Cameron County PA

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Geocaching ~ A great adventure for all!

"Encompassing ten northwestern Pennsylvania counties, the Allegheny GeoTrail will take geocachers through the beautiful wilds of Allegheny National Forest and its gateway regions. The ten participating counties are: Cameron, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango, and Warren.

Each county features between 10 and 20 official AGT caches.
All caches are listed on Search for them there by searching on "AGT-" or "AGT-(county name)" (to be county-specific) in the cache title

What is Geocaching ? "This adventure sport or hobby involves the use of a handheld GPS receiver, and based on information provided on the official geocaching website (, the GPS receiver guides its operator to hidden treasures just waiting to be found all over the countryside. A typical cache consists of a waterproof container, a log book, and trinkets. Signing the log book proves you found it, and the trinkets provide trade items; the idea is to take an item, then replace it with an item of equal value. The trinkets make a memento of the experience. Once the log book is signed and trinkets exchanged, the container is put back in exactly the same place it was found.

Every geocache hunt will be a different experience. Each hide is reflective on the person who did the hiding. Often, the trip leads the geocacher to new and unusual places . Geocaching is a great family activity!

To get started, all you need is a handheld GPS receiver and internet access. Log on to (membership is free) and enter the zip code of the location where you’d like to go. You’ll get a list of caches in that area. From that list, enter the latitude/longitude coordinates of your chosen cache(s) into your GPS receiver, and you’re on your way. When you find a cache, take something from the container and leave something you’ve brought with you as a trade item. Sign the logbook, and return the container to its hiding spot for the next geocacher!"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Williamsport Muralist Wants to Paint the Borough

Michael Pilato has painted the side of buildings in State College and Williamsport. The accomplished muralist is eyeing the town of Emporium for his next venture. Tuesday December 22, Pilato will give a presentation to the Emporium Rotary Club and be available to meet with others during an open house at the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center from 3pm to 5pm.

Pilato contacted the Sylvan Heritage Council after a friend told him the council had received a Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts grant for a mural. Following his first visit in November, Pilato decided this would be his next project. According to Pilato, “Emporium provides an opportunity for me to show other communities that they can have quality public art no matter how small the community.”

Pilato does murals inside murals. He enjoys having the murals look at each other across streets and parking lots. His murals are also three dimensional. The family of a soldier killed in Iraq gave Pilato the Purple Heart earned by the soldier. Pilato has embedded the medal into the uniform of the soldier.

In Williamsport a section of the mural is dedicated to religion and those that serve the community. The background depicts the buildings, with the leaders in front. Pilato is also the founder and executive director of the Public Art Academy. His work can be found at

Pilato plans to work with residents on the design of the murals and hopes to visit the senior centers and schools and have seniors and students paint portions of the mural.
Anyone wishing more information is invited to the open house at the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center on Tuesday, December 22 from 3pm to 5pm

Monday, December 14, 2009



Christmas in the Wilds held Friday and Saturday in Cameron County was a huge success both in attendance and financially. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson noted that at least $10,000. was spent over the two day period. Non-profits, and businesses report brisk business during the event which began Friday night with the Antique Seekers Holiday House Tours.

Tickets for the Holiday House Tour sold out weeks before the event. The Emporium Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary ran out of food during Breakfast with Santa. Nearly 400 people were served. Businesses that offered free crafts for children noted that they were busy throughout the afternoon.

Dasher and Dancer posed for pictures throughout the day, but another reindeer brought the crowd to the street. Robert the Reindeer from Smith’s Balloonworks in Williamsport towered above the parade route. Because of the below freezing temperatures filling the 43 foot long and 19 foot high helium balloon took longer than expected. Robert held up the parade for about 20 minutes. The crowd along Fourth Street stood 5 and 6 deep to get a look at the balloon which was sponsored by the Emporium branch of the Mountain Laurel Federal Credit Union.

Planning is already underway for Christmas in the Wilds 2010 which will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the founding of Cameron County. Any groups interested in participating are asked to contact the chamber office at 814-486-4314.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in the Wilds

Christmas in the Wilds begins Friday night
with the Antique Seekers tour of homes.

Saturday morning Santa Claus will have
breakfast with children at the Emporium
Volunteer Fire Department. Santa has
promised to bring Dasher and Dancer with him.

They will pose for pictures on Fourth Street
in the vacant lot near the chamber office.
Inflation of Robert the Reindeer will begin
at 11 Saturday morning at the former Fourth
Street School.

The parade will step off at
noon and businesses in Emporium will offer
craft projects for children from noon to 3.

Inside the chamber Jakobs Ladder will perform,
along with demonstrations from several artists.

Outside several vendors will sell items and also
have hot drinks and food available while the
Emporium Senior Center will host its annual craft sale

Christmas in the Wilds Sat Dec 12th

Christmas in the Wilds will highlight shopping locally. During the event Saturday December 12 various Emporium Businesses will offer free projects for children. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson hopes that when parents or grandparents take children to the businesses they will look around the store and realize what products are sold in Cameron County.

