Towanda Borough Council Passes $4.9M Budget Thursday, Tax Rates To Remain The Same

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TOWANDA, PA – The Towanda Borough Council on Thursday adopted a final $4.9 million borough budget for 2014, which leaves the borough’s tax rates unchanged.

The budget keeps the borough’s services the same as they were, borough Manager Kyle V. Lane said.

The council also voted unanimously to adopt the salaries for the borough’s employees for 2014, which in most cases had been previously set by union contracts.

However, the borough’s four non-unionized, salaried employees, including the borough manager, will receive a 2 percent “cost of living” raise, the council decided.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/council-passes-4-9m-budget-thursday-tax-rates-to-remain-the-same-1.1607411

24th Annual PA Apple ‘N Cheese Festival This Weekend In Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saturday, October 5th, 2013  10am-6pm

Sunday, October 6th, 2013  10am-5pm 

Juried Crafts • Fine Arts & Photography Show • Quilts
Weaving Demo • Hand-blown Glass • Blacksmith Demo
Chainsaw Carving • Wine & Cheese Tasting
• Continuous Free Entertainment • Wood Turning
Apple Butter Making • Children’s Activities • Cider Pressing
Apple & Cheese Desserts • Apple Displays •Broom Making Demonstration 

 • 40 Palate Pleasing Food Vendors •

Festival Admission

Adults – $5.00

Children 13 – 18 – $3.00

Directions: http://www.paapplecheese.com/directions/index.html

Children 12 and Under – Free

Gas Industry In Berks: What’s In The Pipeline

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DUSHORE – Now that the major surgery that took place last year in the beautiful northern tier of Pennsylvania is complete, Frank Carr Jr. can tell Berks Countians what it is like to have an interstate natural gas pipeline implanted in your land.

You get paid. You see your land temporarily torn up.  You have the right to object.

Ultimately, though, you may have no choice.

“To me, it just doesn’t seem right that they can come in and tell you where they are going,” said Carr, who co-owns a 500-acre dairy farm in Bradford County.  “But I also know they have got to get the gas to market, and it is all a part of that.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=467029

PA Marcellus Topped 2 Trillion Cubic Feet Of Gas In 2012

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s Marcellus and other shale wells produced more than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012, continuing a trend of production growth despite fewer drilling rigs in the field.

New production data reported by natural gas drilling companies and released by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday showed that 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas flowed from unconventional wells in the state during the second half of 2012.

The wells produced an average of 6.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day between July and December, or enough to fulfill about 9 percent of the nation’s daily natural gas demand.  The U.S. consumed about 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/pa-marcellus-topped-2-trillion-cubic-feet-of-gas-in-2012-1.1447325

Towanda Man Tried To Order Hit On Psychic Mediums

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Craven Vaughn sat beside the hitman in a car parked Thursday outside Wal-Mart on Route 29 in Eaton Twp.  He gave the man $3,000 and the names of three psychic mediums he wanted “eliminated.”

The 32-year-old Towanda man did not want to talk about why the three mediums – two of them television personalities, all of them authors – had to die.   But the man Mr. Vaughn spent about two weeks soliciting to kill for him had a secret of his own.

While Mr. Vaughn allegedly spoke about James Van Praagh, an author, television producer and self-proclaimed medium; Maureen Hancock, another TV medium credited with a series on the Style Channel; and David M. Baker, another professional medium who has written books, investigators from the state police and Wyoming County district attorney’s office listened to the conversation, which a hidden microphone recorded.

And just moments after Mr. Vaughn got out of the car, climbed into his green Chevrolet 1500 and pulled out onto Route 29, the undercover state trooper he had just hired to kill three people on the West Coast radioed the arrest team.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/police-towanda-man-tried-to-order-hit-on-psychic-mediums-1.1419916

School Closings, Bradford County Gets Ready For Sandy’s Approach

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the expected onslaught of Hurricane Sandy looming, shoppers on Sunday in Bradford County stocked up on groceries and the county commissioners signed a Declaration of Emergency.

“We’re taking the position that we don’t want to underestimate any part of this storm, and we’re trying to be very proactive at getting in front of this incident so everything is in place before we need it,” said John Ambrusch, the county’s emergency manager.

“Our public information officer is pushing out the information to all media outlets, and has made contact with all EMS officers and staff.”

In a prepared statement, the county warned the public that winds will gradually pick up during the day today and “are expected to become very damaging, at their peak intensities from Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/school-closings-county-gets-ready-for-sandy-s-approach-1.1395302

Marcellus Shale Yield Skyrockets In Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The amount of Marcellus Shale gas produced in Allegheny County more than doubled in the first half of 2012, with nine online wells concentrated in Frazer and Fawn producing more than 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas, according to new data released by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Even with the increase, the county still contributed a pittance to total statewide production figures.

