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Prank calls at SMAHS illicit heavy response

September 2, 2014

After a massive response by emergency personnel followed by a thorough investigation, law enforcement officials have determined unconfirmed reports of gunshots fired at St. Marys Area High School on Tuesday afternoon were a hoax as a result of prank phone calls.
No one is in custody as the investigation is ongoing.
Upon arriving on scene police conducted an immediate search of school buildings and property, set up a perimeter as units arrived and staged for ambulances and fire department.

One in bath salts ring pleads guilty

September 2, 2014

RIDGWAY – Tammy Jean Zawatski, 38, of Ridgway pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges resulting from the July 17 drug sting involving multiple law enforcement agencies that yielded almost $60,000 in cash and approximately 80 grams of bath salts.
Zawatski appeared before Judge Paul H. Millin (filling in for Judge Masson) and pleaded guilty to felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver controlled substances, dealings in proceeds of unlawful activities and corrupt organizations.

Plans for hotel moving along

September 1, 2014

Plans for the new downtown St. Marys hotel are moving forward with plans to start construction the week of September 8, according to local project developer Todd "Booka" Hanes of Creekside Hospitality.
The Cobblestone Hotel and Suites is a three-story hotel consisting of 64 rooms and will be situated on the corner of Fourth and Depot streets.
Recently Creekside Hospitality LLC was approved for a dimensional variance by the St. Marys Zoning Hearing Board.

Evidence hearing in 6-fatality case

August 29, 2014

SMETHPORT – A court hearing was held Friday on defense motions to suppress certain evidence in the criminal case linked with a horrific 6-fatality traffic accident a year ago.
Kathy Douglas of Kane faces 35 charges for allegedly abusing prescription medicine (Clonazepam) when she drove one of two vehicles involved in the near head-on collision on Route 219 just north of Lantz Corners in Hamlin Township.
The accident killed six—including her 12-year-old daughter, Olivia, her 6-year-old nephew, Jarrett Costanzo of Kane and four members of a St. Marys family.

LIFT to launch program at local libraries

August 29, 2014

Life and Independence for Today (LIFT) will launch its 'Within Your Reach' program at the St. Marys Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.
The program will feature demonstrations as well as a permanent display of assistive technology for people with disabilities.
Charlie Williamson, assistive technology coordinator for LIFT, said that in rural areas access to new equipment can be costly due to lack of funding or lack of awareness.

Marching Dutchmen donate to local charities

August 29, 2014

Recently the St. Marys Area High School Marching Band conducted a fundraising drive benefitting two local organizations as part of community outreach project.
The group succeed in collecting over 100 items for both CAPSEA (Citizens Against Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse) and the Elk County Humane Society organizations during their two week band camp held at the beginning of August.

Robbery suspect apprehended by police

August 28, 2014

The St. Marys City Police reported Thursday that Dustin Allen Courteau, 26, of St. Marys, wanted for a home invasion and strong arm robbery, has been apprehended.
According to a police report, police responded to a reported sighting of Courteau on East Joseph Road just after 7 a.m. Thursday morning. Courteau was apprehended without incident on West Oilwell Street by State Police Troopers, who assisted in the search.
Police wish to recognize the public for their tips and acknowledge that the public's assistance was instrumental in the apprehension.

Brewfest highlights fall flavors

August 28, 2014

Tasty creations of home brewers and vintners will be highlighted during Brewfest in Kersey with proceeds benefitting the Fox Township Volunteer Fire Department building project.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sample at least 60 beers and wines at the event taking place Saturday, Sept. 6 from 6-9 p.m. at the Fox Township Community Building on Main Street in Kersey.
Each ticket allows for unlimited tastings, snacks, food items, and desserts. Many food items have beer and wine incorporated into them such as beer bratwurst and a beef sandwich marinated in beer.

Bennetts Valley prepares for Labor Day festivities

August 28, 2014

JAY TWP. – The Bennetts Valley community is ramping up for it's 63rd annual Labor Day Homecoming Celebration, which will include rides, food, the crowning of Miss Bennetts Valley and a parade.
Charlie Liptak, who is organizing the festivities for the sixth year in a row, encourages everyone to come and support local nonprofits and enjoy the games and food.
"It's all nonprofit organizations," Liptak said. "The money that we raise all goes back into the community in some form."

Quality of work force is topic of discussion for North Central

August 27, 2014

The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission met Wednesday morning and the quality of the area's workforce was a main point of discussion for the attending committee members.
The discussion centered around a growing problem in the area, employers are looking for employees, but many available employees are not able to pass a drug test to gain employment.
"This issue is a cultural and societal issue," Executive Director Eric Bridges said during the meeting. "There is a potential demonization of people that suffer from these diseases."

East Branch project moving along

August 27, 2014

The East Branch Dam Safety Initiative took a step forward Wednesday as a multi-million bid was awarded for the construction of the East Branch cutoff wall rehabilitation project.
Layne Christensen Co. of Ruther Glen, Va. was awarded the $132,504,348 contract by the Department of the Army. The company specializes in water management, construction and drilling.

Elk Co. Solid Waste Authority discusses new recycling options

August 26, 2014

The Elk County Solid Waste Authority held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Courthouse Annex building in Ridgway to further discuss plans for a new recycling facility, as well as new recycling options in the county.
The authority discussed options for several types of recyclable items that have been frequently asked about by residents. Many residents asked about recycling tires, which the authority does in the spring.

D.A.R.E. continues to face funding obstacles

August 26, 2014

With the prominence of drug use throughout the area, City of St. Marys Police officers are working with youngsters as part of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in helping students learn to make better life choices.
D.A.R.E. is conducted in sixth grade classes at St. Marys Catholic and St. Marys Area middle schools. Last year the program reached a total of 243 students.
Weekly classes start in January after Christmas break and continue until March for a 10-week time period.
In recent years funding has been sporadic for the program.

Three charged, one wanted in robbery

August 25, 2014

Three St. Marys residents are charged in a robbery and theft that allegedly occurred on Friday, Aug. 22 at around 9 p.m. at 430 N. St. Marys St.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim reported that four individuals wearing black clothing with their faces covered entered his apartment through the back door that was open. An investigation led to the arrests of Andrew Krewduk, 24, Faith Gagliardi, 21 and Savannah Satterwhite, 47.
Police are seeking the public's help in locating Dustin Allen Courteau, of 543 Chestnut Street.

Sheriff's Department takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 25, 2014

The Elk County Sheriff's Department cooled off on a hot summer afternoon for a good cause.
The department took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Monday afternoon at the Ridgway Firemen's Carnival Grounds to help support the ALS Association.
The challenge wasn't just a way to cool off as the department donated $250 to the ALS Association.
The department was nominated by members of the Pennsylvania Sheriff's Association for the challenge and had the assistance of the Ridgway Fire Department and Ridgway Sheetz.

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