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Little Viking Childcare Center debuts at Jeff Tech in 2019-2020 school year

REYNOLDSVILLE — Little Viking Childcare Center, Jeff Tech’s (Jefferson County Vocational School’s) new daycare and preschool, is seeking more enrollment for its debut in the 2019-2020 school year.

Director Christy Weaver of Reynoldsville, who is a child therapist and has a master’s degree in human services, has been practicing mobile and therapeutic staff support (TSS) work for 10 years.

Some parents who have enrolled their children in the center already know her, Weaver says, because of her experience in the community. She serves on the Reynoldsville Historical Society and Christian and Missionary Church boards and has been a Girl Scout troop leader and involved in the parent-teacher association (PTA).

Weaver is also on Jeff Tech’s occupational advisory committee (OAC).

Jeff Tech offering childcare to benefit both children and parents is something Weaver is passionate about, she says.

“It’s the idea of giving parents the opportunity to go back to school and help the community,” Weaver said.

There are currently some 17 children registered, Weaver said. There are six toddler and 15 preschool slots available. The capacity, she said, is 48 children. LVCC held an open house Aug. 19.

Little vikings from anywhere in the community are welcome, not just the children of Jeff Tech students, Weaver adds.

The center welcomes children of all ages each day, and will have five employees, including preschool instructor Jessica Perry-Bailey, Erin Brewer in the toddler room and after-school instructor Tara Smith.

The other staff members also have experience with youth, including one who was a TSS worker and another an art teacher.

With the help of the teachers and her three children, Weaver began preparing the childcare facility in June, she said. It will offer music lessons, a science and art center, outdoor time, reading area, free play time and more. There is also an infant/toddler room.

Weaver says it will be advantage for her to be able to offer behavioral plans and connect parents with other community resources, as well as work with students while they are in her care. LVCC will also be working with Head Start of DuBois, recruiting early intervention resources.

The children can also enjoy many field trips without ever leaving the school, Weaver said, including having cosmetology students cut their hair or a trip to the building trades classroom.

Weaver has a family history with Jeff Tech, including her parents having attended school there. It only seems right that she ended up here, she said.

Donations needed for LVCC include outdoor toys and children’s books. For more information, visit LVCC on Facebook or call 814-653-8265.


News
featured
DuBois area community responds to backpack school supply drive

The community and a local business have made sure DuBois and Brockway area school district students were not short on backpacks or supplies when they started the new year today.

Starting in late July, H&R Block of DuBois started collecting new backpacks and/or school supplies for students in grades kindergarten through 12th.

“H&R Block is dedicated to giving back to the community,” said franchise owner Tina Sabados. “We want to see all of these students succeed. It’s just about giving back, making a difference and taking pride in the community that we live in.”

When delivering the backpacks and school supplies to the area school districts, Sabados said the drive received tremendous community support.

“It was phenomenal,” said Sabados. “It was just absolutely amazing.”

Thanks to the support of H&R Block and DuBois area residents, DASD Superintendent Wendy Benton said the district received 87 backpacks of school supplies available for students in need.

“We are most grateful for the donations and for the support from the community to help these students have a great start to the school year,” said Benton. “This means the world to children who are starting a new school year without a backpack and the school supplies that they can have in their homes. We provide school supplies for our students while they’re here at school, but it’s important for them to have these supplies at home as well. So, we’re just most grateful.”

In addition to the backpacks, school supplies donated included pencils, mechanical pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, binders, folders, glue sticks, tissues or anything else a student might need.

Brockway Area School District Superintendent Jeff Vizza also expressed his thanks to the community and H&R Block for helping students in need.

“We received an enormous amount of school supplies which are being donated to students in the various grade levels,” said Vizza. “Hopefully through the program, we can help reduce the stress level to families as the new school year begins. Helping one another. That’s what it’s all about.”

Backpack and school supplies were delivered to the area schools on Aug. 19 prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Both DuBois and Brockway school district students started school today.

Benton said when the district receives the backpacks of school supplies, the administration sets them out on a table in the lobby for parents and students to select a backpack of their choice during orientations and open house. If a staff member notices that a child doesn’t have a backpack on the first day of school and there are still backpacks remaining, the district makes sure the child receives one.

“The children are our future and we just want to see them all succeed,” said Sabados.


News
featured
Elk County Riders presented with $70,000 grant for 'Trail of Dreams' vision

KERSEY — The Elk County Riders On & Off Road Recreation Club recently received a dream of a grant — $70,000 for its “Trail of Dreams” project.

On Aug. 9, state officials announced new funding to expand trails and support all-terrain and snowmobile riding opportunities in the state of Pennsylvania.

Rock Run Recreation of Cambria and Clearfield also received $53,800 for its 140-mile trail system.

ECR Treasurer Cheryl Ruffner said the grant will help fund a feasibility study, undertaken by someone with outdoor recreation knowledge. The study would validate the group’s goals for more trails and areas for ATV riding in the Elk County area.

The riders also recently received a grant from the Elk County Commissioners for Act 13 grant funds, Ruffner added, which will allow them to erect a fence at their clubhouse.

