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Fire chief criticizes reducing fleet

March 3, 2015

Crystal Fire Department Chief Bill Kraus vehemently appealed to members of St. Marys City Council to not reduce the department's fleet of trucks as recommended in the city's Early Intervention Program (EIP) report.
Kraus emphasized "we certainly hope that this council and future councils realize that this report is all about saving money and not about saving lives.”
Following the fire chief's presentation of the CFD's annual report, he commented on the report recommendations.

911 center funding may be headed for trouble

March 3, 2015

RIDGWAY – Without amendments to an outdated state statute used to help fund 911 centers across the state, emergency communications may soon be in dire straits.
Formerly known as the Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act (Act 78) of 1990, it is now Chapter 53 of Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, and allows for a monthly fee of $1.50 for a landline and $1 for wireless or internet.
"People are dropping their landlines and it’s becoming more difficult to cover the costs," said Elk County Commissioner June Sorg.

Truck destroyed in fire, garage damaged

March 3, 2015

A vehicle fire broke out Tuesday afternoon at Tennant's Auto Outlet in St. Marys, damaging a garage at the rear of the property and destroying a two-door Chevy pickup truck.
Elk Company 1 (Crystal Fire Department) was called out at 3:49 p.m. for a report of a vehicle fire endangering a structure at 729 South St. Marys St.

School board looking into food service proposals

March 3, 2015

The St. Marys Area School District Board of School Directors continues to mull the future of the district's food service program as they consider whether to contract with an outside agency or allow management to continue in-house.
School board members heard two more presentations on the matter during their Monday evening workshop meeting, one by Jeanette Carpentier on behalf of Aramark, and another from current school district Director of Food Services Jennifer Asti. The board had also previously heard from a representative from The Nutrition Group.

Committee in early phases search for St. Marys City Manager

March 2, 2015

The recently established three-member search committee created to organize efforts in finding valid candidates for the St. Marys City Manager position have been in regular contact with one another, usually via e-mail.
Although the committee has not held an official meeting due to travel conflicts with committee members Lou Radkowski, Gary Anderson and Ned Jacob, the group has circulated potential ads to each other for the manager's job description.

Wage schedule for city employees approved

March 2, 2015

St. Marys City Council approved the 2015 wage and benefit schedule for city personnel during their work session held Monday evening.
The motion to approve the rates listed in the schedule was unanimously approved by council.
The Public Service Director/Chief of Police salary at $75,758.72 with an additional $1,000/month for fulfilling duties as acting city manager. The additional pay was made effective in February.

Joint partnership for special needs students discussed

March 2, 2015

A partnership between the St. Marys Area School District, Ridgway Area School District, Johnsonburg Area School District, and Dickinson Center, Inc. could eventually be in the works to provide an in-county option for students who are in need of specific types of therapy, according to SMASD superintendent Dr. Brian Toth.

Highland supervisors: We're fighting the lawsuit

March 2, 2015

JAMES CITY – The Highland Township supervisors voted unanimously on Monday to allow The Community Environmental Defense Fund (CELDF) to proceed in defending the township in a lawsuit over a township ordinance regulating injection wells.
The decision came after a 30-minute public meeting in which the township supervisors and approximately 25 residents of the township and the county were able to voice their opinion on what should be done with the lawsuit.

Business Expo welcomes steady crowd at new location

March 1, 2015

The St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo welcomed a steady crowd throughout Saturday. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees visited the expo at its new location at the Sacred Heart Parish Center in downtown St. Marys. The expo featured about 40 vendors from throughout the region, five business seminars, a mini health fair hosted by Penn Highlands Elk, homemade soup, sandwiches, bread and sweets by the Sacred Heart Social Committee, a 'Shop Local' prize package as well as numerous door prizes.

Carving event ends with Saturday auction

March 1, 2015

The weeklong sweet 16th birthday celebration of the Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous reached its high note Saturday with the annual auction attended by a large crowd.
Auctioneers auctioned off a wide variety of artistic creations throughout Saturday at the annual event on Court Street in downtown Ridgway.

Pa. Supreme Court Candidates Visit Ridgway

March 1, 2015

Judge John Foradora, current Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge, was one of five Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates that were scheduled to attend Saturday's Elk County Democratic Committee's petition signing breakfast at the Royal Inn in Ridgway. Foradora, center, and former state representative hopeful Jack Donahue, left, are pictured interacting with some of Elk County's Democrats during Saturday's breakfast.

Fire destroys Straub maintenance building

February 27, 2015

A fire Friday morning broke out on the Straub Brewery property in St. Marys and destroyed a structure utilized as a maintenance and storage building.
Elk Company 1 (Crystal Fire Department) and St. Marys Ambulance were dispatched at 9:16 a.m. for a report of a structure fire at a commercial industry site at 303 Sorg St. in St. Marys.
"Upon arrival we found that the maintenance storage building was fully involved so at that time we called for mutual aid from Fox Township, Ridgway and Johnsonburg," said Tom Bauer, public relations representative for Crystal Fire Department.

Youth stays positive despite cancer diagnosis

February 27, 2015

As 12-year-old Chloe Frank of Ridgway fights the battle of her life, she is armed with a positive attitude, the power of prayer and an outpouring of community support as her weapons.
“She has deep strength which comes from her passion and love of dance," said her mother, Tara Frank.
The Frank family was devastated by their eldest daughter's diagnosis of childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Foreign Language Day continues to grow at ECCHS

February 27, 2015

St. Marys Area High School hosted its fourth annual Foreign Language Day on Friday, and this year's event featured participants from Elk County Catholic High School, Johnsonburg Area High School, Ridgway Area High School, Kane Area High School, Brockway Area High School, and Clearfield Area High School.
"It's the biggest year (so far). We have six schools. We've never had that many." said Christa Wensel, a Spanish teacher at St. Marys Area High School who helps coordinate the annual event.

Pair charged with torching stolen car

February 27, 2015

A St. Marys man and a Wilcox woman are charged in a April 2014 incident involving a car being stolen and then left along the old railroad grade on state Route 555 after being set on fire.
Chris Deon McMillen, 24, and Abby Marie O'Rourke, 30, face felony charges of theft by unlawful taking and arson, and lesser related offenses.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, State Police at Ridgway were notified of a stolen vehicle on April 1, 2014 around 7:44 a.m. The vehicle was found about a mile east of Benezette on fire.

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