Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Changed forests await northern deer hunters

Marcellus Shale boom has some surprises for hunters heading to their favorite spots for Monday's opening of the deer hunting season.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Special to The Patriot-News
For The Patriot-News
When the improvements began on the dirt and gravel roads five or six years ago, Mark Leib assumed he would be seeing new logging operations in his favorite deer-hunting spot in Clearfield County.
Or maybe, the 51-year-old New Cumberland resident guessed, Four-Mile Road through the area near Penfield where he grew up hunting deer was about to become part of a new route on the elk tour, the showcase for Gov. Ed Rendell's developing "Pennsylvania Wilds" tourism initiative.
Neither would be a welcome development for Leib's family. Although they had recently given up their lease on a cabin on state forestland in the area, five of them continued to spend the first week of the deer-hunting season there living in state park cabins.
Still, either of those possibilities wouldn't have .......READ MORE

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DA seeks death penalty in ex-Oakfield man's homicide case

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 12:32 am Updated: 12:39 am, Wed Nov 17, 2010.
DA seeks death penalty in ex-Oakfield man's homicide case By Scott DeSmit desmit@batavianews.com The Daily News Online 0 comments
A trial date has not been set in what is now a death penalty case against a former Oakfield man accused of murdering an elderly couple and who is a “person of interest” in two unsolved slayings in Genesee and Orleans counties.
Steven P. Rebert, 45, is charged with criminal homicide for the April 12 murders of Wayne and Vicky Shugar of Brockway, Pa.
Jefferson County District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett is seeking the death penalty against Rebert, a spokeswoman for his office said Tuesday.
Rebert does not have another scheduled court appearance until Jan. 5, where he will have a criminal hearing and when a trial date may be set.
Rebert, of Emporium, Pa., was arrested by Genesee County sheriff's deputies in Alabama on June 3. He was in possession of a switchblade knife and was committed to jail.
The charge was dismissed and Rebert was turned over to Pennsylvania state police, who on June 12 charged him with the double-slaying of a Brockway, Pa., couple, James and Vicky Shugar. The couple were found shot to death in the basement of their home.
An investigation led police to Rebert, a Clarence native who lived on-and-off with relatives in Oakfield.
Rebert also is charged with aggravated assault, robbery and burglary.
Investigators also discovered information on Rebert’s computers that showed he conducted searches regarding two unsolved murders: The Nov. 10, 2005 shooting of Bill Fickel, who lived near Rebert, and the 2007 slaying of Kevin Smith of Shelby, who lived less than two miles from Fickel and Rebert.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said “I’m not shocked” when told that Pennsylvania is seeking the death penalty against Rebert.
He said his investigators are continuing to follow leads in the Fickel case.
“But no, there is nothing new,” he said. “We’re still in the process of trying to locate a weapon and a potential accomplice.”
He said neither he or any investigators have attempted to talk to Rebert since his arrest and that “even if we do it couldn’t be used against him.”
A $100,000 reward remains for the arrest and conviction of Fickel’s killer or killers. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of Smith’s killer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marcellus drillers' image suffering

It appears to be taking quite a while for some operators of Marcellus Shale fracking-water trucks to realize that their vehicles are supposed to be in safe working order.
Pennsylvania State Police and the state Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the results of a three-day, statewide vehicle enforcement action targeting trucks hauling gas-drilling wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process, commonly known as fracking, and the results were not encouraging.
The report said citations were issued for 1,066 of the more than 1,400 trucks that were inspected from Oct. 25 to 27. More than 200 of the cited vehicles were immediately taken out of service, as were more than 50 drivers. This came after similar inspection efforts in June and earlier in October that led to the issuance of hundreds of citations and hundreds of vehicles being ordered off the roads.
We hear often from drivers concerned about the speeds at which these fracking-water trucks are being driven, often on secondary roads, and the fact that some of them may be less than safe does little to assuage our fears that a major accident is waiting to happen, one that perhaps could lead to a severe environmental contamination or, even worse, the maiming or death of a motorist sharing the roads with these big, heavy vehicles.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

