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Clearfield County DA's office to assist DuBois' efforts to acquire K9 dog

DuBOIS — Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. has announced that the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office will provide grant money to the City of DuBois in support of efforts to purchase a K9 drug dog to help fight the opioid epidemic in the community.

“I’m pleased and proud of the efforts of the City of DuBois, City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio, who is heading up this program, and the city council who supports it,” said Shaw. “These folks all recognize the problem that we have in our community and they are doing their very best to assist law enforcement in fighting this problem.”

Shaw said a drug dog is the latest tool for law enforcement in efforts to identify, investigate and prosecute drug dealers in the community.

Acquiring a K9 drug dog for drug detection and patrol is something the city has been contemplating for approximately two years.

“As we have stated in the past, we want to do our part to end the opioid drug epidemic,” said Suplizio. “Here in the City of DuBois and in the surrounding areas we feel this is one more tool that will help our dedicated officers do their job and make it a little easier to help us fight this epidemic. We still know we have a long way to go, but this is the first step.”

Suplizio expressed appreciation to Shaw for his help in the endeavor.

“If one person recognizes this problem, it’s our district attorney and he too, along with the city, wants to put an end to this crisis,” said Suplizio. “We’ve been telling the public for a long time now that we’re not going to put up with this any longer. It’s definitely a crisis in our community and having a dog to help us fight it will be a positive for the entire area.”

The $3,000 grant money comes from the county’s drug forfeiture account, said Shaw.

“It’s money that has been forfeited from drug dealers now being used to identify, investigate and arrest drug dealers,” said Shaw. “My goal is to outfit other police departments in the county with drug dogs. Having a drug dog is an invaluable asset for police officers doing a very, very difficult job.”

“Not only is there a cost to obtain the dog, train the dog, we have to completely outfit one of the police vehicles for the dog,” said Councilman Eddie Walsh. “It’s just really nice for Bill Shaw, the district attorney, to step forward and help us with this very expensive process. We would encourage any other groups or businesses, if you would like to help sponsor this dog, to step forward and come to City Hall and talk to Herm or myself or any city council person.”

Suplizio said the city’s next step is to select an officer to handle the K9 dog.

“At the same time, we know that there’ll be a lot of training,” said Suplizio. “The dog has to go through proper training. Then the dog and the handler have to go through training. I don’t want people to think that this will happen next week. It’s going to take several months and we will keep the public informed of where we are at in this process.”

“This is a reflection that we are going to fight back and my hat goes off to DuBois City and their leadership for helping us out,” said Shaw. “This is just the beginning, there’s more to come. So congratulations DuBois City.”

'Don't Rush in Ice and Slush' theme of Jeff Tech Paint the Plow project

REYNOLDSVILLE — As the winter season approaches, Jeff Tech (Jefferson County Vocational Technical School) students are reminding drivers “Don’t Rush in Ice and Slush.”

Jeff Tech Art Instructor Angela Dragich said students recently finished their Jefferson County “Paint the Plow” project. All art students are required to create a plow design each winter. This year’s theme is “Don’t Rush in Ice and Slush.”

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 10’s “Paint the Plow” program is intended to raise awareness of PennDOT’s public safety efforts.

Last year’s theme was “Know Before You Go” — an app and tracking system through PennDOT’s 511PA system that displays where plow and salt trucks are and where they’ve already been, according to www.penndot.gov.

Each of the four art classes chooses the top four or five designs, Dragich said. Student Melody Forrest’s design was the winner.

“As the students had been painting outside, they added more to the design to make it even better and more thought-out,” she said.

Students incorporated several colors and the school mascot, with the slogan “The Viking Way, choose respect, responsibility, safety and excellence.”

Dragich said PennDOT provided funding from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to cover the cost of plow paint.

The decorated snow plow was on display at Jeff Tech’s “Not a Car Show,” part of its Fall Festival Oct. 12.

Katering by Kate retail shop hosts soft opening in Ridgway Monday

RIDGWAY — Elk County caterer and personal chef Kate Segat of Ridgway held a soft opening for her temporary retail location Monday.

Segat’s catering, chef and event services business “Katering by Kate” has been in the process of developing its own brick-and-mortar location for a while now, she said.

The retail shop — offering baked goods like bagels, mini pies, danishes, cupcakes and cookies, dried teas, coffee from The Creative Cup and locally-sourced products like jellies and jams — is open now at 10 South Mill Ave. in Ridgway. Once the other half of the building is finished, including Segat’s kitchen and office, counter area and other spaces, the business will move to that side and reopen, hopefully by the first of the new year.

