Wednesday September 18, 2019

Black Forest Express

Photo by Gerri Miller

Tuesday’s high, 75; Overnight low, 38

WED-SUNNY, HIGH 73

WED NIGHT-LOW 50

THU-SUNNY, HIGH 73

THU NIGHT-LOW 48

FRI-SUNNY HIGH 74

FRI NIGHT-LOW, 45

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DAR members hold Constitution Day ceremony in Coudersport…..Smethport  Borough receives grant for Hamlin Lake improvements….Rally held in Harrisburg in support of minimum wage increase…..Penfield man killed at Greentree  Landfill in Elk County…..Bradford resident found guilty of felony drug charges…..Elderly driver cited following Tioga County  collision…church vandalism investigated by state police at Mansfield….

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Photo by Gerri Miller

Members of the Allegewi Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a Constitution Day Ceremony, Tuesday September  17, 2019 on the Potter County Courthouse Square. The preface to Constitution was read prior to the 4:00pm tolling of the courthouse bell. Member Barb Heimel read the “Bill of Rights” during the group’s evening meeting.

Rep. Martin Causer announces Smethport Borough has been awarded a $250,000 grant for improvements to Hamlin Lake Park. The project involves replacing an existing pedestrian bridge in the park with a new structure that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as installing ADA-compliant walking paths to access the bridge, an ADA compliant-parking lot and a connected ADA-compliant kayak launch. The plan reflects recommendations made in the Hamlin Lake Park Master Plan developed with input of borough residents. According to the grant application, the goal is to improve the functionality of the park and make it more enjoyable and inclusive for the entire community.The estimated total cost of the project is just under $295,000. The borough will provide the required 15% match of approximately $44,000.The grant was awarded through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenway, Trails and Recreation Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

At a rally in the state Capitol’s East Wing, activists and lawmakers once again called for Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to rise to $12 an hour immediately, and $15 an hour within three years.

The state minimum wage was last increased ten years ago to $7.25 per hour— one of the lowest in the country.  The minimum wage in nearby New York State is currently $11.00. The rate for tipped workers in Pennsylvania has been stuck at $2.83 per hour for nearly 30 years.

Senator Haywood is one of the primary sponsors of state bills (SB 1044 and SB 1045, respectively) that propose to increase the minimum wage to $12 and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.  Raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 would bump minimum wage workers above the poverty line with a yearly salary of $24,960. Senator Haywood says those making the minimum wage and working 40 hours a week are stuck in poverty and says the state encourages people to take any job available, but a minimum wage job keeps them in poverty.

A Penfield man apparently died accidentally Tuesday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County. State police report 56 year old Gary Haupt got pinned beween a semi-trailer and garbage tipper at the Greentree Landfill on the Roby Road a few minutes after 4 o’clock. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Elk County Coroner. The investigation is continuing. It is the second such death at the landfill within a couple of years.

Following a two day jury trial in McKean County,  Monday and Tuesday,  David Kelsey of Bradford was convicted of Delivering a Controlled Substance (Felony) and Criminal Use of a Communicate Device (Felony 3).  The defendant was charged by McKean County Drug Task Force Detective Michael Ward following his investigation into the unlawful delivery of a Schedule II narcotic in Bradford on January 17, 2018.  McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.  Sentencing was scheduled for October 24, 2019.

Both drivers escaped injury in collision Monday evening in Richmond Township Tioga County. According to Mansfield based state police the collision occurred when 87 year old Raymond Kaminski of Blossburg, while going north, turned left off of Main Street, in front of Scott Gee of Tioga, PA who was travelling south. Gee steered to the right in  in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid impact but Kaminski’s Chevrolet Trax hit the Gee Dodge Ram 1500 in the left front.  The force of the collision caused  Kaminski’s  car to spin onto the center line where it came to rest. The pick-up stopped in some nearby grass off the side of the road. Both men were using seat belts as was Gee’s wife, Kristi. Kaminski was cited for driving with an expired registration and making an improper left turn.

Vandalism to an Tioga County church earlier this summer remains under investigation by state police at Mansfield. Vandals broke a double pane window at the Ansonia Gospel  Church between 8:00 am August 8 and noon the next day. Entry was not made into the building but damage is estimated by be $100.