GantDaily’s Year in Review

What a year it has been.

From murders to sewer issues, drug busts to store closings, Clearfield County has had some major headlines here and stories that made national news.

The Gant Media News Team decided to take our Weekly Reload a step further and create a list of the “Top 50 stories of 2006.” But, seeing as how we went online May 15, we had to give you the “Top 50 Stories from MOST of 2006.”

They aren’t in any particular order, but if you look somewhere in the middle, you’ll find a few that will bring a smile to your face (At least, they did for us when we were going back over our old stories!).

Sit back, relax and scroll away as we present … “The Year in Review.”

Grocery Store Closes in Clearfield
Thorne’s Your Neighborhood Market Closed on Oct. 7. The closure of the grocery store left Clearfield residents with only two choices from which to buy groceries, Wal-Mart Supercenter and J.G. Food Warehouse.

Clearfield Radio Stations Sold
Paperwork for the sale of WCPA-AM and WQYX-FM has been filed to the Federal Communications Commission.

WCPA (900 AM) has been in existence in Clearfield for decades with WQYX (93.1 FM) being added later. The stations currently offer oldies and adult contemporary music under the ownership of Clearfield Broadcasters. Whether the stations keep their formats remains to be seen.

North Carolina based First Media LLC is the reported buyer of the Clearfield-based WCPA-WQYX. First Media owns 23 other stations, including Q102 in DuBois and 3WZ in State College.

The reported price of the station was $750,000, payable in cash at closing, with $50,000 set aside in escrow.

Body Found in Huston Township
The body West Virginia resident Kelli Jo Elliot was found in Huston Township on Nov. 14. Court documents and releases from authorities accused Elliot’s married paramour Eugene J. Talik Jr. of killing her and involving other people with the disposal of her body.

Talik was arrested and could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Drug Treatment Facility Opens and Closes in DuBois
On Oct. 9, Kathy Jones, CEO for RHJ Medical Center Inc. announced her intentions to open a drug treatment facility on Beaver Drive to DuBois City Council.

DuBois City Solicitor Toni Cherry argued against the opening of the facility due to its proximity to the Beaver Meadow Walkway.

The announcement and opening of the clinic on Oct. 10 ultimately led to the facility being closed at the Beaver Drive location through an agreement between the city and facility’s owner.

Discovery House Plans Move to Lawrence Township
Discovery House in Pike Township had a busy year. In January, the main facility for Discovery House burned to the ground. In recent months, new land-development plans were submitted to the Clearfield County Planning Commission.

Those plans were subsequently denied because of a state law prohibiting a methadone treatment facility’s proximity to places such as public parks and residential housing. The CCPC ruled that the Rails to Trails path behind Discovery House was a public park and that the facility was within 500 feet of residential housing.

Recently, Discovery House received permission from Lawrence Township to build a new facility along Airport Road near Sapp Bros. Truck Stop.

Morrisdale Man Found Guilty of Nearly 200 Rape Counts, Other Offenses
On Oct. 21, a jury found Frederick St. John guilty of 194 counts of rape and 453 other sex-related crimes.

St. John’s trial lasted three days, with the jury deliberating for over two hours before reaching their decision.

Charges were filed against St. John after he molested a then-girl for over three years.

St. John is still awaiting sentencing.

Lawyer Protests Nazi and KKK Items at Fair
A Clearfield attorney took a big step during fair week to make sure his voice was heard, filing an injunction and then chaining himself to the courthouse steps.

Steve Jarrett filed an injunction with Clearfield County Courts to stop the county from collecting revenue from the sale of Nazi and Ku Klux Klan merchandise at the Clearfield County Fair.

Later that week, after an impassioned plea before Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry, the motion for injunction to compel the immediate cease and desist of the sale of hate crimes material at the Clearfield County Fair filed by Jarrett was denied.

DuBois School District Support Staffers Go on Strike
Calling it a campaign for a living wage, the DuBois Education Support Professional Association went on strike on Oct. 5.

After picketing outside the district’s various buildings, DESPA and the DuBois Area School District reached an agreement on Oct. 17 that would put the support staffers back to work.

