Casey Applauds Initiative to Support Military Families

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement expressing his support for a new initiative to strengthen the nation’s support network for military families:

“I want to express my support for Mrs. Obama’s and Dr. Biden’s military families initiative ‘Joining Forces’. Our military families are often unsung heroes and we must do more to recognize their service.  Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have secured agreements that bring businesses, charities, NGOs, primary care and mental health organizations together with the focused goals of helping military and veteran families in the areas of employment, education and wellness.

“The Senate must continue to conduct oversight of military family programs and provide the support they deserve.  I have heard from many in the Pennsylvania National Guard, one of the most deployed Guard forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, who have raised concerns about retaining or finding employment upon completion of their deployment, ensuring that their families are cared for and easing disruptions to their children’s lives.  Active duty families have also contacted me to explain the hardships they endure when their spouse is deployed or when their families must relocate.

“For these reasons, I introduced the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act, which will help military spouses more easily re-enter the workforce by offering a $500 tax credit to those who have to renew or transfer a professional license due to a military Change of Station order.  I am also working on ways to improve the Transition Assistance Program through the Department of Labor’s VETS program as well as other avenues to ensure that service members can translate their skills into the civilian workforce.  I will continue to work to ensure that we maintain a commitment to our citizen soldiers.

“In the Senate, I look forward to working with the President, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden to strengthen the nation’s support for military families.”


Casey Urges Support for Keystone Corridor High Speed Rail Project

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to approve approximately $248 million in funds sought by PennDOT to increase the maximum speed on the Keystone Corridor to 125 miles per hour. This will create jobs, spur economic growth and reduce travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia by 20 minutes.

“Investing in the corridor is crucial to expanding our nation’s high speed network and creating more sustainable forms of transportation,” wrote Senator Casey. “This investment would also spur job creation and promote economic growth.  Previous efforts to upgrade this line have played a vital role in encouraging economic growth along the corridor.”

In his letter, Senator Casey highlighted estimates that this project would create 4,500 full time equivalent jobs over its duration, helping the economic recovery move forward in Pennsylvania.

Since 2006, ridership on the Keystone Corridor has increased 45 percent. If this project is awarded funding, it is estimated that ridership will increase by an additional 30 percent within three years of implementation.

The funding PennDOT is seeking is available due to Florida declining a previously awarded grant for high speed rail development.


House Approves Self-Defense Measure, Causer Says

Castle Doctrine ensures the right to defend oneself from intruders


The state House has approved legislation reinforcing a person’s right to defend himself or herself in the face of an intruder, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) said today.


House Bill 40, also known as the Castle Doctrine, passed by a vote of 164-37.


“Under current law, a person under attack has a duty to retreat before taking action in self-defense – that simply does not make sense,” Causer said. “This change in law protects the rights of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.”


The measure creates a presumption in law that an attacker or intruder intends to do great bodily harm and therefore force, including deadly force, may be used to protect oneself, one’s family and others in the face of an attack while at home or in an occupied vehicle. The presumption also applies if a person is trying to unlawfully remove an occupant, against the occupant’s will, from a home or vehicle. 


The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was: 


  • Another resident of the home.
  • A law enforcement officer.
  • A parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle. 

In addition, the presumption would not apply if a person was using their home or vehicle to further criminal activity. The bill also offers specific protection against civil liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense. 


The legislation passed the House and Senate last session but was vetoed by Gov. Ed Rendell last year.


Rapp Votes for Fair Share Act to Advance Comprehensive Lawsuit Abuse Reform

HARRISBURG –  State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) today voted in favor of landmark lawsuit abuse reform legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s legal code to institute proportionate liability, limiting a defendant’s responsibility for damages to their share of the blame or fault in the case.


“Lawsuit abuse is a crime that every Pennsylvania taxpayer pays for in higher insurance premiums, less availability of skilled medical professionals and the loss of small businesses, manufacturers and other job creators,” said Rapp.   “The Fair Share Act is a common sense measure that will restore fairness and balance to Pennsylvania’s judicial system by ensuring that defendants found negligent or liable for an injury are responsible for only their share of the damages and not one penny more.”


Enacted in the House by a margin of 112 to 88, the Fair Share Act (House Bill 1),  now advances to the Senate for consideration.


“Whether you are actually sued or not, the question is no longer ‘if’ or ‘when’ a frivolous lawsuit will impact you, but ‘how much?’” said Rapp.   “The loss of innovative products and services, life-saving medical technology, family sustaining jobs and, ultimately, community good will, are only some of the unfortunate consequences that can be directly linked to the rampant abuse of Pennsylvania’s civil justice system.”


