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Santa and CHOP come to Spalding Memorial Library

ATHENS – Christmas came to the Spalding Memorial Library in Athens as Santa read to the children and Child Hunger Outreach Partners supplied food goods to families in need that came on Friday.

Interim Assistant Director of Spalding Memorial Library Meaghann CampBell was excited to have a collaboration with CHOP this year.

“We had a meeting a couple months ago and Dani came and talked to us as a library system,” stated CampBell. “We thought it would be an amazing idea to have this over the holiday season and we knew we were having Santa Story Time so we knew it would be a natural pair. We have lots of young families coming in with their kids. Being able to pick up food on the way in or way out – we thought it was a really cool idea.”

As folks made their way inside the Library, CHOP stood along the sidewalk to provide food for families in need.

“This is super exciting, we are always looking for ways to collaborate with other outreach programs,” stated CHOP Director Dani Ruhf. “We are always looking for ways to incorporate getting food into the community.”

Last year the library had around 120 people arrive between the two hours of the event.

“We have Mellie the therapy dog here, Santa is going to be here and now CHOP is joining in. It is going to be great,” related CampBell. “We had 70 people during the 10 o’clock last year and 40 during the 11. We are hoping we are getting some more people or even the same amount of people and we can give away all this food.”

CHOP is making further moves in the community and has taken on Sayre, Troy and Athens school districts, according to Ruhf. They are also looking to open up in Tioga and Wyoming Counties in the beginning of 2020.

“It’s everything I had envisioned on a faster scale than I had planned,” said Ruhf. “It is creating its own challenges, but they are all great challenges — they are the best problems to be having.”

PHOTOS: Sprinkles don't dampen Tinsels-N-Lights

Friday’s Tinsel-n-Lights marked the return of Waverly’s annual holiday tradition to Muldoon Park – and some light rain couldn’t dampen the Christmas spirit. At one end of the park, people took in the live reindeer display and Jerry Perun’s ice sculpting while Santa Claus (pictured with Alana Chapman) greeted a long line of children at the other end. The Waverly Elementary Chorus helped bring Christmas cheer from the center gazebo while volunteers provided pizza, warm drinks, and other treats down below and horse drawn carriage rides made their way around the block. Inside the neighboring Valley United Presbyterian Church, kids were able to do crafts while a variety of music acts, including the Waverly High School Jazz Band, performed from the pulpit.

Bradford County Commissioners pass near $92 million budget for 2020

TOWANDA – Bradford County’s 2020 final budget was officially passed on Thursday with a total set at nearly $92 million and includes a property tax rate that remains steady at 10.43 mils and a two percent cost of living salary increase for county employees.

Bradford County Commissioners Doug McLinko, Daryl Miller and Ed Bustin all voted yes to pass the $91,919,515 budget that grants more money than ever before to Children and Youth Services and the Bradford County Library.

The Bradford County Correctional Facility was also in the spotlight during Thursday’s meeting as Bradford County Fiscal Director Dan Thorp explained that the base pay rate for sergeants was heighted approximately seven percent to $16.25 per hour and all currently employed sergeants were awarded a seven percent raise from their current rate of pay.

McLinko stated that the commissioners have been keeping a watchful eye over salaries at the jail in recent years.

“When we see something we think needs to be corrected we go ahead and correct it,” he said.

This move comes after a long term issue with short staffing at the facility.

McLinko added that pay for correctional officers is dictated by a three year union contract and can not be commented on.

The contract was signed in June, retroactive to January, according to Thorp.

As previously reported, approximately one-third of the budget is slated to be used to complete capital projects such as the county’s new 911 center which is currently being constructed, dark fiber loops to increase broadband connectivity throughout the county and bridge replacements, which are supported through natural gas impact fee funding.

Pennsylvania State Police graduate 104 new troopers

The Pennsylvania State Police had 104 cadets graduate on Friday from the State Police Academy in Hershey with two of the cadets originating from Bradford County.

Johnathon M. Mosier and Brittany M. Barkell were among the 157th graduating cadet class and were apart of the ceremony at the Scottish Rite Cathedral after 28 weeks of classroom and physical training. Five of the cadets received special awards and recognition at the ceremony.

Mosier will be joining Troop B in Uniontown and Barkell will be joining Troop H in Newport, according to the Pennsylvania State Police release.

Anh Q. Le of Luzerne County will be joining Troop P in Towanda and Derek J. Martin of Luzerne County will be joining Troop P in Laporte.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov. To learn more about becoming a Pennsylvania State Trooper, visit www.patrooper.com.