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Day Spa DuBois to highlight new staff members, beauty services Saturday

A downtown DuBois business dedicated to offering “the full-spa experience” will showcase new staff members, ownership and current services Saturday.

Annette Thomas of Punxsutawney took over The Day Spa DuBois on North Brady Street at the end of 2018, combining nine new staff members with seven original ones. She runs the business end of things, co-owning the building with Benny Gordon, an area man known for racing Nascar.

Former Owner Tammy Gaither said she wanted to sell the spa to someone who would continue the dream she started 10 years ago, Thomas said.

Thomas has worked in customer service for more than 25 years, management for 20 and salon and beauty for almost 15. Although she was approached many times about taking over salons in the past, the timing never felt right.

The full-service salon offers hair colors and cuts, hair and eyelash extensions, manicures and pedicures, “Skin Script” facials and professional massages, as well as retail products like jewelry and purses.

Before she started managing the facility, Thomas worked there for a month, observing the day-to-day operations and staff, who she says have all been welcoming.

One of her favorite parts of the profession is being behind the chair, she said, making DuBois more beautiful “one head at a time,” which is something she tries to pass on to her employees.

“They are allowed to be their own artist here,” she said. “There is no competition between employees. Everything we do here is art.”

Thomas tries to always listen and communicate with the staff, maintaining a stress-free work environment, she said. Several hair stylists have worked together before.

“We tend to stick together, or follow each other to new places,” Thomas said. “When something exciting happens to one of us, we all migrate.”

Thomas changed a few things, such as the window salon that faces downtown DuBois, where stylists can be seen working. They have also slowed down the process, Thomas said, for each guest to have a “full-spa experience.”

“We want you to have more than one service here,” Thomas said. “We have made extra time for everyone to feel special and pampered.”

The Day Spa DuBois will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, offering more than 300 giveaways, light snacks, Two Birch Winery blends and desserts.

The goal of the event, Thomas said, is for people to look around, meet the staff and learn about services. It’s also a chance to partner with and support other downtown businesses like Luigi’s Ristorante, Uzi’s Pastries and Brady Street Florist.

Looking back, Thomas feels this opportunity was meant to be.

“I didn’t plan for anything but a happy work environment,” she said. “That starts with your staff.”

For more information, visit The Day Spa DuBois on Facebook.

'Happy Dog Yoga' event in DuBois raises funds for homeless man, dog

A donation yoga session was held at Edgewood Skating Rink Saturday to benefit a homeless man and his dog who impacted the DuBois community and beyond.

Laura Van Velsor, who heads “Happy Dog Yoga,” a charity yoga series based in State College, said Saturday’s effort was a joint one with Andie Knight-Ross of “Project Love.”

Project Love offers “blessing bags” for homeless people, helping them get through a hard time. In December, the project donated 152 bags to people in Pittsburgh, according to the Facebook group.

Knight-Ross’ roller derby team practices at skating center on Behringer Highway, Velsor said, and she offered to teach a yoga class there to benefit Matt and Bubba.

Velsor said she hosts a lot of her events at “Yoga Lab” of State College and Centre County Paws, always donating 100 percent of her proceeds to animal rescues. Since 2015, she has raised more than $9,000 for animals.

Velsor came across Matt’s story when it was being shared around Facebook by people all over the state. Matt’s story went viral after the Sandy Township Police Department and Clearfield County Dog Law Enforcement Warden Karen Shick reunited him with his dog, Bubba, after they were separated for a couple of days.

Matt has been traveling the country with his dog for four years, always making sure Bubba has the dog food and love he needs, even when Matt doesn’t eat much himself. According to his “GoFundMe” page, Matt wants to purchase a van or a bus in which he and Bubba can travel and live while giving rides to others in need.

Velsor said she had a few brief exchanges with Matt through Facebook, and he seemed very high-spirited and positive.

“Yoga is all about taking care of ourselves so we can better serve others,” she said. “You can get bendy and strong on a yoga mat, but it’s what you do out in the real world with relationships and people you don’t even know that matters.

