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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Thanks For The Prayers

Jim is still in the hospital and will be there for a few days as they run some tests. Thank you all so much for the prayers and patience as we try to keep on top of the blog...Jim is the brains behind the news.
Cynthia

Max R. ELDRIDGE, 81, of Wellsville, NY

Max R. ELDRIDGE

Army Reserves Vet
Max R. ELDRIDGE, 81, of Wellsville, NY, died Thursday, February 13, 2020 in Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, NY. 

Born August 5, 1938, in Wellsville, he was the son of Ward P. and Ethel I. Burdge Eldridge. On August 7, 1965, in Wellsville, he married the former Mary F. Morrison, who predeceased him on March 27, 2018. 

A graduate of Wellsville Central School, he served honorably with the US Army Reserves. Max was employed as a machinist by Dresser Rand in Wellsville. 

Surviving are: two children, Thomas Eldridge of Wellsville and Laurie (Nathan) Munley of Buffalo; four grandchildren, Julie (Dustin White) Eldridge, Cameron Munley, Eian Munley, and Lillian Munley; a great-grandson, Chase White; a brother, Dale (Joyce) Eldridge of Wellsville; nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Donna Geffers. 

Friends may call at Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM, with Funeral Services following at 5:00 PM. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellsville. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wellsvillefuneralhome.com.

Emogene L. Houghtaling, 91, of Coudersport, PA

Emogene L. Houghtaling

Emogene L. Houghtaling, 91, of Coudersport, PA passed away Friday, February 14, 2020, at UPMC – Cole, Coudersport.

Emogene was born on August 29, 1928 in Coudersport, the daughter of the late Theodore L. and Neva (Brady) Brewer. She married John W. Houghtaling on September 27, 1947 in Olean and they celebrated 50 years of marriage until his passing on December 8, 1997.

Emogene was a wonderful homemaker and worked as a waitress at the former Fischer’s Restaurant and Potato City and the Hotel Crittenden, Coudersport. She was a member of the Christ Episcopal Church, Coudersport. She enjoyed her time with her family, baking, reading, word puzzles and playing cards.

Emogene is survived by two sons, Dave Houghtaling and Timothy (Midge) Houghtaling all of Coudersport; three daughters, Evec (Joel) Ivory of Sebastian, FL; Sheila (Robert) Luke of Palm Bay, FL; and Brenda (Gene) Baller of Nanticoke; a daughter-in-law, Kathie Houghtaling of Roulette; 12 grandchildren, 6 step grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, a great great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her parents and husband, Emogene was preceded in death by a son, Michael Houghtaling, four brothers and six sisters.

Friends and family are invited to pay tribute to Emogene’s life on Tuesday February 18, 2020 from 5 pm – 7 pm at the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home 210 North East Street Coudersport, with a funeral service to follow with Rev. John Kallerson officiating. A private burial will be in Eulalia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family suggest memorial contributions in Emogene’s name be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

To share your fondest memories of Emogene or to sign her guestbook, please visit www.thomasfickinger.com


Structure Fire At Sweden Valley Manor

At 6:30 pm on Saturday Febuary 15, Coudersport St.48 Responding to a structure fire at Sweden valley manor; Mckean County ST.3 assisting. Fire is in the breakroom.

Register For Coudersport Area Spring Soccer Season Monday, Feb. 17th and Thurs., Feb. 20th

Roulette Fire Department responds to a Chimney Fire on February 14

As of 2/14/20 19:29:25 2020-00004706 FIRE CHIMNEY E BRANCH FISHING CREEK RD, CLARA TWP REILY RES.

Just before 7:30 pm tonight, station 46 was dispatched for a possible chimney fire. C46-20 (Ingalls) was already on scene and established Roulette Command. Engine 46, Patrol 46-4, Ambulance 46-6, and the remaining chiefs all made the response within minutes of dispatch. Due to the remote location, pickup trucks had to be utilized to transport firefighters to the scene with tools. An active chimney fire was quickly contained with extensive overhaul. 46 units operated on scene for approximately 1 hour until conditions were safe to leave to the property owner. Big thanks to McKean 3 for providing a standby crew at our station while we were out.