Along with eight other states and the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania retains what lawyers refer to as full “joint liability” in lawsuits.  The Commonwealth’s current liability laws are a roadblock to prospective entrepreneurs and business owners since current law states that if there are multiple defendants named in a lawsuit, the one with the most money or “deepest pockets” can be held liable for all of the plaintiff’s damages, even if that defendant’s actions had little to do with the injuries or damages incurred.


“Securing final passage of the Fair Share Act, is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” said Rapp.   “It’s about preserving jobs and promoting more employment opportunities.   It’s about ensuring sustained economic growth.   It’s about maintaining affordable and convenient access to quality health care.   Most importantly, it’s about guaranteeing justice for all.”



Work To Replace Annin Creek Bridge On Route 155 Starts April 18

Clearfield – Work to replace the Annin Creek Bridge on Route 155 in Annin Township will begin Monday, April 18. The bridge spans Annin Creek near the village of Turtle Point in McKean County. During replacement work, traffic will use a temporary run-around near the work site.

Project work includes replacing the current bridge with a new, one-span, concrete beam bridge, approach and roadway paving, guide rail installation, pavement markings and miscellaneous construction. All work is weather dependent.

L.C. Whitford Company, Inc. of Wellsville, New York is the contractor on this $1.4 million project. PennDOT expects to open the new bridge to traffic in early December.

For more information on roadway construction and maintenance operations, visit PennDOT’s website at


Former Cable Provider's Operations Center Purchased...Again

Adelphia logoAmerican Metro Bank, a small institution in Chicago, is the new owner of the former Adelphia Operations Center in downtown Coudersport. American Metro was the lone bidder in a sheriff’s sale held at the Potter County Courthouse. The bank, which holds a mortgage on the property, agreed to pay roughly $470,000 for full ownership of the building and accompanying property, which is the amount owed in back real estate taxes and the costs incurred in advertising the property for sale. Coudersport Area School District, Coudersport Borough and Potter County will all receive back taxes, probably later this month.

Now it’s up to American Metro Bank to find a buyer. Real estate investor Bogdan Klek of suburban Chicago bought the building and grounds for $3.6 million in March 2008. He soon launched an internet-based auction with a minimum bid of $8 million, but did not find a buyer. The 72,000-square-foot brick, marble, granite and bronze structure cost Adelphia about $30 million to build. It was designed to accommodate 275 employees, as well as 260 vehicles on 80,000 square feet of parking space across four lots. The 2008 deal between the Adelphia estate and Klek closed after two online auctions, two defaulted buyers, and an embezzlement case victimizing a would-be buyer from Ireland.

Source:  Potter County Today


CCMH, UPMC Hamot Partner to Improve Port Allegany Community Health Center

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital and UPMC Hamot, who have joined forces to expand and extensively renovate the Port Allegany Community Health Center at 45 Pine St., Port Allegany, held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday that included board members, community leaders, providers and staff, marking the beginning of the project which has been two years in the making.

Following a welcome by Ed Pitchford, CCMH president and chief executive officer, comments were made by the Rev. Randall Headley, pastor, Port Allegany United Methodist Church and vice chairman, CCMH board of directors; Dr. Jason Tronetti, Port Allegany Community Health Center and CCMH board member; Ron Caskey, CCMH board member; Rep. Martin Causer; and Gary Maras, senior vice president of business development, UPMC Hamot. Others participating in the ceremony included Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith, Dr. Michael Tarbox, Becky Seefeldt, CRNP, and Julie Baker, PA-C.

The $2.2 million project will last approximately nine months and will not interrupt daily operations at the health center. The project will add 4,584 square feet and renovate 7,901 square feet to the current space.

“Investing in our communities through projects like this is essential to the mission of our hospital. We believe it is our responsibility to provide excellent healthcare services responding to the changing needs of the communities we serve. We are pleased to be able to improve this community asset as modern and relevant in an era when there is so much emphasis on keeping people well and out of hospitals. This project demonstrates our long term commitment to the health and well being of McKean County residents and to this community for years to come,” Pitchford said.

The Port Allegany Community Health Center provides family and pediatric primary care services, laboratory, radiology and physical therapy and occupational therapy services, and a wellness center. In addition, the facility is occupied by Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services, Inc and the Asbestos Screening program.

Upon completion, the center will include a total of 22 exam and treatment rooms. Primary care providers at the health center currently see 14,000 patients annually. This project is expected to allow for an increase of more than 4,000 visits per year. Specialists will increase patient visits by an additional 5,000.

