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January 11, 2018

Carrolltown talks trash removal challenges in new year

By Amber Stich

of Mainline Newspapers

At the January Carrolltown Borough council meeting, borough manager Lonnie Batdorf said the borough has made the transition from Waste Management to Burgmeier’s Hauling for its trash disposal, but the transition has not been without a few hiccups. Batdorf said overall the first pickup of the year went well with Burgmeier’s Hauling, but they did see a handful of residents who were not accustomed to the new pickup times. Batdorf said Burgmeier’s Hauling is using a different route pattern than residents were used to with Waste Management or Lee’s Disposal. Badorf encouraged residents to put their trash out by 5 a.m. until they see when the truck will reach their homes. Overall, Batdorf said residents read the door hangers about the changes, and most were able to experience no hiccups with the trash pickup. He said as the residents and the collectors get used to the new route, he feels most of the issues will be worked out by mid-January. Batdorf did mention that there

Donation

First National Bank Ebensburg branch manager Barb Kirby (third from left) presents a $4,000 check to Central Cambria Education Foundation board member Jeremy Wilson, school board president Dennis Simmers, high school principal Dr. Tricia Murin, acting superintendent Jason Moore, and CCEF alumni director Curt Mellott. The donation was made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit, a program available to all businesses in the state and a way for local businesses to support the foundation. Photo by Megan Riner.

            

   

        

   

                      

               

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Carrolltown council reorganizes, discusses cruiser issues PAGE 2 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Amber Stich

of Mainline Newspapers

Carrolltown Borough welcomed a new council member at its Jan. 2 reorganizational meeting. Darlene Lutch filled the position left by Ron Gwizdak after he decided not to run for re-election. Lutch, as well as returning council members Jim McCann, Drew Thomas, and Luke Baker, was sworn in by Carrolltown mayor James Ertter at the start of the meeting. After voting to reappoint Marty Passarella as president, the council motioned to appoint McCann as vice president. The council also voted to keep the regular meeting times and dates the same: the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. Lonnie Batdorf was again named bor-

Challenges CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

ough manager, and Bernetta Julick was appointed as the borough secretary and treasurer. Both of these appointments are for a for a two-year term. Suzann Lehmier was chosen by council to be borough solicitor in 2018, and The EADS Group was again named the borough’s engineering firm for the year. Bob Illig was reappointed to the municipal authority for a five-year term, and Wessel and Company was chosen as the borough auditors. The council then moved into its regular January meeting. Police chief Jeff McEvoy gave the council an overview of the past year’s police service. He said the police department had 4,080 calls in 2017, an increase of 464 calls from 2016. McEvoy then explained a situation the police were having with the new cruiser

were some issues concerning dumpsters, as there were areas where Waste Management had not yet removed its dumpsters, so Burgmeier’s Hauling could not put in its own dumpsters. Batdorf said this was handled last week and the new dumpsters should be in place now. Mayor James Ertter asked Batdorf if there were still recycling bins available for residents, and Batdorf said yes. The bins are free of charge for residents and can be picked up

where the battery was continually dying. Batdorf said it may have something to do with reusing some of the old vehicle’s equipment, and he had McEvoy disconnect things in the cruiser to see if that helped. However, both felt the issue was a more complicated electrical problem than they could fix, so they asked the council to allow Team Force, Inc. to look over the system and isolate the short. The council agreed. Batdorf then told the council that the borough planned to switch to a smaller anti-skid stone in the hopes it would stay on the road longer and provide better traction. This is the same size of antiskid stone used by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. He said the larger anti-skid stone seems to be flung off the road too quickly to be as

at the borough office during regular business hours. However, Batdorf said residents must fill out a form so the office knows who has the containers, as the bins are supposed to be returned to the office if the resident moves out of the borough. Batdorf said he was working with borough secretary Bernetta Julick on a letter to be sent to residents that will include all of the new information about trash pickup, recycling, recent bill changes, sidewalks, and other frequently asked questions to keep residents as up to date and

effective as they want it to be. Lastly, McCann brought up an event happening in February through a group called Bridging Cambria County. He said this information fair will feature more than 40 agencies presenting services available to the community. McCann also said the group has been working for more positive things, especially recreation, in northern Cambria County. “There is a lot of services out there that I don’t think people realize exist,” McCann said. “We have so many assets in the north that have been unrecognized.” He encouraged the council members to attend to learn about the different options available that could help the community and the initiatives started in the area.

well informed as possible. Lastly, councilman Mike Platt brought up an issue with a door installed in the garage in 2009 — the bricks around the door frame are beginning to fall out of the wall. Batdorf said the door gets heavy use, and that there was an outer layer of brick, an inner portion of something, and then another inner layer of brick that they would need to figure out how to fix. Platt said it is a concern to look into because the more water that can get into the area will just lead to more damage.


MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 3


Tusing to serve another term as Ebensburg council president PAGE 4 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Calem Illig

for Mainline Newspapers

After Magisterial District Judge Fred Creany administered the oath of office to newly elected and re-elected council members at the Ebensburg Borough reorganization meeting, the council unanimously reappointed Doug Tusing as president for the year. Susan Barber was appointed as vice president of the borough council. L.R. Kimball was appointed as the borough’s engineer after receiving six of seven votes from council members — newly elected council member Scott May abstained. Pawlowski, Homady, & Long was appointed to serve as the borough solicitor. Borough manager Dan Penatzer was appointed as the secretary/treasurer. Penatzer was also appointed to serve the borough in several other capacities, including acting as the zoning officer and property maintenance enforcement officer. The council also approved Penatzer to serve as a delegate for the Cambria Somerset Council of

