Archive - News Article
June 27th, 2012
"It's worse than a plague," said Pete Braun of Braun's Farm in St. Marys regarding the destruction of crops caused by invading armyworms.
Braun, like many area farmers, is suffering firsthand from the devastation caused by the armyworm, or Pseudaleta unipuncta (Haworth), a native species widely distributed throughout the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains.
Although the gypsy moth population did not turn out to be as much of a problem as predicted, another caterpillar has already begun to wreak havoc in Elk County.
During Monday night's Elk County Conservation District Board of Directors' meeting, Toby Herzing of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported receiving numerous calls from farmers worried about a little green and brown worm that was ravaging their hay fields.
If youâ€™ve caught a local high school (musical) performance lately or attended your childâ€™s recital, chances are Fred and Marie Fritz have been behind the scenes making sure the instruments used are hitting the perfect pitch.
The St. Marys couple owns Fritz Pianos and Organs, a family business that began with Fredâ€™s father, the late Hal Fritz, and also included Fred's brother, the late Frank Fritz, who managed the business's DuBois store until his death nine years ago.
Fred said itâ€™s hard for him to imagine doing something else.
With less than one week remaining until the annual Independence Day Celebration sponsored by the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce, organizers continue to work diligently to drum up donations for the 2012 Fireworks Fund.
The fund currently stands at 63 percent of its $18,000 goal, leaving $6,570.42 yet to be raised.
Itâ€™s not just people who are being affected by increasing levels of Lyme diseaseâ€”pets need to be protected, too.
Jesse Shirey, DVM, of Elk County Veterinary Clinic, said cases are appearing with increasing frequency in the animal world as well. His latest statistics show that the clinic saw 240 cases of dogs testing positive for Lyme disease from October 2011 to October 2012.
â€śWe see a ton of Lyme disease,â€ť Shirey said. â€śWe see a high incidence.
While fundraising efforts by the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce continue for the 2012 Fireworks Fund, this year's display promises to offer a better overall show with the debut of an electronic firing system.
Starfire Corporation, which has been shooting the St. Marys show since 1988, plans to utilize FireOne, an advanced digital computer program integrating both a firing and choreography system.
The Elk County Conservation District will enter into an agreement with the Sinnemahoning Cooperative Weed Management Area to focus an invasive and noxious weed management project primarily within the Sinnemahoning Watershed.
According to District Manager Steve Putt, the Bucktail Watershed Association obtained a grant through the federal government for the weed management project.
Putt noted that he has been working with the Bureau of Forestry, Pa. Game Commission and Sinnemahoning State Park for the past year.
Bob Coppolo of Weedville said when he was recently approached by gas company representatives seeking access to his land, he balked at the idea of signing on the dotted line without first reading through the fine print.
"I was approached by at least two different companies. One guy had an easement and wanted me to sign it. I said, 'I'm not signing it, I want to read it,'" Coppolo said.
Coppolo equated the signing of an easement, a legal agreement which grants gas companies access to a landowner's acreage, with "signing your property away."
St. Marys City Council has approved the termination of a 16-foot land and water line easement which cuts through Mersen property.
City Manager Dave Greene explained the city has a 1.1-acre tract of land, also known as Environmental Drive, on which they built a road. For this reason, as far as the city is concerned, they do not need the water line easement, which is on Mersen's property, he said.
A fire early Saturday morning claimed the life of an 89-year-old Ridgway woman and destroyed a Center Street home.
A preliminary investigation has not yet determined the cause of the fire; however, officials are saying it is not suspected to be arson.