The healthcare facility will offer expanded primary care and specialty services including diagnostic testing, behavioral counseling and telemedicine, in an updated patient-centered environment. The center also will include various specialty clinics including podiatric services by Dr. Michael Tarbox, chiropractic care by Dr. Michael Kavounas, and women’s health services by Dr. Celso Backes and Dr. Max Laurore.

“I am excited about the new expansion project for the Port facility. CCMH and UPMC Hamot have made it possible to expand our ability to provide more patient care to the community. We have been limited in space and have not been able to fulfill the needs of the community and with the new facility we will be able to offer more care to more people,” Dr. Tronetti said.

CCMH has operated the facility for more than 25 years and while improvements have been made during that time, the most recent project was over a decade ago. Increased demand and limited space for primary care, specialists and ancillary services have created the need for this project.

“When I was hired as the pediatrician at the Port Allegany Health Center almost 5 years ago, I was amazed at how much this community values its providers. We have been working hard at making this a true patient-centered medical home and I believe that we have succeeded. The improvements that will be made to the health center will help us to provide the very best care to even more patients,” Dr. Wust-Smith said.

“The expansion and renovation of the Port Allegany Community Health Center reflects the growing relationship between two quality health care institutions,” Maras said. “UPMC Hamot and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital are committed to improving access to the highest quality healthcare and services provided to patients in this region.”

In March 2010, CCMH and UPMC Hamot entered into a clinical affiliation agreement through which the two health systems collaborate to improve the access and quality of health services to the residents of the area.

About Charles Cole Memorial Hospital
Charles Cole Memorial Hospital is a full service, comprehensive health system based in Coudersport with service throughout north central Pennsylvania. In addition to the hospital’s main campus in Coudersport, CCMH provides primary health care, including wellness and physical therapy, to surrounding communities in four counties at rural health centers in Galeton, Ulysses, Westfield, Shinglehouse, Port Allegany, Eldred, Smethport, and Emporium. For additional information on the hospital’s services and medical providers, visit

About UPMC Hamot
UPMC Hamot is a 412-bed, tertiary care facility, located in Erie. UPMC Hamot has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report- America’s Best Hospitals, Top 50 for Pulmonary Medicine, Most Wired, and Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals for overall performance, as well as Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals for outstanding outcomes in heart care, neurological services, urology, orthopaedics, gerontology and critical care medicine. UPMC and Hamot affiliated on February 1. For more information, visit


Roadwork Scheduled, Stormwater Plan Adopted

By Martha Knight

LIBERTY VILLA—A portion of Lower Grimes Road will be closed for several hours Thursday, while some essential work is being done on the road, township supervisor Fred Ernst III announced at the monthly meeting of the Liberty Township Supervisors Tuesday night.

The closure will be timed to take place between school bus runs, and should affect only a few residents. The detour route will be by way of Route 155, Ernst explained.

The supervisors’ meeting found the few residents in attendance in a cheerful mood, with some thanking the supervisors for road improvements that have been accomplished last year and acknowledging that they realize not all of the roads can be improved simultaneously.

Major projects planned for the coming roadwork season will be Upper and Lower Portage Roads, chairman Gary Turner and supervisors Chuck Safford and Ernst said.

In addition to improvements to pavement along Portage Road, which has shown damage for some time, some of the trees will be trimmed or removed, allowing more light in.

One resident questioned the need for weed removal every year, but Ernst said the supervisors have found that keeping weeds and brush at bay allows the roadways and borders to dry out.

Supervisors voted two to one to adopt the controversial Stormwater Management Ordinance, which is the township’s version of the measure that was developed by the county under a state mandate, with the Department of Environmental Protection driving the process and having approval power concerning its provisions.

Turner and Safford voted for adoption, expressing reluctance but with Turner noting that they had been told the Liquid Fuels Tax funds could be withheld if the ordinance were not in place.

Ernst voted No, saying, “There is too much stuff in there I don’t like.” Also, he objected to the burden of enforcement being placed on the township.

The supervisors decided not to attend the annual conference of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, in Hershey, saying they could not justify the cost in a tight budget year. However, Safford said he planned to attend the McKean County Township Officials spring convention on May 4.

There was discussion of a McKean County Adult Probation program whereby some probationers would be assigned to perform tasks for municipalities as part of their community service. The supervisors decided to study the program further before utilizing that source of labor.

Supervisors noted that they had heard that there will be a 10-ton weight limit placed on Route 155 through much or all of the township. PennDOT is said to be planning that action so as to make sure companies hauling hydrofracking water and drilling equipment over the state highway will bond the roads.

