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Shed Sounds Studio Jefferson County's first recording studio

SUMMERVILLE — An open house over the weekend offered the public an opportunity to visit Shed Sounds Studio, Jefferson County’s first full service audio recording studio.

Caleb Harmen has been playing music since he was 14 years old, and recently has been playing the drums in the band Hatred Rising from Brookville. About four years ago, when the band went to a studio to record, he was not pleased with the end result.

Harmen is a fan of the analog style of recording, and did not like that the band had to record each instrument one at a time. He said the end result sounded good, but it didn’t sound like them. He decided with enough time and practice, he could to it better.

Harmen works a full-time job at Beverage-Air in Brookville, and began using his time at work to immerse himself in podcasts about recording music and studio set-ups. He was listening to about 40 hours of podcasts and YouTube videos a week once he committed to the idea of opening a recording studio.

He also attended Mixcon in New York, where he says he learned much over the single weekend.

“I really got to assess where I was... It was kind of an eye opener that I was ready to open up shop,” Harmen said about attending Mixcon.

He is working on a 24 channel mix board and interface, and records with microphones spread throughout the shed. Most of his equipment is PreSonus, and he plans to put any money made back into equipment for the studio. He has enough instruments now that bands could play, but said most like to have their own instruments.

The “shed” that has been converted into the studio originally was a dog shed. Harmen’s brother built the addition so he had somewhere to keep his dirt bike and side-by-side, then moved away shortly after. Harmen then spent two years insulating the structure before he was ready to do more research on recording studios.

“I cut a lot of costs by taking my time and sourcing locally for my materials,” Harmen said of creating the studio.

Many of his materials for the building were obtained from Beverage-Air in the form of scrap and damaged materials. He also spent a lot of time researching the cables used with all the equipment. Harmen made his own cables, which reduced their cost to a quarter of what they would have been ready-made.

Harmen points out that he has microphones throughout the recording room, and sixteen just on the drum kit.

“If a band practices up, and they’re tight, I can track them real quick... I can basically do anything in the software, but I prefer the analog style with microphones,” Harmen said.

The way Harmen has the instruments and amps set up, everyone can play together in his studio, but they don’t all have to play perfectly in one go. Every instrument is separated completely, so if a single guitar part needs to be played differently, just that part can be fixed without needing everything to be redone. Harmen is passionate about the analog style of recording and preserving the style of the band as a whole unit within a recording.

Harmen says bands are welcome to contact him about setting up a time, and come check out his set-up and equipment. The more prep work a band has undertaken ahead of time, the less it will going to cost them to record in the long run, he said. He will offer them a free hour to talk, and experiment with the equipment. During their initial meeting to check out equipment, the band and Harmen can discuss the kind of project they’re looking at, and he can give them a quote on the cost, he said.

“This is a passion, not a career. Once I start making money, it will go back into the studio,” Harmen said.

Harmen also offers accommodations to bands that are traveling from further away to use his studio. He and his wife have a set of private rooms that can be used for an additional charge to spend a weekend working in the studio. He can also do solo and stand alone projects, he said.

Shed Sounds Studio can be found on Facebook, and is located at 1303 CL School Road near Summerville.


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Dimmick's Roadway Cafe sells rolled ice cream at area festivals, fairs

CLEARFIELD — Heather and Barry Dimmick are chasing a new kind of excitement after starting their own rolled ice cream truck, which was recently at the Elk County Fair in Kersey.

“Dimmick’s Roadway Cafe,” based in Clearfield, has been traveling to festivals and fairs in the Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk county areas since April, Heather said.

The Dimmicks are former leaders of the Pine Creek K9 Search Unit of Brookville, a search organization that covers most of northwest central Pennsylvania, assisting in any missing person case.

After Heather was injured and the couple retired from the rescue team, they decided to fulfill their dream of having a concession stand, she said.

Together, the couple has accumulated more than five decades of volunteer work in their community, including coaching their children’s sports teams and being involved with fire companies, Heather said.

Now that their children are grown, she said, it was the perfect time to travel.

Rather than opting for a normal soft-serve stand or selling lemonade, the Dimmicks took on the challenge of rolled ice cream, a technique using a cold surface, shaved ice, a creamy base and other flavors like Oreo cookies or peanut butter. The cafe offers about 30 flavors of ice cream.

“No one else is doing this in the area, and we wanted to do our own thing,” Heather said.

The couple also sells “bubble tea,” with 25 flavors like kiwi, blueberry or tropical rainbow, cold-brew coffee, iced and hot tea, hot chocolate and cappuccino.

Although the ice cream truck business differs from their search team adventures, Heather said, it’s something they enjoy doing during this different phase of their lives.

“It can still be crazy busy here,” Heather said. “This is just a different kind of intense.”

The cafe will also be at the “Charged” event at the DuBois City Park Saturday and the Jeff Buck Memorial Softball Tournament at Lawrence Township Recreational Park in Clearfield Aug. 24. Proceeds from the tournament go toward helping another first responder in need.

