2018-02-10 / News



Hikers cover the circuit

Two more “circuit hikers” have been recognized by the Susquehannock Trail Club. Rob Caldwell of Nashville, Tenn., and Pat Childs, Wellsville, N.Y., were welcomed to the circle of those who have completed the entire loop of the 85-mile Susquehannock Hiking Trail. Some 1,158 hikers have now been recognized.

STC celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The club maintains and promotes the trail, which passes through some of the most picturesque and undeveloped terrain in Pennsylvania.

For details, send an email to Bill Boyd at bill-boydsts@gmail.com.


Pennsylvania: it’s a gas

A new study from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, “Pennsylvania’s Gas Decade,” found that Pennsylvania’s residential consumers enjoy gas bills that are on average 40 percent lower than their 2007 bills.

The study also shows that between 2007 and 2016, Pennsylvania’s natural gas production increased by nearly 2,800 percent.


Shrink legislature?

The question of whether the Pa. House of Representatives should be reduced in size has moved another step closer to the state’s voters for a decision. House Bill 153 calls for the House to be trimmed to 151 members from the current 203.

The proposed amendment to the state constitution was recently approved by the House State Government Committee and sent to the full House with a goal of having the question appear on this year’s November ballots. Whether that actually happens also depends on the State Senate.

Downsizing of the Senate, to 37 members from 50, is also under discussion. The earliest that could be put up for voter consideration is November 2020.

Political observers caution that, for all of the talk, self-preservation and cronyism will likely cause the legislature to scuttle the plans. That has been the fate of several previous movements over the years.


Not just London Bridge . . .

Pennsylvania has made in-roads over the past few years in repairing or replacing deteriorating bridges that are beyond their life expectancy. But about 54,250 bridges are falling apart across the country, according to a new report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn. The spans cited by the association meet the technical definition of “structurally deficient” and carry an average of 174 million vehicles per day.


State subsidizes gas plan

A $1 million state grant has been awarded to support increased access to natural gas in Centre Hall Borough and Potter Township, both in Centre County. The money will support the construction of a natural gas “point of departure station,” bringing service to six businesses and 90 residences.

The grant was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) to support a public-private partnership that includes Dominion Energy and Hanover Foods Corp. Columbia Gas will commit the required matching funds of approximately $1 million.


Getting paid to play

Many workers who were interviewed by Global 360 researchers admitted that they goof off or otherwise waste a lot of time on the job.

Average daily unproductive hours “on the clock” are 1.8 per person, according to the research team, which assured respondents that their identity would remain confidential.

55 M—

Feeding feathered friends

Bird feeding has grown into the nation’s second most popular hobby, behind gardening. An estimated 55 million Americans feed wild birds and spend more than $3 billion a year on bird food. They also spend $800 million on bird feeders, bird baths, bird houses, and other items.


PGC cashes in on gas

With the state legislature tying its hands by refusing to allow an increase in hunting license fees, the Pa. Game Commission is tapping into shale gas found below 2,639 acres of state game lands in three counties to fill its coffers.

This week, the agency leased 2,536 acres in Bradford County to Chief Exploration & Development of Dallas, Texas, and 103 acres in Washington and Greene counties to CNX Gas Co. of Canonsburg.

The deals will provide the PGC with an initial payment of $6.4 million, followed by royalties on the gas that’s produced.


Spirit of giving

Even in a struggling economy, donors are responding to the latest Cameron County Community Chest fund drive. Four month’s into the 12-month campaign, it has netted $11,300 toward its $20,100 goal.

Several local charities annually benefit from the organization’s donations. Tax-deductible contributions should be sent to Community Chest, PO Box 134, Emporium PA 15834.


Help for emergency services

Fire and ambulance companies in the region will receive more than $180,000 in state grants under the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program. Money can be used for construction or renovation of facilities, purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction.

Funds come from the state’s share of legalized gambling at Pennsylvania casinos. Every qualifying emergency service organization that completes the application receives funding.

This year’s grants include $7,037 for Cameron County, Austin, Coudersport, Genesee, Kettle Creek (Cross Fork), Roulette and Gale Hose (Galeton) ambulance services.

Also, $13,386 to Austin Volunteer Fire Department; $13,570 to Tri-Town Fire Company of Ulysses and Harrison Township Fire Department; $13,939 to Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department; $11,543 to Emporium Volunteer Fire Department and Kettle Creek Hose Company; $11,728 to Genesee Volunteer Fire Department; $11,150 to Germania Fire Department; $67,394 to Mountaineer Search and Rescue; $12,096 to Goodyear Hose Company (Galeton) and $12,096 to Roulette Volunteer Fire Department.


Get your kicks on Rt. 6

Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance will recognize six innovators, movers, and initiatives along its Heritage Corridor that made a difference in 2017. Nominations are now being accepted for the “Do 6” Awards to be presented in May.

Awards are presented to individuals, businesses or organizations that have undertaken outstanding efforts to support the “Do 6” tourist promotion campaign. Categories are Heritage Partnerships, Leadership, Heritage Community of the Year, Heritage Tourism (projects or events), Artisan of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

Nominations can be submitted by anyone along Pa. Route 6 and are due by Friday, March 9. Nomination forms and category descriptions are available on the paroute6.com website or by calling 814-435-7706.

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