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Archive for November, 2021

Md. Air National Guard Extends Public Comment Period

November 26th, 2021 Comments off

US Air Force photo by Sr. Airman Greg L. Davis

(UPDATE: A Maryland Air National Guard representative responded to the Potter County Commissioners this week. She informed the board that the ANG has agreed to extend the public comment period on its environmental assessment to Dec. 31. ANG has not committed to attending a local public forum.)

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have invited representatives from the Maryland Air National Guard to attend a public forum to share details of the unit’s planned low-level military aircraft training flights over a wide swath of northcentral Pennsylvania and answer questions. The request is in response to input the commissioners have received from organizations and citizens who are concerned about the impact of the plan on tourism, the environment and the local way of life. Maryland ANG seeks authorization from the U.S. Defense Department to train A-10 “Warthog” pilots for up to 170 days a year, no longer than four hours per day, in low air space (100 feet from the ground and up) across most of Potter and Cameron counties, as well as smaller sections of McKean, Tioga, Clinton and Elk counties (see map below).

A public input period is now open on the Maryland ANG environmental assessment, which determined that the flights pose “no significant impact” on local citizens or the environment. A copy of the study is available at public libraries in Coudersport and Galeton; online at https://www.175wg.ang.af.mil/Duke-MOA-Low, (click on Duke MOA Low icon) or by contacting Kristi Kucharek, National Guard Bureau, 3501 Fetchet Avenue, Joint Base Andrews MD 20762-5157. Her email address is NGB.A4.A4A.NEPA.COMMENTS.Org@us.af.mil.

Military aircraft have trained in the region for many years, but at a higher altitude. Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages state forests and parks, has been studying the potential impacts for more than a year. DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said the flights could “drastically change the character of this region,” with the sound negatively affecting tourism, wildlife and outdoor recreation. DCNR has called on the Maryland ANG to maintain its current flight protocols and operations, or to consider alternative locations. The agency is also calling for an environmental impact study to be conducted, rather than the less detailed “environmental assessment” that was recently released for public comment.

 

 

New Assistant District Attorney Begins Service

November 4th, 2021 Comments off

Potter County has a new assistant district attorney. He is Edward V. Reeves, who has relocated to the county after operating a private legal practice for many years in southeastern Pennsylvania. Reeves succeeds McKean County resident Kord Kinney in the part-time position, working for District Attorney Andy Watson. The office is also staffed by County Detective Jacob Rothermel, Victim/Witness Services Coordinator Anita Mead and administrative personnel Emily Robinson, Sarah Chapell and Katrina Croke.

Reeves (left) earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. He was awarded his law degree by Temple University. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association since 1992.

“I am looking forward to having meaningful involvement in Potter County’s criminal justice system and working closely with District Attorney Watson,” Reeves said. He added that he has familiarized himself with the county’s system and recent reforms, such as pre-trial diversion and specialty courts in place for criminal cases involving offenders with addiction or mental health issues. “I have a lot of admiration for the way the criminal justice system operates here and I look forward to being a part of it,” Reeves said.

He became familiar with Potter County as a child and has frequently visited to enjoy the outdoor attractions, including the International Dark Sky Preserve at Cherry Springs State Park.