Once in the permanent location, which will primarily provide carry-out and catering services, Segat says she will offer a rotating dinner menu, featuring ethnic foods and soups and sandwiches, as well as a few set menu items.

When Segat and her husband and business partner, Frank, moved to Ridgway in November 2017, they were talking about what to do after they retired, and saw a need in the community for this type of diverse business.

Segat was mainly participating in vendor shows, the Ridgway Farmer’s Market and utilizing online sales, she said.

Frank and his parents are from Italy, inspiring the Italian-themed meals that will be offered, Segat says.

“We want to bring diversity and different ethnic foods into Ridgway,” she said.

A main goal of Segat’s is to also feature local products, such as the canned goods from Big Maple Farms of Ridgway, honey from Nature’s Nectar Honey Farm and home-decor signs from Tiffany’s Sign Shack that line the walls in the shop. This gives crafty individuals a place to display their goods, she said, and gain more exposure.

Having the temporary shop will help Segat not only gain customer feedback on products, but give her an idea of how many baked goods she will need to produce once next door.

Segat also offers special orders like cakes, pies, trays and appetizers.

The shop is flourishing with pink colors and flamingo décor. Segat even has pink in her hair, and sports a pink apron, since it’s her favorite color.

The business logo is a flamingo in a chef’s hat, which Segat drew herself, stemming from an inside joke between her, her mother and best friend that has lasted about 12 years.

For more information, visit the Katering by Kate Facebook page, www.kateringbykate.net or call 814-580-9800.

Morrisdale's man's death ruled homicide

A Morrisdale woman is facing homicide charges after she allegedly shot her disabled husband to death and attempted to pass it off as suicide.

Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. held a press conference Thursday morning at Clearfield County Emergency Services to announce that Kimberly Sue Williams, 46, of Elm Drive in Morrisdale has been charged with homicide and related charges for killing her husband, Ronald Williams Jr., 49, of Morrisdale

According to Shaw, on March 14, Kimberly Williams allegedly shot her husband in the head and told Clearfield-based State Police that he had killed himself. However, an autopsy revealed that there was no gunpowder residue on the wound or on Ronald Williams Jr.’s hands.

The pathologist determined the cause of death was homicide. Subsequent testing determined Kimberly Sue Williams had gunpowder residue on her hand.

Shaw said charges were filed against Kimberly Sue Williams on Oct. 16 at Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling’s office and a warrant for her arrest was issued. The Pennsylvania State Police Fugitive Task Force was activated and Kimberly Williams was located in North Carolina.

The U.S. Marshall Service was notified and Kimberly Williams was arrested at a residence in Fayetteville, N.C. at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday. She is currently incarcerated in a Cumberland County, North Carolina jail awaiting extradition to Clearfield County.

Shaw said extradition could take up to six months if she fights the order; and as little as two weeks if she waives extradition. Sheriff Michael Churner will be coordinating Kimberly Williams’ extradition, Shaw said.

Motives for murderShaw said investigators believe there are two possible the motives for the murder. First is financial, in that Kimberly Sue Williams was to receive more than $1 million in inheritance from her husband.

The second motive — Ronald Williams had also suffered a stroke several years ago and Shaw said she she was becoming frustrated caring for her disabled husband who had limited mobility and required extensive care.

Shaw said he doesn’t believe if convicted, Kimberly Williams would be eligible for the death penalty.

Kimberly Williams is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault, felonies of the first degree; aggravated assault, felony of the second degree, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanors of the second degree.

The investigationShaw thanked lead investigator Trooper Frederick Burns and the state police for an “outstanding investigation.”

“This arrest is the result of a tenacious investigation by hyper-diligent police officers,” Shaw said. “This was one of the most difficult cases I have ever worked on that required a large volume of forensic testing, including ballistic firearm testing and gun shot residue testing as well as good old-fashioned police work.”

Shaw also thanked the state police Fugitive Task Force, the U.S. Marshall Service and Churner for their hard work in the assistance in the investigation.

“This case is an example of law enforcement operating at a very high level, at its best,” Shaw said. “This was an ongoing investigation that easily could have fallen through the cracks.”

Shaw said state troopers were in the area and had responded to the scene almost immediately following the 911 call and were able to secure critical evidence in the case.

Lt. Christopher J. Neal, Crime Section Commander of Troop C of the state police also thanked Shaw for his efforts in the investigation.

“DA Shaw was every bit as instrumental in this investigation,” Neal said. “These are laborious to say the least. They require thousands of man hours and there is some complex legal issues that go on with search warrants and court orders, and DA Shaw made himself available to us every step of the way. It’s nice to have someone with his experience in there who understands the process. I personally want to thank him and the sheriff for making arrangements to do extradition for us.”