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Sandy Twp. OKs liquor license transfer for Walmart

DuBOIS — Following a public hearing Monday, the Sandy Township Supervisors approved an intermunicipal transfer of a restaurant liquor license to the DuBois Walmart Supercenter at 20 Industrial Drive in the township.

Walmart Stores East LP requested permission to transfer the state restaurant liquor license, which is an expired license, to the DuBois Walmart store, said township Zoning Officer Jim Keck during the public hearing.

During the public comment portion of the hearing, Treasure Lake resident Ed Hart inquired as to the extent of the liquor license.

“The license is for us to be able to sell beer and wine at our store here in town,” said DuBois Walmart Manager Howard Allen. “As you know, we’ve operated here for 26, almost 27 years. Nine years ago we became a Supercenter and this is just the next evolution of that with the laws changing and different things of that nature. We’re going to be able to have a true one stop shop that’s available, very similar to what many of the (convenience) stores have offerings of, with X number of ounces, not to exceed certain times and days of operation, etc., that we would be complying with.”

At the supervisors’ Nov. 4 meeting, Pennsylvania’s Walmart Director of Public Affairs Jason Klipa said plans are to remodel the inside of the DuBois Walmart store to include a beer and wine cafe that goes along with the “R” license, which per the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board allows establishments the right to sell limited amounts of beer and wine.

“It’s up to a 12 pack of beer at one time ... four bottles of wine to go,” said Klipa.

During the regular meeting, the supervisors approved the liquor license transfer in a 4-0 vote. Supervisors Jim Jeffers, board chairman, Mark Sullivan, Andy Shenkle and Kevin Salandra voted yes. Dave Sylvis was absent.

Leon Kriner of Clearfield County is recognized with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award before a crowded room of farmers during PFB’s 69th annual meeting in Hershey.

Brookville churches hold meeting for community betterment

BROOKVILLE — Curtis Drake, chairman of the Brookville First United Methodist Church Council, led a meeting of representatives of churches around Brookville and community leaders to brainstorm ways to become more active and helpful in the community.

Drake said the Brookville FUMC wanted to initiate a community discussion as a starting point to determine what needs to be done and what can be addressed by the church. Some 20 people took part in the meeting, with a hope that more will become involved once word is spread.

“We all wear different hats, we all have different perspectives and it’s important to include all those different perspectives,” Drake said. “The simple goal of this community discussion is really to identify two or three prioritized needs within our community that we can all in some way have a positive impact on.”

State Representative Cris Dush and Brookville schools’ superintendent Erich May attended the meeting to give offer perspectives from two different positions in the community. Dush was able to give his perspective as both a community member and a member of the government. May spent much of his time providing information about the school and youth of the community as it pertained to the issues mentioned.

“Part of why I’m here is to find some of those very temporal needs that maybe I don’t know,” Pastor David Blair of the Brookville Baptist Church said. “I want to tell people about Jesus, but I always want to be a part of just helping, in very practical ways.”

The conversation was quickly directed toward finding practical ways in which the churches could work to better the town. Instead of focusing on large scale problems that might be difficult to address right away, the group discussed local community problems that could be dealt with after some planning.

Rick Youngdahl, chaplain for the I-80 trucker and traveler ministry said he had seen a need for shelter in the community. He said Brookville is well-known for being a welcoming place, and some people come from the Interstate just because they’ve heard this. He went on to explain that Punxsutawney has men’s and women’s shelters, which are usually full, but in Brookville there are no shelters or resources for families.

“There is no place in the area that will take in a family. If you have a family that is displaced or in an accident, there is no place to put them. We can put them up a local motel, if there’s something available,” Youngdahl said.

He explained that at the beginning of October there was a family of four who broke down in the area while traveling. There were no rooms available for them at local motels, and they spent the night on the floor of the trucker’s lounge. Youngdahl helped transport them to DuBois to get a bus to Cleveland. He said this was not the first time he had seen this situation.

Rick Nelson of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Parish said they were considering consolidating some of their churches together. They weren’t sure what to do with their building afterward, but said he is open to brainstorming how they can be used, possibly as a shelter, to help the community.

The group also discussed needing to be a safe place for those in the community who might not have a support network. The churches each agreed they need to pool their resources to show they can be a supportive network for these people, or to support community members in times of crisis.

The group will not meet again during the holiday season, but has planned its next meeting to be sometime in February. A specific date will be determined closer to this time.

