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dbyers / Dianne Byers  

Touch of Gold entertains at Curwensville Days

Touch of Gold, a competitive indoor flag and baton team from Curwensville, entertained the Curwensville Days crowd Tuesday evening with their choreographed routines featuring a number of props.


Local
featured
149th Annual Frenchville Picnic set for Saturday, Sunday

FRENCHVILLE — It’s that time of year again for those in the area and those all over the country make the trek back to Frenchville for the 149th Annual Frenchville Picnic, sponsored by St. Mary Catholic Church.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday and Sunday at the church’s picnic grove.

Event organizer Mary Kay Royer said the picnic is one of the biggest events of the downriver area.

“It’s a rather big homecoming for everybody,” Royer said. “If you’ve lived in the area, if you have camps in the area, if you have family in the area, this is the big time where everybody comes home.”

Royer said they’ve previously had representation at the picnic from all 50 states at one point or another.

“In general, we sell almost 1,000 sit down dinners,” Royer said.

Those dinners are served on Sunday from 12-5 p.m. and include either barbecue or oven roasted chicken or a ham dinner with homemade desserts, costing $12 for adults and $7 for children under the age of 12.

Parking and entertainment is free, with many different booths offering a variety of food if you’re not interested in the sit down dinners.

“We’ve got snow cones, lemonade, iced tea, funnel cakes,” Royer said. “The lunch stand has just about anything you want, from haluski to hot sausage to chicken fingers ... It’s more than just hamburgers and hot dogs.”

Royer said the first picnic in 1870 was held to dedicate the new church, with parishioners coming from the 52 original French families who settled in the area.

The picnic itself starts with the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Mary Church on Saturday and the picnic grove opens at 5 p.m. for a family night of fun.

A big draw on Saturday is the fireworks show at 10 p.m. presented by R&R Fireworks, Inc., with Royer saying it gets quite populated with folks watching the event.

Sunday’s events start at noon with the dinners and continues up until 9 p.m. with drawings for prizes. Throughout the day, there is a horseshoe tournament, bingo, a 50/50, a French raffle, hayrides, free entertainers in Heather Olson and The Moore Brothers, and plenty of kids games — including the sawdust money scramble.

“It is a big event,” Royer said. “A lot of people come back and they visit and see people they’ve never seen before.”

The full schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 20

  • 4 p.m. — Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church
  • 5 p.m. — Picnic Grove opens, Family Night Theme
  • 10 p.m. — Fireworks by R&R Fireworks, Inc.

Sunday, July 21

  • 12 p.m. — Barbecue or oven roasted chicken or ham dinner, continually serving until 5 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. — Registration for horse shoe tournament (may use own shoes or be provided)
  • 1 p.m. — The Moore Brothers
  • 1:30 p.m. — Horse shoe tournament
  • 3 p.m. — The Moore Brothers
  • 6 p.m. — Heather Olson
  • 6 p.m. — Saw dust money scramble for kids ages 12 and under
  • 9 p.m. — Drawing for prizes

Local
Clearfield area sewer system consolidation moves forward

The planning process to consolidate Clearfield Municipal Authority, Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township’s sewer and water systems is almost complete.

At yesterday’s authority board meeting Engineer Jim Balliet of Gwin, Dobson & Foreman of Altoona reported that the borough and township’s engineer, Stiffler, McGraw and Associates of Hollidaysburg, has completed all of its planning materials for the two municipalities and has submitted them to the authority.

The authority is then going to merge the materials with their own planning work and submit it to the state Department of Environmental Protection as an Act 537 Special Study to have the three systems combined into one, which would be owned, operated and maintained by CMA.

An Act 537 Plan is the sewage facilities plan for a municipality.

Once the Act 537 Special Study is approved by DEP, transfer of assets agreements would be drawn up for the borough and the township to turn over its assets to the CMA.

CMA is also assuming the debt the two municipalities accumulated in repairing, replacing and maintaining its sanitary sewer systems.

The borough has several low interest loans outstanding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority that it used to completely replace its sanitary sewer system. Balliet said those loans are easily transferable over to the CMA and they shouldn’t be an issue.

The township however has private bank loans outstanding for its sanitary sewer work, and those loans cannot be transferred and instead would have to be refinanced. Therefore, the township’s process is more complicated, Balliet said.

Once the CMA takes over the system, all CMA customers would pay the same sewer rates. Currently, both the borough and the township charge its residents who are connected to the public sanitary sewer system the same surcharge, $8 per 1,000 gallons of water usage, but there were times when the borough and the township had different surcharge rates.

Balliet said he is hoping the draft Act 537 Plan Special Study will be ready for approval by the CMA board at its meeting next month. If everything goes well, the consolidation could be completed by the end of the year.

Balliet also reported that the CMA had to open the Hyde Sanitary Sewer Overflow briefly on June 18, which will incur a fine from DEP. Clearfield’s sanitary sewer system continues to have issues with storm water entering the system, which forces the CMA to open the Hyde SSO and discharge raw sewage into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River during periods of heavy rain to keep the sewage from backing up into homes and businesses.

