September 26, 2018




Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 68 Overnight low 56; ,24” rain






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Austin’s History and Pride weekend scheduled for Friday through Sunday….Kane woman found guilty of drug related felons….Tires slashed on truck in Tioga County…..Troopers look for operator of rig hauling oversize load which clipped a wall in Liberty….

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A special program being presented during this year’s Austin History and Pride Weekend (Sept. 28-30) will take attendees back to that fateful day of Saturday, Sept. 30, 1911, when a catastrophic flood nearly wiped out the town.

“Echoes from the Past” will feature dramatic readings of eyewitness accounts presented from a stage at the Austin Dam Memorial Park. It’s scheduled for 11 am Saturday, Sept. 29.


Fittingly, the program will take place at the foot of the dam that gave way and flooded the Freeman Run Valley.

Bob (Smitty) Smith will return in his role as railroad man and eyewitness, Addison Beman, during Saturday’s “Echoes from the Past” at the Austin Dam Memorial Park.

Survivors gathered to view the ruins of downtown Austin on the day after the flood of Sept. 30, 1911.

–This is a rare view of the Bayless Pulp and Paper Company dam in 1910, prior to it being filled with water to power the Bayless mill, north of Austin.


–A memorial to the 78 known victims of the Sept. 30, 1911, Austin flood has been placed at the base of the dam in the Austin Dam Memorial Park. Shown from left are Paul Heimel, author of “1911: The Austin Flood”; Ron Ebbert, E. O. Austin Historical Society; and Tracie Gordnier, Austin Dam Memorial Association.

“These are the actual words of the survivors, telling the story in vivid detail, from heroic rescues to unspeakable tragedies,” said author Paul Heimel, who will narrate the 45-minute presentation. “Part of the program will be a lively debate between the dam’s builder and an engineer who warned him of its imminent threat to the community.”

Re-enactors will dress in costume. The program is based on interviews that Heimel and others conducted with eyewitnesses to the flood that claimed at least 78 lives. Those attending can enter their names in a drawing to award signed copies of Heimel’s book, “1911: The Austin Flood.”

Anyone who would like to participate as a reader is asked to send an email to or call 814-203-7863.

Many other activities are planned for the special weekend.

It begins at Austin Dam Memorial Park on Friday, Sept. 28. The gift shop and welcome center will be open from 5-10 pm.

Saturday’s schedule at the park includes the Echoes from the Past performance at 11, followed by music by Dana Daisley from noon to 3. The gift shop and welcome center will be open from 9 to 5. Refreshments, including lunch items, will be available for sale starting at 10 am.

Meanwhile, downtown Austin will be a lively place on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s events kick off with the annual Gerald F. Duffee 5K Run/Walk. Registration opens at 8:30 and the starter’s gun sounds at 10.

Also on Saturday, Austin’s war casualties will be memorialized with a program at the gazebo starting at noon. Program will be presented by Austin student Noah Leightley. Starting at 12:30, there will be hayrides, a scavenger hunt, and a number of food booths and other vendors.

  1. O. Austin Historical Society will offer museum tours as well as rides in an antique Ford Model A car and a bicycle built for two.

Austin Area School’s annual alumni banquet will be held at the Austin VFW at 7 pm.

On Sunday, Austin United Methodist Church will hold a worship service at 10:30 and a community dinner will follow. Attendees should bring a dish to pass.

Details are available from Rhoda Hooftallen at 647- 6704. Brooke Shupe and Madison Hooftallen are in charge of vendor arrangements.

Following a two day jury trial at the McKean County Courthouse, Kasey Chitester of Kane, PA, was convicted Tuesday  of Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Fraud – a Felony; Conspiracy Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Fraud – a Felony; and Conspiracy Criminal Use of a Communication Device – a Felony.  The jury acquitted her of a separate charge of Conspiracy.  Sentencing has been scheduled for November 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm.  District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer prosecuted the case.

State police at Mansfield are investigating vandalism in Covington and hit and run in Liberty. Someone slashed tires on a 2009 Ford F-150 owned by Zebulon Kamerer over the weekend while it was parked at his home on Butternut Lane in Covington. The Firestone tires, valued at $180 were cut between 9:30 pm Friday and 6:30 am Saturday.

Authorities are also seeking the operator of a rig hauling an oversize load in Liberty September 15 at about 12:30 pm. While attempting to turn left onto Blockhouse Road to continue eastbound on Route 414, the right rear of the construction office being hauled by the tractor trailer collided with a stone wall along the south side of Route 414. The operator was able to maneuver off the wall but fled east without providing required information.