McKean County

This map projects the broadband internet coverage in McKean County when its current improvement project completes by the end of 2020. Areas in red will have the highest speeds and areas in blue and green will receive at least 25 Mbps in download speeds.
Courtesy of McKean County

Lack of access to broadband internet is a long-existing issue in many parts of Pennsylvania. The pandemic has proven how critical it is, as schools have moved online and remote work has become a way of life.

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.

Photo of Margie Brown in front of a tractor
Photo provided

In a presidential election year, voting may be the most visible way to try to create change.

But it's not the only way. In a three-part series from America Amplified, residents of McKean County share how they are making a difference, where they live, and beyond the ballot box.

Margie Brown is a Democrat in Elk County running in this year’s election for Pennsylvania’s 25th Senatorial District, which includes McKean County, where she grew up. 

Jake Mott is a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Photo provided

In a presidential election year, voting may be the most visible way to try to create change.

But it's not the only way. In a three-part series from America Amplified, residents of McKean County share how they are making a difference, where they live, and beyond the ballot box.

Jake Mott, 23, has always felt like he’s not a part of his hometown, Bradford, Pennsylvania. 

Photo of Kate Kennedy
Courtesy of Kate Kennedy

In a presidential election year, voting may be the most visible way to try to create change.

But it's not the only way. In a three-part series from America Amplified, residents of McKean County share how they are making a difference, where they live, and beyond the ballot box.

When Kate Kennedy left Kane, Pennsylvania, in 2010, she felt there wasn’t much tying her to the town. Kennedy spent most of the following decade living in Pittsburgh, working in public relations. The thought of returning to Kane didn’t come up at all.

From Philly To Erie, 12 Pa. Voters Talk About Their Crucial Swing State Vote

Oct 28, 2020

Ask us: What do you want to know about voting and the 2020 election?

With a week to go until Election Day, Pennsylvania has lived up to its hype as a key battleground state that could decide the presidency. 

A video surfaced of Police Chief Hiel Bartlett and another officer, Patrolman Matthew Gustin, making an arrest in which some Bradford, Pa. residents say they used excessive force.
Screenshot

Bradford, Pennsylvania is a town of 8,000 near the New York border in rural McKean County.

It’s a place where people typically hold police officers in high regard.

“Most people know all the police officers at least personally in some way,” said Bradford native Jake Mott, 23, who studies psychology at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Mott said the downside of that close relationship with officers is “that really makes people afraid to be critical of them.”

Emily Reddy / WPSU

 

 

In some parts of central and northern Pennsylvania, arts festivals are a summer tradition. But 2020 has been a tough year for festivals. As the COVID-19 pandemic took shape, many such events were canceled.

 

Rick Bryant, director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, estimates that 99% of arts festivals around the country are canceled this summer.  

 

Nancy and Sam McKinney
Nancy McKinney

Sam McKinney, from Kane, died from COVID-19 on May 5th. He’s the only person from McKean County so far to die from the virus. His wife, Nancy, also got sick.

WPSU’s Emily Reddy talked with Adam Bundy, Nancy’s son and Sam McKinney’s step-son.  

TRANSCRIPT 

 

Emily Reddy: 

Thank you for talking with us, and I’m so sorry for your loss.  

 

Adam Bundy:  

Thank you. 

 

Ernie Chamberlain

 WPSU asked you, our listeners, to tell us how you were getting along during the pandemic lockdown. Here are some of the ways you’ve been getting through it.

Evie Madison of Altoona is pastor of Wehnwood United Methodist Church in Altoona. She was busy becoming tech savvy early on in the pandemic.  She learned to record and edit video so she could bring Sunday services to her shut in congregation.

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.

Yolanda Chiodo

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the residents of Bradford sprang into action early.  A busy Bradford Facebook group is connecting volunteer helpers with those in need.

Many business owners who have applied for federal and state loans are still waiting for help to arrive.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

 

Fred Graham, owner of Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping in Bradford, Pennsylvania, put in an application for the federal Paycheck Protection Program as quickly as he was able to, on the second day applications were accepted.

Centre County voted on Tuesday to cut staff because of financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
Min Xian / WPSU

With projected revenue losses in taxes and the responsibility to continue providing services, many Pennsylvania counties are finding themselves under tremendous financial stress. On Tuesday, Centre County Commissioners voted to cut staff, a decision that affects about 100 positions across dozens of departments.

BookMark: "Hidden Tapestry" By Debra Dean

Jan 9, 2020

Recognizing the author’s name led me to “Hidden Tapestry” by Debra Dean. Her debut historical novel, “The Madonnas of Leningrad,” is one of my favorite WW II novels.

“Hidden Tapestry: Jan Yoors, His Two Wives, and the War That Made Them One” was like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s a historical biography, but it reads like an unbelievable novel. It’s the biography of Flemish-American artist Jan Yoors, who was known for his giant tapestries.

An employee at Collins Hardwood in Kane, Pennsylvania, sorts and marks the wood.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Bo Hammond is hardwood sales manager for Collins Hardwood, a company based in Oregon with locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California. Hammond is giving me a tour of the company’s operations in Kane. It’s located in McKean County off Hardwood Drive.

“This is the main entrance to the plant," he said. "We actually have a company house on the far backside that one of the owners lived in for years and raised his family here in northwest Pennsylvania.”

Nancy VanLandingham

Saturday, July 20th is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

Nancy VanLandingham of Warrior’s Mark was 14 years old in 1969.

“To me, it felt like it was pretty much the most important thing that had happened in my lifetime,” VanLandingham said.

As she remembers it, everyone back then was focused on space travel.

BookMark: "Roads" By Marina Antropow Cramer

Dec 27, 2018

Marina Antropow Cramer’s debut novel, “Roads,” centers on a family living happily in the beautiful coastal city of Yalta, Crimea, in the early 1940s. But with the arrival of WWII, things quickly take a turn for the worst. Unforgettable characters and a plot that takes many twists left my stomach in knots as I tried to imagine how anyone survived at all.

BookMark: "Where The Red Fern Grows" By Wilson Rawls

Jul 12, 2018

I first read "Where the Red Fern Grows" 36 years ago. It’s a coming of age novel about a young pioneer boy of strong character. I remember the night well. I was telling my then 13-year-old son good night when he told me about the great book he was reading for school, and then mentioned the book report was due the next day. I asked, “Have you finished reading the book?” He shook his head with a worried expression. “Well, how far are you?” He showed me—page 69. One-hundred and eighty pages to go, and it was already 9 o’clock on a school night.

Susan Boser and Wade Jodun
Photos provided

About 50 people turned out at the Smethport fire hall to hear Susan Boser and Wade Jodun, the candidates competing in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 15th district. The winner will likely face Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson in November.

The candidates spoke, answered questions and mingled with the McKean County voters.

Jodun said the night’s turnout out in a Republican stronghold shows people want to be heard. He pointed to the economy as a major issue.