“Since Santa is bringing two of his reindeer plus the giant helium filled reindeer balloon in the parade, several of the crafts focus on reindeer,” Johns Lorson says. Children can make a reindeer candy cane stirrer at the Cabin Kitchen, and reindeer antlers at Cappy’s. Pizza Palace Plus will have pizza tossing and making demonstrations. At the Emporium Pharmacy children can make Christmas tree ornaments, Flowers N Things will have a flower craft and at the Aroma Bakery and Café children can decorate cookies for free. The businesses request that children be accompanied by an adult and the free crafts will be available from noon to 3PM.

Cameron County Recreation will sponsor a graham cracker holiday house craft at Memorial Hall from noon to 1:30PM. In addition to the activities for children, several businesses will have sales and customer appreciation programs. Flower N Things, Emporium Pharmacy, Touches of Country and the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center also plan to extend holiday shopping hours on both Friday and Saturday

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sheetz store robbed ~ St Mary's Pa

St. Marys City and Pennsylvania state police are looking for 26-year-old Edmund Ambuski Jr. of St. Marys in connection with the armed robbery of the Sheetz convenience store in St. Marys Wednesday morning.

Ambuski is described as 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds and wearing a dark green hooded coat, black pants and white shoes.He was last seen in a 1995 green Pontiac Bonneville with Pa. registration HHG-9815.

Police believe Ambuski is traveling with 16-month-old son. A warrant has been issued for Ambuski's arrest.Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact their local police, St. Marys City police or Elk County Crime Stoppers at (800) 775-2030.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Harrisburg – "Honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces have a new way to proudly display their service as PennDOT today announced the availability of a new series of military license plates honoring veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard."On any given day, members of our armed forces are serving around the globe protecting our freedom," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "PennDOT is pleased to announce this new series of military plates recognizing their sacrifices in service to our nation.

"The new plates feature the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors of blue, white and yellow along with the applicable branch of service emblem or logo on the left side of the plate. Pennsylvania is printed at the top of the plate, with the name of the applicable branch of service at the bottom.

To obtain one of these plates, honorably discharged veterans must complete and mail Form MV-150, Application for U.S. Military Veteran Registration Plate, to PennDOT and include a certified copy of their DD-214, along with a $20 fee. Form MV-150 is available on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services Web site,, via the Military License Plates link under the Military Personnel/Veterans Information Center. Additional information and images of the new license plates are also available on this Web page. "

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Honor a Family Member with a Banner

The Sylvan Heritage Council is leading the way in Cameron County’s Sesquicentennial celebration. Banners will hang from the street lights depicting a picture and sponsorship name of people that have supported Cameron County over the past 150 years. The unveiling of the banners will kick off the 2010 celebration in March.

The cost to purchase a banner and select the picture is $185.00. The banner will become the sponsor’s property in November 2010. The Sylvan Heritage Council will have banner information at the Christmas in the Wilds event on Saturday, December 12.

Several families and organizations have selected banners. The Cameron County Historical Society has selected Victoria Claflin Woodhull. Victoria grew up in Cameron County and was the first woman to ever run for President of the United States. David Berman and Marcia Smith will honor Frank and Sylvia Berman, VFW Post 6221 will display the pictures of the four servicemen for which the post was named.

The deadline for purchasing a banner is December 31. For more information contact Linda Lundberg from the Sylvan Heritage Council.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Robert the Reindeer will highlight Christmas in the Wilds

Robert the Reindeer will highlight Christmas in the Wilds

He is 43 feet long and stands 18 feet tall! Robert the Reindeer is helium filled and will make his first appearance in the region at the Christmas in the Wilds parade on Saturday, December 12 in Emporium.

Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson says the Macy style balloon will float high above the 24 balloon handlers. “The Emporium branch office of the Mountain Laurel Federal Credit Union is sponsoring the mammoth balloon! The chamber hopes this addition will line the street with people wanting to see a Macy style balloon without the hassles of traveling to New York City.” Anyone wishing to participate as a balloon handler is asked to contact the Mountain Laurel Federal Credit Union or chamber office.

Christmas in the Wilds begins Friday night with the Antique Seekers tour of homes. Saturday morning Santa Claus will have breakfast with children at the Emporium Volunteer Fire Department. Santa has promised to bring Dasher and Dancer with him. They will pose for pictures on Fourth Street in the vacant lot near the chamber office. Inflation of Robert the Reindeer will begin at 11 Saturday morning at the former Fourth Street School. The parade will step off at noon and businesses in Emporium will offer craft projects for children from noon to 3.

Inside the chamber Jakobs Ladder will perform, along with demonstrations from several artists. Outside several vendors will sell items and also have hot drinks and food available while the Emporium Senior Center will host its annual craft sale. Johns Lorson says the events will provide shoppers the opportunity to see what unique gift items can be found in Cameron County.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cameron County Unemployment Highest in State

Unemployment rates are beginning to creep downward, yet Cameron County’s rate is still higher than any of the other 66 counties in Pennsylvania. According to a report from the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis encompassing September, Cameron County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 17 percent, down from the August rate of 18.3 percent. The state average for September was 8.8 percent. One year before, in September of 2008, Cameron County’s unemployment rate was 9.6 percent.

In Elk County, the rate for September was 13.6 percent, down from 13.8 percent the previous month. At the same time in 2008, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.Potter County’s rate for September was 11.1 percent, down from 11.6 percent in August. The previous year’s rate was 7.5 percent.McKean County had a slight increase, with 10.9 percent unemployment in September compared to 10.8 percent the month before. In September of 2008, the rate was 6.8 percent.

