit groups. The program will focus on cleaning up illegal dumps, restoring sites, beautification projects, and surveillance efforts at existing and remediated dump sites. Grants will also help to enforce littering and illegal dumping ordinances and will support public awareness and educational outreach to inform local citizens about illegal dumping, littering and clean-up activities.

The grants are available on a competitive basis to any existing local government or incorporated nonprofit organization located in Pennsylvania. A 50 percent matching investment is required. An applicant cannot, in any way, be responsible for creating any illegal dump located in Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit, keyword: Illegal Dumping.

Aaron's On A Roll

Aaron Thompson, of Shinglehouse, is on a roll for the month of December. Not only did he bowl his first perfect game at OV Lanes on December 10, he also shot his first "big" buck on December 1st! Way to go Aaron! You can read the article on his perfect game in the December 17 issue of the Potter Leader Enterprise.

Centre Daily Times Tightens Reader Comment Rules

Centre Daily Times

You may have noticed the new procedure for posting comments to the Centre Daily Times Web site that went into effect Monday. Readers can comment on any story, but to do so, they must create a profile and any posted comments will be tracked to that profile.

So far, our Web readers have reacted positively, and are optimistic, as we are, that this new system will lead to more on-point and productive discussions, and fewer people diving in to throw anonymous bombs.

Lamaze Childbirth Classes To Start At CCMH

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital will hold Lamaze prepared childbirth classes from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, January 7 through February 11, 2009 at CCMH’s Wellness Center in Coudersport.

The classes will outline labor, birth, postpartum, positioning and comfort measures, relaxation, labor support, communication skills, anesthesia, and breastfeeding.

For more information, or to register, call CCMH’s Women’s Health at 814/274-5470.

Do You Want To Buy A Newspaper?

9 weekly papers face final deadline

By PATRICK BURNS, Staff Writer

Workers at nine weekly newspapers in the area were told Monday that the papers will close in January if a buyer is not found by Dec. 31.

Chris McCarthy, editor of the Elizabethtown Chronicle, said employees learned that the paper's owner, Journal Register Co., plans to stop publishing weeklies in the area.

Other local papers on Journal Register's chopping block are Donegal Ledger, Columbia Ledger, Hershey Chronicle, Solanco Sun Ledger, Parkesburg Post Ledger, Coatesville Ledger, Downingtown Ledger and Oxford Tribune, McCarthy said.

"Our publisher met with us (Monday) morning, informing us that if a buyer does not come forward by the end of 2008, we will be publishing our last issue Jan. 8," McCarthy said. More...

Timothy R. Martin, 32, Galeton, PA

MARTIN, Timothy R.

Beloved husband, son and brother, 32, of Germania, PA, died Sunday, December 21, 2008, as a result of a snowmobile accident.

Born October 4, 1976 in Coudersport, PA, he was a son of Robert E. and Donna (Hinkley) Martin, who both survive.

He graduated from Galeton High School in 1995 and attended the Susquehanna Health Care System Paramedic School. On October 2, 2004, in Germania, he married the former Veronica S. Kelley, who survives.

Tim worked at the family store, Martin & Sons, Inc., and then worked at Brico Technologies in Elmira for ten years. Tim was the Goodyear Hose Company Fire Chief, a member of the Fire Chiefs Association, the Gale Hose Ambulance Association, and the Galeton Moose.

He loved animals, enjoyed hunting, golfing, camping, skiing, driving his Nissan 350z and spending time with his family and friends.

Surviving are his wife and best friend, Veronica S. Martin, Germania; his parents, Robert and Donna Martin, Galeton; a brother, Justin (Ceri) Martin, Vandenburg Air Force Base, CA; his maternal grandmother, Marjorie Hinkley, Galeton; several aunts, uncles and cousins, many friends, and his two cherished dogs.

Friends may call at the Hess Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Collins Chapel, Galeton, PA, on Friday, December 26, 2008, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and at the First Presbyterian Church in Galeton on Saturday, December 27, 2008, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. with funeral services following at 11:00 a.m. The Rev. Karl W.O. Runser, III will officiate. Interment will be in Germania Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Goodyear Hose Company or to the Galeton Library.

Rep. Causer Shares Thoughts On Rural Health Care

Working to Preserve, Enhance Rural Health Care Access

Next to dwindling state budget revenues, one of the biggest challenges facing this Commonwealth and its citizens is access to health care.

