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Archive for October, 2018

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.

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.