SRBC Orders J-W Operating Drilling Company To Cease Operations In Cameron County

By Feed: PA Environment Digest

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 16:44
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission today ordered J-W Operating, LLC, a natural gas drilling company based in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, to immediately cease all water-related activities at a drilling pad site in the Marcellus shale formation in Shippen Township, Cameron County, Pennsylvania. The company began water-related activities at two wells without prior approval from SRBC at the pad known as Pardee & Curtin Lumber Company C Pad.Natural gas drillers must have SRBC approval before any drilling activity occurs or any water-related facilities are constructed. The SRBC order also prohibits J-W Operating, LLC from continuing to drill or withdraw water for use at that drilling pad site.“Commission staff became aware of this violation during field inspections, the most recent one being yesterday November 9,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz. “At present, the Commission has been informed by the company that it set conductor pipe on November 3, 2010, which resulted in the violation. The exact timeframe will be determined and appropriate actions will be taken by the Commission.”Swartz said, “Since the company had not begun withdrawing, transporting or using any water, the Commission did not find any water resource impacts at this drilling pad.”J-W Operating, LLC has 30 days to submit an application to SRBC for water withdrawal and consumptive use, as well as the construction activities it has already completed. The company is prohibited from any further water-related actions until SRBC reviews and acts on the application.For information, visit SRBC’s Natural Gas Well Development webpage.

Red Raiders win 1st Playoff Round

CLARION – Cameron County’s Andrew Fragale came up with perhaps the biggest play in his young football career Friday night when he stripped Clarion’s Danny Walters of the football and then recovered the loose ball at the Red Raider 27-yard line with just under a minute to play to preserve a 19-13 Cameron County win at Clarion in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoffs at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium.
Clarion (5-6), the fourth seed, trailed 19-6 with less than five minutes to play when Walters hit Camron Kirkland with a 68-yard touchdown pass to get the Bobcats back within six at 19-13.
The Bobcats defense then held forcing a Cameron County punt that gave Clarion the ball back at its own 40 with 3:02 left to play. READ MORE FROM D9SPORTS.COM

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Little About Hunters Sharing the Harvest

Elk County’s new HSH program Coordinator Dan Surra was recently appointed to represent the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, and has announced the addition of Elk County to the growing list of counties that provide venison to needy families in Pennsylvania. HSH is Pennsylvania’s charitable venison donation program and the conduit for hunters who share their extra venison via a statewide network of participating butchers to Food Banks across Pennsylvania. HSH participating butchers, who are paid for their services through monetary donations, coordinate the meat deliveries and work with local food banks. The food banks redistribute the venison to more than 4,000 local food assistance provider organizations such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelters, Salvation Army facilities and churches, as well as needy families.
Local food banks expected to participate are the Christian Food bank, St Marys; Good Samaritan Food Bank, Ridgway; and the Northern Elk Food Pantry in Johnsonburg. Local butcher’s Palumbo Family Meats located in Ridgway and The Smoke House owned and operated by Joe Sarnoski in St Marys will be the official HSH participating deer processors in Elk County.
The PA Hunters Sharing the Harvest Program has been successfully feeding the hungry for 20 years, and is the largest and successful charitable program of its kind in the country. Since 1991 Hunter’s Sharing the Harvest has solicited and coordinated the processing and distribution of donated wild game from hunters to hungry people throughout Pennsylvania. An average-sized deer will provide enough highly-nutritious, low-cholesterol meat for 200 meals. There are over 1.4 million families in the State of Pennsylvania in need of food assistance. HSH provides an excess of 750,000 meals annually to help feed the hungry. HSH is a registered IRS and PA non-profit charitable organization, and monetary contributions are tax-deductible.
For more information, go to www.sharedeer.org.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

United States Pizza Team sponsoring the first National Gluten Free Pizza Competition

