GANT RELOAD: Week of April 28

The weekly reload gives readers a look back upon the most noteworthy stories of their work week.  It contains the big headlines, as well as a few stories you might have missed. It might even include a story or two of the lighter side.

The reload will be posted each weekend for your perusal. For most part, the reload will be filled with local headlines, but every now and again, a state, world or national story will make the list.

Woman Gets Jail for Causing DUI Accident

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois woman was sentenced to jail for causing an accident while intoxicated.

Kathryn Marie Bembenic, 31, 118 Wilson Ave., DuBois, was found guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, DUI, recklessly endangering another person and summaries after a trial in March. Judge Paul Cherry sentenced her to serve 11.5 months to two years less one day in the Clearfield County Jail and five years consecutive probation for the aggravated assault charge and a consecutive period of 72 hours to six months in jail for the DUI charge.

Students, Faculty, Staff Recognized at 75th Annual Honors Convocation

DUBOIS – The 75thannual Delta Mu Sigma Honors Convocation at Penn State DuBois recognized outstanding students, faculty and staff members on Friday night in the campus’ Hiller Auditorium.

Awards at the Honors Convocation recognize students for a wide range of accomplishments, from academic excellence to overcoming hardships to succeed.  Members of the staff and faculty were celebrated for their commitment to supporting students and for their service to the campus and community.

Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Radio Shack

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man accused of taking money from his employer pleaded guilty recently in Clearfield County Court.

James Edward O’Dell, 48, 406 Turnpike Ave., Clearfield, pleaded guilty to 30 counts of computer trespass, five counts of theft by deception and 17 counts of access device fraud.

He was sentenced to nine months to two years less one day in jail and three years consecutive probation. He was fined $3,695 and must pay restitution of more than $2,700.

Juvenile Accused of Stabbing Clearfield Man

CLEARFIELD – A 15-year-old male juvenile has been arrested for an alleged stabbing that occurred on West Front Street, reported the Clearfield Borough police.

Police were advised of the stabbing after the victim presented himself to the hospital. Upon investigation police found the juvenile allegedly stabbed the victim, a 31-year-old Clearfield man, in the chest. The juvenile, police said, was disarmed by his sister.

Prescribed Fire Carried Out in Benezette Twp.

EMPORIUM – Prescribed fire is a management tool involving the use of fire to manage vegetation. Prescribed fire is not a new concept, according to Jeanne Wambaugh, district forester with the Elk State Forest.

Large Crowd Gathers for Air Mail Program

DUBOIS – Mike Solensky and Harvey Haag transported a large crowd back to the days of air mail pick-up during the 1940’s at the April meeting of the DuBois Area Historical Society. A crowd of 45 people overflowed the meeting room of the E.D. Reitz Museum for the program, “History of Air Mail in DuBois.”

Solensky is a retired U.S. Air pilot who grew up in Clearfield County and currently lives at Treasure Lake. He presented the first portion of the program relating to the history and operation of the air mail pick-up route, one where planes did not land but snagged mail bags while in flight.

House Majority Policy Committee Unveils Report from Statewide Initiative on Poverty

HARRISBURG – Every region of Pennsylvania struggles with the effects of poverty; from the elderly couple living on a fixed income in Pittsburgh, to the single mother in Northumberland County struggling to raise her family, to the recent college graduate paying for student loans on an entry-level salary.

CASD Parents Concerned about School Safety

CLEARFIELD – At last night’s meeting, parents confronted members of the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors with concerns about school safety protocols.

Jennifer Campolong of Clearfield raised concerns after an incident occurred on April 1. Clearfield Middle School students, she said, left school property and went to the Clearfield Elementary School.

Once there she said the CMS students accessed a CES recess area, which isn’t fenced in. “They didn’t belong there and had easy access,” said Campolong.

Penn Highlands Clearfield Health Expo set for May 13

CLEARFIELD – More than 50 agencies plan to participate in the 12th annual Penn Highlands Clearfield Health Expo, planned for May 13 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Florian Banquet Center, Mill Road, Clearfield.

The purpose of this expo is to bring area health and human service providers together in one location for the convenience of the residents of local communities. There is no charge to attend.

CCHS Announces Capital Campaign for Research Center

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Historical Society has officially announced the kick-off of its capital campaign to fund the William B. Alexander V Research Center.

The announcement coincides with the publishing of the society’s spring issue of “The Bulletin,” its bi-yearly magazine. The new Alexander Research Center will provide an up-to-date facility, which will house genealogical and historical records for the county.

NY Scam Artist Picked Up on I-80

CLEARFIELD – A New York scam artist wanted in Washington State for fraud and forgery was taken into custody recently after state police encountered him on Interstate 80.

Steve Edward Cho, 45, whose address is listed on his driver’s license as 2025 Parsons Blvd., Whitestone, NY, has charges in King County, Wash. for residential burglary, forgery, theft, offering false instrument for filing or record, unlawful issuance of checks and theft of a motor vehicle.

Man Waives Hearing in Child Porn Case

DUBOIS – An Indiana man accused of possessing child pornography waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court in Clearfield County.

Allen James Pierce, 34, 665 Hood School Rd., Indiana, was charged after photos of naked, young girls were found in his backpack in March. He remains in custody in lieu of $5,000 bail.

DCNR Seeking Information on Clearfield County Wildfires

HARRISBURG – The state Bureau of Forestry is seeking the public’s help in the probe of a series of 10 wildland fires in Clearfield County in mid-April that investigators have labeled arson.

Discovered and fought throughout the day April 16, the fires scorched a total of 35 acres of private lands near Shiloh, Bradford Township. Local volunteer fire companies and Bureau of Forestry personnel were kept scrambling from one fire to the next throughout the day.

UPDATE: Police: Note Found with Bomb Threat in CAMS Girls Restroom

CLEARFIELD – A note with a bomb threat was found yesterday afternoon in a girls restroom at the Clearfield Area Middle School, reported Lawrence Township police.

Clearfield Borough police, the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Department and a Blair County K9 Unit assisted at the scene.

Man to Stand Trial for Burglary, Theft

CLEARFIELD – A Westover man who has been accused of a burglary and a theft had all charges held for court in two, different cases during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Michael Joseph Wholaver Jr., 26, of Westover has been charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm prohibited. In another case, he’s been charged with theft by unlawful taking and criminal mischief.

Bills Advanced to Update & Improve ESA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the House Natural Resources Committee approved four bills that will improve and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, a cosponsor of all four measures, is a member of the ESA Congressional Working Group, which developed the findings and recommendations for the proposals.

The measures seek to improve scientific and litigation transparency, enhance states’ role in species restoration, and cap government-paid attorneys’ fees under ESA-related litigation.

State Police Investigating Attempted Robbery, Theft

CHESTER HILL – The Clearfield-based state police have initiated an investigation into an attempted robbery/theft that occurred at 5:58 a.m. Friday at the FuelOn Convenience Store on Walton Street in Chester Hill Borough.

The suspect allegedly arrived at the convenience store and pulled a gun on the victim, a 66-year-old Philipsburg woman. Then, he allegedly ordered the victim to give him all of the money.

Man to Stand Trial in Aggravated Assault Case

DUBOIS – A DuBois man will stand trial for choking a woman.

Layne Eriq Stipe, 24, 4319 Rockton Rd., DuBois, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment and unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court in Clearfield County. He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Soldier Slated as Destination of Spring Walk
CAMS Students Visit Bank

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