Governments as well as the Cambria County Tax Collection Committee. Mary Ann Kaschalk, who is the Central Cambria School District business manager, was appointed as an alternate delegate for the tax collection committee. Penatzer was appointed to act as an alternate delegate for the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency. Tracy Storm was appointed as delegate. The council also appointed Penatzer as delegate of the Laurel Municipal Inspection Agency, with Storm serving as an alternate delegate. Approved depositories for the borough include First National Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, AmeriServ Financial, 1st Summit Bank, and the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust. Gerald McMullen was reappointed to the Ebensburg Municipal Authority with a term expiring in December 2022. Rich Barber was appointed to a four-year term with the planning commission, former Ebensburg

mayor Charles Moyer was appointed as a vacancy board member, and Dennis Glass was appointed to the Civil Service Commission. Hillary Yahner and Rose Marie Sadosky were recommended for appointment to the recreation board. Tusing implied that Sadosky was unsure if she wanted to continue her role on the board and would notify the borough of her decision. Penatzer said a decision from Sadosky “was needed by the time of the meeting.” “[Sadosky] said she wanted some time to make a decision,” Penatzer said. “We haven’t heard from her. Time’s up.” The council resolved to appoint Yahner and Sadosky to the recreation board. Margaret Stephan and Harold Eckenrod were reappointed to terms with the zoning hearing board. Stephan’s term is for three years, with Eckenrod’s being a one-year term. Dauntless Fire Department chief Mike Sheehan and John Hawksworth were reappointed to the Central Cambria

and inspections. Gary Makosy was appointed as the full-time chief of police for the township. The supervisors approved a motion to allow all supervisors and secretaries to attend the state convention in April. Payment was authorized for registration fees and transportation included in the convention. Township employees will be compensated at their regular rate. Employees compensated for attending the meeting cannot receive the $50 attendance payment. Bracken was appointed as the voting delegate for both the state and county conventions, with Melnyk serving as an alternate. The supervisors also approved roadmasters to work on a parttime basis. The roadmaster may not work more than 45 hours per two-week pay period, with salary and benefits set by the auditor. This approval grants any supervisor permission to work flexible hours, and that supervisor is considered an employee of the township. Part-time supervisors are not eligible for compensation time.

Bracken and Melnyk were appointed to serve as full-time roadmasters for the township, with Shook being a part-time roadmaster. The supervisors will continue to hold regular monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. The supervisors meet again on Jan. 17.

Bracken retains chairman position By Calem Illig

for Mainline Newspapers

At Cambria Township’s reorganization meeting, Tim Bracken was appointed to continue his position as chairman of the board of supervisors for 2018. Robert Shook and Jim Melnyk remain as supervisors for 2018, with Melnyk serving as the vice chairman. Susan Mazenko was appointed to serve as the secretary and treasurer. Tim Washko was appointed to hold the vacancy board member position, and Gary Costlow was appointed as the township’s solicitor. AmeriServ Financial, First National Bank, and S&T Bank were named as depositories. Bracken, Melnyk, Shook, and Mazenko were appointed as approved signers. Ebensburg Insurance Agency will carry insurance for the township. In accordance with federal guidelines, the mileage rate was set to 54.5 cents per mile. Linda Makin, who had been the longtime 511 tax collector, elected not to continue her term as the township’s tax collector. Carol Keim-Driskel was therefore appointed as the 511 tax collector. Berkheimer Associates was appointed to collect earned income taxes. David Wilson was appointed as the certified public accountant for the 2017 annual audit. Terry Shulsky was appointed to serve as the zoning and compliance officer, Patti Urgolitis was appointed as a water authority member, and Richard Evans was appointed as a sewer authority member with a term ending in December 2022. Dennis Simmers was appointed to a four-year term on the planning commission board, but voting was not unanimous for Simmers. Bracken and Melnyk voted yes, and Shook voted no. Norberto Marshal was appointed to the water authority, Terry Shulsky was appointed as the zoning/compliance officer as well as an appeals board member, and Susan Mazenko was appointed as the open records officer. Jack Schaffer, along with CPS Surveys, was appointed as the township engineer. ASI, LLC was appointed to serve as the alternate engineer. Middle Department Inspection Agency was appointed for code enforcement of buildings

Emergency Management Council. The council approved to hold monthly meetings on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30

p.m. For the months of May and December, due to the holiday seasons, the council will meet on the third Monday. The council will meet next on Jan. 22.


DEP halts Sunoco pipeline construction due to violations

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 5

By Joshua Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

A major project that spans the entire state was shut down on Jan. 3. Sunoco Logistics’ construction of the Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline has been a serious topic of conversation over the last few years. Permits for the project were provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection in February 2017, and the work began not long after. The pipeline has garnered attention and complaints across its entire length, which stretches from the Ohio border to the Philadelphia area, but not much prevented advancement of the line. In July 2017, a court order halted construction in certain sections of the project due to infiltration of the non toxic slurry used to lubri-

cate the directional drill head. The work was up and running again early in August after a settlement was reached. But according to DEP press secretary Neil Shader, the company has had an “overall pattern of violations” during the construction period that led to the complete halt of development last week. “It’s not one singular incident,” Shader said. These violations are a handful of different actions ranging from unpermitted work to using the directional drilling technology in areas where it’s not approved. It also includes “inadvertent returns,” which is the infiltration of the slurry to waterways of the commonwealth. Shader said that though this mixture leaking into the water is nontoxic, it can still negatively affect the natural habitats.

The company has 30 days to submit documents about future construction to the DEP proving the details of the providing permits will be met from this point on. “We want to make sure Sunoco is going to follow the conditions laid out in the permits,” Shader said. However, there is no timeline for review by the DEP after the documents are submitted. This could potentially push the restart of construction back by months, according to Shader. Sunoco had released a statement in November 2017 explaining that the completion date for ME2 was moved to the second quarter of 2018. A Sunoco representative did not return a phone call about how this construction impediment will affect the local area of the planned installation of a third pipeline after the completion of ME2.

