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DuBois agrees to consolidation talks with Sandy Twp.

DuBOIS — The City of DuBois will join Sandy Township in the first step to study whether the two municipalities might consolidate into one.

Earlier this month, the township supervisors voted 4-1 to ask the city if it is interested in a joint initiative.

The council voted 4-0 at its meeting Monday to explore the issue with the township. Councilman Jim Aughenbaugh was excused from the meeting.

City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio said he and township Manager Shawn Arbaugh have a meeting next week with state officials to begin gathering information.

“This is a great first step in the right direction,” Suplizio said after the meeting. “I think it’s a good opportunity for us to get the pros and cons so voters can make an educated decision. I’m sure there are a lot of people who would like to move forward with consolidation and I’m sure there are some who don’t.”

DuBois Mayor Randy Schmidt said Tuesday he is also happy to see consolidation back on the table.

“I’m all in favor of it, it’s long overdue,” said Schmidt. “Hopefully this time we can come to an agreement where both the taxpayers of the City of DuBois and Sandy Township will reap the benefits of consolidation.”

“This meeting with the state is a first step to see if we would be able to come up with some funding to do this study on consolidation,” said Suplizio. “There are a lot of unanswered questions right now. That’s why we want to do this study.”

Suplizio commended the supervisors, particularly new Supervisor Bill Beers, for initiating taking a step to possibly move the two municipalities forward together.

“As many people know, I have not pulled any punches,” said Suplizio. “Everyone knows that I have wanted consolidation. I think it’s the best thing for the area. We have to look at it this way,” said Suplizio. “We go to church together, we go to dinner together, we play sports together, we work together and we’re friends, but yet we can’t work as one? It seems kind of ridiculous to me. I want to assure the people that if we do consolidate, the sun will come up tomorrow.”

Suplizio said people have to work through it and use their own intelligence to figure out what’s true and what’s not true.

“We cannot get caught up on all the negative things,” said Suplizio. “It’s very easy to say no. This is something that might not be easy to get done, but we have to do what’s best for the area. We need to take baby steps with this.”

And the first part of that process is for both the city and the township managers to meet with a representative from the state to assist them through the process.

“The second thing that needs to happen is we need to talk to them about funding,” said Suplizio. “We want an independent group to come in here and do this study. So we’re looking at the state to help pay for this so it helps keep the cost down for both city taxpayers and township taxpayers. And then we can let everyone know where we go from here, but obviously meeting with them first is the number one thing. We know that the study is going to take several months.”

Weekend storm could mark major weather pattern change

STATE COLLEGE — This past weekend’s record warmth may seem like a distant memory by this upcoming weekend as forecasters are monitoring the potential for a major storm to develop and deliver widespread wintry precipitation — and perhaps the biggest snowstorm of the season for some areas, say AccuWeather meteorologists in State College.

The storm is predicted to arrive in he DuBois area around 7 a.m. Saturday and bring with it 3-6 inches of snow.

A pair of weak storms will first spread snow over the northern tier, replacing the mild air that has been gripping the region with colder air from Canada and laying the groundwork for a more significant storm with snow and ice in the Northeast this weekend.

“The weekend storm may bring the most substantial wintry precipitation of the season so far for parts of the Northeast, including the I-95 corridor,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister said.

One weak storm will spread a bit of snow across upstate New York and northern New England later tonight into early Wednesday.

A second storm is forecast to follow with snow or a wintry mix as far south as northern Pennsylvania and southern New England late Wednesday night and Thursday. This storm can bring heavy snow to the Adirondacks and the Green and White mountains.

Gusty winds will follow this system and allow cold air to take root at the end of the week.

The greatest chance of a wintry mix for Virginia and snow for northern New Jersey and the New York City area is likely to come this weekend as a large storm moves in from the Midwest and taps into fresh cold air in the region.

The far-reaching storm will first hit highways and major airline hubs of the Midwest beginning Friday, and ripple-effect delays are possible across the Northeast prior to the storm’s arrival in the region. Flight delays and cancellations are likely to ramp up Saturday as snow and a wintry mix spread eastward.

Motorists with travel plans along the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts turnpikes, as well as the New York Thruway and Southern Tier Expressway and interstates 64, 66, 68, 70, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 88, 89, 90, 91, 93 and 95 should be prepared for wintry conditions and travel delays.

Snow is forecast to transition to ice and rain from northern Virginia to southeastern New York at the storm’s peak, and up to a few inches of wintry mix is expected over areas farther north across the upper mid-Atlantic region. Meanwhile, a foot of snow or more could pile up in parts of the central Appalachians and New England.