Velsor said she has traveled to other countries, where it seems as if people who are less distracted by money and objects have more joy in their lives, the same aspect she sees in Matt.

“I don’t know him, but I don’t want him to suffer,” she said. “He has a big heart, and he’s taking care of his dog first.”

The event raised $165, Velsor said, which went directly to Matt’s page.

“Hopefully Matt is on his next adventure,” Velsor said. “I wish him a lot of luck.”

Photo by Craig Moyer 

Elk-McKean Senior League All-Star Carson Whiteman delivers a pitch during the fourth inning against DuBois Monday. Whiteman went 5 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out four to pick up the win in a 7-4 victory.

St. Marys Rotary Club beef-sale fundraiser gives back to community

ST. MARYS — Drivers lined the length of Depot Street late Friday morning, eager to support a fundraiser that supports the community in return.

The St. Marys Rotary Club’s annual beef sale in downtown St. Marys is a well-known community tradition, said Bob Roberts, a club member of 35 years.

The day involves several local organizations and volunteers, including relatives of rotarians, students from St. Marys Parks and Recreation, Elk County Catholic and St. Marys Area high schools, Kreckel Enterprises employees and others, he said.

The sale, which started at 10:30 a.m., sold out by noon, said SMRC secretary Vern Kreckel. Each year, the club sells between 1,600 and 1,700 beef sandwiches, using more than 700 pounds of beef from Save-A-Lot.

Aside from the $4 sandwiches, members also cater to local businesses or companies who would like to order in bulk, putting together large amounts of beef ahead of time.

The SMRC has contributed widely to St. Marys parks, Project Gifts of Elk County, the black and gold clock downtown and local youth scholarships and initiatives.

“All of these proceeds stay in the community,” Roberts said. “Many local charities benefit from our efforts.”

Much of Friday’s proceeds will be going toward the remodel of the Memorial Park Scout house built by rotarians in 1952.

SMRC meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the St. Marys Moose Lodge #146 on Erie Avenue. Membership is open to anyone wishing to contribute to community efforts. For more information, visit or the Facebook page.

Penfield man gets state prison sentence for assault, strangulation

CLEARFIELD — Joshua Michael Vallone, 32, of Penfield, who was accused of choking and assaulting a female, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to state prison by Judge Paul Cherry yesterday at special sentencing court.

Vallone pleaded guilty to strangulation, a felony of the second degree; and simple assault, a misdemeanor of the second degree. It was an open plea, meaning the commonwealth and the defense couldn’t agree on a minimum sentence, leaving it up to the presiding judge.

His attorney, Steven Johnston of the public defender’s office, said his client has no prior record score and asked Cherry for leniency and said the incident was traumatic for everyone involved.

“He essentially has lost everything,” Johnston said.

Johnston asked for a more lenient sentence, saying it would allow Vallone to put his life back together and asked for a boot camp recommendation.

For the strangulation charge, Cherry fined Vallone $1 plus costs and sentenced him to serve 12 months to three years in state prison, ordered him to complete anger management counseling, and to have no contact with the victim. For the simple assault charge, Cherry fined Vallone $1 plus costs and sentenced him to serve one year probation concurrent to the previous sentence. Cherry also noted that this is a domestic violence offense and Vallone is now prohibited from owning any firearms and ordered him to turn over all firearms and firearm licenses to the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Department within 24 hours.

Cherry said Vallone would be eligible for the Quehanna Boot Camp.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 27 at 7:47 p.m., State Police responded to a domestic incident at a residence along the Bennetts Valley Highway in Huston Township. Upon arrival, troopers spoke to Vallone who was shirtless and covered in blood. Vallone said he got into an argument with his girlfriend and she assaulted him and he defended himself.

State police were later contacted and informed the victim was in an ambulance en route to Penn Highlands Elk for treatment of injuries. The initial information on her injuries included a possible fracture of her orbital bone, bite marks to the back of her left arm, bleeding from the top of her head, bruising on her face and forehead, red marks on her left arm and marks around her neck, indicating strangulation.