Elk County

People lining up outside of a school gym, waiting to get COVID-19 vaccines
Min Xian / WPSU

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out unevenly in Pennsylvania, Elk County is a leader in administration of shots. The rural county ranks second in the rate of fully vaccinated residents in the commonwealth, according to the Department of Health’s dashboard Tuesday. 

Montour County, where Geisinger Health is headquartered in Danville, has the highest rate of residents who are fully inoculated.

Mount Nittany Health pharmacy supervisor David Johnson receives the hospital's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16, 2020.
Mount Nittany Health

Officials with Penn Highlands Healthcare said they expect to get 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at each of three of their facilities slated for the first round of distribution in Pennsylvania: Penn Highlands DuBois, Elk and Huntingdon.

Andrew Kurtz, system director for retail pharmacy services at Penn Highlands, said about 240 staff in the emergency unit, ICU, cardiovascular ICU and lung center will be the first to receive the vaccine Friday. 

While many school districts in Pennsylvania are moving to remote learning as COVID-19 cases rise, some central Pennsylvania districts are keeping classes in person, at least for now.

Brick exterior shot of The Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School
The Hollidaysburg Area School District

  

A growing number of school districts in central and northcentral Pennsylvania are switching schools to remote learning, even if temporarily, as COVID-19 case numbers in that part of the state increase sharply.

Even though the vote count is not complete yet, at least nine northern and central Pennsylvania counties have already recorded more votes than they cast in the 2016 presidential election.
Carolyn Donaldson / WPSU

As election offices continue to count votes in Pennsylvania, at least nine northern and central counties have already recorded more votes than they cast in the 2016 presidential election.

Even though the vote count is not complete yet, counties including Blair, Clearfield, Clinton, Cameron, Elk, Forest, Huntingdon, Mifflin and Lycoming have already counted more votes this time than in the 2016 presidential election. 

Ryan Grimm
Ryan Grimm

The 75th Pennsylvania House District includes all of Elk and parts of Clearfield County, including DuBois.

Ryan Grimm is the Democratic candidate running for this seat against Republican Mike Armanini. We brought you a conversation with Armanini yesterday. 

There is no incumbent. Matt Gabler, who had represented the 75th district since 2008, decided not to run for reelection.

Mike Armanini
Mike Armanini

The 75th Pennsylvania House District includes all of Elk and parts of Clearfield County, including DuBois.

Mike Armanini is the Republican candidate running for this seat against Democrat Ryan Grimm. There is no incumbent. Matt Gabler, who had represented the 75th district since 2008, decided not to run for reelection.

Mike Armanini has worked in the powdered metal industry in Clearfield and Elk County for more than 30 years, including as co-owner of a powdered metal company. He currently works in sales at Clearfield Metal Technologies.

 

St. Marys Businesses Count On Local Support To Weather The COVID-19 Economy

Sep 24, 2020
A bird's-eye view of the city of St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Courtesy of stmaryspa.gov

COVID-19 is putting many small town businesses in Pennsylvania in a financial squeeze due to coronavirus closures and people quarantining. This summer, WPSU partnered with students in Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications to look at how towns in central Pennsylvania, like St. Marys, are doing in the run-up to the presidential election.

“You have to understand something about St. Marys. This is not a typical place,” said Ann Gabler. 

Courier Express editor David Sullens commented on a protest video "Good time and place to eliminate the whole bunch."
Facebook

 

  

On a Houston, Texas, group’s Facebook video showing black protestors and police officers, (DuBois) Courier Express editor David Sullens commented, “Good time and place to eliminate the whole bunch.” 

  

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday that 24 counties in northwest and north-central parts of the state will be the first to reopen in a limited capacity starting May 8.
Office of the Governor

Updated 3:40 p.m. Friday

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday that 24 counties in northwest and northcentral parts of the state will be the first to reopen in a limited capacity starting May 8.

Those counties are Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.

On a normal day, 12 presses and six furnaces run nearly round-the-clock at Catalus Corp., a powdered metal manufacturer in St. Marys, Pennsylvania.

Now, all are idled.

St. Marys, population 13,000 in rural Elk County, is a hub for powdered metal manufacturing. The area is also known for lush forests and game lands, where herds of elk congregate.

Brian Toth is superintendent of the Saint Marys Area School District, at desk.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

  

UPDATE: Gov. Tom Wolf announced today (April 9) that all K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Since Gov. Tom Wolf ordered Pennsylvania’s K through 12 schools to remain closed indefinitely to help slow the spread of COVID-19, school districts, teachers and parents have been trying to make the most of what’s left of the school year.

This I Believe: I Believe In Board Games

May 9, 2019

 

I believe in board games.

As a kid, I started with the basics like chess, Othello and Monopoly. As I got a little older, games like Stratego, Risk and Mastermind were added to my collection.

A bird's-eye view of the city of St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Courtesy of stmaryspa.gov

A light bulb plant in Elk County will close this October, LEDVANCE LLC announced on April 23. An estimated 175 workers in St. Marys will be affected by the closure.

In a statement, the company — which used to be known as Sylvania — said sales for traditional light bulbs have declined due to a switch to LED lights; meanwhile, the demand for LED bulbs also dropped because of their longevity.

John Lovett, a retired police officer and the Saint Marys School District's school safety and security coordinator, reviews the school security cameras. They're one of the measures the school district has in place.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

John Lovett is a retired police officer and the school safety and security coordinator at the Saint Marys Area School District.

It's a typical day at the high school in Elk County, Pennsylvania, and students stream down the halls during a break.

Lovett's job is helping keep the students safe. As part of that, he carries a taser and a gun. And he helps train the schools on what to do in an emergency, including a possible intruder.

PennDOT recently released a report reviewing car crashes in Pennsylvania for 2017.

According to the report, 128,188 total reportable traffic crashes occurred last year, which resulted in the deaths of 1,137 people and injuries of 80,612 more.

In this file photo from July 2018, Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna spoke at a town hall in Philipsburg on opioids.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

Drug-related overdose deaths continue to climb nationwide. Pennsylvania declared the opioid epidemic a state of emergency at the beginning of this year.

 

In Elk County, in March 2017, Kaitlyn Buerk, 24, bought five bags of drugs from her sister Allison Miller and her cousin Theresa Sample, who had just gone to Pittsburgh and bought 20 bags of what they thought was heroin.