Gas production across the state climbed from January to June, with 704 billion cubic feet of gas produced, up from the 630 billion cubic feet reported from July to December 2011.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/marcellusshale/county-marcellus-shale-yield-skyrockets-649379/#ixzz246GMjMrr

Bradford County Student To Start Memorial For Deceased Classmates

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Image via Wikipedia

Canton, Pa. - I was picking up my mail at the post office recently when a poster on the bulletin board caught my eye.

After looking it over, I learned that Tifany Austin, 17, a junior at Canton Junior-Senior High School who lives in Ralston, has started a unique senior project.

She wants to create a touching memorial in Ralston to remember young people who have passed away in tragic accidents, including car crashes, in the Canton Area School District and surrounding areas.

As part of her project, she is raising money for a metal angel statue to be placed as a memorial in the mini-park by the bank in Ralston. It will be accompanied by a plaque.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/western-bradford-notebook-1.1282734

As Gas Drilling Boom Slows, Worry Sets In

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Image via Wikipedia

TOWANDA, PA - Vince Arena has a commanding view of Route 6 from Moore’s Auto Showroom. Since 2006, he has seen the traffic on the two-lane road swell with the region’s gas boom until it is bumper-to-bumper, light-to-light for miles just about all day.

Every few seconds, a tractor-trailer hauling water or massive pumps to or from drill sites rumbles past. For the last few weeks, however, Mr. Arena has been able to pull out from his lot without relying on the kindness of other motorists to let him out.

In January, one of the region’s largest gas drillers, Chesapeake Energy Corp., announced it would reduce its rig count in the region. Its rig count will go from 75 to 24, drilling fewer new wells and reducing the flow from existing wells. Other companies made similar announcements.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-gas-drilling-boom-slows-worry-sets-in-1.1273569#ixzz1mrJwxXny

Marcellus Shale Gas Boom Has A Downside – Crime

In a modern-day echo of the raucous Old West, small towns enjoying a boom in oil and gas drilling are seeing a sharp increase in drunken driving, bar fights and other hell-raising, blamed largely on an influx of young men who find themselves with lots of money in their pockets and nothing to do after they get off work.

Authorities in Pennsylvania and other states are quick to point out that the vast majority of workers streaming in are law-abiding. But they also say the drilling industry has brought with it a hard-working, hard-drinking, rough-and-tumble element that, in some places, threatens to overwhelm law enforcement.

Read more: http://www.stargazette.com/article/20111029/NEWS01/110290358/Pa-towns-see-crime-surge-amid-gas-boom?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Athens, PA Flood Recovery Slow But Steady

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA with...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 has been a year of disasters.  As we recover from the freak snow storm on Saturday, many still without power, let us look back on the flooding which devastated parts of Pennsylvania and follow-up on the recovery efforts being made.

Athens, Pa. – On Maple Street in Athens Borough on Saturday, residents were making progress: some were spackling, some were insulating, some were putting up drywall, and one was ready for a break.

The street was inside a zone so devastated by the flood of nearly two months ago that, in the days just after the flood, people had to pass a Pennsylvania Army National Guard checkpoint to enter.

Read more: http://www.stargazette.com/article/20111030/NEWS01/110300350/Flood-recovery-slow-steady?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Marcellus Shale Workers Create Housing Shortage And Rising Rents In Bradford County

Cropped portion of image from USGS report show...

Image via Wikipedia

In case you haven’t been following the development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, here’s the latest.

The “gas boom” has hit Pennsylvania and energy companies are moving workers into rural areas of Pennsylvania that are not equipped to handle the large influx of workers. 

Today’s example is Sayre, PA.  Sayre has a population of 5,813 according to us 2000 census and is 2 square miles.  It is the largest town in Bradford County.  The greater Sayre, PA  Athens, PA & Waverly, NY area totals not quite 30,000 people.  It is Bradford County’s “city”.  This is an economically depressed area that once boasted an impressive manufacturing base.  Sayre was a big railroad town.  A bright spot is the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic which is a major employer in the area.

Along comes the “gas boom” and suddenly there are hundreds of people looking for apartments.  Now rents have skyrocketed based on “demand” forcing many local people out.  Finding an apartment is equivalent to finding hen’s teeth.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is one of the companies drilling for natural gas.  They went from one well and a few dozen employees to 21 wells and 1,100 employees.  They are not the only company drilling!  While these companies try to hire locals, more than half of their employees live “out-of-state”.  They work 14 days on, 14 days off.  Most out-of-state workers fly home when they are off.

Chesapeake Energy came up with a great solution.   They built a $7 million dollar residential facility and training center in Sayre to reduce the strain on the local housing market.  The dorms will house 280 workers.  A cafeteria, recreation center and laundry facility are part of the fenced in complex.  Workers moved in last week.