Local Unemployment Down Significantly

  by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor Pennsylvania’s Unemployment rate ticked back down for November 2016, as was indicated by preliminary data analyzed last month by the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis (CWIA). The rate for November 2016 has been calculated at 5.7% statewide, compared to the 5.8% rate recorded for October of […]

Shade Tree Commission Felling Problem Trees

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor Emporium’s Shade Tree Commission is working with the borough and contractors to remove a number of large trees that are unhealthy or are likely to become so in the near future. Shade Tree Commission member Don Caton stated that the commission is working to remove larger trees […]

Commissioners Approve Funds For Facade Improvement Program

    Cameron County Commissioners approved a payment from Act 13 funds for a façade improvement program to benefit businesses in the Borough of Emporium. The $6,750 grant will be used by Sylvan Heritage Council (SHC) to help match funds applied for through a Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) program. The borough has […]

Emporium Man Charged With Burglary

    An Emporium man has been charged with burglary after home surveillance video footage was turned over which showed him wearing the same clothes during the burglary as when he was interviewed by police. Victor Lee Elliott, age 35, of Emporium, faces felony charges of burglary and criminal trespass, along with misdemeanor counts of […]

Beaver Dam Removed From Boro Culvert Pipe

    Employees of the Emporium Borough removed a beaver dam constructed inside a six-foot diameter culvert pipe on the western outskirts of town recently. The beaver dam had three residents, which were removed from the dam with permission from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). […]

Millage Rate Remains Unchanged in Shippen

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor Shippen Township Supervisors held reorganizational and regular meetings last Tuesday night to kick off the New Year. The township will operate under a budget of approximately $830,000 for 2017, without a tax increase. The property tax millage rate will remain at 5 mills for Shippen Township residents. […]

Elk Rescued at Sinnemahoning Park

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor State employees were forced to organize a rescue just before Christmas to help a small elk stranded at the George B. Stevenson Dam. A small spike elk wandered across the icy spillway and was stranded on the afternoon of Thursday, December 22 near the dam at Sinnemahoning […]

County Officials Looking Forward To The New Year

    Officials in Cameron County are looking forward to the new year, and will continue progress on a number of projects that have already gotten underway. County and municipal leaders in Cameron County are working to address blight, which has invaded many rural communities over the past several decades. “This is a constant project, […]

Commissioners Approve Budget With No Tax Increase

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor The Cameron County Commissioners approved a finalized budget of $7,772,539.85 with no tax increase for 2017. Commissioners stated that they were able to cut costs by $245,000 as compared to last year, and were able to fund the county for the coming year without upping the 20.5 […]

No Death Penalty In Courtney Murder Case

    The Cameron County District Attorney announced that the Commonwealth does not intend to seek the death penalty against an Emporium man charged with murder and related counts. Michael Fuller Courtney, 34, will not face the death penalty for charges stemming from the murder of Deborah Gerlach, 45, which occurred on the evening of […]

Defendants Appear For Sentencing, Arraignment

    A number of defendants appeared for sentencing and formal arraignment at Return Day hearings held in Cameron County just before Christmas. Michael James Hallowell, age 24, entered a guilty plea to one misdemeanor count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, stemming from an incident that occurred […]

Charges Bound Over To Court In Local Murder Case

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor An Emporium man accused of murder appeared at the Cameron County Courthouse for a hearing on Thursday. A preliminary hearing was held for Michael Fuller Courtney, age 34, of Emporium, who faces charges including murder in the first degree for an incident that occurred in late October […]

Richardson Voted In As CCSD Board President.

    A new president of the Cameron County School District (CCSD) Board of Directors was chosen during Thursday’s regular meeting. Daryl Richardson was voted in unanimously to fill the top spot, and was the only individual nominated for the position. He succeeds Paul Abriatis, who was not nominated to run for president this term. […]

County Budget Available For Review

    The Cameron County preliminary budget for 2017 has been advertised and is available for view at the commissioners’ office through December 22. The budget has total revenues and expenditures calculated at $7,729,662.72. County officials do not expect the tax rate to increase at this time. The rate remains 20.5 mills, or $0.025 per […]

Christmas in the Wilds Success Despite Frigid Weather

    This weekend’s Christmas in the Wilds event drew large crowds to downtown Emporium for street vendors, Santa and the annual parade. “The event was excellent. We had vendors sell out of their wares and just had a really good turnout,” said Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Director Tina Johns-Solak. “We had a lot […]

