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DuBois Police: Fox spotted in city is no threat

DuBOIS — A fox apparently roaming some neighborhoods in the City of DuBois and causing concern among residents poses no threat, according to police.

DuBois City Police Chief Blaine Clark told the Courier Express that the police are aware that a fox is ranging through some neighborhoods.

“According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, it is normal for a fox to be out during the daytime hours as well as the nighttime hours,” Clark said. “As of now, the fox does not pose a threat to the public. Please be diligent with your small pets. Please do not try to make contact with the fox.”

Clark said the police department has been getting numerous calls about the fox.

“People started calling about a month ago and it recently started back up again,” Clark said. “They (foxes) are allowed to be out there running around.”

South State Street resident Janice Cornelius was driving by her neighbor’s house at 6:15 a.m. Saturday when she spotted the fox on her neighbor’s porch.

“He crossed the road and sat in my yard. I am a little concerned that he is not afraid of people,” Cornelius said. “We also have a little puppy and we’re always outside with him due to the fox.”

Though Cornelius couldn’t call the police or Game Commission at that time, her neighbor, Mel Schwentner, did.

“When I called the police, they said just to leave it alone and they will notify somebody,” said Schwentner, noting he’s seen the fox twice.

“It ran in front of me by Dr. Milliron’s office and I called the police that day,” Schwentner said. “Janice called me one morning in a panic because her kids were getting on the school bus.”

When he talked to the Game Commission, Schwentner said, “They told me it probably has little ones in the neighborhood, it won’t hurt you. The area game warden said to just leave it alone, it will eventually go back into the woods.”

Schwentner said he isn’t concerned for himself but more for the children in the neighborhood.

“It didn’t appear to be threatening. I don’t think it’s sick or anything,” he said. “But there are a lot of little kids in the neighborhood that wouldn’t understand. They might think it’s a dog and try to chase it,” Schwentner said.

Schwentner suspects the fox may be around this weekend again because it’s trash night in the area.

Cornelius said she doesn’t understand why they won’t “re-home him to the woods. He is going to end up being killed by a car most likely.”

Her other concern is that the fox has no fear of people.

“Are people feeding him?” Cornelius said. “We have beautiful land close by. Let nature live where they thrive the most.”

In the seven years of living on South State Street, Cornelius said she has encountered a fox, a bear and a six-point buck.

“It’s just sad to see them getting turned around away from their woods. I just don’t know what’s more alarming to see in your yard, a rat or fox,” Cornelius said.

In addition to the State Street area, the fox has been seen in the areas of Quarry Avenue, Evergreen Street and Robinson Street, Clark said.

“That makes sense because that’s where the creek is, and the woods,” Clark said. “It is just one fox as far as we know. We have only seen one. I saw it one day crossing Quarry Avenue. Generally, when we get to the location, it’s already gone.”

As far as calling the police about the fox, there is nothing they can do about it, said Clark, unless it displays signs of being rabid or attacks someone.

A phone call seeking comment from the Game Commission was not returned by press time.

A CARING MENTOR: Jeff Tech names Teacher of the Year recipient

REYNOLDSVILLE — Jeff Tech crowned its youngest ever Teacher of the Year recipient last month, awarding mathematics and art instructor Angela Dragich the title.

Dragich, 31, of Kersey, said she received her award on May 17, which was awards night for Jeff Tech students. She was surprised by the attendance of her parents and sister, who she was not aware were coming to the ceremony.

“I was very surprised and overwhelmed (by it) emotionally,” she said. “I didn’t expect to see my family standing there when I turned around.”

This is the fourth year the school has given the award. The students nominate and vote for the winning teacher, Dragich said. She has been a teacher there for six years, beginning as a substitute and working her way up to full time.

It has been a good experience to be not only a teacher that students enjoy, but also a friend to them, Dragich said.

“My favorite part is, of course, my students, and how I’m able to help them whether it’s in art or math, but they come to me with other concerns or things they need help with,” she said. “That’s rewarding in itself.”