Turner noted that contractor Brad Greenman has been of assistance to the township on numerous occasions, helping with materials and equipment and even performing some improvements. He said Greenman had used his backhoe and solved a problem that had been created when an unknown person had deposited a large quantity of mud over a sunken spot over a culvert Also, Chad Moses and Rick Bee were mentioned as having helped handle some trouble spots.

The supervisors said that persons who see vibro-seismology trucks traveling township roads should notify supervisors at home or call the township office, to state what trucks they had seen and where.

Tony Clarke of Bradford was introduced at the beginning of the meeting, and briefly addressed those present concerning his candidacy for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He has cross-filed to seek nominations from both parties in the upcoming primary.

Anthony V. Clarke is seen addressing those in attendance at the most recent Liberty Township business meeting Tuesday night.  Martha Knight Photo


Community Health Center Getting $2.2 Mil Upgrade

By Martha Knight

“It is refreshing that we have something being constructed…If we did not do this, we would be breaching the philosophy of the hospital.”

That was how Ron Caskey, secretary of the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital (CCMH) board of directors, way the $2.2 million expansion project that was launched officially Friday at a noon groundbreaking ceremony, at the Port Allegany Community Health Center.

Caskey is also a member of the affiliated board of CCMH’s partner in providing services through the health center, UPMC Hamot. Then known as Hamot, the Erie-based provider affiliated with CCMH last March. UPMC Hamot was formed in February of this year.

Ed Pitchford, president and CEO of CCMH, called the new project “one of the most ambitious projects that this facility has ever seen,” referring to the CCMH system. He said that because of the support of the Port Allegany community, “we have outgrown the facility; we are responding to changing needs.”

Assemblyman Marty Causer, claiming as his “hometowns” Port Allegany and nearby Turtlepoint, also spoke of change, saying, “Rural health care is constantly changing.” Pitchford said Causer had been a strong voice in Harrisburg for rural health care.

Gary Maras, senior vice president of business development at UMPC Hamot, formerly “from the clinical side,” recalled his training in cardiac care in the 1970s, when he was mentored by Port Allegany native and prominent cardiac surgeon Dr. Gary Lyons.

Currently the Port Allegany Community Health Center provides family and pediatric primary care services, as well as laboratory, radiology, physical therapy and occupational therapy services and a popular fitness center.

Also occupying spaces in the former Port Allegany Community Hospital building are the Port Allegany Asbestos Health Program and Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services, Inc.

The project, designed by Jeffrey K. Brown of Pittsburgh-based IKM Inc., includes a 2,584 square-foot addition and renovation of an existing 7,901 square feet of space. Allegany, N.Y.-based Duggan & Duggan is general contractor.

 After the project is completed in about nine months, there will be 22 exam and treatment rooms. Annual patient visits are expected to increase from about 14,000 to 19,000.

Specialty services will include podiatric care by Dr. Michael Tarbox (also an area native), chiropractic care by Dr. Michael Kavounas, and women’s health services by Dr. Celso Backes and Dr. Max Laurore.

Pediatrician Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith will continue to see patients at the facility.

Pitchford said planning continues for an expansion of the Coudersport facility, where the Emergency Department is to be upgraded. The Port Allegany project has been in planning about two years.


Born Here - Dr. Jason Tronetti addresses dignitaries and public at the noon, Friday official groundbreaking for the $2.2 million expansion of the Port Allegany Health Center, where his practice is based. He said he had been born close to the waiting room site of the ceremony, when the facility was Port Allegany Community Hospital, and speculated that he might be the only doctor in Pennsylvania who literally is practicing where he was born.  Martha Knight Photo


Rural Health Care Talk - Assemblyman Marty Causer, left, and Ed Pitchford, president and CEO of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, confer at Friday's groundbreaking for a $2.2 million expansion of CCMH's Port Allegany Health Center. Pitchford told the audience that Causer had been a strong voice in Harrisburg for rural health care.  Martha Knight Photo


Room For Improvement - These are depictions of the Port Allegany Health Center as it will appear in about nine months, at the completion of a $2.2 million project unveiled Friday. It is a joint project of UPMC Hamot and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.  Martha Knight Photo



GOP Ladies To Host Forum

By Martha Knight

The Port Allegany Area Republican Women’s Club, known as The GOP Ladies, will sponsor a Meet the Republican Candidates night at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Social Rooms of the First Presbyterian Church.

Invited candidates have filed for Republican nominations to the various offices, in the May 17 municipal primary.

As with similar events the club has hosted in other Municipal Election years, the forum is open to the public.

Candidates for McKean County offices, and local offices in Port Allegany Borough, Liberty Township, Annin Township and the Port Allegany School District have been invited to attend and address the audience.