Cambria County Veteran Services holds town hall meeting

‘Many veterans know the VA exists, but we don’t know how it operates’ By Amber Stich

of Mainline Newspapers

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, Cambria County Veteran Services held its first town hall meeting at the Patton Public Library to offer local veterans a chance to get information about the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and to answer any questions they had about their own coverage and benefits. Last year, the VA helped around 2 million veterans and their families. In Cambria County alone there are 13,000 veterans, according to the last census, and even more people who make up those veterans’ families who are served by the VA. Cambria County Veteran Affairs director Josh Houser said the town hall initiative is new this year. It was created from the VA’s desire to reach out to the communities more and through the efforts of the Cambria County commissioners to further the information bubble and disseminate the right information to veterans. “This is a way to say thank you to our veterans and offer ways to help them or at least point them in the right direction,” president commissioner Tom Chernisky said. Houser added that with the winter months, these events in the local communities give veterans, who may not be able to travel easily in poor weather, an opportunity to reach out to the VA and have their concerns addressed. “It is really about more outreach to the entire county,”

Houser said. “We want to provide information about what the VA does and the possible benefits. Many veterans know the VA exists, but we don’t know how it operates.” Houser said these events will give veterans an opportunity to sit down with VA staff and other veterans to help clear up any confusion or frustration they have with the system and get

them on the way to solving problems or treatment for their health concerns. “Veterans think there is only one door to the VA, but that is not true. There are many doors you can go through to get the help you need,” Houser said. “We want to hear what is important to you and your concerns with the VA. We need to hear what is going on before we can

do anything.” Houser said he was happy to see such a positive turnout in the Northern Cambria area and hopes to see just as many veterans at the other town hall meetings. The Patton town hall was only the first of seven different meetings the VA has planned over the next two months. Chernisky added that the county is already planning to hold

similar events in September and October, so veterans are encouraged to look out for meetings in their areas then. Houser encourages veterans or anyone who knows a veteran and wants to help their situation to attend these meetings. “You really should check it out,” Houser said. “You can learn things that could really help.”


Jackson supervisors reorganize

PAGE 6 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Allie Garver

of Mainline Newspapers

The Jackson Township supervisors held their reorganization meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7:30 a.m. Supervisors John Wallet and Bruce Baker were present to make a quorum for the meeting. Supervisor Eric Dreikorn was unable to attend. Baker and Wallet were reappointed to serve as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Dave Hirko was reappointed to serve as the township’s secretary and treasurer. Hirko will also serve the township as the driveway and street encroachment officer and as the alternate member to the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency. The supervisors were appointed to be the roadmasters, and approval was given to affirm that the supervisors are township employees. Baker will serve as the regular attending member to the Cambria County Association of Township Officials, and Wallet was reappointed as the alternate attending member. Baker was also reappointed as a member of the of the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency. Moving on to other township boards, Paul Wyrwas was reappointed to a four-year term as a member of the Jackson Township Planning Commission. Rick Fetzer will serve three more years on the zoning hearing board, and John Letizia Jr. was reappointed to serve for three years as an alternate member on that same board.

The Jackson Township Water Authority appointed Bill Grubb to fill the remainder of the term left vacant by Ray Dodson’s resignation. Robb Piper was reappointed to a five-year term on the water authority’s board. George Burkey was reappointed to a five-year term on the Jackson/East Taylor Sewer Authority’s board. He was also reappointed to continue his service as the township’s zoning officer. The supervisors also reappointed Scott Emerson and Brett Hoffman as emergency management coordinator and assistant emergency management coordinator, respectively. Police officer Phil Vaught will once again serve as the township’s officer in charge for 2018. William Barbin, from the law firm Gleason, Barbin & Markovitz, will serve as the township’s solicitor, and C.J. Webb, from the law firm of Smorto, Persio, Webb & McGill, is the zoning hearing board solicitor. The Middle Department Inspection Agency is once again in charge of the township’s building codes enforcement. The meetings for this year will continue to be held on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m. and the last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. There is no meeting on Jan. 11, and the December meeting will be held on Dec. 20 rather than Dec. 27. The next supervisors meeting is Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m.

Munster Township increases bonds By Joshua Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

Not much changed at the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting of the Munster Township Board of Supervisors. Gene Orlosky retained the chair position, and Pat Lee kept the position of roadmaster. Relatively new supervisor Francis “Jake� Hoover was appointed as the vice chair, and longtime secretary/treasurer Alice Mento kept her position as well. One of the only adjustments made was an increase in the treasurer’s bond. It went from $75,000 to $100,000. “It went up because of our liquid fuels,� Mento said. Another adjustment that needed to be addressed was the open vacancy board position. Mento explained that since Ed McMullen had passed away, the supervisors needed to think of someone to take his place. Moving on to the regular agenda, township resident Ron Farabaugh provided a single comment. He explained to the board that someone had “borrowed� the Cooney Road sign. He said he just wanted to let the board know the sign was missing and that it needs to be replaced. Lee said he had already been made aware of the missing sign and was hoping to have a sign in place by the weekend after the meeting. Farabaugh asked if anyone knew how long the sign had been gone. He said he noticed about two weeks ago.

Lee stated that he wasn’t sure exactly how long the sign has been gone, but he had noticed its absence. In other business, Mento said the bills totaled $109,621.19. Of that, $101,000 is going to the construction company for the Spinner Road bridge payment. Solicitor Dan Stants

asked if that was the last payment for the work, but Mento said it was only Estimate 8. She added that the board just submitted Estimate 12, which means she has at least four more payments to make. This is because the reimbursements from the state are coming in slow, according to Mento.

