DR. Tarbox

DR. Tarbox

Ice Mine

Solomon's Auction & Yard Sale Page

Howard Hanna



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hands On Study At Arizona Grand Canyon For Northern Potter Students

Northern Potter Students Study Grand Canyon

Northern Potter teachers Heidi Jackson and Paul Burdick are leading an 11 student study group of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The students have been exposed to the biological and ecological aspects of the Grand Canyon and surrounding area. The trip was paid for through the student’s fundraising efforts and with private donations. The group will return to school next Wednesday.

Photos by Paul Burdick……
.Photos of each day will be updated every evening at

Wild Fire Reported On Ulysses-Hickox Road

BREAKING NEWS:7:00pm-3-7-09
Firefighters from Ulysses, Genesee, and Harrison Valley are responding to a report of a wild fire on the Hickox-Ulysses Road in Bingham Township. Chief 37 ordered Harrison Valley and Ulysses recalled and instructed Genesee units to come in at reduced speed.

Dirk Cowburn Takes Gold

AND, Dirk wins another State Championship against Harper with a score of 10-5!! Way to go, Dirk!!
We're Coudy Proud!!!!

Cowburn Wins State Title

Dirk Cowburn did it again. He beat Joe Harper of Susquenita to capture his second straight Class AA PIAA state wrestling championship. Cowburn took Harper down five times in registering a 10-5 decision.

Just In Case You Missed It.......

Monday, January 19, 2009

New PA Emergency Radio System May Be Obsolete

13-year radio system project could finally wrap up

By Craig Smith

This year, Pennsylvania expects to finish building a $368 million radio system -- a process that has dragged on since 1996 -- even as New York last week killed a similar system over questions whether it will work.

Some Pennsylvania lawmakers also say the technological advances of the past 10 years may have made the system for emergency responders, which is now in partial use, obsolete.More...

More On Emergency Radios If You Missed It...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Regarding The Oswayo Fire and Cell Service


Although I am by no means an authority on this subject I can provide some "unofficial" information regarding what appears to be a major misconception in the area regarding wireless 9-1-1 and the "towers" that have been appearing around the county.

The "towers" are in most cases large utility poles with an antenna mounted on the top. In some cases the state has been able to utilize the towers that were installed by Adelphia for what was to have been a type of cellular phone service that never became reality due to the meltdown of Adelphia in 2002.

In the case of the Ulysses area the state constructed a large radio tower (about 300 foot high) that is pretty much in my back yard for this purpose. This tower can be seen from most locations in the Ulysses area. These antennas are for the state wide 800MHz radio system.

This system is intended for use by all state agencies (i.e. PSP, PennDOT, DEC, DEP, PEMA, etc.) and will likely eventually be used by all emergency response agencies in the state. Part of its purpose is to allow PSP to utilize the data terminals in there vehicles for running checks rather than doing so via radio. It is also used for communication between various agencies.

The system is designed to allow any authorized person with an 800MHz portable (or mobile) radio to communicate with another authorized user anywhere in the state. As an example, Jim Stiener can use his portable radio from a location in Potter County to speak directly to someone from PEMA in Harrisburg. This system was developed in part as a result of the events of 9-11-01.

As for the wireless 9-1-1 system, as you pointed out in your article, this is in regards to the need to locate a wireless caller within a certain range of their actual location. This is because there is no such thing as "Enhanced 9-1-1" (i.e. E911) when it comes to cellular phones.

With a landline phone the location is a given and does not change. As a result a given phone number calling the 9-1-1 center is in a fixed location and via a computer reference that information is relayed to the dispatch center thus allowing dispatchers to know where to send emergency services as well as what emergency services to send for that given location. This project in itself is currently behind schedule in Potter County.

With cellular phones GPS technology must be used to locate a caller using a cellular phone because the phone is not in a fixed location. By using the GPS technology the callers location can be identified and the proper emergency services for that location dispatched.

Of course, as you pointed out, that is all dependent on having cellular phone signal to begin with. This is something that is pretty much non-existent in many areas of Potter County and due to the population of the area is likely to stay that way for the most part although there has been some improvement in the last few years.

I hope that this can shed some light on the situation.


Michael D. Healy Sr

Just In Case You Missed It........Here's More....

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Wireless 911 System Won't Expand Coverage

By James Jones

On June 22, radio station WFRM posted the following news on their web site:

During their meeting yesterday, the Potter County Commissioners approved a $4.2 million agreement between the County and Motorola to provide the equipment, system, and optimization services for a new Microwave System Infrastructure for the 911 Wireless program.

The program is fully funded through the state 911 Wireless Program.

Chairman Ken Wingo told WFRM that members of the statewide committee from Philadelphia and Delaware Counties pushed hard for Potter County to get the funding because they realize many of their residents vacation here and they want them to be able to access 911 anywhere.

In an interview today with Potter County Emergency Services Director John Hetrick to find out what this new $7,300,000.00 radio system would bring to Potter and Tioga Counties, I was impressed that it would allow the 911 center to locate a wireless caller or a wireless lap top computer within 200 feet, bringing the very latest technology to their fingertips.

"But.....John stressed.....only if you have access to a wireless phone tower operated by one of the commercial wireless phone companies like Verizon, Nextel, Att, and others." "The new system will not expand coverage beyond that offered by the commercial carriers." He said one of the wireless companies had surveyed Potter County for complete coverage and reported that it would take 41 towers to give seamless coverage to the entire county. Thats one tower for every 400 residents of Potter County. And that's not likely to be a profitable investment.

So, sorry to dissapoint our friends from Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, but when you are in the backwoods of Potter and Tioga Counties, and get lost, you better bone up on your Boy Scout skills to find your way out, because wireless coverage countywide probably isn't going to happen in this lifetime.

Residents should continue to push the wireless phone companies to add additional towers at least in the major populated areas and across major highways in the two counties.

Wireless 911 will work great, but only where it works!

Just In Case You Missed It...............

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tioga County Gets 3 Million For New 911 Radio System

Tioga County OKs $3.1 million contract for digital microwave

Sun-Gazette Correspondent

LAWRENCEVILLE — Tioga County’s 911 system is getting a complete overhaul. As part of that, at its meeting held at Lawrence Township Municipal Building, the Tioga County Board of Commissioners approved a $3.1 million contract with Motorola for a digital microwave system for the county Department of Emergency Services.

Dave Cohick, county director of emergency services, said the new digital system will replaced an outdated analog radio system. “The system we have in now was put in in 1979 and it can’t handle what we’re going to do,” he said.

One of the requirements the state has set for counties’ emergency services is that they are able to locate a wireless caller within 200 feet, he said. This new system will allow the center to do that for both Tioga and Potter counties. Tioga County Emergency Communications Center also dispatches for Potter County. “It will create better communication between the two counties,” he said.

Tuesday night, the board also approved three other contracts relating to emergency services:• $240,000 with Rettew Associates Inc. of Lancaster• $198,870 with T3 Global Strategies of Pittsburgh• $89,674.43 with Watson Dispatch, Seattle, Wash., to update 911 dispatch work stations.

Cohick said the contracts with Rettew and T3 related to GIS data development.Former Tioga County Commissioner Walt Barnes of Millerton asked where the money was coming from for the four contracts.“Every one of those dollars for those items have come from a wireless 911 grant from the state,” said Commissioner Mark Hamilton. “No taxpayer — local taxpayer — dollars were used.”

Later, Cohick said that the state imposes a dollar surcharge on wireless phones and counties are allowed to submit funding to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. On June 1, the county received $2.5 million from PEMA, he said. In all, the county has received $5.4 million from PEMA from the wireless 911 fund.“Personally, I would like to say that I’m pretty elated that we’re able to do this,” said Hamilton before voting on the measure.

Both he and commissioners Sue Vogler and Erick Coolidge credited Cohick, who is a member of the state wireless 911 advisory board, for the hard work that went into getting the funds.“I’m really proud,” said Vogler. “David’s ahead of the game.”

Coolidge also credited Potter County officials, especially the commissioners and John Hetrick, Cohick’s counterpart there, director of emergency services for Potter County. “I can’t stress enough how important it was that both Potter and Tioga County worked together on this,” said Coolidge.

On June 21, the Potter County Board of Commissioners also approved another contract with Motorola for digital microwave for 4.2 million dollars.

Robert R. "Bob" Sweeley, 84, Smethport, PA

Smethport- Robert R. "Bob" Sweeley, 84, of Smethport, died Tuesday (March 3, 2009) in the Hamot Medical Center, Erie.

He was born March 2, 1925 in Farmers Valley, a son of Clyde T. and Grace Jones Sweeley, Sr. On March 21, 1956, in Crosby, PA, he married Jeannette Prosser, who survives.

Mr. Sweeley was a 1943 graduate of Smethport Area High School and was a PFC in the U.S. Army, serving during WWII, from 1943 to 1945.

Mr. Sweeley was a Heavy Equipment Operator for several construction companies over the years and ultimately retired from I.A. Construction in March of 1990.

He was a member of the Operating Engineers, Local #66.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by
one son: Clair "Buck" (Terry) Sweeley of Smethport, PA
one daughter: Sue (Don) Fowler of Lafayette, PA
2 grandchildren; 2 step-grandchildren; 3 step-great grandchildren
one brother: Clyde Sweeley, Jr. of Bradford, PA
and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Sweeley was preceded in death by his parents, 3 sisters, and a brother.

There will be no visitation. Private services will be held at the discretion of the family.

Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.

Cecelia M. Mitchell, 74, Smethport, PA

Smethport - Cecelia M. Mitchell, 74, of Smethport, died Wednesday (March 4, 2009) in the Sena Kean Manor, Smethport.

She was born April 7, 1934 in Smethport, a daughter of James John and Ethel May Green Mitchell.

Mrs. Mitchell worked at Ethan Allen Co. in Eldred, PA, before she retired.

She is survived by
one son: James Winner of Emporium, PA
3 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild
one sister: Irene Freer of Smethport, PA
one brother: Paul Mitchell of Smethport, PA

She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 brothers, and 1 sister

There will be no visitation. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 14, from the Rose Hill Cemetery, Smethport, with the Rev. Allen D. Young, pastor of the East Smethport United Christian Church, officiating.

Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.

Corruption Charged In Kinzua Bridge Project

WESB News--Criminal Charges Involving Kinzua Bridge Repairs

A former civil engineer with the state is facing criminal charges after a company received a no-bid emergency contract for repairs to the Kinzua Bridge.

Attorney General Tom Corbett says 61-year-old James Eppely of Halifax was the manager for the project to repair the bridge – before it was damaged by a tornado in 2003 – and awarded a contract to a company that provided Eppley and his wife with an all-expenses-paid trip to London, England, worth nearly $5,000.

He didn't report the trip to the state or his superviors at DCNR.

Eppley is charged with a felony count of conflict of interest, tampering with public records and unsworn falsification. He's scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday in Harrisburg.
For more on this story, visit the 1490 NewsBlog

Area Obituaries

EMPORIUM — Dorothy Prosper, 94, of Grove House, died Thursday evening (March 5, 2009) at Elk Regional Health Center, St. Marys. Barnett Funeral Home Inc. is handling the arrangements.

SMETHPORT — Alice Marie Daley, 87, died Friday (March 6, 2009) in her home in McKean County. Arrangements are under the direction of the Frame Funeral Home in Eldred.

Schneider Charged In Apparent Drug Death In Austin

Charges filed in Potter Co. overdose death
Bradford Era

AUSTIN — An Austin man has been charged in relation to the December 2008 death of Brock L. Hooftallen.

According to Austin Borough Police Chief Kyle Day, Steven C. Schneider, 38, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first degree misdemeanor; and numerous other charges in connection with the death.

Hooftallen was found dead Dec. 5, 2008, in his home from an apparent drug overdose.

The affidavit of probable cause gives details of the evening before Hooftallen’s death....more...

10 Year Old Smethport Girl Took Disney Cruise

Make-A-Wish makes Smethport girl’s wish come true

“If you could wish for any one thing — to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone — what would you pick?”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation poses that question to children who face a significant medical hurdle in their lives. There are criteria to meet, and the child’s treating physician needs to verify the problems and agree that the child can participate.

Emily Schellhammer, 10, of Smethport, decided she wanted to go on a Disney Cruise. More...

Therapeutic Touch To Be Taught This Month At Charles Cole Memorial Hospital

A therapeutic touch basic course will be held this month at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.

The course will meet from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 20 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 21. The cost is $120 which includes lunch and a one-year associate membership to the Therapeutic Touch International Association.

The course will be taught by Judy Custer, a nurse practitioner who has practiced and taught TT for almost 30 years. Participants will learn the history of TT, how to be an effective healer, centering techniques, and phases and scientific bases for TT.

TT is an intentionally directed process of energy exchange during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the healing process. For more information or to register, call 814/274-9301, ext. 1487 or 717/838-4886 or or e-mail

News From Open Arms Missions Team In Africa

A missions team from Bradford Open Arms Church, including Roulette's Josh Hatcher, who produces the Roulette Rebel Website, are missionaries to Africa this week. They are there sharing their faith with the natives.

