Archive - News Article
July 26th, 2011
By Ted Lutz
Ken VanGiesen is home again.
The body of the 30-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan last week arrived in Kane shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday following an emotional procession from the Bradford Airport in Lafayette Township.
An estimated 85 patriotic motorcycle riders accompanied the cortege, which included two military vans for the soldier's family and a hearse that carried the body to the Ronald McDonald II Funeral Home along South Fraley Street.
The Ridgway Area School District held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to appoint Dr. Michael O'Brien as the new superintendent.
Dr. Tom Butler attended his last RASD school board meeting to congratulate and welcome Dr. O'Brien to his new role with the school district.
"It's been a joy, this is a great school district and I know Dr. O'Brien and his wife will be welcomed to the community," Butler said. "You will have a great time."
The board voted unanimously in favor of appointing O'Brien as superintendent, effective Aug. 9, 2011 and ending Aug. 8, 2014, at a salary of $115,000.
Elk County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine debuted new monitoring equipment that will be used for the Elk County Monitoring Project during Monday night's regular meeting.
"I'm pretty excited as we are trying to get things going quickly because of all the equipment that is coming in," Bonfardine said.
One of the items presented was a data logger that will go directly into the waterway to measure the conductivity, flow and temperature.
Each data logger will be encased in a housing unit, built by interns, to protect it from weather and debris.
On Oct. 3, 1997, Ken VanGiesen,Â a junior,Â took Erin Sirianni, a sophomore, to the Homecoming Dance at Kane Area High School.
They've been a couple ever since.
"I was 15 and he was 16," Erin said in recalling the dance on a date that has become their anniversary. "We started dating and have been together since then. We just fit together."
A year later, they again went to the Homecoming Dance. This time as a senior, Ken was crowned as the Homecoming King. He was a three-year letterman in football at Kane High and was chosen to play center in the Big 30 Classic game in 1999.
The success of the Community Recycling Center, located in the Stackpole Complex in St. Marys, has been due, in large part, to the volunteers who keep the facility operational, according to recycling coordinator Bekki Titchner.
"That was one of the initial ideas behind this center, was that it would be a community center so people from the community would help it operate, and that's exactly what's happening," Titchner said.
Members of the Ridgway Heritage Council are in the early stages of restoring the facade of the the historic Bogert House at 105 Main St. in downtown Ridgway.
"We thought in the short term it would be a good idea to start with the front of the building because that is what you see first," said Robert Imhof of the Heritage Council.
With the restoration of the facade, Heritage Council members hope to spark more interest from potential buyers and investors.
Once purchased, Imhof hopes to see the building restored to its intended use as a hotel or hotel/apartment building.
Readers who pick up Pittsburgh-based author Stewart O'Nan's latest novel, "Emily, Alone" may be surprised to find that the main character, Emily Maxwell, is described as originally hailing from Kersey, Pa.
"Emily, Alone" was published in March, and a copy is available at the St. Marys Public Library.
For many folks, it seems to be the simplest of tasks: "I can get into the grocery store and remember things without even writing it down," says Jim Bodien of Ridgway, "even if it is just two or three things."
Jim suffers from Huntington's disease, a genetic defect on chromosome No. 3 that has caused loss of memory, judgment, speech changes, personality changes, and has brought on confusion in his life. To simply remember those two or three grocery items is in itself a noteworthy achievement.
Tom and Sue VanGiesen on Tuesday heard the worst news parents can ever hear.
Their 30-year-old son-- Staff Sgt. Kenneth VanGiesen-- had been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
As can be imagined, it's been a painful four days for the VanGiesen family as plans still are being made for the soldier's funeral in Kane.
Despite their heartache and tears, the VanGiesens both claim their faith in God will see them through these darkest days of their lives.
The Jay Township Supervisors meeting was filled to capacity Thursday evening as residents gathered to voice their thoughts and opinions about ATV use within the township.