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March 16th, 2012

Ed Skarbek says maple syrup season is over, spring has arrived

March 16, 2012

BELL TOWNSHIP — Ed Skarbek knows spring is here when he can't make maple syrup any longer.

And it's just about that time, he said last Saturday morning, while showing a group of Cub Scouts how the "real stuff" is made.

"It all depends on the weather," Skarbek said. "You’ve got to have the cold nights and the warm days."

Cold nights and warm days are perfect for making maple syrup, a Skarbek past-time that can be traced through the generations.

At the turn of the 20th century, within a three-mile radius of Skarbek's current camp in Bell Township, sugar camps began to spring up.

Groundhog Festival Committee prepares for its ‘best-ever’ event during summer 2012

March 16, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Roger Steele, chairman of the Groundhog Festival Committee, said his members are “real close to putting on the best event ever.”

After dedicating “thousands” of volunteer hours, Steele said the committee has almost finalized this year’s festival schedule and is now looking for community sponsors.

“We’re fortunate to have great sponsors,” Advertising Chairperson Dee Lyle said. “People in the community help us out that way. They make it possible for us to put this on for the community. It’s basically what it comes down to.”

County cites last week in March for weather preparedness

March 16, 2012

BROOKVILLE — Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioners proclaimed the week of March 26-30 as Weather Emergency Preparedness Week.

Tracy Zents, director of emergency services for Jefferson County, said the week is crucial in preparing the county’s residents for possible severe weather outbreaks.

“(We need) to be prepared to take immediate action in the event of bad weather,” he said.

Zents also said the timing of the proclamation is also important, because the county is more susceptible to thunderstorms and tornados during the spring.

March 15th

Just for Jesus guests no longer listed as ‘transient’ offenders

March 15, 2012

BROCKWAY — A recent update to Megan's Law, signed by Gov. Tom Corbett late last year, means sex offenders in Pennsylvania are now facing stricter registration and notification requirements.

A few aspects of the law, signed Dec. 20, took effect Feb. 18.
One of the changes that took effect deals with homeless offenders, and is a change about which the Rev. Jack Wisor, director of the Just for Jesus Homeless Ministry in Brockway, recently voiced concerns.

New hayracks for new poles?

March 15, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Monday, the Punxsutawney Garden Club asked Punxsutawney Borough Council for help in replacing the hayracks that were removed from the light standards for the downtown traffic light replacement project.

“We feel the beautification projects the Garden Club manages throughout the year make a great deal of difference in adding to the charm of the community,” Garden Club President Gloria Kerr said.

She said there is a fear that to replace the hayracks on the new light standards might damage the new poles.

March 14th

Young Township hopes to have found solution for delinquent sewage customers

March 14, 2012

WALSTON — Young Township sewage customers who become late on their sewer bills could find themselves knee-deep in something else.

Wednesday, the Young Township Board of Supervisors displayed its new sewage shut-off device to be used with late-paying sewage customers.

These devices will be used at the discretion of the township supervisors for the most delinquent sewage customers, Chairman Andrew Meterko said.

He said these devices will be installed after a 48-hour shut-off notice is given to the customer, and is in accordance with the township’s sewage rules and regulations.

Goodwill opens new donation center in Groundhog Plaza

March 14, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Goodwill has opened a new donation center in the Groundhog Plaza, near Burger King. The building was provided by Bob Johnson, of Johnson Motors in DuBois, and the space was provided by Joe Varacallo, of Developac Realty.

March 13th

Rotary Club goes green for Radio Auction, St. Patrick’s Day

March 13, 2012

PUNXSUTAWNEY — With the right bid, you could have the luck of the Irish this Saturday.

The Punxsutawney Rotary Club is going green for its annual Rotary Radio Auction, but that’s only because this year, the annual event lands on St. Patrick’s Day, again broadcast live from BFG Electroplating on WPXZ-FM 104.1.

“It’s on St. Patrick’s Day, and everyone has to wear green when they’re calling in to bid, or we just have to paint everything green before it goes out,” said Rotarian Tom Chelgren.

Chief: No injuries in Troutville fire

March 13, 2012

TROUTVILLE — A dryer fire caused $100,000 in damage to a Troutville family’s home located along Walnut Street Monday.

“It was a working fire when the alarm was first reported by a neighbor at 8:53 p.m.,” Brady Township Fire Chief Russ Perks said.

Perks said flames were coming from the back of the residence — which is owned by Joan DuBeck — when firefighters arrived.

Perks said the tankers were refilled at Weis’ pond.

Frog Man: Peepers peeped, didn’t croak

March 13, 2012

BIG RUN — It’s no surprise, when one thinks of it.

John London, Big Run’s official “Frog Man,” said Tuesday, “If you take all those dates, add them up and divide and look at the average ... the average date is March 19, which is very close to the first day of spring.”

Tuesday morning, London reported that his friend, Bob Fisher, heard the peepers in the Big Run swamp peeping around 9:30 p.m. Monday, March 12 — just eight days before the official first day of spring, March 20.

“He said they peeped last night, but didn’t croak,” London said.

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