Let's all be praying for the Africa Missions team. They are there now

through March 10th. We have heard from Mike and Josh. To view this,
go to

Among those making the trip include Open Arms Pastor Mike McAvoy, Shawn Murphy, Dr. Brad MacNeill and his two daughters, Jennifer and Bethany MacNeill and Josh Hatcher.

For a complete story on this missions trip click here.

Charles Cole Hospital To Hold Childbirth Classes

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital will hold prepared childbirth classes from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 18 through April 22, 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.

General Vet Care- Is it an Emergency?

Penn State Cooperative Extension in Potter County will be hosting a General Vet Care- Is it an Emergency? video teleconference program on Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30PM at the Potter County Education Council in Coudersport.

Lew Trumble, Regional Extension Horse Specialist, will be discussing the importance of establishing a working relationship with your vet, information you should have when you call the vet-necessary for determining whether it is an emergency, and how critical, what MAY be wrong with your horse, what you can do while waiting for the vet, if they are really needed and supplies you should have on hand to treat non emergency situations.

There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions. There is no cost for 4-H members and leaders and a $5.00 for general public. The class is open to anyone interested in horses. To register, please call the Potter County Extension Office at 814-274-8540.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.

Free Screenings Offered At Charles Cole Hospital

Dr. David Moylan will offer free prostate and colorectal cancer screenings from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on March 14 at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center. A light breakfast will be served. Call 877/274-8200 for an appointment.

Some Drilling Slowing Up Due To Low Prices

Chesapeake shuts in gas, may idle more rigs
Oil & Gas Journal
Chesapeake Energy has shut in 7% of its operated gas and oil production due to low Midcontinent wellhead prices and is considering a further 10% reduction in drilling in 2009 if prices stay low. More...

Alliance Daycare and Learning Center is hosting our annual Registration and Open House

Alliance Preschool 3-year-old

Alliance Daycare and Learning Center is hosting our annual Registration and Open House for our 3-year-old Preschool Program

Monday April 6th, 2009
Located at the Coudersport Alliance Church in Rubbertown
Phone: 274-7273

Our Program:
• Is Developmentally and Standards Based.
• Introduces Math, Science, and Literacy skills.
• Encourages and Develops Social Skills.
• Uses the “Handwriting Without Tears” program used in most local school districts.
• Introduces Letters, Letter sounds and Number recognition and New Vocabulary.
• Develops Fine and Gross Motor Skills.
• Offers the right balance of Structure and Flexibility needed for 3 to 4 year old children.

Registration fee: $25; Monthly tuition: $78.00; Two supply fees: $15, due in September and January

TRACK Sponsors St. Pats Day 250 Club

Click to enlarge

Here's what you'll find in this week's Endeavor News:

--Countdown continues as the Primary Election draws closer, with two interesting races brewing in Potter County.

--Coudersport wrestler Dirk Cowburn is off to an impressive start at the state championship tournament in Hershey, while Austin and Coudersport head into the state girls' basketball playoffs this weekend.

--Potter County has signed on for an engineering study that could bring super-fast internet service to more communities and boost employment opportunities.

--Maple sap is running, and that makes for busy times at many area syruping operations.

--Another early spring tradition, the Passion Play, returns to the stage for its 53rd running later this month at the Coudersport Consistory auditorium.

--Emergency responders and other agencies passed the test as they participated in a statewide weather emergency drill that presented several challenging twists.

See those stories and more in this week's Endeavor News, available at businesses all over the Coudersport and Austin areas.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recap Of Today's News From Gerri

Hear the local news first on Black Forest Broadcasting starting at 7:00am


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

Eldred Woman Charged For Coudersport Collision

An Eldred woman is being cited for following too closely following a minor collision Thursday morning just after 7:00 am at the intersection of Route 6 and Chestnut Street near Sheetz in Coudersport borough. State police said the collision occurred when Edward Button of Galeton stopped his tractor trailer at the red light and Jessica Green could not stop in time to prevent her Chevy Malibu from running into the back of the trailer. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts and escaped injury but the passenger car had to be towed from the scene.

Minor Injuries reported for Eldred Man Following Tioga County Collision Mansfield based state police report another Eldred resident suffered minor injuries in a collision taking place Tuesday afternoon on at an intersection in Deerfield Township, Tioga County. Troopers said that collision occurred when Robert Willis of Greenwood, NY who was headed south on Route 249 allowed his Dodge Stratus to strike the side of a Ford F150 driven by Richard Beckman of Eldred which was headed West on Route 49. The impact caused the pick up to spin clockwise and roll over onto the passenger side before coming to rest along the berm. Beckman suffered a minor shoulder injury while his passenger, Kenneth Elliott of Roulette and Willis both escaped injury.

Theft of Prescription Medication Investigated
The theft of some medicine from a Roulette home last month remains under investigation by Coudersport based state police. Sometime between noon February 12 and 9:00 am the next day, thieves entered the home of Shirlee Winans on Second Street in the village and stole a 30 ml vial of morphine sulfate and 30 morphine sulfate pills.

Students Arrested for Suspected Drug Dealing

A 16 year old Tioga County boy was arrested Monday by Mansfield-based state police after he was discovered in possession of some Vicodin pills, a Schedule III narcotic, inside the Williamson High School. Authorities allege the youth took the pills to school to try to sell them. And two other students, both 15 were arrested when one of them took 6 Adderall pills, a Schedule II Controlled Substgance to the same school that day and conspired with the other to sell the tablets. All three have been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Smethport Borough Receives Grant for Biomass Project
It was announced earlier this week that Smethport Borough has been awarded a $50,000 planning and engineering grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh for its wood biomass project. The town is trying to become the first community in the country to co-generate residential and commercial district heat and electricity by using waste wood and low-value wood from the region including the Allegheny National Forest. The money from the project would be re circulated within the local economy rather than being sent out of state. Don Tanner County Extension Director for Potter, Cameron, Elk and McKean Counties spoke about the project at the January meeting of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce. Tanner said the Extension Office is working behind the scenes on many projects providing information and research. He said the work being done right here in North Central PA is leading the state. The Smethport project is modeled after some European projects which have been very successful in producing heat and light from natural renewable resources.
More news....

Bonnie Burdick Wants To Know About Reunion

I received this from Kathy Hummell (the Happy Lady) from our old Adelphia days.. Could you post it on your site?

Some Adelphian/Time Warner people have asked me to look into a reunion...thought May might be a good month before everyone starts a vacation.

The American Legion has their banquet room w/ bar and the pavilion outside available w/ kitchen priviledges on Saturday, May 16. I would gladly make food and we can BBQ in the pavilion.