Ebensburg VFW collecting valentines for veterans

The Ebensburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4963 will be sending valentine packages to local men and women who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. The VFW knows the sacrifice of being away from family and friends can be very lonely for our soldiers and sailors, whether they are serving on foreign soils, in the seas and oceans, or at state side bases. This is why the VFW wants them to know that we never forget the sacrifices they make every day to ensure our safety and freedom back home. Post 4963 is collecting donations of snacks, toiletry items, word search books, etc. to include in the boxes. Donations can be dropped off at the VFW at 120 West Sample St. in Ebensburg. Names and addresses of those currently serving are also being accepted. All donations and submissions will be accepted until Jan. 29. For more information, contact Rose Marie Sadosky at 814-472-7737.

      

         

     

        

          

       

       

      

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 7


Jackson Water Authority board reviews draft budget

PAGE 8 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Allie Garver

of Mainline Newspapers

On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Jackson Township Water Authority’s main discussion was the budget. Engineer Pat Mulcahy handed out copies of the draft budget for the board members to review prior to the next meeting. Mulcahy said he scaled back on the income — or water sales — portion of the budget for this year. “Last year I tried to be thinking that we would do a little better. Now that we have those meters replaced, the 200 meters, that may make a difference,� said Mulcahy. “But, being conservative, I did scale that back.�

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Mulcahy added that he’s hoping the bulk water sales for the authority will be “good again� because they have supplemented the authority’s income in the past. Due to the pending retirement of foreman Karl Smith, Mulcahy said he could reduce the operating wages since Smith’s replacement will not make the same amount he did. “So it kind of looks like we’ll be fine without a water rate increase,� said Robb Piper. Mulcahy said he believed an increase was unnecessary for this year. The authority’s new billing software, Muni-Link, is a higher cost and a capital expenditure, according to Mulcahy. He

of Mainline Newspapers

     

           

          

or replace it. The meter pits are more expensive, Mulcahy said, but the tradeoff for their easy accessibility might be worth it. “I think that’s [the new meters] going to make an improvement in the water sales and also the unaccounted for water, for sure, moving into 2018,� said Mulcahy. Before closing the meeting, Piper said the 2003 utility truck is “aging.� The body has already been replaced, and the truck was at the mechanic’s again for a $1,000 fix at the time of the meeting. Mulcahy said the budget is “not etched in stone.� He asked that the board review it and contact him if any changes need to be made.

Steelers prepare to play Jaguars on Sunday By Jake Oswalt

   

added that an increase in rates could be made for that system but isn’t necessary. “I don’t think you need a rate increase,� said Mulcahy. “I think you can manage through the budget — your depreciation account is in very good shape.� The meter replacement project in 2017 was a big step in bettering the overall system, according to Mulcahy. “I think we should try to continue that, maybe not 200, but maybe do 50,� said Mulcahy. “Take some of the oldest meters we have in the system and consider changing those out.� Mulcahy said installing the meter pits is a better idea because the workers do not have to enter a home to fix the meter

For the fourth straight year, the Pittsburgh Steelers will face a team they previously lost to in the regular season in the NFL playoffs. Pittsburgh will host Jacksonville in a rematch of a Week 5 contest on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. in the AFC Divisional round. No. 3 seed Jacksonville defeated Buffalo in the first round with a 10-3 victory. On Oct. 8, the Jaguars came into Heinz Field and scored 23 unanswered points to knock off Pittsburgh by a 30-9 score. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a careerhigh five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. “For me, personally, I’d love to prove that five interceptions wasn’t me in that game,� Roethlisberger said last week. Led by Leonard Fournette’s 181 yards on 28 carries, the Jaguars racked up 231 rushing yards on 37 totes. Jacksonville led the NFL with 141 rushing yards per game. Forcing quarterback Blake Bortles, who compiled 88 rushing yards compared to 87 passing yards against Buffalo, to make plays through the air will likely play a large role in the outcome of Sunday’s game. “If we force them into situations where they have to pass and they can’t run the ball, we can really create havoc and really force that quarterback into some bad mistakes,� Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward said. Bortles finished with just a 48.2 rating against Pittsburgh in October as he went 8-of-14 for 95 yards and an interception. Pittsburgh led 9-7 early in the third quarter. But Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned Roethlisberger interceptions for touchdowns in the third quarter to go up 20-9. Over the last three seasons, the Steelers are 2-1 against teams they previously lost to in a playoff rematch. Pittsburgh dropped a 30-17 decision at home to Baltimore in 2014. But the

Steelers defeated Cincinnati (1816) in 2015 and Miami (30-12) last year. Jacksonville and Pittsburgh have only met once before in the postseason. In 2007, the Jaguars ended Pittsburgh’s season with a 31-29 victory at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh will likely have AllPro wide receiver Antonio Brown back in the lineup on Sunday. Brown suffered a significant contusion to his left calf on Dec. 17, 2017, against New England and has not played since. Expect to see Jaguars All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey shadow Brown throughout Sunday’s contest.

In the absence of Brown, other Steelers receivers have stepped to the forefront. Rookie JuJu SmithSchuster has caught 21 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns over the last three games. Martavis Bryant added 13 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown over the same span. “All the receivers have done a great job. Luckily, it has only been a game and a half. They’ve done an awesome job but he’s special,� Roethlisberger said of Brown, who led the NFL with 1,533 receiving yards in 14 games. “He’s a spectacular receiver and he’s the best in the

business for a reason, so that’s why it would be beneficial to get him back.� Smith-Schuster finished the regular season with 58 catches for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. “To me, he was a guy who in college did a lot of things. Sometimes you maybe don’t see the specialization or maybe it doesn’t show in statistics even though he did have a nice average,� Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said of SmithSchuster. “He’s just a well-roundSEE STEELERS, PAGE 9B

2017 STEELERS SCHEDULE PRESEASON

Fri., Aug. 11 ........at New York ..........W 20-12 Sun., Aug. 20 ......ATLANTA ..............W 17-13 Sat., Aug. 26........INDIANAPOLIS ....L 19-15 Thurs., Aug. 31 ..at Carolina ............W 17-14

