REYNOLDSVILLE — Ten fire stations responded to help fight a fire that started in the China One building on Main Street in Reynoldsville around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Members of the Reynoldsville Police Department were attending a borough council meeting next door in the municipal building when the fire started. Police called in the fire, and evacuated the rest of the building’s occupants.
Bystanders, including off-duty officer Jeffrey Winfield, were trying to contain the fire using fire extinguishers when the Reynoldsville Fire Department arrived at the scene.
Reynoldsville Fire Chief Darren Scolese said flames were coming out of the restaurant’s front window when he arrived.
“The first guys in got a good hit on the fire,” Chief Scolese said.
The fire was called in to Jefferson County Control as a “high hazard box” by Scolese, which is a plan set in place for bigger buildings, or buildings with high occupancy. This is simply a way of asking county dispatchers to send additional resources to help ensure the fire is handled as quickly as possible.
A total of 10 fire stations responded to the fire including; Sykesville, McAlmont Township, Brookville, Pine Creek Township, three DuBois Stations, and West Sandy.
Eventually, Main Street was shut down to accommodate the incoming fire trucks.
Firefighters managed to limit the fire to the front of the building and minimize the damage. The fire was located between the ceiling and the floor of the apartments above, so firefighters quickly began tearing out the ceiling to ensure the fire was out.
Scolese said the fire seemed to be of electrical origins. It is still being investigated by a State Police Fire Marshal at this time.
There was no one in the building at the time of the fire, and no one has been staying in the apartments located above the restaurant. There were no injuries. There is an estimated $20,000 in damage to the building, officials said.
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the DuBois City Pool.
“It’s just a very nice entity that we have for the community,” said city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio. “Obviously, this is not just the City of DuBois’ pool, it’s for the entire community.”
Though it is now known as the DuBois City Pool, the facility was initially built and maintained by former members of the DuBois Jaycees and is considered one of their largest initiatives.
“This contribution from our former Jaycees has been a huge asset to our community, and continues to be a popular spot for kids and families throughout the summer months,” according to the Jaycees website. “This project cost $125,000 to complete, and has brought summer fun for thousands of people in the DuBois area.”
Eventually the maintenance of the pool became a burden for the DuBois Jaycees and the decision was made to give the pool to the City of DuBois, said member Summer Anderson.
“This decision was not only good for our community, but to the DuBois Chapter who no longer had to worry about the extra costs and manpower that was put into the pool’s upkeep every year,” said Anderson. “This decision has enabled the pool to expand its capabilities as well as be kept updated to the highest standards for our citizen’s safety and enjoyment.”
“The pool stands as a symbol of the dedication and ambition that our past Jaycee members had to make this community a better place,” said Anderson. “Their legacy will forever be remembered by current and future members of our DuBois Chapter who will strive to carry on their passion for service to humanity and our area.”
Mike Gressler has been involved with the pool for approximately the last 20 years; first as a lifeguard and now as the pool manager.
“He (Gressler) does an excellent job,” said Suplizio. “He does a great job on recruiting lifeguards and workers for the city pool.”
Gressler, who is a history teacher at the DuBois Area High School, said he enjoys his summer job. He said there are currently 16 lifeguards on staff with an additional six or seven who work at the front desk or concession stand.
Suplizio noted that the city has undertaken many renovations over the years, with the most recent completed just this past spring.
The city received a $300,000 grant through State Sen. Joe Scarnati to help fund the renovation which included installing a handicapped accessible chairlift, new lifeguard chairs, repairing the slide, a new surface on the bottom of the pool, a children’s play area and a new water feature inside the pool as well as a rock climbing wall.
Gressler called this year’s renovations “absolutely fantastic.”
“We’re hoping to do some more in the near future,” said Suplizio. “We know we need to maybe replace the bathhouse. We also hope to add some more children’s features in the future.”
Though it’s not a money maker, the city likes having the pool because it’s a refreshing place to cool off in the summer for area citizens, Suplizio said.