What do you all think. I need to let the Legion know. We can get a DJ...(I am not sure but maybe Brian Tompson would spin the tunes?) and have a great time visiting. What do you all think?

Please let me know as soon as possible and I would hope that through e-mails and facebook we could contact a whole bunch of people we would like to see!

You can contact either Bonnie Burdick at or Kathy Hummell at if you are interested.

4H Super Saturday At Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle

Super Saturday Program- Saturday, March 7

Super Saturday is back! The 4-H program invites all youth and adults to the Super Saturday program on Saturday, March 7 from 10AM to 4PM at the Gospel Tabernacle Church.

We will be holding a 4-H Open House for everyone to get acquainted with the 4-H program and what is has to offer youth in our county.

Bill Henderson, retired camp specialist from Ohio State University, will be leading team building and song workshops for teen leaders. We will have quality assurance sessions for youth livestock producers and the Equine Ethics program for all horse members.

For adult leaders there will be a science in-service workshop showing adults how to do the science activities in this years 4-H calendar.

We welcome all youth and adults to come check out the 4-H program and get more information on how to get involved as a member or a leader. We look forward to sharing the excitement of 4-H and getting you involved in this great youth program.

For more information or to register, please call the Potter County Extension Office at 814-274-8540. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.

Wind Company May Sue Prattsburgh Over Permits

Canisteo Valley News

and if it happens this time, it will be a wind company suing a town...

The Town of Prattsburgh could possibly be sued by wind company Ecogen.

That news has been revealed by Prattsburgh Town attorney John Leyden.

According to Leyden, if the Town of Prattsburgh is sued by wind company Ecogen, it would be because the Town of Prattsburgh has not yet allowed building permits for the construction of wind turbines. More...

2 Car Accident Reported At Myrtle

BREAKING NEWS: 10:34pm-3-6-09
Shinglehouse fire and ambulance are responding to a 2 vehicle accident on Route 44 at Myrtle. The roadway is reported to be blocked. First car on scene reports no injuries.


Spring Break At UPB

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will not hold classes next week, March 9 through March 13, for spring recess.

University offices will be open Monday, March 9, through Thursday, March 12, but closed on Friday, March 13.

Also on March 13, electricity will be shut off campus-wide from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. so an additional electrical update can be performed to the service entrance on Campus Drive.

Classes will resume and university offices will reopen Monday, March 16.

Foot Bridge Across Allegheny River Proposed At East Street In Coudersport

Foot Bridge Across River Proposed
Photo & story by Lou Karija

Chris Ernst of E and M Engineering in Bradford measures bridge abutments while Ace Hardware owner Mike Wagner looks on.

Mike aproached Coudersport council at last months meeting to see if it were possible to construct a walk bridge across the Allegheny river at East street. Boro officials met at the site with Pa. DEP and Potter Conservation Dist. , E and M Engineers and Mr. Wagner to discuss any concerns.

Mike Wagner offered to pay for a large portion of the cost to build the bridge, Mike also mentioned possibly dedicating the bridge in his fathers honor the late "Jim Wagner." All representatives had a positive outlook and believe the project is possible.

Chris Ernst said he would have a proposal to the Borough within a week.

Dirk Cowburn To Wrestle For State Championship

Dirk Cowburn Wins

Dirk Cowburn has defeated Sam Kuhn of Harborcreek and will wrestle against Joe Harper of Susquenita tomorrow in the championship round.

The AA finals start at 2:30 p.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Clinton County Wants To Capitalize On Cherry Springs Dark Sky Tourists

County Agrees to study 'Dark Sky Pike'

Old schoolhouse could become information kiosk


LOCK HAVEN Express--- The idea of designating the Coudersport Pike as "Dark Sky Pike" - a discussion that's been dormant for the last several months - is back on the table.

The Clinton County commissioners Thursday approved an $8,202 contract with Albertin Vernon Architecture LLC of Logan Mills to conduct a feasibility study of the former Springer School along the Coudersport Pike in Gallagher Township to possibly turn it into an informational kiosk for tourists.

Commissioner Tom Bossert said the school would retain its identity as an historic schoolhouse, but Gallagher Township - which owns the building and surrounding property - could use it as an information kiosk for the possible "Dark Sky Pike."

"It would be a starting point for tourism on the pike, ultimately reaching Cherry Springs State Park," he said. "It could become quite an asset for the county and tourist promotion."

The commissioners last discussed the "Dark Sky Pike" idea last summer as a way to increase tourism for those going to Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County.

That area is known as a top spot in the East to view the nighttime sky. Cherry Springs State Park is also the only "Dark Sky Park" in the state. More...

Charles Cole Opens Bowman Health Center

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital announces the reopening of the Bowman Health Center in Smethport, effective Monday. New and returning patients can schedule appointments by calling 814/887-5395.

Dr. Amit Khanna, Dr. Nirav Patel, Dr. Seth Shifrin, and Judy Flynn, CRNP will continue to see patients until April 20, when CCMH will welcome Dr. David Kulling to the Bowman Health Center.

CCMH and the Keystone Rural Health Consortia have been operating the center jointly since Dr. Douglas Bowman’s untimely death in November. CCMH intends to operate the Bowman Health Center at the Misty Valley Health Center location until the end of the year at which time the practice will move into a portion of CCMH’s building on Marvin Street, utilizing a shared space model with the Guidance Center.

“We want to assure the Smethport community that we will continue to provide the very best health care services at the Bowman Health Center now and in the future,” said Ed Hardesty, executive director, medical staff relations and clinic operations, at CCMH.

Dr. Bowman, a member of CCMH’s medical staff since 1983, served the hospital and Smethport area in numerous capacities. He joined Keystone in 2005 at which time he opened the Misty Valley Health Center.

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital is a full service, comprehensive health system based in Coudersport with service throughout north central Pennsylvania. In addition to the hospital’s main campus in Coudersport, CCMH provides primary health care, including wellness and physical therapy, to surrounding communities at rural health centers in Galeton, Ulysses, Westfield, Shinglehouse, Port Allegany, Eldred, Smethport, and Emporium.

For additional information on the hospital’s services and medical providers, visit

O'Maras Donate to Pitt-Bradford Chapel

WESB News--O'Maras Donate to Pitt-Bradford Chapel
James O’Mara and Dr. Kimberly Young O’Mara have made a gift of $25,000 to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for a planned interfaith chapel to be built this year on the west end of campus.

The gift helps the university close in on its $2.5 million fundraising goal for the chapel.