In an effort to promote celiac awareness, The United States Pizza Team (USPT)
made history by sponsoring the first National Gluten Free Pizza Competition.
The Gluten-Free Pizza Contest is an open competition held during the Orlando Pizza Show in September, which invites pizzaiolos to make their best-tasting gluten-free pizza. The goal of the competition is to promote celiac awareness and help show the versatility of gluten-free dough.
Local USPT member and owner of Pizza Palace Plus in Emporium, David Smith II, paid the one hundred dollar entry fee for the competition, and competed against several pizza makers from across the United States. “I didn’t make gluten free pizza at my restaurant, says Dave, but I learned quickly and walked away from the competition with Fifth Best in the US. After winning Best in America twice, I was a little disappointed until I saw the judge’s scores. I made a spinach and raisin pizza with Feta cheese, and although all of the judges loved my crust, only two of the five raved over the pizza toppings.
The winner of the competition, Patrick Maggi of Maryland, taught Dave how to make a Canolli Calzone topped with brown sugar. Dave experimented with his employees as testers, and the dessert calzone is now available to the public for 3.99.
In other competition matters, the USPT introduced a brand new award called “the Sportsmanship Award”. This award goes to the competitor that shows the most team spirit, willingness to help others, and sets an example for the other competitors to follow. The recipient of this prestigious award is our own David Smith II, and can be viewed at the Pizza Palace entrance. Says Steve Lieber, USPT director of events, “Dave embodies everything we expect out of a competitor, and it’s an honor to have him on our team. We’re going to name the award after Dave and he will be responsible for choosing the recipient at future competitions”.
The next event the USPT will be attending is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NY City, November 25th. Dave suggested the team do this a couple years ago to promote the team, and now it’s coming to fruition. Several members of the team will be in attendance, and will be marching the parade route while tossing throw dough, a synthetic form of pizza dough that will take the abuse of prolonged tossing. “The parade will be a couple hours long, and it would be impossible to maintain real dough,” says Dave. “We will also be debuting our new uniforms.”
Details of the Orlando Pizza Competition will be in the next issue of PMQ Magazine, or can be checked online at PMQ.com.
If you have celiac disease or know of someone with this condition, have him or her give the Pizza Palace Plus a call at 486-1819, and they will be happy to help out with some of the best pizza in America.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Photo of the Day

This magnificent bull elk is known in the Benezette area as "Crazy Legs Jr". I was lucky enough to get some good photos of him this fall. In this week's CC Echo, outdoor writer Phil Burkhouse wrote a nice article about this special non-typical specimen. Unfortunately, early reports from the field lead us to believe that Crazy Legs Jr. was killed by a hunter earlier this week. I haven't had confirmation yet but will know for sure soon. This bull was very acclimated to humans and was probably not very difficult to "hunt" So long, Crazy Legs.....it was good to know you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

“Run With the Big Dogs” at Sinnemahoning State Park

Canadian-American Sledders Dry-Land Races
AUSTIN – The Sinnemahoning State Park will host its fifth annual Canadian-American Sledders Dry-land race event from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 at the 40 Maples Day – Use Area. Races are also scheduled to resume the next day.
Event day will include Canine-Cross, Bike-Joring and Cart Races as well as GPS/Geo-caching and winter bird-feeding and craft programs and much more. All will be accompanied by lots of barking and tail-wagging.
In addition, check out the area displays of the rescue organizations and the new Sinnemahoning State Park Visitor Center, which is set to open next spring!.
Hot food and refreshments will be available to keep away the chill. Spectator areas will be open along the trails and staging area.
Races will continue on Sunday, Nov. 7, but additional programs will not be available.
For more information on this or other programs, call the park office at 814-647-8401.
The following is a full itinerary for the two-day event.
Saturday, Nov. 6
8 a.m. – Race registration at 40 Maples Day-Use Area
9 a.m. – Races Begin
9:30 a.m. – “Animal Tracks and Traces” – Pavilion #1
Learn how to identify animal tracks and make a plaster track mold to take home!
11 a.m. - “Matchless Fire-Starting” – Pavilion #1
Use magnesium fire-starters to build a fire without the use of matches or lighters!
12:30 p.m. – “Pine Cone Bird Feeders” – Pavilion #1
Make a pine cone birdfeeder to hang in your own back yard!
1 p.m. – “Mushing 101” presentation – Pavilion #2
Learn how to get started in dry-land bike-joring, carting, and cani-cross.
2 p.m. – Presentation on Sinnemahoning State Park’s new Visitor Center. Meet at Pavilion #2
3 p.m. - “GPS Basics” – Pavilion #2
Sunday, Nov. 7
9:30 a.m. – Races start – Start and Finish Line at 40 Maples Area
2 p.m. – Races conclude
2:30 p.m. – Race results and Awards presentation
Food concessions and vendors will be open in the Forty Maples Day-Use area throughout the weekend.