Candidates for Judge of the McKean County Court of Common Pleas are Tony Alfieri, Michele D. Alfieri-Causer, Anthony V. Clarke and Chris Hauser. Magisterial District Judge William K. Todd is seeking re-election. All judicial candidates have cross-filed.

Incumbent County Commissioners Joseph C. DeMott Jr. and Al Pingie are seeking the Republican nomination, as is former commissioner John Egbert. Incumbent Judith R. Church is running on the Democratic ticket, along with former commissioner Clifford Lane and Patrick Baldoni. Voters of each party will vote for two candidates, and the top two vote getters of each party will be on the November ballot.

Running unopposed for Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court is incumbent Harrijane Hannon Moore, a Republican.

Other Republican incumbents also running unopposed are Recorder of Deeds Anne C. Bosworth and Coroner Michael F. Cahill.

Port Allegany Borough Council incumbents Kate Kysor and Lynn Farber and party-mate Eric L. Button are seeking the three council positions to be filled this year. Incumbent Lewis Roy Duell is the sole Democratic candidate.

Liberty Township supervisors Fred W. Ernst III is seeking re-election, opposed by former supervisor roadmaster James Boorum.

Annin Township incumbent John Barr is opposed by fellow Republican Brian P. Causer for the single supervisor position to be filled this year. Township supervisor terms are six years in length.

School board candidates who have been invited are incumbents Daniel F. Kysor and Gary A. Hardes, along with Scott A. Moses, Ingrid L. Lapp and Sean A. Lathrop. All but Lapp have cross-filed. There are five seats available.

After the candidates have made their presentations there will be an opportunity for others in attendance to mingle with them and converse.

Refreshments will be served.


Click HERE for the latest from Representative Martin Causer, representing the 67th Legislative District, including Potter, Cameron and McKean Counties


Groundbreaking Ceremony - Dr. Michael Tarbox, Julie Baker, PA-C, Dr. Jason Tronetti, Becky Seefeldt, CRNP, Dr. Marlene Wust-Smith, Rev. Randall Headley and Ron Caskey are pictured during groundbreaking ceremonies held at the Port Allegany Community Health Center on Friday, April 8.  The ceremony marked the beginning of the $2.2 million project that has been two years in the making and will take approximately nine months to complete.  More photos from this event will appear on this week's picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo


School Budget Cuts May Reach $750,000+

By Martha Knight

A no-fat, tight belt budget is in the offing for the Port Allegany School District come July 1, when fiscal 2011-12 begins, the school board heard Monday night at its regular April board meeting.

Superintendent Tony Flint presented several one-page summaries of results of budget work to date, showing cuts and economies he believes can be achieves at least on a one-time basis without harming programs. If more lean years follow, it would not be long before such reduced spending would affect programs noticeably, Flint warned.

Revenues anticipated in the next fiscal year total $12,508,879, compared with this year’s $13,264,693. State subsidies are projected to drop some $874,000, and the accountability block grant of more than $271,000 will not be funded at all.

Flint said the administration has worked with staff, including instructional and support personnel, to identify any spending that can be eliminated or postponed.

A budgetary reserve of $124,430 will be used up, and no new reserve will be planned into the new budget. Professional staff members are being asked not to take courses not needed to maintain certification and ask for tuition reimbursement. Out-of-area conferences will be scrutinized closely, and few will be attended. Uniforms and equipment and technology purchases will be postponed or cut.

Those and other economies had made for spending reductions of more than $302,000, but left Flint and business manager Judy Bodamer searching for another $450,000.

Flint’s proposed strategy was described by saying, “We have identified 15 other categories we need to look at” in addition to those he had listed in one summary.

Although most programs can be preserved this year even with spending cuts, Flint said he does not see a way to continue to provide after-school tutoring or a summer school program.

When Flint asked the board members whether they are in favor of the direction he is taking with the budget, board member Ed Babcock said, “I don’t think I am, in terms of $450,000. If it were much less than that…” But later he encouraged Flint to continue the process of seeking all possible savings without curtailing necessary programs. “Put her together,” he said, referring to the task of coming up with a proposed budget.

Personnel costs are still an unknown, board member Denise Buchanan observed. “We are not going to know a number until we have some kind of agreement with our professional staff. That’s the big elephant in the room.”

Flint said he and several other area school superintendents had met with state senator and Senate speaker pro tem Joe Scarnati concerning the quandary faced in the small, rural school districts Scarnati represents. He said Scarnati seemed sympathetic, understanding that the school systems have not been spending wastefully.

Some softening of the blow to schools may come before the budget is finalized, Flint said, although he is not counting on that. If more state reimbursement is provided, the budget can be revised up to the June 30 deadline for final adoption. In fact, funds made available later could be worked into the fiscal plan by reopening the budget.