Since that time, however, a deal still has not been reached between the support staffers’ union and the school district.

Local Artist in Running for Top Prize
DuBois native and Penfield resident Perry Winkler found himself in the top 10 in Kirkland’s Inc. “Next Great American Artist” contest.

The contest showcased over 3,500 artists from around the country, and gave people the chance to vote over the internet which artist’s work was the best in their eyes.

The winner of the competition will win $5,000. On top of that, the winning artist will have their featured work sold in Kirkland’s 350 stores across the country.

The winner will be announced on the company’s site Jan. 15.

Three New Police Chiefs Named in Clearfield County During the Year
A rare occurrence happened in three Clearfield County municipalities in 2006. Lawrence Township, DuBois City and Sandy Township all named new police chiefs in the year that was.

Lawrence Township named former Sgt. Jeffrey Fink of the Lawrence Township Police Department was named the new chief of the station in early July. Sandy Township named Don Routch chief of the Sandy Township Police Department, becoming the first one the township has had since March 2005 when the previous chief retired. DuBois City Council named former Assistant Chief Ron LaRotonda the new chief of the DuBois City Police Department early in November.

Seasonal Development Plan Raises Concerns
A 55-lot subdivision plan in Goshen Township was announced in 2006. According to township supervisor Dave Amon, the land is owned by New York-based Atlantic Land Corp. of Ithaca. The area it is in is located adjacent to the Moshannon State Forest, and will consist primarily of seasonal dwellings such as cabins.

The Clearfield County Planning Commission sent a number of concerns to the Goshen Township Supervisors, including lack of public water and the wetlands surrounding and within the subdivision.

Men Arrested for Carrying Millions in Drugs on I-80
On Oct. 18, two men were arrested after a search of the tractor-trailer they were traveling in revealed more than $3.5 million in cocaine.

According to testimony from officers during the preliminary hearing, the cocaine was found in hidden compartments inside the truck. Both Arnulfo Perez Uresti and Hugo Francisco Leal Flores are incarcerated in Clearfield County Jail.

Originally it was announced that the federal government was going to pick the case up because of the amount of drugs as well as the interstate transfer of the drugs. It has yet to be determined if the federal government has picked the case up, however.

Bradford Township Retroactively Enacts EMS Tax
After months of discussion, the Bradford Township Supervisors approved an ordinance to enact the Emergency Municipal Services Tax.

The $52 tax will be used for construction and/or maintenance of township roads.

The tax was made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006, and the monies would need to be taken from employees’ checks all at once. Anyone who has already paid the $10 tax — formerly the Occupational Privilege Tax — would pay $42 this year.

Anyone who works in the township but makes less than $1,000 per year is exempt from the tax, but an estimated 2,800 workers will qualify, raising about $125,000 for the township.

Former School Board Member Found Guilty of Harassing Student
A former Moshannon Valley School Board member was ordered to pay a $100 fine plus court costs for touching a 17-year-old girl’s leg two summers ago.

Mark Travis, now 38, was charged with harassment after he touched the girl’s leg during a trip between and Houtzdale after a church volleyball game.

On the day of the incident, Travis took the girl off of the main road in Ramey, presumably to show her a fishing spot he thought she might like to use in the future. After reaching the area where the fishing hole was said to be, Travis stopped his truck and reached across the girl to show her a deer that was outside. It was during the reach across the girl that Travis touched her leg and moved his head toward hers, as the girl told both judges, in an attempt to kiss her.

The girl then told Travis that she was feeling ill and she would like to go home.

Travis resigned from the Moshannon Valley Board of Education in April.

Thieves Hit Clearfield Area Pharmacies
A rash of pharmacy burglaries struck the Clearfield area in 2006. Three area pharmacies were robbed this year; CVS, Rite Aid, and the Medicine Shoppe, which was robbed twice at gun point. Rite Aid was burglarized at sometime after it had closed for the day. 

Someone also attempted to break into City Drug Store in Curwensville but was unsuccessful.

In all cases, the suspect was looking for pain medication.

