June 27th, 2012
Officials at the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission [NCPRPDC] have been closely watching recent U.S. Senate and House activity.
The Senate recently postponed consideration of the FY13 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill until possibly the middle of July; Senate leaders originally anticipated to debate the annual spending bill this month, according to North Central Executive Director Eric Bridges.
A week ago, the House voted to instruct conferees to the House-Senate negotiations on the highway bill to finish their work by Friday, June 22.
RIDGWAY - At Tuesday's Elk County Solid Waste Authority meeting, Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator Bekki Titchner said she will be participating in a conference call this week with the PA Recycling Markets Center to continue with steps to enable PET (polyethylene terephthalate) thermoform plastic recycling through a pilot project. The center in Elk County is receiving funding through a national grant and is the only rurally located facility involved in the project.
"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.
JOHNSONBURG â€“ With a dominating performance from Gabe Kraus on the mound, St. Marys Major League All-Stars earned a 10-0 4-inning win over Johnsonburg.
Kraus frustrated the opposition in a 5-strikeout, 1-hit effort.
Meanwhile, St. Marys used a 3-run second inning and 5-run fifth to fuel the shutout victory.
St. Marys got a run across in the bottom of the first inning. Ryan Heary reached base with a 2-out single to center field and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kraus reached on an error at shortstop which allowed Heary to score from second for the early 1-0 lead.
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.
The St. Marys Little League Softball Major League All-Stars were eliminated from the District 10 tournament Monday evening as they lost a 12-1 contest to the Warren squad at Benzinger Park.
Warren had a total of 12 hits in last nightâ€™s contest, while St. Marys was limited to just four.
Getting the four hits for St. Marys were Josie Smith with a triple and a single and Sydney Eckert with two singles.
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.