In appreciation of their gift, a wooden bridge leading into the chapel, which is raised several feet above the ground, will be named in honor of the O’Maras.
(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)

Camp Owners Victims Of Trio Of Burglars

WESB News--Police Looking for Crime Spree Victims
Police are still trying to return stolen property to victims of a crime spree last summer through 7 counties in north central Pennsylvania.

Scott Fisher, Travis Fisher and Edward Whitten – all of Wellsboro – are accused of breaking into more than 20 camps in Cameron, Elk, Potter, Tioga, Lycoming, Clinton and Clarion counties and stealing thousands of dollars worth of items including guns, money and alcohol.

Police say the value of the items stolen from Potter County alone is more than $6,000. They say there are still a number of unidentified victims who have not reported a burglary or theft, and they're being asked to contact police.

Whitten is in Elk County Jail awaiting action in Cameron County Court. Both of the Fishers are awaiting preliminary hearings in all 7 counties, and are in Potter County Jail.

Potter County Contracts For Waste Recycling

A contract with Casella Waste Systems will allow the Potter County government to recycle the bulk of waste being generated by county offices and save money in the process.

Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover approved the arrangement with Casella at last week’s business meeting.

Casella has agreed to pick up recyclable paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and other materials — as well as trash — on a weekly basis. County employees will be able to place trash in one container and all mixed recyclables in a separate bin.

David Knowles, buildings and grounds supervisor, is developing the recycling plan in cooperation with Casella and the Potter County Solid Waste Authority. Potter County Today

Coudersport Responded To Wild Fire Today

Station 48 Dispatched For WildFire

Station 48 (Coudersport) have been dispatched at 12:38pm to Sweden Township on the Brooklyn Road for a reported Wild Fire. Chief 48-30, Rescue 48-48, Engine 48-2 all responded. Units were on scene for just a few moments before returning. Chief 48-30 had Command.

Dirk Cowburn In State Semi-Finals Friday Evening


Dirk Cowburn will be wrestling in the state semi finals tonight at 630 PM. There are several live webcasts of the semis if anybody is interested in listening.

Dirk is facing very tough Sam Kuhn from Harbour Creek High School for a chance to wrestle for the state championship.

Cut and paste this URL for available webcasts. The AA semis will commence at approximately 630 and Dirk Should wrestle by about 7.

Eric Wagner

Cowburn over Kuhn in the Semi-Final Round 7-3! Dirk is going for another State Championship tomorrow afternoon!!!! Way to go, Dirk . . . We're proud of you!!!!

Black Lab Found On Paul Hollow Road between Galeton & Germania

Hi Jim, my name is Amanda Paul and I read your blog everyday. I've seen in the past that you post whenever someone finds a lost dog. Well, this morning I've found one. I was wondering if you could post it for me? This is the info I have.

Large male black lab. Very old, like maybe 10 or 12 years old. Very friendly. Found him in my lawn on Paul Hollow Rd, just between Galeton and Germania. I found him this morning around 10:30am.

I made him a bed on my porch and gave him fresh water and food. Poor guy seemed real hungry. However, my parents won't let me bring him in the house because they are afraid of fleas. I have an appointment to take him to the vet at 10:30am tomorrow.

They can contact me tonight at work 814-274-9300 (I'm the switchboard operator) and any time after that contact 814-435-8596. If no answer, leave a message with a phone number.

Thanks so much!

The owners next door neighbor called me around 4pm to let me know she saw the post and is going to tell her when she gets home. They are going to call me.


Scarnati: Critical Access Hospitals to Obtain Funding

"Just Plain Joe" Scarnati Helps Get Funding For Rural Hospitals

Brockway -- Rural health care facilities in Pennsylvania will benefit from $5.2 million in funding which was included in the state budget, as well as significant additional federal dollars, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). Recipients include six hospitals in the 25th Senatorial District.

Scarnati was instrumental in obtaining the funding, which is important to aid hospitals that serve a large number of low-income and senior citizens.
Among those facilities are Brookville Hospital, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, Bradford Regional Medical Center, Clearfield Hospital, Kane Community Hospital and Punxsutawney Hospital.

The health care facilities are included under the Designated Critical Access Hospital Program, which mirrors a federal program created by Congress. The program was designed to help improve rural health care access and reduce hospital closures.

Scarnati said that while federally designated Critical Access Hospitals are entitled to receive cost-based reimbursement for Medicare claims, there is no such guarantee for Medicaid reimbursement.

“Because many rural hospitals treat a large portion of Medicaid patients, they are facing serious financial distress because of the payment policy,” Scarnati said.

“Rural hospitals provide an important lifeline and crucial safety net to many residents who otherwise might not have access to affordable health care,” Scarnati said. “This funding will ensure that these hospitals are fairly reimbursed so they can continue to provide care to residents who rely on them.”


Strube Inc. Warehouses Contained Low-Level Radioactive Aircraft Parts

HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection will oversee the remaining cleanup efforts of low-level radioactive aircraft instruments at eight Strube Inc. warehouses in four Lancaster County communities.

“Over the past year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, its contractors and Strube Inc. and its contractors identified, removed and shipped for proper disposal approximately 400,000 low-level radioactive instruments and gauges,” DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David J. Allard said.

Allard said the presence of the low-level radioactive items did not pose an immediate health threat to residents of the surrounding areas, but caused concern because hazardous materials could be released into the air if a fire were to occur at any of the warehouses.

“While the threat of a hazardous release has been removed, some quantities of radioactive materials remain in the warehouses,” Allard said. “It is necessary that this process be very thorough to provide confidence that no licensable quantities of radioactive material are left behind.”

EPA concluded its portion of the cleanup work in December at the warehouses in Columbia, Marietta, Maytown and Mount Joy. DEP will work with Strube and its contractors to perform the final cleanup of radioactive instruments and building contamination.

Allard said a schedule for the final portion of the cleanup will be established after DEP reviews and approves plans submitted by the company.

The number of parts removed was considerably higher that the 70,000 first estimated by the company. In all, the eight warehouses contained approximately 58 million parts.

Additional information is available at

Terry D. Hults, 53, Stokesdale, NC, Formerly Port Allegany, PA

PORT ALLEGANY- Terry D. Hults, 53, of Belews Creek Rd., Stokesdale, NC, formerly of Port Allegany, died Thursday (March 5, 2009) in WFU Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC.

Born May 25, 1955, in Coudersport, PA, he was a son of Ronald G. and Dorothy Gernell Hults.

He was a longtime resident of the area and a graduate of the Port Allegany High School, Class of 1973.

He was a member of the Sons of the VFW, Post 6391, and the American Legion, Post 258, both of Port Allegany; ABATE- Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education, Potter County Chapter; and Loyal Order of Moose, Lodge 460, Port Allegany.