Plan Created to Insure Children, Panel Meets in Clearfield
A plan to make sure all Pennsylvania children have health care was approved by the commonwealth, and the task force to investigate the issue met in Clearfield County.

The new initiative makes health care available for every child, regardless of family income.

Governor Visits County
Gov. Ed Rendell made two trips to Clearfield County in 2006.

The first was in DuBois during DuBois Community Days, where Rendell accompanied DuBois City Mayor John “Herm” Suplizio at the head of the parade.

Rendell’s second trip was to Clearfield, where he announced that Clearfield County was targeted for an enthanol plant to be constructed by BioEnergy International LLC.

The proposed plant will employee 110 people once it is up and running.

The plant, a $250 million project, includes $17.4 million from state investments. The package includes a $400,000 grant through the Opportunity Grant Program, $500,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, $2.5 million in loans and grants from the Infrastructure Development Program and $14 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

“The commonwealth is gaining a return on our investment of nine private dollars for every dollar we’re investing,” Rendell said.

DuBois Bank Burglarized, No Suspect Caught Yet
On Dec. 20, DuBois City Police responded to the First Commonwealth Bank located at 5 North Main Street in DuBois City shortly after 10 a.m. for a reported robbery in-progress.

A male suspect had entered the bank reporting to have a weapon and demanding money. After bank tellers turned over an undetermined amount of cash, the suspect fled the area on foot.

The man is believed to be white but could be Hispanic. Police also said he had a “noticeable Hispanic accent.” The man is about 35 or 40 years of age, standing about 5 feet, 6 inches tall or 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He is said to weigh about 160 to 170 pounds.

The man could have what was described as a “salt-and-pepper” goatee or might not have shaved for a few days.

A reward is being offered for tips that help lead to the suspects arrest and prosecution.

Ethanol Plant to be Built in Curwensville
Sunnyside Ethanol LLC announced their intentions to open an ethanol plant in Curwensville at the old Howe’s Leather Co. site.

The plant, if constructed, would include a $110 million ethanol plant, a $60 million power plant and a $6.5 million carbon dioxide plant. The ethanol plant is projected to make about 80 million gallons of the fuel per year, the power plant will have an output capacity of 25 megawatts, and the carbon dioxide facility will recover about 220 thousand tons of carbon dioxide per year. All of the plants combined are expected to create 60 to 70 new jobs for the Curwensville area, and that figure does not include the possibility that farmers can sell corn to the plant for use in the production of ethanol.

After the Gov. Ed Rendell announced that Clearfield County would be the home of another ethanol plant, Sunnyside CEO Erik Wallace responded, noting his disappointment and frustration.

Since then, Sunnyside has applied for state funding and has applied for many of the permits required to keep the ball rolling on their project.

Another Ethanol Plant Chooses Clearfield County
BioEnergy LLC is the other ethanol company looking to put down roots in Clearfield County.

The plant, a $250 million project, includes $17.4 million from state investments. The package includes a $400,000 grant through the Opportunity Grant Program, $500,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, $2.5 million in loans and grants from the Infrastructure Development Program and $14 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

It was reported that BioEnergy has narrowed down its search to two sites within the county.

Clearfield County has First Election with I-Votronic
Like many other municipalities across the state and the country, Clearfield County switched over to an electronic voting system in 2006.

The changeover was mandated by the Helping America Vote Act. During the primary election, each polling place had one new machine. During the general election, the new iVotronic system was the only system voters could use.

Some problems occurred during election, with a few people being turned away early in the morning until glitches could be worked out, but overall, the election went well.

Clearfield County experienced a higher voter turnout than expected, a non-presidential election. Voter turnout was 52 percent with 26,202 Clearfield Countians exercising their right to vote.

New Tourism Office Opens in DuBois
There’s a new one-stop-shop for businesses and tourists looking for information on Clearfield County and Central Pennsylvania.

The Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development hosted an open house at the new tourist and business information office on Liberty Boulevard recently.

The plan came together when Nancy Micks, president and CEO of the chamber, contacted Sandy Fink-Barrett, director of the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority.

“I was talking to Nancy one day and she said, ‘I have an idea,'” Barrett said.

