GANT RELOAD: Week of June 23

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.

Annual Hospice Chili Bowl Slated for Sept. 18

CLEARFIELD – Penn Highlands Clearfield Hospice invites you to spend an evening with your favorite barnyard friends during the annual Chili Bowl, scheduled for Sept. 18 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Clearfield Driving Park Expo II Building.

“Down on the Farm” is the theme for the 17th annual Chili Bowl. The planning committee is now accepting entries for the competition, as well as themed-basket donations that will be chanced off. Individuals, restaurants, churches, physicians, community organizations and businesses are invited to participate. Participants are encouraged to decorate their booth and or dress in accordance with the theme.

Suspect in Gun Shop Burglaries Appears in Court

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of breaking into gun shops on three, different occasions was back in Clearfield County Court.

Brett Andrew Moore, 25, is charged with criminal conspiracy/burglary, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, criminal mischief and firearms not to be carried without a license in relation to the burglary of L.B. Toney’s Alamo Gun Shop in DuBois on Aug. 28, 2013 and two burglaries of Bob’s Army & Navy Store in Clearfield in September of 2013.

Elk State Forest to Develop Ash Management Plan

EMPORIUM – The white ash tree is an important tree species in Pennsylvania, especially in the north-central region because it is a source of food for wildlife. It is also a valuable timber species.  The wood is used for athletic equipment, such as baseball bats, furniture, tool handles and much more.

Emerald ash borer was first identified in North America in southeastern Michigan in 2002. In the years since that discovery, the beetle has spread into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ontario, Quebec.  The continued spread of the insect seems imminent, according to Jeanne Wambaugh of the Elk State Forest.

CASD Approves Fifth Grade Report Card, 2014-15 Budget

CLEARFIELD – Despite debate Monday night, the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors voted, 5-3, to approve next year’s fifth grade report card.

Board members Mary Anne Jackson, Larry Putt, Dr. Michael Spencer, Jennifer Wallace and Tim Morgan voted in favor. Board members Gail Ralston, Rod Rishel and Susan Mikesell opposed the same.

Last week, Bruce Nicolls, director of curriculum and instruction, presented the administration’s recommendation for the fifth grade report card for next school year.

Sen. Toomey, Reps. Thompson, Perry, Barletta, Shuster: Latest EPA Overreach Will Devastate PA Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation are working to protect Pennsylvania farmers by fighting back against another regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and U.S. Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Scott Perry, Lou Barletta and Bill Shuster have filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, in support of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s ongoing legal effort to stop the EPA from seizing for the federal government powers traditionally held by the states regarding nutrient-runoff standards.

DePasquale: DPW Put Benefits on 138 ACCESS Cards Associated with Social Security Numbers of Deceased People

HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today issued an interim audit report to the Department of Public Welfare calling for immediate action after finding more than $200,000 in benefits were provided to 138 electronic benefit transfer (EBT/ACCESS) cards related to Social Security Numbers of deceased individuals.

The report also outlines other systemic deficiencies in the EBT/ACCESS system.

exploreClarion: Police: Jefferson Co. Man Jailed for Terroristic Threats Against Elk County DA

PUNXSUTAWNEY – Punxsutawney-based state police have reported that a Jefferson County man is facing charges after he allegedly made threatening phone calls to the District Attorney of Elk County.

On June 17, Christopher Raymond Thomas, 41, of Punxsutawney allegedly made several threatening telephone calls to the office of Elk County District Attorney Shawn Timothy McMahon, Ridgway Borough, Elk County.

Elections Board Proposes Polling Place Relocation for Ramey Borough

CLEARFIELD – The Board of Elections has proposed the relocation of a polling place for Ramey Borough, announced the Clearfield County Commissioners at its meeting on Tuesday.

The Ramey Borough polling place is currently located at the town hall building at 392 Main St. It’s been proposed to relocate it to the Ramey Fire Co. at 161 Market St.

The proposed polling place meets all handicap accessibility and safety requirements. It also has adequate parking, said Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen.

Commissioners Approve ESG Funding Application

CLEARFIELD – Yesterday, the Clearfield County Commissioners approved applying for $110,000 in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding through the state Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED).

The required match of $110,000 will come from the Housing Assistance Program funded by the state Department of Public Welfare (DPW), according to Lisa Kovalick, the county’s community development specialist.

BREAKING NEWS: NRG Plans to Convert Shawville Power Plant to Natural Gas

SHAWVILLE – NRG Energy Inc. has plans to convert the coal-fired Shawville Power Plant to operate on natural gas, according to David Gaier, spokesperson for the East Region, NRG Energy Centers.