Clearfield County farmer honored by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

HERSHEY — Leon Kriner of Clearfield County was honored at the 69th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The meeting began Nov. 18 and will continue through today.

Kriner received the 2019 Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award. The award recognizes an outstanding individual whose local affairs efforts and activities have helped solve problems and improve rural living for county Farm Bureau members.

Kriner, who served eight years on PFB’s State Board of Directors and nine years as Clearfield County Farm Bureau president, played a major role in the creation of the Clearfield County Farmland Preservation Program, and was instrumental in helping several townships create Agricultural Security Areas, which allow the townships to participate in the Farmland Preservation Program.

“It took several years of working with county and local officials to create a farmland preservation program for Clearfield County. We wanted to make sure the program would be beneficial to local farmers as well as the entire community,” said Kriner. “Although Clearfield County doesn’t have the same development pressure as many urban areas of the state, there has been increased development pressure in the county over the past few years, prompting Farm Bureau members to seek the option of participating in the program.”

Kriner was recognized for his overall commitment, gathering resources and addressing misconceptions about the Farmland Preservation Program to generate support for the program by educating county commissioners, township supervisors and members of local communities about the positive impacts of local farms and how they benefit rural economies. He also has been a huge advocate of farmers implementing conservation practices and being stewards of the land.

“Leon is a great Farm Bureau leader. When he would talk about issues during his tenure on the state board of directors, everyone in the room would listen, because his comments were always well thought-out and on the mark,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Leon has had a positive impact for Farm Bureau at the state and county level and he clearly made a huge difference in Clearfield County overcoming obstacles over the five years it took to implement the Farmland Preservation Program.”

While a member of PFB’s state board of directors, Kriner also helped develop and implement regional “Farm Bureau Day” meetings. “Moving to a regional all-day session was a change that greatly benefitted farmers and Farm Bureau staff, because it allowed a variety of topics to be addressed during a one-day meeting, as opposed to holding four separate meetings in each county Farm Bureau,” added Kriner. “The move to the single-day meeting saved time and money, and resulted in much higher attendance by farmers at the meetings.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

Shields has passion for connecting Jeff Tech students with local employers

REYNOLDSVILLE — Jeff Tech (Jefferson County Vocational Technical School) Cooperative Education Coordinator Joe Shields of Brookville has a passion for connecting students with the local businesses and companies that best fit their skill set.

Jeff Tech’s co-op program allows students to work for local companies and earn career and technical education (CTE) credits while earning a paycheck.

Shields is the father of two twin boys with an incredible story. Jack and Jonah were born Dec. 8, 2017 with bronchopulminary dysplasia, a form of chronic lung disease that affects newborns and infants.

Jack spent 689 days at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, then was transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Shields said. Jack was finally able to come home Oct. 29.

Shields took over the CEC position after Rose Weaver retired. He believes Jeff Tech is an “economic hub of the community,” he said.

Shields has background working with agencies like Community Action Inc. and Workforce Solutions, many times working with youth and teenagers as he is now, helping to “prepare them for tomorrow,” he said.

Part of the job so far, Shields said, has been approaching local businesses and companies and being collaborative, promoting Jeff Tech and its students.

Such a partnership is a benefit for both the company and the students, he adds, since the students gain valuable job experience before even graduating, while the company gains good employees.

“Co-op allows students to take what they do in the shop, and apply it in a real-world setting,” he said.

Shields said the program started the year with six co-op students, and there are now more than 20 involved, as well as six new local employers.

Around 18-20 businesses participate in co-op, Shields said, including nursing homes, auto body mechanics, manufacturing and building trades entities.

Shields said he can remember meeting Jeff Tech Administrative Director Barry Fillman years ago, when he said he wanted “every senior working on a job” while still in school.

“That stuck with me,” Shields said.

It’s also part of Shields’ goal set to work with younger students early on, teaching them job and interviewing skills and going over career options with them, helping them recognize the options available for their skill set.

Aside from his line of work, Shields also wants to be somewhat of a “big brother” to students, and someone they can trust and come to, he said.

Fillman said he is excited to see that Shields’ has such passion for connecting students with the right employers.

“With his prior experience and ability to build relationships in the community, he is already impacting Jeff Tech’s goal of having all of our graduates placed in the career field of their choice,” he said. “Our students will benefit from his research expertise when setting goals early, and lean on him to facilitate reaching those aspirations.”