The Center also reports on the number of available jobs in local areas. In September, there were 17,600 non-farm jobs in McKean County. A year before, there were 18,100. There were 15,200 private jobs, down by 400 jobs from September 2008. Goods-producing jobs are also down 400 from last year, with a total of 5,500 now. Service-providing jobs had the slightest hit over the past year, with 100 jobs lost. Those losses are listed in the government sector.

In Cameron County, there were 100 fewer jobs in each of three areas — non-farm, private and goods-producing. Service-providing jobs have remained the same for the past year.In Elk County, there were 700 fewer jobs in both the non-farm and private sectors than the previous year. There were 600 fewer jobs in the goods-producing sector, all of which were lost manufacturing jobs. The service-providing jobs decreased by 100 over the past year.In Potter County, there were 100 fewer jobs in several sectors, including non-farm, private and manufacturing. Service jobs held steady over the past year.

The national economic picture from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is given from December 2007, which they’ve pegged as the start of the recession.The number of long-termed unemployed — those who have been off work longer than 27 weeks — has risen by 4.12 million. The number of discouraged workers — those who are of employment age, but not actively seeking employment — has risen by 430,000.The total of under-employed people — those working part-time jobs instead of full — was 17 percent in September, an increase of 8.3 percentage points. The rate represents 26.2 million American workers.

The Bureau statistics show there were 2.387 million job openings in August of 2009 nationwide; there were 14.928 million unemployed workers. For each available job opening nationwide, there were 6.25 unemployed people in competition to fill that job

Monday, October 5, 2009

PA Magazine " The Elusive Elk"

This months Sept/Oct Pennsylvania Magazine features a great article on the elk in the northern part of PA, specifically the Quehanna Wild area. Four counties converge in this area that encompasses 48,000 acres of wilderness near Sinnemahoning. Bill May, resident of CC, is one of the authors guides on this horseback tour through the elks habitat. Read the article here;

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sizerville State Park ~ A hikers review

"I had no idea what I would find at Sizerville State Park as I continued my tour of the northern tier of Pennsylvania in August. I had just broken camp on the rim of Pine Creek Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, and headed south, thinking that things just don’t get much better than where I was the previous night. When I arrived at Sizerville, I discovered that, indeed, things didn’t get better than what I found along Pine Creek. They didn’t, however, get any worse, only different.

Probably the single word that best describes the tenting area at Sizerville—or the whole park for that matter—is peaceful. As you enter the park, you drive into a refuge of hemlocks and white pines nestled in a gentle valley. The breeze blows through the branches, the slant of light through the boughs is enchanting, and creeks bubble along everywhere. The park has a sort of rustic atmosphere to it, as the pavilions and bridges over the creeks are made out of stone and timber characteristic of their construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It’s great!

Sizerville is oriented toward the nature lover who wants some peace and quiet in a pleasant setting. The park has plenty of picnic pavilions throughout, a playground for the kids, and a pool for swimming. Park employees put on regular environmental programs at the campground amphitheater and at the park’s environmental-education center during the summer. Numerous hiking trails in the park provide hikers with access to the backcountry of the Elk State Forest, home to Pennsylvania’s elk population.

I highly recommend an excursion on the Sizerville Nature Trail, a 3-mile loop that lies entirely in the Elk State Forest; it will give you a pleasant introduction to the flora and fauna of the northern hardwood forest. The park office has interpretive maps that will help you identify and understand the natural history of what you see. The Nady Hollow Trail is also worth exploring for the elevation gain it provides. It is a bit more rugged than the park’s other trails, but a very beautiful walk in the woods."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Madden Curse ??

The video game industry has few superstitions as dogged as the Madden Curse.
With the recent release of the newest “Madden” football title – a video game institution with more than 1.5 million copies sold in August – sports fans are reminded of the bizarre coincidence that befalls whichever player poses for the game’s cover.

Last night’s Titan vs Steelers game saw “Madden 10″ cover-boy Troy Polamalu leave the field with a knee injury. Reports hint that he’ll be out for three to six weeks.

Injuries are part of football, but Polamalu’s misfortune fits a pattern. Most of the players that grace Madden’s covers wind up missing a number of games that season. Yahoo broke it down:

2000: Barry Sanders. Didn't play a single down during the 1999 - 2000 season, or ever again.
2001: Eddie George. No injury.
2002: Daunte Culpepper. Missed five games, played poorly.
2003: Marshall Faulk. Missed six games. Never ran for 1,000 yards again.
2004: Michael Vick. Broke his leg, missed 11 games.
2005: Ray Lewis. Missed only one game.
2006: Donovan McNabb. Missed last seven games of the season.
2007: Shaun Alexander. Broke his foot, missed six games.
2008: Vince Young. Missed one game. But things didn’t go well.
2009: Brett Favre. Missed no games. But did become insufferable.
2010: Troy Polamalu. Out 3-6 weeks with a knee injury.
2010: Larry Fitzgerald: TBD.
(Fitzgerald shared the spotlight with Polamalu on Madden’s cover this year.)
Bret Favre disproved any lasting streak – and, really, several of these players only missed one game. But columnists are atwitter with spooky talk. Don’t put much stock in a video game’s effect on the real world – then again, what fun are sports without crazy theories?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Second Annual Fall Fest at St. Mary's Country Club

On Friday and Saturday, September 18th and 19th, collectors of beer memorabilia (“breweriana”), from all over the eastern half of the country, will be in the town of St Marys for two days of buying, selling and swapping advertising merchandise from past and present American breweries.

