2016-10-15 / News



Gas gift

— JKLM Energy, which has resumed shale gas drilling activity in Potter County, recently donated $5,980 to the Potter County Local Emergency Planning Committee.

It is being used to help pay for equipment needed to conduct confined space training for local emergency responders.


Saved by the bell

— A majority of property owners who owed back taxes settled their bills with the Cameron County Tax Claim Bureau prior to last week’s “upset sale.” Just 12 properties from an original list of 220 went to the auction block, with just three selling.

Among the properties sold were a house and lot in Driftwood for $2,927; a trailer and addition on Rt. 120 in Shippen Township for $1,953; and a house, shed and lot on Rt. 120 for $2,664.

The $7,500 collected during the sale will be split between the county, school district and municipalities.

Many properties put up for sale attract little or no interest due to liens, mortgages, judgments and other title encumbrances. Properties not sold during the upset sale move a step closer to ending up in the county repository, where they would be subject to a judicial sale. In that procedure, the buyer is guaranteed clear title.

Cameron County’s next judicial sale is tentatively scheduled for mid- 2017.


Emmanuel Episcopal Church 150th

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Emporium will be holding a 150th anniversary celebration of its founding on Sunday, Oct. 30. Services that day will be conducted by Bishop of the Northwestern Pa. Diocese, the Right Reverend Sean Rowe, and the church’s current rector, Reverend Matt Ryan. Mass will begin at 1 pm, with a reception to follow in the parish hall.

A historical showcase, featuring memorabilia and photographs of the church’s long storied history will be on display. The public is welcome.

Construction on the original wooden building started in 1866 and the structure was consecrated on Feb. 2, 1869. The current stone church was completed in 1903.


Hiring discrimination

While a large proportion of those with disabilities could be considered unemployable, many who are capable of working face discrimination as they pursue jobs.

Information provided by Dickinson Center Inc. in recognizing October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month included the fact that 10.7 percent of those with disabilities are unsuccessfully seeking employment, compared to a 5.1 percent rate for the general population. Some 17.5 percent of disabled persons are employed.

Dickinson’s Employment Support Services division in Cameron, Potter, McKean and Elk counties assists those with mental health, intellectual, and/or physical disabilities in obtaining and maintaining competitive employment.

Specialists work with prospective employers to match workers’ abilities and interests with job requirements. They also work with the disabled employee as needed to assure job duties are fulfilled

More information is available from Marsha Dippold at 814-776-2655.


Vexing vaping issue

— Pa. House Finance Committee members have approved legislation that would replace the 40-percent wholesale tax on electronic cigarette and vapor products with a 5-cents-per-milliliter vapor products tax. House Bill 2342 moves to the full House.

Pennsylvania has approximately 350 small businesses dealing in vapor products, including Vape Best in the former Potter County Visitors Assn. office on Coudersport’s North Main Street.

Supporters of HB 23423 say the current tax will result in the loss of jobs to out-of-state internet outlets, as well as lack of access to a product many users have turned to as an alternative to conventional cigarettes.

Legislation similar to HB 2342 has been enacted in North Carolina and Louisiana.


Potter #2 in fly fishing!

A national publication ranks Potter County as the second-best fly-fishing area in the U.S., trailing only Cheeca Lodge in the Florida Keys. “Best Fly Fishing” (Americantowns Media) reported:

“Those stalking the wily trout will find good angling in this wild and wonderful corner of Pennsylvania. Teeming with lakes and streams, Potter County is the place to be during trout season. Lodging can be found at any number of charming inns, cabins, and camps, and the area offers a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking, swimming, boating, and hunting. Fly fishing training and guided fishing packages are available.

“It’s more than just the fish. Potter County justifiably promotes itself as ‘Untouched, Unspoiled and Untamed.’ It’s home to eight state parks, thousands of acres of forest land. The area’s multiple streams, lakes, reservoirs, and creeks offer an abundance of fishing fun, and the sprawling wilderness is ideal for hiking, camping, boating, hunting, exploring, and stargazing.”


Stamp out homework

A growing number of elementary schools in the U.S. are eliminating homework. A national survey showed that 8 percent prohibited teachers from assigning homework in the 2015-16 school year, up by 2 percent from the previous year.

Some experts warn this can have a negative impact on learning. The U.S. has one of the shortest school years in the world, with the average student having less than half of a year -- 185 days -- out of the classroom.

Supporters of elimination homework maintain the ban allows students to spend more time playing outside and bonding as a family. Critics claim that argument is idealistic and does not reflect the actual outcome in the vast majority of cases.


More holiday spending

Every year it seems retailers begin hawking their Christmas shopping selections earlier. According to one report, Americans are expected to spend three percent more this year, or a cumulative total of $656 billion.

Ninety percent of retailers report they plan on hiring part-time employees for the holiday season; last year’s figure as 80 percent. Courier service UPS has 95,000 job openings.

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