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Slowing down
Couple aims to create old-fashioned experience with new business

REYNOLDSVILLE — As a kid, Gary Klebacha rode his bike from his hometown of Helvetia to Smyers Grocery Store in Sykesville almost every day. With just a quarter, he said, he could buy all manner of penny candy, soda, and baseball cards.

Back in the 1950s, he said, that’s just what kids did. It’s an experience that, for the most part, has gone the way of the dodo, but it’s one he and his wife Stella hope to recreate: that of the visit to the old-fashioned, general store.

“Life’s too fast. I want to slow it down,” he said.

The couple opened the General Store in the former location of the Reynoldsville Grange on Black Friday. It’s situated by the Rathmel House Country Store, which the couple also owns. Two separate fraternal organizations previously operated out of the building, which doubled as a community center. Klebacha said that he’s had several customers already who remember attending weddings and family gatherings there.

The rustic look of the place, he said, makes it a perfect fit for an old-school general store like the ones he frequented growing up. And it makes a perfect fit for the vintage glass display he’s been holding for the past several years.

“As soon as I walked in and saw these, these are maple floors,” he said. “What story could they tell? They’re still here. You can’t even by a stove that lasts five years.”

Klebacha has something of a flair for the old-school. He said he owns several classic cars, including a 1965 Pontiac GTO, and that he’s been an antique picker since his youth. Many of his finds are featured in both the Rathmel House and the General Store.

Klebacha said the new store will differ from the Rathmel House in that it sells handmade and refurbished home furnishings, like furniture and wreaths. Also for sale are miscellaneous vintage signs and art prints.

Like the general stores of yesteryear, Klebacha’s sells handmade goods like candles and jellies. And of course, in that old glass case he’s got candy galore that he sells for cents on the dollar.

“I’ve always wanted to sell penny candy just because,” he said.

The General Store is located at 88 Brick Road, Reynoldsville, PA 15851.

Mitchell appointed to DuBois Area School Board

DuBOIS — Lee Mitchell of DuBois was appointed to the DuBois Area School Board Thursday night.

Mitchell was one of two candidates interviewed by the board Dec. 6 following last month’s resignation of Director Scott Farrell, due to a change in residency. The Region A seat represents the City of DuBois. The other candidate was Pat Reasinger.

Mitchell is not a newcomer to the board, having served the last four years on the board. He did not run for re-election in the primary election in the spring. However, he received write-in votes in the November election but that seat was one by current Director David Schwab, who was also a write-in candidate.

Prior to the vote, nominations were held.

Director Larry Salone, via telephone, nominated Mitchell. That nomination was seconded by Director Ben Haugh.

Schwab nominated Reasinger and that was seconded by Sam Armagost.

A roll call vote was then conducted between Mitchell and Reasinger.

Mitchell was appointed, 5-2, with the following board members voting for him: Salone, Patty Fish, Mark Gilga, Ben Haugh and Jeff Madinger. Schwab and Armagost voted for Reasinger. Randy Curley was absent.

The appointment of Mitchell began immediately and he was sworn in. He will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term, which expires in December 2019.

Work session schedule

Superintendent Luke Lansberry announced the board’s work session schedule for 2018. They will be held at 7 p.m. at the following various locations throughout the district:

  • Feb. 15: Wasson Elementary School cafeteria
  • March 15: Oklahoma Elementary School cafeteria
  • April 19: C.G. Johnson Elementary School cafeteria
  • May 10: Juniata Elementary School cafeteria
  • June 14: DuBois Area Middle School library
  • July 26: DuBois Area High School library

All regular meetings will still be held at the Administrative Center located on Liberty Boulevard, DuBois. The regular board meetings will be emailed to directors and will be posted on the district’s website. Committee meetings will be scheduled as needed.

All meetings are open to the public.

Elaine Haskins / Photo by Elaine Haskins  

Lee Mitchell was appointed to the DuBois Area School Board Thursday night.

Clearfield Co.
Overtime, supplies causing Clearfield County Jail budget shortage

CLEARFIELD — The Clearfield County Prison Board compared actual expenses for the month of November for the Clearfield County Jail against numbers projected in the current year’s spending plan at Thursday’s meeting.

There were overages in several accounts, including housing inmates in the Jefferson County Jail, janitorial supplies, the pharmacy, and overtime for employees.

Warden Greg Collins said staff is willing to look for less expensive products, when questioned by Commissioner Mark McCracken as to whether the same products are available elsewhere at a lower cost.

“We’ve always done it this way, and it doesn’t mean we have to continue doing it this way,” Collins explained, noting in the current company’s defense, it provides exceptional service and is great to deal with.

He also noted the approximately $25,000 in higher costs for the overtime wages had to do with staff working additional hours after three officers were charged with assaulting an inmate at the jail and were suspended. Collins said some staff also have an “exhorbitant amount of sick time,” noting they are off work 1-2 days which doesn’t require them to produce an excuse from a doctor under the current bargaining agreement.

While $130,000 in overtime pay was budgeted for the current year, actual expenses through November totaled $154,378.

There are also increased expenses associated with the pharmacy. The budget showed $150,000 designated for medical expenses but $219,024 was spent.

“It’s the Jefferson County Jail and the pharmacy that’s killing us, as usual,” President Judge Fredric Ammerman stated.