“It’s a tricky forecast at this stage with the timing and primary form of precipitation from the central Appalachians to the upper mid-Atlantic and the southern New England coasts,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.

“Regardless of how warm it has been, we are at the point of the winter where cold air does not give up too easily and this cold wedge on the front side of the storm could spell wintry trouble for a number of locations,” he added.

Cities such as Portland, Maine; Concord, New Hampshire; Rutland, Vermont; Boston and Albany, New York, have the potential to receive a heavy amount of snow from this storm. Only fast movement of the storm is likely to prevent it from becoming a blockbuster snowfall for northern areas.

New York City is a close call between an all-heavy-snowstorm and a snow to ice and rain then back to snow event.

Thus far this winter the biggest snowfall in New York City was 1.6 inches that fell in early December — and the Big Apple has only received 35 percent of the normal snowfall this winter to date, which is far behind pace. However, the weekend storm might represent a change in the weather pattern with more long-lasting cold weather expected to set up in the Northeast during the latter part of January, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

St. Marys
Parks & Rec Director Dani Schneider has passion for community, youth

ST. MARYS — Kersey native Dani Schneider gets to exercise her passions for community, parks, and area youth through her position as City of St. Marys Parks and Recreation director.

Schneider graduated from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation, as well as a master’s degree in education. She started working at St. Marys Public Library in the children’s department in 2011, before a job opening with Fox Township Park came about in 2012.

Schneider worked under the guidance of her mentor, Deb Agosti, as assistant program coordinator until 2016, she said. Schneider enjoyed seeing the children enjoy a combination of parks and education.

Schneider became City of St. Marys Parks and Recreation director, a new position, in August 2019.

“My goal is to expand summer programs for kids, and add onto programs for adults and senior citizens,” Schneider said. “We have a good focus on youth, but we also need to focus on the people living here.”

Benzinger and Memorial parks used to be separate and compete against one another, Schneider said. Another goal has been to help unite parks to create more joint programs.

Schneider works with several community organizations, including the St. Marys Rotary Club, St. Marys Public Library, the movie theater, Boys and Girls Club of St. Marys, City of St. Marys Police Department and fire departments and others.

“My goal is to partner with as many as possible,” she said. “It gives the town an idea of what we all offer.”

Schneider has spent much of her life traveling and trying to see all of the national parks. She has visited nine of them so far, and has hiked Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park in Utah. Another one of her interests is in natural disasters.

Schneider says this job has also helped her “come out of her shell.”

“I’m really passionate about this,” she said. “Parks make me really excited.”

Living her dream is a great feeling, Schneider said, adding she is “very thankful” for the City creating the director position.

The year 2020 will include ice skating at Kaulmont Park, speakers, an outdoor camp at Benzinger Park hosted by a 4H club, health and fitness activities, a partnership with Elk County Council on the Arts and more. The St. Marys Recreation Board is also working on a comprehensive plan for the parks and a feasibility study for the community pool.

Follow City of St. Marys Parks and Recreation on Facebook for updates.

Photo by Chris Wechtenhiser 

Redbank Valley's Ethan Wiant, back, locks up a cradle on Brockway's Tanner Morelli during the first period of their 145-pound bout Tuesday night. Wiant pinned Morelli in 1:39.

Service issues in Treasure Lake addressed by TLPOA

DuBOIS — An update regarding issues Treasure Lake residents have been experiencing with Zito Media’s high-speed internet and cable television services has been provided by Treasure Lake Property Owners Association General Manager Ed Clark Jr.

With support from Sandy Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh, Clark said he is continuing to work closely with Zito Media leadership for resolution to the service issues.

Zito Media replaced several pieces of hardware in hope of resolving problems, said Clark.

“Unfortunately, these repairs did not fix the intermittent failure of the system and shortly after midnight of Dec. 30 they performed an emergency replacement of a major piece of equipment,” said Clark. “Since that change, the system has been stable and Zito Media believes that the majority of the problems have been resolved.”

Treasure Lake residents who continue experiencing problems have been provided direct lines of communication to Zito Media customer service so that Zito can troubleshoot the issues promptly, said Clark.

“This capacity expansion has enabled increased speeds within Treasure Lake,” said Clark. “Zito has planned a transition to the latest version of cable modem technology which is compatible with customers’ existing modems.”

Clark said new modems will be available for customers and should be at no additional charge. Equipment required for the upgrade has been ordered, and is expected to be installed before the end of March.