Respectfully,
Justin W. Fillhart
C-46

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Howard Hannah Realty Pioneers Hosting "Home Sellers Seminars", RSVP Now!


Coudesport Ambulance dispatched to Dollar General for an assault victim

At 12:59 pm on Saturday, Coudersport Ambulance has been dispatched to the Chestnut Street Dollar General to assist boro police with an assault victim.

Reported that an individual hit another individual with a hammer and fled the scene.

Potter County Commissioners February 13th Meeting Agenda


DANIEL CLARK OF DUBOIS BRINGS FIRST COYOTE TO THE STATEWIDE PREDATOR HUNT AT ROLFE BEAGLE CLUB, JOHNSONBURG

Daniel Clark shows off his large, black-mane coyote.
Daniel Clark of DuBois brought the first coyote to the Rolfe Beagle Club’s statewide coyote and fox hunt, running from 2/14-16, and 2/21-23. Daniel was hunting in Snyder Township of Jefferson County and called in a beautiful, black-tipped male coyote that tipped the scales at 39 pounds. Daniel shoots a .223 caliber rifle and uses calls for his hunting. Daniel shot the coyote with the black mane at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, 2/14.

Predator hunters wishing to still register for the second weekend must have their registration in by Thursday, 2/20. Contact Mary Hosmer at wlhab@windstream.net or 814-512-2101 to register.

All harvested predators will be weighed in at 4:00 p.m. on all five remaining days of the hunt.

The Rolfe Beagle Club is located at 1016 Long Level Road, Johnsonburg, Pa. 15845 for hunters mailing in their registration, or you can drop off your registration at the clubhouse on Sunday morning.

Penn State DuBois faculty member teams with journal, champions regional authors

has been tapped to serve on the board of directors
for The Watershed Journal, as well as the
The Watershed Literary Group.

For more than three decades, Penn State DuBois’ Associate Professor of English Tony Vallone has shared his passion for literature, poetry, and all forms of writing. He has inspired many to pursue their own careers in literary arts and has even helped both students and non-students get their work published through his own publishing company, MAMMOTH Books. Now, Vallone is impacting an even greater number of aspiring writers by lending his expertise to The Watershed Journalas a member of its board of directors.

Based in Brookville, PA, The Watershed Journal is a project passionately founded and managed by Jessica Weible and Sarah Rossey. Their mission is to provide an outlet for individuals throughout the Northwestern PA region to have their work published. Released quarterly, the publication not only welcomes all forms of literary work, but also accepts submissions of local photography.

“We really accept a broad range of storytelling,” said Weible, a former English teacher who serves as executive editor of the journal. “Photography, visual arts, poetry, all types of writing including flash fiction, journalism, and short stories. Being all-inclusive is a big part of our mission. We want to include as many people as we can.”

By remaining inclusive, Rossey and Weible have filled a need previously unmet in the region, providing local artists an outlet through which they can share their voices.

“There isn’t a lot of representation for the arts here in this region,” Weible said, noting that she relocated to the area from the more suburban landscape of Boiling Springs, PA where she was also a freelance writer for newspapers. “We started the journal because there just wasn’t much opportunity for local writers to be published.”

A new opportunity was created when Weible and Rossey first met at the Brookville Library where both had children involved in youth programing. The pair quickly formed a friendship bonded by a shared love for writing, and the idea of a local publication was born.

Rossey, who holds a degree in philosophy and a minor in English, also freelanced for newspapers in the past. She recalled, “Jess started a writer’s group in 2017 and approached the group about doing a publication because it was tough getting published. The game of publishing is always changing and it’s tough to keep up with it. So, she pitched the idea and the group showed interest. Our first issue came out in June of 2018.”

Since their start, The Watershed Journal has enjoyed rapid and almost overwhelming growth. Their initial writer’s group had only five members, and today the journal boasts around 40 contributors to its latest edition, according to Rossey, who maintains the journal’s website and works as managing editor.

Vallone said the opportunities the journal provides for those who may not otherwise see their work published got him excited about getting involved. He shared, “There’s always been a philanthropic piece to publishing for me, and these two women see it the same way. They’re so enthusiastic about it, so I was very interested in working with them.”

Equally important, Vallone said, is making the work of local artists available for the public to enjoy. “So much of what people are doing locally is really good,” Vallone said. “I want to see these people take advantage of getting published in the journal, and hopefully some of them can take it even further.”