The group has hosted several events, including a Mud Run in July and on-road Scavenger Hunt in August, to raise funds for the “Trail of Dreams,” which travels through areas such as Benezette, Johnsonburg, Ridgway, St. Marys and Wilcox.

Elk County trails bring a lot of economic benefits and outdoor recreational activities for people and families to the area, Ruffner said.

The $70,000 check was presented to Don and Cheryl Ruffner and Chris Patterson of the ECR by Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Gabler and Rep. Gabler’s District Manager Fritz Lecker at Chicken Hill Distillery Aug. 16.

For more information, visit the ECR on Facebook.


Crime
Stokes hearing continued one week

CLEARFIELD — The preliminary hearing for Michael A. Stokes, 51, of Curwensville, who is accused of assaulting a judge and overturning tables during Centralized Court at the Clearfield County Jail, was continued one week.

Stokes has been charged with aggravated assault, a felony of the second degree; simple assault and resisting arrest, both of which are misdemeanors of the second degree; disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor of the third degree and harassment, a summary offense for the incident.

On Aug. 7, Stokes was in court for a bail hearing at the jail after a woman accused Stokes of assaulting her.

Stokes admitted to assaulting the woman, but became agitated after District Judge Michael Morris revoked his unsecured bail and reset it at $25,000 monetary.

Stokes said he couldn’t afford to post bail and said the jail wouldn’t pay for all of his psychiatric medications.

He then overturned a table and pushed Morris. Stokes then overturned another table.

Arresting Clearfield-based State Police Trooper Emerson Miller deployed his Taser, but it didn’t appear to affect Stokes.

Several police officers and troopers then rushed Stokes and took him to the ground and placed him in a jail cell following a brief struggle.

The hearing was continued one week because the arresting officer was not available.

Stokes’ attorney, Chris Pentz of the public defender’s office, said it is unusual for an officer of the court, Judge Morris, to be a victim of a crime and it raises some conflict of interest issues.

Pentz said the public defender’s office asked the court to appoint a private attorney to represent Stokes because of social connections between Morris and attorneys in the public defender’s office, but President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman ruled there wasn’t a conflict of interest in the public defender’s office and declined to name court-appointed counsel.

Pentz also said it could raise conflict of interest issues in the district attorney’s office because an assistant district attorney is a potential witness in the case.

Assistant District Attorney Warren Mikesell said there were numerous people in the room and doesn’t know if that person’s testimony would be necessary. Mikesell also he spoke with District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. who said he doesn’t believe there is a conflict of interest in the office.

Stokes remains incarcerated in CCJ on the original $25,000 monetary bail and $5,000 monetary bail for the latest charges.


Local
DuBois City Council
DuBois City Council: Street light replacement to begin Sept. 8

The replacement of street lights on West Long Avenue between High and Brady streets in downtown DuBois is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8.

At Thursday’s city council meeting, city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio said the current plan is to first remove the trees along that stretch of West Long Avenue. That will start at midnight Sunday, Sept. 8.

Once that is done, the existing lights will be removed and new lights will be installed.

That section of West Long Avenue will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m. on Monday, the 9th. No parking will be allowed during that time.

During the rest of the week, officials will do their best to keep the road open, but one lane may be closed at times.

Parking spaces will not be available while the old lights are being removed and the new ones installed.

Any concerns should be directed to the city building, 371-2000.

Gas contractThe council accepted a 2-year contract with Open Flow Gas for natural gas at $2.775 per dekatherm. That is lower than the current rate and will save the city about $4,000 per year.

Bill Deter of Open Flow explained that taking action now will shield the city from the price spikes that typically occur once winter sets in.

Another factor that gives the region some protection from price spirals is the abundant supply of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale operations.

Furniture problemsCode enforcement Officer Zac Lawhead said he is perplexed by the number of complaints he is receiving because of people disposing of used furniture and appliances in their yards with the rest of their residential refuse.

Lawhead said items like that need to be cleared with Advanced Disposal prior to pickup, and can’t be left in yards waiting to use the city dumpster on the first Wednesday of each month.

Judicial sale replyThe city received notice from Heather L. Bozovich, Clearfield County solicitor, regarding an inquiry about how the county certifies properties for judicial sale.

Once properties have been exposed to sheriff’s sale and not sold, they can be restored to the tax rolls through a judicial sale, a last resort that clears all liens against the property.

The city had questioned why numerous properties that are eligible for judicial sale are not being placed on the list in timely fashion.

Bozovich explained that in order for a property to be certified, all interested parties, including owners, heirs or legal representatives or any lien holders, heirs, assigns, etc. have been properly notified.

She said the rules are “unambiguous” and several otherwise eligible properties have not been met the notification burden. Unless and until they do, there is no remedy available.

Of approximately 10 properties in question, seven have been readied for sale or are being readied. Three others are in limbo since there is not enough information to proceed.

Bozovich also suggested the city consult with its solicitor about any other actions it may be able to pursue.

Monday meetingThe council’s regular meeting will convene at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at the city building on West Scribner Avenue.

Council members Diane Bernardo and Jim Aughenbaugh were absent from Thursday’s meeting.