Shippen Twp. To Finalize Budget

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor Shippen Township Supervisors will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 28 to officially adopt the finalized budget for the coming year. The budget is available for public review, and notices of such will be placed in local newspapers to inform township residents wishing […]

Students Return From Pearl Harbor Trip

    Students from Cameron County and other school districts across the region recently returned from performing at the Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Parade and Ceremonies. This year marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks. The “Day that will Live in Infamy” threw the nation into World War II. More than 400,000 U.S. […]

Downtown Properties Razed

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor Demolition began on three blighted Emporium properties on Thursday morning. The three structures, two located on East Fourth Street and one on the same lot facing East Greenwood Street, have been vacant for a number of years and had become safety hazards of late. Last week, high […]

Grimone Pleads Guilty To Ordinance Violations

    A Cameron County resident has entered a guilty plea to ordinance violations received on four rental properties he owns within the Emporium Borough. Matthew Grimone, age 59, entered guilty pleas to eight civil complaints filed against him. Four were issued by the Emporium Borough, and four by Building Code Inspector Russ Braun. Two […]

Borough Tax Rate To Remain at 16.91 Mills

    The tax rate for Emporium Borough residents will remain at 16.91 mills again this year. The budget was formally adopted during Monday night’s meeting following advertisement in newspapers and a public review period at the borough building. While one area of Emporium is being cleaned up, Emporium Borough officials are working to remedy […]

Christmas in the Wilds Set For Saturday

    Reindeer, breakfast with Santa, crafters, vendors, sales, open houses are all set for Saturday, December 10 in Emporium.   The annual Christmas in the Wilds begins at 9 a.m. with vendors selling food, gifts, Christmas caroling and Santa having breakfast.  The parade will step off at noon and judging for the house decorating […]

Ten CCHS Students Depart For Pearl Harbor Honor Band Performance

    Ten Cameron County High School (CCHS) students left Cameron County over the weekend to head to Hawaii to participate in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremonies slated for later this week. The students are stand-out members of the CCHS Band and were selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Pearl Harbor Honors Band, which includes […]

Commissioners Attend State Conference

    Cameron County Commissioners spent several days at the recent County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) annual conference. All three commissioners attended sessions offered during the conference and offered reports on the event during Thursday’s meeting. Commissioner Phil Jones attended a Natural Gas Task Force meeting, which included discussion on new cracker plants erected […]

Downtown Holiday Decorations Vandalized

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editors A police report will be filed concerning vandalism perpetrated in Emporium over the Thanksgiving holiday. According to Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Director Tina Johns-Solak, vandals damaged several recycled-tire Christmas decorations, uprooted plants in flower pots and damaged a concrete bench in Emporium’s business district. “Disappointment does […]

High Winds Bring Down Emporium Facade

    The façade on an Emporium business came down due to high winds a week before tear-down of the structure was expected. Emporium Borough Manager Don Reed stated that a portion of the former Admit One building’s façade broke loose and fell part-way to the ground due to wind gusts of 40-60 miles per […]

Gearing Up For Christmas In the Wilds

    Cameron County residents are gearing up for the Christmas in the Wilds celebration, set to take place Saturday, December 10. The event begins at 9 a.m. and features a parade, craft and gift vendors, hot foods and beverages and fun for the whole family. As part of the festivities this year, the Cameron […]

66 Bears Harvested In Cameron County

    Bear hunters in Cameron County harvested 66 bears during the first three days of the 2016 hunting season. Northcentral Pennsylvania again led the state in bear hunting. Cameron County had one of the lower counts for Northcentral PA counties, but still had more bear harvested than most counties outside of the region. Over […]

Courtney Homicide Hearing Postponed

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor A preliminary hearing for an Emporium man accused of homicide has been postponed until December. The preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday was cancelled in the case of Michael Fuller Courtney, age 34, of Emporium, accused of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, murder […]

Veterans Day Ceremonies Held In Emporium

    Ceremonies to honor Veterans Day were held on Friday at several locations around Emporium. Beginning at 9 a.m., an assembly was held at the school, organized by the Miller-Raffaele Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6221 and the Olkosky-Jessop American Legion Post 194 in Cameron County. The speaker for this year’s ceremony was […]

