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Sound system updates, new track lighting policy afloat in Canton

CANTON — With a new school year at full throttle, Canton School District will soon be making changes to lighting on the Warriors’ track and sound systems within the elementary and high school gymnasiums and high school auditorium.

Over recent years, the Warriors’ track has been lit nightly by four 1500 watt light bulbs until midnight to allow for community members to walk at night if they so desire.

During a Thursday meeting of the Canton Board of Education, Business Manager Mark Jannone stated that years ago when the board voted to keep the lights on outside of use during football games they were aware that the decision voided the bulbs’ warranty.

The lights are now burnt out and the original company’s estimate to replace them topples $3,700 with options of downgrading them to 1000 watt bulbs for over $4,000 or making a switch to LED bulbs for $25,000.

Jannone stated that school officials are “looking into alternate means to getting 70 foot off the ground to switch a lightbulb,” as bulbs themselves only cost approximately $70 and completing the work without the company does not void the bulbs’ warranty.

The board voted to replace the bulbs through the school’s own means for an estimated $300 to $400 and no longer use them outside of football games.

Jannone stated that there will still be minimal lighting provided by other sources near the track at night.

Canton School District may also have upgraded sound systems as the board voted to commit up to $9,000 for new systems in Canton’s elementary and high school gymnasiums and updates to the system currently in the high school auditorium.

“They’re obsolete, they need work, if nothing else the auditorium needs re-wired,” stated Jannone.

Jannone explained that a “ballpark estimate” of $18,000 was given by local business owner Chris Boggs for all three sound systems to be updated or upgraded.

Jannone stated that the board will ask booster clubs that utilize the gym and auditorium facilities to fundraise for the other half of the $18,000 estimate and will receive a second opinion on the work from Robert M. Sides.

“This is something that will last a very, very long time, it hasn’t been done in 20 years,” he said.

Submitted Photo  

AAHS included in PFEW’s Platinum Club

The Athens Area High School has been recognized as a member of the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week’s Platinum Club, which is only bestowed on schools with 21 or more graduates. Athens was one of the top schools in the commonwealth with 28 PFEW graduates for 2019. Students that attend are automatically eligible for scholarships through Lycoming College or the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Pictured are Christina Bard, Colby Blakeman, Eleanor Carroll, Landon Cobb, Gabrielle Collins, Megan Collins, Morgan Cummings, Tanner Dildine, Taylor Field, Makenna Galvin, Audrey Hatch, Phoenix Jacobson, Aaron Lane, Abbey Maffei, Sariannah May, Austin Parrish, Giovanna Perri, Travis Reynard, Emma Roe, David Scheftic, Andrew Shea, Lillian Setzer, Aaron Smith, Josiah Talladay, Lyndsey Testen, Kimberly Wheeler, Grayce Witherow, and Eva Wood.

BCRAC receives Tree House Fund support for Missoula Children's Theatre

The Bradford County Regional Arts Council received a $3,547 grant from the Tree House Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania to support the Missoula Children’s Theatre residencies in the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre, the nation’s largest touring children’s theatre, has been touring extensively for more than 40 years from Montana to Japan, and will visit nearly 1,200 communities this year with up to 44 teams of tour actor/directors.

A tour team arrives in a given town with a set, lights, costumes, props and make-up, everything it takes to put on a play except the cast. The team holds an open audition and casts 50 to 60 local students to perform in the production. The show is rehearsed throughout the week and two public performances are presented on Saturday.

All MCT shows are original adaptations of classic children’s stories and fairytales … a twist on the classic stories that people know and love. Also included in the residency are three enrichment workshops presented by the tour actor/directors. Creativity, social skills, goal achievement, communication skills and self-esteem are all characteristics that are attained through the participation in this unique, educational project. MCT’s mission is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.

Upcoming MCT residencies for the 2019 to 2020 season include: Robinson Crusoe at the Sayre Theatre, Oct. 7-12; Robin Crusoe at the Troy Memorial Auditorium, Nov. 11 to 16; The Tortoise vs The Hare at the Nelle Black Westgate Auditorium in Canton, Jan. 27 to Feb. 1; The Tortoise vs The Hare at the Keystone Theatre, Feb. 3 to 8. Open auditions are on Monday of each residency week at the locations noted beginning at 4 p.m.

First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania works to improve the quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets.

The Tree House Fund is a regional field of interest fund at the FCFP, created to support organizations focused on programming and projects that benefit children and youth in the north central region of Pennsylvania. Income from this fund goes only to promising programs and projects that will impact children in one or more of the following Pa. counties: Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and/or Tioga.

The Bradford County Regional Arts Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and supporting a thriving regional arts community by advocating for the Arts, cultivating quality arts programming and preserving Bradford County’s historic theaters as venues for performances, community events and movies.

To learn more about FCFP visit www.fcfpartnership.org. To learn more about the BCRAC visit www.bcrac.org.

Spike in cases of chronic wasting disease leads Pennsylvania Game Commission to unveil response plan proposal

Some of the data points about chronic wasting disease almost sound like science fiction. It moves through a deer population via an infectious particle known as a prion, which unlike viruses and bacteria can survive in soil for years.

Once it gets established in a given area, it’s basically impossible to eradicate, and without intervention it can infect as much as half of a given deer herd within a few years.

It’s fatal to deer in all cases, and three Pennsylvania counties already have seen significant numbers of infections.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is aiming to take on the challenge of chronic wasting disease based on a program that has succeeded to some degree in other states. Representatives of the commission unveiled a draft response plan Thursday that would seek to significantly decrease restrictions on the number of deer that hunters can take in target areas.

Paradoxically, by allowing more deer to be harvested, the hope is that the overall population can be saved.

“On average, 350 deer will need to be harvested within each three mile radius to confidently detect Chronic Wasting Disease at a 1 percent infection rate,” Courtney Colley, a chronic wasting disease communication specialist for the commission, said at a news conference Thursday.

“To reach this goal, hunters collectively will need to harvest on average an additional four deer per square mile and submit all heads to head collection containers.”

The Game Commission offers to test any deer caught in the state, free of charge, for chronic wasting disease. Experts recommend that humans not eat meat from deer infected with the disease — while there are no cases of documented transmission to humans, the pathogen is similar to that found in mad cow disease, which has jumped between species.

“Once in the soil, prions can remain infectious for several years,” Colley said. “Studies have shown that prions can withstand freezing and thawing, as well as temperatures reaching 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. So you’re not cooking this out of your meat.”

The growth in the number of cases in Pennsylvania has been rapid. In one of the commission’s targeted enforcement areas, the cases have gone from single digits each year from 2012-14, up to 12 cases in 2015, 25 in 2016, 79 in 2017 and 123 in 2018. The disease can lie dormant in a deer or elk for up to two years.

Colley cited programs in states such as Illinois, Minnesota and New York that she said have proven successful at containing the disease. By allowing increased hunting in areas where the disease is found, those states have managed to halt the growth in the disease.

Bryan Burhans, executive director of the Game Commission, noted that government intervention alone would not be sufficient to hold back the disease in Pennsylvania.

“To do this, we need the support of our hunters — our hunters are our front lines to dealing with this disease,” Burhans said. “Over the next six months, we will be traveling throughout the state to present information about CWD, the proposed response plan and listen to hunter and citizen concerns and answer questions. … The final plan will take into account what we receive from hunters, citizens and legislators through our discussions throughout the state.”

The Game Commission is currently taking comments on the proposed response plan and will continue to do so through Feb. 29, 2020.