Surviving are two daughters, Shanna M. (Jeremiah) Amell of Roulette, Heather L. (Gregg) Bosworth of Madison, NC; four grandchildren; a brother, Gary R. Hults of Port Allegany; two sisters, Connie R. (Earl) Hults of Port Allegany, Karen S. Hults of Erie, PA; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister, Donna K. Button.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Mar. 10, 2009) in the First Baptist Church, Port Allegany, with Rev. Michael Culver, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Grimes Cemetery, Port Allegany.

Local arrangements are under the direction of the Switzer Funeral Home, Port Allegany.


MEADVILLE – Municipalities, community planners and watershed groups looking for grant funding can help find guidance on the application process during one of two upcoming workshops in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources will hold grant workshops on Tuesday, March 24, at the Erie County Conservation District Office, 1927 Wager Road, Erie, and on Thursday, April 2, at the Sharon Municipal Building, 155 West Connelly Blvd., Sharon.

The free workshops will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“These sessions are designed to bring together agencies and departments to help potential applicants who are thinking about applying for an environmental grant,” said DEP Northwest Regional Director Kelly Burch. “We are providing one-stop shopping to make the grant application process as easy and convenient as possible.”

DEP staff will provide information on Growing Greener, Energy Harvest, Coastal Resource Management, Source Water Assessment and Protection, and environmental education grants, while staff from DCNR will be available to discuss the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Grants Program that targets land protection, conservation and recreation project grants.

Representatives from the League of Women Voters Watershed Resources Education Network will be available to answer questions about watershed education grant programs, while the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will have information on partnerships.

Those who plan to attend the workshop should bring at least two copies of documents that describe:

• The proposed project;

• How the project fits into the potential applicant’s master plan;

• Why the project should receive grant funding;

• What matching funds have already been obtained; and

• A one-page map of the location

For more information on the workshop, contact DEP Watershed Manager Diane Carson at 814-332-6984, DEP Watershed Manager Tim Bruno at 814-332-6917, or DCNR Recreation and Parks Advisor Kim McCullough at 814-332-6190.

For more information on grants, visit, keyword: Grants.

AG Predator Unit Charges Johnsonburg Man

WESB News--Child Predator Unit Arrests Johnsonburg Man
A Johnsonburg man has been arrested by the attorney general's child predator unit for sending sexually graphic photos to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl, while he was posing as a 15-year-old boy.

27-year-old Shane Washburn is charged with six counts of unlawful contact with a minor and six counts of criminal use of a computer, all third degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Washburn is in Elk County Jail in lieu of $25,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Just last week, a fire at Washburn's house sent one person to a Pittsburgh hospital and did $30,000 worth of damage. Washburn and two other people were not hurt.

Area Obituaries

SMETHPORT — Cecelia M. Mitchell, 74, of Smethport, died Wednesday (March 4, 2009) in Sena-Kean Manor, Smethport. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes Inc., Smethport.

Lee Guilty In Child Rape Cases

Johnnie Gale Lee found guilty of all charges in two child-rape cases after three-day trial
Bradford Era

SMETHPORT — After a three-day trial, a jury found Johnnie Gale Lee guilty Wednesday evening of all charges in two child-rape cases.

Lee, 44, of Mount Jewett, was found guilty of 12 counts of rape, eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, four counts of aggravated indecent assault, 12 counts of indecent assault, one count of incest and two counts of corruption of minors, according to court records.

Senior Judge H. William White of Venango County had not set a sentencing date as of Thursday morning. More...

Computer-Electronics Shop To Open In Shinglehouse

Electronics Store In Old NAPA Building
I am opening my own shop in Shinglehouse Pa. I will be repairing computers. selling new and used computers and refurbished electronics Like HD LCD flat screen TVs and the whole home entertainment systems. The prices are great I am selling everything well below retail value. I just thought that because of the way our economy is it was time to do something.

My inventory Is not huge but I do have quite a bit I am hoping to get my inventory up over the next couple of months but I wanted to start out kind of small to see how it would work out. I can special order any thing and have it in usually about 1 week.

I have digital cams and digital video cams. I have one laptop right now will get more. Plus I have a lot of other items that Will be up for display. I am hoping to open up the store Friday morning.
James Robert

J & J Computers
Phone (814)697-7111
Fax (814)697-7113
305 E Academy Street
Shinglehouse Pa 16748


Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market Voluntarily Recalls Fresh and Easy Milk Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, and Chewy Sweet and Salty Granola Bars Because of Possible Health Risk (February 26)

Potent Foods, Inc. Announces Nationwide Voluntary Recall of Potent Life Bars (March 3)

Sheridan Fruit Company Recalls Bulk Roasted/Salted, Roasted/No Salt, and Raw Blanched Shelled Peanuts Nationwide Due to Possible Health Risk (March 5)

Just Desserts Initiates Nationwide Recall of 6 Inch Peanut Butter Creme Cakes Because of Possible Health Risk (March 2)

Betty Lou's Inc. and Oregon Food Bank Expand Recall of Peanut Oregon Health Food Bars Because of Possible Health Risk (March 2)

Whole Foods Market Voluntarily Recalls 365 Organic Everyday Value Brand Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix for Possible Health Risk (March 5)

Marathon Ventures, Inc. Expands Voluntary Recall of Raw Redskin Peanuts, Party Mix, Dry Roasted Peanuts, Bakers Mix, and Fancy Nut Topping (March 6)

Jenny Craig Recalls Further Products Manufactured with Ingredients from Peanut Corporation of America's Plainview Texas Facility (March 4)

Osage Pecan Company Recalls Raw Spanish Peanuts and Roasted and Salted Spanish Peanuts Because of Possible Health Risks (March 4)

Michaelene's, Inc./ Michaelene's Gourmet Granola Initiates Voluntary Nationwide Granola Recall Because of Possible Risk to Health (March 6)

Chloe Foods Corporation Announces Voluntary Recall of Chloe Farms Brand Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes (March 6)

DSD Services, Inc. Announces Voluntary Recall of Mega Trail Mixes Due to Potential Health Risk (March 6)

Town and Country Markets Recalls Select Peanuts, Peanut Products, and Self-Serve Grind Peanut Butters Because of Possible Health Risk (March 5)

Community Food Co-op Recalls Bulk Peanuts and In-Store Ground Bulk Peanut Butter Because of Possible Health Risk (March 6)

PaleyBar Recalls Jam-N-Peanuts Bars Because of Possible Health Risk (March 7)

Anna's Pantry LLC Announces Voluntary Recall of Honey Roasted Peanuts, Cocktail Snack Mix and Roasted and Salted Mixed Nuts (March 7)

Sign Ups Saturday For Port Allegany Youth Baseball

Port Allegany Youth Baseball Association

will be holding another sign-up session for

T-Ball, Baseball, & Softball on

Saturday March 7th from 10am-12pm at the

Port Allegany Elementary School

Thursday, March 5, 2009

DeBernardinis Did Impressive Job For State Tourism Before Returning To Philadelphia

Helping Towns Become Ecotourist Destinations
Michael DiBerardinis at dedication of Lyman Run Lake

Picture courtesy of David Brooks,
Potter County Visitors Association

Michael DiBerardinis has traveled a long way from his days as a civic activist in Philadelphia. As secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, he is chief steward of state parkland and he has applies what he learned in the city about bringing communities together.