From there things progressed with the office opening in September and hours of 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Weekdays.

Cultural and Convention Center to be Built Near DuBois
The site of a planned cultural convention center was announced at Monday’s DuBois City Council meeting.

John Micks, councilman, said the site will be close to the Holiday Inn Express, behind Dr. Doolittle’s off of U.S. Route 219. The land is owned by the City of DuBois.

“We’re … excited about it,” said John “Herm” Suplizio, mayor of DuBois. “It’s great not only for the City of DuBois, but the whole area.”

According to a previous GantDaily report, the center would house a theater capable of seating between 300-400 people, a convention area with administrative space, a ballroom, conference rooms, a kitchen and other spaces.

Planes Crash in DuBois, Philipsburg Area
On June 5, a plane crashed at the DuBois Regional Airport while attempting to land. According to a report, a Piper plane had taken off from Zelienople Municipal Airport and was landing at DUJ Airport. The pilot reported that the plane was “floating” on the final approach and was “caught in a gust of wind.” The airplane, according to the report, then hit the ground and caught on fire.

The preliminary The report said one person suffered serious injuries in the accident and another person suffered minor injuries. Paul Sekula, DUJ Airport Authority chairman, spoke to the media after the crash, and said only two people were on board the plane.

On June 26, a 21-year-old Tennessee man who was piloting a small plane was killed due to injuries he suffered when the aircraft crashed north of the Mid-State Airport in Rush Township, Centre County.

Justin Hughes, 18, and Fayez Abdel, 33, both of Tennessee, were listed in serious condition. A third person, Mohamed Abdel-Khalik, 31, also of Tennessee, in worse condition than the other two passengers and was listed in critical condition.

Due to weather conditions, the pilot was using the plane’s instruments to fly, a task Wilson was licensed to do. At about 2:50 a.m. on June 26, the pilot called for clearance to land at Mid-State Airport, and he was given permission to do so.

Ten minutes later, air traffic control officials lost contact with the aircraft. Police report that Wilson never closed his flight plan, that is, never notified the Federal Aviation Administration that he reached his destination. As per protocol, the state police were notified when the flight plan was not closed.

Trio of August Arsons Call Out Fire Company, One Man Arrested
The Clearfield area was the target of a string of arsons in 2006 as well. One fire destroyed the Casteel residence located on Clover Hill Road. This was one of three fires that occurred on Aug. 12.

One fire occurred on Fire Tower Road in Lawrence Township. That fire was deemed an arson as well. John Hainsey of Clearfield was arrested for allegedly setting the camp on fire. He is currently in Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 straight bail.

The third fire took place on Bigler Avenue in Clearfield Borough

No suspects have been named in either the Casteel fire nor the Bigler Avenue fire.

P-O Cuts More than 40 Positions
The Philipsburg-Osceola School District found itself in a financial crisis in 2006 after it was discovered that the school district was operating in the red instead of the black.

In an effort to balance their budget, the school district released more than 40 positions and closed Wallaceton-Boggs Elementary School.

We now pause to take a look at the lighter side of the news …

Maybe it was Max …
Maybe it was the Grinch’s dog Max that Lawrence Township Police wrangled.

Police reported that they were called for a barking dog. When they arrived on-scene they found the dog barking at an ornamental Santa Claus. Police were able to corner what they dubbed “the anti-Santa canine” and return him to his owner.

Belly Biter Bows to Charges
A husband-wife argument turned into a fracas between Betty Jean Ishler and her husband. According to a police report, Betty wanted to leave to pick a friend up somewhere. Her husband grabbed the keys and Betty Jean began throwing things at him, some of which hit him in the face.

According to the report, the two ended up on the floor as her husband tried to restrain Betty.

Somehow, Betty bit his stomach.

Betty pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment.

Topless Snuff Thief Avoids Capture
Clearfield Borough Police investigated a complaint of retail theft that occurred at J.G. Food Warehouse around 8 p.m. on Aug. 28 that left the alleged thief topless.