In rural areas like ours, it can be difficult to attract doctors and specialists. It is even more challenging to keep them once they get here. Unfortunately, thanks to the high malpractice insurance costs in Pennsylvania, that problem is no longer unique to rural areas. Many parts of the state are struggling to keep enough doctors on hand to meet patient needs. High-risk specialists, such as OB-GYNs, are in especially short supply, and a number of hospitals have closed their maternity wards as a result.
Most of us who are fortunate enough to have good health likely take for granted that if and when we do get sick, we’ll just go to the doctor or the hospital and be as good as new. But talk to anyone who’s had serious health problems and you’ll likely learn that we should not assume the care we need will be available.
In Harrisburg, there’s been quite a lot of talk about health care over the past two years, but not enough action. I sincerely hope that changes in the new legislative session.
First and foremost, I believe we need to extend the MCare abatement program that helps make malpractice insurance more affordable to doctors and keeps them practicing in our state. The abatement is funded by money paid by doctors into the MCare fund, so there is no impact on our state budget. The governor has refused to extend this program until lawmakers approve his very costly plan to “cover all Pennsylvanians.” I oppose this plan because we cannot afford it and broad-based, state-sponsored health care plans simply do not work.

However, I do recognize that while our Commonwealth has one of the lowest rates of uninsured people in the nation, there are still people in need of coverage. The CHIP program has provided an important safety net for children, and adultBasic could serve that role for adults. I would consider supporting an expansion of the adultBasic to cover the 50,000 or so people already on the waiting list who cannot get coverage elsewhere. We should also consider sliding scale premiums that would be based on a person’s income in order to enroll more people who cannot obtain coverage elsewhere.

Finally, we must take steps to make it more affordable for the private sector to continue providing health care benefits to employees by encouraging the use of Health Savings Accounts, wellness tax credits and establishment of a basic but affordable health benefit plan that small businesses can afford to offer employees.

With this prescription, we can better ensure the health of our citizens.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pole Fire Reported Behind The Hub In Smethport

BREAKING NEWS: 5:55pm--12-22-08
Smethport firefighters have been dispatched to a utility pole fire behind the hub.
Smethport units are requested to hold in quarters by chief.

FDA Warns Consumers

FDA Warns Consumers About Tainted Weight Loss Pills (December 22)
Mon, 22 Sep 2008 14:36:00 -0500

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers nationwide not to purchase or consume more than 25 different products marketed for weight loss because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put consumers' health at risk.

Bring In The New Year With Coudy Fire Department

Ring in the New Year with the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department December 31, 2008 in the new training facility located next to the fire hall.

B.Y.O.B, finger foods, hats and noisemakers provided and a pork and sauerkraut dinner will be served at midnight.

Music will be provided by DJ Coyote Nights from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Small games of chance and raffles will be available for purchase.

Designated driver may be available within the fire district.

Please make arrangements as far in advance as possible. For information, call 274-7012 and leave a message. Cost is $25 per couple.

Tickets are available at Northwest Savings Bank, NAPA Auto Parts or from any firefighter.

Traffic Signs Stolen Twice

GerriMiller.Com News
Troopers at Coudersport are investigating the double theft of a couple of road signs.

Thieves made off with signs belonging to PennDot and Clara Township which were lying in a field along Blauvelt Hollow Road in Sharon township December 4 or 5.

The signs were in the process of being recovered from a previous theft when they were taken again.


Maestro and MD

BRADFORD, Pa. – Maestro Samuel Wong, a former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic who has recently relaunched his medical career, will lead the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s College-Community Choir next semester.

Wong said the choir’s program for its March 18 program will be famous opera choruses, including Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”

“I welcome all voices to join in this exciting program,” Wong said. “It will be a chance to delve into the drama of great operas as well as review language pronunciations in Italian, German and French.”
First Rehearsal
The first rehearsal will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 6, 2009, in the Webb/Bradford Forest Rehearsal Hall, Room 138 in Blaisdell Hall. No auditions are required, and all young adult and adult singers are welcome.
Dual Career
Wong’s dual career as maestro and medical doctor began with a degree in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he also studied composition, tuba and violin.

He moved on to Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in applied mathematics. He remained at Harvard for medical school, graduating with honors in ophthalmology, neurology and psychiatry.

While pursuing a residency in ophthalmology at Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, he continued to pursue his passion for music by conducting the New York Youth Symphony.