The Watershed group has plans to take their own work further already, by moving into publishing books. They’re accepting submissions from local authors online at https://thewatershedjournal.org/through April 1, 2020, and have invited Vallone to serve on The Watershed Literary Group, helping to choose the first manuscript for publication.

“We’ll bring out a couple of small books a year, focusing on writers from the region and smaller communities where there aren’t many resources for this,” Vallone said. “I hope we can get people from the campus involved.”

In addition to Vallone, Philip Terman, a professor of English at Clarion University, is collaborating on the book project. Terman said, “Watershed Journal is beneficial by providing a forum to publish regional writers and artists. They offer workshops and gatherings that educate regional writers of all ages. It’s an invaluable asset to the region,” he continued, noting the benefits contributors enjoy by having the chance to pursue their passion. He said, “The journal offers opportunities for publishing and promoting their work, building their confidence as writers, and helping greatly in the cultural life of our region.”

Terman has been an educator for 28 years and, like Vallone, is a published poet with five books of poetry to his credit. Combined, the two professors have brought almost immeasurable experience to the Watershed team, helping to make it possible for the journal to expand their efforts into books.

Weible said, “Without Tony and Phil, I’m not sure we would have had the wherewithal or confidence to move forward.”

Rossey added, “They have a passion specifically for regional authorship. They’ve been in publishing a long time. It’s so great to have this expertise.”

This expertise, Rossey noted, will not only provide a voice for Northwestern, PA, but help to shine a new light on the region. She explained, “There can be a lot of different ways the region is portrayed. We get to present a more realistic version of what life and people here are really like. We get to present something more real.”

Copies of The Watershed Journal are available for purchase at Fusion Café, Brookville;ArtFunkles, Clarion; B’s Books, Punxsutawney; Through the Woods, Clarington;and Rosie’s Book Shoppe, DuBois. Digital copies are available through Amazon, and back copies can be obtained through the Watershed Website at https://thewatershedjournal.org/back-issues/

The Watershed team regularly holds writer’s workshops for those looking for feedback and advice. The next workshop is planned for 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on March 8, at Fusion Café in Brookville.

Goodies for Our Troops Indoor Yard Sale Today!!

We still have LOTS of wonderful stuff including stuff the vinyl records and lots of other stuff that were left at the storage unit, 11 wonderful Silent Auction items, and our 50/50 raffle! 

We're open 10AM til 4PM and will draw the winning tickets for the Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle starting at 4PM. You don't need to be present at the drawing; we will call the winners!

If you came yesterday, THANK YOU SO MUCH, and you may want to come again today to see all the new stuff that wasn't there yesterday!

Gwendolen Minnie Emmas Winans Morehouse, 99, of Friendship

Gwendolen Minnie Emma Winans Morehouse

Gwendolen Minnie Emmas Winans Morehouse, 99, of 3952 Rte 275, Friendship passed away Thursday, February 13, 2020 at the Wellsville Manor Care Center after a brief illness.

She was born in Montreal Canada on July 19, 1920. Her parents were Bartlett and Pearl Gridley Winans. She moved with her family to the United States at the age of two. While she lived and worked in the Friendship NY area all her life, she remained a Canadian citizen. Gwen was a “Rosie the Riviter” as she joined in the WWII workforce while her future husband Edwin Jarvis Morehouse served in the European Theater. She moved to Philadelphia to work at a defense plant welding military components. She later worked at Acme Electric Corp. in Cuba NY retiring from that company. After the war she married Edwin “Jarv” and had three children.

She was a lifetime member of the United Church of Friendship.