A woman was observed stealing a roll of snuff by management. Employees attempted to stop her, but she struggled. During the struggle, the woman lost her red baseball cap, her brown sandals, a Dallas Stars hockey T-shirt and her undershirt.

The woman then ran across the Nichols Street Bridge topless, and was last seen jumping over the guard rails near the river’s bank.

The woman was described as being around 20-25 years old with brown hair, feathered back on the sides, and she was last seen wearing only brown shorts.

‘I Don’t Want Fries with That!’
A disagreement over an order of fries and a hamburger at Hedge’s turned ugly and eventually landed one man in jail.

Robert Crotsley of Clearfield was accused of assaulting a bartender and another man at the establishment after he claimed he did not order food that was served to him. The bartender took the food away after the man became belligerent with her, and he threw plates at her. Another bar patron got Crotsley’s attention according to the woman. Crotsley eventually punched the man in the face.

Crotsley did not cross-examine any of the witnesses. He did say they were all liars. He said he did not order food, but did pay for food. Crotsley also denied throwing plates at her, but that he did push the plate at the bartender as she supposedly went to take his food away.

He also testified that when he hit the man, he did not hit him once.

“I hit him upside the kisser a couple of times,” said Crotsley under oath.

The Old Hankies, er Panties, from the Sleeve Trick?

Even a magician’s sleight of hand couldn’t get him out of trouble …

Kris Nevling of Clearfield was sentenced to serve 90 days to two years in a state prison for stealing ladies’ panties from J.C. Penney Co. Inc. in the Clearfield Mall.

According to court records, Nevling took the undergarments and gave them to his friend’s girlfriend.

When being sentenced May 9, Nevling asked the judge for work release, saying he had employment available to him as a magician.

Court documents in the case did not say whether Nevling concealed the panties in his shirt sleeve.

Nevling’s sentence is to run consecutive to a prior punishment for a simple assault charge.

When sentencing Nevling, Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman said state prison time was imposed due to his “extensive prior record” and because he previously served state time.

Nevling is currently housed in the state correctional institution at Somerset.

Allen Again Convicted of Killing Wife
A man convicted of killing his wife more than 10 years ago and recently granted a re-trial was found guilty by a jury of his peers of first-degree murder Dec. 20.

Jack E. Allen’s case was sent back to Clearfield County after it was found that Allen had not been property informed of his rights in representing himself the first time around.

Allen was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife, Theresa Allen, by shooting her in the back with a shotgun outside her Lawrence Park Village home on July 19, 1995.

Life in Prison for Man Who Killed and then Set Fire
A Morrisdale man who admitted to killing another man and then setting the man’s home on fire will spend life in prison for his actions.

Jeffrey L. Stiner entered a guilty plea to first-degree murder and other charges, and he was sentenced July 5 before Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry.

Stiner will spend the rest of his life in a state correctional institutions for killing 73-year-old Emory Rinehart Sr. in his Graham Township home Jan. 17.

DuBois Man Charged in Double Jefferson County Homicide
Jason “Spike” Clinger of DuBois will wait until the new year for a preliminary hearing for a double homicide in Jefferson County.

He is set to appear in court for the first time Jan. 25 for the deaths of Davon Jones, 22, and Dianikqua Johnson, 21, both of New York state.

Jones’ and Johnson’s bodies were found by a hunter near along Moore Road in Pine Creek Township in Jefferson County.

Justice for Park Avenue Drug Bust Defendants
Only three of the five people arrested during an April 5 raid of a Park Avenue, Clearfield, apartment have been sentenced to date.

Rason Battle and Mario Cumberbatch, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Lee Jackson of Pittsburgh all pled guilty to felony drug possession.

Battle will serve nine months to two years in prison. Cumberbatch will serve 184 days to two years in prison. Jackson will be in prison for two to seven years.

Their charges stem from an search warrant that was issued by the Clearfield County Emergency Response Team at an apartment on Park Avenue.
Once inside, officers discovered a large amount of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and $3,000 in cash as well as a stolen handgun. The drugs were estimated to have a cash value of $5,000.

Others arrested in the drug bust were Clearfield residents Amber Ickes and Trevor Sheaffer.