Upwards of 70 tables of quality merchandise will be on display, and viewable to the public on Friday, Sept. 18, 3 - 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. till noon.

More information may be obtained by calling show coordinator Ron Kikta at (814) 749-7183.

Cycling Race in nearby Smethport

Smethport’s great 53 Mile 7 Circuit “Wheel Around the Hub Cycling Races” will be held Saturday, September 19, 2009 in McKean County.

Resurrected again five years ago by the Smethport Lions Club, the event attracts some of the best riders from throughout the United States, Canada and internationally.
The modern version of the race features the 53 Mile 7 Circuit Classic race and the 15 mile 2 Circuit Fun Race.

Additional information about the race is available at: The contact for the event is Ross Porter who can be reached via email or by phone at814 598-5811.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend in the Wilds a Huge Success

Weekend in the Wilds a Huge Success

Cameron County Weekend in the Wilds drew thousands to the county to participate in the three day event. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson estimates at least $15,000.00 was spent in the county over the weekend.

According to Johns Lorson the events were extremely successful and most setting new records for particiapation. “More than 300 different people took part in the best wings of Cameron County Contest visiting seven establishments.” The winner was Weebull’s in Driftwood. Coor’s Light will present a plaque to the owners next month.

Johns Lorson said a record number of vehicles took part in the show topping the 75 mark. They brought their vehicles from New York, and throughout Pennsylvania. The winning car was a 1942 Ford Coupe owned by Joann Bell from Allegany New York. The Best of Show Bike was a 2002 Suzuki Hayabusa owned by Chris Stanko from Kane and the Best of Show Truck was a 1954 Chevy 3100 Panel owned by Carl and Judy Martz from Brookville. This year a fan favorite was awarded to Jim Catalone from Kersey with a 1970 Ford Boss 302 Mustang.

Fourth Street was lined with 65 vendors. The Cameron County Quilters raffled off a quilt featuring the wildlife found in Cameron County. Janet Kelly from Emporium was the winner. The Cameron County High School Music Boosters held a first ever duck derby. The winners from Emporium were Don Regal, second place went to Brandon McCula and third went to Betty Vogel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The results are in for the 4th Annual David Hutton Memorial 5k Run & 2 Mile walk which was held on August 15th in Emporium, PA. with 50 runners competing.

Two new records were set in the mens and womens overall categories. Wee J. Fernan finished with a time of 17:33 in the mens division, and Emily Giannotti's new record for the womens division was 19:43 ! Thanks to all the participants and race coordinators for making this another succesful year.

Male Overall:

Wee J. Fernan 17:33 New course record!

Male 14 & under:
1st Joseph Horning 28th overall 26:13
2nd Cody Neff 41st overall 30:31

Male 15-19:
1st Steven Kibbe 4th overall 18:21
2nd John Ausel 5th overall 18:28
3rd Caleb Lecker 6th overall 18:42
4th Trevor Clark 23rd overall 24:55

Male 20-29:
1st Ben Huey 2nd overall 17:49
2nd Jeff Hutton 3rd overall 18:06
3rd Nate Dippold 9th overall 19:53
4th Cory Neff 13th overall 22:37
5th Joe Haines 35th overall 27:48
6th Eric Grasser 45th overall 31:44
7th Derek Newcomer 48th overall 33:49

Male 30-39:
1st Timothy Wyant 7th overall 18:56
2nd James Housler 10th overall 20:28
3rd Andy Sidelinger 15th overall 22:50
4th Scott Surra 18th overall 23:53
5th Kurt O’Brian 19th overall 24:14
6th Eugene Barr 20th overall 24:44
7TH Shawn Whitaker 21st overall 24:47
8th Mark Conklin 24th overall 25:27

Male 40-49:
1st Myron Zwally 11th overall 20:38
2nd Tom Hutton 12th overall 22:10
3rd Larry Grigsby 25th overall 25:37
4th Bill Carr 26th overall 25:48

Male 50-59:
1st Ken Huey 16th overall 23:20
2nd Dan Miller 22nd overall 24:54

Male 60-69:
1st Chuck Kepler 27th overall 25:50
2nd Ben Zappa 29th overall 26:25
3rd Don Olivett 40th overall 30:21

Female Overall:

Emily Giannotti 19:43 New Course Record!

