Two Final Medicare Counseling Sessions Scheduled

November 25th, 2015 Comments off

medicare1Potter County Human Services (PCHS) has been helping Medicare recipients sort through their options and sign up for benefits. “There is a vast amount of information associated with Medicare,” said PCHS’s Barbara Busch. “Much of it is complicated and it changes every year. Information is available to help you make informed decisions about your Medicare choices, protect your rights and possibly lower your out of pocket expenses.” PCHS has trained counselors to share advice about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance. Two more open enrollment events have been scheduled at Potter County Human Services in Roulette from 9 to 4 on Monday, Nov. 30, and 9 to 4 on Friday, Dec. 4. To schedule an appointment or learn more call 1-800-800-2560 or 814-544-7315.


Shale Gas Impact On Agriculture ‘Profound’

November 23rd, 2015 Comments off

pipelines2A State Agriculture Department spokesman presented an eye-opening report on the impact of shale gas production on one of the state’s foundational industry during Sunday’s session of the County Commissioners Assn. of Pa. (CCAP) Natural Gas Task Force in Hershey. Michael Smith, the department’s executive deputy secretary, said the impact will likely be “profound,” in both economic and environmental perspectives.

“The development of shale gas is bringing a transformative change to Pennsylvania, and that includes significant changes in agriculture,” Smith said. He pointed out that Pennsylvania has climbed from 12th in gas production to third, trailing only Texas and Louisiana, and has experienced a 1,200 percent increase in production since 2008. Some 38 percent of electricity generation is Pennsylvania comes from natural gas. The figure was 3 percent in 2008. There have been about 7,200 shale gas wells drilled statewide since 2008. Economists forecast the number will approach 30,000 over the next 15 years.

Smith said some farmers have already received significant lease payments and royalties for mineral rights and many more will benefit in the coming years. This has helped some of them stay in business and acquire new equipment. At the same time, he pointed out, some farmers have opted to leave the business because they can now afford to.

Shale gas is also affecting the workforce, Smith pointed out. “We’re seeing young people in particular leaving the farm for more lucrative jobs in the natural gas industry.” He said the Agriculture Department is studying options to address the outmigration of young farmers, including development of educational programs on career opportunities in farming.

One gas-related activity that could have a significant impact on agriculture is the development of pipelines criss-crossing many fields and forests of rural Pennsylvania. Smith said steps should be taken to steer this development in ways that diminish impact on soil quality and fragmentation. With trees and other vegetation being cleared from pipeline rights-of-way, he noted, it’s important for the acreage to be replanted with plant species that are beneficial to agriculture — pollinating plants, as an example. Lastly, Smith said that Pennsylvania is now third nationally in organic farming sales. A high proportion of start-ups are organic farms, he added, but shale gas-related development could jeopardize organic certification.

Smith is a member of a Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force appointed by Governor Tom Wolf. He is heading a subcommittee that is calling for state-sponsored educational campaign about pipeline development issues for landowners, as well as a geographic information system (GIS) database of all Pennsylvania farms.

Registration Continues For Veterans Discount Program

November 18th, 2015 Comments off

vetscardtrioUpwards of 100 Potter County military veterans have already signed up to receive discounts on products and services from more than two dozen local businesses participating in the first-ever Potter County Veterans Discount Program. The number is growing every day. To register, veterans should provide full name, mailing address, contact information (telephone and email, if possible) to the county’s Office of Veterans Affairs.

There are three ways to apply:

  • send required information by an email addressed to;
  • send regular mail to Veterans Affairs, Gunzburger Building, 1 N. Main St., Coudersport PA 16915;
  • call 814-274-8290, extension 210, to schedule an appointment or obtain additional information. Office hours are 8:30 to 4:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Each veteran who registers for the program will receive a membership card that must be shown at participating businesses to qualify for a discount. Veterans will also receive a brochure that identifies participating businesses by name and address, along with the particulars of their discount offer.

Under the program, merchants and professional service providers extend discounts – typically 10 percent or more – to Potter County veterans. Certain restrictions may apply. Businesses wishing to sign up or learn more about the program should call 814-274-8290, extension 207, or send email to

The program is being administered by the Potter County Veterans Service Committee. Members are Veterans Affairs Director Will Worthington, Commissioner Paul Heimel, and Executive Secretary Dawn Wooster. First person to register for the program was U.S. Air Force veteran Ernest O. Mosch Jr., receiving his card and brochure here from Dawn Wooster and Will Worthington.

Hurt Retires As Domestic Relations Head; Lehman Appointed

November 16th, 2015 Comments off

nancyhurtAnother long-time Potter County employee has announced her retirement. Nancy Hurt, Director of Potter County Domestic Relations, is retiring after more than 25 years of service to the county. She was initially hired in January 1989 to fill a position in the office of the Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts. In January 1998, she succeeded long-time Domestic Relations Director Pearl Young. Over the ensuing 15 years, Hurt oversaw major changes in the office, much of it related to computer technology and related record-keeping, as well as and changes in state law. Domestic Relations works closely with the Potter County Court of Common Pleas and other agencies to assure that court-ordered support and alimony payment obligations are met.

On a related note, Potter County President Judge Stephen Minor last week appointed Andrea Lehman to succeed Nancy Hurt as Director of Domestic Relations. Lehman has been serving in an interim capacity over the past several months. She was previously a legal counsel for A Way Out, the county’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, education and victim advocacy agency.

Long-Time Public Defender Brent Petrosky To Retire

November 12th, 2015 Comments off

BrentPetroskyBrent Petrosky, who has served as Potter County Public Defender for many years, has announced that he will retire at the end of the year. Petrosky has been a critical part of the county’s criminal justice system during changing times. Because a majority of defendants are low-income, they qualify for public defender services. In consultation with his clients and the Office of District Attorney, Petrosky has been able to resolve a large volume of cases through plea arrangements. His job has become more complex, albeit satisfying, in recent years due to the advent of a DUI Court and Drug Treatment Court in Potter County. Defendants deemed eligible for one of those alternatives are able to avoid severe legal consequences through a highly supervised and accountable disposition structure that entails lifestyle changes and treatment/counseling services to assist them in becoming more responsible citizens. Petrosky, a resident of Clinton County, until recently maintained a limited private practice and has served as a solicitor local governments and statewide organizations.

Friends, Colleagues Bid Fond Farewell To Charlotte Dietrich

November 12th, 2015 Comments off

Nov14charlottedietrichretiresDozens of people turned out to bid a fond farewell to a long-time Potter County employee. Charlotte Dietrich, who most recently served as Potter County Planning Director, announced her retirement. It will be formally accepted at today’s meeting of the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Dietrich, a former New Jersey resident who moved to the Germania area, first served as secretary in the Planning Department and was later appointed as director. Under her leadership, the department has tackled many challenging initiatives, ranging from implementing changes in the county’s comprehensive plan and subdivision/land development ordinance to working with township and borough officials for implementation of stormwater management and flood plain management plans, road/bridge improvement projects and many other aspects of local government. (Photo courtesy of Curt McClain)