Court records show that Ickes entered a negotiated plea agreement Dec. 26. She has yet to have their agreements approved by a judge.

‘Operation Road Block’ Winds Down Long Investigation into Drug Trade
On May 24, local law enforcement joined with the state office of the Attorney General to take down seven people as part of “Operation Road Block.”

None have been sentenced yet, but several motions have been filed in the cases.
Those charged include Robert “Mutt” Prisk of Curwensville, Allen Sheen, Peter Miele of Clearfield, Charles Bloom of Hyde, Dave Bressler of Curwensville, Amos Brimmer of Olanta and Tracy Kester of Curwensville.

Those arrested were allegedly responsible for the distribution and sale of up to $500,000 per year of cocaine and marijuana in Clearfield County. Information on the drug trafficking was the result of a statewide investigating grand jury.

The investigation revealed that Robert Prisk was allegedly using the garage for his trucking company and his home to sell, store and use marijuana and cocaine. The investigation also revealed that Prisk was using his truck to transport drugs back to Clearfield County from the Poconos or New York City. Sometimes the drugs were hidden in auto parts or other cargo.

Drug Sweep Rounds Up Nearly 50 in DuBois, Surrounding Area
Police in the greater DuBois area started an operation on June 14 to nab 48 people for suspected drug-related crimes.

Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. said arrests were made as the state police, Troop-C Vice Unit, DuBois City Police Department, the Sandy Township Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department served outstanding warrants in both Clearfield and Jefferson counties.

“A lot of these cases were generated from reports from the community,” Shaw said, and he urged people to continue calling in tips. “We may not be there tomorrow, but we’ll be there some time.”

Shaw said the “good old-fashioned police work” of the officers and troopers who followed up on tips resulted in the arrests, which Shaw said help to make neighborhoods safer.

Four Sex Cases Pending for Rowles
A DuBois man now has four sex-related cases pending in Clearfield County Court.

Jamie L. Rowles faces charges including rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors in the four cases.

Rowles waived his right to preliminary hearings for the two newest cases before Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford on Dec. 7.

The two new cases allege that Rowles molested a 3-year-old girl and propositioned a 13-year-old girl.

In one previous case, Rowles is charged with raping 19-year-old DuBois area woman. In the other, he is alleged to have inappropriately touched a 19-year-old mentally disabled man.

Most of the incidents occurred from late 2005 and until June.

New Cancer Center Opens in Clearfield
Clearfield and surrounding communities saw ground break on the Nathaniel D. Yingling, M.D. Cancer Center in October, nearly one year to the day after ground was broken for the facility. On a rainy and brisk October night, the community once again saw a momentous occasion with the ribbon-cutting for the center.

Thanks to a partnership between Clearfield Hospital and DuBois Regional Medical Center, the building, which houses Clearfield Hospital’s Medical Oncology program and Radiation Oncology through a collaborative relationship with Hahne Regional Cancer Center in DuBois, the center, will begin to treat patients in early December.

“I think we’ve all known somebody who’s been affected by cancer or maybe some of us have been affected by cancer, and in either case, we know that the toll that cancer takes on us both physically and emotionally,” said Robert B. Murray III, president and CEO of Clearfield Hospital.

The center was constructed after a two-phase fundraising campaign called Heart of Our Valley that raised $4 million.

DuBois-Sandy Sewer Debate Continues into New Year
An ongoing debate between DuBois City and Sandy Township has been a hot topic in 2006, and one that will continue into 2007.

At issue is whether Sandy should pay DuBois $6.92 per 1,000 gallons of wastewater sent to the city’s treatment facility, retroactive.
The case has already been through the courts once, with a judge deciding that Sandy Township should pay the rate, which amounts to a $1.7 million bill to the township.

The Sandy Township Supervisors say the rate is unfair because it only takes care of wastewater treatment for their residents, while DuBois City residents have billing, legal fees, maintenance, etc., paid for with that rate. In Sandy, an additional fee is charged for loan repayment and billing. A monthly fee is also added for maintenance.

