New County Arts Council Debuts With Free Concert

May 20th, 2024 Comments off

A new countywide arts and culture organization, the Potter County Creative Council (PC3), will host its first public concert at 7 pm Wednesday, May 22, at the First Presbyterian Church at Main and Fourth streets in Coudersport. An acclaimed chamber music ensemble, the Felix Piano Trio, will be the headliner. Opening the show will be two accomplished local teen musicians, Elizabeth Crawford from Northern Potter High School on piano and Ty Woodard-Furman from Coudersport Area High School on trombone. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted.

Two of the Felix Trio members operate the respected Wada Music School in Auburn, N.Y., which is dedicated to nurturing the musical potential of its students and inspiring a lifelong love for music as well as a sense of community. Pianist Ritsuko Wada has studied in her native Japan as well as in Italy and the U.S. She has won numerous awards and has shared her expertise as a teacher since 1991. Cellist Rintaro Wada has performed in solo, chamber music and orchestral settings in Japan, Italy, and the U.S. He currently is the string teacher at the Ithaca (N.Y.) City School District. Violinist Edgar Rumajyan is a native of Armenia. He has been a member of five major U.S. orchestras and has performed chamber music in Russia, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Bolivia.

Wednesday’s concert was made possible by a contribution from long-time arts supporter Dr. Ronnie Schenkein of Coudersport. Major program support is provided by the Pa. Council on the Arts. On Wednesday afternoon, the Felix Trio will present a matinee for students at Coudersport Area High School, underscoring the nonprofit PC3’s mission to work with all of the school districts in Potter County. PC3 is also supported by the Potter County Commissioners as a component of the “Revitalize Potter County” initiative. Its overarching mission is to reverse population losses and outmigration of young adults by making Potter County communities more vibrant and appealing.

 

Youth Leadership Program Recruitment Underway

May 10th, 2024 Comments off

Local governments and community organizations in Potter County have been struggling with not only declining numbers of volunteers, but also with the lack of leadership. Its impact can be seen everywhere from empty ballots on election day to “burnout” from the faithful few who pitch in to keep some civic groups from disbanding. Potter County Education Council has come up with a novel approach that focuses on developing the leaders of tomorrow in their teenage years. Recruiting continues for the Potter County Youth Leadership Program, open to those who will be entering grades 10 through 12 in the fall at Austin, Coudersport, Galeton, Northern Potter, Oswayo Valley and Port Allegany schools.

Participants will meet one day each month from September through March and emerge with a greater understanding of the county’s strengths and challenges, a broad knowledge of local career and volunteer opportunities, leadership skills and pointers on how to work effectively in a team setting. There is no fee. Applications are available at high school offices or at the Potter County Education Center at 5 Water Street in Coudersport. Deadline to apply is Tuesday, May 21. For more information, contact Janine Morley at jmorley@pcedcouncil.org or 814-274-4877.

Safety Alert As Motorcyclists’ Ranks Continue To Grow

May 6th, 2024 Comments off

Members of the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) God’s Country Chapter attended Thursday’s meeting of the Potter County Board of Commissioners to draw attention to the designation of May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. For its part, ABATE promotes safe driving techniques and equipment maintenance. The proclamation calls on drivers to be aware of motorcycles on the streets and highways. The commissioners pointed out that the ranks of motorcyclists have been growing in recent years, making it more important than ever for drivers to be aware of their presence and share the road. They also noted that the hobby has had a positive economic impact in Potter County, which is an increasingly popular destination for riders.

Next Jail Board Meeting Scheduled For June 7

April 30th, 2024 Comments off

The Potter County Jail Board public meeting originally scheduled for May 4 has been cancelled. The next meeting will be held at noon on Tuesday, June 7, at the F.W. Gunzburger County Office Building auditorium. Telephone access to the meetings is available at 814-274-0844; PIN is #114477.

Board members are Commissioner Paul Heimel (chair), Sheriff Kevin Siska (vice chair), Commissioner Nancy Grupp, Judge Stephen Minor, District Attorney Andy Watson, and Commissioner Robert Rossman.

Those with questions or comments about the jail are reminded that they can submit them to the board through email sent to pcjailboard@pottercountypa.net.

County Seeks Volunteers For Important Agencies

April 30th, 2024 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Robert Rossman continue to seek volunteers willing to serve on any of several county authorities, commissions and advisory boards. In an effort to broaden diversity, geographic representation and background knowledge, the Board of Commissioners periodically issues call for volunteers. Goal is to build a roster of qualified individuals who have a willingness to serve. As vacancies arise or incumbents’ terms expire, the commissioners will rely on that these rosters to determine potential appointees for agencies such as:

Potter County Planning Commission. Administers subdivision and land use/development regulations; countywide comprehensive planning; regional advocacy on transportation funding priorities and other initiatives; GIS services; reliable resource/liaison for township and borough governments.

Potter County Redevelopment Authority. Economic development; support services for business and industry; administration of federal/state grants and loans for economic development.

Potter County Housing Authority. Administration of programs meeting needs for safe, healthy and affordable housing.

Potter County Human Services. Multiple advisory boards to guide administrators on meeting local social service needs.

Potter County Solid Waste Authority. Operation of transfer station/recycling center in Gold; administration of state-approved solid waste management/flow ordinance.

Potter County Hospital Authority. Public agency assisting UPMC Cole in acquisition of funds for capital improvements and implementation of long-term planning objectives.

Farmland Preservation Board. Responsible for purchase of development rights to preserve agricultural land.

Local Emergency Planning Committee. Coordinates activities of firefighters, emergency medical services, fire police and related responders; liaison with Potter County Department of Emergency Services for training, funding opportunities, drills/exercises to test preparedness.

Those wishing to be considered for appointment should contact Paige Barroqueiro at 814-274-8290, ext. 209 or pbarroqueiro@pottercountypa.net.

County Reports Success In Reducing Repeat Offenders

April 25th, 2024 Comments off

Criminal justice reforms that have been implemented in Potter County are having a measurable impact in reducing crime and lowering jail populations. Details were shared during this month’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board meeting by Patrick Harris, a Potter County Human Services employee who provides re-entry services for criminal offenders. Harris reported that recidivism — a key measure of repeat offenders — has declined by five percent over the past 18 months. Additionally, inmate population at the Potter County Jail is down by approximately 33 percent from the levels of one year ago.

Harris and Judge Stephen Minor discussed the ongoing efforts to establish a state-certified Re-entry Coalition in Potter County, consisting of partners from the criminal justice system and various agencies teaming to provide those who are emerging from incarceration with the tools and services they need to succeed in society.

“For some people, the needs are many,” Harris said. “Some people are emerging with nothing. We’re putting together a team that will work together to make re-entry work in Potter County.” He added some of the most pressing needs are jobs that pay a livable wage, transportation and assistance in navigating social service programs. On a positive note, Harris added, the Women’s Residential Rehabilitation Center in Harrison Valley has reduced recidivism, as have the multiple “transformational living” temporary housing units established by the county.

Judge Minor noted that the Drug/Alcohol Treatment Court has also contributed to positive outcomes. With concurrence from the District Attorney and the Judge, some criminal offenders diagnosed with addiction can avoid incarceration by consenting to treatment and following other mandates. The judge said that two offenders recently “graduated” from Treatment Court, while two others — both females facing a third DUI charge that carried a prison sentence — had been accepted into the program.