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dbyers / Bill Woolworth 

144th Annual Cooper Picnic held Saturday

Visitors attending the 144th annual Cooper Picnic Monday could entertain themselves by taking a hayride around the grounds.

Curwensville Lake
Conservation Celebration set at Curwensville Lake on Saturday

CURWENSVILLE — The annual observance recognizing a wide-variety of components that make up the environment and the importance of protecting them will be held Saturday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Curwensville Lake Recreation Area.

The Conservation Celebration, sponsored by the Clearfield County Conservation District, is a family-friendly education event with many hands-on activities, geared towards school-age children, but younger siblings, parents and grandparents enjoy it too. Admission is free, courtesy of Curwensville Lake.

Participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to a local food pantry.

CCCD Manager William Null told The Progress he is enthusiastic about the 2019 Conservation Celebration and all the activities that will be offered.

“We have lots of new things. I’m excited,” Null said.

The 2019 Conservation Celebration is expected to be even larger than previous years, Null said with new activities and many returning ones. In addition to learning how to fish, canoe or kayak, meeting Smokey Bear, building a birdhouse, visiting with farm animals, seeing bee colonies, watching birds of prey demonstration and viewing a spinning and weaving demonstration — there will be demonstrations by entomologist Ryan Bridge, also known as the Bug Man, and Rick Mikula, the Butterfly Guy.

“There are a lot of new and really cool things to see, touch and do this year,” Null said.

Friends of Curwensville Lake will be cooking hotdogs and each child attending will receive a hot dog. There will also be free popcorn provided by the CCCD, crafts, games and temporary tattoos.

New this year is the H2Oh on the Go, an interactive display, on loan from Armstrong County Conservation District, that demonstrates soil erosion by wind and water.

Null said, “It’s going be really neat. Participants can make waves and freeze drops of water” he explained.

The Conservation Celebration will be held, regardless of weather, Null said. Most of the events will be at Pavilion No. 5, closest to the lake’s beach area, but the H2Oh on the Go station will be positioned at Pavilion No. 4.

“We will have displays and activities stretched all along the grassy area beside the beach parking lot between Pavilion No. 5 and Pavilion No. 4,” he said.

New drug and alcohol Rural Outreach Coordinator strives to bring services to region

Leslie Buffone is the new Rural Health Outreach Coordinator for the Clearfield Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission.

Buffone is responsible for marketing and community outreach for the organization. She said she attends local health fairs and community events, and communicates with local health care providers and businesses.

She is also coordinating an effort get the organization’s Hepatitis C program back up and running so they can resume screenings and testing in their offices for Hepatitis C.

Buffone is also a part of the Overdose Task Force and Heroin Task Force; she also provides Narcan training for non-first responders such as jails, health providers, businesses, etc.

The Clearfield-Jefferson Alcohol Commission provides a variety of services and drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs and assists those seeking treatment for substance abuse. For example, the organization helps those seeking to get into treatment by performing services such as level of care assessments and screenings.

It also provides case management services such as helping clients find housing, gain employment, getting back into school, transportation for appointments, getting their driver’s license, working with Children, Youth and Family Services if it is is involved, and referring clients to outside agencies who can help them.

“We want to make sure that even though they might have just gotten out of rehab or discharged from an outpatient counseling facility, that they still have that support system to help them get the things that they need in the time that they need them,” Buffone said.

The organization also works closely with the probation departments of both counties. They go into both the Jefferson County Jail and Clearfield County Jail to perform screenings on inmates to obtain treatment. The drug and alcohol commission has a case manager embedded at the Clearfield County Jail because of the high number of referrals from the facility.

The organization also has a prevention department that goes into local schools and the community, operating drug and alcohol prevention programs.

She said drug and alcohol abuse is a problem that continues to grow in this area, requiring the organization to expand.

“We are very busy,” Buffone said. “And we’ve grown quite a bit.”

When she started four years ago, the drug and alcohol commission had two case managers. By the end of the year, it will have 12, Buffone said.

They recently moved into a larger office on Jeffers Street in DuBois and the commission now has a staff of about 30 employees.

For those who don’t have the resources to pay for a treatment program, the drug and alcohol commission will help them find funding sources.

“If money seems to be an issue for you to go and get treatment, call us and we will try to do whatever we can and look into whatever options we have,” Buffone said.

She said methamphetamine abuse has increased substantially in recent years, but alcohol remains the biggest issue locally, especially when it comes to emergency room calls.

The Drug and Alcohol Commission has an on-call system with Penn Highlands DuBois, Clearfield and Brookville, as well as Punxsutawney Hospital where they have someone on call 24-hours a day where the hospital can call and set up treatment for patient in the middle of the night if need be.

She said combating substance abuse is a tall task, and the commission is working on ways to reach people with substance abuse problems so they can get help.

“There are still people in the area who don’t know we are here,” Buffone said.

The Clearfield Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission is funded from a variety of sources, including grants from the state, local and federal governments, Buffone said.

For more information contact Buffone at the Clearfield Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission, 480 Jeffers Street Dubois Pa, 15801, or call 371-9002 Ext. 143, or fax 503-8942.

dbyers / Dianne Byers  

Cooking with Dianne: Oven Baked Penne

Lightning strike causes $100K damage to Graham Township garage

MORRISDALE — A lightning strike early Monday morning caused a fire at a garage on Columbia Road in Graham Township.

State Police Fire Marshal Russell D. Stewart said he and members of the Morris Township Fire Co. investigated the fire that had fully engulfed the structure, owned by Rodney and Wilma Foster of Morrisdale, when crews arrived on scene just after 1 a.m.

Approximately 30 firefighters from Morrisdale, Philipsburg, Bigler-Jackson-Woodland, Winburne and Grassflat fire companies battled the blaze which originated on the roof of the structure. There was difficulty obtaining a water supply and 1,500-feet of five-inch hose had to be run to connect to a hydrant located near the former Elaine’s Country Store on the Allport Cutoff.

Moshannon Valley EMS was also stationed at the fire scene. There were no reported injuries.

The fire caused minor damage to a nearby home. Damage was estimated, by the fire marshal at $100,000. The owners had insurance.

Police capture wanted man hiding in attic

A local man who took refuge in an attic under a pile of carpet to avoid being captured by police is lodged in Clearfield County Jail.

Ernest Ricketts, 29, of Hyde, was wanted on a bench warrant for failure to appear through the Clearfield County Sheriff’s office on the charge of terroristic threats.

According to the police report, Lawrence Township Police on Aug. 29 received information about Ricketts allegedly located at a residence located on the 1600-block of Washington Avenue in Hyde. Police obtained consent from the homeowner to search the residence looking for Ricketts and later located him hiding in the attic under a pile of carpet.

Rickets refused to comply with officers’ commands, to which he was Tasered and charged officers attempting to place him under arrest. Ricketts was successfully taken into custody, transported to Penn Highlands Clearfield for an evaluation and then transported and housed at CCJ.

Charges were filed by police on Aug. 30 in District Court for resisting arrest, simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct.

Police searching for missing Cooper Township youth

State Police at Clearfield are searching for a missing juvenile. A 14-year-old male is believed to have run away from his Cooper Avenue home in Cooper Township.

He is described to be approximately 150 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, faded blue jeans and brown work boot. He is believed to be operating a Suzuki all-terrain vehicle in Cooper Township.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 857-3800.

rmurawski /   

Numbers are up for the Clearfield girls soccer team – B1

Experienced Clearfield boys soccer team poised for successful season – B1