One of the students who nominated her mentioned that Dragich started the art club at the school this year, adding that she is a great role model. One of her biggest goals is to keep art alive in schools.

“Art channels their creativity,” she said. “We are a tech school, and a lot of our students are very talented and creative in their own way, and I get to see that in the art room. I can help them think of an idea for their future or something they can use in the workforce.”

Recognizing that math can be a very difficult subject for many students, it means much to her that they still like walking into her classroom, Dragich said.

“I like being able to show them different ways to learn a concept,” she said. “Math is such a hard subject, but they need it in every shop. That’s what I hope to make them see, that they’re able to do the math and use it in their career choice.”

Dragich also tries to intertwine both her math and art teaching tools with one another, like using certain activities or aspects to teach math that don’t involve just paper and pencil and can make the subject a little more enjoyable, as art tends to be.

Dragich majored in art education, with minors in art history and math, and received her master’s degree in instructional technology.

She tutors students after school, and also takes a class at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology. She has taught painting classes at Kreative Kreations in DuBois and worked with the C.R.E.A.T.E. Brookville organization. She is also a member of the National Art Education Association.

Dragich is also traveling to Italy this summer with DuBois Central Catholic.

“I’m trying to stay up-to-date and get out and see things. That way I can teach about it,” she said.

On awards night, Dragich said she was swarmed by a group of her students, who were excited to see her receive the award. Being the youngest recipient is especially an honor, because she has tried to make a difference since she’s become a teacher.

“It has been really busy here, and I’ve put a lot of time and effort into different things this year,” she said. “It’s felt amazing that it’s being noticed.”

Jeff Tech Administrative Director Barry Fillman said Dragich has the reputation of always stepping up to help someone else, whether it’s a student or fellow staff member.

“Ms. Dragich is someone who never stops working to give students opportunities to expand their education,” he said. “She is a powerful advocate, sharing the skills of Jeff Tech students in the community, and fully embraces the role of a caring mentor.”

Photo by Craig Moyer 

Sykesville second baseman Anthony Kness tags out Pulaski's Jake Miknis on an attempted steal in the first inning Wednesday. Sykesville catcher Austin Blauser made the throw on the play and Kness applied the tag for the third out of the inning.

CREATIVE CABINETRY: Business finds success in custom-made products

DuBOIS — A team of relatives and friends in DuBois have kept success and high-quality cabinetry products a family tradition over the years.

Creative Cabinetry is owned by Bob Wells and Tony Marchioni, with Armond Marchioni and Lou Wells as their employees.

Both Tony and Bob worked in the coal industry for many years, deciding to go into business for themselves when that business declined. There is a need for custom-made cabinetry products in the area, and the business has since expanded, doing both local projects and shipping out-of-state as well.

For 18 years, the two have focused on providing custom-made and industrial cabinetry products for businesses, such as healthcare agencies, nursing homes and retail stores. Each item is made according to an architectural blueprint, helping them to match and compare with different elevations.

“There is a lot to it, and it makes what we do unique,” Tony said. “It’s all custom built, nothing is standard.”

Located in a large warehouse on Aspen Way in DuBois, the company is stocked with various wood working products and modern equipment, such as sliding table saws, routers, jointers, and wood finishing products — stains, varnishes and clear coatings.

Looking around the facility, one sees anything from a custom-made nurses’ station for a hospital to cabinets for a retail location.

Lou, who is Bob’s son, said the job is never boring because each assignment is specialized.

“You don’t do the same thing every day — every cabinet is different,” he said.

Over the years, the location of the company has doubled in size in order to keep up with the workload, but the firm has had trouble finding qualified employees, since not many places teach cabinetry and finishing locally. There is a need for the specialized woodworking, though, and for technicians trained in the field.

It has been helpful working with people with whom the owners are familiar, since they know they share the same values and work ethic when it comes to the quality of the product, Bob said.

“We have all known each other our whole lives — we grew up together,” Tony said. “We all work hard and we are involved in every aspect of the work.”

For more information, call 814-372-2063.