It was in this role that he was “discovered” by New York Philharmonic music director Zubin Mehta, who offered him the philharmonic’s assistant conductor position.

He first came to international attention when he made his New York Philharmonic debut in December 1990, stepping in for the late Leonard Bernstein, and then, in January 1991, replacing Mehta. Over the years, he has led more than 35 performances with the New York Philharmonic in New York City and in Washington, D.C.

Frequently in demand as guest conductor, Wong has appeared with the major orchestras in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Seattle, Houston, London, Brussels, Prague, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, Spain, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

Active in new music, Wong has led significant first performances with many orchestras, including 15 premieres in Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Yo-Yo Ma, André Watts, Marilyn Horne, Federica von Stade, Renée Fleming and more.

At the peak of his music career, Wong decided to return to medicine, accepting a position with Seneca Eye Surgeons Inc. in March to serve offices in Bradford, Warren and Jamestown, N.Y.

Wong takes over direction of the choir from Dr. Lee Spear, who led it for a decade and retired at the end of the fall semester.

“I am really delighted that fate has brought Sam to Bradford at exactly the right moment,” Spear said. “It is a pleasure to know that the choir will be in the hands of such an accomplished conductor.”

2009 Potter County Crops and Planting Clinic

Mark your calendars for the 2009 Crops and Planting Clinic hosted by the Potter County Conservation District, which will be held at the Ulysses Fire Hall.

The clinic is scheduled for Friday, January 9, 2009 with doors opening at 9:00 a.m.

This year’s clinic will feature a variety of speakers, and everyone will have the advantage to talk with several agricultural vendors planning to attend the clinic.

Attendees looking to acquire pesticide recertification credits will receive 2 Core, 2 Agronomic category 01 credits, 2 Demonstration and Research category 18 credits, 2 Aerial Applicator category 25 credits, and 2 Private Category credits for attending.

This is an opportunity to join us in planning for the 2010 planting season. The cost of the clinic is $15.00 per person and a hot lunch is included.

We look forward to seeing you there, so for more information, please contact the Potter County Conservation District at (814) 274 8411 ext 4.

“Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Coudersport Boro Asks Residents To Help Facilitate Snow Plowing On Boro Streets

The Coudersport Borough would like to ask those that park on the streets in the downtown area, that live in apartments or leave their vehicles park on the side streets to please move the vehicles either across the street when the opposite has been plowed or move to an area that has been plowed to allow our plow vehicles access to the parking spaces.

On Main Street no vehicle is permitted to be parked after 1:00 A. M. through 6 A. M. These will be ticketed.

Also those that live on any street in the Borough that is not setup presently for alternate parking should move their vehicles to the plowed side also to allow for the cleanup of snow on the unplowed side of the street.

Interstate 79 Closed at McKean Exit

State Police are warning drivers that an accident has closed Interstate 79 in the southbound lanes between the McKean and Edinboro exits.

The black detour route is now in effect. The road is expected to open by 4pm today.

Motorists are urged to use extreme caution since blustery conditions can spring up with little warning.

Be sure to check for updates on and on Newswatch at Six.

Carolyn H. Baker, 88, Smethport, PA

SMETHPORT- Carolyn H. Baker, 88, of West King St., went to be with her Lord, Sunday (Dec. 21, 2008) in the Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born March, 18, 1920, she was a daughter of Frederick W. and Agnes Hallmertz Hallstrom. On June 15, 1946, in Smethport, she married James A. Baker, who survives.

Mrs. Baker worked in the Smethport High School cafeteria for 18 years, and also many summers as a cook for Mission Meadows Church Camp, Chautauqua Lake, before her retirement.

She was a lifetime resident of the area and a graduate of the Smethport High School, Class of 1938.

She was a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church, where she was a deaconess, church organist and choir director, taught Sunday school; and member of the Covenant Women. She was also a past treasurer of the McKean County Historical Society.

Carolyn loved the Lord, praised Him with her singing, and honored Him with her life.

Surviving in addition to her husband, Jim, are two sons, Timothy J. (Julie) Baker of Wrights, PA, Phillip H. (Esther) Baker of Edmonton Alberta, Canada; six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Friends will be received from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday at the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday (Dec. 24, 2008) in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Port Allegany, with the Rev. Kristin Nelson, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Fairmount Cemetery, Farmers Valley.

Memorials can be made to the Evangelical Covenant Church.