Monday, August 31, 2009

Litter Bug Caught By Photo Bug

By Jerry Feaser
PA Game Commission
Sometimes a Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) will be forced to spend days or weeks digging through trash illegally dumped on State Game Lands in attempt to apprehend the person or persons responsible. Sometimes it is the information about a case that can be, literally, dumped in a WCO’s lap that helps solve the crime.
Such was the case recently for Blair County WCO Steve Hanczar, who was presented with a series of photographs clearly showing the faces of those dumping trash on State Game Land 158, just below the Tipton Reservoir, as well as the license plates of the vehicles involved in the incident, earlier this spring.Based on the information and photographs, WCO Hanczar charged Roger Lee Lonsinger Sr., 49, of Tyrone, for littering.
On July 28, he pled guilty, and was ordered to pay a fine and court costs of $259.50. Also charged was Samuel Howard Brisbin, 59, of Tyrone, for assisting in the littering incident. Brisban also pled guilty on July 28, and was assessed a fine and court costs of $134.50. On July 11, prior to the guilty plea, Lonsinger and Brisban cleaned up the dump site on July 11, and Lonsinger incurred the cost of the clean up.While it took WCO Hanczar some time to coordinate a meeting with the two individuals, once he did they were presented the photographic evidence along with the prospect of an eyewitness willing to testify, if necessary.
Confronted with this information, Lonsinger and Brisban were cooperative and also cleaned up the site and disposed of the trash properly.“I have always been thankful for the great amount of public lands we have been blessed with here in Pennsylvania and have spent countless hours enjoying the many spectacular outdoor recreational opportunities they provide,” said the concerned sportsman.
“I was glad to be able to play a small part in helping to protect those resources. Wish more folks would do the same.”WCO Hanczar agreed on the need for information from the public in order to initiate or solve crimes on State Game Lands or crimes involving wildlife.
“Our State Game Lands are remote and consist of thousands of acres,” WCO Hanczar said. “We need the support and information of concerned, law-abiding citizens in order to be able to properly patrol State Game Lands. Some of these ‘convenient’ illegal dump sites are near waterways and are potential pollution sources to public water supplies for Tyrone and Altoona.
“We encourage residents to contact us as soon as they find something that warrants an investigation. We also need people to be willing to testify about what they see or find to successfully prosecute cases against those who should no regard for our wildlife or their habitats.”

Thursday, August 27, 2009

National Fuel Gas Supply to expand capacity

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. - A unit of National Fuel Gas Co. said Wednesday it is starting a binding open season to expand transportation capacity in the Marcellus Shale fairway in central Pennsylvania.
The National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., which is part of the pipeline and storage segment of the company, will construct new pipeline and compression facilities largely along its existing infrastructure and will serve key northeast markets.
Phase one of construction will be designed to transport about 200,000 dekatherms per day (dth/d) from the Marcellus producing area through a new 32-mile pipeline to be constructed through Elk, Cameron and Clinton Counties, Pa., to the Leidy hub. The company expects an in-service date of November 2011.
Phase two facilities will be designed to provide additional transportation capacity for at least 300,000 dth/d, and will consist of approximately 50 miles of new pipeline and compression, extending the Phase I facilities through Clearfield and Jefferson Counties, Pa., to Supply Corp.'s Line K in western Elk County, for an anticipated in-service date of November 2012.
Shares of National Fuel Gas Co. fell 1 cent to close at $45.98.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elk Deaths Caused by Illegal Feeding

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials recently reported that there have been four cases involving elk that have died or rumen acidosis, which is directly related to artificial feeding that causes an abrupt change in an elk’s diet that wreaks havoc with its digestive system. Feeding elk is illegal, as it causes problems by habituating elk to find food around homes and can be dangerous to those who attempt to feed elk by hand.“So far, we have been able to document four cases of such deaths,” said Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. “There have been other deaths that we believed may have been caused by such feeding, but, in those cases the animal was either decomposed or other circumstances prevented it from obtaining the carcass in time for laboratory analysis to take place.” Dr. Cottrell explained that elk, as well as white-tailed deer, adapt to a winter diet of primarily woody vegetation and they will die of acidosis caused by a build up of lactic acid in the rumen, chambers of its four-part stomach that is responsible for fermentation of food. If they consume too much high-fermentable grain, such as corn, which is the most common artificial feed put out by local residents, the pH level falls quickly and a shock-like syndrome can occur.Local residents have been issued citations for the illegal feeding. In one case, an elk was found lying dead on a pile of corn. In another case, a resident dragged the carcass of a dead elk into the woods in an attempt to conceal the situation.“We need to have local residents and district justices understand that the well-intentioned individuals are actually killing elk,” Dr. Cottrell said. “For those who truly enjoy seeing elk it is best for them to stop artificially feeding elk and other wildlife. It would be far more beneficial if they were to implement some form of habitat improvement producing cover to reduce weather-related stress or food in the form of digestible native plants on their property.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Emporium greets Sen. Specter

