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At this time of the year many of us stop to take stock of what we are thankful for in our lives. One of the many things we can all be thankful for is that we live in this beautiful part of Pennsylvania, surrounded not only with the beauty of nature, but with the many groups who give of their…

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I wonder how many of us looked to the skies this past week as more thunderstorms rolled through the area. After the recent tornadoes touching down so close to Brookville it was expected I guess to question whether another one would form.

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My mind has been drawn in two different directions as I’ve thought about what to write in this week’s column – the recent weather that saw road closings and creeks rising and the anniversary of Sept. 11.

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Sunday a national holiday passed us by, with many people not even aware that it was a holiday. Sunday was Grandparents Day.

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The other day as I was driving home, enjoying the quiet summer morning, I started thinking about the many blessings we are given. Most blessings are the things we take for granted every day, but some of our blessings provide once-in-a-lifetime memories for us to enjoy over and over again. Fo…

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Technology stinks. Every time something is promoted as “bigger and better, or new and improved” we cringe, knowing that only means it is going to cost more and be harder to use.

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Recently there were several areas marked as “safety corridors” on Interstate 80. According to a recent news release from Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway), “In Jefferson County the safety corridor will be between mile markers 78 and 95. In Clearfield County the safety corridor will be between m…

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The other day as I was walking into a store, coming out was a long-time friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. We stopped to talk for a couple minutes and in the course of the conversation I mentioned that I was having difficulty with a certain situation. With the gentle smile that she always…

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Sixteen more individuals were nabbed in a drug sweep last week as detailed in a story on the front page. The arrests came after a yearlong investigation into multiple cases involving the distribution of dangerous drugs in Jefferson County, according to information from law enforcement. They …

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For the past two or three weeks I’ve been enjoying the Christmas in July events – Christmas movies on TV, an occasional Christmas song on the radio, new Christmas decorations and just the other day I got an e-mail notice that one of my favorite online sites now has its new-for-this-year desi…

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A recent experience has taught me that we need to always question our own actions; ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing whatever that “right” thing may be.

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By the residents of Brookville, he was known as Bill, or Mr. French, or after he was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, Father Bill, but to my brother Michael, our cousins Jenny and Gordon French, and me, he was our Uncle Bookie. Before we go any further in this story, we much get the pro…

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Time has moved on from the Brookville Laurel Festival but comments are still being heard about what a wonderful event it was this year. Borough Council members added their comments Tuesday night. Councilwoman Karen Allgeier giving two thumbs up said, “Good job” and noted that she’d attended …

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On the morning of the Fourth of July I was listening to the radio and one of the hosts was talking about the many freedoms we as Americans enjoy. And then she asked a thought-provoking question: Why is it so much easier for us to complain and find fault with things that are happening, than i…

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For many of us this past week’s Laurel Festival went too fast. It was a step back to the Laurel Festival many of us remember from decades ago, full of activities for young and old alike. From food to games to car shows and kayak races.

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Rex and I like to read the messages on church signs when we are out and about, so much so that the one who isn’t driving will have a pen and notepad handy, because neither of us can recall those little tidbits as readily as we used to remember.

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This year will see my 40th class reunion. One of my classmates asked how many people were in our graduating class? A slew of numbers were forthcoming in answer to the Facebook question. None of them were correct, until one classmate noted she had the program from our actual graduation ceremony.

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A couple weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I was driving into town and noticed some birds gathered around the body of a snake, belly-up on the road. It was the third snake I had seen on that stretch of road during the warm week.

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Memorial Day as can be seen from this week’s edition of the Jeffersonian Democrat was an eventful day. Ceremonies were held in many of our communities, including Brookville and Summerville.

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Every now and then I hear people describe themselves as “I’m just a . . .” and I have the mixed emotions of sadness and anger. No body is “just a” anything.

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The book of Ecclesiastes is often attributed to King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. Though he was wise in many ways, King Solomon was not perfect. But he did realize that there has to be a balance in our lives, and perhaps his most recognized writing is that in the third chapter, in…

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The Brookville Borough Council had one of its native sons propose a Riverwalk project this week. Many seem to be already in favor of it and it would beautify the area along the rivers that converge in Brookville.

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Not everyone is drawn to small town living. Some people prefer the anonymity of city living. And while I will grant that city living may offer a wider variety of restaurants or more chances to attend top star performances, it still doesn’t have what we find here in Jefferson County.

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I had the pleasure a week or so ago to sit down with Ellen Neyman for a chat. I had heard her comment that she lived on the family farm and that the farm had been in her family for more than 100 years. That fact prompted me to reach out to Ellen to learn more. She graciously agreed to talk w…

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Do you know anyone who has a treasure chest, where they keep mementos of special moments from their past? Those hidden treasures might be a flower, a ribbon, a card, a coin – anything that brings back memories of a person or time that we want to remember always.

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Saturday was a beautiful day in Brookville. The day itself was cold despite the sunshine, but the weather wasn’t what made it such a beautiful day. The people who braved the cold to do for others is what really warms the heart.

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With the recent school shootings and even threats of violence in our own high school, safety for those in the schools has become a daily topic of conversation. The questions I hear most often is “Why” and “How could this happen?”

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We are bombarded daily with bad news. So much so we begin to think that is all there is.

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This morning the daily thought on my desk calendar asked a question: “If it were against the law to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?”

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How often have we heard in recent years about the dangers of texting and driving? Alas, nothing seems to change though as we drive along. People are forever looking at their cellphones.

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Saturday night – or was it Sunday morning? – we lost an hour of sleep as we turned our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

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BROOKVILLE — My perspective of Randon “Randy” Bartley, as editor of the Jeffersonian-Democrat newspaper, initiated in November of 1994 when one of the several freelance writers at the time, Joey Ann Payne, introduced me to him.