The board approved the 2011-2012 Seneca Highlands Wide Area Network (SHWAN) budget in the amount of $232,024 for technology services provided by the Intermediate Unit 9, with district costs of $31,058. Board member Gary A. Hardes commented that the board was being asked to approve the whole budget, as well as the amount the school district contributes.

Also approved was the final accounting with the Pennsylvania Department of Education facilities office for PlanCon Part J, for the Elementary School expansion and renovation project. The district is due some additional state reimbursement, for the $7,454,405 project, completed some time ago. A $5 million bond issue financed part of the project, and the district used more than $4 million of accumulated funds earmarked for the project. State reimbursement helps make the bond issue payments.

The board approved adding Joshua Parslow of Emporium to the substitute teacher list and Jan Bloss of Port Allegany to the support staff substitute list.

Dr. Jason Tronetti will continue to be school physician at an unchanged salary of $10,000, the board decided.

Sharon Daniels was appointed head volleyball coach, and Kristina Francis will be assistant junior varsity volleyball coach.  Joshua Guerrero was approved as a volunteer baseball coach for the 2011 season.

Robert Raudenbush’s resignation as varsity boys’ basketball coach was accepted.

Hardes noted that developmental reading teacher Cindy Smith has indicated her intention of retiring at the end of the term, and said that she has been an excellent teacher, highly proficient in her specialty.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, in the elementary school Blue Room.


Prom King and Queen - The Junior Class of PAHS presented the 2011 Prom - A Black Tie Affair - Saturday evening at the school.  Selected as King and Queen were Ryan Kio and Bryanna Evens.  This event, a gift from the junior class to the senior class, featured a steak/chicken dinner prepared by the parents and the music of Shon J the DJ.  Prom Advisor was Erin Moran.  Pam Fischer Photo





Prom Court - The Port Allegany High School Prom was held Saturday night at the school.  Ryan Kio and Bryanna Evens were selected as King and Queen.  The royal couple were crowned by 2010 Prom Queen Alyssa Bowser.  The court is pictured (left to right) Brock Bricker, Caryne Healy, Seth Lowery, Cora Bova, Queen Bryanna, King Ryan, Renee Edgell, Chad Barnard, Breanna Foster and Camrin Stuckey.  More photos from this event will appear on an upcoming picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo


Happy Birthday Pastor Randy! - A birthday buffet was prepared and served to Pastor Randy Headley and his wife, Barb, by the students and teachers of the Port Allegany United Methodist Church Sunday School.  The students also had a "parade of presents" giving Pastor Randy with gift items such as coffee because he "perks us up"; apples because he is "the apple of our eyes"; a ham...for obvious reasons; and hugs and kisses.  Pictured are the cooks with their special guests (front row, left to right) Isaac Burr, Madison Mahon, Zoe Burr, Barb Headley, Pastor Randy, Addie Burr, Corbin Hamilton, Ian Dynda; (back row) Justin Young, Makayla Alcorn, Julia Young, Shaylei Burr and Kiera Keck.  Pam Fischer Photo


Jazz and Java - The Port Allegany Music Department presented Jazz and Java Thursday, April 7 at the Port Allegany Elementary School.  The show featured the Senior High Jazz Band and the Junior High Jazz Band.  Logan Hutton, Sam Kysor, Ryan Michelitsch, McKenna Johnson and Derek Johnson are pictured during the Senior High portion of the concert.  The program was under the direction of Brad Stewart.  More photos from this event will appear on this week's picture page.

Jazz and Java Concert - The PAHS Senior High and Junior High Jazz Bands presented Jazz and Java April 7 at the PAES.  The first set featured the older group with the Senior High Jazz Band performed Come Out Swingin'; All's Well That Ends Well, Don't Know Why with soloist Renee Edgell; and Sambeando.

Members of the Senior High group include Ryan Michelitsch and McKenna Johnson on Alto Saxophone; Derek Johnson and Samuel Kysor on Tenor Saxophone; Logan Hutton on Baritone Saophone; Megan Bishel, Jacob Stehle and Aaron Majot on Trumpet; Kenneth Kysor and Wesley Caulkins on Trombone; Zachary Sigafoes on Key Bass; Cheyanna Sullivan on Piano and Dylan Bowers on Percussion.

The second set featured the Junior High Jazz Band with Logan Hutton and McKenna Johnson on Alto Saxophone; Hannah Ernst on Tenor Saxophone; Adam Koehler, Charles Kysor, Andrew Rosenswie, Matthew Causer and Daniel Bishel on Trumpet; Garrett Talkington and Jefferson Stehle on Trombone; Cheyanna Sullivan on Key Bass; Mr. Ken Myers on Piano; and Eli Knapp and Dylan Bowers on Percussion.  They played Brazil, Manteca, Moanin; and A Hard Day's Night.