She is survived by
A Son Al (Bessie) Morehouse Friendship
A son-in-law Robert Landon King Ferry, NY
A daughter-in-law Debra Morehouse Lincoln, California
Her Siblings
Lois Sorensen Huntington, PA
Audrey Cunningham Olean
Evelyn Hertzog Friendship
LeRoy (Martha) Winans Tuscon, Arizona
Robert (Jean) Winans Tuscon, Arizona
13 grandchildren, Betty Warner, Barbara Lockwood, Dale (Connie Sue) Lockwood, Todd (Katherine) Morehouse, George (Dessie) Ritter, Tim (Lan) Pratt, William (Stephanie) Landon, Caren (Brian) Donovan, Donald Morehouse, Christopher (Tami) Morehouse, Alicia (Garrett) Brandenburger, Scott (Amy) Langner
numerous great grandchildren
Several Nieces and Nephews

Deborah (Kerry) Warren
Her surviving grandchildren are:
Betty Warner
Barbara Lockwood
Dale (Connie Sue) Lockwood
Todd (Katherine) Morehouse
George (Dessie) Ritter
Tim (Lan) Pratt
William S. (Stephanie) Landon
Caren (Brian) Donovan
Donald Morehouse
Christopher (Tami) Morehouse
Alicia (Garrett) Brandenburger
Scott (Amy) Langner

In addition to her husband Edwin on November 5, 1969, she was predeceased a daughter Sylvia Ann Landon, a son Allan Jarvis Morehouse, a grand daughter Deborah (Kerry) Warren and 2 Brothers and spouses Kenneth (Evelyn) Winans and Gerald (Leska) Winans, a three brother-in-laws Howard Sorensen, Norman Cunningham, and Gerald Hertzog.

Friends will be received at the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., 9 Bull Street, on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 2-4 & 7-9 P.M. Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at the Untied Church of Friendship, 31 E. Main Street, Friendship at 10:00 A.M. The Rev. Kirk Kirch will officiate.

Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Friendship, NY.

Memorials may be made to the Untied Church of Friendship or to a charity of the donors choice.

Online condolences may be sent at www.rinkerfuneralhome.com.

Harrisburg news for State Rep. Matt Gabler

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Headline Harrisburg
Saturday, February 15, 2020 The latest news from the State Capitol

This email includes:
•   PA Budget Hearings Begin Tuesday
•   Attention Veterans
•   Calling All Hunters
•   Election Reforms in Effect for April 28 Primary Election
 

PA Budget Hearings Begin Tuesday

 

Presented with a costly $36 billion budget proposal from Gov. Tom Wolf – one that would increase state spending more than $2 billion over the current year’s enacted budget - my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee and I will get to work starting next week on investigating the governor’s funding requests and the actual needs of state agencies.

Here is a schedule of testifiers for the hearings, which may be viewed live online at www.pahousegop.com:

Tuesday, Feb. 18
10 a.m. - Department of Revenue (including Lottery)
1 p.m. - Independent Fiscal Office
3 p.m. - Department of Aging

Wednesday, Feb. 19
10 a.m. - Department of State
1 p.m. - Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
3 p.m. - Department of Labor and Industry

Thursday, Feb. 20
10 a.m. - PA State Police/Homeland Security
1 p.m. - Criminal Justice: Department of Corrections, Board of Probation and Parole and Board of Pardons
 

Attention Veterans


On Tuesday, March 3, Service Officer Bradley Baranski from the Pennsylvania American Legion will visit my DuBois district office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer individual questions and offer information on programs and benefits to the men and women who serve and have served our country.

You do not need to make an appointment with my district office staff.

Thank you Brad for your service to our country, and to the veterans who serve and have served it as well!
 

Calling All Hunters


The Pennsylvania Game Commission is hosting a hunter training course on Saturday, March 21, at the Ridgway Rifle Club off Grant Road.

This course is required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers before they can purchase a license.

If you are interested in registering for the class, please click here.
 

Election Reforms in Effect for April 28 Primary Election


Comprehensive reforms designed to encourage greater participation in our elections will be in place for the upcoming April 28 Primary Election.

Anyone not already registered to vote now has more time to do so. You may register online or in person at your county courthouse up to 15 days prior to an election, which is April 13.

For the first time, voters may choose to cast their ballots by mail for no reason other than convenience. The ballots will work similarly to absentee ballots, but voters need not be out of town or otherwise unavailable to vote in person to qualify for a mail-in ballot.

You may apply for the mail-in or absentee ballots by clicking here.

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is 5 p.m. the Tuesday before the election, which is April 21. The completed ballot must be received via mail or dropped off in person at your county elections office, by 8 p.m. on Election Day, April 28.

The last day for county election boards to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 p.m. April 27) is a week after the election, May 5.

