Vietnam Veterans Memorial ‘Moving Wall’ Coming

February 1st, 2018 Comments off

Potter County’s Veterans Service Committee has arranged to bring The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to Potter County this year. Committee members Bill Simpson, Paul Heimel and Dawn Wooster are working on ceremonial elements and other programming for a local “Vietnam Veterans Weekend” that coincides with the wall’s appearance. Plans call for the exhibit to be set up just off Rt. 872 in the county’s Mapleview property, next to the Potter County Veterans Center and American Legion Post 192, from Thursday evening, Sept. 13, through mid-day Monday, Sept. 17, which will be designated as Students Day with appropriate educational programming. The Moving Wall lists the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who were killed in the war. It will be on display 24/7 with guides available to help locate names and other educational exhibits on the grounds. Other events in the planning stages are:

  • Dinner/program to recognize and honor the Vietnam War veterans from Potter County.
  • Memorial ceremony for the nine Potter County men who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
  • Veterans benefits/services outreach.
  • Veterans Gravestone Restoration Project demonstration.
  • Educational activities in local schools and communities.

Groundwork for Vietnam Veterans Weekend was laid in October when Potter County was accepted as a partner in the Commemoration of the Vietnam War initiative, a project of the U.S. Congress and the Defense Department. To earn the certification, the committee had to commit to a series of steps that will honor and thank Vietnam War veterans and their families.

Local Agencies Receive Overdose Rescue Kits

February 1st, 2018 Comments off

Several area police agencies, school districts, emergency responders and other institutions are equipping themselves with an antidote that can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has been designated by the state as a “central coordinating facility” to distribute life-saving Naloxone to qualified agencies.

Dr. Gary Malacarne, Cole’s director of pharmacy, attended a recent Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board meeting to share details and register participants. Naloxone binds itself to the body’s opioid receptors and blocks heroin and certain other drugs from further affecting the victim. Malacarne emphasized that the drug does not pose any threats or side effects.

Cole has received an initial shipment of 60 doses. More will be made available as needed. The hospital’s Emergency Department is the distribution center.

Pa. Lumber Heritage Region Has Ambitious Agenda

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

Lumber Heritage Region executive director Holly Komonczi discusses the LHR's "wood on glass" collection with met with Downtown Indiana executive director David Janusek.Pennsylvania Lumber Heritage Region (LHR) is working under a new action plan that emphasizes historic preservation, tourism and economic development. Goal is to advance historical and cultural initiatives that showcase the timber industry’s rich tradition through education, conservation and promotion. One of twelve heritage areas in Pennsylvania, LHR encompasses the counties of Potter, Cameron, Elk, McKean, Tioga, Clinton, Centre, Clearfield, Jefferson, Warren, Lycoming and Forest, and portions of Cambria, Clarion and Indiana counties.

Director Holly Komonczi said a priority in 2018 is to provide guidance and support for tourist attractions while strengthening alliances with businesses, chambers of commerce, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, and a number of tourist promotion agencies. An updated website was completed last August. It allows visitors to plan vacation or day-trip itineraries, take a simulated trip down Sinnemahoning Creek, visit local museums and tour historic Civilian Conservation Corps camps. Other features include current events, industry job postings, and historical archives. Meanwhile, LHR has significantly increased its social media footprint.

LHR has scored numerous high-profile successes: acquiring and preserving high-quality glass negative photographs depicting pioneer lumber-related activities in Pennsylvania; acquisition of a rare, authentic railroad locomotive and a Model-T Ford for the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Potter County; lasting commemorations for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the region, and more.

Above, Lumber Heritage Region executive director Holly Komonczi discusses the LHR’s “wood on glass” collection with met with Downtown Indiana executive director David Janusek.

State Still Lags In Paying Share Of DA’s Salary

January 22nd, 2018 Comments off

scalesPotter County recently received a $12,000 check from the state government, covering another overdue installment of the state’s share of District Attorney’s Andy Watson’s salary. The state still owes Potter County more than $115,600 for the DA’s salary in 2017, as well as $116,544 for the current year.

Act 57 of 2005 obligates the state to pay the 65 percent of a full-time DA’s $179,300 salary. When those payments lag, the county covers the entire cost, a situation that does not sit well with the Potter County Board of Commissioners or their counterparts across the state. According to a spokesman for the Office of Attorney General, the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account does not have enough funds to reimburse the full amount. As the funds continue to accumulate in the account, the state will make a partial payment for the overdue 2017 reimbursement.

Latest Edition Of Shale Gas Roundup Now Available

January 22nd, 2018 Comments off

shaleexampleLatest edition of Shale Gas Roundup is now available. It’s the newsletter of the Potter County Natural Resource Center and features timely, locally relevant news about shale gas development and related topics.

To access the latest edition as well as all past editions, visit the website (Shale Gas Roundup newsletter icon is found on the cover page). Copies are also available at the Commissioners Office in the Gunzburger Building (first office on right inside Main Street entrance), or by contacting Dawn Wooster at 814-274-8290, extension 207.

Among highlights of the First Quarter 2018 edition:

  • Wastewater treatment plant proposed for Coudersport
  • Study examines shale gas impact on schools
  • Local small-scale electrical plant announced
  • Some counties forming gas/oil advocacy organization
  • Pa. gas production will increase in 2018
  • Potter County in ‘mid-range’ of state’s shale gas field

Attorney General Focuses On State’s Drug Epidemic

January 17th, 2018 Comments off

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro spent much of Tuesday in Potter County as part of his statewide travels to enlist local support in the fight against a growing drug epidemic that has spread into rural Pennsylvania. Shapiro pledged his office’s support for a multi-faceted approach to bring under control a surge in the abuse of opiods, a growing number of heroin overdoses, and a resurgence in the use of methamphetamine. “This has been and will continue to be a law enforcement issue, but it even more of a public health crisis,” he told invited guests from Potter County who included police officers, members of the criminal justice system, treatment specialists and the county commissioners.

To symbolize the bipartisan nature of the mission, Shapiro, a Democrat, was flanked by veteran House of Representatives members Matt Baker and Martin Causer, both Republicans. “We all have to work together,” he emphasized. “I’ve been encouraged by the leadership on this issue demonstrated by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.” He detailed a series of steps that the Attorney General’s office and partners statewide have taken to combat the drug epidemic, including regional law enforcement strike forces that target drug dealers. “That’s where the enforcement effort should be and it has been working,” Shapiro said. “Over the past year we have arrested an average of 4.4 drug dealers per day, and these aren’t your small-time neighborhood dealers.” When it comes to drug addicts, he called for additional government resources to provide treatment services and alternative criminal justice programs that steer habitual users toward rehabilitation.

Potter County has taken many strides in that direction, District Attorney Andy Watson and Senior Judge John Leete were quick to point out. They cited the county’s DUI and drug treatment courts, a pre-trial diversion program and a new protocol embraced by the law enforcement community that allows drug addicts to turn to police for help. Shown from left are Rep. Martin Causer, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Rep. Matt Baker, District Attorney Andy Watson, and Deb Rudy, district aide for State Senator Joe Scarnati.