Sandy Township is now appealing that ruling. A motion to by DuBois City Mayor John “Herm” Suplizio died due to a lack of a second on Dec. 26. Suplizio’s motion was to offer the township to pay $1.5 million. 

Year of Change for Clearfield Fire Co. 
The Clearfield Fire Co. has seen many changes, moving all trucks to the downtown Station No. 1. Next year, the company will look at the possibility of creating a central station that would replace all four of the fire houses currently in operation.

Another change the companies saw in 2006 was that two fire whistles fell silent. The Clearfield Borough Council voted to stop the Second and Third ward alarms from sounding. Currently only First Ward, Fourth Ward and the courthouse’s “Old Mooley” alert residents to a fire call. The decision to shut the whistles off came because firefighters all carry pagers to tell them about fires.

Sewer Project Continues in Clearfield
If you drove through Clearfield in the past year, you knew the town was in the midst of a major overhaul of the sanitary sewer system.

The change came due to the fact that the borough’s sanitary sewer and storm sewers were connected, creating a large volume of wastewater to treat.

Contractors for the last phase of the project are set to return in the spring to fix up anything that wasn’t right as of the hit of cold weather. The next phase will begin in the spring as well.

Fair Sees Switch in Leader, Entertainment; Admission Changing in New Year
When the end of July rolls around, kids and even kids at heart look forward to one of the last summertime festivals, the Clearfield County Fair!

The 2006 version saw plenty in the way of great food and rides, but things such as a canceled grandstand show took center stage. (Read about the protest regarding memorabilia sold at the fair elsewhere on this page.)

Foreigner was scheduled to perform, but a bout of laryngitis and acid reflux forced the “Urgent” cancellation. Then word came from the Fair and Park Board that Billy Idol would be the replacement act, but that fell through and Peter Frampton asked fans to “Show Me the Way.”

Ticket-holders turned out in force for the Frampton show, but a strict “no refunds” policy had many up in arms. The board responded by offering mail-in refunds for those who did not go to see Frampton.

Shortly after the fair, Leon Meyer, former fair manager, turned down a position to become the park manager and the assistant fair manager. He had been under a two-year contract since 2004.

As soon as the curtain closed on the 2006 fair, plans were already being made for the next installment.

The 2007 fair will see a new ride company and a pay-one-price admission, according to information released just two weeks ago. The fee will include the gate admission and access to the rides. Fair board members are working out the details of options for senior citizens, young children, season pass holders, vendors and exhibitors.

Boggs Dump Debate Continued in 2006
The proposed Camp Hope Run Landfill has been a big newsmaker in the past year, with the company filing its paperwork with the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Local Municipal Involvement Process meeting is planned for next week, with further public meetings to follow.

The dump has created plenty of headlines on its own, but municipalities such as Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township coming out against the plan have also been news topics.

The two sides, those for and against the landfill, have required a constable to be present at some Boggs Township meetings.

Two township residents were also fined for summary harassment after a magisterial district judge found that they harassed a supervisor by following him after a meeting.

Clearfield Man Injured in Iraq, Awarded Purple Heart
On a day when the nation paused to remember those who died when terrorists attacked America five years ago, a Clearfield family heard some terrifying news.

Twenty-three year old Matthew Lingle of Clearfield, a sergeant in the U.S. Army with the 1st Armored Division, Task Force 1-6 Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, was on foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq, on Sept. 11 when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded near him.

He was recently awarded the Purple Heart.

Lingle is still recovering from his injuries. Letters and cards should be sent to Walter Reed Hospital, Attention: Patient Matthew Lee Lingle, 6900 George Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20307. 

Clearfield Man Receives National Platelet Donation Honor
The American Red Cross annually holds donor recognition banquets to honor their dedicated platelet donors, but this year, a Clearfield man was among the honorees.

During Johnstown’s platelet apheresis banquet, Perry Rowles one of 13 individuals around the country to be inducted into the Baxter Health Care Donor Hall of Fame.

“This is a huge honor for a donor to receive,” explained Jim Rigby, Red Cross recruitment supervisor, automated collections. “Perry started the tradition of regularly donating platelets with his late father over 10 years ago.