Female 14 and under:
1st Amelia Kibbe 17th overall 23:38
2nd Marissa Umble 42nd overall 30:45

Female 15-19:
1st Allison Giannotti 14th overall 22:48
2nd Lauren Topolski 32nd overall 27:04

Female 20-29:
1st Tiffany Russell 36th overall 28:05
2nd Heather Newcomer 43rd overall 31:03
3rd Sarah Gehman 46th overall 33:02
4th Beth Newcomer 47th overall 33:48

Female 30-39:
1st Margaret Travis 33rd overall 27:05
2nd Michele Burdick 49th overall 34:45
3rd Carey Pifer 50th overall 43:48

Female 40-49:
1st Christine Morrison 30th overall 26:40
2nd Patty Giannotti 31st overall 26:53
3rd Beth Horning 34th overall 27:29
4th Tammy Gaines 37th overall 28:17
5th Joanna Mason 39th overall 28:50
6th Molly Topolski 44th overall 31:13

Female 50-59:
1st Sue Newcomer 38th overall 28:21

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's that time of year again !

Summer is coming to an end and the 2009-2010 Cameron County school year is right around the corner.
Mark your calendar now for these upcoming dates.

August 24th - Seventh grade orientation.
August 21st & 24th - Teacher In-Service Days
August 25th - First day of school for students
September 15th- Open house at the High School
October 23rd - Homecoming

For more information, contact the CC School District @ 814-486-4000 or visit their website @

Monday, August 10, 2009

David Hutton Memorial 5k run & 2 mile walk

4th Annual David Hutton Memorial 5k
Run and 2 Mile Walk

Saturday August 15th 2009,
Cameron County High School,
Emporium, Pa 15834

The David Hutton Memorial 5k Run & 2 Mile
walk Scholarship race is put on by David’s
family and friends. We also get help from
other local race directors and the
Elk County Striders

The course is a good combination of flats and rolling
hills thru the streets of Emporium. Race finishes at
the high school track. Register on race day at the
Cameron County High School cafeteria until 8:45 a.m.
Rain or shine, no refunds.
All proceeds from the race/ walk will benefit the
David Hutton Track Scholarship Fund. The fund
was established after David passed away following
an automobile accident in Sept. 2005.

An annual financial award is presented to a Cameron
County senior who exemplifies similar high academic
achievement and is also a member of the track team
as David was. We would graciously accept any
donations to the scholarship fund. Make your check
out to the "David Hutton Track Scholarship." Thank
you for your contribution. David was also a member
of the Elk County Striders.
2009 Scholarship Recipient: Randy Schatz
2008 Scholarship Recipients: Vickie Lippert, Steven Singer

David was a high school and collegiate track and field
athlete. During his high school career he competed in
many local 5k road races and was a state qualifier in
the 800 meters. He continued his running career at
Duquesne University where he competed in track and
field for four years.

Following his graduation from his bachelors he continued
to run during graduate school and would make the trip
up from Pittsburgh to contribute to the local races he had
come accustomed to. He loved to run and would do the
best he could to fit running into his hectic life.

Before his passing he had earned a bachelors of science
in Athletic Training from Duquesne University in 2002,
his Masters in Education from the University of Pittsburgh
in Exercise Physiology and was also pursuing a PhD from
the University of Pittsburgh. He had worked with many
organizations in the around Pittsburgh including UPMC,
Three Rivers Fitness, and his favorite place Locke’s
Fitness Studio.

David strove to improve the health and wellbeing of others.
We hope to carry on his work by encouraging individuals
of all ages to become active in fitness, improve their overall
wellness, and to most importantly have fun along the way
Lynn Newcomer—Race Director 814-486-1508
Thomas and Karen Hutton—Committee Members 814-486-1706
Jeff Hutton—Committee Member/Web Designer 814-558-9146

Friday, August 7, 2009

Artist of the Month Providing Gifts to State Senators

Artist of the Month Providing Gifts to State Senators

David Castano from Potter County has been hand carving figurines since he was a child. On a visit to the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati ordered enough of the Civil War soldiers to present to each state Senator.

Lt. Governor Scarnati plans to pick up the 70 soldiers during the Weekend in the Wilds August 14-16. “If the state budget is not passed, the Lt. Governor may not be able to clear his schedule to attend the event,” explains Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson.

Castano says he enjoys recreating wooden toy soldiers that he played with as a child. But, Castano does not limit his work to soldiers, you can also find miners, cowboys and loggers. His work has also attracted the attention of the PA Wilds Juried Commission. Castano was one of the first artists accepted by the PA

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More than 40 high school students danced the evening away Friday night while attending the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 Summer Academy at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The students, who came from McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter counties, studied one of three areas this past week: drama and communications; entrepreneurial science and technology; and criminal justice and forensics. Carly Stuart and Trevor Clark were students from Cameron County that were chosen to attend this educational and fun filled week. Trevor is shown here enjoying the farewell Luau dance.

During the week the students attended hands on morning and afternoon classes and completed several projects during the week. Among the various field trips, the Technology & Entepreneurial Science group toured the Kinzua Bridge and Dresser Rand Company in Olean NY.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Violinist Stephanie Mills returns to Cameron County

Stephanie Violinist Stephanie Mills, an Emporium native and 2001 graduate of Cameron County High School, will be performing a concert on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Emporium.

She will be accompanied by Gladys Shultz, piano, and Paul Fehrenbach, violin and guitar.

Admission is free and open to the public, although any donations will be gladly accepted and will be used toward Stephanie's graduate studies. CDs will be available at the door for $10 each.

