Patriotic Welcome For TU ‘Healing Waters’ Veterans

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Disabled military veterans participating in this year’s Trout Unlimited Project Healing Waters received a warm, patriotic welcome as they passed through the county on Tuesday afternoon. County employees stepped outside to join others greeting the special guests, who were escorted through Shinglehouse, Coudersport and Austin enroute to the the First Fork Lodge in Costello. Project Healing Waters is sponsored by the God’s Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers. Goal is to aid in the veterans’ physical and emotional recovery by introducing or rebuilding the skills of fly fishing and fly tying, and by supporting these skills as lifelong recreation. All activities, services and equipment are provided at no cost, including equipment that accommodates special needs. Participants who are now enjoying their stay in Potter County come from Pennsylvania VA hospitals and are headquartered at Moore’s Run Fish and Game Preserve.

Local Police Join ‘National Drug Take-Back Day’

May 6th, 2018 Comments off

Tons of unwanted prescription drugs are being taken out of the underground marketplace thanks to a national campaign that is literally taking a bite out of crime. Potter County law enforcement officials observed National Drug Take-Back Day with a public relations campaign to encourage the use of designated disposal sites for pills that are coveted by opioid addicts and traffickers. It comes in an era when purses, medicine cabinets and other repositories for prescription drugs are prime targets for thieves and even family members seeking a quick fix or a quick buck. Some prescription painkillers have a street value of $30 per pill.

State police at Denton Hill, local police in Coudersport and Galeton and the Potter County Sheriff’s office have established secure drop-off boxes. Controlled substances, non-controlled substances, over the counter medications and liquid products and creams in their containers are accepted. Syringes or other sharp instruments are prohibited. The program is anonymous; no questions are asked at the disposal sites.

“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses,” said Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Most methods for disposing of unused medicines, such as flushing them down a toilet or throwing them in trash, are bad for the environment and both pose safety and health hazards.”

Gathering as part of a promotional campaign for the recent National Drug Take-Back Day were, from left: Curt McClain, Coudersport Borough police chief; Matt Baker of Tioga County, regional director of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; and Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson.

Environmental Excellence Award For Potter County

April 27th, 2018 Comments off

Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) was honored this week in Harrisburg with the coveted 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. It’s based on a project titled, “Water Quality Protection and Education: Ludington Run and Beyond.” The district developed a comprehensive plan to improve water quality and restore habitat on Ludington Run, a tributary of the Genesee River. Stream bedding materials are enhancing successful fish spawning; runoff carrying sediment and pollutants is discharging in a safe manner, and stream plantings are stabilizing the soil and reversing the trend of thermal pollution. PCCD Manager Jason Childs and Alexander Veto, the agency’s dirt/gravel/low-volume roads project specialist, received the award on the district’s behalf.

Because this work took place in the headwaters region, its benefits will impact countless people both in Potter County and downstream. Having met or exceeded all expectations, the Ludington Run Pilot Project is now a documented best practice that will be used as a model in other areas of Potter County and publicized statewide and nationally.

Potter was the first Pennsylvania county to establish a conservation district, dedicated to establishing innovative conservation practices with leadership, hands-on assistance and education. That mission continues today. The district’s goal to foster stewardship of natural resources by inspiring current and future generations to preserve the legacy of conservation. The district prides itself on being a grassroots, boots-on-the-ground organization with dedicated specialists who work with the farming community, environmental interests, government entities and agencies, as well as the general public, to support stewardship of natural resources. Potter County also received the 2012 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for formation and successful deployment of the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition, committing all of the public water suppliers in the county to protection of the wells, springs and surface sources of public drinking water.

(Shown at the ceremony (from left) are: Pennsylvania Environmental Council president Davitt Woodwell; Pa. DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn; Jason Childs, manager of Potter County Conservation District; Pa. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell; and Alex Veto, dirt/gravel/low-volume roads specialist with Potter County Conservation District).

Potter County Groundwater Study Results Released

April 16th, 2018 Comments off

Results from a historic analysis of the groundwater in Potter County were shared with the public last week. With just one exception, the water quality was found to be pristine. Dan Galeone (standing), hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), detailed the findings to nearly two dozen people attending the public meeting at the Gunzburger Building. A detailed report will soon available on the county website, (click on Planning Department).

USGS partnered with the Potter County Board of Commissioners to collect data on the quality and constituents of the county’s groundwater. The information will be invaluable for public policy-makers, industries, regulatory agencies and others seeking to protect water when sites are chosen for certain types of development. A state grant covered the bulk of expenses. Some 47 water wells in strategic locations were sampled. One of the wells, located in Stewardson Township, showed a high content of a radioactive element, which Galeone said was attributable to geological factors, rather than pollution.

Data was assembled and analyzed cumulatively, with the identity of individual well owners protected. Confidential findings from the analysis were provided to each owner. Similar studies have been completed in Clinton, Bradford and Lycoming counties. Plans are being made to extend the regional groundwater assessment to Tioga, McKean and Elk counties.

Also at last week’s meeting, Heather McKean, Penn State Extension water resources educator, discussed steps that well owners can take to protect water quality, More information on the USGS study is available from Dan Galeone (USGS) at 717-730-6952, or Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt at 814-274-8290, extension 229.

Potter County Earns ‘Best In State’ Award For Criminal Justice

April 16th, 2018 Comments off

Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) has been chosen for a Best in State award for its forward-looking strategies being implemented through a partnership consisting of the court system, law enforcement, county administration and the county’s human services agency. In taking top honors in the annual Criminal Justice Best Practices Awards Program, Potter County CJAB was chosen among a field of finalists that also included Bucks and Mercer counties. A panel of judges cited a long list of criminal justice reforms and partnerships that have been pursued in Potter County. The judges concluded, “Potter County CJAB has been diligent in its efforts to create efficiencies that improve the administration of criminal justice within the county. The level of motivation and collaboration among the CJAB members and stakeholders is evidence that Potter County is committed to providing services to the citizens of the county that are efficient, effective and enhance public safety.” The full nomination of the Potter County CJAB can be viewed here

New Law Clerk Now Serving In Potter County

March 29th, 2018 Comments off

Attorney Robert Kevin Lavelle has been hired as the new law clerk for Potter County President Judge Stephen Minor (left), succeeding Matthew Metzger, who moved from the area. A Scranton native, Lavelle earned a political science degree from Bloomsburg University and a law degree from Widener University Commonwealth Law School. As law clerk, he assists Judge Minor in research and in the preparation of opinions and orders. Lavelle is also responsible for maintenance of the law library at the courthouse, which is available to the court staff and area lawyers. A separate responsibility of the law clerk in Potter County is the review and processing of no-fault divorce decrees. Hundreds of divorce cases are filed in Potter County by out-of-county law firms, due to the county’s lower fee structure. (Photo courtesy of Endeavor News)