Tri-County Sunday

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's brief visit in Emporium Tuesday evening starkly contrasted with a recent round of heated town hall meetings.Dozens of area residents applauded Specter's stance on reforming health care, which includes allowing citizens to keep their current insurance. No one protested the private meeting hosted by the Cameron County Democratic Committee. The best choice, he said, could be the "public option," where many citizens would be covered under the federal government. That would give people a choice of selecting a carrier at low rates, with it operating like Medicare. "I think we need to fight it out," said Specter, who is serving his fifth term. "Everything (the benefits for veterans, etc.,) is going to stay the same."Meanwhile, Democratic Committee member Von Hause questioned whether Cameron County will see any of the $16 billion federal stimulus MORE

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weed out under-performing teachers with value-added pay plan


The Pennsylvania State Education Association opposes paying teachers on performance and school choice, preferring to pay teachers on longevity and degrees earned so that poor teachers can earn the same as good teachers. Also, the PSEA does not want to allow parents to place their child in a better school.
These two positions have resulted in hurting public education and making school taxes increase each year three times faster than inflation. In a nutshell, we are spending more to learn less. Consequently, our public schools are not competitive in student achievement and cost per student.
Why do we citizens put up with such outrageous positions? It must be because we haven't taken the time to get involved and understand two proven facts. Choice improves student achievement in all public schools. Paying teachers more based on longevity and degrees has not improved student achievement -- it has actually declined.............MORE

Pennsylvania State Employees Face No Pay

WYSOX - Right now thousands of state workers, like these Penndot employees, are receiving partial paychecks.
But if Keystone state Democrats and Republicans can't figure out a budget by the end of the month, employees face no money at all.
Logan Kinch says if they don't get paid, Penndot is helping to get them money in other ways.
“Things are getting a little tight. They do have some things that we can get loans and stuff. Hopefully I don't have to use them”, said Kinch.
He says, some workers are saying they might not show up to work until a budget's passed.
“You have both ends of the spectrum. You have people who are dedicated and will be here. But you also have people who will get really mad, and who also need to get other work to supplement their income”, said Kinch.
Earlier this month, republican controlled state senate passed a budget that called for no tax increases.
But the democratically controlled house turned that budget down saying that not raising taxes could cost more than 4 thousand state employees their jobs.
Republican State Senator Gene Yaw, who represents Bradford County, says both the house and the senate will be working on a budget throughout next week.
“We agree with them they should get paid. The governor should be paying them. We are really not sure there is any restriction that they can't be paid”, said Yaw.
If the budget doesn't get passed by Friday, employees have been told they will get their missing pay retroactively.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Economic Summit" Set Friday In Cameron County

Public officials, community leaders, business operators and all those who are interested in the northcentral Pennsylvania economy are welcome to attend an Economic Summit to be held on Friday at Memorial Hall in Emporium, starting at 9:30 am. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the session, during which U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson will discuss federal policies and field questions.
Cameron County, which has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania, faces economic challenges due in large part to the downturn in the domestic automobile manufacturing and wood products industries. Similar factors have affected the economies in Potter and McKean counties. Congressman Thompson will discuss federal economic development programs and welcome suggestions. Potter County Today

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great American Trails blog post/ PA Wilds

PA WILDS Bugle Boys

A few minutes ago I checked the outdoor thermometer - 102 degrees. This is the point in summer when I feel like a deflated tire with barely enough pressure to wobble home. The Texas Hill Country is accommodating in winter (not to mention spring and fall), but who wants to wait for winter? I need a respite, a break from this Austin blast furnace.
I could head west, to the Rockies. But with this insufferable Texas drought I am ready to see something green, verdant. There is simply too much desert between me and those mountains. My compass is pointing east, toward the Appalachian Divide. The Blue Ridge will be jammed, and I would prefer an area with more birds than people. The Adirondacks will be packed as well, and New Jersey? No offense, but I have never caught the Wildswoods fever. No, my bags are packed for Pennsylvania.