Stephanie is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), located just outside of Nashville, where she studied music and non-profit management. During high school, Stephanie studied violin with Dr. Paul Fehrenbach of Kersey, PA and Professor James Lyon at Penn State University. She performed numerous times at the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association Orchestra Festivals, as well as under renowned conductor/ composer, Lukas Foss, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Since high school, Stephanie has performed in orchestras throughout the country, including the Cape Cod Light Opera Festival Orchestra, Penn State Philharmonic, MTSU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, and others. In 2005, she soloed with the MTSU Camerata, performing “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In addition to Paul Fehrenbach and James Lyon, Stephanie has since studied with Andrea Dawson (MTSU), Sarah Coté (MTSU), Cornelia Heard (Vanderbilt University), Theodore Arm (University of Connecticut), and Ioana Galu (Eastern Music Festival and School).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PA Wilds Community Success Story

PA Wilds Community Success Story:Modest Emporium makes a move to highlight its own 'wildness'by Mike Wennin.

Emporium, Pennsylvania is located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Surrounded by an outdoor paradise of forests, streams, and wildlife, Emporium—and Cameron County—has been the hub of sportsmen’s activities since the 1800s.

Its beautiful tree-lined streets have provided Emporium with recognition as a Tree City for more than 20 years. The manufacturing based economy has seen many shifts through out history from lumbering to tanning to dynamite to electronics—and today, sintered metal. Its people have always excelled in whatever the prominent industry of the day is, and have had an international market for their goods since the early days of lumbering where 100-ft.-plus tall white pine spars became masts for clipper ships that sailed around the world.

Today, there is a need to diversify the economy and the people of Emporium and Cameron County are stepping up to the plate to do what can be done to help this shift in focus. Before the advent of the Pennsylvania Wilds, forward-thinking County Commissioners recognized the opportunities of heritage tourism and offered to locate the newly formed Lumber Heritage Region (LHR) in the county courthouse.

Understanding the importance of being the hub of such a venture, this gesture has kept the County in the center of what is going on in the Region. In addition to the LHR, the DCNR Pennsylvania Wilds Rec Team is now housed in the county; the Pennsylvania Wilds Marketing Corporation and other PA Wilds entities meet here on a regular basis to the benefit of local businesses.

With the need to spruce up their assets, community leaders formed the Sylvan Heritage Council to lead the way in making the down town area more inviting. They have completed many successful projects from façade improvements to an annual clean-up event where the whole town gets a good spring cleaning. The council also sent a team to the “Balancing Nature and Tourism” workshop, where they learned ways to take advantage of the PA Wilds initiative—and have been working on projects ever since. The group received initial funding provided by the Emporium Foundation and local business owners. Since then, they have raised their own funds by participating in local events where they cook/bake and sell their own homemade goods and hot drinks, each packaged beautifully for immediate giving during on one of the community’s signature events, “Christmas in the Wilds.” They also participate in the Artfest held annually in the downtown, by creating more edible delights for sale. Even though the community is too small to qualify for their own downtown façade funding through the state program, community leaders established a facade improvement account through their fundraising efforts to help out local businesses which is patterned after Ridgway’s success. From new signs to mulching, no job is too small for this active group!

The biggest success so far has been the creation of the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce and Artisan Center. As the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail got underway, Cameron County did not have a venue for artists. Moving the chamber to a new location offered the opportunity to create the Artisan Center. Opened in July of 2008, the facility now displays the artwork of more than 50 regional artisans and has had sales topping more than $20,000 since it opened. The well- laid-out art center offers courses through out the year from stained glass to jewelry making to walking stick carving.

The next push will be on how to market the outdoor recreation prevalent in the county. Legacy events such as hunting and fishing are still draws to the area, but canoeing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife photography, elk-viewing and geocaching are all growing in participation. A rail trail from Emporium to St. Marys is in the works. They are looking at ways to capitalize on these and other assets in the county in order to share the unique features of the county.

Mike Wennin is the executive director of the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Cameron County Fair August 2 - 8, 2009

Keystone Park was the first known location of the Cameron County Fair. Keystone Park is where GKN Sinter Metals and Embassy Sintered Metals are located on Airport Road and where the West Creek branch now flows. According to History of Cameron County (1991edition), the first fair was held around 1901. The fair was under the sponsorship of the Cameron County Agricultural Association. The fair was held each September until 1917. The start of the world War I and a severe flu epidemic put a halt to the fair that year.

The Cameron County Fair formed an association in 1967 as a committee of the Emporium Jaycees. The fair was held at the Pine Street Field. This fair worked in close partnership with the 4H program. After the field was sold in 1970 to Motor Coils a new location was pursued.

Mr. Henry Zimmer, a jaysee, made an offer to allow the fair to use a piece of land that had been the previous location of the Smokeless Powder and Picric Acid Plant. Paul Abriatis, another jaysee, loaned the fair committee bulldozers to prepare the land.

After many years of work the fair has grown into a lush green area with a concession stand, 4H building, exhibition hall, stage, animal display barn, and a 160 foot open front exhibit area. The largest exhibit hall(Beaver Hall) was named after fair director, Beaver Williams. The Beaver Hall has been begun renovation projects in the past few years by first updating the kitchen, adding a large new window and soon replacing the ceiling tiles in the main floor area. Beaver Hall is frequently rented out for wedding receptions and family reunions.