For more information, visit Dimmick’s Roadway Cafe on Facebook or call 814-771-3406.


Josie Lepe 

The San Jose Sharks' Mike Brown (18) fights for the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) in the first period at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., in this Dec. 2015 file photo. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group/TNS)


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State representatives, pastors attend 'Students for Life' presentation in St. Marys

ST. MARYS — State representatives, area pastors, educational leaders and community members attended a presentation at St. Marys Area High School Friday, reaching out to youth and encouraging them to be the “pro-life generation.”

The “Students for Life” project, meant to bring people together who want to learn more about the human rights issue of abortion, welcomes people of power, students and everyday pro-life passionate people to join the sub-committee of “Life Matters.”

Mary Meyer of the SFL movement spearheaded the presentation, welcoming visitors who included Shiloh Presbyterian Church Pastor Scott Wiest, who is also the chairman of “Life Matters,” Pennsylvania State Reps. Matt Gabler and Cris Dush, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, as well as several other Elk and Clearfield county pastors and leaders.

Meyer called the presentation a “grassroots effort,” aiming to reach young people who can be a culture that “embraces life.”

“Our youth can be educated on the human rights issue of abortion, and they can learn to debate the issue in a reasoned and civil manner,” she said. “We are here to help students become voices for the unborn and advocates for mothers in crisis pregnancies.”

Gabler said several pro-life people and groups are still trying to correct the “terrible, terrible wrong” that is abortion.

It’s “frustrating” as a lawmaker, Gabler said, to see people fighting against protecting a life, referencing he himself becoming a father since he was elected.

“You are the people leading the battle to put life back where it belongs, and I just want to thank you for that,” Gabler said. “Pennsylvania has been on the front lines of this battle, and we can be proud of that.”

Gabler spoke of three bills passed in the House this year, including the “Down Syndrome Protection Act” and the “Heartbeat Bill.”

Thompson spoke of Roe v. Wade, and referred to today’s youth as “cultural architects” who have the power of change.

“Nothing happens if there is not life,” he said. “That’s our nation’s founding culture.”

Elk County Catholic High School SFL advisor Laurey Kraus said when it comes to abortion, science is “on our side.” She showed the crowd a difficult-to-watch video of the four ways a fetus may be aborted.

Meyer presented an overview of some of the pro-choice arguments for abortion, including rape, poverty or Down syndrome, and the adoption resources and support for pregnant women available today. “Rachel’s Vineyard” is also a post-abortion retreat facility that offers compassionate help for women and couples struggling emotionally, she said.

Since Roe v. Wade, 61,500,000 abortions have been performed in the U.S., Meyer said, which constitutes about a fifth of the population of the nation.

Because abortion is legal, there is “pressure to normalize it,” Meyer said, so students are being pulled in many directions. But, SFL groups have to be initiated by students.

Meyer also said a “March for Life” in Harrisburg has been organized for May 18, 2020. Next month, the movie “Unplanned” will be shown at ECCHS.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America Liana Hollendonner joined the crowd via Skype, explaining how a SFL chapter is initiated and resources available to students.

SFLA, which serves 1,200 student groups, trained 84,000 last year, said Hollendonner. Those seeking to learn more or to contribute can visit www.studentsforlifeofamerica.org.


Rain, some severe weather predicted for today

The dry, sunny and fall-like weather experienced in the northeastern United States over the weekend will be replaced by soaking rain, severe thunderstorms and more humid air by Tuesday.

“The large area of high pressure that kept much of the Northeast dry and comfortable this past weekend will slowly weaken and move out to sea during the early part of this week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.

A storm system will impact a broad area of the Northeast by Tuesday, according to Gilbert.

The system will first set off a round of downpours and severe thunderstorms across part of the Midwest.

The storm will then sweep across the Northeast with heavy rain to the north of its track and severe weather to its south Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Indications point toward the heaviest rain spreading across Pennsylvania and southern New York state to the upper mid-Atlantic coast and southern New England.

Within this zone, soaking and beneficial rain will fall. However, in the metro areas, street and highway flooding with substantial travel disruptions can be anticipated.

Parts of the I-95 corridor dealt with flooding downpours around the middle of last week.

The risk of new flooding with this latest round of downpours will be even higher should the forward speed of the storm system slow.

Even in the absence of flooding, motorists may face slower-than-normal travel as rain reduces visibility on the roadways and creates a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. These hazards can be experienced on stretches of interstates 70, 80, 81, 90 and 95.

“We will also have to keep an eye out for the possibility of severe weather, mainly strong wind gusts,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyson Hoegg said. However, there is the possibility of isolated tornadoes as well.

The greatest risk for severe thunderstorms will focus on areas where heat and humidity have had a chance to build up.

High temperatures soaring into the upper 80s to middle 90s from New Jersey to the Chesapeake Bay region and westward to Kentucky and northern Tennessee may leave this corridor most susceptible to violent thunderstorms later Tuesday.

Tuesday’s severe weather threat zone includes Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia. It may extend as far north as New York City.