REGULAR SEASON

Sun., Sept. 10......at Cleveland..........W 21-18 Sun., Sept. 17 ....MINNESOTA ........W 26-9 Sun., Sept. 24 ....at Chicago ..........L 23-17 Sun., Oct. 1 ........at Baltimore ........W 26-9 Sun., Oct. 8 ........JACKSONVILLE ....L 30-9 Sun., Oct. 15 ......at Kansas City ....W 19-13 CONTEST RULES

1. Complete the coupon of the folowing page by guessing the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the AFC Championship Game and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon. 2. Find the advertisement with the hidden Steelers jersey number (see coupon for this week’s player) and list the business on the entry coupon. One coupon will be chosen at random from all

Sun., Oct. 22 ......CINCINNATI..........W 29-14 Sun., Oct. 29 ......at Detroit ..............W 20-15 Sun., Nov. 5 ........BYE Sun., Nov. 12 ......at Indianapolis ....W 20-17 Thurs., Nov. 16 ..TENNESSEE ..........W 40-17 Sun., Nov. 26 ......GREEN BAY ..........W 31-28 Mon., Dec. 4 ......at Cincinnati ......W 23-20 Sun., Dec. 10 ......BALTIMORE ..........W 39-38 Sun., Dec. 17 ......NEW ENGLAND ..L 27-24 Mon., Dec. 25 ....at Houston ..........W 34-6 Sun., Dec. 31 ......CLEVELAND ..........W 28-24 Support the merchants on these pages!

entries to win an additional $25 merchandise certificate.

3. Enter one of the participating advertisers on these contest pages in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be one of the two contest winners. There will be two $25 contest certificates given away each week. 4. Clip and forward the coupon to: ‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Mainline Newspapers, P.O. Box 777, Ebensburg, PA 15931.

5. All entries must be received at

the Mainline Newspaper office by 4 p.m. Fri.., January 19. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original (no photocopies).

6. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize. In event two or more contestants tie for closest to the total score, one winner will be randomly selected to win the $25 certificate.


Steelers

MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 9

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

ed guy who to me is just very tough. He’s obviously skilled. He’s very coachable, and I can’t say that enough. When you have a guy who’s hungry to learn and listens and really you don’t have to tell him more than once and doesn’t make the same mistake twice, that’s the makings of a guy who’s got a chance to be really good.� Roethlisberger believes the team benefited greatly from its first playoff bye since 2010.

“It feels good to let your body get healed up this time of year. Everybody is banged and bruised up,� he said. “We all [have] dings, bumps, cuts, bruises, and things like that, so to get some time to get as healed as you can — no one is going to be fully healed by the time the game comes, but to get an extra two weeks of healing is definitely beneficial.� On the defensive side, linebackers L.J. Fort and Sean Spence have split duties filling

in for injured Ryan Shazier. “I think Spence has done a good job for us coming in. Spence played here a while back when I was coaching the linebackers, and he pretty much knows the defense pretty well and he’s gotten better and better over the weeks,� Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said. “Some people have run the ball against us. We got to make sure they can’t run the ball and get them in situations where they have to throw the ball.�

Pittsburgh focused on sharpening its own sword during the bye week since its opponent was not decided until Sunday, Jan. 7. “We’ll continue to talk about technique and skill development relative to our positions,� Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “It is our desire to continue to be a team on the rise as the road gets narrow, and the only way that we do that is that we grow. We grow in understanding, we grow in technique, we

           

 

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grow in execution, and so that is where we will utilize our time this week as we prepare for the next time we walk into a stadium. But I think it is appropriate at this time when you aren’t playing anyone to maximize this opportunity that we have to focus on ourselves — things that we do well, things that we do not do well, how we can grow individually and collectively — so that will be the overall trajectory of our focus this week.�

  

     

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2 WAYS TO WIN ONE OF TWO $25 MERCHANDISE CERTIFICATES!

Name:________________________________Phone:______________

Address:__________________________________________________ COUPON FOR GAME OF SUNDAY JANUARY 21

1) Guess the Winning Team of the featured game: _____Steelers/Jaguars vs. ______Titans/Patriots 2) Guess the Total Points that will be Scored in this Game: _______ Total Points

— BONUS $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE —

3) Hidden in one of the Steelers Contest advertisements on these pages is Fitzgerald Toussaint’s jersey number. List the name of the business in which the number appears:_______________________________ 4) Should I win either of the two $25 merchandise certificates, I would like to redeem my certificate at:

(List business from these pages)___________________________________________________________________

Mail to: Steelers Football Contest c/o Mainline Newspapers, P.O. Box 777, Ebensburg, PA 15931

All entries must be received at the Mainline Newspaper office by 4 p.m. Friday, January 19. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. One coupon per person.

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Professor uses experiences to call attention to refugee crisis PAGE 10 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

By Joshua Byers

of Mainline Newspapers

Roxana Cazan is a professor of literature and languages at St. Francis University in Loretto, but she’s not from around here. The 37-year-old grew up in Sibiu, a small town in Romania, under a strict Communist government. She said her parents were not threats to the regime, which allowed for what she considered a privileged life upon later reflection, as well as a quiet existence. However, not everything was pleasant about growing up there. According to Cazan, due to the desire of the leader at that time, Nicolae Ceausescu, to pay back old debts, her small town experienced a great deal of strife. Food and other products were shipped out of the area, leaving local store shelves bare most of the time. Cazan recalled many occasions where she took ration slips to purchase bread and wandered around the empty aisles looking for anything else. But when the new delivery of food would arrive, jubilation could