The Senior High Jazz Band returned for the third set which included In The Mood, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Someone to Watch Over Me with Hannah Wise as soloist, and Saint Louis Blues.  Directing the bands was Brad Stewart.

Refreshments were served by the Port Allegany Music Boosters.  Pam Fischer Photo


SWAMP Presenters - Five representatives of a new program called SWAMP, for Success With Achievement, Motivation and Preparedness, showed slides and explained their organization at a public presentation in the junior-senior high school cafeteria Monday night.  They are, from left, Christina Safford, Caitlin Lindsay, Linea Kelley, Emily Conklin and Cynthia Setzer.  A teen center is slated to open soon, at 6 North Main Street.  Martha Knight Photo


Teen Center Takes Shape

By Martha Knight

They call themselves The SWAMP, but clearly they have not bogged down.

They are a cadre of teen-age girls, drawn from some Port Allegany area Girl Scout groups, interested in seeing a teen center in operation, and in facilitating some programs needed by the youth of the community.

The timing couldn’t be better. At the Port Allegany School Board meeting that took place an hour after the SWAMP meeting Monday night, the list of cuts needed to balance the 2011-12 general fund budget for the school district included after-school tutoring and summer school. It so happens that SWAMP wants to help sponsor just such programs, in addition to fun activities, work opportunities, community service and “a good place to be.”

Within weeks the group hopes to have a teen center open, at 6 North Main Street, a store front building now owned by the McKean County Housing Authority. It is being renovated, and SWAMP is being given use of it as an initial location, thanks to a special arrangement with the agency. Utilities will be paid for “pro rata,” the group says, with some help from local organizations.

Teen Moose, Port Allegany Rotary and the Lions are among organizations the group looks to for help, along with individuals and businesses in the community.

“It’s not a game room,” spokespersons state emphatically. Yes, they hope to have some activities that would include games, and family game nights, and they would love to have someone donate a Wii or similar device along with a supply of games. Yes, the girls say, it will be a “hang-out,” but not in the sense that gave some past youth centers a bad name.

“It will be a safe and fun place to be,” one of the students explained. “There will be healthy activities.” The orange brochure reiterates “healthy supervised activities.” An adult advisor said the aim is to have at least two adults present at all times.

Once open, the teen center will have hours several days a week, after school until the dinner hour, and additional events some evenings. During summer vacation hours wll be expanded. Activities will be aimed at a junior-senior high school age group.

There will be no dues. People in the eligibility age group may register, but will not have to pay to do so.

There will be a clearing house for jobs for teens, adult sponsors indicate. People who have chores and projects suitable for youthful workers will list their needs, and teens looking for work will list availability and skills. When matches are found, parents will be in the loop.

According to the brochure, “The object of The SWAMP is not only fun-filled events but also helping programs like tutoring, homework help, mentoring programs (and) classes such as resume writing, nutrition planning, survival for college.”

Some general goals are community service, positive teen development, meeting social needs, and giving teens a voice.

The SWAMP organization grew out of a Girl Scout Troop 22116 Challenge and Change project. Jeana Fleck and Jeana Setzer have been adult coordinators since its inception last year. But other youth groups, including Boy Scouts, would be welcome partners. The organization plans to incorporate as a non-profit, and have tax-exempt status.

Why The SWAMP? The acronym stands for Success with Achievement, Motivation and Preparedness. That particular acronym was chosen because Port Allegany is Gator country, and its athletic field has been called the Swamp, traditionally.

The group’s first event will be a dance, held at the Moose Family Center, not at the teen center. A series of fundraisers will be held in coming months.

Needs listed by the group include furniture, computers and other gear, supplies, funding and adult volunteers. Offers and questions can be directed to, or to Fleck at 642-7784 or Setzer at 642-7056.


