Mother Nature put on quite a show last Friday, first by turning 50-plus degree weather back into the winter freeze in just a matter of hours.

Those higher temperatures that we enjoyed for a day or so, led to substantial ice and snow melt in the area, which combined with the rains of last Thursday night and Friday morning. All that water forced the ice on the Allegheny River, Red Bank Creek and other local streams to break up and move out, but not before flooding some low lying areas in the East Brady, New Bethlehem, Lawsonham and Rimer areas, among other communities.

Now, with freezing temperatures back as the norm, the huge chunks of ice remain on stream and river banks, having to be removed from some roadways in the region.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures could reach back up into the 40s by Saturday, with rain showers predicted for Saturday night through Monday.

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After the recent roller coaster of weather, we sure are ready for some small sign that spring may be just around the corner.

Marty Smith of Parker reports that a flock of about 20 robins visited her yard last Friday before the temperatures dropped.

Smith reports that she knows that the robin sighting doesn’t mean that spring is at hand, but it was nice to see the birds frolicking on the unfrozen ground, at least for a few minutes.

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If you need something else to help get your mind off the weather — and the Steelers’ recent exit from the playoffs — we have a tasty way to do just that.

Local Girl Scouts are now in the midst of their annual cookie sale, offering eight varieties of the annual treat.

Not only are all the favorites such as Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles back, but the scouts are also once again selling the new and popular Girl Scout S’Mores cookies and the gluten-free Toffee-Tastic cookies.

Almost 1 million Girl Scouts participate in the cookie program each year, generating nearly $800 million in sales during the average season. And all of the net revenue raised — 100 percent of it — stays with the local council and troops.

Councils use cookie earnings to power amazing experiences for girls through their programming, while girls and their troops decide how to invest in impactful community projects, personal enrichment opportunities, and more.

To buy cookies locally, contact troop leaders Cathy Walzak at (814) 745-3832 or Jessie Truitt at (814) 229-6652.

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The ballots for our annual Readers Choice Awards are pouring in, but we want to see even more people in our area take part in the voting this year.

To that end, we are offering everyone who submits a completed ballot a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards to local businesses. Once all the votes are tallied at the end of the month, we will draw three winners from all the ballots that have been entered. The winners will enjoy $50 to spend at Tom’s Riverside, Sunoco and the Outlook Inn.

The ballot can be found inside The L-V each week through the end of the month. They can be mailed in or dropped off at our office, so don’t delay for your chance to win while you also help your favorite businesses win this year’s awards.

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Rather than fight it, why not embrace the winter season? The annual Marienville Winterfest will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Venture to the Snowmobile Capital of Pennsylvania for food, raffles, bingo, chili cook-off, children’s games, Chinese Auction, scavenger hunt, snow sculptures, snowmobile torch-light parade, and sky lanterns to heaven.

For more information, call (814) 927-8218, email or visit

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