Pa. parks chief wants wider access to wilds

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

HOWARD, Pa. - The chief steward of the state parks stood against a stunning backdrop last month at Bald Eagle State Park to break ground for Pennsylvania's first nature inn.

Against a sparkling lake and a mountain ridge awash with fall hues, he used the moment to make his case for taking nature conservation in a new direction.

"We want to deepen our connection to the people of the state," said Michael DiBerardinis, a former Philadelphia neighborhood activist, "and drive the message of conservation to everyone."

Moments later, the local Republican senator remembered thinking at his first meeting with DiBerardinis that a Philadelphia guy running the state park system would be "a disaster."

"I could not have been more wrong," Jake Corman said. "There has been no better advocate for state parks than Mike DiBerardinis."

So began DiBerardinis' latest visit to the region he and his agency call the "Pennsylvania Wilds" - that beyond-cell-phone-reach swath of green stretching across the top of the state that is expected to draw around 4 million visitors this year.

The nature inn, scheduled to open in late 2009, will offer comfortable accommodations for the baby boomer set and others who enjoy nature but who don't care to pitch tents.

With nationally recognized elk herds and dark skies for stargazers, the Wilds are a far cry from Fishtown and Kensington in Philadelphia, where DiBerardinis has lived for 34 years in rowhouses with postage-stamp backyards.

Now, the onetime community activist who fought drug dealers and slumlords is in charge of 2.4 million acres of state forest and parkland.

But DiBerardinis doesn't see it as such a stretch, having embarked five years ago on a mission to "pivot" the agency away from its traditional focus of conserving state parkland toward a more holistic role helping neighboring towns become ecotourist destinations.

"The dynamics are the same: It's about organizing communities," said DiBerardinis, who traveled 2,000 miles in his first year in office to get feedback from Pennsylvanians about parks and their communities. "You have to listen to people because they care about where they live. Whether you're in Philadelphia or the tiniest town in the mountains, the challenge is the same."

In a recent whirlwind 13-hour tour of departmental outposts and towns now working with the agency, DiBerardinis began by wading into the trout stream in Lock Haven and casting his line. Then he took a bike tour along a new rail trail in Sinnamahoning State Park, helped game wardens tag a black bear, and reviewed plans for an elk conservation center.

He wrapped up the day by meeting with local officials in Ridgway, an old logging town on the Clarion River 75 miles northwest of State College.

The town now boasts bed-and-breakfasts, shops and a museum along a main street that 15 years ago was nearly deserted. There are bike trails along the river, and canoeing out on the water.

Civic leaders in Ridgway, still working to make the once-blighted riverfront more people-friendly, said the guidance, funding and marketing assistance they received from DiBerardinis' department have brought in business and tourists and helped turn around the town.

"We have based the idea of economic development on using our heritage resources," said Dale Fox, who owns the Towers Victorian Inn in Ridgway. "We were five years along trying to save the town, but we couldn't have accomplished what we did without them."

Ask DiBerardinis, 59, what book most influenced his life and he will say The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

These days, though, he finds himself drawing inspiration from the turn-of-the-20th-century conservationist Gifford Pinchot, father of the U.S. Forest Service, Pennsylvania governor, and populist who believed the wilderness was society's great leveler.

"The Clarion River was a mud hole; it had no life," said DiBerardinis, describing conditions as recently as the 1970s on the scenic waterway that flows through Ridgway. "We are responding just like [Pinchot] did to a collapsed ecosystem 100 years ago."

Going back to his days as a neighborhood activist in Philadelphia in the 1980s, DiBerardinis has never shied away from controversy. He butted heads with city officials regularly as a leader of the Kensington Joint Action Council in the 1980s. One protest, over the city's refusal to auction rental houses of tax-delinquent owners, disrupted traffic in Center City and led to his arrest on a charge of disorderly conduct.

DiBerardinis was raised in Downingtown, and his Italian immigrant father worked in a paper mill. After graduating from Bishop Shanahan High School in West Chester in 1967, DiBerardinis helped pay his way through St. Joseph's University by working summers in the mill. After a stint on an Indian reservation in South Dakota and building houses in Cuba, he met his future wife, Joan Reilly, now a senior director at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and settled in Fishtown.

DiBerardinis was chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Tom Foglietta (D., Pa.) and then ran the city recreation department for eight years in Mayor Ed Rendell's administration. Gov. Rendell appointed him to his current cabinet post in 2003.

"He is smart and can engage people, but his roots remain in the rowhouses of Kensington," said Joe Grace, executive director of CeaseFire PA, a group working to reduce gun violence.

DiBerardinis is particularly proud that under his direction his department has protected 120,000 additional acres of wild land, more than at any other time in the last 30 years. He said Pennsylvania was one of four states recognized internationally for sustainable land management, an approach that balances industries such as timber, oil and gas with recreation and conservation. He also feels strongly that the agency needs to respond to climate change.

The Pennsylvania Wilds initiative encompasses 1.6 million acres in 12 counties, including 29 state parks. Within the boundaries are two big tourist grabbers: a free-roaming elk herd touted as the largest in the Northeast, and the stargazers' paradise Cherry Springs State Park, 120 miles north of Harrisburg.

The agency has helped deliver close to $250,000 in state investment in Elk County, much of it targeted toward Ridgway.

Environmentalists praise DiBerardinis for expanding state parklands, but they say his efforts to promote tourism in parks have sometimes collided with their conservation ethic.

"It's a mixed bag," said Jeff Schmidt, executive director of the Sierra Club's Pennsylvania chapter, citing two instances in which the agency sought to develop a nature inn on the last section of undeveloped Lake Erie shoreline. "They backed off development when local opposition was too strong," he said.

Environmentalists also opposed DiBerardinis' decision earlier this year to lift a moratorium and allow gas drilling in state parks.