Rotary Visits CTC - The local Rotary Club gathered at the Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center for their weekly meeting.  The Culinary Arts students led by Chef Paul Farmelo prepared and served lunch.  The group then toured the Networking classroom where instructor Donna Giannattasio gave an overview of the class.  Rotarians were able to ask questions of the students.  In this photo, Jeremy Adams from Northern Potter, is explaining the physical topology of a computer business network created for his senior project.  Enrollees are presented the opportunity to complete a three-credit Intro to Networking course through the Pennsylvania College of Technology.  Program Chair for the day was Frank Rackish.  Pam Fischer Photo


IU9 Elementary Songfest - Selected to represent Port Allegany at the IU9 Elementary Song Fest are (front) Marcus Murphy; (middle row) Mira Terrette, Daniel Harris, David Talkington, Haley Bayline; (back) Katie Ernst, Makenzie Burr and Caroline Wise.  Also selected but not pictured is Morgan Causer.  The IU9 Elementary Song Fest is a choral festival for elementary students in the Intermediate Unit IX area.  Singers from participating schools will combine to make a large choir, rehearse throughout the day and present a concert which will be open to the public.  Song Fest 2011, hosted by Port Allegany, is scheduled for April 19.  The concert will be held at PAHS Auditorium and begins at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets (Adults $3/Student$2) will be sold at the door.  Pam Fischer Photo


Announce Engagement - Dana and Carol Smith of DuBois announce the engagement of their daughter, Jessica Rose, to Anthony Martin Moses.  He is the son of Marty and Paula Moses of Port Allegany.

The bride to be is a graduate of DuBois Area High School and a graduate of Clarion University.  She is employed by Pennsylvania Mountain Healthcare Alliance in DuBois.

Her fiancé is a graduate of Port Allegany High School and is a self employed subcontractor for FedEx Ground.

An August 18, 2012 wedding is planned


90th Birthday - Helen Baker is surrounded by her family following the morning worship service at the Port Allegany United Methodist Church as she celebrates her 90th birthday.  The celebration continued with a dinner at St. Joseph's Episcopal Church.  Family members include (kneeling, left to right) Marissa Baker, Marcus Murphy, Zach Haskins, Sam Benson; (seated, row 2) Jack Benson, Connie Benson, Helen Baker, Bob Baker, Cindy Baker; (row 3) Susan Benson, Amy Murphy, Shelby Baker, Karli Haskins, Shari Haskins, Luke Baker, Mitch Baker, Jamison Haskins; (back row) Tom Murphy, Scott Baker and John Benson.  Pam Fischer Photo


Honoring Tola - The morning worship service held Sunday at the Crosby United Methodist Church was a celebration for Tola Thomas who was recognized for her sixty-plus years of music ministry to the church.  Mrs. Thomas is pictured with Rev. Randy Headley, pastor of the church; and Keith Wright, chairperson of the church council, who presented Mrs. Thomas with a plaque to commemorate the event.  In addition to members of the congregation, family and friends of Mrs.  Thomas were also in attendance for the service and the reception that followed.  Pam Fischer Photo


90th Birthday Celebration - The church family at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church helped Martha (Stromberg) Klein celebrate her 90th birthday with a soup luncheon held following the morning worship service.  Four generations of family members are pictured with Mrs. Klein including great-granddaughters (front row) Lillian Baldwin, and Lauren Baldwin; (back row) Jessica Klein, Bruce Klein, Joyce Peterson, Tim Baker, Julie (Klein) Baker, Allen Klein, Catherine (Klein) Baldwin, James Baldwin, Norma Klein and Jim Baker.  Pam Fischer Photo



Selected For All-Star Game - Kody Taylor was selected to play in the 35th Annual Roundball Showcase All Star Basketball Games held at Middletown High School on April 8 and 9.  Kody joined with 192 other high school seniors in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.  His team, the Central PA Team went against the Tri-State Team.  Kody had two three-point shots, several rebounds and blocks.  Kody played PAHS basketball for six years.  He is the son of Kristie Taylor of Port Allegany.  Pam Fischer Photo


Challenger British Soccer Camp - Port Allegany Soccer Association will hold its annual camp June 27 - July 1 at the Alliance Church Field located on Mill Street.  Ages 3 - 18 are invited to participate.  Space is limited...sign up today at  For more information, please call Angela Hults at 642-9125.


Un-defeated! - Were you a member of the Undefeated 1986 PAHS Football Squad?  If so, the Alumni Association is looking for YOU!  This year's Alumni game, scheduled for July 9th is honoring the undefeated team of '86.  Those who were part of the undefeated team in 1986 are asked to contact the PAAFA at with your contact information.

It's the hope of the alumni association to honor that undefeated squad during the 2nd Annual Alumni Football Game, to be held in Port Allegany when the Gators take on the Coudersport Falcons at the swamp.

About The Season Of '86:  The 1986 Gators finished 10-0, and won the Allegheny Mountain League Title defeating Johnsonburg 23-14. They totaled 298 points on the year, for an average of 29.8 per game. This ranked them 8th in the state. Their defense gave up a total of 28 points, averaging 2.8 per game. This ranked them 3rd in the state. Their point differential of 27 points per contest, ranked them 2nd in the state.