The fair has been a good source a family entertainment and a place to exhibit great works of skillful craft and the fruits of agricultural labors.
Much of the Information compiled from History of Cameron County -1991; # T115 written by Don Williams

Saturday, August 2, 2009
12:00-7:00 p.m. Competitive Exhibits accepted at Beaver Hall

Sunday, August 3, 2009
10:00-4:00 p.m. Competitive exhibit judging.Beaver Hall will be closed to the public until Monday at 6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Vesper Service and Hymn Sing

Monday, August 4, 2009
1:00 p.m. 4-H Judging
5:00 p.m. Tractor Parade through downtown Emporium to the fairgrounds
6:00 p.m. Official Opening and Dedication of the 2009 Cameron County Fair
6:30 p.m. Ye Olde Goodies Auction
7:00 p.m. Campfire cooking demo, Scarecrow building contest
8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Legacy on Stage

Tuesday, August 5, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:30 p.m. Great Chili Cook-off
6:00 p.m. Bucket Brigade contest
6:00 p.m. Helen Hamett Ventriloquist on Stage/strolling after show
6:30 p.m. Stick Horse Radio for children 12 and under
7:00 p.m. Essence in Motion Dance Studio on stage
7:30 p.m. Lip-Sync
8:00 p.m. Don Williams Memorial All-American Game Show on stage and Open mic following game show

Wednesday, August 6, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:00 p.m. Pet Show Registration
5:15 p.m. Pet Show
6:00 p.m. Hot dog eating contest
6:30 p.m. Community Band of Elk and Cameron Counties
7:00 p.m. Coronation Ceremony; crowning of Miss Cameron County 2009, Jr. Miss Cameron County, Cameron County Prince and Princess
8:00-10:00 Old Skool on stage

Thursday, August 7, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:30 p.m. Pizza Eating contest
6:00 p.m. Emporium Ultimate Cheer
6:00 p.m. Bubble Gum Blowing Contest
6:30 p.m. Nail Driving Contest
7:00 p.m. Milk Chugging Contest
8:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. Trixx on stage

Friday, August 8, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
6:00 p.m. Redneck games
6:00 p.m. Pie eating contest
6:30 p.m. Beautiful Baby Contest Winner to be announced
7:00 p.m. Root Beer Chugging Contest
7:30 p.m. Seed Spitting Contest
7:30 p.m. Chinese Auction Winners announced 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Nuttin Fancy Karaoke on stage

Saturday, August 9, 2009
8:30 a.m. 5th annual Harvey Gribble Memorial horseshoe tournament
12:00 p.m. Beaver Hall closes
1:00-4:00 p.m. Pick up competitive exhibits--Please be prompt
4:00 p.m. 2009 Cameron County Fair officially closed

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movie to be filmed in the area this fall

Tuesday, 07 July 2009
Denzel Washington, Chris Pine to star in 'Unstoppable.'
By Becky Polaski
Staff Writer
“Unstoppable,” a drama starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine is scheduled to be filmed in the area in the fall. According to Carla Wehler, Sales Director for Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, the film is a drama involving a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals.

It will be directed by Tony Scott and produced by 20th Century Fox. Filming in the area will take place mainly in Cameron County through individuals involved with the film will be lodged in Elk County as well. Wehler explained that the rail line running from Olean, N.Y. to Driftwood will be used in the film.

She added that she spent several days with the production staff in June showing them around the area. Wehler also noted that the project will bring considerable lodging revenue into the area. Mark Shade, Director of Communications for the Department of Community and Economic Development, also commented on the positive impact the movie will have on the area economy.

“We’re excited that this movie is going to be shot basically throughout Pennsylvania,” Shade said. “It is going to mean hundreds of hotel room nights for hotels in a very bad economy and that is always good news.”Shade added movie will also benefit area businesses as well. “The spin-off impact will be significant as well for businesses in the area that the shoots will occur,” Shade said. “It is great news.”According to the Internet Movie Database, “Unstoppable” is currently scheduled for release in theaters in 2011. Scott and Washington also worked together on The Taking of Pelham 123, which was released in theaters in June.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 July 2009 )

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pennsylvania Wildest: Exploring the designated wild areas in the PA Wilds

Quehanna Wild Area – Elk and Moshannon State Forests in Elk, Cameron, and Clearfield Counties (Tom Hanes)

There are many ways to access this vast, and I mean vast, 48,000-acre patch of serene second-growth forest in the most unpopulated part of the entire state. The Wykoff Run Natural Area occupies 1,215 acres within the wild area and contains a large stand of paper birch, giving the impression of a much more northerly forest.

The Quehanna also supports large open meadows which boast exceptional wildflowers in spring and summer. It is the largest Wild Area in the state.

Hunting excels here as does the cross country skiing for those seeking a no-groomed trail experience. See vestiges of the impact of a tornado that struck 24 years ago. Look for elk at Hoover Farm. Watch waterfowl at the Beaver Run Dam shallow water impoundment. Try geocaching at Wildcat Rocks. Last and maybe least, beware the creatures that glow in the night or so legends say (the Curtiss Wright Company tinkered with nuclear powered aircraft years ago but the land has been cleansed of any radioactivity).