NRG will cease operations of the plant’s coal units as planned in mid-April of 2015. Its current target date for the plant to re-open on natural gas is June of 2016, said Gaier.

He said company officials at NRG reached its final decision to switch the coal-fired Shawville plant to natural gas about six weeks ago. Economic and environmental factors, he said, largely contributed to their decision.

House Committee OKs Plan to Separate Conventional, Unconventional Oil and Gas Operations, Say Lawmakers

HARRISBURG – Recognizing the significant differences between shallow well drilling and drilling in the Marcellus Shale, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has approved legislation that would require the state to adopt separate regulations for the two distinct activities.

House Bill 2350, sponsored by Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) and Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), would direct the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to separate both existing and proposed regulations for the drilling, alteration, operation and plugging of unconventional gas wells and conventional oil and gas wells in the Commonwealth.

Bay Foundation Calls on PA Legislature to Maintain REAP Tax Credit Program

Program Plays a Critical Role in State’s Ability to Meet Clean Water Goals

HARRISBURG – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania Executive Director, Harry Campbell, issued the following statement in response to proposed budget cuts to vital tax credit programs that benefit Pennsylvania farmers and clean water efforts throughout the Commonwealth.

Of particular concern is the proposed cut of Pennsylvania’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP). The REAP Program provides tax credits to farmers and businesses in exchange for establishing agricultural conservation practices on Pennsylvania farms.

Man Waives Hearing in Indecent Assault Case

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man accused of having sexual relations with a young girl waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Joseph Gabriel Morrison, 19, of Clearfield has been charged with indecent assault of person less than 16 years of age. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred the night of March 11-12 at the Clearfield fire station.

Gabler Votes to Move Budget Bill

HARRISBURG The state House has passed House Bill 2328, the general appropriations portion of the 2014-15 state budget. The legislation contains no new taxes and would increase support for Pennsylvania’s public schools for the fourth consecutive fiscal year.

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), who voted to support the bill, issued the following statement on House Bill 2328, which will now be taken up by the state Senate:

“I am proud to support a budget that lives within our means and respects the hard-working taxpayers of Pennsylvania. House Bill 2328 supports and prioritizes the core functions of government in difficult economic times.

Fair & Park Board Receives Grant, Sunday Admission Fee Waived

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Fair & Park Board has announced that the Clearfield County Commissioners have awarded a $10,000 grant to the Clearfield County Fair.

The grant will enable the fair to waive the $1 admission fee for Sunday, July 27. The grant will cover marketing costs and allow the Fair & Park Board to cover payroll and associated operating costs for the day with funds reallocated from the marketing budget.

Drug Suspects Waive Hearings

CLEARFIELD – Two New York men who were a part of a group accused of selling drugs in Clearfield County waived their rights to preliminary hearings during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Shaking D. Saunders, 37, and Edward A. Allen, 39, both of Far Rockaway, NY, have been charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; conspiracy-manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered; conspiracy-intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered; use/possession of drug paraphernalia; and conspiracy-use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Allen is also charged with criminal use of a communications facility. Both Saunders and Allen are incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Man Accused of Knocking at Homes While Naked Waives Hearing

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man accused of walking up to two, different homes and knocking while naked to get a “reward” from a girl waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Ray Jacob Provins Jr., 23, of Clearfield has been charged with open lewdness, disorderly conduct, defiant trespass and loitering and prowling at nighttime. His bail has been set at $5,000 monetary.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on June 13, Lawrence Township police received a report about a male standing naked on a resident’s front porch on Fire Tower Road. Upon arrival the resident told police she was sitting at home when she heard a “loud smacking sound” on her bay window.

Senate Law & Justice Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

HARRISBURG – State Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny), Democratic Chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, announced that it passed Senate Bill 1182 establishing access to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“After hearing so many moving and deeply personal stories on the issue of medical cannabis, I am proud that the Law & Justice Committee passed legislation today that meets the needs of patients in our Commonwealth. The number one priority of Senate Bill 1182 is patient care and compassion, and the bipartisan bill that we crafted certainly reflects that,” Ferlo said.

Senate Bill 1182, sponsored by Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), was amended in the Law and Justice Committee with language to improve the bill and to include best practices from other states with legal medical cannabis. Medical uses would include using extracted oil, edible products, ointments, tinctures, and vaporized medical cannabis.

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