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In an online poll, 58 percent of CE readers were against their municipality passing an ordinance to opt out of gambling. By comparison, 40 percent thought local governments should opt out. Two percent weren’t sure.

Against the house: municipalities vote against mini-casinos

Municipalities throughout the Tri-County area walked away from the table when the subject of mini-casinos was dealt by the state legislature.

The potential risks — namely gambling addiction — were weighed more heavily by officials than the potential benefits, like revenue and tourism.

The gambling overhaul passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly last year allows for the establishment of up to 10 satellite locations by current casino license holders. These Category 4 casinos — commonly called mini-casinos — will be able to house between 300 and 750 slot machines and up to 40 game tables.

Under Pennsylvania law, municipalities had until Dec. 31 to pass resolutions that would keep casinos out of their boundaries. A vote in favor of the resolutions was effectively a vote against casinos. However, with another vote, municipalities are allowed to take the ordinances off the books.

Locally, six municipalities passed such resolutions.

The borough councils of Brookville and Sykesville both passed such resolutions, as did township supervisors in Pine Creek, Sandy and Decatur Townships. The St. Marys City Council passed a prohibitive resolution as well.

“It might be an easy cash grab, but I think I’d have a hard time supporting it — even if it is far out of town,” St. Marys City Councilman Lou Radkowski previously said.

Four municipalities either did not consider or did not vote on the resolution. Resolutions in the boroughs of Falls Creek and Sligo did not make it to the floor, nor did a resolution make it to the floor in Huston Township. The DuBois City Council did not hear anything pertaining to such a resolution at all.

Only two municipalities, Ridgway and Curwensville, voted the resolutions down, in essence voting in favor of a mini-casino coming to town.

Mayor Guillermo Udarbe cast a tie-breaking vote that defeated the resolution in Ridgway, saying that a casino could bring money into the area.

“My decision is to go ahead and get a casino here,” he previously said. “You have to study it very well, but I’m in favor of it.”

As for CE readers — an online poll showed that nearly 58 percent, or 197 people in total, were not in favor of their municipality passing an ordinance to opt out of gambling.

By comparison, about 40 percent, or 135 in total, thought their municipality should pass on bringing a mini-casino in.

Sullens named Courier Express editor

David J. Sullens, formerly editor and publisher of a group of weekly newspapers operated by Tioga Publishing Co. in Tioga, Potter and McKean counties, has been named editor of The Courier Express, Publisher Pat Patterson announced today.

Sullens also will serve as executive editor for Community Media Group’s East Coast Group, which includes papers in Pennsylvania and New York.

The Tioga papers and The Courier Express all are owned by Community Media Group.

The son of a Methodist minister, Sullens has a long history with the newspaper industry.

He began his career in 1972 as editor of The Van Alstyne (Texas) Leader, a weekly newspaper in north Texas. From there, he moved to The Paris (Texas) News, as regional editor and later, was named managing editor there.

Sullens’s career has also included being managing editor of The Galveston (Texas) News in 1988 and editor and publisher of The New Braunfels (Texas) Herald-Zeitung in 1991. The Galveston and New Braunfels newspapers are owned by Southern Newspapers, Inc.

Sullens’ career path then took him to Mississippi as the managing editor of the daily Meridian Star in Meridian, Miss.

He has also published newspapers in North Carolina and in Kosciusko, Miss.

Sullens has long been involved with civic organizations. He is a past president of the Paris Founders Lions Club, one of the organization’s 22 original clubs, and he is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, an honor presented him by the 110-member New Braunfels noon club in recognition of his service to that group.

He was president of the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce in that community’s centennial year.

Sullens holds a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M at Commerce.

He is the father of three daughters: Lisa Hauser of Boise, Idaho, Lynn Turpin of Friendswood, Texas, and Leah Schroeder of New Braunfels, Texas.

Chamber announces small business, community cup award winners

DuBOIS — The Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of the 2017 Small Business of the Year award, Reynolds Financial Advisors, as well as the Community Cup winner of 2017, Danonewave (formerly Whitewave Foods), both of DuBois.

When contacted Wednesday, Jennifer Reynolds-Hamilton and Charley Reynolds said, “On behalf of our entire team at Reynolds Financial Advisors, we are humbled and honored to be the recipient of the 2018 Small Business of the year award. We live in a community that is fortunate to have many fine businesses. Our hope is that our community, its businesses and its residents continue to flourish and prosper.”

Reynolds Financial Advisors began their business in 1999. The firm, located at 169 Midway Dr., has continued to grow despite the economic turmoil that many businesses faced over the past decade. The growth of the company and its success has been based on a business philosophy that revolves around helping people.

Aside from serving their clients, its staff also serves the community by volunteering their time and serving on the boards of, as well as providing financial support to over 40 local organizations.

The small business award is given based on the criteria of staying power, growth, involvement in the community, and contributions. Award winners must also be locally-owned, privately held businesses with no more than 50 employees.

By comparison, the Community Cup is given to a business, civic group, or non-profit organization which has shown positive and effective performance in community service.

Christie DuBois, Human Resources Manager at DanoneWave, said “The DanoneWave Team is honored to be awarded the Community Cup Award. From the moment we opened our doors in DuBois, we were embraced by the community and it became our mission to become an integral part of our town. We are committed to our community and focus our efforts on programs and activities that truly make a difference, especially with issues like hunger. Every employee, as well as our leadership team, shares this mindset.”

It gives back to the community by having an annual corporate challenge to raise money for the local food banks, in which, over the past three years, it has raised over $6,000. It also has donated its yogurt to local organizations and work closely with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest PA.

The company reaches out to young people through career days and through other programs. Its employees and their families also volunteer their time to many events and organizations throughout the community.

These two businesses have been contacted and will accept their awards at the Chamber’s annual Chamber Business Bash Jan. 27 at DuBois Country Club.

The DuBois Area Jaycees will also give an award at this event, known as the Distinguished Service Award. The recipient of this award is kept highly confidential until the evening of the event.