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Woodland man gets state prison for drugs and explosive charges

Gene Williams Robbins, 39, of Woodland, who was found with explosives and illegal drugs in his vehicle, was sentenced to serve four to nine years in state prison by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman at November’s session of special sentencing court.

According to a previous article in The Progress, on June 18, at 3:45 p.m., Lawrence Township police conducted a vehicle stop in the area of Fullerton Street in Hyde for multiple equipment violations including a burned out brake light and window tint.

Upon making contact with Robbins, officers located two homemade explosive devices in plain view inside the vehicle.

Robbins and his eight-year-old son were removed from the vehicle and Robbins was placed under arrest.

Robbins refused to consent to allow police to search the vehicle so the state police K-9 unit was called in.

Through the course of the investigation, two separate search warrants were executed and officers located and seized the two explosive devices, 90 stamp bags of heroin, a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine, various pills identified as controlled substances that were separately packaged, and one “loaded” syringe.

Robbins pleaded guilty to four counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, prohibited offensive weapon, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Robbins was represented by attorney Paul Colavecchi of Clearfield.

Glendale sixth grader part of musical cast to celebrate anniversary of holiday tale

FLINTON — A sixth grade student at Glendale Elementary School celebrated Halloween in an unusual way when he portrayed one of the characters in a musical based on a classic holiday tale.

Trip Worthington of Blandburg was one of the actors in William Allen Jones’s “Sleepy Hollow” presented by Carysel Entertainment Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 24-26 at the Irvington Town Hall Theatre in Irvington, N.Y. Worthington had participated in the production in 2018 at the Mishler Theatre, Altoona. The show was a great success and performances were sold out.

Worthington said the musical presented at Altoona differed slightly from the 2019 version because of the difference in the stages. Billing for the musical said it “infuses new life into the classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman with memorable rock and pop songs and unforgettable ballads.” It notes the show, adapted for the stage, was brought to the Irvington Town Hall Theater to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of American Author Washington Irvine’s publication of the spine-tingling tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Worthington said his part required singing, performing and for one scene, dancing.

“There were lines and choreography to learn,” he explained.

Rehearsals started in August at Altoona.

Worthington said he was very excited when the director asked if he would reprise the role of Brom Bones’ nephew. Worthington said he was enthused to be included in the repeat performance.

“I’ve always loved acting,” he said.

An ardor for the performing arts is the catalyst behind his desire to be part of shows at the Mishler — three more including “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Music Man” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Worthing has also performed in his home school productions and will be part of the ensemble for Glendale Drama Club’s spring production of “The Addams Family.”

Vocal and drama Instructor Lawrence Putorek reported, “Trip was invited to participate in the musical as part of an ongoing practice to include fifth and sixth grade elementary students as participants to instill a love of theatre. We have 20 elementary students in our cast this year, in addition to 45 high school students. We have been doing this for several years since we performed ‘Les Miserables.’

“The advisers incorporate some of the younger students to get them stage experience, see the inner workings of a theatrical production, and to bolster their vocal and singing talents in conjunction with their acting ability. As part of that process, they are on stage for all of our shows, and again in May when Glendale’s cast participates with the Altoona Community Theatre’s Isaac Awards, where we have had recent success with our productions.”

Worthington has been taking private piano lessons since he was six. He is also a percussionist. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a favorite, he said.

His future plans are to attend college and continue acting.

“I will definitely keep acting. I hope to stay on with the company. If they do another show I would like to be in it,” Worthington explained.

He is the son of Gena and Tom Worthington.

Curwensville Area School District presents diploma to Hand

CURWENSVILLE — A World War II veteran received the diploma his service in the greatest conflict prevented him from obtaining.

At Thursday’s Curwensville Area School Board’s combined work session and business meeting, Hepburnia resident Jim Hand, 94, received a high school diploma from the Curwensville Area School District and a mortarboard presented by board President MaryAnn Rafferty.

Hand was recommended to receive a diploma by high school Instructor Jennifer Tubbs. Tubbs has Hand visit her classes periodically to report his first-hand experiences as a gunner for the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Suwannee. Tubbs nominated Hand to receive a diploma.

“He was telling me he had quit school at 17 to fight in the war and he never graduated. I saw a story on the news about a veteran that did a similar thing and his school gave him a diploma. I thought Mr. Hand deserved that,” Tubbs explained.

District Superintendent Ron Matchock said although the board previously enacted policy to award diplomas to veterans, Hand’s is the first one given by the district.

“We did this as a small way of honoring veterans and to honor and thank Mr. Hand. He has volunteered so much for our students and is truly an inspiration. He didn’t have the opportunity to get his high school diploma while serving his country during World War II. It is an honor for the school district to recognize him today and award him the diploma he gave up the opportunity to receive at that time,” Matchock said.

Tubbs’ students enjoy hosting Hand and hearing his actual accounts.

“He is a great speaker. He is very humble and tells the students he isn’t a hero, he just wants to tell them about his experiences. The kids love listening to his stories,” Tubbs told directors Thursday.

Hand was born in Curwensville and attended Curwensville Elementary School for grades 1-5. His family moved to Clearfield after that and he attended Clearfield elementary and high schools through the 10th grade.

He told the board, in December 1941, he was playing football with his friends when someone came by and told the young men Pearl Harbor had been bombed. After celebrating his 17th birthday, Hand enlisted for service in July 1942. His mother signed the paperwork giving permission for him to join.

Hand served four years. He related to the board some of the highlights of that period of his life and thanked the board for the diploma.

“I am a Curwensville boy,” Hand said. “I am expressing my appreciation not only for myself but on behalf of all veterans.”

He also thanked the board and district administration for allowing him to speak to the students.

jcorcino / Jeff Corcino  


The Clearfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Michael Sicks Post 1785 held its grand opening and open house for its new building along Industrial Park Road on Saturday. Several members posed for a picture in the new banquet hall yesterday. From left, Paul Wilkinson, John Swoope, Nona Mack, all of Clearfield. Standing is Cindy Vasquez, bar manager.