Also under the new law, voters who have a permanent disability may ask to be placed on a permanent absentee voter list. Voters on this list will have an absentee ballot application mailed to them by the first Monday in February each year. If you complete and return the application, the county will send you ballots in the mail for all the elections that take place that year, as well as for any special election held through the third Monday in February of the next year.

For more information about the upcoming election, click here.

Austin Fire Dispatched to two vehicle MVA on Rt. 872

At 12:25 pm on Saturday, Austin Fire Dept has been dispatched to 497 Rt. 872 for a two vehicle motor vehicle accident with one injury.

On scene reports indicate a patient with a leg injury.

St. Marys Area United Way Awards Grant

Jason Gabler, St. Marys Area United Way President and Lewis Murray, United Way Board Member presented a $80,000 grant award to the St. Marys Boys and Girls Club Chief Executive Director, Joe Jacob; Board President, Frank Kaul; and Sandy Florig, Board Member.

The St. Marys Boys and Girls Club was the first rural club started by the National Boys and Girls Club. St. Marys Area United Way has a long-standing relationship of over 97 years with the club. When this relationship first started, United Way was known as the Community Chest. This 97-year kinship has only been possible because of strong community support. The Boys & Girls Club plans to use this grant, as it has always in the past, to help fund a portion of its operating expenses. The balance of expenses is covered by the club’s annual campaign. The club receives no funding from state or government grants. Therefore, besides the minimal membership fees, the Club relies on grant funding and local donors to help keep the club functioning and viable since 1925.

In 2019, the club had over 300 youth members with an average daily attendance of 57 youth members. Some of the more notable after-school programs, offered to the youth members, include: Homework Club where certified teachers are available to help children with their homework; Cooking Club to learn how to cook easy meals at home; S.T.E.M Hour to further skills relating to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Read to Eat similar to school’s Book-It program; and, Community Care where children learn to recycle and clean up the downtown area and local parks. Last year, the club launched a new summer program for school-age children. The club is on schedule with plans for Summer Program 2020 already in place, with new and exciting activities designed to enhance critical thinking skills and corresponding field trips. Full details and applications will be available on March 1, 2020. For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of St. Marys, call 814-781-1910.

The St. Marys Area United Way has served the citizens of the City of St. Marys and surrounding counties since 1925. Making a contribution to the St. Marys Area United Way allows the donor to provide support to local agencies. In 2019, the St. Marys Area United Way distributed $127,850 to the following agencies: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club of St. Marys, CAPSEA, Catholic Charities Counseling, City of St. Marys Recreation and Parks, Dickinson Center, Girl Scouts of Western PA, Guardian Angels Center, St. Marys Public Library, Veteran’s Memorial Eternal Flame, and Life and Independence For Today (LIFT).

The St. Marys Area United Way relies on the contributions from companies and local individuals. Those donations support the financial needs of non-profit agencies that serve the health and human welfare needs of our community. If you would like to become one of these individual or corporate donors, please call 781-6000 or mail your check to the St. Marys Area United Way, 44 So. St. Marys Street, St. Marys, PA 15857

State Capitol News from State Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, February 14, 2020 The latest news from the State Capitol


Rep. Clint Owlett and I had a great conversation this week with newly elected Potter County Commissioners Barry Hayman and Nancy Grupp. Stream clearing, agriculture, fire and EMS are just a few of the topics we covered in our discussions about how we can work together for the region.
 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Clinics Next Week

Thank you to everyone who came out for the free Property Tax/Rent Rebate clinic in Kane last week. If you weren’t able to make it, you are more than welcome to visit the Kane district office at 55 Fraley St. for assistance. Or we have several additional clinics coming up, including the following scheduled for next week:
•   Tuesday, Feb. 18: Mt. Jewett Senior Center, 8 E. Main St., Mt. Jewett – 1-2 p.m.
•   Wednesday, Feb. 19: Eldred Senior Center, 169 Main St., Eldred – 9:30-11 a.m.
•   Wednesday, Feb. 19: Smethport Senior Center, 119 W. Main St., Smethport – 1-2:30 p.m.