DiBerardinis said he undertook what he believed was a "thoughtful approach" to limited drilling in open consultation with legislators, industry and environmental groups, with his department maintaining control over the permitting process. Under his plan, only 74,000 acres are subject to drilling - far fewer than the 500,000 acres on which drilling was possible under his Republican predecessor.

In 2007 DiBerardinis was the subject of a State Ethics Commission probe into his role in the awarding of state grants to his wife's organization. But Commonwealth Court found no conflict.

Though he is now heading into his sixth year commuting on weekends to Philadelphia, he said he had no plans to leave the administration.

There's work ahead, he said. "We haven't left the land; we just changed the way we behave as an organization. We have to look at social and economic values as well. If we elevate that and the stewardship message, then we've done our job."

Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or
This article republished in Solomon's words with permission of the author.

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis

Michael DiBerardinis Quits DCNR Post
Michael DiBernardinis shown at Lyman Run Lake Dedication in Potter County

Philadelphia Inquirer reports he'll take job as Parks Commissioner in his hometown of Philadelphia.

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell announced the resignation today of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis.

"Michael's tenure as DCNR secretary has been marked by many achievements that will have a lasting benefit for the natural resources and economic vitality of this commonwealth," said Governor Rendell. "Michael has worked tirelessly to improve the stewardship of our state parks and forests, at the same time expanding the conservation mission to include efforts to build and maintain sustainable communities and create outdoor connections for citizens and visitors.

"With Michael's guidance, communities across Pennsylvania are looking to land conservation, open space protection, outdoor recreation, and trails as ever more powerful community revitalization and economic development tools. His vision, leadership and counsel will be missed."

Pennsylvania protected more than 130,000 acres of natural areas during DiBerardinis' term as DCNR secretary, a greater amount than was conserved over the past 30 years. He also helped establish large, regional landscape efforts such as the Pennsylvania Wilds -- an initiative that is regarded as a national model for mobilizing and coordinating an array of conservation, tourism promotion, economic development and community revitalization interests.

Under DiBerardinis, the commonwealth invested more than $415 million in rehabilitation and improvements to Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. He instituted measures to connect citizens to recreational and conservation activities at these attractions like the adventure camps for urban youth to explore the outdoors and the construction of a nature inn at Bald Eagle State Park to offer overnight accommodations beyond the traditional camping experience.

He also launched the iConserve Pennsylvania outreach effort to encourage people to practice conservation in their everyday lives and helped expand TreeVitalize, the statewide metropolitan tree planting initiative. The goal of TreeVitalize is to plant one million trees across the commonwealth to restore cover, educate citizens about caring for our environment, and build capacity among local governments to understand, protect and restore urban trees.

DiBerardinis' resignation takes effect April 3.

Potter County Tests Weather Emergency Response

Weather Emergency Response Exercise
James Steiner, Emergency Management Coordinator of Potter County Dept. of Emergency Services, coordinates his emergency response team at the weather emergency test exercise Thursday at the new Potter County 911 Center in Coudersport.

A weather emergency response test conducted by the Potter County Department of Emergency Services, in conjunction with the statewide weather emergency exercise, was concluded shortly after 12:30 this afternoon and an assessment is now underway to pinpoint areas for improvement. Under the scenario, the National Weather Service reported the imminent arrival of strong storms expected to spawn heavy rain and result in severe flooding. The Potter County Emergency Operations Center was activated for a weather emergency and responders sprung into action.
These amateur radio operators were on hand to establish communications in areas where conventional communications were knocked out in this simulated weather emergency.

Flood warnings were issued and emergency shelters were opened at the Roulette Firehall, Coudersport High School, Harrison Valley Community Building and churches in Mills and Brookland. The plot thickened when a tornado touched down on the west side of Roulette, causing severe damage and entrapment at the Potter County Human Services building. A second tornado hit the Austin area, causing severe damage to the Emporium Specialties building. An unknown chemical was released into Freeman Run, prompting a hazardous materials response with assistance from Elk County.
GIS Technician Joe Gerhart checks a file before producing a map of one of the affected areas in the simulated emergency weather response exercise.

Authorities then reported that the North Fork Dam was breached. Tioga County was notified to prepare for high water.

At that point, on the advice of the Department of Emergency Services, Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Susan Kefover and Paul Heimel declared a state of emergency and delivered the hand-signed document to Emergency Services for dissemination.

Those injured in the collapse of the Potter County Human Services building were rescued. Fifteen were taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and five to Bradford Regional Medical Center. Two were treated at the scene.

Emergency response team mans the radio and dispatch console in the emergency operations center while a co-ordinated response to the simulated weather emergency was conducted.

Route 872 was closed by high water at the Cooney Bridge and the Costello Bridge.

Electricity went out in Roulette, Austin, and Coudersport. Fire departments responded to help those affected.

A fire at the Ulysses Low-Income Housing complex resulted in an evacuation by buses to the Northern Potter High School. Five people were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

Reports arrived that three bridges were taken out by high water from the breach of the North Fork Dam.

Once the organizers of the drill had gathered enough information on the responses to these multiple incidents, the exercise was concluded.

Scam Artists Attempt To Get Information

State police at DuBois
The Progress News
Police are investigating reports by several residents who have been receiving phone calls concerning threats of compromised bank accounts.

The callers ask for banking information and threaten to cancel the account if the person does not comply.

Residents are warned not to fall for this scam and to never give personal information over the phone or through any communication devices.

Questions regarding accounts should be directed to a resident's financial institution.

Susan Leath Named Publisher Of Centre Daily Times

New publisher of Centre Daily Times named
Centre Daily Times
The McClatchy Company today named Susan D. Leath as president and publisher of the Centre Daily Times.

Leath has been the top advertising and marketing executive at the Centre Daily Times since joining the newspaper in July 2005 and has held a variety of advertising executive roles over her 20-year media career. She replaces Adrian Pratt, who is resigning to pursue other interests. The change is effective immediately.

"I want to thank Adrian for his very capable leadership and wish him all the best in his next endeavors," said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and chief executive officer, in a news release. "While we're sorry to see Adrian go, we're pleased to promote Susan to this important post. She's an energetic leader, a proven performer and a wonderful fit to guide the Centre Daily Times to a bright future."

Leath, 44, joined the Centre Daily Times from The Tuscaloosa News in Alabama, where she spent two years as advertising director. From 1997 to 2003, Leath was a sales manager at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida where she managed a variety of advertising categories, including automotive, travel, finance and insurance. In 1998, she was named the newspaper's National Sales Person of the Year and was among the paper's top sales performers from 1998 to 2002.

Leath previously held advertising positions at The Gainesville Sun in Florida and WCJB TV-20, the ABC affiliate in Gainesville. She began her sales career at the Ocala Star-Banner, also in Florida. More...