be heard ringing through the streets via the sound of small voices. The neighborhood children kept a close watch on the streets, Cazan explained. When the trucks came through, everyone knew it was time to get to the store. “We would just go about yelling, ‘Food is here, food is here,’� Cazan said. Her life wasn’t horrible, though, and Cazan commented that it was even fun. The situation was enjoyable because she and her friends had good imaginations. When the Romanian constitution was adopted in 1991, the communist leadership was abolished and a new time for the country arose. Cazan said the children with more affluent parents were able to travel abroad, something she desired to do as well. Because there wasn’t much to do in Sibiu, Cazan would study to occupy her time, and that afforded her the dreams she desired. She started investigating scholarships and schools in the United States, all the while unknowingly following similar footsteps to that of a rela-

tive. Cazan’s great-grandmother Ana moved to the U.S. in 1906 with nothing and no one. She built a life in Pennsylvania and established herself as a productive citizen, which was an accomplishment for a female immigrant of the time. All this information was foreign to Cazan until recently when she began researching her family history. “In a way, I feel like her alter ego,� Cazan said. “I feel like I’m Baba Ana Jr.� Cazan spent seven years in the U.S. before becoming a citizen. She studied English at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and then she traveled to the Indiana University of Bloomington, where she received her master’s degree in creative writing and doctorate in comparative ethnic and post colonial literature. She applied to teach at St. Francis in 2014. Cazan said her education was made possible by something she did her first winter in the country. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has a pro-

BVMA working to fix ‘hit or miss’ problems at Fords Corner

By Allie Garver

of Mainline Newspapers

Although the Blacklick Valley Municipal Authority has closed out the Fords Corner sewer project, there have been some “hit or miss� problems, according to chairman Mike Pisarcik. “We got rags going into the pump, catching around the pump,� said Pisarcik. “We’re talking about putting a small screen setup in our basket strainers. I mean, that’s going to stop it, but it’s going to be more maintenance on our end.� Engineer Richard Wray said what is getting caught in the pump should pass without a problem. “It seems like what it’s doing is, it catches a little bit, then it starts catching until it builds up and it won’t allow the pump to turn,� added Pisarcik. Desmond Warzel asked if there is a shredder that can be used in this situation that “will circulate and shred� the rags. Wray referred to such a machine, called a “muffin monster,� but said it will probably cost between

$15,000 and $20,000 to purchase one.

“It will be a macerator, but you

FREE giveaway 3rd Wed. of the month: 200 (Each admission gives you a chance to win.)

LAST JACKPOT 500 IN 55 NUMBERS MYSTERY #’S EVERY WED. & FRI.

                

  





  

 

 

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series of free verse, narrative, and persona poems to detail and examine the suffering of the immigrants. She interspersed poems about her own life as well. “I don’t want to speak on behalf of other people,� Cazan said, “Rather, I want to put my voice in the mouths of those who have been silenced.� She added that these people just want to work hard and live their lives. She said she can’t understand the global response to what she described as one of the largest crises since the Jewish exodus following World War II. Reflection on this topic also brought her to a question: “Why was I worthy of citizenship in this country and not a family in Syria who woke up one morning to a bomb destroying their home?� Cazan channeled her poems into a recently released collection: “The Accident of Birth,� through which she hopes will bring attention, empathy, and compassion to the refugee situation.

‘Kountry’ every Wednesday & Friday BINGO PORTAGE MOOSE HALL

SEE BVMA, PAGE 14

         

           

   

gram called the “Diversity Immigrant Visa,� otherwise known as the “green card lottery.� According to the USCIS website, uscis.gov, this program accounts for “50,000 immigrant visas available annually.� The lottery randomly selects individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S., like Romania, to receive a green card. Cazan was awarded it upon submitting her first and only application. After a mandatory five-year waiting period, she started the process to become a citizen. According to her, everything was done with complete ease. However, that ease led to a great deal of guilt in the following years. After studying “white privilege� and witnessing the Syrian refugee crisis, Cazan felt despondent. She turned to a craft that she was familiar with: poetry. Using what she had developed over the course of her life of writing and education, Cazan created a









           

            



      

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 11

Tax season begins Jan. 29, ends April 17

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 29, and reminds taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds won’t be available before late February. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year, so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15. Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 29 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds. The IRS set the Jan. 29 open-

ing date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns. The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before midFebruary. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prioryear information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2017 tax return. April 17 filing deadline The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday, April 16. However, Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17. Under the

tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation. The IRS also has been working with the tax industry and state revenue departments as part of the Security Summit initiative to continue strengthening processing systems to protect taxpayers from identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS and Summit partners continued to improve these safeguards to further protect taxpayers filing in 2018. Refunds in 2018 Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects more than four out of

five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software. The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not SEE TAX, PAGE 14

              

          

  

 


MISCELLANEOUS FOR SALE

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

TOP QUALITY, HIGH HEAT, LOW ASH COAL: West Virginia, nut and pea mixed. $130/ ton, delivered. Cambria, nut and pea. $120/ ton delivered. Buckwheat and rice. $215/ ton delivered. RON nut and pea mixed $110/ ton. 814-341-7435 or 674-8169.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • Page 12

EBENSBURG: One large bedroom, kitchen, living room and bath. New carpeting, kitchen with new stove, microwave and refrigerator. Second floor in center of town. Heat, water, sewer, garbage pick-up and off-street parking included. References and security deposit required. No pets. $450/ month. Call 472-8650.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

EBENSBURG: Small and large 1-2 bedroom, 2-bedroom townhouse with 1.5 bath, all include heat/water/sewage/garbage, off-street parking. No pets. Storage available. $460$850/month. 471-0462. GALLITZIN: Nice 2nd floor, 1 bedroom. $440. Includes all utilties. 9328033. GALLITZIN: Nice 2nd floor, 2 bedroom. $520 +electric. 814-932-8033. LILLY: 1 bedroom. $350/ month. Includes all utilities. 814-932-8033. MARKET STREET COMMONS IN JOHNSTOWN: 1-2 bedroom apartments available. Utilities included. 814-536-6122 for details. Equal Housing Opportunity. MUNSTER: 2nd floor, 2 bedroom. Close to Mt. Aloysius. Includes heat, water, sewer, garbage, stove, refrigerator, washer/ dryer. Off-street parking. No pets/ no smoking. $600/ month. Security deposit required. 937-1760 or 931-7694. PATTON: 1 bedroom. Water, sewage, garbage, heat, stove, fridge, laundry hook-ups included. No pets. $450/ month. 814-691-8247.