Sessions are also planned later this month in the following community senior centers: Bradford, Oswayo Valley, Emporium, Port Allegany, Coudersport and Ulysses. Details are available at www.RepCauser.com.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Eligibility income limits are set at $15,000 for renters and $35,000 for homeowners, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits. Also, applicants with veterans disability benefits and/or pensions do not need to declare that income.

Residents are reminded to bring all necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.

For more information, contact my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor, phone 814-362-4400); Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1, phone 814-274-9769) or Kane (55 Fraley St., phone 814-837-0880).
 

Election Reforms in Effect for April 28 Primary Election

Comprehensive reforms designed to encourage greater participation in our elections will be in place for the upcoming April 28 Primary Election.

Anyone not already registered to vote now has more time to do so. You may register online or in person at your county courthouse up to 15 days prior to an election, which is April 13.

For the first time, voters may choose to cast their ballots by mail for no reason other than convenience. The ballots will work similarly to absentee ballots, but voters need not be out of town or otherwise unavailable to vote in person to qualify for a mail-in ballot.

You may apply for the mail-in or absentee ballots here.


The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is 5 p.m. the Tuesday before the election, which is April 21. The completed ballot must be received via mail, or dropped off in person at your county elections office, by 8 p.m. on Election Day, April 28.

The last day for county election boards to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 p.m. April 27) is a week after the election, May 5.

Also under the new law, voters who have a permanent disability may ask to be placed on a permanent absentee voter list. Voters on this list will have an absentee ballot application mailed to them by the first Monday in February each year. If you complete and return the application, the county will send you ballots in the mail for all the elections that take place that year, as well as for any special election held through the third Monday in February of the next year.

For more information about the upcoming election, click here.
 

Think Spring! Trout Stocking Schedules Available

A much-needed sign that spring is just around the corner – trout stocking schedules from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are now available at my local offices, online and at the FishBoatPA mobile app.

The schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates and the species of trout that will be stocked. The commission plans to once again stock approximately 3.2 million trout in 707 streams and 130 lakes open to public angling. PFBC plans to double the amount of trophy-sized trout being stocked to approximately 60,000 fish, 70% of which are slated to be stocked during the preseason.

The 2020 trout season will officially open Saturday, March 28, with the Regional Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day program in 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. The following weekend – Saturday, April 4 – kicks off the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season in the same 18 southeastern counties.

A second Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day will be held on April 11, the Saturday before the April 18 regular statewide opening day of trout season.

For more information on trout stocking, trout season and how to obtain a 2020 fishing license, visit www.fishandboat.com.
 

Hearings to Review 2020-21 PA Budget Proposal Start Tuesday

Presented with a costly $36 billion budget proposal from Gov. Tom Wolf – one that would increase state spending more than $2 billion over the current year’s enacted budget – members of the House Appropriations Committee will get to work next week investigating the governor’s funding requests and the actual needs of state agencies.

The annual budget hearings kick off at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with the Department of Revenue, which includes the state lottery, and continue that afternoon with the non-partisan Independent Fiscal Office and the Department of Aging.

On Wednesday, the committee will hear from leaders of the departments of State, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Labor and Industry. Thursday’s hearings will focus on criminal justice with the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Corrections and the boards of Pardons, and Probation and Parole.
                                    
For more information about the 2020-21 state budget proposal, click here. For a hearing schedule, or to watch live streams or archived video of the budget hearings, click here.
 

PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 17. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
 

Sign Up to Continue Receiving My Weekly Email Updates

If you would like to continue receiving my legislative updates throughout the 60-day blackout period that limits what I can send you before an election, click here and simply enter your email. This will guarantee that you keep receiving my weekly updates. Please know that your information will not be shared with any third party.
 

Attendees again feel the love at Mental Wellness-grant supported Swizzy’s Cause Valentine’s event

In 2019, 100 individuals received a reminder to love themselves, thanks to the Love Yourself Valentines Day program at the YMCA, supported by a grant from the Mental Wellness in Cattaraugus County Fund.

With the support of a second grant from the Mental Wellness in Cattaraugus County Fund, some 120 attendees received that same assuring reminder this year at the second annual “Love yourself – You Matter” event, led by the YMCA and ReHabiliation Center’s Swizzy’s Cause program.

Swizzy’s Cause provides support to individuals who may be struggling with depression or other mental health problems on-site at the YMCA while connecting clients with valuable community resources and services.

