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Seneca to offer input on drilling ordinance proposal

December 17, 2014

While in the preliminary stages of drafting a zoning ordinance pertaining to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, Seneca Resources Corp. has reached out to St. Marys city officials in offering their recommendations for amendments to the proposed ordinance.
Recently, several members of City Council met with Seneca representatives who said the company plans to submit their recommended amendments to the proposed ordinance.
"I have no idea what we're going to see and we'll react to it when we see it," said Tom Wagner, city solicitor.

Education initiatives ramp up in North Central area

December 17, 2014

RIDGWAY – Education was a major point of discussion during Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the executive board of the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission.
This month’s education discussion focused around the entrepreneurial programs that are being started within the region’s high schools, as well as the rural college initiative that is being worked on to bring a post-secondary institution into the area.

Dilley waived for court on arson charges

December 17, 2014

JOHNSONBURG – Jon Frederick Dilley, 54, of Ridgway, waived his preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge George A. "Tony" King Wednesday morning and is scheduled to be arraigned at county court on Jan. 5.
Dilley faces felony charges of arson and risking catastrophe and lesser related offenses stemming from an incident involving a large brush fire on Sept. 21 and the burning of a neighbor's couch.

St. Marys man charged in credit card fraud

December 17, 2014

A St. Marys man faces the felony charge of access device fraud and related offenses for the alleged theft of his mother-in-law's credit card.

3 jailed in storage shed burglaries

December 17, 2014

Three St. Marys residents have been arrested and charged with felony counts of criminal conspiracy, burglary and criminal trespass after police found property in a vehicle that was allegedly removed from a storage shed along Bucktail Road.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were on patrol in the area of Sheetz on Sept. 24 when they encountered Tracy Ann Robinson, 32, Lloyd E. Rairdan, 34, and Christopher McMillen, 23, who had an active arrest warrant.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Robin Williams was the Most Popular Google Search Term of 2014

December 17, 2014

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Robin Williams was the Most Popular Google Search Term of 2014
According to Google, which released a report Tuesday on the top trending terms of the year, the top term overall was "Robin Williams," after the well-known and popular comedian died in August. No. 2 was "World Cup," the global soccer tournament held in Brazil in June. Third on the list was "Ebola," the highly contagious virus.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in dire straits

December 16, 2014

RIDGWAY – The Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Elk County is currently in dire straits as 19 youngsters are waiting for a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister match.
"If we don't find matches for those kids, that's a big opportunity missed," said Cinde Schuckers, a program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters. "Recruitment definitely is one of our areas for concern and we are always looking for new ways to recruit and the avenues to reach out to."
The county currently has 18 volunteer "Bigs" matched with a "Little," but 19 area youth are still waiting.

Recycling center project moving forward

December 16, 2014

RIDGWAY – The Solid Waste Authority has received county approval for the purchase of land at the corner of Ceramic and Stackpole streets in St. Marys for the building of a new recycling center.
"We're out of room at our current location," said Bekki Titchner, recycling and solid waste coordinator for Elk County. "The building is old and has served its purpose. We couldn't have done this with any other organization because we were able to get the property at a very cheap rental fee.

Suspicious van in Mt. Jewett at bus stop causes concern

December 16, 2014

MT. JEWETT – Taking no chances, the Kane Area School District issued an alert to students and parents Tuesday about a possible child abductor lurking in a "white van" at school bus stops.
Dr. Maryann Anderson, school district superintendent, said the alert was prompted by an alleged incident in the Smethport School District.
A Smethport student from the Mt. Jewett area of Hamlin Township reportedly "ran away" from a "white van" that pulled up to a bus stop Tuesday morning. 

VIDEO: NHL star Crosby diagnosed with mumps

December 16, 2014

VIDEO: NHL star Crosby diagnosed with mumps
Crosby is the latest NHL player to be diagnosed with mumps.

Council adopts budget with no tax increase

December 15, 2014

St. Marys City Council adopted its 2015 budget for various city funds during their regular meeting on Monday evening. Next year's budget proposal stands at $7.5 million with no tax increase.
During the public hearing portion of the meeting where residents could pose inquires about the budget to council, Neal Lepovetsky approached the board requesting funding to maintain a dog park, which he is hoping to purchase the land for and donate the property back to the city.

Kersey couple jailed for bath salts charges

December 15, 2014

KERSEY – A Kersey couple became the latest in a growing line of arrests made by the North Central Municipal Drug Force.
Michael Todd Bizzak, 44, and Cynthia Marie Bizzak, 49, of 491 Main St., Kersey, were taken into custody on Dec. 9 when a search warrant was served on their home. Items seized included approximately $3,000 in cash, over 138 grams of suspected alpha-PVP (the drug commonly known as bath salts), numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia, packing materials and electronic devices typically used to order bath salts.

Holiday wreaths honor deceased veterans

December 14, 2014

Despite the cold and gloomy weather conditions Saturday morning, a group of area residents that included girl scouts and members of Elk County Catholic High School's Future Business Leaders of America Chapter gathered at the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery to take part in the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony, which got underway at 12 p.m.
According to Dolly Wehler, who helps coordinate the annual event, roughly 420 holiday wreaths were being placed on veterans' graves this year.

District approves substitute teacher pay increase

December 14, 2014

Substitute teachers at St. Marys Area School District will now receive a rate of $100 per day, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
The SMASD board of directors also voted to reinstate a bonus of $500 for every 30 days of substitute teaching during the school year.
In addition, SMAHS Assistant High School Principal Joseph Schlimm will be moved from a 10-month to a 12-month administrator effective after Jan. 1, 2015. Salary and benefits are to be prorated for the remainder of the 2014-15 school year.

Candle vigil remembers world's lost children

December 14, 2014

RIDGWAY – "The biggest fear we have is that we won't be remembered."
Leslie Neal spoke those words during Sunday's candle lighting ceremony that she helped organize in an attempt to make sure that the area's deceased children will not be forgotten.
Last year, Neal, who lost her 16-year-old son in 2011, started a local candle lighting ceremony in Ridgway along with Elk County Commissioner Jan Kemmer to remember the area's children who died at a young age, much like her son.

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