11 State Game Lands In NEPA Have Gas Leases

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

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

Gas leases on state game lands in Bradford and Susquehanna counties have earned the Pennsylvania Game Commission $32 million in signing bonuses since 2008.

The Game Commission signed leases on 11 parcels of game land in the two counties. No leases have been signed on game lands in Wyoming and Luzerne counties. Royalties vary from 20 to almost 29 percent. Some gas companies are deducting the costs of moving and marketing the gas from royalty payments, the same as they do for private leaseholders.

Mike DiMatteo, who oversees oil and gas development on game lands as chief of the commission’s division of environmental planning and habitat protection, confirmed that gas companies have deducted post-production costs from royalty payments, although never enough to send the Game Commission a royalty statement with a negative balance, as some private landowners have reported.

The practice has drawn anger even from Republicans supportive of the industry, including Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport. Both named Chesapeake Energy Corp. as a major offender.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/11-game-lands-in-nepa-have-gas-leases-1.1679176

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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

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

As Gas Drilling Boom Slows, Worry Sets In

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

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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