CRESSON: 1 bedroom. No pets. Call 886-2377, 8-5.

CRESSON: 2 bedroom townhouses, close to town, Mt. Aloysius & St. Francis. No smoking, no pets. Call Archie at 814-886-2100. CRESSON: Nice, very large 3rd floor, 2 bedroom. $725 includes all utilities. 814-932-8033. EBENSBURG: 2 bedroom. Includes heat, water, sewer, garbage, refrigerator and stove. Over 1000 sq. ft. Large closets. Coin operated laundry. Off street parking. No pets/ smoking. Now available. $650. 472-8440. EBENSBURG: 1st floor and 2nd floor, 1 bedroom. Utilities included. $550/ month. 814-242-0869. EBENSBURG: New, remodeled, large 2 bedroom, laundry, outside porch, w/s/g, electric, gas heat incl. $850/ month, 2 units available. 814241-8384. LORETTO RD: 1 bedroom, $450. 2 bedroom, $550. All utilties included except electric. Security deposit. No pets. 814-330-6294.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 1 bedroom, water, garbage, sewage, stove, refrigerator included. Laundry hook-up. No pets/ smoking. $340/ month. Deposit required. 814-932-3085 or 814948-9791. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 1 bedroom, all utilities included except water & electric. No pets. 814-951-3976. NORTHERN CAMBRIA: 2 & 3 bedroom apts. Heat, water, garbage, sewage included. No pets. 948-8392.

COMMERCIAL FOR RENT

EBENSBURG: A little over 4000 sq. ft. 601 W. Lloyd St. Call Kevin 4727707. OFFICE/ RETAIL SPACE for rent in Ebensburg Mini Mall available. 1,600 sq. ft. Call for details 472-4740. PATTON: Medical office for rent. Completely remodeled. Excellent high visibility location. 814-674-5806.

      

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HELP WANTED

AIDES: All shifts. Apply within at Rebekah Manor in Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage. 814-472-6868. AUTO CAD DRAFTSMAN: Full-time. Knowledge of Auto-Cad LT to create two dimensional shop drawings recreated from structural drawings, displaying the use of our manufactured product. Creating detailed drawings for plant production, along with the use of Excel spreadsheets. On the job training will be provided. Strong communication skills necessary. Apply in person at Say-Core, 132 Block Rd., Portage. No phone calls please.

    

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LORETTO: 5 bedroom, 5.5 acres. 2 car garage. $120,000. 973-919-2676.

    

      

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COLVER: 3 bedroom, 1 bath. Recently updated. $79,900. 814-2418211.

CAREGIVERS AGENCY: Background check and TB test required. All shifts. EOE. 814-266-5337. CDL DRIVER: Hospitalization, MSHA required. 5 years experience. Call Ron 814-322-7412. CERTIFIED NURSE AIDES: Noncertified applicants will also be considered. 28-38 hours per week on average. Must be able to pass a background check and drug screen. Apply in person at Saint Benedict Manor, Inc., 600 Theatre Road, St. Benedict, PA 15773. EOE. LABORERS to work in precast plant. $10.00/ hr. with scheduled raises. Hospitalization and paid holidays. Must be drug free and pass drug test. Apply in person at Say-Core, 132 Block Rd., Portage, PA 15956. No phone calls please.

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HOUSES FOR SALE

BARTENDER: Weekends and some daytime. Get application at Portage Legion. 814-736-9945.

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LORETTO: 3 bedroom home completely furnished. $600/ month +utilities. 814-472-8303.

HELP WANTED

  

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 13

HELP WANTED

CONEMAUGH HEALTH SYSTEM a Duke LifePoint Hospital, the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania, is a physician-led, professionally managed health system servicing a 5-county region. Our culture is based on innovation, quality and exceptional patient care. CHS offers a continuum of care, from highly specialized services to nationally recognized clinical programs and community outreach. We are actively recruiting for the following positions for a physician office in the Ebensburg area: MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT Position requires a graduate of a Medical Office Assistant Program or Certified Nursing Assistant Program or appropriate on the job training in a medical office setting. Previous phlebotomy skills preferred. The successful candidate will be performing clinical and general office duties in an outpatient setting.

If you are a professional who is seeking an opportunity to grow and develop your career in a unique and desirable workplace while making a difference in peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, please apply online at www.conemaugh.org. CHS is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities/ Females/ Veterans/ Individuals with Disabilities. WAITRESS & COOK: Beaver St. Cafe, Hastings. Apply within.

   

HELP WANTED

DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS for intellectually disabled adults. Competitive hourly wage. Part-time and full-time available. All shifts. 814-410-6197. EOE.

DRIVERS: 1yr. Class-A. $57,000 to $77,000 yr. $500 orientation pay! $16/ hr. detention pay! Medical, dental, vision. Home every weekend! 855-200-4631. FLAT BED DRIVERS: 2 years experience. CDL License, Class A. Home every night. No weekends. Delivery in surrounding states. Must be drug free and pass drug test. Apply in person at: Say-Core, 132 Block Rd., Portage, PA 15946 or email to: ed@saycore.com. No phone calls please. FT MASSAGE THERAPIST OR PTA to assist with manual therapy and/ or rehab. If interested email resume to chirotip@aol.com. FULL-TIME TRANSCRIPTION positions at Sargentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Personnel Agency available. Daylight and evening hours available. Good spelling, grammar and 40wpm are required. Training provided. Paid vacation and holidays within the first year. Send resumes to: personnel@sargents.com. EOE. FULL-TIME/ PART-TIME CARE AIDE wanted at personal care home in Cresson. Call Debby at 886-7961. GALINIS CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CENTER NOW HIRING: We are looking to hire someone who loves children and is willing to help them grow. You must have experience with children and current clearances. To apply, send resume to GCC2015@aim.com, make it attention â&#x20AC;&#x153;resumeâ&#x20AC;?, or mail to: Jaime Galinis, 237 4th Avenue, P.O. Box 488, Hastings, PA 16646.