read MORE

Local Kids perform at Altoona Curve game

Some members of the Donachy Gymnastics team were invited to perform for the fans at the Altoona Curve game last night. The kids were taken onto the field to show there skills, and stayed for the game and fireworks afterwards. Several of the children, on the team, are from Emporium.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

814 Area Code Running Out of Phone Numbers

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is studying plans to deal with the state's 814 area code, which is quickly running out of phone numbers.The PUC projects the area code will run out of numbers sometime in 2012. One option the PUC is considering is assigning a new area code to all new phone numbers added in the area after a certain date. Another option is splitting the area that 814 covers and assigning a new area code for part of the region.Anyone interested in commenting on the changes must contact the PUC by September 8.from the PUC

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Local Tourism Growing During Recession

A Bright Spot: Amid hard times, some PA Wilds tourism businesses, events thrive
By Tataboline Brant
Hundreds of thousands of new visitors have come to the Pennsylvania Wilds since the state started working with local authorities six years ago to brand and market the region and upgrade its visitor infrastructure.
But just as the Pennsylvania Wilds initiative was getting real traction in the region’s business community, the nation’s economy went to pot. As bad news mounted, many wondered how tourism businesses in our region were faring.
Like most places in America, the Pennsylvania Wilds region has been hit by layoffs and job losses. But amid the hard times, several tourism-related businesses and events in the region say they are growing.
The Pennsylvania Wilds has long been a place for nature lovers and for families looking to get away on a budget, MORE
Click the image to ENLARGE

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Congratulations to these young fair winners!!Prince: Blaine Farren,Princess: Zoey Kossman,Jr. Miss: Marissa Umble, Miss Cameron County: Amanda Pries

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rendell Signs 'Bridge' Measure

Governor Ed Rendell has signed legislation that provides a mechanism for state employees to be paid, but does not provide a complete and final budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. “What I am signing today is not a budget,” Rendell said. “I am signing legislation that will simply allow us to pay state employees who provide for immediate critical public health and safety services, and that will send negotiators back to the table to communicate, compromise and get real about delivering a true budget agreement for Pennsylvania.” Rendell signed Senate Bill 850 after he vetoed all program funding line items except those pertaining to payroll and essential public protection. The measure is an incomplete budget of roughly $11 billion.For more information, go to the governor's web site.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebrating a life of scouting

A local physician who works as a family practitioner for Guthrie in Canton, Pa. and is a Troy resident, has recently decided to step down as Scoutmaster after providing 20 years in this capacity for Troop #47 in Troy, Pa.
Sixty-one year old Dr. John Weis, who was born and raised in Emporium, Pa. and located to Troy, Pa. 31 years ago, has spent his life not only helping people through his work, but by cultivating leadership among young men in the community.
When Weis was growing up in Emporium, Pa., he belonged to a scout troop that collapsed by the time he turned 16. When this happened, according to Weis, he was very disappointed. "I had advanced in scouting at that point, and when they folded I couldn’t go any further," he said. MORE

Monday, August 3, 2009

More goofyness from the Guv'na

Gov. Ed Rendell says state will help Harley-Davidson stay in Pa.

Monday August 03, 2009, 10:04 AM

YORK, Pa. -- Gov. Ed Rendell says the state will not let a Harley-Davidson plant in central Pennsylvania leave without a fight.
At a rally Sunday inside Sovereign Bank Stadium in York, Rendell told a crowd of plant workers and motorcycle enthusiasts that officials are designing a plan to help the company stay. The package includes help with job training and infrastructure, low-interest loans and $15 million for upgrades.
Harley-Davidson said in May its facility in Springettsbury Township is not cost-effective and that it might move its operations. More than 2,000 local jobs are at stake.
The rally Sunday followed a 50-mile ride of support by hundreds of bikers through York and Adams counties.

The state can't even get a budget passed to pay the state employees, yet can find money to bail out an outdated, overbloated private manufacturer? Outrageous. The average Harley costs almost $20,000 and yet they need state subsidies to upgrade their plant? I say let them take their junk back to Milwaukee.

Its Fair Time!

more photos at

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Big 30 All Star Game Photos

#33 Cameron County’s Andrew Kesterholt, #44 Mike Malizia # 20 Jarek Holjencin
Our friend Paul Burdick allowed us to use this photo. See lots more, from the game, at