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Dianne Byers  

KIDS DAY AT THE CLEARFIELD CO. FAIR

Giving it her all for a full pull is Norah Sievers, 5, of Grove City. A children’s pedal tractor pull was one of many activities at the Clearfield County Fair Tuesday in celebration of children’s day.


Photo by Chris Wechtenhiser 

DuBois City Chief of Police Blaine Clark (left, foreground), DuBois City Fire Chief Joe Mitchell (left, background), and Mike Federici, executive director of AmServ LTD/DuSan Ambulance Service (inset), were part of the first-pitch ceremonies that honored first responders in the DuBois area prior to the Hopewell-Hempfield East game Tuesday afternoon at the Pennsylvania American Legion State Tournament at Showers Field.


Photo by Chris Wechtenhiser 

Mike Federici, executive director of AmServ LTD/DuSan Ambulance Service, was part of the first-pitch ceremonies that honored first responders in the DuBois area prior to the Hopewell-Hempfield East game Tuesday afternoon at the Pennsylvania American Legion State Tournament at Showers Field.


Photo by Craig Moyer 

Brookville's Thomas Plummer delivers a pitch during the fourth inning against DuBois Tuesday. Plummer went six innings on the mound, allowing one run on one hit and seven walks while striking out eight to get the win in a 3-1 victory.


Local
Storm hits Tuesday, fair weather predicted

CLEARFIELD — A strong thunderstorm hit Clearfield yesterday at about 2 p.m., which dropped some hail on E. Market Street in front of the office of our sister publication, The Progress. But “fair” weather is predicted for the remainder of the week.

Fair Manager Greg Hallstrom said the storm caused a minor disruption at the fair — the rides were shut down for about 20 minutes during the storm and a few signs were knocked over due to the wind.

A woman fell and twisted her ankle as the storm was approaching, but Hallstrom said it appeared she suffered from minor injuries and he doesn’t believe the fall was storm related.

“Everything is looking pretty good,” Hallstrom said of the fair yesterday afternoon.

The storm dropped 0.13 inches of precipitation at the Clearfield Lawrence Township Airport in a storm that lasted less than 30 minutes, according to Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert of Accuweather of State College.

The forecast is looking good in the future. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms through this afternoon but the humidity will be dropping, making for more comfortable temperatures at the fair, especially on Thursday, Reppert said.

There is a chance of showers/thunderstorms on Friday afternoon, Reppert said.


News
featured
Sunday's drag races bring $9,000, 124 racers to St. Marys Municipal Airport

ST. MARYS — Sunday’s drag races brought 913 spectators and 124 racers to the St. Marys Municipal Airport for some fast-and-furious entertainment.

One of the event’s primary organizers and sponsors, Tom Catalone, said the race raised around $9,000.

Following each event, the St. Marys Drag Race Association presents a check to the St. Marys Airport Authority at its monthly meeting.

The first race of the season on June 23 drew 1,242 spectators, a $10,000 donation and 119 racers.

The races started in 1998, and have grown in popularity since, Catalone said. The event also offers food, tasting booths and children’s activities like face painting, games and a “kids zone.”

At one point on Sunday, the races came to a halt so that a plane could make an emergency landing, Catalone said, which was an unusual occurrence.

The fastest 10 competitors competed during the last hour, he adds, until a winner was chosen.

Drag races will be held Aug. 18 and Sept. 22. The Aviation Festival and car show will take place Aug. 24. 


News
Pinch Stretch Repeat
Pinch Stretch Repeat ceramic art exhibition

BROCKWAY — A closing reception July 26 at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology, or BCAT, recognized the ceramic art show Pinch Stretch Repeat by Hannah Scrima.

The gallery show was a capstone project for the time she has spent at the art center. When she began at the center, it was as a resident artist for a year. She decided to stay on for a second year, and during that time teaching positions opened up. She took one of the positions as a ceramic teacher and will be staying in the center.

Her show is a physical representation of her journey with using art as a coping mechanism. She has been working with the idea of coping methods and dealing with emotions through art since she was in college.

“Mostly I’m trying to deal with negative emotions… trying to get rid of these compulsive thoughts,” Scrima said.

She says the repetitive motion of pinching and stretching the clay becomes a way to connect with it and work through her negative thoughts. She goes on an emotional journey while creating with clay and finding ways to cope with emotions.

Scrima did not always plan to become an artist. When she was in high school, she wanted to become an air traffic controller. She had taken ceramics courses in high school but hadn’t seriously considered it as her future. One of her high school teachers convinced her to give art a try, so she went to Slippery Rock because it was the school closest to her home.

Teaching was not something she had ever thought she would pursue. She described teaching at BCAT as being thrown into the deep end and figuring it out as she went. The primary age group she teaches is high school age students during after school programs. She has also undertaken teaching a few groups with kindergarteners. Scrima added that Tween classes fill really fast when they have them at the center.

“We have a lot of return students in the classes as well,” Scrima said.