K-9 Search Drill Completed at CCHS

    Superintendent of the Cameron County School District (CCSD) Dr. Keith Wolfe announced a safety drill performed in cooperation with a number of local agencies last week. Wolfe released the statement following the successfully-completed drill, which was held on Thursday, November 10. Participating in the drill with CCSD staff were the Emporium Borough Police […]

County Commissioners To Showcase Positive Undertakings

    Cameron County Commissioners hosted several visitors during Thursday’s meeting, as part of an effort to highlight more county programs. Commissioner Lori Reed stated that they are working to bring in more speakers from across county operations to showcase the positive efforts being undertaken by county employees and residents. Prothonotary Mary Grace Olay discussed […]

Local Election Results Match Closely With National Outcome

    The national results of last Tuesday’s General Election for President of the United States and down-ticket offices matched closely to Cameron County’s voting outcomes. In the Presidential election, Republican businessman Donald Trump beat out Democrat and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take the nation’s top seat. The two candidates have waged […]

Recent Job Numbers

    Pennsylvania unemployment rate remained stagnant since last month, coming in at 5.7% September, the most recent data available. For the same period, the national unemployment rate was calculated at 4.9%. Initial jobless claims (Unemployment Compensation) were also down slightly this month to 13,778. Seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs decreased, despite three consecutive months of gains, […]

Search Warrant, New Charges Filed In Murder Investigation

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor A search warrant has been filed concerning an Emporium man charged with homicide in late October. Michael Fuller Courtney, age 34, has been charged with murder in the first degree and related counts following an incident alleged to have occurred on Wednesday night, October 26th, in the […]

Flood Protection Projects To Commence In Boro

    Several projects will commence to fortify flood protection in and around the Emporium Borough following announcements of coming funding received over the past several weeks. Emporium Borough Manager Don Reed stated that an application for money to fund a levee study was declined by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). However, […]

Free Road Cinders Available For Shippen Township Residents

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor Shippen Township Supervisors shared information on free cinders available at the township shed for residents. Only Shippen Township residents are permitted to take cinders free-of-charge from township stocks. If the cinders are being utilized at a resident’s home by a contractor, they should not be charged for […]

Cole Memorial To Participate In Breastfeeding Support Study

    Cole Memorial Hospital will partner with several organizations to bring high-tech breastfeeding support services to rural patients. The study launched in late September of this year through Pacify Health, Inc., “the leading mobile health platform for new mothers and newborns.” Additional partners include the RAND Corporation, University of Pittsburgh and the Health Resources […]

Conservation District Hosts Project Tour

    The Cameron County Conservation District hosted their annual project tour on Friday to highlight some of the many projects district employees and partners have completed. Several stops showcased projects in the Sterling Run area where acid mine drainage and erosion along creek banks have caused a number of problems. A number of projects […]

Veterans Day Ceremonies Scheduled For Friday

    The traditional Veterans’ Day Ceremony will be held in the Cameron County High School Auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. The ceremony is open to the public. The names of soldiers who died while serving their country during each war will be read. Current Cameron County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6221 Quartermaster […]

Courtney Arrested For Emporium Murder

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor An Emporium man was jailed without rights to bail following his arrest for a Wednesday-evening homicide. Michael Fuller Courtney, age 34, has been charged with murder in the first degree and related counts following an incident alleged to have occurred on Wednesday night in the Emporium Borough. […]

Two Emporium Residents Face Multiple Drug, Theft Charges

    Two residents of Emporium are facing multiple charges related to theft, while one of the defendants faces additional counts for drug possession when arrested. Co-defendants Caleb Smith, age 25, and Jenna Rockey, age 24, have both been charged with counts related to theft of movable property. Smith faces felony counts of dealing in […]

Defendants Appear In County Court For Return Day

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor A hearing was held on a post sentence relief motion filed by a former Emporium resident convicted of charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI) with a child during October Return Day proceedings in Cameron County. Joseph William Chapman, age 33, was found guilty by a jury […]

ADAS Receives Grant For Free Summer Workshop for the Arts

    Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (ADAS) will sponsor a week-long Workshop for the Arts this summer for school-age residents of Cameron County. The workshop will take place in June and will feature sessions with local artists. Painting-on-canvas courses will be taught by Michelle Rodich; Gloria McIsaac will offer jewelry-making activities; and sessions are […]