DEP issues fines every time the CMA does this. The two other incidents occurred in January, for which the CMA was fined $2,800, and in April where it was fined $3,250. The CMA doesn’t yet know how much it will be fined for the June incident.

However, the DEP has the option of fining the CMA up to $10,000 per day for each incident.

“They could hit us with a lot more if they wanted to,” CMA Chairman Russell Triponey said.

And he added that DEP probably isn’t fining at a higher rate because they are making so much headway on consolidating the three sanitary sewer systems.

Currently the township and the CMA share the cost of the fines, with the township paying 80 percent and the CMA 20 percent.

When asked by The Progress who would pay the fines after the consolidation, Balliet said once the consolidation is approved, they are hopeful DEP would give them an additional grace period to get the storm water issue resolved and they won’t have to pay any more fines.


jbenamati / Submitted 

COLUMBIA VFC FIRE CHIEF HONORED 


News
DEP's open house outlines how Restore Pennsylvania can address stream and flooding needs

PHILIPSBURG — The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Northcentral Regional Director Marcus Kohl hosted a public open house Monday at DEP’s Moshannon State office.

DEP’s Environmental Community Relations Specialist Megan Lehman said invitations were issued to various Clearfield and Centre counties’ municipal leaders asking they attend the session where multiple agencies shared information about working in streams impacted by flooding and erosion. Also discussed was how Gov. Tom Wolf’s initiative Restore Pennsylvania can help communities better prepare for, and deal with, the aftermath of flooding.

Lehman called the open house “successful” and noted approximately 30 people were in attendance.

“They had great questions,” she said.

Lehman said this is the third in a series of four open houses, hosted by DEP, that have been held throughout the Northwest region. The previous two were held in Williamsport, Lycoming County and Benton, Columbia County.

“We tried to get around to the different areas in the 14-county region where flooding has made an impact, although there are few areas in the state that have not been impacted by flooding. There are some that have been more severely impacted,” Lehman said.

Restore Pennsylvania is an aggressive plan to address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs, including flood control. Wolf proposes a severance tax that would invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help rebuild the state’s infrastructure and increase resources for blighted properties, internet access, storm preparedness, water quality, and disaster recovery to help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

According to information provided by DEP, a flood can take place at any time, and the effects of climate change will continue to make storms more frequent and more intense, making flood preparation and prevention efforts even more critical.

Lehman said if the measure is approved Restore Pennsylvania could provide funding for additional and more extensive projects.

“Restore Pennsylvania has the potential to fund larger projects using a watershed approach. There would be more funding for planning and proactive measures that would provide long-term success. DEP has existing programs for stream projects but it is only able to do a small number each year,” she explained.

Those attending the meeting were able to speak one-on-one with staff from DEP, the state Department of Transportation, the state Fish and Boat Commission, and Centre County Conservation District about their stream work and flooding questions and viewed educational displays.

Copies of the booklet “Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community” were provided to assist landowners and municipal officials seeking to work in streams.

Lehman said those who were unable to attend Monday’s meeting and want to ask questions about how to address flooding concerns should call DEP’s Northwest Office at 332-6945 or the Clearfield County Conservation District.


Crime
Northern Cambria man's plea rejected after testing positive for meth, marijuana

Cory Lee White, 31, of Northern Cambria had his bail revoked and his plea rejected by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman after he tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana in court yesterday.

White was free on $10,000 unsecured bail. He attended Sentencing Court after agreeing to plead guilty to terroristic threats, a misdemeanor of the second degree, and simple assault, also a misdemeanor of the first degree.

However, Ammerman had White drug tested and he came back positive for methamphetamine.

Ammerman then rejected the plea, revoked his bail and put his case back on the trial list.

White is currently incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on June 1 at 7 a.m. Punxsutawney-based State Police responded to a residence along Smith Road in Burnside Township for a domestic incident between a male and a female.

Upon arrival troopers spoke to the female victim who said White had left the scene. She said they had gotten into an argument and he told her he wished she was dead. He then spread dog feces all over her vehicle and threw grass clippings everywhere to make her house look bad because she had it listed for sale.

She said White was abusing methamphetamine and Suboxone, which he does not have a prescription for.

She said earlier that morning they were arguing and White told her she better not go to sleep. The female said she retreated into her residence and tried to close the door but White pushed it open. She said they were screaming at each other when White slapped her across the face, knocking off her glasses. The victim then called the police.

Troopers located White walking down the driveway heading towards the victim’s residence and placed him under arrest. When interviewed White denied hitting the victim and knocking her glasses off.

White said he came into the house to get his belongings and did not listen to the victim when she told him to not come inside.

White also admitted to breaking some vases because the female was pushing him and wouldn’t leave him alone.

The victim was in court yesterday and told Ammerman that White has a severe drug addiction problem.

White is represented by the public defender’s office.


rmurawski / Robert Gauthier 

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