Her clay works that were hung on the wall had not been fired, which gives her the ability to reuse the clay after the show. The balls of clay in the frames look like rough and unfinished clumps and are placed in a seemingly random order. She explained that they are planned in her head.

“It feels like it kind of belongs in a place, but I don’t know where until I get there,” Scrima explained.

The pieces on the pedestals had been fired once and coated in a thin layer of paint so the texture can still show through. The functional ware she makes is meant to look cohesive with the rest of the show and allow the clay to show through and speak for itself.

Scrima said she looks forward to teaching more classes at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology in the future.


News
Traveling doctor charged with writing fraudulent prescriptions for himself

A Washington D.C.-based traveling doctor, previously affiliated with Penn Highlands DuBois, has been charged by the state Attorney General’s office with writing fraudulent prescriptions for stimulant medications for himself, according to a criminal complaint filed at District Judge Patrick Ford’s office in DuBois.

On July 22, Dr. John O’Shea, 68, a general surgeon, 1301 M Street NW, Washington D.C., was charged with misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery and violating the Pharmacy Act. The offense date is listed as June 12, 2017 on all charges.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an agent with the Pennsylvania Office Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics and Drug Control was contacted by a pharmacist at Martin’s Pharmacy in DuBois on Dec. 5, 2018.

The pharmacist reportedly told the agent that the pharmacy was presented with a prescription on Dec. 4, 2018 for Modafinil in the name of John O’Shea. When the pharmacist searched the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for the patient’s name, it was discovered O’Shea had, during the previous year, reportedly filled overlapping prescriptions for Modafinil and Armodafinil from three different prescribers at pharmacies in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada.

The affidavit said generic Modafinil (Provigil) and generic Armodafinil (Nuvigil) are approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. Both drugs are non-controlled substances in Pennsylvania but are scheduled federally as a Schedule IV. The pharmacist told the agent that the two drugs should not be taken simultaneously as doing so would increase overdose symptoms such as trouble sleeping, restlessness, confusion, disorientation, feeling excited, mania, hallucinations, nausea, chest pain and increased blood pressure.

Through further investigation, the agent found that O’Shea was reportedly receiving prescriptions for the two drugs from a doctor in DuBois, one in Washington D.C. and one in Raleigh, N.C., as well as others, the affidavit said.

It was discovered that O’Shea was a co-worker of the doctor in DuBois from whom he apparently received prescriptions, the affidavit said.

On March 12, the agent met with the DuBois doctor at his office concerning the prescriptions written to O’Shea. The doctor was shown copies of the prescriptions and asked to determine if he had written and/or authorized them. The doctor acknowledged the signatures on the four prescriptions were his, the affidavit said. However, he said the signature and the other writing on the prescriptions were not his handwriting. After looking at the four prescriptions, the doctor stated he only recalled signing one or two prescriptions for O’Shea. He said O’Shea asked him to sign one prescription for him. According to the doctor, he asked O’Shea what it was for and was it a controlled substance. O’Shea reportedly told him he needed the prescription to treat his skin psoriasis and that it was for a non-controlled drug.

On March 14, the doctor called the agent and reiterated that he only recalled authorizing/signing one prescription for O’Shea and said that occurred over a year earlier, the affidavit said. The doctor could not understand how there could be four prescriptions to O’Shea with his signature on them. The doctor provided a typed statement through his attorney indicating he only authorized one or two prescriptions for O’Shea.

The affidavit said that both doctors were traveling doctors who only worked at the DuBois hospital for approximately 10 days each month on rotation.

On March 29, O’Shea reportedly met with agents to speak with them regarding his prescriptions. O’Shea reportedly said he takes the two drugs because of shift work. He told the agent he was aware they are a central nervous system stimulant, the affidavit said.

O’Shea reportedly told the agent the recommended and maximum doses of the two drugs were 200 mg per day for Modafinil and 250 mg per day for Armodafinil. He advised that in 2018 he was taking approximately 800 mg per day. He said he believes he became dependent on the drug and achieved a high tolerance. He allegedly said he took three to four pills per shift.

When asked how many times he wrote a prescription for Modafinil including the instructions and then had the other DuBois doctor sign it, O’Shea said it occurred one time. He was asked if any of the doctors who prescribed him Modafinil were aware that he was receiving prescriptions for the drug from any other physicians and he said, “No.”

The agent reportedly asked O’Shea if he was aware of the meaning of the phrase “doctor shopping” he responded affirmatively, the affidavit said. When asked if he was purposely not telling the other physicians about one another because he was doctor shopping due to his “need” for the drug, O’Shea reportedly agreed and stated, “It got out of hand.”

The other two doctors also told the agent they were unaware O’Shea was receiving prescriptions from other doctors. Both said that, had they known O’Shea was being prescribed the two drugs by any other doctors, they would not have prescribed them for him.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 13 at Ford’s office.

When contacted for comment by the Courier Express Tuesday, Dave Trudell, Penn Highlands System Director, Communications, said, “Dr. John O’Shea is part of a contracted physician group that provides on-call services for emergency surgeries at Penn Highlands DuBois. He is no longer working at Penn Highlands.”