Bail Lowered In DUI Vehicular Homicide Case

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor A bail modification hearing held last week paved the way for a local woman to be released from jail after 19 months of incarceration while awaiting trial on charges including vehicular manslaughter. Kaitlin (Crosby) Wolfel, age 23, of Austin, appeared last week with her attorney, Gary Knaresboro, […]

Cameron County Christian Center Expanding Outreach Services

    A local church is expanding outreach services to help individuals in need this winter season. The Cameron County Christian Center will unveil the newly-added Country Attic to the list of services available to the community this Saturday, October 29. Country Attic will operate like a thrift store, and will have available $1.00 clothing […]

CCCD Projects Discussed at Commissioners Meeting

    Employees of the Cameron County Conservation District (CCCD) attended Thursday’s Cameron County Commissioners meeting to discuss several current projects. On Friday, November 4, CCCD employees will conduct their annual project tour. District Manager Todd Deluccia stated that the tour will begin at the Cameron County Courthouse at noon, and participants will travel to […]

County Hotel Tax Rate To Increase

    An ordinance passed last week by Cameron County Commissioners will increase the Hotel Room Tax paid by visitors across the county. Prior to the passage of House Bill 794 in April of 2016, hotels in most parts of Pennsylvania charged a 3% tax that was used by counties to fund tourism promotion in […]

CCOYA Holds First Junior Deer Hunt

    Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA) held their first sponsored youth deer hunt during the three day 2016 junior Pa. doe season. Participating in the hunt were licensed junior hunters Kaelee Bresslin, Renee Earle, Sarah Abriatis, Cassie Frey, Damien Erickson, Derek Duman and Nick Crisp. The junior hunters were paired up with experienced […]

Emmanuel Episcopal Church To Celebrate 150th This Sunday

    The members of Emporium’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church will celebrate 150 years of service to the community this Sunday, October 30. The Episcopal Church was the first to be established in Cameron County, with the current Parish Hall building being constructed in the late 1860s.  

District Raises Rate To Attract More Substitute Teachers

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor The school bell that previously stood in front of the Woodland Elementary School will likely be back in its place of honor before the end of this school year. District Superintendent Dr. Keith Wolfe stated that the housing for the bell broke several years ago. Apparently, the […]

Operation Christmas Child Underway

    Donations are currently being accepted for Operation Christmas Child, whose volunteers collect shoeboxes packed with goodies for distribution to less fortunate children in more than 100 countries around the world. At Northwest Savings Bank, volunteers have set up a table with shoeboxes and information on how to pack them for Cameron County residents […]

Shippen Hears Issues From Several Residents

    Several residents attended a recent Shippen Township meeting to discuss issues within the municipality. One complaint heard by Shippen Township Supervisors concerns junk cars in several locations in the northeastern corner of the county, however, at least one of the noted problem areas is actually in Portage Township. Supervisor and Ordinance Officer Philip […]

Gorman Shatters Own Sinnemahone Record

    The Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon Trail Run was held this past Saturday in Emporium, with a larger crowd of runners than ever before. Runners leapt at a cannon-start at just after dawn on Saturday morning. The starting line at the intersection of the West Creek Rail Trail and South Broad Street was not wide […]

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Readying For 150th Anniversary Celebration

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor The congregation of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Emporium will celebrate its 150th anniversary with Mass and a reception on Sunday, October 30. Services will begin in the church proper at 1 p.m. (rather than the traditional 11 a.m. start time), and will be officiated by the Right […]

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Preparing For 150th Celebration

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor Over the next few weeks, the Echo will chronicle some of the history of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the first congregation in the community to celebrate 150 years of service to the people of Cameron County. A 150th Anniversary Celebration is being planned for Sunday, October 30. […]

Grovanz Marching In PSU Blue Band

    Local Cameron County High School graduate, Elise Grovanz was selected to be a member of the esteemed 2016 Pennsylvania State University Marching Blue Band. She will be one of the 69 trumpets. Elise graduated CCHS in 2014 and is the daughter of Tana Funair and Ralph and Jessie Grovanz.    