The pool is open daily from noon to 7 p.m., weather permitting. There is one more day this summer that the pool will be open until 9 p.m. on Aug. 15. The pool is also available to rent in the evenings for parties, said Gressler, noting it has been extremely busy for that this summer.
RIDGWAY — The Ridgway-Elk Chamber of Commerce served up shrimp, clams and prime rib at Sandy Beach Park Wednesday, welcoming the community to its annual summer picnic.
Clam chowder was served around 2:30 p.m., followed by bags of clams and shrimp, each served an hour apart, then the main prime rib dish between 5:30-6 p.m., said Ridgway Main Street Program Manager Beth Shuttleworth.
The event was a community effort, with Ridgway businesses and Chamber members coming together to provide the food, Shuttleworth said. The meal was purchased, prepared and served by Michael DePanfillis of Cliffe’s & the Prescription Center, Tony Vigilone of Joey’s Bakery and Steve Cleveland of Elk County Foods.
Cleveland said separating the food courses allows for more fellowship between the people.
“These people don’t normally break bread together,” he said. “So they get to sit and visit throughout the day.”
Depanfillis said the event typically welcomes around 120 people. Over the years, he has involved his whole family in the volunteering process.
“We enjoy the aspect of people getting together,” he said. “The guy from the powdered metal plant talks to the guy from the grocery store.”
Some businesses and organizations make this their summer picnic, too, all coming together, Depanfillis said.
Tim McClain and The Guitar Club provided entertainment. Attendees enjoyed corn hole, horse shoes, card games and a 50/50 raffle.
Looking for something different at the Clearfield County Fair this week besides the usual pizzas and funnel cakes? Those who like macaroni and cheese and are a fan of meats can look no further than J&M Mac & Meats, located across from the Midway near the track entrance (but before the grandstands).
Co-owners Julie Singer and Matt Eger sell a loaded mac and cheese bowl — their best seller — that has hot sausage, green peppers, onions and more, made to order. They also have buffalo chicken loaded bowls, pork belly sandwiches, bologna sandwiches and much more.
“We have something different than any other food trucks,” Eger said. “We enjoy coming to the fair and seeing new faces all the time and we appreciate the help that everyone has given us on Facebook.”
Eger said years ago he was a meat cutter and he processes all of the meats sold at the stand. Singer then makes her own homemade mac and cheese.
“We’re liking it and getting a big response from it,” Eger said. “Our food truck’s not fancy. But what we’re putting out that’s fancy is coming through the window. We don’t want a glorified truck. We want glorified food.”
Eger said the Pleasant Gap-based duo has been in business for three years now. They also attend the Centre County Grange Fair and a handful of other fairs nearby — with this year being the first at the Clearfield County Fair.
“I like it,” Eger said of the Clearfield County Fair.
Eger said he was told that the section he’s in can be a little slow at times as far as food sales, but he likes the challenge of the location.
“I’m not going to move and I don’t want them to move me,” Eger said. “I want the people to come from the busy area to come here because that means something.”
Eger — who has been doing this on the side apart from his landscaping business — said all of the vendors he’s seen at fairs are extremely hard-working and he didn’t realize how much time went into pulling off a food stand until he got started one himself.
Eger and Singer pride themselves on the quality of food they’re offering, with Eger saying although you may have to wait a little bit, the food being offered is extremely fresh.
“I want it to be the best,” Eger said. “I’m not putting $80,000 into our (food truck), we’re putting (the money) into our food.”
Eger gave a simple response when asked what he enjoys most about serving delicious food across the area.
“The people,” Eger said. “Same with Julie (Singer) — she loves the people. The Centre County Grange Fair is a big one for us. That’s where we’re from and people patronize us there. We’re getting a lot of people here that are doing the same. There’s a lot of nice people here ... We would like to thank all the people that have patronized us here in Clearfield. They’ve been great to us and we appreciate the Clearfield Fair for having us and giving us a shot.”