MORRISDALE — Morris Township Supervisors recently gave an update on a township bridge that has been closed since September.
Vice Chairman Josiah Jones said the Colorado Road bridge in Munson has a cost estimate of $250,000 to be replaced.
“We submitted a grant to the county to help us,” Jones said. “Currently they have $133,000 available, so we’re going to try and get a major chunk out of that.”
Jones said the Clearfield County Commissioners are aware of the township’s issue and said, “We’ll see where that goes.”
Chairman James Williams said while the cost estimate is $250,000, it needs to be replaced “as soon as possible.” In September, the township received a structural inspection report from the state that suggested the six-ton weight limit that was on the bridge should be reduced to four or even three tons.
“We’re going to do whatever we have to do as the township to get that bridge reopened in the most timely fashion,” Williams said.
Williams said with the cost estimate being completed and with grants submitted, the next step would be for the supervisors to approve getting the project out for bid.
“We can get final numbers toward a contract,” Williams said. “Then once the contract is awarded, then basically we’ll move forward on a construction date and an ending date.”
Williams said for those along the route, he knows “It’s been a tremendous thorn in everybody’s side” not being able to use the bridge.
“That’s a tough bridge to not have access to — especially in the winter months,” Williams said.
Williams said crews have been doing more than they normally would on Lowes Hill Road — which is where people must go to access Colorado Road now.
“We’re closing in on having a start date and an end date,” Williams said. “Hopefully we can get this construction under way in the early spring and by the middle of summer, we can be completed and reopened with our first brand new bridge.”
IRVONA — Mayor John Cramer expressed his frustration concerning some residents’ lack of patience with the borough’s clearing of snow.
Cramer told Irvona Borough Council recently that following the Dec. 16-17 storm that dumped nearly two-feet of snow in the region, that he received complaints about the time it was taking the borough’s sole road crew member to clear borough roads.
He noted a resident approached his wife who was clearing snow outside their home and used profanity when speaking to her about his complaint. Cramer said he also received a call from a resident and that resident too used profanity.
“If a resident has a problem they should be coming to the mayor, borough council, the secretary or the borough employee. My wife was working outside when a man approached her and verbally attacked her. Residents should not be attacking our spouses or our children and if someone is swearing at you, you shouldn’t have to put up with that. We don’t swear at residents when we talk to them and we don’t deserve to be spoken to like that,” Cramer said.
The borough’s employee began removing snow on the afternoon of Dec. 16 and worked through the night to remove the volume of snow. Cramer reported he checked the streets at approximately 5 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 17.
“The hills were bare and the streets passable,” he told council.
Council President Dan Smith said the volume of snow received made moving it from borough streets even more difficult. “Part of the problem when you get a storm like that is where do you put all that snow? Even (the state Department of Transportation) was not keeping up. The borough only has one man. He came out when the snow started and worked through until the next morning so that the roads could be open for people to go to work. The worker needs his sleep too,” Smith said.
A computer virus has shut down most of Clearfield County’s computer systems.
“We were hit by a cyber attack over the weekend and we are working to recover from it,” Commissioner Dave Glass said in a telephone interview with The Progress on Monday.
The virus has shut down all of the county’s computers servers and email.
He said Clearfield County Director of Information Technology Adam Curry determined it appears the virus got into the system on Thursday and it had a time release mechanism and didn’t start shutting things down until Saturday.
Glass said they hope to have the system up and running today.
Glass said the virus affected all of its computers that were logged onto its system at the time of the attack. Laptops that were not connected to the system when the virus entered the system were not affected, Glass said.
The virus also did not affect the Clearfield County Department of Public Safety 911 computers, or any of the state systems to which the county is connected, Glass said.
When asked if this was a deliberate attack or a random event, Glass said it is still under investigation.
The computer virus also caused some issues at the Clearfield County Courthouse. President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman held Sentencing Court and Motions Court yesterday, and a handful of cases had to be postponed until next month because the virus disabled the county’s video teleconferencing system.
The county currently does not transport inmates to the courthouse for in-person hearings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead, the inmates participate via the county’s video teleconferencing system. This system was also disabled by the virus.
A couple of defendants who had signed plea agreements and completed their sentences were given unsecured bail yesterday by Ammerman so they could be released and not have to stay another month in jail to await sentencing.
Clearfield County Court Administrator F. Cortez “Chip” Bell III said some defendants might have their release delayed by a day because the county cannot print the bail paperwork to be signed by the inmates. Usually, court officials located at the courthouse will watch inmates sign the paperwork while at the jail via the video teleconferencing system.
Glass said he doesn’t know how much the cyber attack will cost the county because it will not only be a cost to repair the system, but it will also have to upgrade its security as well. He said the county’s insurance will pay for a percentage of the costs.
A Indiana man who participated in a Coalport riot was sentenced to a minimum of one month in jail yesterday by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
Charles Michael Smith, 20, pleaded guilty to riot-plan/use of firearm or weapon, a felony of the third degree and disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor of the third degree and was fined $250 plus costs, and was sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in the Clearfield County Jail plus two years consecutive probation.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on June 26, 2019, Smith and a group of juveniles went to a residence along Main Street in Coalport to confront James Potts and William Cochran.
Several juveniles in the group brought baseball bats and firearms because they believed the other group was armed.
An altercation broke out between the two groups on Main Street and they began throwing items at each other. Two of the juveniles in the defendant’s group threw baseball bats and had bats thrown at them.
Gunshots were fired in the air before the altercation ended.
The incident was recorded by a nearby video surveillance system.
Smith was represented by court appointed attorney Brian Jones of Philipsburg; the commonwealth was represented by Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue.