Archive for October, 2018

Potter County Education Council Welcomes New Director

October 24th, 2018 Comments off

A new executive director will begin service to the Potter County Education Council on Oct. 29, bringing with her extensive experience as a professional educator. Dr. Michele Moore has served for more than 26 years in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.  She has been working within Mansfield University for 17 years in various positions.

Dr. Moore has worked extensively with university, community and school collaboration services.  In addition to teaching, she has worked as a practicum supervisor with Penn State University, from 1997-2001; the NCATE coordinator for Mansfield University, from 2010-2012; and the assessment coordinator for the Education and Special Education Department of Mansfield University. from 2014-2017. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education with reading specialist certification from Mansfield University. In 2003, she earned her doctorate in special education from  Pennsylvania State University. Most recently, she has been a researcher for a pilot study titled, “Co-Teaching Triads: Redesigning Practice in Teacher Preparation at Mansfield University.”

Potter County Education Council delivers cost-effective educational services to the residents of Potter and McKean counties. Collaboration with area institutions of learning, businesses, and industries help the Education Council in creating opportunities for residents to achieve their educational, job and life goals.

Guide Available For Potter County Driving Tours

October 24th, 2018 Comments off

April22NewHistoryTourGuidePotter County Historical Society has published a guide that offers six options for those who wish to explore the county’s roots. It’s designed as a tool to deepen local residents’ appreciation of their heritage and assist tourists who are looking for interesting adventures, according to society president David Castano. Copies of the 80-page booklet are available at the PCHS museum on North Main Street in Coudersport.

Six routes are laid out in the guide based on regions of Potter County. The booklet contains summaries of local industries, individuals and communities. Road maps with directions have been added to each section. Dozens of archival photos provide an important visual element to the engaging text. On the Northwestern Tour, drivers can see the site of a pallisaded Native American village dating back to the late Fifteenth Century. The Southeastern Tour recalls the rise and fall of the village of Cross Fork, which was teeming with a population of 2,500 or more residents plus twice that many itinerants during the lumber book of the early Twentieth Century. PCHS dedicated the booklet to the late Bob and Maxine Currin, each of whom was active with the society. They were known to take regular driving tours to explore Potter County history.

Opportunities, Concerns Raised On Expanded ATV Riding

October 16th, 2018 Comments off

A meeting on the Northcentral Pa. ATV Initiative was held on Monday at the Gunzburger Building, hosted by the Potter County Planning Department. Among participants were representatives of the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), police, emergency services, conservation interests, ATV rider organizations, tourist promotion agencies and county government. Multiple representatives of a Clinton County-based organization attended to discuss the benefits of a strategic planning process to expand ATV riding opportunities.

For decades, riders of all-terrain vehicles have been pressuring state leaders to open up additional sections of publicly owned forest, park and game lands for their use. ATV partisans scored a major victory recently when the state legislature amended the Fiscal Code with an order that directs two state agencies to work together to expand the trail system in northcentral Pennsylvania. DCNR is now required to work with PennDOT to connect Clinton County to the New York State border through state forest land and highways by April 2024. This network will link several trails that are already developed in different regions between the counties. Those trails are Haneyville, Bloody Skillet, Snowshoe Rail Trail, Denton Hill and Whiskey Springs.

Proponents say the plan will expand riding opportunities for locals and tourists, boost the economy, and curtail illegal riding on state roads and forests. Opponents cite traffic safety concerns, enforcement issues, infrastructure maintenance responsibilities, conflicts with other users of public lands, and environmental impacts.

Assistant State Forester Jason Albright (above, left) framed many of the issues in addressing the group of about 40 attending Monday’s meeting. He pointed out that, despite legislative mandates to develop the trail system, the Bureau of Forestry remains committed to protecting water quality and environmental sustainability on state forest land. The bureau also recognizes the challenges that the legislative mandate presents in law enforcement, access for emergency services and potential conflicts with other state forest users.

Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt, who moderated the meeting, indicated that another session will be held in the coming months. He said the goal is to provide a forum for anyone with an interest or concern to be heard as the trail development moves forward. Those seeking more information or wishing to provide input can contact the Planning Department at 814-274-8254.

Emergency Responders Offer Input On New 911 System

October 11th, 2018 Comments off

Emergency responders from across the county convened on Thursday at the Gunzburger Building to provide input on the new 911 emergency communications system that Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover have approved. The system upgrade will expand coverage to “dark spots” and make the service more reliable. A state grant for about $580,000 has been obtained and other funding is being pursued. The commissioners have also arranged for a long-term loan to help cover the costs, which are estimated at $3.8 million. Commissioner Morley (right), who also serves as the county’s director of emergency services, said the board has been conferring with technical experts and local emergency responders for some time. He added that much of the equipment across the county has become obsolete and could pose a major risk to public safety. “The truth is that we are working with ‘end-of-life’ equipment and technology throughout our network,” said Morley.

Potter’s current system was installed in 2002. Comparable systems typically have had a 10- to 12-year lifespan. Consultant Mitch Smith (left) estimated that the upgraded system would have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years. In addition to equipment improvements, there will be new communication towers built to provide isolated areas of the county with wireless service. Dispatching will continue to be provided from the Tioga County 911 Center. The commissioners expect to have more information available on the specifics and timetable for 911 system upgrade in the coming weeks.

Potter County Panel Establishes Criminal Justice Goals

October 9th, 2018 Comments off

crimjusticePotter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) members approved the basic elements of their 2019 strategic plan last week, setting the stage for formal adoption at the panel’s next meeting. It’s a detailed document that identifies the issues, challenges, priorities and steps that will be taken as the many elements of the county’s criminal justice system work together to improve outcomes. CJAB officers, re-elected at last week’s meeting, are: Judge Stephen Minor, chairman; Commissioner Paul Heimel, vice chairman; and Colleen Wilber, Potter County Human Services, administrator. Overall goals in the CJAB action plan for the new year include:

  • Continued work on a Pretrial Diversion Program for Potter County and development of more comprehensive re-entry services for inmates being released from the county jail.
  • Partnering with the National Data-Driven Justice Initiative to measure effectiveness and outcomes of criminal justice strategies, better inform decision-makers, and improve information sharing.
  • Continued collaboration for early education programs to identify and address the rise in juvenile anti-social behavior/mental health and criminal activity.
  • Transitional/half-way housing for offenders along with an increased focus on skills training and employment needs.
  • Partnering with the National Stepping Up Initiative for criminal offenders with identified mental health issues.