New Access Road for DuBois Airport
The ribbon for an access road that will connect Interstate 80 to the DuBois Regional Airport is set to be cut in July.

The road has been named the “Francis H. ‘Bud’ Scherer Memorial Highway.”

Scherer became the airport manager in 1972.

On the night of Scherer’s death Feb. 13, 1985, he had been meeting with representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and local business and community leaders to discuss better access to the airport.

That night, Scherer and co-pilot Jimmie Wade left DuBois for St. Marys to pick up a load of freight. The plane crashed on approach to St. Marys, killing both Scherer and Wade. The cause of the accident was never determined.

S.C.A.R.E.D. Fights Sandy Township Supercenter
The Sandy Citizens Arguing for Responsible Economic Development, or S.C.A.R.E.D., spent much of 2006 fighting a plan to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter behind the current Wal-Mart in Sandy Township.

Book Marks Century in Clearfield County
When Richard Hughes of Clearfield first started to write “A Twentieth Century History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania,” he figured it would take a year.

Time passed, and as Hughes compiled more and more information, he found himself seven years later with more than 1,300 pages full of information on everything from government to controversial topics.

Hughes grew up in Clearfield, attending St. Francis School and later graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with an engineering degree. His life’s work has focused on buildings, but his passion has always been the past.

With his electives at PSU concentrated in history, Hughes said finishing his family genealogy in 1996 led him to create the first Clearfield County history in nearly a century.

“No matter what, I still had an interest in history all along.”

One day, he went to visit the Clearfield County Historical Society’s museum on East Pine Street in Clearfield. There, he heard some people talking about the fact that a comprehensive history of the county had not been done since 1911.

In total, four histories and one atlas have been made about Clearfield County.

Hughes said he saw an outlet for his passion.

GantDaily Goes Online, Offers New Type of News Source
If you’ve read this far, you must be a news junkie just like us Gant Media news staffers.

So now, a bit of shameless self-promotion …

Any rundown of the top stories of 2006 would be remiss not to include the advent of the county’s first all-online, 24/7 digital medium that offers not only news but also free classified ads and employment ads in addition to no cost public notices and special occasion announcements.

That’s right, GantDaily went online May 15, offering residents and those with ties to the area a way to get the information they need, when they need it.

Over the past seven-plus months, we’ve made some additions to the GantDaily offering.

In the beginning there was the Daily Inbox Delivery, which sends the morning’s headlines to your e-mail inbox 365 days a year, all at no cost! We also made Breaking News E-mail Alerts and SMS Messages (text) available. Each of these helps you to stay apprised of the news affecting Clearfield County whether you are on the go or in the office. If you need more information about any of these services, visit the Virtual Newsroom.

Several times since GantDaily went online, we took you right to the news and reported from where it was happening, be it Clearfield, DuBois, Houtzdale or Westover or even Harrisburg or Shanksville.

In October, GantDaily went audio, bringing you stories in the spoken form so you can listen to the GantDaily NewsByte from your computer or download them for your personal audio player. Watch for some changes coming from the NewsByte beginning this week as it makes a triumphant return.

Mother Nature began to blow cold air shortly after the NewsByte was born, and we decided it was time to activate our Winter Weather Reports. You can check here to see if your school or office is open on snowy days, or tell your day care, school or business to contact GantDaily so that we can help others to get the information they need for their day.

Then in December, we added the GantDaily Weekly Reload, a refresher of the week’s top stories, as chosen by the GantDaily News Team.

A lot of things have happened in the short time we have been online, and a lot more things are in the works for the New Year.

To be sure you’re here for them all, log onto GantDaily often and be sure you are signed up for the Daily Inbox Delivery and the e-mail and text message news alerts.

From the entire GantMedia News Team, here’s wishing you a new year filled with good fortune, good health and happy times!

If there are any news stories that you particularly liked since our inception, feel free to let us know what they are. Or if there were some you thought should have made the list, let us know at

Couple's Coat Clash Culminates in Citation
Clearfield County DUI Strike Force to Conduct Enforcement Blitz This Holiday Season

Leave a Reply