Perhaps the area’s best activity is long-distance hiking on the Quehanna Trail, with a convenient trail head at Parker Dam State Park, five miles off of Interstate 80. Most suitable for experienced hikers and backpackers, the trail creates a strenuous 75-mile loop ready for multiple-day expeditions.

Memories are for the making in the Quehanna. I once encountered a cow elk at close range on the Foley Trail. If you are game for a visit, watch out for ticks, rattlesnakes, and frisky male deer and elk (you don’t want to have a close encounter with a bull elk!). There are several books available offering maps and details for exploring the Quehanna Trail and Wild Area.

The PA Wilds is Working!

By Mike Wennin
After several years of planning, laying foundations, and creating partnerships, the twelve county Pennsylvania Wilds initiative is beginning to see results.

The immense coalition of state advisors, county employees and local volunteers working to develop the Pennsylvania Wilds has begun to see the fruits of their labor. Hotel rooms (this does not take into account campsites, cabins and lodges) sold in the PA Wilds was up in 2008 6.5 percent (954,000 total rooms) with a 12 percent increase in revenue ($71.3 million) from these rooms. This is significant in that some of the state’s traditional vacation destinations saw a decline. All of the festivals and events in the region experienced increased or sustained visitation last year during a time of high gas prices.

In spite of the economy, this year has seen some incredible increases so far in attendance and participation in area events. Groundhog Day 2009 saw 13,500 visitors. The Chapman State Park Winterfest had 12,800 participants—up 2000 from 2008. The Chain Saw Carving Rendezvous saw 20,150 visitors and raised $45,900 at their closing day auction. The Kinzua Outdoor Show saw over 6000 attendees, an increase of some 1,200 people. The Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Classic had close to 200 boats in the water up from 124 last year.

In Clinton County applications were closed early for the Hyner Run Challenge as more than 770 people had signed up for the event- up 150 from last year. Maple Syrup Weekend in Potter and Tioga Counties saw double the number of visitors at some of the open Sugar Shacks with several hundred people from as far away as Maryland participating in the event. Various cabin rental locations in the region are already booked for the season and Interstate 80 hotels are holding their own which is significant in that other destination hotels are experiencing a decrease in overnight stays.

One of the most satisfying outcomes of the Pennsylvania Wilds has been seen locally through out the region as community after community has stepped up to take on the challenges of taking advantage of this opportunity.

Early on, nine groups of community leaders from around the region participated in the Balancing Nature and Tourism workshop where they learned first hand how to utilize the possibility and opportunities the initiative has to offer. They recently reported on their projects and listeners were amazed at the results these nine groups had produced in such a short time…many working outside of their comfort zones making a difference in their communities…all beaming with pride in what they had accomplished and what they will accomplish in the future.

One of the regions many success stories include the opening of the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce and Artisan Center that has seen sales of upwards of $20,000 since it opened last July. The Center was created by the Chamber to participate in the PA Wilds Artisan Trail and represents over 50 local artisans.

People involved with the Pennsylvania Wilds are convinced that these early numbers are just the beginning of what will be seen this season. The current economy will give Pennsylvanians and their close neighbors an opportunity to discover the treasures in their own back yards, giving the local economies a much needed boost.

For more information visit the website at
Mike Wennin is the executive director of the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Succesful 2009 Woodland Hobbit & Fairy Festival

Despite looming dark clouds and legions of "friendly flies", the 2nd Annual Woodland Hobbit and Fairy Festival in the Pennsylvania Wilds brought plenty of visitors to Hemlocks Springs Historic Crafts and Cultural Arts Center in Keating Summit on June 13. Turnout was most likely affected somewhat by the current economic situation as well as the predicated weather for the day but overall the festival was a success that built on and expanded many of the activities offered at last year's festival. Well over 100 attendees, most dressed as fairies, hobbits or other woodland fantasy creatures enjoyed music, stories, arts and crafts and much more. "We want the festival to keep growing and really appreciate the suggestions and comments from those who attended. Those suggestions allow us to make changes, upgrades and adjustments to keep the festival improving every year." said organizer Bonnie Wood.

The purpose of the Woodland Hobbit and Fairy Festival is to bring out the artist in each person through exposure to the natural world. Musicians, arts and crafts, a puppet show, storytellers and much more were all prominent features of the 2009 festival all offered in the outdoors. "The Center itself is nestled in a hollow high in the Allegheny Mountains so a natural theme is only, well . . . natural!" commented Wood. "Going Green" was part of this year's festival and a Nature Place tent featured information on how indiviuals can help the environment.

Plans for next year including expanding on the environmental theme as well as introducing more activities and crafts geared toward adults. "One of the suggestions we received this year is to have more activities for adults because we did have adults in attendance without children. We'll be working on organizing adult activities and crafts as we plan for next year's event and appreciate the input from our visitors," said Lori Hansen who handles marketing for the Center.

Finally, Wood offered this word of thanks to all those who helped with the festival. "On behalf of myself and the Fairy Council of Hemlocks Springs Center, I would like to thank all our dedicated volunteers and sponsors for making the second annual festival a success. Without the hard work of our volunteers, the festival absolutely would not be possible. A very special thank you to our volunteers from the ATF (Adult Training Facitily) at Dickinson Mental Health. Your hard work once again added so much to the success of the festival. We also thank all of the festival attendees and hope to see you next year!"