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Cross-curricular project focuses on real-world experience, teamwork

March 6, 2015

As part of an new cross-curricular effort, St. Marys Area High School students recently completed a project combining mathematics, drafting and metal shop.
The inaugural project entailed a small group of Greg Snelick's Calculus II students as they learned to utilize various mathematical concepts to draft and create a metal funnel.
This real-world application of concepts and coursework will serve as an invaluable lesson to students in the future.

Weidow gets 4-9 years in fatal DUI crash

March 6, 2015

RIDGWAY – Brandon Michael Weidow, 27, of Byrnedale was sentenced to four to nine years of incarceration in state prison for the 2012 DUI crash that claimed the life of Savannah Straub.
In December 2014, a jury found Weidow guilty of homicide by vehicle while DUI, as well as related offenses, concluding that he was driving the vehicle in which Straub was a passenger.
When given the opportunity to make a statement, Weidow replied, "No thank you, your honor." He also declined the opportunity to offer an apology.

Dill sentenced 5-10 years in child porn case

March 5, 2015

RIDGWAY – Almost a year to the day after his arrest, Ronald Gregory Dill, 59, of St. Marys was sentenced a total of five to 10 years of incarceration in state prison as well as having to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.
"I understand that you had no direct physical contact with any children," President Judge Richard A. Masson said during sentencing. "People seem to forget that by viewing these images, you are facilitating this victimization."
Dill replied that he didn't realize that at the time.

Public input sought on future projects targeting youth, seniors

March 5, 2015

The Stackpole-Hall Foundation is beginning another planning investigation in an effort to seek input from the communities they serve.
This year the investigation will deal with two specific groups, youth and senior citizens. These groups have been chosen because of the way changes in Elk County communities have affected both groups.
"Today, compared to a generation ago, fewer and fewer meaningful jobs are available for young people and the growing senior population no longer has the family support system it once enjoyed," said William Conrad, Stackpole-Hall executive director.

Toby Water plant found to need significant upgrades

March 4, 2015

KERSEY – The next step in rectifying the Toby Water contamination situation involving the discovery of a parasite found in plant filters in November entails a feasibility study to be conducted on the plant.
Fox Township supervisors unanimously approved authorization to conduct the study during their Wednesday evening meeting. The study will be funded through a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant with no cost to the township.

St. Marys man charged in J'burg assault

March 4, 2015

JOHNSONBURG – Violating a protection from abuse order, a St. Marys man allegedly barged into a Johnsonburg apartment and engaged in a physical altercation with a man and woman inside.
Edwin Albert Prechtl, 59, of 739 W. Joseph Rd., is charged with a felony count of criminal trespass, two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and two summary counts of harassment for the alleged incident on March 4 around 7 a.m.

Wilcox man faces arson charges for basement fire

March 4, 2015

JOHNSONBURG – An investigation concluded that a fire was intentionally set Oct. 11, 2014 in the basement of a Wilcox Road residence, where a razor knife and blood soaked rags were found.
The investigator, Trooper David Powell of the State Police at Punxsutawney, suspected that Thomas William Prechtl, 47, had set the fire to further harm himself or to hide the fact that he had engaged in self-harm. He faces multiple felony charges, including two counts of arson, and a misdemeanor charge of recklessly endangering another person.

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.

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