Baskets of Hope Helping Local Cancer Patients

    Courthouse employees are continuing the “Baskets of Hope” fundraiser to help raise money for Cameron County residents undergoing cancer treatment. Tickets are $1.00 each and are available by visiting the Prothonotary’s office at the Cameron County Courthouse. The baskets are currently on display in the courthouse lobby. This year, nine “baskets” will be […]

Commissioners Discuss Homeland Security Program

    by Amanda Jones Echo News Editor Cameron County Commissioners discussed progress on the proposed Homeland Security program, shared information from the recent tax claim bureau upset sale and reviewed bids for a repository property and local construction project. The Homeland Security training program, proposed for inclusion in available curriculum at the Seneca Highlands […]

Local Unemployment Rate at 8%

    Cameron County’s unemployment rate ticked up again last month to 8.0%. Pennsylvania’s rate has also increased, but not by nearly as much. Over the past two months, the state rate has been calculated at 5.6%, but was recorded at 5.7% for the month of August. Cameron County’s rate for June was 6.9%, showing […]

First Fork Festival Saturday

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor The fourth annual First Fork Festival will be held this Saturday, October 8 at Sinnemahoning State Park, featuring local artists, authors, musicians and artisans against the backdrop of the Pennsylvania Wilds’ full autumnal splendor. “We’re just hoping for good weather for this event. There is a huge […]

Boro Officials Continue Work On Code Enforcement

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor Emporium Borough officials continue to work on code enforcement violations through the Cameron County Courthouse. Ordinance violations have been filed on four properties owned by Matthew Grimone. Four summary offenses of Dangerous Structures were filed on September 14. On September 26, four additional summary charges of Violations […]

Three Properties Sold At County Upset Sale

    Last week, the Cameron County Tax Claim Bureau, with support from several other county offices, held the annual Upset Sale for properties with delinquent real estate taxes. “Perseverance, diligence and a positive ‘can do’ attitude achieves results,” said County Solicitor Tom Tompkins. “Due to the team-oriented collection efforts of the Cameron County Tax […]

Sinnemahone 50K Entrant Numbers Double Last Year’s Race

    Early registration for the Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon Trail Run has closed and already the number of runners from last year’s race has more than doubled. Interested participants can still register for the race, but will not be guaranteed a t-shirt in their race packet. Registrations will be taken until Friday, October 14 at […]

Voter Registration Deadline Next Week

    The last day to change registration or register to vote prior to the November General Election is Tuesday, October 11. In addition to casting a ballot for the next President and Vice President, citizens will also decide on a United States Senator and Congressional Representative, Attorney General, Auditor General, State Treasurer, State Senator […]

Former Boro Police Officer Pleads To Sex Offense

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor A former Emporium Borough Police Department (EBPD) officer entered an open guilty plea to charges stemming from inappropriate communications with a minor. Francis Paul Johnson, age 51, of Weedville, entered an open guilty plea to one count of felony criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children, […]

Supreme Court Ruling Impacting Local DUI Cases

    by Amanda Jones  Echo News Editor A recent Supreme Court decision that is affecting court cases across the nation is also impacting cases in Cameron County. During Return Day proceedings last Tuesday in Emporium, District Attorney Jeanne Miglicio stated she would not prosecute a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) against an […]

Barton Sentenced In Sex Assault Case

    An Emporium man will serve a lengthy jail sentence on charges of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI) with a person under the age of 16. Thomas F. Barton, age 64 of Emporium, was sentenced Tuesday to serve at least four years of a 10-year prison sentence imposed by Cameron County President Judge Richard […]

Phartin’ Barts Takes People’s Choice Award at BBQ Competition

    Visitors packed the grassy lot on East Fourth Street in Emporium for this year’s All Fired Up and Kickin’ Ash BBQ Competition held this past Saturday in Cameron County. “It was crowded. We had a really great crowd,” said Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Director Tina Johns-Solak. “Having so much going on this […]

Smith Charged With Child Endangerment

    Criminal charges have been filed against an Emporium man for possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of children. Caleb Edward Smith, age 25, of West Sixth Street in the Emporium Borough, has been charged with four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count possession of a small amount of marijuana […]

Trials Postponed For Two Defendants

    Two trials have been postponed in Cameron County following court actions that took place in recent weeks. Juries were dismissed just prior to trials set to begin for Kaitlyn Wolfel, age 23, of Austin, accused of homicide by vehicle and related counts, and Matthew Kriner, age 26, of Emporium, accused of involuntary deviate […]