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ITALIAN VILLAGE PIZZA in Ebensburg is now accepting applications for the following positions: Morning cashiers and drivers. Applicants must be reliable, high energy and friendly. Previous restaurant experience is a plus. If interested, call 4722202 or inquire within. Apply in person. NOW HIRING JAMES DRUG STORE, PORTAGE: 2 full-time positions for pharmacy cashier. 814-7138074. THE HASTINGS BOROUGH POLICE DEPARTMENT is now accepting applications for the position of PART-TIME POLICE OFFICER with a deadline for submission of Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Minimum qualifications include: Act 120 Certified, United States citizen, high school diploma or equivalent, must be 21 years of age and complete a background check. Applications can be picked up at the Hastings Borough Office Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or can be downloaded from our website www.hastingsborough.com. Please mail applications to Hastings Borough, Attn: Police Committee, P.O. Box 559, Hastings, PA 16646. WAITRESS NEEDED: Apply at Starlite. 948-4809.

        

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HARBAUGH ELECTRIC: Quality workmanship at affordable rates. Fully insured. 814-743-6166. PARTIES, WEDDINGS, SEMINARS, SPECIAL EVENTS: Cresson American Legion ballroom. 886-8567. RICKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S REMODELING/ HANDYMAN: All home improvements and paint, wallpaper, siding, decks/ ramps. PA#045341. 814-886-5504. SHAFFER TREE SERVICE, LLC: Tree removal, tree/shrub trimming, stump grinding, fertilizing, landscaping. Free estimates, fully insured. Owner Rick Shaffer 736-4168.

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FREE TO A GOOD HOME: 3 month old black kitten with white toes. Litter trained. 674-5516.

   

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PAGE 14 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

CONITNUED FROM PAGE 10

got to run power,â&#x20AC;? said Wray, noting the additional cost to run the

machine each month. While discussing the Fords Corner project, Pisarcik brought

up the digging along Plank Road. A homeowner put a grinder pump in and it caused a problem. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What happened was, they bored that and we found out later it was like 9 foot deep,â&#x20AC;? said Pisarcik. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They had to go down underneath a culvert. Eventually we found the line.â&#x20AC;? Pisarcik explained that LB Water installed a backflow preventer for that line, but later received a call from the homeowner saying that he put it in backward.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know right now, for sure, the shutoff is in wrong,â&#x20AC;? said Pisarcik. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when I should have picked it up, but I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;? Pisarcik said he had the pumps running and a water line was hit, but no sewage came at the workers, which means the backflow preventer is wrong. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once them pumps kicked on, we should have had sewage right there in the ditch â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t,â&#x20AC;? Pisarcik said. Once the weather breaks, Pisarcik is going to address the

problem by opening the shutoff, hitting the pumps, and seeing what happens. If nothing happens, then Pisarcik will backfeed water into the line. If the water stops, then he knows the backflow preventer is in wrong. The line will have to be dug up again and the preventer will need to be turned around. Pisarcik is going to change the line so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only 4 or 5 feet deep instead of 9. Pisarcik has been in contact with the sewage enforcement agency so that it is aware of the issue.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving Presidentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Day may affect their refund timing. The Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s My Refund? tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers in late February, so those filers will not see a refund date on Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s My Refund? or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.

IRS offers help for taxpayers The IRS reminds taxpayers they have a variety of options to get help filing and preparing their tax return on IRS.gov, the official IRS website. Taxpayers can find answers to their tax questions and resolve tax issues online. The Let Us Help You page helps answer most tax questions, and the IRS Services Guide links to these and other IRS services. Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, pay online, or set up an online payment agreement; access their tax records online; review the past 18 months of payment history; and view key tax return information for the current year as filed. Visit IRS.gov/secureaccess to review the required identity authentication process. In addition, 70 percent of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. Commercial partners of the IRS offer free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $66,000 or less. The online fillable forms provide electronic versions of IRS paper forms to all taxpayers regardless of income that can be prepared and filed by people comfortable with completing their own returns. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offer free tax help to people who qualify. Go to IRS.gov and enter â&#x20AC;&#x153;free tax prepâ&#x20AC;? in the search box to learn more and find a nearby VITA or TCE site, or download the IRS2Go smartphone app to find a free tax prep provider. If eligible, taxpayers can also locate help from a community volunteer. Go to IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab for more information. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can provide helpful information and advice. Tips for choosing a return preparer and details about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.

Tax

associated with the EITC and ACTC. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, if those taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits. After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process

              

              

 

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MAINLINE EXTRA - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - PAGE 15

State park offers environmental education programs

Family Science Saturday Families are invited to join the park naturalist on Saturday, Jan. 13, to explore the clues that animals leave behind! Participate in activities, games, and crafts and learn about tracks, scat, sheds, sounds, and more. This hands-on program is best suited for children ages 4-12,

but all ages are welcome. In order to keep group sizes comfortable, this program will be offered at two separate times. Please RSVP for either session (10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.) no later than Thursday, Jan. 11, by contacting Beth Garner at 814-674-1000, extension 105 or princeprogramssp@pa.gov. Meet in the lower

level of the park office, which can be accessed at the rear of the building. These park programs are free of charge and open to the public. An online calendar of events with information on all upcoming programs can also be found at www.visitPAparks.com.

Access for People with Disabilities If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit. With at least three daysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; notice, interpreters for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are available for educational programs.


PAGE 16 - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - MAINLINE EXTRA

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