“Barb [Sweitzer, YMCA of the Twin Tiers CEO] approached me to come up with an event in order to bring awareness to the Care Coordination Program using this grant [in 2019]. I then came up with the ‘Love Yourself- You Matter’ Event,” said Ashley Lowe, Swizzy’s Cause Care Coordinator. “I wanted this event to focus on the people I served. It was important to make everyone feel good when entering the event and also kick start what may have been a more difficult day into a day filled with positive activities.”

For the second year, attendees received free services to make them more positive, like free flowers donated by Scarlet Lily, free massages by Dana Boser, free haircuts from Hello Gorgeous and more.

This year the program added two special speakers: Amy Mann, a licensed mental health counselor, clinic director and suicide prevention coalition coordinator for Cattaraugus Community Services; and Melissa Ball, (SPOA) single point of access coordinator for Cattaraugus County, case management program director for Cattaraugus County Community Services and a licensed mental health counselor.

Their presentations focused on suicide prevention, positive affirmations and self-talk, all principles championed by the Swizzy’s Cause Program.

Since last year’s Love Yourself program, the Swizzy’s Cause Care Coordinator Program has continued to expand, according to Lowe.

“I have received a total of 123 referrals since 2018. My current caseload is at 31 active participants,” said Lowe. “Since 2018, there have been 1,021 referrals made to outside sources. These referrals include but are not limited to mental health, developmental health, housing, educational, employment, volunteer opportunities, and community events.”

According to CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit, the Foundation’s board of directors decided to help fund the program again in 2020 due to the importance of the Care Coordination program and similar resources for community mental health.

“For those that are struggling, holidays like Valentine’s Day can be difficult,” said Buchheit. “Programs like this and the ongoing efforts of the Care Coordinator Program remind people that they are not alone and there are resources in the community to help them heal.”

Donations can be made to the Mental Wellness Fund in Cattaraugus County at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email foundation@cattfoundation.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).

Beacon Light Behavioral Health System Expands Support in Schools

Beacon Light Behavioral Health System (BLBHS) is partnering with another school district in the region to increase students’ access to Community and School Based Behavioral Health (CSBBH) services. This month, Otto-Eldred Elementary School joined Beacon Light’s list of 12 schools, in response to the growing need for 24/7 children’s mental health care.

“Otto-Eldred Elementary is excited to be able to provide this single point of contact for behavioral health services to the students and families in need within our school which will provide better collaboration and communication with the family, school and outside agency. We believe in supporting the whole child and meeting all needs for children, not just academic, and feel the addition of this program will assist us with this belief,” said Lindsay Burns, Otto-Eldred School District’s Principal of Elementary and Special Education.

Researchers have estimated that up to one in five children living in the U.S. experience a mental health disorder in a given year and half of all mental health illnesses start by age 14, according to the World Health Organization.

Since BLBHS began this program in 2007, the CSBBH team has served nearly 2,400 students with severe emotional or behavioral problems across six different counties. CSBBH teams aid students within the school, home, and community settings whom display struggles within these domains.

Beacon Light’s CSBBH clinical model includes the following services:

· Clinical interventions (individual, family and group therapy)

· Case management

· Crisis services

· Consultation and referrals

The CSBBH team usually includes a CSBBH Director to oversee the program both administratively and clinically. This team specifically includes a Mental Health Professional who holds a Master’s degree and a professional license, a Behavioral Health Worker who is the Bachelor’s level professional, and a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist (that will provide consultation to the team).

“We look forward to working with the Otto-Eldred Elementary School team, students and community,” said Deb Kohler, Beacon Light’s Director of CSBBH Services. “This program allows the opportunity for linkage between home and school. It’s a team approach. It will teach children new ways to manage their feelings and behaviors so the child is ready to learn and become more successful academically, socially and behaviorally. ”

Services are private and confidential. The CSBBH team works with the child, family and school officials. Regular progress reports are provided and parents/guardians are involved in every part of the treatment. There is no charge to parents or students for this service, as it is funded by Community Care.

For more information about CSBBH services at Beacon Light, an affiliate of Journey Health System, call 814-817-1400 extension 1300 or visit www.beacon-light.org.

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